Review by DouglasW1
Good "NOTHING. Not a single good thing to say."
- Location: Douglas,Coffee,GA
- Cost: $56 per month
Bad "7 months of problems. 2% of the advertised speed. Worst company ever."
Overall "Awful, slow, unreliable DSL service. Lies, Lies, Lies. Avoid Windstream. RUN."
|Pre Sales information:|
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)
Final(?) Update 10 March 2013
I have left Windstream, thank GOD!
Am now using MEDIASTREAM cable Internet. So far so good. They had a "no contract" 12mbps deal, with 250 GB/month cap, which is not unreasonable. So far speeds are good (10-12 mbps downstream) with no complaints or outages, and my bandwidth usage is averaging less than I expected.
WINDSTREAM is currently saying they will fix much of GEORGIA this year:
but they have been promising me that same lie for 8 months.
WINDSTREAM is the worst provider in the history of the Internet. They apologize and lie, but don't fix the problems. Their "high speed" service is a joke, sometimes running at LESS than dial-up speeds. They vastly oversubscribe certain areas, yet continue to sign up new customers there, promising speeds they can't deliver.
Just wanted to let everyone know that Windstream has yet AGAIN pushed back the "fix" date for the horrible lack of speeds here. Problem was first reported in July 2012. A fix was PROMISED for October 2012 ("new equipment" to be installed in area). It did NOT help. Then they said April 2013 at earliest. Today (11 February) tech support says July 2013... maybe. Meanwhile, I am getting 2% of the speed I am paying for, when the Internet even works.
I've escalated this problem to the highest possible levels. The last email I received from a Windstream executive basically said they are helpless, have NO solid fix date, and suggested I should find another provider. I think they are tired of me filing complaints with the FCC, BBB, and state public service commission!
By the way, there is only one other provider here... a cable company with just as many complaints and problems, and with bandwidth caps that might be too low for someone like me who works from home and needs lots of bandwidth (I do a lot more UPloading than the average customer, and often have to upload/download large files).
02 January 2013:
Windstream is the WORST Internet provider EVER. Don't even think of signing up for their "service."
21 December 2012: down to 0.1 mbps downstream... when it works at all.
Windstream has gone from awful to "I wouldn't recommend them to my worst enemy." They are the epitome of complete incompetence. I no longer can think of anything good to say about them.
I'm down to 0.1 mbps (on a 12 mbps "high speed" DSL package). That's about 1% of what I'm paying for:
Going to look into leaving Windstream next week. After 11 good years with WS, these last 5 months have been awful. I can barely even run a Google search most days. The local Windstream office is a joke also; they have not returned a single one of my calls, and the manager is never available when I visit in person. The girls at the desk just shrug or give me blank looks when I ask for help. They promise their boss will call me "immediately" when he returns/turns on his cell/gets out of a meeting/etc. Still hasn't happened!
I basically have no choice but to switch. I can't work without reliable Internet access. Even dial-up was better than my current Windstream "high speed" package. Phone techs at WS told me recently that it will be March 2013 or later before anything changes. Wow, now that is (not) service. Cable company (my only other option) has bandwidth caps and 2 year contract, but at least they are NOT WINDSTREAM DSL.
And yes, Windstream continues to advertised for NEW Internet customers here in Douglas GA, which just drops everyone's speeds even more as more accounts get added. They can't support the current customers, and the "equipment upgrades" they did in October 2012 only helped a little bit... for a little while. Now speeds are worse than ever.
WINDSTREAM IS THE WORST COMPANY I HAVE DEALT WITH IN 30 YEARS OF ADULT LIFE. RUN LIKE HELL FROM THEM!
10 December 2012:
Finally talked Windstream into a partial month's credit for their complete lack of service. Doesn't make up for 5 months of horrible speeds, empty promises, incompetent tech support, or their many lies. And I shouldn't have to beg and threaten them to get credit for NON-service.
1 December 2012:
Quick update: Windstream Tech support just told me that they have a revised estimated date of fix for the latency/speed problems in Douglas GA area: March 2013. Ugh.
Local Windstream office (Douglas GA) still hasn't returned my calls. The manager is always "in a conference" or "out of the office." I am promised he will call me ASAP. Hasn't happened yet.
*** HOW IT ALL STARTED:
Here is background info, and the chronological order of events:
I have only basic phone service, and no long distance. I also negotiated a "competitive" discount of $10/month for not switching to the local cable company... not that it's doing me much good, since I can barely use the Internet as of September 2012. I've had Alltel/Windstream service for nearly 12 years. Here's the story of how it's gone from good to awful this year:
Renewed my 12 mbps package with Windstream. Speeds are good (80% of promised, 80% of the time). I've been with Windstream (formerly Alltel here) for 11+ years. Service has usually been adequate, downtime rare, and some partial credits issued a couple of times in the past when service was out for more than a day.
Mid July 2012:
Speeds are noticeably slower, often dropping to 6 mbps or lower. I'm a computer consultant and repair tech. I run ever test known to man, and find the problem is not my equipment.
I call tech support. They are unable to find problem. They promise to call me back within 48 hours, but never do. I call them back in 3 days; they say they sent someone out to the area, but found no problem. Finally, they agree there's still a problem.
Late July 2012:
Speeds degraded, now averaging 3 to 4 mbps. My previous ticket was closed without resolution or my knowledge or permission. I communicate with a WS Live Chat tech rep, who promises that if I call Billing, they WILL issue partial credit for poor service.
I immediately call Billing. They refuse to issue credit, saying they don't know what the problem is, but claim it's my equipment (it's not).
Finally (more calls to tech support and more Live Chat), they admit an "outage" problem and open a new ticket.
Mid August 2012:
In spite of good equipment tests, phone support insists on sending me a new modem/router (Sagemcom 1704). For the 3rd time I replace all filters, ethernet cords, phone lines, and test with multiple computers (PC and Mac) and multiple phone jacks in house. No difference whatsoever. Speeds are now averaging 3 mbps or less.
Some of my business customers, neighbors, and friends have reported to me the same problems with Windstream DSL in this town (I'm a computer consultant). I tell them to call Windstream, not me.
I call Billing. Again they refuse to issue any credit, saying that they must resolve the problem first. Huh? It's been over a month.
I contact a super-helpful Windstream rep (Pat) here on dslreports.com. She not only calls me at home, but quickly finds the real problem. Area is oversubscribed. Windstream cannot support their customers here with current equipment. New equipment is supposed to go online in early October 2012.
A phone rep again promises that "actually, if you call Billing, they will issue credit to your account."
I call Billing. They still refuse to issue credit. The rep actually laughs at my request, in spite of my documentation of the issue from a Tier II Windstream rep.
I file a complaint with the BBB and the state public service commission.
Early September 2012:
Speeds are now in the gutter. Downstream is often less than 1 mbps, and sometimes there is no connectivity. Simple Google searches and speed tests often won't complete. I'm basically at just above dial-up speeds, except in the wee hours of the night.
I get initial replies from my official complaints. Windstream still claims I'm receiving 12 mbps service, even though I have documentation (my own, and from their Tier II tech) that I'm not, and the area has been oversubscribed. NO credit has been issued for poor/non-service. However, WS says they are aware of the problem, and are working to resolve it. Yay, right?
My next door neighbors complain, and get a $40 credit. I still get NO credit.
I reply to the messages from the Windstream officials (responding to my public service commission complaint) with the same information, and newer documentation, and again request credit to my bill. I thank them for their attention to the matter, and let them know I understand these things take time, equipment, and manpower to resolve. However, it is unacceptable to accept monthly payments from me, then NOT deliver the promised service, and NOT credit my bill even a penny.
In a second (third?) response to my complaint with the BBB, Windstream finally said they would issue me credit on my bill, since I am now getting less than 5% of the speed I am paying for. Speeds continue to degrade. At times I can't even do a Google search or a speed test (just times out).
Got my bill. No credit as promised. Maybe next month? Maybe it's time to switch to the cable company (which I've been avoiding, due to a 2-year contract and $$$ bandwidth caps).
Only positive note is the dslreports Windstream tech is keeping me informed (still no fix till October, maybe). She even left a message on my answering machine. Strange that the "normal" Windstream techs never called me back as they promised. Thank goodness for Pat from Windstream, here in the forums!
This is the BEST speed I've gotten today (on 12 mbps package):
The worst was 0.06, along with 3 tests that wouldn't even complete.
It's official. My DSL UPstream is now faster than my downstream!
(cries into hanky. dial-up speeds, the horror).
1 October 2012
Finally see a credit (for NEXT month) of $31.99 on my bill. Doesn't make up for 2.5 months of poor/non service, but it's something. You would not believe the time and number of emails, complaints, and phone calls I've had to make just to get this credit (my neighbors got $40 credit with ONE call, sigh). At this point I am exploring other options for Internet service (sadly, we currently only have Mediastream with bandwidth caps and poor reputation as an alternative to DSL Windstream).
Today's best speed is 0.63 Downstream, 0.64 up (yep, sadly upstream is still faster) on a darn 12 mbps package! At this point I have absolutely nothing good to say about Windstream, other than their support tech here on dslforums is nice and has been the ONLY helpful person from Windstream.
19 October 2012
Fixes were supposed to be in place by now, but there has been no change in horrible speeds and outages. Downstream is less than 0.5 mbps (on 12 mbps package!). Horrible, just horrible.
As of 19 October 2012, my speeds are still less than 1 mbps on my 12 mbps Windstream package. Speeds have been degrading since mid-July 2012. Surfing is often impossible, with even simple Google searches timing out. New equipment to supposedly fix the issue in Douglas, GA is scheduled to be installed this month, says Windstream. [LATER UPDATED TO MARCH 2013 AT EARLIEST, SAYS WINDSTREAM. WTF ?]
27 October 2012:
Speeds are improving a bit some days, but are still all over the place. Windstream says new equipment is (finally) being installed, but will be a few more weeks before all is tested and fully online.
Keeping my fingers crossed!
12 mbps package, speeds less than 1 mbps:
1 December 2012
Thoroughly disgusted with Windstream. They continue to lie to me, telling me speeds will be fixed "soon." In spite of "equipment upgrades" in the area about a month ago, my 12 mbps packages still often runs at only 1 mbps or LESS. Problem has NOT been fixed since I first reported it in mid-2012. Lots of promises. Many lies. NO FIXES.
Filed another complaint (FCC). Not that it will help. My blood pressure is high these days, too.
Again, I thank the Windstream techs on dslreports.com for their assistance. And warn that the normal phone reps have not been helpful, and have not returned a single call as promised.
I also wish that Windstream would cease advertising for new Internet customers here (which just makes our speeds even slower!) until they get enough new equipment in place here. I hope WS gets their act together and becomes the nice and reliable company they once were. I also wish to wake up next to Keira Knightley.
*** see top of this review for current month updates
member for 2.3 years, 23 visits, last login: 1.7 years ago
updated 1.7 years ago
Re: Slow internet Thanks for your comment. Your situation sounds much like mine. Oversubscribed area, and Windstream still adding new customers they can't support! If you aren't getting 80+ % of the promised speeds 80% of the time, they are cheating you.
I got nothing but runarounds and lies from phone reps and billing. The Windstream tech (Patricia) here at DSL forums has been the only person who provided me with straight answers or even returned a phone call. She has called me 2 or 3 times just to give me updates. If you haven't contacted the Windstream support reps here, I do recommend doing so.
If you haven't already, I suggest filing complaints with the BBB, your state service commission, and the FCC. It's apparently the only way to get Windstream's attention, sadly. And they should have to answer for their policy of blaming customers' computers and routers, when they know the actual problem (oversubscribed area/old equipment).
Do ask for credit. Don't take no for an answer. Ask to speak to a supervisor, and let them know you are filing the appropriate complaints (above) for failure to provide the service you are paying for. This is breach of contract by Windstream, and it's not legal.
Tell everyone you know of your experience. If Windstream loses enough customers, nationwide, maybe it will make a difference (as you say... yeah, right).
I wish you luck finding another provider. Our only other option here (Douglas, GA) is a cable company (Mediastream, who bought out Charter here) with poor reputation and bandwidth caps, and a required 2-year contract. Ugh. I will never sign a contract, knowing I might be in a situation like this Windstream one down the road!
Sad that many other countries I've visitied have 20-50+ mbps service and better customer service than most USA Internet providers. Of course, customer service is dead in America.
I read recently that some of the big USA telco providers are phasing out DSL service, as the technology has pretty much reached its limits. Just something to think about. Where are the fiber optic networks promised back in the 1980s? lol....