Review by tvdrew
Good "Reliable internet (few outages in 12 years); good channel selection; increased HD options"
- Location: Washington,District Of Columbia,DC
- Cost: $120 per month
- Install: about 3 days
Bad "Tech/customer support a total mixed bag; site visits a pain; billing a crapshoot. Price increases of late"
Overall "Better than the alternatives"
|Pre Sales information:|
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)
I've had RCN since it was Starpower (approx. 12 years). During that time I've had extremely few service outages, typically weather related (one recent one from an RCN central switch failure that pretty much everyone suffered). Internet speeds are close to advertised, but not quite. Television service is pretty good, although they've moved channels to higher-priced tiers and now require a cable box. I realize the tradeoff is more HD channels, but I did like having a set anywhere without a cable box.
Installation was extremely quick, but not completed. Fortunately it didn't matter, since the house was still under construction. Subsequent cable card installation was also quick, although it didn't work fully until several calls to tech support.
Tech support is their weakest link. They seem (judging by accents) to have outsourced to folks overseas who really don't know what they're doing. They're nice, but don't solve the problem In fact, they rarely can even identify the problem. It took ten calls for them to tell me that the reason I was not receiving a certain channel was because it was not in my package, despite what the channel guide showed.
And that misleading information carried over to price. They offered a promotional price that was quite good. What they didn't say was that there were two promotions. One for a low price, a second for a 6-month discount that expired. Just recently I had another price increase at the end of some promotional period. Layered on top of other price increases and promotion ends I seem to be paying about $35 more than I started at 2 years ago (50% price increase) for the same (or lesser internet speed) service.
Update: Billing may be their weakest link, or at least where I've had the most trouble. A combination of expiring promotions, new promotions, and unrelated rate hikes has led to some eye-popping recent bills that seem to take multiple calls to straighten out. Service remains reliable, and the HD upgrade has been a great benefit with lots more HD channels.
Final update: After 12 years I switched to Verizon FiOS. I continued to be happy with RCN as described above, but the regular increases in prices had become too much. I asked if there were any promotions available to reduce the latest price increase and was given a flat no, nor even a "sweetener" as they have in the past, such as increased internet speeds. Having gone through these negotiations enough I didn't push it and made the switch. I would be happy with RCN's service if the pricing were somewhat lower, so for those eligible for promotions give them consideration.
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updated 1.5 years ago