Review by djrobsd
Good "Best value for the money in Internet, lightning fast"
- Location: San Diego,San Diego,CA
- Cost: $62 per month
- Install: about 10 days
Bad "Modem disconnects, TV is just an absolute rip off, HORRIBLE install coordination"
Overall "Mixed results, seem to be much worse then they used to be"
|Pre Sales information:|
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)
[Update November, 2011] Well I had to say goodbye to Cox. After being impressed over the years with speed and reliability, I just couldn't deal with any more disconnecting modems and flashing lights. In the past several months, there have been several outages in my neighborhood, affecting all customers. In addition to that, my modem was disconnecting 3-5 times a week. I had 3 service visits, and each time they messed with the wiring in our apartment building and tried to boost my signal. The last guys who came out made everything good, signal wise (they were from Cox and not a contractor which makes a huge difference!)... But unfortunately, even with signals acceptable and in the range, the modem still disconnected twice in a week. Reliability is just not good at all at this point. I know it varies depending on your wiring in the building, what node you're on, etc. The one thing good I can say is that they never gave up on trying to help me, I just got tired of waiting for things to be fixed, so I switched to U-Verse. Since then, everything is A-ok, but of course Cox is still much faster.
[Update January 17, 2011] Since my updated review in 2005, I have moved about 5 times due to several unfortunate circumstances. All 5 times, I have chosen Cox. Reliability and service have been amazing, but the install process the last 2 times has been a night mare. The last place I was at, I didn't order TV, only internet. I did a self install, and everything hooked up, but it didn't work for a few days past the promised date. Then a few days later, it stopped working entirely. Lots of troubleshooting, on hold, time wasted, only to find out that a tech came out and installed the wrong trap on my line to block me from getting cable!! After they fixed that, all was good again, but I was still having issues with slow speeds, so Cox suggesed I replace my old Surfboard modem for a new DOCSIS 2.0 modem.... After some huge confusion about where my nearest Cox office was (the lady on the phone gave me an address to an office that had been closed for 2 years!) I finally got my Surfboard 5100 cable modem - they comped the modem due to the inconvenience... After all that, everything finally worked right, and I was a happy customer... Reliable service, fast speeds... Check.
Fast forward to my current apartment. When I moved in, my room mate already had Cox service... It was really slow and even Netflix couldn't keep up, so I had him upgrade us to the Preferred service. That seemed to clear up Netflix, but downloads still never hit preferred speeds, and the modem would loose connection to the router once or twice a month and have to reboot everything. I never called Cox because the account was in his name and he wasn't very proactive about dealing with those sort of things.
When he decided to move out, we both got on the phone with Cox, and asked to TRANSFER the service in my name. They assured me that would be the easiest way to have a trouble-free uninterrupted experience. Low and behold, that wasn't the case. After the computer finished shutting off his account, it disconnected his modem. I plugged my modem in and called tech support and they tried to activate my modem. The activation was not permitted due to the install date being set for Jan 7th. However, there was NOTHING to install, the service was already active... SO someone messed something up in a computer.. I waited on hold forever, talked to several people who tried to help me, but no one seemed to know how... Needless to say I was without internet over the New Years weekend, and it was a very annoying experience... I finally called back again on Monday and got someone who ACTUALLY HELPED ME, she stayed with me from start to finish until she could find someone at Cox who could fix the problem rather then pawning me off to someone else, god bless her.
After the internet came up, I noticed that it was not performing too well. The speeds were no where near the premier speeds I was paying. The advertised speeds of premier are up to 25mbps (30 with power boost), but i was only hitting about 3mbps... Then the internet went down completely one evening, so I called and they said they would need to send a tech out. Appointment was from 8-10AM on a Friday. I took the day off work... Tech didn't show up so I called at 11:30AM and they said they had no record of a work order!!!! They then told me there were no techs available and I would have to be on Stand by for that day, and they would schedule a tech for 5:30 the next day (sat). The tech showed up on time finally on Sat, and checked the lines, signal looked ok, he fixed an issue with the trap in the closet and an open loop, and said that should do the job. It seemed to improve things marginally, but definitely still not seeing advertised speeds.
So, then one of my friends who is a Mac tech told me he has been selling his clients the new 6100 series modem that is DOCSIS 3.0, and that should clear up all my problems. So, tonight I went to Best Buy and bought one and it seems to make a huge difference in my speeds, now getting pretty close to 25mbps download from my newsgroup provider and everything else feels snappier.
After all that drama, I'm wondering why Cox didn't just tell me to buy a new modem? That would have saved me a lot of time... In addition, why does it seem like they can't get the install process right and they make mistakes in their computer system, and LOOSE WORK ORDERS? How hard is it to make sure the customer work order is completed properly and the tech shows up during the advertised window?
I've really lost a lot of faith in Cox based on this last experience, however, I decided to stick it out because they still have the fastest speed for the money compared to U-Verse, and U-Verse charges you $150 to install the internet if you're not installing TV and a $3 a month rental fee for the DSL modem...
I'm hoping this will be the last of my troubles and will be a happy Cox customer from here on out. I want to add one more thing - I didn't order TV because frankly it's just an absolute rip off. Consumers were promised ala-cart pricing years ago and it never happened, so we're stuck paying $50 bucks a month for a bunch of channels that we never watch, plus even more for a digital box and then more for DVR service, etc etc... It's just too much money to watch TV, so I decided to opt out this time. I'm laughing when I go back and read my previous review and look at the prices, they are so much higher now then they were back then... And for all the fun, I just saw on the Cox web site that the Premier service has gone up from $58.99 a month to $61.99!! AWESOME JOB COX!! NOT.
[Update April 26, 2005] I made the switch from DSL Extreme back to Cox about 3 months ago! It has been the BEST decision I've ever made in my life. The only reason I didn't make it sooner is because I was locked into a 1 year contract.
Self-Installation was a bit of an inconvenience, even though my TV was activated on a certain date, the high speed internet would not go through on the online self-activation. I called a rep, and he told me that i needed to wait another day or two for my account to register in their computers, and then I couild call them back and he would add my MAC address to their system to allow my modem to connect. Once I got online, all was well in the world.
Cox has been solidly reliable, and I really LOVE THE NEW 4 MEG DOWN/512 UPLOAD speeds. It is a dream come true for me!! And for all that, I pay $29 a month which is the best value ever.
I get my phone, internet, HDTV, and DVR for only $86 a month. Of course I only have "Basic" cable, not expanded basic, but who needs all the extra channels, and $86 for all that is a great value compared to buying them all seperately.
My only comment to cox at this point is they seriously need to consider offering ala-carte channels for expanded basic instead of charging people $39.99 a month to watch a few channels, only to let the rest of them go to waste! I NEVER watch ESPN, but I would love to be able to watch DIscovery channel, however I'm not paying $39.99 a month to just watch Discovery!
[ORIGINAL REVIEW BELOW, dated circa November, 2003]
I moved in 3 weeks ago, and knew that DSL Extreme was not going to be available on day 1 because you can't even order DSL until the phone line has been active for 7 days. Then it could take 2-4 weeks after that to get it on. I couldn't live without internet for that long, so I decided to give Cox a try while I'm waiting for the DSL. The DSL should be on in 1 more week, but I've been very happy with Cox in the first 3 weeks I've been using them.
I self connected and it was only like 5 bucks. For the first 3 months I get it for $24.95, but then it goes up to $39.95 after that, with my own modem. I already had a cable modem, and the only hastle was that the person I ordered it from could not put my modem info in the computer, she told me I would have to call tech support after my cable was live, and give them the info. That seemed like an unnecessary step, why can't they just put it in the computer and be done with it? Also, if you place an order, do not use their web site. It's very poorly set up for ordering, and they make you place a SEPERATE order for cable and another one for internet - and to make matters worse one hand does not know what the other is doing. I had a bit of a hasle because the previous tenant did not disconnect his service, and they were refusing to allow me to order new service. I finally got that cleared up, which resulted in the cable being on a day late, still not too bad.
Overall, the whole experience has been good. My internet has NEVER been down, ping times are usually 30ms west coast, and 80-100ms east coast. They seem to have a pretty good backbone of their own, and routing is efficient and stable. I have 3000/256, but I usually get around 3300 down and 240 up, so I'd say they have their system tweeked pretty good to make sure the customer gets what they're paying for.
I have not used newsgroups, email, or tech support, other then to just call and give them the MAC address of my modem, so I can't really say how those are. However, another friend of mine on Cox says the newsgroups are awesome, and he rarely has problems with incomplete binaries.
My only gripe with Cox is that I heard they have a 30 gig bandwidth limitation, with 1.5 gig max download per day. I don't like when a company tells me what I can do with my connection. I doubt I'll ever exceed 30 gigs in a month, but if I do, I don't want to be faced with disconnection or have to pay a lot of extra money. However, my friend who lives down the street, regularly downloads 50-100 gigs a month (they have 3 people in the house that all download a lot), and Cox has never said anything to them, so they may only be monitoring bandwidth in certain markets, or in extreme cases.
Also, I wish Cox would have higher upstream offerings, and allow a static IP, and server usage. I want to be able to host my own stuff, and be able to connect via ftp from a remote location and get files from my computer.
For the reasons mentioned above, I am going to be getting the MCI DSL for $49.99 a month from DSL Extreme that includes 1 static ip, and a 768k upload speed. I Know the download won't be as fast, but i'm not too concerned about it. I'll probably keep cox as a backup, at least until the 24.95 introductory rate is up.
Overall, I highly recommend Cox, especially if you don't need a static IP and you're not planning on exceeding 30 gigs of data transfer in a month.
One more thing, I wish their cable TV rates weren't such a rip off.
I gave tech support 4* even though I haven't had to use them because I only had to wait on hold for 1 minute when I called them to give them my MAC address.. That to me is worth a lot!
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updated 3 years ago