Review by Daemon
Good "Get speeds paying for, very rapid truck rolls"
- Location: San Francisco,San Francisco,CA
- Cost: $35 per month (12 month contract)
- Install: about 14 days
Bad "fees up the butt, forced to buy crap modem, no IPv6, slower than cable"
Overall "Until DSL goes fiber, cable is the way to go"
|Pre Sales Information:|
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)
I've been a comcast customer for the most of the last 10 years. 2 of those were spent on a university dorm line, and a third with DSLExtreme. While Comcast is no saint, they have improved speeds and tech support markedly over that time and now represent what I think is the technological vanguard.
Well, we moved recently into a large apartment complex that is considered 'non serviceable' by comcast. I believe this is because the developers decided not to wire into the local cable system and instead take a kick-back from AT&T to go U-verse only. Potential illegalities/FCC violations aside, I'm stuck with AT&T, so now I'm on AT&T.
I attempted to order 18mbps service on 6/29 knowing we'd be moving in on 7/1. First, they wanted to charge $150 for a truck install that I couldn't avoid, and second I had to buy a $100 modem/gateway from them, no renting, no bringing my own modem. (And I really don't want their modem either- it has a non-disableable firewall and only does 802.11g, seriously) I was able to talk to a chat agent and avoid the $150 truck roll by downgrading service to 12mbps and she told me I could then later upgrade to 18 without needing the professional install. I also found out I could get a rebate for the full cost of the modem because I am an AT&T wireless customer. So, $250 in fees avoided, net due at install just first months service. Annoying to have to find ways around the fees, but so far so good.
Later that day I get an email saying my service activation date is 7/12. This is unacceptably long in my opinion. Given that the VRAD can be remotely activated and I don't require a service visit, a 2 week delay from ordering to setup is just absurd.
Yesterday, 7/11, the stupidly enormous and terribly ugly 3600HGV showed up in the mail. I plugged it in to do some initial setup. Keep in mind I do professional IT work, so I know my way around router setup. I had wanted to prepare it for DMZPlus mode so I could run my own router behind the modem. An hour after I powered it on for the first time, all lights on the modem went out and the modem was making a ticking sound-- very obviously a power converter problem. So, the modem was basically DOA.
I opened a chat support session and they had me reboot the modem (no dice, of course) and register for service (okay, how will that help?), before telling me that, because my service activation date is 7/12 and it's now 7/11, they can't help me and I have to call back tomorrow.
I called this morning and the woman was very helpful. She set up a service appointment for 8-12 this morning (and I was talking to her at 8:30). She told me it would be $100 for the guy to come visit. I almost blew a gasket after having to pay $100 for a crap modem, then $100 to replace it when it was DOA, but she changed her tune and told me the $100 would only be charged if the reason it wouldn't work was my fault, not theirs (which is okay in my book).
Literally 10 minutes later the tech called me on the phone and said he was 5 minutes out. 5 minutes later he was here, and 10 minutes after that service was active and I finally had internet access.
-the wanted $250 in one-time setup fees, which I wormed my way around
-it took 14 days to activate service
-crappy modem was DOA (and this is not uncommon according to google)
-they wanted $100 more in fees to fix my broken modem
-but, major major plus, a tech was here almost instantly when I had a problem.
On the other hand, with (1) cable pushing 100mbps and beyond, (2) comcast doing wide-scale rollouts of IPv6 across their network, (3) the efficiency and convenience of a cable modem that doesn't also double as a router and out-of-date wireless access point, and (4) the possibility of bringing your own modem, cable-based internet is just an easier and better option for most people. Comcast also offers discounts on service for new customers without the hamstringing of a contract.
UVerse is not terrible aside from the fees they try to cram you with, but Comcast is just that much better, at least in the bay area. I'm only on Uverse because I have to be.
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