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Six Month Rating

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Review by Crookshanks See Profile

  • Location: Endicott,Broome,NY
  • Cost: $59 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 21 days
  • Telco party Verizon
Good "Works extremely well once properly set up. I have my full bandwidth 24/7."
Bad "The left hand at Verizon never knows what the right hand is doing."
Overall "If you can get the higher speed tiers it's the best non-fiber broadband option there is."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

As a bit of background I was a happy Verizon DSL customer many years ago on the 3.0/768 tier until I moved out of range and had to switch to cable. I've also worked with Verizon on numerous occasions for various business services, including POTS, Centrex, ISDN, DSL and T-1 lines.

It has been my experience with Verizon that no matter what kind of service you order the biggest hassle is always the ordering/provisioning process. It seemingly takes the involvement of three or four different departments to get service properly setup and naturally those departments don't communicate well with one another. The good news is that once the service is properly configured you rarely have to mess with it. It just works.

This experience was to follow that same model. First I had issues with the de-marc and had to involve Presidential Appeals to cut through the red tape and get a truck roll to fix it. After that I had issues with congestion during the evening hours and had to contact the Verizon Direct forum on this site to get them resolved. Eventually these kinks were worked out and I now have bulletproof DSL with my full speed 24/7. At the end of this review you can find a timeline outlining the process that I've gone through, my sync numbers and all of the speedtests I've run.

To explain my ratings:

Pre-sales information: 4 out of 5. I dinged them one star because they don't publish the upload speeds for the various tiers on their webpage. I know most people don't care but they should still make this information available.

Install Co-ordination: 1 out of 5. The left hand at Verizon never knows what the right hand is doing. Their field techs/linemen are extremely competent and friendly but the process you have to go through to get one of them dispatched is an absolute nightmare.

Connection reliability: 5 out of 5. Nothing more to say here. Once you work out the kinks you'll have a rock solid connection.

Tech Support: 3 out of 5. If I was rating just the outsourced guys at the 800 number this would be a 1. If I was rating just the Verizon Direct forum on this site it would be a 5. I split the difference and rated it a 3. If you have a problem go to the Verizon Direct forum. Don't even bother calling the 800 number.

Services: 5 out of 5. I've got the fastest DSL tier they offer and can't imagine needing anything more. I'd love to get to take FIOS out for a spin but this DSL connection does everything I need it to do and more. At this point more speed would just be icing on the cake. Nice but not essential.

Value for money: 4 out of 5. The 10-15mbit/s tier with dry loop is expensive ($59.99/mo) but you do get what you pay for. My old cable connection had the same speed on paper (10/1) for $34.95 but it suffered extreme congestion issues in the evening hours to the point that I couldn't watch steaming video without pauses and buffering. I wish they didn't charge extra for dry loop or would at least offer a discount to those who go with Verizon Wireless for cellular and combine the bills.

Here's my sync numbers:

Line Mode ADSL_2plus
Data Path FAST

Transceiver Information Down Stream Path Up Stream Path
DSL Speed (Kbits/Sec) 11768 1119
Margin (dB) 18.3 10.0
Line Attenuation (dB) 26.3 11.1
Transmit Power (dBm) 18.2 12.2

A week worth of speedtests, mostly during peak hours, all numbers in mbit/s:

7:42pm 9.681/1.084

9:00pm 9.69/1.053
10:15pm 9.696/1.08
10:44pm 9.727/1.086

7:08pm 9.665/1.114
8:02pm 9.343/1.104
9:03pm 9.744/1.107

1:47am 9.821/1.104
8:28pm 9.659/1.107
9:37pm 9.673/1.085

8:43pm 9.698/1.079
9:14pm 9.659/1.114

1:45am 9.854/1.092

Ordering/installation/troubleshooting timeline:

2/7/11: Placed an order with Verizon for dry loop DSL at my new apartment. Qualified for the 10 to 15mbit/s tier! Scheduled turn up for 2/18/11 so I would have time to troubleshoot any problems before moving in on 3/1/11.

Had issues right off the bat with the ordering process. I declined to give my SSN so I had to communicate with Verizon's "credit verification center" to confirm my order. They compelled me to fax in two forms of ID but managed to misplace them. I had to resend the fax twice before they found a copy and approved my order.

2/17/11: One day before turn-up and I don't have my modem or self-install kit. No tracking number either. Call them up to find out what happened and am told they no record of shipping the modem but will send one out right away. It won't arrive until the following week. I'm already patting myself on the back for having the foresight to schedule turn-up two weeks before I need the service.

2/18/11: The modem and self-install kit arrives on the date of turn-up. Never did receive a tracking number or any indication that they had shipped them.

2/19/11: My future landlady gives me early access to my apartment so I can install the DSL. Couldn't find any working phone jacks so I had to install a new one. There was no NID at the apartment to hook this new jack into. Eventually found an old style ceramic de-marc with extremely corroded connectors. Hooked into that and wound up with a very low noise margin and unstable connection. No surprise there.

Called the outsourced tech support to try and explain the situation. The tech has no idea what a NID or de-marc is. I ask for a supervisor whom informs me that there will be a $129.99 charge to dispatch a truck to install a jack. I explain that I don't need a jack installed and the point of demarcation is their responsibility. The supervisor has no idea what that means and again tells me it will cost $129.99 to have a jack installed.

2/21/11: I wait until Monday and call Presidential Appeals. Explain the situation and request that they fix the broken de-marc. They put me in touch with repair whom agrees to roll a truck. Scheduled for Friday. They can't give me a precise time but I explain that I'm five minutes away and get a promise that the tech will call me before he is dispatched so I can arrange to meet him at the new apartment.

2/22/11: A second modem and self-install kit arrive. I call them up, tell them I got a second kit and ask if I should return it. They claim they have no record of sending me one modem, let alone two and it would probably be easier if I just kept them both. Alright then, I guess I have a spare modem.

2/25/11: The tech shows up without calling me. Landlady gives him access, he tests the line and doesn't see a problem. Trouble ticket closed. The landlady called me and I rushed over but I missed him by five minutes.

Another phone call to Presidential Appeals. I explain that I took the day off work to meet him and request they get him dispatched back over here. They transfer me to repair again and I'm promised another dispatch within four hours.

Tech shows up 45 minutes later. Explains that they did not tell him that the problem was intermittent so he assumed it was working when his test kit got a connection. I asked why he didn't call me and he said they never put my phone number on the ticket as they were supposed to. He apologies for the mix-ups and upon further testing decides to install a new drop from the pole plus a proper NID.

This resolves my connectivity issues. Connection is now stable with extremely good (20db downstream/12db upstream) noise margin. I'm synced at around 11000/1100 with speedtests of 9.3mbit/s down and 1.0mbit/s up.

3/1/11: I receive my first bill. They charged me a jack install fee of $129.99!

Phone call to DSL billing. I am told that because I needed a jack I have to pay this fee. I explain that I did the jack myself and the truck roll was actually because of a bad de-marc and pole drop. They don't want to hear it.

Another phone call to Presidential Appeals. I'm promised a billing supervisor will call me within four hours.

Said supervisor calls me and agrees to waive the $129.99 fee. After I explain all of my issues she also waives the $20 shipping/activation fee and gives me a credit for the first week of DSL service when my connection wasn't stable.

Middle of 03/2011: I notice that my connection slows down some evenings between 7pm and 1am. The slow down ranges from 2 to 4mbit/s most of the time, steadily picking up after 11pm until reaching full speed around 1am.

3/19/11: I finally have some time to troubleshoot this issue. I post in the Verizon Direct forum explaining my issues.

3/21/11: Receive a reply requesting several speedtests, pings and traceroutes.

3/22/11: I post the requested tests in the Verizon Direct forum.

3/22/11: Verizon Direct agrees I have congestion issues and queues a ticket to engineering.

3/23/11: I receive a phone call from engineering. He tells me that he re-provisioned my line and suggests keeping an eye on it.

3/25/11: Speedtests on Friday night all come back between 9.3 and 9.5mbit/s down. Issue seems to be fixed but I ask Verizon Direct to hold the thread open so I can monitor it for a few more days to confirm.

4/1/11: One more week of monitoring. I do speedtests every evening at random times. I never have less than 9.3mbit/s down. The congestion issue appears to be resolved.

member for 6.6 years, 842 visits, last login: 184 days ago
updated 3.4 years ago