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CenturyLink page on DSLReports
Six Month Rating

Reviews:
bullet 689 reviews (218 good) (295 bad)
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Review by stroonza See Profile

  • Location: Trussville,Jefferson,AL
  • Cost: $39 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 15 days
  • Telco party CenturyTel
Good "19.91 for 1st 3 months, Free Setup, Free Modem with 12mo contract"
Bad "Oops! They were 3 days late and password was typo'ed"
Overall "Beats pokey Satellite any day, Great PING rate for gamers!"
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I think I pretty much sum'ed everything up on the points My DSL reports speed test reflect anout 368K down and 105K up. I suspect my house wiring is causing this so I will be changing it out to CAT5e and retesting. If that does not get it then I will jack into the NI outside to isolate the whole house. Customer service was great. They added and alias instead of an email box the first time adding but was able to correct the next day. I'm pleased with this installation.

member for 10 years, 28 visits, last login: 281 days ago
lodged 10 years ago

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Review by jayfeco See Profile

  • Location: Moscow Mills,Lincoln,MO
  • Cost: $64 per month
  • Telco party CenturyTel
Good "Connectivity seem ok"
Bad "Very confused company! One hand doesnt know what the other is doing"
Overall "I only use them because no one else is in the area"
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Centurytel is a very diffcult company to work with. I had DSL install for my business about a year ago and they could not get it right. After 5 phone calls and 2 returns because they got it wrong I finally got the modem. Then they couldn't give me the plan they quoted until another batttery of phone calls.

Well 6 months go I got residential DSL and the Connectivity is great but if you have any other service needs like a metro plan or don't want their voice mail option then they screw up big time. They currently have my email turned off and I can not call long distance because they screwed up my bill. When I proved that I paid the bill they said I would have to wait for them to place a order so I can call long distance or email. If you have a choice steer clear of CENTURYTEL. I wish there was another IPS in the 63362 Area. If anyone know of a good one please let me know.



member for 10.3 years, 64 visits, last login: 5.8 years ago
lodged 10 years ago

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Review by lifeman30 See Profile

  • Location: Wentzville,Saint Charles,MO
  • Cost: $49 per month (12 month contract)
  • Telco party CenturyTel
Good "good tech support. almost never down"
Bad "a bit pricey"
Overall "good overall"
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i was at 1500 down, but they are upgrading my line to 3000 down, should be there in a couple of days. i will do a speed test and post it when the upgrade is complete. the first 3 months are at 19.99, then it jumps to 50 bucks, at which point i will go back down to 1.5 unless there a another special, or the price is reduced, the reduction in price was almost a sure thing according to the rep i spoke with. they have american tech support, and i support american jobs 100%..

member for 13.7 years, 823 visits, last login: 1.8 years ago
lodged 10 years ago

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Review by WTRickman See Profile

  • Location: Russellville,Pope,AR
  • Cost: $49 per month (12 month contract)
  • Telco party CenturyTel
  • CLEC party: CenturyTel
Good "Very reliable; Knowledgeable tech support"
Bad "A little slower than I expected; A little pricey"
Overall "A viable alternative to cable."
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I wanted broadband after I moved to Russellville, but I had heard bad reviews on Cox Communication's Cable Modem system. In late April, I went into my local CenturyTel store to pay my phone bill; and while there, inquired about DSL. They were runing a special on DSL, where they waived the $100 installation and $50 activation charges and allowed me the first 3 months for 29.95; which not only gave me $20 off the service for 3 months, but also brought the price of the modem down by $30 over the three months. My only complaint here is that they wouldn't let me just check for availablility, the lady said "We don't just check to see, you either want it or you don't." which I thought was rather rude, but I overlooked it.

The Westell 516 Bridge arrived sooner than expected, and took me quite by surprise when I saw it sitting on my porch about 6 days after I signed up. I had the Bridge and DSL Filters installed and running within 30-45 minutes. I Installed WinPOEt, the PPPoE client, and ran into a snag - my username and password had not arrived in the mail. However, I called CenturyTel Tech Support, and they hooked me right up and got me on my way.

The service was a little slower than I expected, but my experiences had been with Cable, and being the only Cable Modem user within miles and miles. Therefore I had been spoiled. Using the tweaks from this site allowed me to get the most out of my DSL service.

==============================================

I've come full circle back to Centurytel. They no have three price ranges/speeds:

512kbps = 39.00/mo

768kbps = 49.00/mo

1.544Mbps = 59.00/mo

I have the middle one, and I have had absolutely no downtime and fantastic throughput - even on suspect phone lines. I still gotta give it thumbs up.

member for 12.6 years, 95 visits, last login: 6 years ago
updated 10 years ago

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Review by pegasus2 See Profile

  • Location: Elma,Grays Harbor,WA
  • Cost: $69 per month
  • Install: about 7 days
  • Telco party CenturyTel
  • CLEC party: CenturyTel
Good "Huge price break when integrated with phone bill."
Bad "Screwed up installation"
Overall "Once it got working, It's smooth and consistant."
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The installation had several foul-ups mostly related to our local CO settings, but that only took a day and a couple of calls to completely clear up.

Ever since then it's been a great connection. Ordered 768/256 and consistantly get 630/213. That's close enough for home use.

The price is a package that includes phone, call answering, CID, call waiting, call waiting CID....etc.

My old DSL ISP only offered 256/256 for $50/month and only had Customer service open 8-5 M-F. With separate phone service I was paying $100/Mo. for both.

24/7 support(I don't mind a reasonable wait on hold), faster and consistant connections, lower price. Sorry, but I can't complain.

member for 14 years, 86 visits, last login: 1.3 years ago
lodged 10.1 years ago

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Review by sleepingbear See Profile

  • Location: Maple City,Leelanau,MI
  • Cost: $29 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 9 days
  • Telco party CenturyTel
  • CLEC party: CenturyTel
Good "DSL finally!! been waiting yrs!, low overall costs, free modem"
Bad "Customer service maze, noone knows what someone else said"
Overall "Good luck if you have little/no experience with DSL setup"
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Update 11/6/04 Checked up/down speeds a few times over the past 3 days. Averaging 99 up/206 down. Not quite as advertised, but I will tweak throughput settings and recheck. No packet loss problems reported.

The "welcome letter" with recommended NICs, login info, and basic troubleshooting finally arrived three days after the modem package. If I had waited for it, I would have had service connected for three days but no way to use it!

I did not want to change my email provider. The provider I use blocks spam by not accepting relayed messages from unknown IP addresses. They said they would whitelist a static IP address for me at no charge (nice of them!) You can get a static IP address from CenTel, but it costs $10.00/mo. more! I found an easy workaround was to keep my reply address the same as my current account, but point my outgoing messages to CenTel's SMTP server. I discovered by trial and error that they do not block relayed mail. (I would guess they can't without static IP's for all customers). This might be one reason why I used to get soooo much spam with a CenTel address when we had dialup!

(Original post edited by user for clarity and more "plain English" terms:) )

I just got Century Tel DSL at home. I'm not a total newbie to CenTel's broadband, as I connect to a 512k line at one of my workplaces, and support a handful of residential and small business customers with their setups.

At home, I left CenTel dialup three years ago because they would not consider upgrading their modems to the V.92 standard, which would have allowed their customers to use modem-on-hold. That would have resulted in a number of second lines for dialup being canceled, and as they are a plain old telephone service provider they probably wanted to keep as many phone accounts as possible IMHO .

CenTel put in a new switch at the end of the road recently (finally!!) so I ordered 256K DSL service about two weeks ago. Sad to say, and just as three years ago, it was an instant customer service nightmare! Six calls, two promises of "three business day" install, three other "your service is not installed yet, it takes seven days" calls, three phone calls on my answering machine from local techs and the main office contradicting each other, you get the picture.

I was promised three different install dates, was told the free modem would be shipped and arrive in three days, then seven days, got here on day 8. Was told a "welcome letter" with my login and setup info would be in the modem package - suprise, it wasn't. Called customer support after opening the modem box, 25 minute wait again for a tech, got my username and login. Tech then told me: "Your order did not complete. You are not set up yet." OK. What's the problem? "It's on our end, not yours." Duh. Tech filled out an "escalation report". I asked if it would allow me to get connected this evening (Wednesday). "No, noone is in until tomorrow". Bummer.

Turned out they had not yet activated my login. The phone tech did not tell me this, I discovered it after setting up everything and running modem diagnostics.

The supplied "automatic setup" disk with the modem did not successfully install after three attempts on our Win98SE system, first with the Ethernet card, then with the USB port. I had to run the setup on my laptop with Win2K and manually enter some settings in the Win98SE system. Connection is Dynamic IP, but I think it connects to a PPPoE server at CenTel? (Someone please correct me if I am wrong or incomplete - 80% of this area is still on dialup so my experience is limited).

The supplied documentation with the modem is almost useless for troubleshooting, asks you to call CenTel. Good luck there, set aside at least 40 minutes. I spent 3 to 5 minutes navigating the phone menu, 20 to 25 minutes on hold, then 5 to 10 minutes with a tech each time I called (and I had specific questions, not doing troubleshooting - I suppose that could take an hour or more!) They do have a real-time chat feature on the support site, but of course you must have to be able to get online to use it! There's almost no troubleshooting help available for DSL on their website.

Interesting experience with one particular phone rep the next morning (day 9) - explained the problem with no activation, was very understanding, then said (exact quote) "I'll put an order in for Caller ID, so you can know who is calling". I asked her if I had at some point ordered this service, knowing full well that I hadn't. She replied, "No, but wouldn't you like to know who is calling?" Sneaky. Watch for this if you have regular telephone service with CenTel!!

My account was activated the next day (Thursday). Still no welcome letter! No connection problems. Price is $19.95 for first three months plus a free modem (CenTel sent me a Netopia, my neighbor who just signed up got an Alcatel). Price goes to $29.95/mo. for 256k service on the fourth month with a one-year contract. You get charged $149.95 for the modem if you cancel early, not sure about other early disconnect charges. This price does not include taxes or universal charges. BTW, it is very difficult to get a straight answer on the total montly cost for the service. They do not like to quote those "additional" fees over the phone, and of course there is nothing on the website other than a generic disclaimer.

Customer support is weak and sometimes just plain wrong. One department doesn't know what the other is doing or has already done. If you are a new DSL customer with an issue, good luck. I spoke to seven different support personnel during the order/troubleshooting process. Four were good (one even called me back to follow up!!), two sounded burned out, and one tried the upsell trick

Should not take so much effort to get a simple DSL connection.

Do not spend extra money with them for a "home networking solution". One customer service representative there told me I had to take their networking program because other components were "not supported". I set up the most inexpensive wireless router with good security I could find, the most inexpensive wireless card, and installed a"recycled" ISA network interface card on the computers my wife and I use most. The router provided a more stable connection both with 802.11b and Ethernet. When NIC'd directly to the modem, the connection would drop on reboot sometimes regardless of which computer/OS I used, same with USB. The cheap peripherals have been working flawlessly. Good deal.

Bottom line -

Pros: good deal for connectivity, you get a low initial rate and the modem is free if you stay for a year. I got the modem, 4 filters, a network cable and a USB cable in the box.

Cons: poor customer service, tries to upsell your residential phone service in a sneaky way, implies that you need to purchase their home networking service when low cost solutions work fine, could be totally frustrating for the average user.

If it is the ONLY choice in your area, go for it. SHOP AROUND. I'd avoid CenTel if another option is competitive. They have advanced in customer service since I had dialup, but I say that only because I got a follow-up call (after the "escalation report") for the first time in years.



member for 10.1 years, 8 visits, last login: 9.5 years ago
lodged 10.1 years ago

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Review by vicented See Profile

  • Location: Foristell,Saint Charles,MO
  • Cost: $64 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 4 days
  • CLEC party: CenturyTel
Good "Reliable Connection, Stable Speed"
Bad "None So Far"
Overall "Great Value......So Far"
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I live in a semi-rural area 60 miles outside of St. Louis Missouri. I was happy when I found out CenturyTel just made DSL availabe in our area a few months ago.

Ordered the 768Kps package which was bundled withy my phone package that includes local metro St. Louis. Bundle was 64.95. Included a rebate for the modem and a waiver of connection charges.

I ordered service over the phone on a Monday. Wednesday, the modem, cables, installation software, and filters/splitters arived. Thursday the service was ready and I had the installation set up within a couple of hours. Only glitch was setting up Outlook Express to retrieve email from CenuryTel server. Was able to reach a Customer Support person within a couple of minutes and she had my Outlook Express setup within a few minutes.

I have had no outages for the last three weeks. Speed tests have consistently averaged 630 download 120 upload. Not too bad. I am 2.2 miles from the telco office. Don't plan to go up to 1.5 Mbps..........yet.

No longer do I have to bleed out 20 bucks for dialup.

I sure am happy with the service I have recieved to this date. Will post followup updates as they occur.

member for 10.2 years, 0 visits, last login: 10.2 years ago
lodged 10.2 years ago

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Review by or1cowboy See Profile

  • Location: Boardman,Morrow,OR
  • Cost: $57 per month (12 month contract)
  • Telco party CenturyTel
  • CLEC party: CenturyTel
Good "Faster than Dial up"
Bad "Reliability is getting worse and worse. Supplied equipment of poor quality"
Overall "Not what it is supposed to be as advertised"
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From the get go there have been issues with my Centurytel DSL service. First it took me forever to get the documentation to set up the preferences in my email programs. I had to keep calling to find out when the service was going to be connected. When the Router finally did show up I had problems with that too and their tech support kept telling me it was not the equipment, but instead my computer configuration. When their technician came out he gave me an older version of the router to try for a while until my replacement came and while I had the one from him I had a much faster and more reliable connection. I also noticed that the equipment they gave me would not allow even access to Microsoft's update page and yet the loaner gave me no problems. After I got the new replacement for the original equipment I had to install a second personal router between the one supplied by Centurytel and my computer to be able to have the machine automatically connect when I booted it and to avoid the problems of their router blocking access to my update pages in Microsoft and other sites, even with the firewall in their supplied equipment supposedly truned totally off. As far as I am concerned the equipment they supplied to me is junk. My service was "ok" for a while but as time went on I noticed things running slower and my download and access speeds got worse. They were also running adds in their pages for faster DSL service at a much lower price than what I was paying but they never let their existing customers know about that. I just happened to stumble upon it quite by accident and had to call them to find out about an upgrade. When it was finally upgraded it was faster than what I had before but the reliablity is still lousy. The connection drops on a consistant and regular basis and my download speeds are sketchy. I am supposed to have 1.5MBps Download and 256k upload. The best I have been able to achieve is 1.33 download and even that is rare these days. I am finding more and more that the download is closer to 750k and the connection dropping is becoming more and more regular. This is a real pain when I am in the middle of trying to do a download or going between web pages. It is sad that I am not getting the service that I am paying for.

or1cowboy@centurytel.net

Boardman, Oregon 97818



member for 10.2 years, 0 visits, last login: 10.2 years ago
lodged 10.2 years ago

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Review by Hemingray See Profile

  • Location: Evening Shade,Sharp,AR
  • Cost: $34 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 3 days
  • Telco party CenturyTel
  • CLEC party: CenturyTel
Good "Good service, Fast enough for me!"
Bad "downtimes are ridiculously long at times"
Overall "Decent for where I am at, works fine for me"
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A decent service, especially being the only one available in this small town.

member for 10.6 years, 8 visits, last login: 7.8 years ago
lodged 10.3 years ago

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Review by FREAKZA69 See Profile

  • Location: Kalispell,Flathead,MT
  • Cost: $49 per month (month by month)
  • Install: about 32 days
  • Telco party CenturyTel
  • CLEC party: CenturyTel
Good "none"
Bad "Way to many to list."
Overall "Full of excuses and mistakes"

I recently switched my dsl from one phone to another. I placed the order on aug 1st. Come sept 2nd I still had no DSL. In the time I waited I spoke with century tel on numerouse occasions and it was always "Well we will check on it and get back to you." Well surprise, surprise they never got back to me ever unless I called them. About 20 days in to this screw up I called them and told them that if they did not get it together I would be reporting them to the better business association and canceling my contract. It was at that time they told me that my order had been lost then in the same 30 min conversation they told they were unsure what was going on because the line it was on was under a different name then the one it was going to. So not knowing they shelved it and it got lost. Then (still same conversation) they told me that 1 of the installers had cancer and one had quit so that left 1 guy for the entire valley. Which in my opionion is utter crap! They should have hired someone else or planned for the shortage in workers. Finally on the second they got it up and going but per usual I am faced with extreme slow speed.

member for 10.4 years, 4 visits, last login: 10.3 years ago
lodged 10.3 years ago

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