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MSN page on DSLReports
Six Month Rating

Reviews:
bullet 286 reviews (99 good) (139 bad)
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Review by jjhall See Profile

  • Location: Nampa,Canyon,ID
  • Cost: $39 per month
  • Telco party Qwest
Good "Probably great for switching AOL users"
Bad "Not compatible with standard PPPoE networks"
Overall "If you have more than one computer, or want to have a connection outside the browser, don't even try MSN!"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Value for money:

I ordered DSL under the new MSN/Qwest "Alliance" on Aug. 13. The Qwest representative promised me I would have my equipment by the 21st (so I would have service the moment the line was provisioned,) and that my line would be provisioned on the 28th. I would pay $39.95 per month (plus standard taxes) for 256K up and down.

The 21st came and went, no modem. I began calling daily, and was told each time "It should arrive in the next day or so. The 28th came, still no modem. I called customer service and was told that they would be sending out the modem, and I should expect it within 3-5 business days. They explained that they provision the lines and then send out the modem to ensure the line would "hold a DSL signal" before the customer receives the equipment. I asked for a tracking number and they told me that their system did not show one yet, but ensured me it was sent.

I called daily from that point on, each day telling me there is no tracking number showing in the system yet, and still ensured me the modem was sent out on the 25th (Tuesday.) Friday came, still no modem, no tracking number. But I was told they send it 3 day, so I should receive the modem on Saturday th 28th at the latest. I call in Tuesday (Monday was a holiday) and ask for the tracking number. She tells me it was in "delivery attempted" status and gave me the tracking number. I coordinated with the local Airborne Express office to pick up the package from them after work. The package showed the ship date of Aug. 30... 2 days later than they promised.

I got home and opened the box, discovering a shiny new Arescom 860VUE modem sporting the MSN logo on the front. I connected power and phone line, and the modem would not sync with the signal. I installed the filters on the rest of the phones in my house, and the modem synced right up. (Note to self: phones need filters regardless of whether or not they are being used at the time.)

Next I installed the cable between the modem and my Linksys router, and configured it for PPPoE, as Qwest promised would work when I signed up. The router could not connect to a PPPoE server. I called Technical Support and began my 2 hour hold time.

I finally got on the phone with a "tech" person and explained my situation, and for each question I asked, they placed me on hold and came back with the answer, but providing no help. I asked to speak with Level 2 support, and they stated there is no such thing, and gave me to a supervisor. He was very helpful in answering all my questions, but it did not help my connection. He explained to me that the only way to authenticate to their service is through their propriotary MSN Browser, and that no other authentication (including PPPoE) would work. I asked to cancel my account, and was given the number (and menu options) to cancel my account.

I called this number and entered the menu choices, but was promptly (and rudely) told that I had to call the same number with a different set of menu choices in order to do so. I asked to speak to a supervisor to inform them of the mis-information being passed around, and she told me there was no supervisor there. Of any kind. I asked for her name again and she hung up on me.

I called the number again, this time entering the new menu choices, and was placed into another hold queue for another hour. The person I spoke with was helpful and apologised to me for the troubles and for the way I was treated through the whole process, and told me he was sending a pre-paid UPS label to send the modem back.

MSN may be great for the AOL user that wants to switch to something faster, but for the power user with a home network, the service is absolutely worthless. Their customer service centers need a supervisor on duty to complain to, and their tech support needs more "techs" so the hold time can be reduced down from 2 hours. Same with the cancelation line. I do have to give customer service a pat on the back though, the hold time was always 2 minutes or less to speak with them.

I do feel bad for all of the Qwest.net users who are being forced to go to MSN, as I know quite a few of them who have similar requirements to mine. I have warned them, and they are all looking for a good provider in our area.

UPDATE 9/13: I just wanted to note that last night (9/12) I was contacted by a representative doing a survey of my satisfaction with my call to Tech Support. He asked all sorts of questions, and was very apologetic when I explained my difficulties. He modified his questions based upon my responses (didn't ask why were you satisfied or dissatisfied with your call, instead asked Why were you dissatisfied with this call...) I told him if his management wished to contact me regarding my experience with MSN, I would be more than happy to go into detail as to what happened.

I'm still not even considering MSN as a possibility in the future, however they are making a couple of attempts at damage control.

Also, I have still not received a return label yet.

Update 2/28/02: I figured I would fill everyone in on how this absolute MESS came to an end. After canceling the account, re-instating, canceling, re-instating, and canceling the account again, Qwest and MSN's computer systems finally synched up. The problem here: Since MSN orders the DSL carrier on your line, you can't tell Qwest that you want to change ISPs. MSN has to send a cancelation order to Qwest, which has to be completely processed, before you are able to touch your line again. After escelating the issue through a special department created just for MSN-Qwest issues, I was able to get my line released around October 1st, a full month after I canceled my account. I'm not sure which part is worse, the fact that it took escelation to that department, or the fact that there are so many similar situations that they had to create the special department!

I then had to wait on Qwest's waiting list for new DSL service. Once I received my modem, and my latest install date came, I got home AND HAD SERVICE with my new provider, Velocitus. What a relief.

I have made several calls to MSN over the last few months, was promised the shipping label to return their Arescom modem to them. During the re-order and cancel process, they actually tried to ship another 2 modems to me, which I refused shipment on. So to sum it up, I STILL have their modem. They haven't asked for payment for it, or sent me the label. I guess I'll hang on to it for a little while longer then eventually dispose of it.

My recommendation is if you want WORKING DSL service, avoid MSN and stick with a known good DSL provider, even if their monthly fee is greater. I'd rather pay more for working service, than any for non-working service.

Update 8/14/02: Well, it has officially been a year, and no return label has shown up, and no extra charges on my bills. I am planning on holding on to the modem for a while longer, just in case. It isn't taking up much space, but I wish there were something I could use it for until it gets disposed of in some way.

Update 7/17/03: It has been almost 2 full years not, and still no word from Qwest or MSN on the modem. I just moved out of the house where I had the modem installed, and canceled all service with Qwest. My wife and I have decided to go to cellular only for phone, and the new home only has cable modem service available anyway. I'm not too excited about going back to cable after being on DSL for so long, but it is better than dialup. I did pack the modem and put it in my storage unit so if they do eventually ask (I'll give them another year or so just to be on the safe side) I will still have it and be able to return it.

member for 13.2 years, 45 visits, last login: 268 days ago
updated 11.4 years ago

Comments:

Review by Xios See Profile

  • Location: West Sacramento,Yolo,CA
  • Cost: $40 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 7 days
  • Telco party SBC
  • CLEC party: Qwest
Good "Its DSL, decent speeds, mostly reliable"
Bad "Cannot open ports on built in modem firewall, sometimes have connectivity issues"
Overall "Nice and fast internet surfing, but haven't had others to compare it to."
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Value for money:

I signed a contract that came with my computer about 2 and a half years ago with MSN. I had dial-up for a while and was satisfied with it, or as satisfied as I could be with dial-up. Anyhow, when MSN Broadband became available I immediately upgraded my account and was soon surfing the web with DSL. For a long time I was not aware of what my advertised speed was or if there were any upgrades, so I just stuck with this.

I get good speeds, about 100Kb/s from a good server and have no problem downloading music and such from P2P programs.

However, the real downfall is the modem, when I recently tried to host an FTP server I found out that my modem doesn't allow that port, and there is no way to change that. I guess others have had problems with online gaming also. Another downfall is that every once in a while I will have problems connecting to the Microsoft servers once it took my modem 3 days to connect to the server, I wasn't using my computer so I didn't call tech support, however, when it happened again and I called tech support, they gave me the usual run around with how to solve the problem, which didnt work. Usually i had to unplug my modem, restart my computer, and usually reset the modem settings, then it would connect some time during this procedure, and as soon as I got off the phone with tech support, it would disconnect again. This got me really frustrated, but as I still have 7 months left on the contract, there is nothing much I can do.

So, all in all, its DSL Internet for what seems like a reasonable price, I get great download speeds, and can load pages in seconds. However, there are some modem problems which advanced users may not like.

member for 11.4 years, 26 visits, last login: 10 years ago
lodged 11.4 years ago

Comments:

Review by Obelisk911 See Profile

  • Location: New York,New York,NY
  • Cost: $49 per month
  • Telco party Verizon
  • CLEC party: Verizon
Good "Never used it!"
Bad "Everything"
Overall "Sucks"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Services:
Value for money:

First of all, I have AOL DSL through Verizon Lines, ok, let me start. I ordered MSN DSL through Verizon lines and they installed DSL in the wrong line, I had already received the modem, so then, they said they were going to switch over the DSL

service to my other line, but, they never did, so I called again and they said they'll have it fixed in no time (NOTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT)), they never even sent a trouble ticket to Verizon. Ok, thats it!! Goodbye MSN DSL, stayed with MSN dial-up. Guess wat?!!, they messed up my dial-up connection! Canceled MSN for good! Had to pay $250 cause I had a contract with MSN for 4 years. Then, called AOL and got dial-up, then switched over to DSL!

Belive me, don't go with MSN. The DSL 1000 modem stinks!

MSN sucks!!!!!!

member for 11.8 years, 174 visits, last login: 9.4 years ago
lodged 11.4 years ago

Comments:

Review by Hym3n See Profile

  • Location: Grapevine,Tarrant,TX
  • Cost: $49 per month
  • Telco party Southwestern Bell
  • CLEC party: BellSouth
Good "Nothing. Horrible, horrible people."
Bad "Everything. You name it, it went wrong."
Overall "Do not buy MSN DSL, read report for specifics."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:

Below is a short and summarized version of my troubles with MSN, the actual days were much more painful than seen here. In order for this to make much sense, I should share some background information with you. I'm a 15-year old going back and forth between parents that know absolutely nothing about computers. I'm the tech geek in my house, and even in my city by comparison to everyone else.. and this just sickened me.

Early December '01 my dad and I decide to get MSN DSL for $50/mo., free modem and free activation. We're get our modem about 2 weeks later (not bad IMO), but service doesn't start for another 2 weeks (just a few days before Christmas, I had the flu at the time). At that time, we are unable to connect, and call MSN. They inform us of an incompatibility problem that "they did not recognize" involving our local phone company (Bellsouth) and their servers. Somehow, miracuously, we have DSL for one week starting Dec. 26th. It suddenly cuts out without notice, and we call up MSN. "Your DSL is still not approved, you do not, and did not have DSL access." "Could you explain my 780/120 speeds then?" "*silence*". We check back online, and they have updated our "estimated online date" to January 4th. That day comes and goes with no prosperity, and while we call once every other day to ask what's up with the service progress, they just inform us of the details on the bug in their servers.

March rolled around, and still no DSL (note, this is March 2002, not 2003). At this point, both myself and my dad were starting to realize.. they weren't taking me seriously because of my kid-like [then] 14-year old voice. My dad began to call them, and try to explain that the PPP was down (when that's all I could even begin to try to explain to him.. seeing as he's a non-technical person). They listened to him rage on the phone day after day, when finally, we got to the point where a "escalation" member CALLED US while we were out to dinner. This was late March. At that point, we were pretty much informed that the bug wouldn't be fixed anytime in the near future, that one week we had DSL was a random fluke occurence, and cannot happen again.. bla bla bla. They basically asked us to cancel the membership.

Here's when it got bad.

Mid-late March I call in the cancellation. "It'll be done in 3-5 days, you'll receive a package in the mail to ship back the modem." We wait one business week, nothing. Call again, same response, even after debate. Nothing. My dad calls, furious, yelling at the employees "put me on with your supervisor" consistantly, we're informed by him "you must wait one week for the order to process", end of story. We wait, and still, nothing happens. One final phone call, quite threatening honestly, we demand the return package, and that our phone line is de-provisioned so that we can order a different provider. We are informed that we'll receive a return package on May 27th 2002. That day passes, no package. No package any day after that.. even to present day. For the hell of it, I decide to keep the modem plugged in, and we connect via my mom's dial-up account (which is also crap, obviously provided by MSN as well).

Early September, I'm connected to Kazaa overnight downloading some movie (Gladiator I believe). I wake up that morning, only to notice that I'm disconnected. I start to get up and start getting ready for school when I realize "hey wait", I'm still downloading! I was downloading at around 22k, and not connected.. and I'm thinking.. something is messed up with my computer, it's probably supposed to be 2.2 and it just glitched and said I was offline. Sure enough, I had the DSL working. We had never received a bill for the DSL from the start, but being good, honest people, my dad and I decide to call them up and inform them that the DSL is back and working now, that you can activate our account or whatever needs to be done (it was a bit on the slow side). They say "We have no record of you on file, are you a new customer?", so after some debating, the lady doesn't believe us and simply says we don't have DSL. We attempt calling back at a more "prime" hour, only to wait on hold for about an hour and be told the exact same thing. My dad and I both agree that after all of this we should just keep the DSL modem connected, use it while we have it, and pay a bill if it comes.

We have DSL for about 8 months off and on, it'd be down for a week at times, and going solid and fast at other times. We were never billed, so it was pretty much a good thing. The downside? No router was compatible. Xbox and PS2 were not compatible. Only the ONE computer we had it installed on worked. That was fine for some time.

Until recently, the DSL has worked fine. It's settling down now. MSN doesn't know who we are, doesn't know we still have the modem, and since we no longer have DSL access, we can't complain after having it for free for all this time.

We're going to switch to SBC DSL now, just wish us luck!

-Brian

member for 11.4 years, 1 visits, last login: 11.4 years ago
lodged 11.4 years ago

Comments:

Review by LoveItLive See Profile

  • Location: Libertyville,Lake,IL
  • Cost: $52 per month
  • Install: about 18 days
  • Telco party Ameritech
  • CLEC party: Ameritech
Good "Great Tech. support"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:

I ordered my MSN DSL online 18 days ago; I called them this Monday, and they said I was suppose to get it last Thursday, but somehow MSN hasn't shipped it yet, that Tech. was so nice,. he escalated my problem to level 3, but that level 3 guy couldn't solve it either, he told me it might be my phone line's provision problem, so he opened a ticket for me, and told me the ticket would be closed in 10 working days; after about 2 hours, I went to support.msn.com and checked my status, it said: "line has provisioned, pending for shipment." I was so supprised, they solved the problem already! I went back to check my status again after 2 hours, it said: " an order for shipment has been placed." I was so happy, and I got it 3 days latter, including Christmas day. After I got my modem, I thought it wouldn't work, because I read all the reviews in here, alot of people got problems, but from installation to running, it just took me 10mins. My test speed is 640Kb, I think it's kinda slow, becaues my local phone company is just .3 miles close to my home.

It has been 7 months since I got the dsl. Overall I think msn is pretty good. There are two things I don't like about it, one is the speed (640K/80K), the other is the NAT.

member for 11.9 years, 1026 visits, last login: 358 days ago
updated 11.4 years ago

Comments:

Review by RIVEL337 See Profile

  • Location: Littleton,Jefferson,CO
  • Cost: $49 per month
  • Telco party Qwest
  • CLEC party: Qwest
Good "No Contract"
Bad "Everything"
Overall "Dont Order MSN"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Tech Support:
Value for money:

Its HORRIBLE I am not able to gey online yet ,because the modem that was supposed to be here a weeks+++++ ago has yet to arrive, was prommised within 5 days of placing my order through Qwest, Called MSN to see whats-up they said Qwest mis-informed me would take up to 20 buisness days from time my line was provisioned, Qwest says my line was provisioned 2 days after i placed my order, Qwest got MSN on phone to see whats up with the modem and MSN told Qwest my modem had already been delivered to my home, went home no modem, called MSN got another rep who told me my modem has yet to be recieved By Airborne Express , was told to call the next day to get tracking info, I called when I asked the rep for the tracking info she asked me for user name etc after giving her all my info was put on hold she came back to the line and told me to call back in 24 hours because there systems where down and they are unable to pull up accounts (could this be true?) so finally i got in touch with a higher up at MSN and she got my modem shipped should be here by 5pm Monday acordind to her (for some reason she is unable to provide me a tracking number) so lets see if it was worth the hassle IF I EVER GET IT!!!!!!

member for 11.4 years, 1 visits, last login: 11.4 years ago
lodged 11.4 years ago

Comments:

Review by danielvega See Profile

  • Location: Austin,Travis,TX
  • Cost: $51 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 117 days
  • Telco party Southwestern Bell
  • CLEC party: New Edge Networks
Good "None come to mind"
Bad "They lost my order 4 times, charged me even though I had no service, slow speed"
Overall "I'm going to change providers as soon as my contract is up."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:

I placed an order for DSL and some 3 months later my line was provisioned. Note: I was switching from SBC to MSN so it shouldn't have been anymore than switching circuits to a new network. A couple of weeks later they sent me a modem. Through out the whole process I was told "I'll make another DSL order, wait 10 - 15 business days". I finally got a tech that was willing to help me anf figured out the order never made it to the phone company. He even gave me his name and number to call him back so he could assist me through the whole process. That tech was great.

Setting up to modem to my computer was as simple as plug and play. Getting to work on the router was not as easy as with SBC.

Speed: They lied to me! I told them I was getting 1.3Mbit and said I didn't want to change if I would lose bandwidth. They said I wouldn't and low and behold I can't get better than 768k.

-Edit

Things keep getting better. They had my account marked as dial-up and so they fixed it, one month before my contract was up. By fixing it they deleted my account. No one told me, I had to call because I didn't have a DSL signal anymore. When I called I was told I would have to re-signup to DSL. That was the last straw, I was ticked and got them to credit me for the month of May/June because I told them I'm canceling and what's the point in reordering. Last time I ordered DSL from them it took 3 months to get it. Well I went with EarthLink and am canceling MSN on the 20th of June. Yes can you believe they were going to bill me even though they cut my service. I told them why should I have to adhear to the contract if they weren't providing me service. They couldn't answer that. Bye MSN!

member for 14 years, 164 visits, last login: 10.1 years ago
updated 11.5 years ago

Comments:

Review by BulletEater See Profile

  • Location: Union,Franklin,MO
  • Cost: $21 per month (36 month contract)
  • Install: about 1 days
  • Telco party Southwestern Bell
  • CLEC party: Southwestern Bell
Good "They gave me $400 to sign up for dial up"
Bad "Its dial up and its over $20 a month"
Overall "I will be changing as soon as my contract is up."
Pre Sales information:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:

I fell for the MSN get $400 if you sign up for 3 years deal. At least you actually get the money right off of your purchase and dont have to wait for it.

member for 12 years, 35 visits, last login: 10.7 years ago
lodged 11.5 years ago

Comments:






Review by (hidden by request)

  • Location: Gilbert,Maricopa,AZ
  • Cost: $22 per month (24 month contract)
Good "wow"
Bad "ugh!"
Overall "huh"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:



(review was emailed from domain msn.com)
lodged 11.5 years ago

Comments:






Review by Bethesda See Profile

  • Location: Bethesda,Montgomery,MD
  • Cost: $39 per month (12 month contract)
  • Telco party Verizon
  • CLEC party: NorthPoint
Good "Verizon/Bell Atlantic-South gets an A for effort (so far)"
Bad "NorthPoint went out of business and MSFT did not pick up the pieces"
Overall "Catastrophe"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Tech Support:

I ordered DSL from MSN on line 01/07/01 and got free MSN dialup immediately, which is just as good as the ATT WorldNet dialup I had been using. I have followed the progress of my DSL order on line through MSN. They arranged with Verizon for installation of a data line (no voice) to my home. MSN TS told me that they could not piggyback DSL on an existing voice line. I received an email a few days after ordering that said when my new line would be installed. The first Verizon guy showed up around 9:30 a.m. as scheduled on 01/29/01. He installed a new wire from my basement (inside) to the pole - it took him, with a little help from a second guy, about 3 hours to do this (they had to punch through a brick wall), only to discover that there was no available connection at the pole. So a cable splicer (guy 3) came out the next day. He performed some kind of cable magic down the street that freed up a connection. Then guy number 4 came out the next day (now Wednesday) and made what I thought were all the necessary connections to finish the job. But lo and behold on Thursday Verizon guy number 5 shows up to check everything that guys 1-4 had done. He also ran some tests and told me I had good clean 10,000 foot wire to the CO. With 5 truck rolls and all those man-hours they must have spent $1,000 just setting up the line. So far, I'm impressed with the effort. But, of course, no DSL yet .....

Update: Less than 8 hours after the last Verizon guy left I received email from NP scheduling my installation for 02/08/01. I guess that's when the real fun begins.

Ooops - the fun began early! On Friday, 02/02/01 I confirmed my appointment with NorthPoint by phone. No problems noted. That evening I received email from MSN saying that my CO is not equiped for GLite ADSL and my order was cancelled. In response to my emailed protest, MSN recanted on Saturday, and said everything was OK. The modem arrived Monday and, of course, I had to open the box. Hope the NP tech does not get bent out of shape by that.

After NorthPoint went belly up I got cable modem service from Comcast and could not be happier.

member for 13.9 years, 269 visits, last login: 12 days ago
updated 11.5 years ago

Comments: