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RCN CABLE page on DSLReports
Six Month Rating

Reviews:
bullet 365 reviews (189 good) (85 bad)
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Review by gvd See Profile

  • Location: Skokie,Cook,IL
  • Cost: $42 per month
  • Install: about 45 days
Good "Once I got them to address the problem, no problems whatsoever."
Bad "It took a month and a half to get them to fix the REAL problem."
Overall "If it works, it's great! ...if."
Pre Sales information:
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(ratings match consensus)

This review is for RCN cable internet service only.

Used to be an AT&T DSL customer, but with the new caps there's NO WAY I'm giving them a single dime. Since comcast has a similar cap, decided to go with RCN.

At first, RCN was a complete nightmare. I have VOIP service *not* through RCN, and they were constantly dropping packets. I still had my AT&T DSL line, and would switch between them to demonstrate the problem... AT&T DSL -- voip worked flawlessly. RCN DSL -- voip sort-of worked, but call quality was terrible and lots of breakups on OUTBOUND (my voice) side only.

It took a total of 45 days from first install and seven technician visits before RCN was able to resolve the problem. They replaced the aerial drop to the alley, replaced the modem, replaced the modem again, replaced the splitter, etc.etc.etc.

None of it helped. Turned out the root cause of the problem was the neighborhood switch. The techs mumbled something about switching from a motorola neighborhood switch (wrong term but I can't think of the correct one) to cisco gear.

So I kept my AT&T DSL line for over a month, because I need VOIP service to work. Once RCN changed the neighborhood equipment, all problems have magically VANISHED!

(...that's a good thing!)

It's been smooth sailing since that point. Once early saturday morning (4AM) I couldn't get an IP address, and around 6 or so I was able to again. (No, rebooting the modem didn't help.) RCN india tech support was absolutely clueless, but considering the times involved it sure looked like planned downtime / maintenance. RCN india decided to schedule a tech visit. Duh.

10 meg down, 800kbps up. Originally they gave me some no-name cable modem, but they replaced it with a motorola when I was having problems.

So I'd say plan on having two connections until the RCN problems get worked out. Once they do it's smooth sailing, but it was a rough go until that time.

member for 4.2 years, 25 visits, last login: 2.6 years ago
lodged 3.8 years ago

Comments:

Review by driv22 See Profile

  • Location: 60642
  • Cost: $155 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 3 days
Good "Quality of digital programming"
Bad "Service interruptions"
Overall "Good value for the services, would hope that the service disconnections would lessen, but still a good product."
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(ratings match consensus)

Service is great when it works. Seems like when the weather is bad, I lose my Cable TV. Isn't that the reason to go away from Directv/Dish? Have not had any complaints about the Internet. Speeds are what was promised and that has only gone out once in 6 months. The hardware provided is top notch and like the features/options that RCN provides.

member for 4.2 years, 51 visits, last login: 1 year ago
lodged 3.9 years ago

Comments:






Review by Keith Baker See Profile

  • Location: Somerville,Middlesex,MA
  • Cost: $90 per month
  • Install: about 10 days
Good "Very reliable once its setup correctly"
Bad "Customer service is very nice, but bad for getting things done. Not particularly good about giving you $/feature matrix"
Overall "Suck slightly less than most other providers I've used."
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(ratings match consensus)

For 4 years I had 20mbps, Premier, Phone and a Static IP (not at this price). I wanted BYOM and I had my own TIVO.

1) RCN can't do BYOM and Phone yet they still charge you a modem rental - LAME

2) At the time RCN had some home networking deal (IE they provide the linksys) - it was in the package deal... in that case they DID provide two modems. However I wanted a static IP on MY equiptment which meant the linksys was not usable so I sent that back. They wouldn't do BYOM at this point, they'd only put the connection on the phone adapter (note, it was the linksys before this) - WTF guys?

At some point I noticed that HBO and Showtime were a line item on my bill. I called up and VERY specifically asked 'can I remove that without effecting my contract'. They removed it and then said 'by the way there is an ETF'... I said wait a minute, never mind, put it back. They were unable to do so. Once they hit that keystroke to put it in it was like there was no going back. They couldn't get me back in the contract, get the term length right etc. It took writing the better business bureau to get a very very nice RCN rep to call and straighten everything out. She got me back in the plan but couldn't reset the contract length, she did however note the end date in some notes and said to write her if there was every a problem with this.

Cable card install was pretty good although they only had single stream cards at the time which means I got charged for two cards (one m stream costs the same as two s cards - they should waive that if they are with the same host id).

At some point I had some cable card issues where they kept bringing up the diagnostics screen. Some reading at tivo's site told me that the cards were not paired correctly which only effects encrypted channels. I think the had just not bothered to encrypt before and now that they had turn it on some fluke of they initial setup wasn't right and my pairing was broken. It took a long time to convince the rep this was the issue and when I did it took almost a week to get it fixed because they couldn't change some field in their database for some unknown reason. They finally decided they needed a truck roll to fix it (WTF, its a database issue you idiots?). I posted on their facebook wall and someone in their social media group must have alerted the right people who fixed it without any truck roll.

-----------------------------------------------Recent Changes-----------------------------------------

We weren't using the phone line nearly enough to make it worth while and the bill seemed way too high. Plus they now have m cards. If I drop the phone I could go to BYOM and save even more.

Calling them up to figure out what your options are REALLY SUCKS. I kept getting agents that would tell me 'but your bundle is so great, you are 'SAVING' so much money'. By saving they really meant 'getting such a big number of dollars off the stupidly high price you'd be paying otherwise'... I tried to explain that paying less each month is my idea of saving money... they didn't get it.

I finally figured that I wanted to port the number to a VoIP provider that is purely minute based so I can still have the line but not pay except when I use it. I called RCN and even though my contract time has expired I would still loose the bundle deal when my phone ported away. However I was unable to pre-pick what packages I wanted and have it noted as 'what to change to when this ports'... and if I did the change to early the port might fail and I might loose the number. I had to call the day the port completed. Fortunately my new VoIP provider had a fantastic email system to let me know the port progress (RCN never called when the account changed).

I dropped down to the following (saving $50/month):

Premier Cable (on my own TiVO - mcard now)

10Mbps Internet (on my BYOM)

Static IP

(Phone is now on voip.ms)

The process... ugh. I got voip.ms up no problem, no human interaction, awesome! However RCN was much more work.

1) I bought a new Motorola Surfboard 6xxx series modem because I didn't want to be out of date in a few years. Turns out this did not work on RCN. It looked like their config was missing a parameter the modem needed. I swapped that out with a customer on Comcast who owned and older SB 51xx modem and we are both now happy. Besides all of the swapping around this was ok. Comcast modem change over was much easier though. Just plug it in, launch a browser and type in some account details - RCN you have to talk with people (who far too often screw up)

2) I tried to get them to swap the scards for an mcard (its an extra $1.50/month, but its the fact that they do it that pisses me off - they are in the same host, its the same thing, and all they end up doing is buying extra cards) - ugh. So the real problem was that they wouldn't just send me the cards in the mail or pick them up. They wanted to do a truck roll and the normal 4 hour window junk. I decided to wait until August when the FCCs 'you must allow CC self installs rule' to go into effect. However when I was returning my modem I asked for the hell of it and they told me I could walk in and swap them out - which is exactly what I was told I couldn't do over the phone. I traded them out and now I'm back to the pairing problem but I don't have HBO anymore so its just the annoying popup if I happen to click to that channel.

Suggestions when dealing with RCN (probably any cable company):

* Record ALL phone calls (in some states this is illegal without consent, aks for consent)

* Call between 9am and 8pm M-F to get local support people, they are much more capable than the Indian help desk.

* Tivo's website has good troubleshooting tips, you can get them to do the right thing sometimes.

* don't always believe the first person you talk to

I Wish:

* They would discount existing s card customers in one device - fixing this cost them and myself much more than it saved either of us in the end.

* They had an online support portal that you could put in all of your own equipment details - there is NO rocket science here. They can provision how many hosts & tuners, cable modems, phone ports you get and you could type in the id codes (though you should be able to add/remove things with a confirmation of cost changes). Thats really all of the info you need (and they still screw it up!)

* I want a web interface that I can set which services I get. Give me a list of channels, internet options and phone options. Let me click checkboxes next to what I want and tell me the lowest total cost for those things and show me what 'extras' I get in that price. If you want to show me two or three other deals within that range, please do... Don't make it a 50 questions game over the phone.

member for 4 years, 5 visits, last login: 1.7 years ago
lodged 4 years ago

Comments:

Review by ckmscott See Profile

  • Location: Chicago,Cook,IL
  • Cost: $69 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 12 days
Good "Tech support improving, reliability back to normal"
Bad "Price"
Overall "Has had problems but getting better"
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I have been on RCN for almost ten years. I have the 10Mbps/1Mbps service. After a ton of problems a year ago, the service was dependable, but since mid-December I've had some problems. Lately, RCN has improved their tech support with more knowledgeable people and quicker turnaround time on service calls. A recent performance problem was fixed promptly and professionally. I am now happy with the service again.

member for 8.3 years, 66 visits, last login: 355 days ago
updated 4.1 years ago

Comments:

Review by mjdanko7 See Profile

  • Location: Bethlehem,Northampton,PA
  • Cost: $84 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 9 days
Good "Speed, reliability,tech support"
Bad "billing/sales coordination"
Overall "keep records"
Pre Sales information:
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I switched from SECTV due to promo rate expiring and no longer needing a landline. SECTV had a "who cares, just switch" attitude towards customer retention.

I had a 5mb/tv bundle installed for $54.99 per month with no install fees. Contract installer showed when promised(4 hr. window), took less than a hour. I have been extremely happy with the reliability only 1 short cable outage over the past year. All speed tests show slightly above contract speed.

However the billing/sales coordination needs serious help. 6 months into the contract (may) I was offered a speed upgrade $10 for 10mb plus extend current contract for 1 year. Nov. I receive a letter bill is going up $20 per month call CS "no problem just ignore it, your promo rate is in the computer" Of course Jan bill has the increase. call CS "we have no record of extended promo rate" 45 minutes later I have what they promised. Why make your customers fight for what you offer?



member for 14.6 years, 155 visits, last login: 4.1 years ago
lodged 4.1 years ago

Comments:

Review by (hidden by request)

  • Location: Bath,Northampton,PA
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings below consensus)

I've had troubles with pixelating on my tv. for quite a while.  Have had problems getting a tech out to check lines.  I know it isn't my converter boxes because three neighbors are having the same problem.  Maybe if you upgraded your lines in our area we wouldn't be having this problem.  I spend over $130.00 a month for service that is so bad that we can't watch a show without major pixeling.  Maybe if a letter was sent to the FCC, PA. Utilites commission and our township office we might get this resolved.  If not,I just hope another cable company

(Service Electric) will be in our area soon.

(review was emailed from domain verizon.net)
lodged 4.2 years ago

Comments:

Review by condrake See Profile

  • Location: Bristow,Prince William,VA
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
Good "Cheap bundled basic service of TV and ISP"
Bad "Intermittant Service and a recent long outage"
Overall "Better than Gatehouse but waiting for FIOS"
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This RCN service is a special case since the service is provided as a utility to homes in the community as part of HOA services. A previous vendor, Gatehouse, installed the infrastructure for the developer, Brookfield, establishing a captured customer base.

There are no individual contracts except for extra services such as higher ISP speeds and HDTV packages. The HOA's for each neighborhood maintain a master contract for service.

RCN purchased the contract and service responsibility from Gatehouse Networks. Although the transition did not go smoothly, RCN kept a large technical team in place to work through the problems.

During the transition RCN was taken private by a private equity firm with unknown consequences.

The basic included ISP speed went up with RCN and the available additional speeds went way up with the extra cost going way down. The basic TV package is about the same with some channels added and some dropped. But the lineup scatters the basic channels all over the stack so you cannot move through channels sequentially. That is a major user interface pain. Also their basic TV converter is very s.l.o.w. However, their additional HDTV and channel packages are much better than Gatehouse.

Overall, the basic service is a bargain and much better than Gatehouse.

Availability is the primary issue. Service is intermittent on a weekly basis and we have just experienced an all service down interruption over several consecutive days.

A secondary issue is advertised speed availability.

Most people willing to spend extra dollars already have satellite dishes to augment the standard TV and/or are waiting for FIOS to build out the area.



member for 13.2 years, 87 visits, last login: 3.4 years ago
lodged 4.3 years ago

Comments:

Review by Goliath See Profile

  • Location: Easton,Northampton,PA
  • Cost: $200 per month (12 month contract)
Good "great bundle package."
Bad "need more HD!"
Overall "RCN is improving. DOCSIS 3.0 & more HD will keep me as a customer."
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RCN is on the up & up.. the price-point is a bit high but the introduction of higher internet speeds and more HD channels will keep me satisfied as a customer. if you ever have any issues, try posting on the forum and the guys will try and help you out as best they can

member for 8.1 years, 350 visits, last login: 8 days ago
updated 4.3 years ago

Comments:






Review by roscoe5 See Profile

  • Location: Chicago,Cook,IL
  • Cost: $120 per month
Good "Cable TV Price and quality"
Bad "VOIP and Internet"
Overall "RCN is not what it used to be"
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I have been with RCN since it first came to Chicago. It has always offered
very good prices and quality cable TV. I have also been using their VOIP
and internet for about 4 years. In that time my modem has been replaced
4 times and my phone has been down several times. The latest was just last
week and both my phone and internet did not work for seven days. I was told
a node was out by one Tech. A week later a Tech came to visit my house
after the node was fixed and discovered that my modem was no longer on
my account. Talk about a pain. RCN has also started replacing broken equipment with used equipment. One Tech told me that they are only giving new
equipment to new customers. I makes you wonder if they
value old customers who have paid for their services for years.
He did give me a local number to call if I have any future problems. I will try the local support when I have my next problem and if this does not work any better I will find another company altogether. At this point I would find it hard to recommend RCN unless you are just interested in cable TV.

member for 13.3 years, 562 visits, last login: 3.4 years ago
updated 4.3 years ago

Comments:

Review by jhfenteman See Profile

  • Location: New York,New York,NY
  • Cost: $195 per month
  • Install: about 1 days
Good "Upgraded to MegaModem Mach60 (advertised: 60000 down/6000 up); rent modem; 3 digital TV converters; dynamic IP; use nonRCN email"
Bad "Technical Support generally does not know what is happening at the central"
Overall "Plan includes TV (w/ "Digital Vision" (extra History Channels, etc.) & Music (but now not HBO)); cost $195 per month)"
Pre Sales information:
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Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

Upgraded to MegaModem Mach60 (advertised: 60000 down/6000 up); rent modem; got 3 digital TV converters; dynamic IP; use nonRCN for email

Technical Support generally does not know what is happening at the central "station" and may not be helpful for system problems

Plan includes TV (w/ "Digital Vision" (extra History Channels, etc.) & Music (but now not HBO)); cost $195 per month)

member for 14 years, 306 visits, last login: 1.1 years ago
updated 4.4 years ago

Comments: