dslreports logo
site
spacer

spacer
 
    ISP Rolodex Intro Local ISPs Members U-Verse FiOS FiOS Soon
spc

spacer




how-to block ads



SONIC.NET page on DSLReports
Six Month Rating

Reviews:
bullet 880 reviews (753 good) (61 bad)
bullet Submit a review by email click here
bullet login for new review notification feature

Review by gbroiles See Profile

  • Location: San Jose,Santa Clara,CA
  • Cost: $50 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 5 days
  • Telco party SBC
Good "Great tech support, great reliability"
Bad "Price is higher than commodity providers"
Overall "You get what you pay for .."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings below consensus)

I used to be very happy with Sonic.net.

member for 13.4 years, 386 visits, last login: 1.6 years ago
lodged 8.9 years ago

Comments:






Review by nosox See Profile

  • Location: Mountain View,Santa Clara,CA
  • Cost: $32 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 10 days
Good "Fairly reliable connection and latency."
Bad ""Pity us" attitude, more expensive service. Why did I choose Sonic over SBC?"
Overall "I'm not really sure why I'm paying Sonic more. My dsl works well, though."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings well below consensus)



Constant outages and poor latency left me scrambling from Comcast's grip a few months ago. I didn't have a landline, so I had to add that cost into my monthly connectivity equation. Although SBC was $5 cheaper at the time Sonic's stellar rating had me convinced I was buying something more responsive, something that was ultimately a better value. I don't think the premium is justified, at this point.

Prior to comcast I had SBC DSL for about 3 years- I was one of their very first DSL installations, so it's not like I'm unfamiliar with SBC. My service during that period was top notch, with great connectivity and decent pricing. Sadly I went to Comcast in an effort to save about $30 a month at the time. After comcast, well, I went to Sonic...

Overall connectivity has been good. I've experienced a few days with packet loss >10% but never total loss. Broadbandpreports tests indicated this loss was Sonic's upstream provider, but after contacting them they seemed unaware. Not a good sign in my book, but it cleared up.

My real gripe with sonic is that they lowered their prices, yet do not extend this new pricing to exisiting customers. Instead of acknowledging that this is a basic lack of respect for those that chose to adopt them earlier I'm deluged with emails on how SBC doesn't play fair and how it's basically their fault. They also go on about how DSL is a loss leader, gee your rate is already good (pity the fool that's locked in at a price higher than me?) but it's all good, because sonic loves me so much they're streaming free crap from the BBC for me.

Reality check, Sonic: I don't care about your business model, your issues with SBC, nor about fabulous streaming from the BBC. I'm a consumer, I work hard for my money. I care about my DSL being on and trouble free and about it being a good value. When SBC lowered rates they accomodated customers, new and old, who called in. Not only did you refuse to lower my rate to what you offer all new signups (even though I signed up a few months ago) but you had the nerve to explain that because SBC is putting the screws to you that you're effectively doing the same to me.



member for 10.4 years, 15 visits, last login: 8.1 years ago
lodged 8.9 years ago

Comments:

Review by advocate14 See Profile

  • Location: Sunnyvale,Santa Clara,CA
  • Cost: $45 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 7 days
Good "Quick installation, good customer and technical service"
Bad "Poor speed"
Overall "Questionable value"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings below consensus)

Well, I've been working with Sonic.net now for about a month now, so I figured its time to give a review. Everything started out great, I ordered their Express-S static DSL described as DL:384kbps-1.5mbps UL:128-384kbps on a Friday. I immediately got an order confirmation and an installation date was setup with SBC for the Monday after the second following weekend (ie 9 days later). The equipment for the self-install arrived the following Wednesday, and on the next evening, my new modem was working. Not bad!

Well, when I did some speed tests the next Tuesday, I was disappointed. The results are:

2005-05-12 11:13:56 EST: 639 / 317

Your download speed : 655087 bps, or 639 kbps.

A 79.9 KB/sec transfer rate.

Your upload speed : 325563 bps, or 317 kbps.

So I went and emailed their tech support and tried to engage their support to get a higher DL speed. I was met with politeness and courtesy, but pretty much was told this is the best we can do, and we aren't going to budge. They say I'm 12,000 ft from the telco and thats the best anyone can expect. To me, this is BS because I know people who are another mile away from the telco and they get better download speed with the cheapest service around, SBC Yahoo PPPoE. After explaining this, I was met with a smiling email, but pretty much a firm 'take it or leave it, we can't do any better'.....

So I would have to say I'm not very happy. I should have better DL speed. But their customer and technical service seems really great. Such an improvement over Comcast. But don't get me started about that group of clowns.... And so far the dsl service has been rock solid. Since its only been a month, that does not mean much.

member for 9.2 years, 27 visits, last login: 6.5 years ago
lodged 9.2 years ago

Comments:

Review by disonic See Profile

  • Location: Oakland,Alameda,CA
  • Cost: $24 per month (12 month contract)
Good "None"
Bad "No high speed, Rude Customer Service, Delayed Refund"
Overall "Waste of My Time"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings well below consensus)

I decided to get high speed dsl with Sonic.net because of its great review here. What an awful mistake!!! It didn't work!!! Although my apartment is already wired for dsl, the service wouldn't work. They said it would cost $60 to over $100 for them to even begin to try to figure out what was wrong. Their tech's, at first pleasant but completely unhelpful.

I finally gave up and decided to cancel. This is when my nightmare started. They said they would have billing contact me to let me know what would happen with cancellation. I NEVER got the call or any sort of paperwork. I just got charged on my credit card for 2 months of service and a modem, which was all useless.

I sent back the modem which they DENIED ever receiving until I gave them the delivery confirmation. Were they lying so they wouldn't have to refund me??? The first tech "Bxxxx" who claimed he could help me, couldn't explain all the charges on my credit card and got frustrated with me and started being extremely rude and condescending. After I finally got transferred to a real billing person who could explain the charges and promised to refund me, they didn't. I had to call them several times over a few weeks for them to finally give me back SOME of my money (minus shipping and for days of service which I NEVER received in the first place).

What do I have to show for this? Frustration, almost $20 I won't ever get back for ABSOLUTELY NO service and no dsl. What a waste of my time!!!!

member for 9.4 years, 0 visits, last login: 9.4 years ago
lodged 9.4 years ago

Comments:

Review by (hidden by request)

  • Location: undisclosed location
  • Cost: $65 per month (12 month contract)
  • Telco party SBC
Good "Very Highly Rated"
Bad "Couldn't deliver steady speeds with good phone line"
Overall "Gave me the run around and charged me a BIG termination fee"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings well below consensus)

I had sonic last year when I was attending Cal and had a nighmarish experince that wouldn't go away until I paid them a big fee to cancel. My speeds would jump all over at all times. At first they kept blaming the phone company, the phone company would come out and say it was sonic.

I accepted it and moved on until I stumbled on a very well hidden discussion forum today where the guy from from sonic says that they have uncovered some flaw in their system pending lots of customer complaints: »RT slowdown cause found!

I am confident that this was my problem all along and they made me pay big bucks for it. Not cool sonic! not cool at all!

(review was emailed from domain cox.net)
lodged 9.9 years ago

Comments:

Review by spanglo See Profile

  • Location: Santa Rosa,Sonoma,CA
  • Cost: $39 per month (12 month contract)
Good "Friendly representatives, decent dial up service"
Bad "Horrible billing support, weak tech support"
Overall "Sonic customer for many yrs. w/ no problem, but recently their support is so TERRIBLE it overshadows anything good in the past"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings well below consensus)

BAD SONIC DSL service…

I had been a Sonic dialup subscriber for 6 trouble free years, and then I ordered DSL and my perceptions of Sonic as a company change dramatically for the worse.

To make a long story short, I ordered DSL service, I was charged a bunch of money, it never worked like it was suppose to, and now I feel as if they have all but forgotten about me as a loyal customer.

Here is a recap of the events:

I Ordered DSL service, couple of weeks later a SBC tech showed up and authorized the line for DSL service.

The next day the DSL worked for a couple of hours in the evening – blazing speeds of 1500 kbps and then some. Didn’t work again until the next night, again for only a couple of hours. I was unable to reach Sonic support for help because it was holiday time (Christmas).

A few merry days pass.

I called as soon as the support center reopened, talked to a tech, and they opened a trouble ticket to fix the problem.

Meantime the DSL is not working except for maybe a short hour of the day.

SBC tech comes out to the house about three or four days later and tests the line/wiring. Finds nothing wrong, charges $60, and wouldn’t you know it the DSL works perfectly while he’s there. The Tech tells me it’s a cheap modem and that I am 17,000 ft out! They’re not supposed to sell service over 14,000. Sonic claims I’m 11,000 ft out.

Soon after he leaves, it stops working – again.

Call Sonic a bunch of times over the next week, spend many hours on the phone with tech support trying to figure out why the modem is not syncing, and I even take the modem back to Sonic to test.

The modem tests out fine.

Talk to SBC on the phone several times as well, they claim the line is unstable at max speed so they cap it at 384kbps, which doesn’t seem to help at all. The actual speeds I was receiving those rare times when the line worked – under 300.

SBC comes to the house again (2 weeks have passed); this time the tech locates a problem with the wiring caused by a previous incorrect installation of a second phone line by one of their techs. He properly wires up the lines and the DSL begins working (always on).

It works perfectly for a day and promptly quits the following day.

I don’t get charged for the second SBC visit, because the problem was on their end so then they are responsible to fix it for free of charge.

*Sonic support informs me later, that obviously I shouldn’t have been charged for the first visit since the original tech overlooked the problem, and that the charges will be reversed. Or so I thought.

More hours on the phone with Sonic support yields zero results. They open yet another trouble ticket.

Meanwhile, I bring the modem in for testing once again at the urging of the Sonic tech support – it is fine.

More time on the phone and no results… so I make third trip to Sonic headquarters to borrow a loaner modem. The line still doesn’t work.

SBC comes out another time, tests the line, says everything is fine, the DSL works again, but very, very slow. Works for half a day and quits again. Ends up working 10% of the time, while the other 90% = no Internet unless I go back to dialup.

More then a month has passed, my always-on DSL is never on, and only option is to send SBC out to the house again! Frustrated beyond belief, I cancel the service.

Soon after, Sonic charges me $200 for an early cancellation fee, and SEVERAL months later I’m charged $60 for the first SBC visit! The one that I was told I wouldn’t be charged!

I immediately challenged the $200 cancellation fee in the beginning of February… I still have not heard a single response out of Sonic, nor has the fee been refunded. Likewise, I disputed the 60 dollar charge and their 40 service charge, both of which still remain opened as trouble tickets for the last few months. Am I the only one who thinks 3 months is an unreasonable time to have to wait for any action to be taken?

Meanwhile, I still have Sonic dialup service, but for how much longer I don’t know. I have a hard time supporting a company with such poor support, and who flat-out mistreats its customers.

Interestingly, I have received a couple of emails from Sonic warning me of excessive use of dialup (12hrs of continuous use), and that I should consider getting “always on” DSL, or risk having my account suspended! Nice.

member for 10.2 years, 1063 visits, last login: 2 days ago
lodged 10.2 years ago

Comments:

Review by schmeaux See Profile

  • Location: San Francisco,San Francisco,CA
  • Cost: $58 per month
  • Install: about 7 days
  • Telco party SBC
  • CLEC party: SBC
Good "Quality connection, short wait for tech support, CEO contributes to newsgroups"
Bad "Amateur web site, $100 modem/self-install"
Overall "So far, I'm a satisfied customer, but we'll see if Sonic.net is worth the extra $ down the line..."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

This is my first experience with broadband service. I wanted to order service to share a DSL connection with 4 other workstations in my home. The good reviews on this website and on newsgroups, along with my penchant for doing business with a local company, led me to Sonic.net.

I scoured the internet before I ordered any service for information on what hardware configuration and what flavor DSL would be best for my home network. With information from this website, and with a pre-sales call to Sonic.net, I decided I would need a static IP and would have to purchase a 4-hub router separately. The gentleman I spoke to at Sonic.net was helpful, but did not provide a definitive solution for my network. I felt as though the policy was "we are officially responsible for the signal to your door, and from there, it's your issue." As a newbie, I did not know if I needed static IP's for each machine, or that if I could use just one IP with the router and DHCP. At the end of the call, I was still confused about my options. Here is where Sonic.net could use a lot of help on their website. Why not provide simple home networking diagrams with suggested equipment and set-ups?

Registering for 1500/128 DSL service on Sonic.net's website was painless. My order was received on 1/10/03. Dial-up functioned right away. E-mail updates regarding my order informed me that my service would begin on 1/21. The modem kit arrived on 1/16. On 1/17, I hooked up the modem and the router that I had purchased separately, and had a live connection to the internet, seven days from the order.

In the past two weeks, I have tested speeds that average 1300/100. Overall, I am a satisfied customer, who appreciates a stable connection and short waits to support.

I am willing to pay more for quality, but how much more is Sonic.net really worth? With the connection up and everything working, I don't forsee calling tech support with any regularity. I now know that I don't need to have a static IP. Knowing now that a router can handle the PPPoE logon for a seamless internet connection, and with SBC lowering a one-year contract to $35 per month, I doubt I'll believe that Sonic.net is worth $23 more per month for long.

member for 11.5 years, 125 visits, last login: 165 days ago
updated 11 years ago

Comments:

Review by (hidden by request)

  • Location: Fremont,Alameda,CA
  • Cost: $58 per month
  • Telco party Southwestern Bell
  • CLEC party: Southwestern Bell
Good "I like static IP, good TOS/AUP."
Bad "All talk, no listen."
Overall "They're only human."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings well below consensus)

After reading the reviews, I thought sonic.net was the answer to my prayers.

Now I know better.

Problems, in order of how much they bugged me:

1. Sonic didn't return emails. Not every time, but it happened several times and there is no possible excuse.

2. Sonic had lengthy delays returning emails. I expect support within 24 hours. I didn't get it. It got bad enough that I eventually gave up on support mail, which I prefer, and went to phone support.

3. Sonic had a touch of arrogance. The sonic support people never failed to politely explain why my lack of service was my fault, or SBC's fault. They never seemed interested in actually solving the problem.

4. Sonic support people lacked necessary knowledge. Every time I called I explained that I had an old Alcatel 1000 and asked if it would work. Their support people insisted it was fine. I had to find out by my own searching what settings to change on it. One tech insisted that all outlets needed filters -- whether they had anything plugged in or not. Another insisted that my phone line was bad and I needed to call SBC for repair -- ignoring all evidence which proved that was not a problem.

5. Sonic doesn't handle problems with PBI. They say they will, but when my order was rejected for weeks, they shrugged their shoulders and insisted that it was a PBI problem and I should talk to PBI. Eventually they admitted that it was a bug in the sonic order entry software and had nothing to do with PBI.

6. In the end they refunded the money they charged me for the 5 months that I was waiting for service -- but only after another lengthy email exchange.

Now, the details of my situation are unique -- things should go much smoother for most customers. But, if you get into a difficult situation with Sonic, don't count on their support help any more than the cable guy or the SBC guy.

(review was emailed from domain sonic.net)
lodged 11.8 years ago

Comments:

Review by (hidden by request)

  • Location: San Jose,Santa Clara,CA
  • Cost: $58 per month
  • Telco party SBC
Good "Technical Support Phone wait line is less than 2 min."
Bad "Their technical support guys have no knowledge of what they talking about"
Overall "I miss my speakeasy.net"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings well below consensus)

I ordered DSL and the installed date was about 10 days and they didn't tell me so I had to called in to find out. After installation was done, the DSL doesn't work. I called in and talk to one of their guys and they have no idea what they talking about. Finally after 2 weeks of the installation date, they called pacbell and had a technician came out. Before, I have DSL from speakeasy.net from the same number. My distance from cetral office around 12000 feets. With speakeasy.net, I usually get around 400-450kbs, but sonic.net I usually get around 320-350kbs. After the DSL was on for about a week, the DSL down again. I called in and their so called tech support engineer told me turn off the modem and turn it on again. I did and no help. I don't know what the hell with all the reviews before, but that's what I got. I hope they read this review. If they do, this is my login name: cqnguyen.

Basicly if you call in, they will tell you "turn off and turn on the modem" (I can't remember how many times I did that) and you have to be at the location for them to do troubleshoot. They have 2 news servers: one run from their site is fast, another one from supernews is damn slow. The one on their sites, they basicly filter out most the news group, only the one from supernews doesn't but it way too slow (around 300kbs). If you have speakeasy.net before, you know what I meant. With speakeasy.net you can login from any where in the world. The only problem with speakeasy.net is you have to wait for a damn long time before you can talk to a technical guys their but they have more knowledge. I'll stay with sonic for a while to see what will happen. My DSL down since last weekend and they told me it wouldn't take long if the pacbell come out, at least a few days (a few days is not long?).

Thumb up: 4 static ip addresses, call in wait time is less than 2 min

Thumb down: very unstable, technical guys have no knowledge and attitute

Cuong

System/Network Administrator

(review was emailed from domain verbaltek.com)
lodged 12.3 years ago

Comments:

Review by tbird355 See Profile

  • Location: Napa,Napa,CA
  • Cost: $57 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 25 days
  • Telco party SBC
  • CLEC party: SBC
Good "Reasonably fast."
Bad "Service not reliable. Manual intervention required. Limited technical expertise. Poor customer support."
Overall "Have ordered a new DSL line directly from PacBell to replace Sonic."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings well below consensus)

The installation went reasonably well although coordination between Sonic and PacBell was not the greatest. We have had a serious reliability problem with the line from the day it was installed and the problem still exists today, almost 2 years later. The problem is in the Sonic hardware or software. Every time Sonic restarts their DSL router or they have a router failure, the DSL line goes down and can only be restarted by calling Sonic Technical Support to have the "subscriber id" reset. That reactivates the line. Since their technical support hours are 9am to 9pm, router failures and/or restarts outside these hours means the DSL line is down until the next day. Escalation of numerous trouble tickets to get the problem fixed went into a black hole. An e-mail to the CEO of Sonic was not answered. All in all, Sonic is a good service if you do not need the line too badly. If you are looking for a solid, reliable offering and strong technical support, this is not the one.

member for 12.8 years, 157 visits, last login: 1.5 years ago
lodged 12.8 years ago

Comments: