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SONIC.NET page on DSLReports
Six Month Rating

Reviews:
bullet 881 reviews (754 good) (61 bad)
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Review by dslX46 See Profile

  • Location: San Diego,San Diego,CA
  • Cost: $30 per month (month by month)
  • Install: about 5 days
  • Telco party AT&T
Good "Consistant but.."
Bad "Slow service, unfortunate customer service errors"
Overall "Goodbye "
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings below consensus)

Family IT guy here, set up and paid for this SONIC.NET account for the Head of my family who resides in San Diego, CA. The service went on for two (2) years and my family mentioned only some slow speeds with two users online. The time to end my paying for the service had arrived and I had paid for service through 09-01-2014. I contacted Billing to request that at the END of the service month again, paid for in advance, I wanted the service disconnected. The request was "noted" and one day latter, 08-08-2014 the service was abruptly disconnected. When I called Billing to ask what had gone wrong I was told "sorry" it was a mistake and that it would take up to seven days to CORRECT their error , (reconnect service). I have to scramble to get another company to take their place, causing me to look really bad because they also use the line for VOIP! UNFORGIVABLE ERROR!

Month to month, $29.95

1500/384

ztel (?) modem



member for 7.9 years, 6 visits, last login: 111 days ago
updated 111 days ago

Comments:

Review by kmcmurtrie See Profile

  • Location: Sunnyvale,Santa Clara,CA
  • Cost: $110 per month (month by month)
  • Telco party AT&T
Good "Support, uptime, and telephone"
Bad "AT&T wires, telemarketers, modem fees"
Overall "Good local ISP"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

This is a local ISP offering a wide variety of features for both everyday and power users. Online support has been fast and knowledgeable.

Their Fusion product provides ADSL2+, static IP address options, e-mail hosting, web hosting, and plain telephone service.

The telephone service has free national calls and free international calls to selected countries. The sound quality can't be beat. Call forwarding, voicemail to IMAP, caller ID, and call blocking are supported. Sonic.net's phone service is unfortunately an illegal telemarketing magnet. Expect a phone call every morning at 9:30 and a few more until night. Sonic.net claims to have "Spam Call Blocking" but it has been completely ineffective ever since telemarketers started using random local numbers as their Caller ID. I get more telemarketers on Sonic.net in a DAY than other phone providers get in a YEAR. Support claims they can do nothing to trace or block the calls.

ADSL2+ is delivered at whatever your AT&T wires can handle with about a 6dB SNR margin. That can be anything from near-zero to 20Mbps. There's an option to bond two Fusion lines together to double your bandwidth. Other than that, neighborhoods with old AT&T wires are out of luck. Static IP addresses can be purchased and there's a way to switch Annex M on and off using your phone.

My service is two bonded Fusion lines using Annex M. The combined modem bitrate is a very consistent 8/2 Mbps delivering 7/1.6 Mbps actual. That's usually too low for video-on-demand at high quality. When asked about upgrade options, Sonic could only offer 5/5 Mbps for $599/month on their FlexLink Ethernet plan. I hope to get bandwidth elsewhere but keep one Fusion line for phone calls.

Warning! New Fusion customers must pay a $6.50/month modem rental fee. Only older customers can opt-out.

member for 8.6 years, 549 visits, last login: 50 days ago
updated 155 days ago

Comments:

Review by faxmachine See Profile

  • Location: Oakland,Alameda,CA
  • Cost: $53 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 3 days
  • Telco party AT&T
Good "Technical support, FUSION POTS, reasonable price"
Bad "Limited DSL speeds, growing pains"
Overall "If you despise Comcast like I do Sonic is a viable local alternative."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings below consensus)

I have had Sonic for about 5 years at this point. Why am I writing a review now? Mainly because I think I'm starting to be affected by the growing pains of this otherwise excellent company. I love Sonic's ethics, love that they are in the area and tech support is always available and willing to spend as much time on the phone with you as you are with them. Sonic's prices are reasonable, especially when you get their FUSION service which gives you a POTS line and free calls and I was able to cancel my $40+/month AT&T land lines. Sonic's phone service is not IP telephony as far as I can tell, it's a real dial tone with no bandwidth issues like you would experience with Vonage or the others, no special equipment required and no call charges.

If the world were a perfect place this fine relationship would go on for ever and we would ride off into the sunset together but life is not like that. First the stats. Sonic's FUSION service is advertised at $39 per month for a 20Mbps down, 1Mbps upload that can be configured to 2.5Mbps upload service that includes the aforementioned POTS service with no calling charges. These bandwidth figures are dependent on your distance from the CO. I can't tell you my exact distance from my CO but I would guess it to be a little over a mile according to DSL Reports CO locator: »/coinfo.



My DSL Reports test history has shown that I never get more than 9.5Mbps down and 9.8Kbps up. Sonic until recently had my line capped at 14.9Mbps down and 1.2Mbps up, the speed at my end is obviously slower and I know there are anomalies in testing, this however is not my main problem with Sonic even though these speeds are easily eclipsed by Cable (Comcast). My problem comes with an almost daily bout with losing sync and modem reboot. This issue has been going on for years. Sometimes it goes away for moths at a time. Sometimes it happens five or six times a day. Recently it has gotten worse.

Sonic and I have tried all the level-1 fixes; filter replacements, modem replacements, handset removal, RH-11 replacement. All of these fixes have been tried multiple times. My modem has been replaced three times, twice at my expense buying modems other than what Sonic was offering @$50 and then the last time out of desperation I paid the $50 and purchased one of their ZTE 831 modems. Problem went away for three months and now it's back. I'll add that I live in a multi-unit Loft building in Oakland that was converted from a warehouse to living space in 1994. I have lots of phone jacks around my space and I'm willing to accept that the problem could exist in the inside wiring and that will be my problem to fix. In the past AT&T has been called by Sonic to check their lines, their report came back with no problems but who knows if they ever even came here? I was never contacted and I have one of the only two keys to get in our phone room so I would know if they came out and actually looked at the wiring from the street into the phone room.

So what's my problem? My problem is that we (Sonic and I) have never been able to pin down this problem and I never seem to be able to move beyond level-1 tech support, assuming there is something higher. Recently I've noticed a lack of candor that I've come to expect with Sonic. Sonic is growing and it seems to me that maybe their marketing department has gotten it's hands into the tech support process. Sonic Techs will still talk to you all day if you want but the the tech support folks seem guarded in what they will say. I was on the phone with them today for over an hour and I found myself having to really talk around certain key words and concepts to get close to some kind of answer, very frustrating. And after that hour where are we? Back at sending me a new modem (no charge this time) to see if we can isolate the problem. This means that I will have to put this modem in and wait to see if anything happens. At the same time they have capped my speed down so it'll be harder to tell which thing fixes the problem, if at all. This must all be done before they will send anyone out which I can understand because of the expense of sending someone from Santa Rosa to Oakland to check things out, but Sonic, as a long time customer I expect a bit better treatment. Maybe I'm being unrealistic?

So more weeks of tinkering around before we get near anything like a solution. My suggestion to anyone who is thinking of DSL with Sonic, they are good, they available and they really seem to want to help but if you are not in a new building, are a good distance away from your CO or have limited patience for level-1 tech support flow charts, you might want to consider your options. It pains me to say that because the alternatives are bleak, mostly Comcast which some folks love, that is as long as you don't have to interact with Comcast and your speeds are good and you have a stable connection and they are not capping your downloads or giving your info to the government at every opportunity then life is good, yes?

So Sonic, all I want is a straight answer and something better than level-1 support and I don't feel I'm getting it and that sucks and you need to consider how you are handling your growth and your long time customers. I'm not hinting at any conspiracy here, just a lack of coordination and/or motivation. If Sonic and I should be able to solve this problem, or not, I'll update this post.

And with that there goes my modem losing sync again and rebooting. .

My Sonic cost breakdown:

DNS XXXXX.net 1.95

No Invoices to Primary Email 0.00

Fusion Broadband - Single Line - 39.95

Fusion Broadband Information - 0.00

Data $19.97 Voice $19.98

Voice Federal Subscriber Line Charge Fee 6.50

Voice Federal Universal Service Fund Fee 2.38

Voice California Lifeline Telephone Service 0.15

Surcharge

Voice California Deaf and Disabled Telecom 0.03

Program Surcharge

Voice California High Cost Fund-B Surcharge 0.04

Voice California Teleconnect Fund Surcharge 0.01

Voice California Advanced Services Fund 0.02

Surcharge

Voice California 911 Emergency Surcharge 0.06

Voice Oakland Utility Users Tax 1.99

Fusion Phone Service - 510-XXX-XXXX 0.00

Voice California Public Utility Commission 0.02

User Fee

Voice FCC Interstate Telecom Service 0.05

Provider Fee

Voice FCC Telecommunications Relay Service 0.14

Fund

All that and no desert.

member for 9.3 years, 116 visits, last login: 68 days ago
updated 1.5 years ago

Comments:
faxmachine

join:2005-07-20
Oakland, CA
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET

1 edit

Update

Since my last review the following has happened

Sonic shipped me a new modem. Result: little to no improvement. Modem still dropping sync several times a day.

Sonic tech visited my residence. Results: no problems found with wiring between the phone room and my loft. No obvious problems with wiring at connection point at the in my loft to phone room.

Removed two older jacks in my kitchen when tiling work was done. Result: It seemed the issue improved but two weeks later the problems continue. This red-herring of a solution was probably due more wishful thinking than actual improvement. I was away from home on the road directly following the work for a week and then working remotely away from home for a second week during the peak times for this sync dropping issue. I'm home all day today and the problem is as bad as it's ever been.

5 drops so far today, I can barley stay connected long enough to post this!

Super frustrating.

Snypes

join:2003-12-29
Santa Rosa, CA

Re: Update

If you could send me an IM with your Sonic.net login I would be happy to take a closer look at this issue for you. The stability of our customers services is important to us.
--
DSL Support Specialist
Sonic.net, Inc.
faxmachine

join:2005-07-20
Oakland, CA
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET
I spoke with Sonic Tech support over the weekend and the person I spoke with brought up the possibility that RF interference could be causing my modem sync issues. Specifically RF in the AM radio band. I've gotten an RF filter that isn't in the AM band but still may filter out enough RF to make a difference. Can't really tell if this is going to be a solution as I'm not home at the peak times for this issue. I will be able to monitor in a week or so. Hope it works!
faxmachine

join:2005-07-20
Oakland, CA
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET

The problem is back

The problem of the modem dropping connection is back. Sonic's been out and AT&T's been here too and no fix. Neither of them can figure it out.

Vendor meeting next week. If they can't fix it I'm going to have to find a new ISP which is really sad because I love Sonic (until recently). This sucks.
faxmachine

join:2005-07-20
Oakland, CA
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET

Re: The problem is back [SONIC.NET]

So the fun continues. I've got stability now but low speed. 5mbps down and .89 up. There was a time I had 10+ down and 1.2 up, it wasn't stable but that's got more to do with AT&Ts lines than anything else, as does the slow speed. My gripe is, we are doing the back and forth with finger pointing between Sonic & AT&T. It is AT&Ts fault no doubt. It's AT&Ts shit infrastructure that is responsible for instability and slow speed. It's their refusal to do anything more than send one tech out at a time to work on this issue. Sonic is powerless to do anything about it and that might be why I ultimately have to leave them, they have no control over infrastructure.

meee

@comcast.net

I was thinking about trying sonic...

I just moved into a new apartment building on 1459 Macarthur and need internet. I have Comcast now, in Berkeley, but have been far from impressed; the speed is very inconsistent, I work over VOIP, and it's very unprofessional that I need to hang up and call people back because my modem needs to be reset.

Anyway, I was thinking about Sonic, and this review is making me waiver. It says I'm around 16,000 feet from the routing station. That sounds like it might be a little far for this stuff. #1 thing I need is reliability. #2 thing is bandwidth. I don't need 50/10 type speed, but I do need a solid 5/1 minimally. I'm guessing I should just try Comcast again and hope this new area is less congested.
faxmachine

join:2005-07-20
Oakland, CA
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET

Re: I was thinking about trying sonic...

Just as I was starting to post a reply to you when my modem dropped, again. I can't say this enough, I love(d) Sonic. Their customer service is second to none however in my particular situation there seems to be no answer to my problem coming from Santa Rosa. With Sonic you get AT&T no way around it. You get AT&T and their aging infrastructure and the aging phone wires in your building. DSL is slower than cable but in your case you've experienced Comcast and their inconsistent speeds and you might be as tired of that as I am of having an unreliable connection from Sonic (& AT&T). I am 7000 feet away from the switch and Sonic keeps dropping my speed to try and stabilize my connection but it never works and all I get is an unreliable connection and slower speeds. The last chance for Sonic is coming this Tuesday 5/21, there is a vendor meet between them and AT&T at my building. If they cannot solve once and for all this issue, I will be moving to Comcast (-shudder-). Everyone in my building gets fast and reliable service from Comcast and I HATE the idea of giving my money to them but Sonic you have failed me, your most loyal of customers, and you don't seem to be able to fix the problem even though you've had YEARS to do so. [Modem drop, again...] If I were you I'd wait on going to Sonic or try Sonic but be prepared to go back to Comcast. it's all about getting a good circuit from AT&T and hoping all the copper and connections are good between AT&T and you.

Review by ibldsw See Profile

  • Location: Pleasanton,Alameda,CA
  • Cost: $60 per month
  • Install: about 7 days
  • Telco party AT&T
Good "Solid connection, very low latency, No data cap"
Bad "Must have AT&T phone service to get DSL with Sonic"
Overall "I no longer consider Sonic as a local ISP. Switched to the cable for the better value."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

Update 6/2/12

I wanted to stay with Sonic.net as much as I can in support of a local ISP despite higher price for the speed ($60/mo for 5Mbps).

I have been waiting for Fusion in my area (Pleasanton) thinking Sonic, as a local ISP, will eventually deploy Fusion service in this part of the Bay Area. When I heard Sonic started building Fusion in southern California, I felt betrayed for a few seconds. Well, after all Sonic is just another ISP that must follow economic principal.

Even though Sonic has lost my support as a local ISP, I really hope Sonic does well and eventually deploy fiber I can switch back to. For now I followed the same economic principal, and switch to the cable.

===========================
Current ISP & plan: Sonic DSL 6M on AT&T phone line

Previous ISP: Comcast

Reason for switching: Sonic as a shelter from Comcast data cap

Installation: Uneventful. I used the modem I had with SBC (now AT&T) DSL - worked fine.

Service quality: Stable connection with very low latency (first hop ping under 10 ms)

Monthly cost:
- One year ago: $32 ($20 DSL intro price + $12 AT&T Measured Rate phone service)
- Now: $58 and rising ($40 DSL + $18 AT&T Measured Rate phone service*)

* AT&T plans to raise the base rate by $3 and the usage rate again in March 2012.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------------------------

Sonic DSL subscribers are required to have AT&T land line phone service. So I ordered the least expensive plan. It is a measured rate plan without any features. There is no caller ID, no call waiting, no voice mail, and no way of knowing how much I used till the next bill. I simply didn't use the phone to make the bill simple. $32 total cost for 6M DSL wasn't bad at all.

After one year, DSL portion of the cost doubled to $40 and AT&T phone to $18 and rising. At $60+ a month, Sonic DSL is increasingly less competitive. I learned that business class internet from Comcast and AT&T U-verse don't have data caps, and can be ordered at home. Their lowest cost plans with 12M speed without a phone service cost about the same.

member for 3.1 years, 74 visits, last login: 2.3 years ago
updated 2.4 years ago

Comments:

DaneJasper
Sonic.Net
Premium,VIP
join:2001-08-20
Santa Rosa, CA
kudos:9

680 Corridor

We are not at this time deploying in the Hwy 680 corridor (Danville, San Ramon, Dublin, Pleasanton - and down 580 to Livermore). We completed our third phase SF Bay Area build, and moved on to the Sacramento/Woodland/David area (now complete), and we are now engaged in construction on a number of COs in the LA area.

With limited resources, we have to go where the subscriber density is first. We are building as much as we can as fast as we can, with the goal to bring Fusion to everyone, but it is a long and expensive road.

Review by nb1 See Profile

  • Location: San Francisco,San Francisco,CA
  • Cost: $50 per month (month by month)
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings below consensus)

I really, really wanted to be able to write a good review about »Sonic.net. After all, AT&T was charging almost twice as much for the same services, and I finally switched after AT&T tried to force me into upgrading to U-verse when I needed to make a change to my existing DSL line.

I found Sonic, and at first was very happy - faster DSL, no installation hassle, and great service folks available in the evenings. Not to mention significantly less cost.

Then, something went wrong with my phone line - it turned out in the end to be a short on the AT&T line, but the road to figuring that out via Sonic was long and painful. For the problem to be diagnosed and fixed, it took:

--**Two months** - from early January to March. Month 1: intermittent synch problems with my Internet, meaning they had to set it realllly slow to stabilize it. Month 2: no dial tone, no landline service.

--One visit by a »Sonic.net technician, which I had to stay home for.

--Two visits by AT&T

-A "vendor meet," which meant that AT&T and Sonic came out at the same time, so they could look at the whole line, and stop pointing fingers at each other.

That's a total of *four* visits, count 'em, four visits from your friend the phone company.

--Buying a new modem, because Sonic first thought that might be the problem. (It wasn't, but after the two months it took to find the real problem, it was too late to return the $100 piece of unneeded equipment.)

--Countless phone calls with countless technicians and service guys. By my estimate, I probably talked to a dozen different people on a couple dozen occasions.

--At least three calls where I had to have a total meltdown before they seemed to take the problem seriously.

--Many, many visits to cafes to get my work done, because my Internet was not functioning well.

Here's what I'd recommend, for anyone who has service problems with »Sonic.net, and hey, Sonic! Here's what I'd recommend if you want to become known as a company that has solid customer service:

1) If a customer has a problem that can't be fixed after the first visit, get them a single point of contact. Having to revisit the whole 2-month history on my account every time I called in did not help, and having someone who hadn't read my account notes increase the bandwidth cap - causing my Internet to drop - even though me and every other »Sonic.net tech knew that would happen, nearly killed me.

2) Get an experienced specialist or supervisor on the case if the problem is not solved by the initial onsite visit. Having new techs fiddle with the line settings and do the same tests over and over was a real waste of time.

3) Improve communications with AT&T, or help your customers file complaints to the PUC about AT&T's treatment of 3rd party providers. If you can get good updates from AT&T about their diagnoses and service plans, get them. If you can't, there's something wrong with the way they're handling 3rd party issues, and the PUC needs to crack down on them. Your customers want options, and I'd be happy to support »Sonic.net in pushing AT&T to support 3rd party options. What I'm not happy to do, is to hear one more time, "I don't know, AT&T won't tell us when they're going to come out again," or even worse, "They're booked to come out tomorrow" when I saw them at my house today, but the problem is still there.

4) Treat your customers like their time and troubles are worth something to you as a company. After what I consider a major nightmare - no landline service for a full month, and very, very bad Internet service for two, even though I followed up continuously, went out and bought a new modem, etc. etc. - not to mention the aggravation of everything discussed above - Sonic seems to think it's being generous by offering two months of credit for the services I paid for but didn't receive! When I balked, I got a call back and was offered a third month of credit. Oh, great, a "free" $50.

I was also told that Sonic has grown dramatically, and that the company is suffering from growing pains, training new techs, etc. Now, I understand start-up growing pains, but what I don't understand is why a growing service company wouldn't want to preserve its reputation for customer service. If my case is as rare as the tech said, then they should be willing to show how unusual it is and acknowledge how poorly they handled it, by putting their money where their mouth is. Beyond refunding me my money for the service they didn't provide for two months, I would have expected an offer of a year of free service. I'm sorry, but you don't try to profit off of your newfound customer base by just not providing them service! And if you accidentally do that - you make it up to them, to get them to stick around, and tell others to give it a chance.

A friend asked me if I could recommend Sonic, and I said, I want to, when it works well, it works well. And they're nice guys! But I have a problem they can't fix. He said, that tells me everything I need to know.

member for 2.7 years, 0 visits, last login: 2.7 years ago
lodged 2.7 years ago

Comments:

Review by (hidden by request)

  • Location: San Francisco,San Francisco,CA
  • Cost: $40 per month
Good "They claim fast speeds."
Bad "Connection drops every five minutes, and they can't fix it in two months."
Overall "Avoid it. You get what you pay for."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings well below consensus)

What a disaster. Sonic.net has been unable to provide us with
reliable internet service for two months, and they have completely
failed to put any effort into fixing the problem.

In September of 2011, we signed up for their new Fusion service. It
promised 20Mb/s downloads for $40/month, which was faster *and* cheaper
than the AT&T service we had at the time. Searching the internet
brought us some good reviews, so we made the switch.

For three months, all was well. But in December, it went bad -- really
bad. Our internet connection started dropping every once in a while.
It would go away for 30 seconds, then it would recover. Some time
later, it would drop again.

By the end of December, it was dropping every five minutes. We finally
called Sonic.net, and they told us our line looked fine. They
couldn't see any problems. They tried to blame our wireless router, our
home phone, our wires, our DSL filters, and our computers.

With the service dropping every five minutes, the internet is
impossible. Videos freeze. Video chats hang up. Websites lose data
we've submitted. It's so, SO frustrating!!!

The first person I talked to blamed our wireless router. He asked me to
connect a computer directly to the DSL modem. It still had problems.
He said he was going to try modifying a setting. Over the next week,
the problem continued, and I tried the following:

- New cable from the modem to the router.
- Different wireless router
- Direct connection of my computer to the modem.
- A different cable to connect my computer to the modem.

None of these fixed the problem. At this point, I was convinced it was
their DSL modem or their wiring. I called them and told the technician
so. This technician said that he *could* see problems on our line.
This was surprising, as every previous technician had sworn up and down
that our line had no problems. He performed a test called a "metallic
loop line test" that he said showed the problem. From this, he surmised
that our landline phone was at fault. Either the phone was faulty or
the DSL filter was. I unplugged the phone, and he re-ran the metallic
loop test. He said there were no more errors, and that he would send me
a new ADSL2 filter.

Were our problems finally solved? No. Later that evening, I unplugged
the phone to make a video call. The internet dropped out just as much
with the phone unplugged as with it plugged in. The phone was not the
problem at all.

Now it is the beginning of February. The new ADSL2 filter arrived, and
I installed it. Nothing got better. I called them back, and I read
them the riot act. They suggested it could be their modem and offered
to send me another one to test. Get this! They wanted to charge *us*
shipping to test *their* problem. I pointed out how silly this was, and
the supervisor waived the shipping.

I asked them why they couldn't just send a tech to my house and work
with me until it is fixed? The techs have repeatedly told me that they
never do that. First I have to prove the modem isn't broken, and then
they will send a tech to check the wiring. Are you kidding me?

Here we are on 2/9, I don't have the modem, and our internet has been
unusable for two months. Even if I get the test modem tomorrow, if it
doesn't fix the problem, it will be days and days before they get out to
my house, and days more if they have to fix the lines.

This should have been fixed in under a week. Never use
Sonic.net. It's cheap, and you get what you pay for. We had
AT&T for over 10 years without a hiccup.

I can't wait to get reliable internet service again. It's time to find
a working provider.

(review was emailed from domain evilplan.org)
lodged 2.7 years ago

Comments:

Review by ChiefReaper See Profile

  • Location: Rohnert Park,Sonoma,CA
  • Cost: $45 per month
  • Telco party AT&T
Good "Nice local people trying to make a difference; admirable, caring."
Bad "The difference is my time is money and you are wasting it, Sonic."
Overall "I've spent 15 hrs/3 wks of my time trying to get "fusion" to fuse. It ain't."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings below consensus)

While the people in call center are friendly and committed, I tried to get a local reliable and fast ISP with phone service...so we picked Sonic to do it (they are 8 miles away). First I get a self-install kit with no instructions (fortunately I'm not a total novice), then the line comes and drops off for no reason. I never get speeds above 4.8-5 mps even though we were sold on it being "up to" 20 mps. (40 bucks a month with phone). (Apparently its ok to advertise premium and give substandard and say "well we said "up to"".)

So I contact tech support (again) and they say the brand new modem may be bad and please COME IN and SWITCH it. (That's my gas and time again for service i am not getting). We do. New router, works for a little while, never reaches 5 again. Called support again (Now I've spent 6-8 hrs playing with being under desks, configuring systems, etc and not doing the work i got the speed for), So I requested a tech call with no charge since this still isn't working.

So a week later and (after having to reschedule the appointment time with me), I stay home (more time!) for a 4 hr window of tech help. The very very very chatty tech explained all the reasons this might be not working and I got the impression that I was going to be the one blamed...then after line tests and a promise in advertising (without small print) that I was going to get 20mbps we can only get 5 because of the wiring (I wouldnt have done this had they checked at time of order) and that I had putt a screen on a line wrong (after 2 hrs of listening to a guy and having to follow him all around my house for something that should have taken 45 mins....Sure enough, I'm told it was my fault and that (by disconnecting two things we had connected to the line (Direct TV and fax) he assured we would get 5 mbps.

We did.

For about 4-5 hrs after he left.

Now its back to the way it was and I've touched nothing. And when I asked them to adjust the bill, I was given the run around that "we will have to see what the tech finds"..even though I was a new customer for this and did not and have not gotten the service advertised at all. This has been more than a month and I've had it and spent more than 125 in equipment and MAY have a $150 service call charge to dispute now. Then there is 12-15 hrs of my time (at $40/hr) that I don't get back..

I've done my own testing here (thanks for the great resource!)..and here it is. I will contact them ONE MORE TIME and then Call COMCAST or ATT because they will make sure everything works and not waste my time and make me feel like I should know how their business works to get a product to work.

Overall, they do not seem to being doing their homework and the new customer is paying for it. I am seriously thinking of sending sonic a bill for my time because I have been an uncompensated test subject while they figure out what is going on. And that's not my job. It's theirs. Before advertising (I think falsely and misleadingly).

Sorry, guys, I really like you but you've wasted 15 hrs of my life so far on some wiring that should take an hour or two....and argue that its my fault. Thank god I'm not a little old lady down the street who is getting her first computer.. it would be horrific.

member for 3 years, 0 visits, last login: 3 years ago
lodged 3 years ago

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Review by sstaewen See Profile

  • Location: San Rafael,Marin,CA
  • Cost: $40 per month
  • Telco party AT&T
Bad "Sonic.net Fusion"
Overall "Major Headache!"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings below consensus)

I was on Sonic.net's DSL (Legacy) Elite-S for eight years with little trouble. Signed up to their Fusion ADSL ++ back in May 2011, they had AT&T drop in a new line to my residence and finally coordinated install in June and could not get it to work. After several visits by both their techs and AT&T they finally got it working by late August with download averaging 11mbps/ upload 900kbps but with DSL drop outs on a regular basis. I've tried their crappy ZTE modem and have purchased another new modem on my own to no avail, currently using another of their ZTE modems as a loaner. I've placed several calls into Sonic's tech support and they see all the noise on the upload but now it is October and nothing is resolved - TOTALLY FRUSTRATING AND UNRELIABLE!

member for 3.1 years, 0 visits, last login: 3.1 years ago
updated 3.1 years ago

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Review by pkorx8 See Profile

  • Location: San Francisco,San Francisco,CA
  • Cost: $40 per month
  • Install: about 7 days
  • Telco party AT&T
Good "Great customer service and support"
Bad "Not enough pre-install coordination and planning; stuck with SLOW ATT copper lines"
Overall "If Sonic rides on your telco line, you may be better off with telco"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings below consensus)

This was my attempt to get out of the "Comcast promo rate game", but in the end it did not work (read to the end)

Ordered self-install kit for the DSL $40/month single line service with a required DSL phone line from Sonic.net, advertised for "upto 20Mbps". The house had DSL service before from COVAD, so I thought I can just plug to the same ports leftover.

After clicking thru the order on the Sonic site, I received the DSL modem via UPS and a call from Sonic to schedule a truck-roll appointment with ATT, because the service will ride on ATT's lines for the house.

On appointment day, I took the morning off from work to stay at home because my telco demarcation point is inside the house. Towards the last 30mins of the 4hour appointment window, I get an email from Sonic telling me I'm all set. I plugged in modem on any of the ports and nothing happened. I call Sonic and they had to schedule another ATT truck-roll appointment for the next day. The ATT guy did not even knock on my door that day.

The second day (took the morning off from work again!!!) the ATT guy actually showed up, did some more work on the junction box outside and then tested my ports at the demarcation point to make sure it actually is connected. When he finished, he called Sonic to confirm a connection.

Plugged in the DSL modem, it works. Received a call from Sonic as I was playing around with different ports in the house to connect the modem. Sonic tech told me over the phone that latency was bad, indicating very bad wiring in the house and I should connect directly to the demarcation point. I complied.

Unfortunately, the best I can get is 2Mbps down/~500kbps up, FAR from the advertised speed. There is nothing they can do because I run on ATT lines and I'm ~11K' from the CO.

I'm in the process to cancel the service, which Sonic has no problem with. I have to go back to the "Comcast promo rate game". And if I really want DSL, the ATT promo offer is ~$15/month (basically the exact same Sonic service) on that pathetic line.

I wished Sonic could have provided some more accurate estimation of what I'm getting before I wasted 2days from work and then find out that this is not for me. Also, I wished they could have ordered ATT to test the connection on day one, instead of wasting a second day.

The Sonic customer service guys have been great, they are actually techie guys and know what is going on. I really want Sonic to work, but it didn't happen for me.

Update:

I called Sonic today and they had no problem canceling and prorating my service. Waiting for a return label, so I can ship the modem back for refund.

They understood completely that 3Mbps service isn't going to work.

member for 11.4 years, 2512 visits, last login: 20 days ago
updated 3.2 years ago

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Review by smoore33 See Profile

  • Location: Santa Rosa,Sonoma,CA
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
Good "They speak English and are usually friendly"
Bad "Unreliable connections, don't follow up on trouble tickets"
Overall "So-so, but getting worse"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings well below consensus)

I have used them for years. They have gotten much worse. Their wireless Internet access is very unreliable (in the Occidental area, at least) and they do not follow up on trouble tickets. Frequent occurrences of packet loss >25% and ping times >800ms have been going on for months.

member for 9.3 years, 20 visits, last login: 3.2 years ago
lodged 3.2 years ago

Comments: