Right now, I'm an unhappy customer with CenturyLink (formerly CenturyTel). Bear with me
Ive got some background info to share before I get to my point. If you want to skip the rant and explanation, skip down to the last couple of paragraphs
Have been with them for a few years and had had until recently, when they got bought out - good service. Had a regular non-wireless modem up until about 4 months ago, when because of (what we found out later) a bad modem we had to have a C-Link repair guy come out.
Im no techie, just a basic computer user, FYI.
My spouse & I share two Dell pc's on one modem, so we had a LinkSys router with a non-wireless (Speedstream
I think?) modem. Worked quite well up until we upgraded from 3mpbs to 10mpbs, then we had constant problems dropped connections, slow speeds (not much more than 3mpbs), and the modem just seemed not to be able to handle it. Tried to trouble-shoot several things over a several-week time period
just never got the speed we were paying extra for. So, we called Customer Service.
Repairman showed up on time, looked at our setup, and said wed have to upgrade modems to get full speed. (Why didnt customer service tell us wed have to do this???) He told us hed hook us up with a better modem, and the upgrade would be at no cost. YEAH, RIGHT.
The first bill after this we got had a $15 shipping charge for the modem even though the repairman brought it out with him when he came out. We were also charged a repair visit even though we have the inside wiring/repair monthly contract agreement. We were charged an additional amount of about $3.90 extra fee above what we were paying on our old modem. Yeah, so much for at no additional cost! I called customer service, and they did give credit for everything
although it took a couple of billings to show up. That was in December 2009.
My current configurations are both Dell pcs wired into the Westell Wireless DSL modem/router (D90-327W14-06, mfg 11/2008) via Ethernet from the ports on the back of the router/modem to each computer. We have a 10+ mbps download speed and a 75+mbps upload speed (yeah, upload speed has always sucked, and C-Link says nothing they can do about that). I have a wireless card in a Dell laptop that is in my living room (about 40 feet away), and seems to get average connection wirelessly - although because of the Westell modem, this is why I think my Netflix connections keep dropping off the laptop. I have tried moving my modem around to try and fix that issue, but no joy there.
Since the middle of January 2010, weve had modem issues with the *new* modem, the Westell D90-327W14-06. There was a red light that came on, and it wouldnt come back on for several tries. I unplugged it, plugged it back in a couple more times, and it came back on. Ive done this a few times since. Ive also noted that our Internet speeds have intermittently dropped off, and have gone as low as 3.5+, and typically were around 6.2+ mbps instead of the 10+mbps that we should be getting (and have been paying for). Ive called customer service a few times, and each time theyve walked me through the steps to reset it often enough that before I call (when it wont reset & get back up to speed) I try to reset it myself. The last time I called (earlier this month), they were supposed to have a repairman out. He never showed up.
Because both my spouse and my work depend on continuous and high-speed connections (which is why we upgraded modems and have been paying for the higher speed), we needed to get this resolved so it didnt continue to happen. Called customer service back again today as the speed was back down to 6.2. Went through the reset steps, and as usual after resetting the 3rd time the speed went back up to 10+. I expressed my concern to the customer service rep that my modem was again going out or going bad, and would they send out a replacement modem? I also expressed concern that I would lose time and money if the modem were to go out again (like it did another time before) and Id be down for a few days until they replaced it. The rep put me on hold for several minutes, then came back and said they couldnt replace it if it wasnt bad. I told him it apparently was going bad, and that Id gone from an owned modem to a leased modem for this specific reason: that if it goes out, C-Link will replace it.
People, I was on the phone with this rep for an hour trying to get him to understand that I LEASE the equipment so when it goes bad I can obtain a REPLACEMENT if/when it goes bad within the first year. Thats the reason for LEASING. He kept suggesting that if I were so concerned about the modem going out, that I get a backup modem AT MY OWN EXPENSE. While this may be a good idea in theory, my feeling is that if they dont want to replace my unit when it needs to be replaced, then WHY ON EARTH WOULD I CONTINUE TO LEASE???? He put me on hold again for a long time, then came back on and said that he could, after all, send me out another one time replacement modem. I asked him to define the one time replacement, as I didnt want to worry about the replacement going bad and them not replacing it again. He said that no, if it goes out within the 1-year warranty period, it would be replaced (at no cost to me). I said, well, that is the way it should be.
He again suggested that I buy my own modem. Short of that, he said, if I wanted it (the replacement), then Id have to pay $22.95 for shipping. Of course I didnt expect to have to pay for shipping! I said I believed I was within my one-year warranty period. He said I had to agree to the $22.95 shipping fee if I wasnt in the warranty period, so I asked him to check and see when my warranty period was up (I didnt think it had been a year
but I have oldtimers and cant remember time very well anymore). He said he couldnt do that. I said, well, put me on hold again and contact whatever department he needs to in order to find out. He did so, and put me on hold again for almost 15 minutes.
When he came back, he said he found out that I was only into my warranty for about 4 months, but they still had to have me pay for shipping. WHAT?!? Why the change now, I asked? He said that the department he checked with said that because the modem wasnt really bad, that Id have to pay for shipping. I told him that it was apparently bad, based on how it was (or was not) performing. He disagreed. Apparently if you get any connection at all, be it slow, intermittent, etc., they still consider the modem good at CenturyLink! He went on to say that he could, however, send out another repairman. I said what good would that do if he comes and finds that the modem happens to be working when he gets here?? He put me on hold for another few minutes, then came back on and said the choices I have are to pay the shipping, have a repairman come out, buy a new modem myself, or deal with the modem I have. I said I could buy a used modem like the one I have off Ebay for the same price as Id pay for shipping especially since they apparently dont replace them when they go bad if theyre leased and it would cost them (C-Link) more in a techs or repairmans time for someone to come out, so yeah, Ill have a repairman come out. I suggested it would cost them much less to have a replacement unit shipped to me for free than it would for them to have to pay wages and expenses to a repairman to come out. No comment - I guess he didnt get that analogy
or he just doesnt care what it costs them to send out someone! Argghh! And then they wonder why the cost of everything keeps going up?!?!
The rep said the repairman would be here in 24-48 hours he would not provide a day or time specifically. I said, so I have to stay home and wait, not knowing when theyd show up? He said, yes, theyd show up in 24-48 hours. I said okay; he said would that be all? I said no, Id like to speak to a supervisor. It was another 8 minutes before he came back on and said hell transfer me to a supervisor
and another 6 minutes before a supervisor came on the line.
I went through with the supervisor the basics again; told him what the modem was doing, about our dropped speeds, my calls to customer service, my previous modem problems, etc. and how frustrated I am that despite my being a good customer, paying my bills on time, etc., that I cant get a replacement when I need one even though I pay for it by leasing, etc. He said that instead of my having to pay for shipping, the repairman will bring a replacement with him when he comes out (in 24-48 hours, of course), and that if he deems it needs to be replaced, he will replace it at no extra charge. (Naturally Im thinking, yeah, right on the no charge statement, LOL!) I said that would be fine. And its not like they have to go very far to get the friggin modem the C-Links field office/repair junction is less than 6 blocks away. Geesh.
Im determined that Im not going to have them continue to put me off on my replacement, one way or another. Last time I was put off on a lease like this, the lease period expired and then I had NO recourse for replacement
and I believe that is what they are trying to do here again: to put me off long enough that the warranty expires. NOT! I have decided that Im no longer going to LEASE from them if this is what I have to look forward to, and I will buy a new modem myself. It just pisses me off to know that Ive spent almost $300 in leasing costs for basically nothing.
So, my point after all this ranting and explaining is this: What are the fairly new and/or recent makes/models of DSL wireless modems that will work with CenturyLink? I had asked the customer service rep earlier - since he kept telling me I should buy my own modem - what make/model wireless DSL modem should I buy? His response was, Any DSL modem will work. Well, after researching as I have now after our conversation, I understand that that is absolutely *not true*.
I know the one I have will (I currently have the Westell D90-32714-06 wireless) well, kinda. Perhaps its like my other one (Speedstream?) and doesnt do well at high (10+ mbps) speeds? Or perhaps its just going bad, I dont know for sure.
I have looked into the D-Link DSL-2640B that was mentioned in another post in here, but after researching have discounted it due to the high heat factor inherent in that model. It also was reviewed as having not that great connection for wireless (which I definitely need for my laptop I use in other rooms). I do want a modem that will do good wirelessly, as we do plan on going 100% wireless in the next few weeks.
What are you other CenturyLink users using, and how old are your models?
I would appreciate any feedback and specific information you might give. Thank you!