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jbleau

join:2013-08-26

Recent WOW Customer Experience, pretty frustrated. :(

Hi all, new to the forums, just wanted to comment on my recent experience. I've been a WOW customer for over three years now, and barring minor outages I've never had any serious issues with them, that is, until about a month ago. I earn a living as a computer technician while attending classes. I'm a 3rd year CS major at university, and while I'm generally rather savvy, I don't have an in-depth understanding of the general issues surrounding large cable networks or modems operating within them and so I wont pretend to know anything I don't, I'll just explain my situation.

My internet connection started failing intermittently about a month ago. My modem stopped receiving an IP address. It was serving them fine, but it couldn't get one from WOW. It's internal web server was serving its config pages fine too (which is how I knew it wasn't getting an IP address).

I called customer support and she walked me through the various ways of resetting it. Unplugging it, pressing the button in the back, and having them send a signal. Slight digression... by the way... if anybody with intimate experience with my modem (DG950) could explain the difference between pressing the small reset button and unplugging it, I'd be curious to know. I'm also slightly bemused by the fact that WOW can send a signal to my box to fix it, and why that process even needs to exist at all, but like I said, I digress.

At the time we managed to get it "working" again. Although it had been an intermittent problem before I called, I accepted that maybe, just maybe, this silly restart ritual had fixed my problem, and life was good... for about a month. It seems over the past three days no combination of voodoo magic and/or restarting the modem in any permutation of "the many ways to restart the modem" will fix this issue. I called support and after some convincing I managed to get them to send a tech out today.

This is about where I start getting annoyed.

They told me they could come the next day, but it'd have to be anytime during the day. 8AM to 6PM. Apparently I'm expected to not have a life. When he offered to have the tech call ahead an hour I agreed, considering that to be slightly more reasonable.

Well, the tech didn't call ahead. He just showed up. Luckily I was home, despite having plans and errands to run. Of course, as all things in tech support, car repair, or any other profession which requires servicing something, the problem wasn't happening while he was here. I insisted that he just follow the work order and replace the modem. He went out to his truck, brought a "new" modem in, hooked it up, and did god knows what for what was like 20 minutes. I finally came in to check on him and apparently the new modem wasn't working. He got another one from his truck, and that one also didn't work. So eventually he hooked my old modem back up, and of course, it worked.

I asked him why the modems he brought didn't work, and he sort of did some hand waiving and claimed "its something with my account." I pressed a little, asking him what he meant, but he didn't seem very keen on providing a non-vague answer, I suspect he was incompetent. I work in the service industry, if I don't know why something is/isn't working I'm the first person to admit it. I would've been much happier with a, "I'm really not sure, let me call another tech," or, "It's possible these modems I brought are just bad, I can come back later today with another one if you'd like."

Instead he sort of shrugged it off and decided he would "configure my old modem and play with the settings". I was too frustrated to even really talk to him at this point. I just wanted him to leave. I didn't really know what else I could've done, and always in these situations I don't want to be rude to the person, but I should've gotten more answers.

Well, he left (his work papers claimed he replaced the router, which he didn't). Four hours later it quit working again.

I have another tech scheduled for wednesday, hopefully not the same person. I'm at my wits end. It's a shame that the nature of these large infastructure services lend themselves to mono and duopolies, which Comcast and WOW enjoy in this area, but if I'm not satisfied with their service on wednesday I'll be leveraging my longtime patronage and horrible experience, and if they can't offer me something, I'll be begrudgingly doing the only thing I can do in this situation, which is switch to Comcast. They do offer 100mbps which has been appealing to me for awhile now.

Sorry for the rant, frustrated and feeling defeated.

lesmikesell

join:2013-06-10
Mount Prospect, IL
My guess is squirrels chewing on the wire somewhere. Happens to Comcast wires too - been there before... But, I agree that the tech should have done better even if the problem wasn't obvious when he was there.

adam1991

join:2012-06-16
Columbus, OH
Reviews:
·WOW Internet and..
reply to jbleau
said by jbleau:

They told me they could come the next day, but it'd have to be anytime during the day. 8AM to 6PM. Apparently I'm expected to not have a life.

...or, you could ask for a Saturday appointment.

That the CSR was trying to help you next day at all should be applauded--but all they get is crap thrown at them?


goober22
Resident Duh-Huh Member

join:2001-12-28
Panama City, FL
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Knology
reply to jbleau
I'm in a knology area that was taken over by WOW. At first I was looking forward to WOW coming in based on their Consumer Reports rating but now... not impressed at all. First thing they did was drop usenet, but I get to keep paying the same price. Then thay flood me with "tree hugging" type ads. This month I get a new WOW branded billing statement saying they are the new company but rest assured I still have all my services that I enjoyed under knology. Not true as they already dropped usenet!

Reading these forums it seems that the Ultratv stuff is not ready for primetime either. With all the complaints about CSRs here, I'm amazed they rate high on CR.

Knology built an entire new system here in 2000 but to hear WOW describe it, it was junk and falling apart. Funny I did not have issues until WOW took over and pushed new modem firmware & dropped usenet. Now I have a modem constantly showing ARP flood with a consistently flashing traffic light.

I'm glad I have my TV with DirecTV.

BTW, I had to block some folks messages from showing (*cough*adam*cough*) as they appeared to be shrills for the company. You might consider the same.
--
Certified Jenius!

jbleau

join:2013-08-26
reply to adam1991
said by adam1991:

said by jbleau:

They told me they could come the next day, but it'd have to be anytime during the day. 8AM to 6PM. Apparently I'm expected to not have a life.

...or, you could ask for a Saturday appointment.

That the CSR was trying to help you next day at all should be applauded--but all they get is crap thrown at them?

That really was your take away from my entire post? I was obviously frustrated and unhappy, and maybe it wasn't fair of me to be upset about that. I understand CSR's deal with a lot of crap, and I understand there is limited time and limited techs, but honestly I spend a lot of money with this company, and it's not as if they don't have the money to improve their customer experience, seeing as they just threw around > $1B to purchase Knology.

That said, WOW came back out today, and AGAIN did not call ahead when I requested it. I don't know what the hell the deal is with that. I'll keep this much briefer than the previous post. We had a different technician. I was about to leave for work, but my g/f stayed to sign and everything.

Yet again, unfortunately (for me) the modem was working when he got there. I don't make a habit out of calling technicians to my house for fun, but this is the second tech who has come out, looked the modem, and just shrugged his shoulders. I told him exactly what was happening, that periodically my modem would stop getting an IP address from WOW, and that I'd just really like if he could check the lines and if there's nothing wrong, replace the modem.

He goes on to tell me that it's probably my asus router causing the problems. I told him specifically that I've had the router unplugged ever since the problem first started happening, and the problem continued to happen, and I was confident that it wasn't the issue. I asked him then again please just replace the modem.

I leave for work and about 20 minutes later my girlfriend calls and tells me, "The WOW guy said it was something with our router, and he couldn't replace the modem because he doesnt have one and there isnt one in the area."

What the hell.

I deal with jerk customers regularly, and I'm starting to feel like one. I'm always completely polite to the technicians, I try to make their job as enjoyable as it can be, and I'm sorry if I come/came off unpolite or disrespectful at all, but I'm sort of at a loss.

When the modem fails again, which seems highly likely, I'll probably be calling Comcast.


Jim Kirk
Premium
join:2005-12-09
Send WOW_Dan a PM with your account number. He may be able to see something on your line. Hopefully he'll find something and you won't have to deal with the moron techs anymore.


Jim Kirk
Premium
join:2005-12-09
reply to goober22
said by goober22:

BTW, I had to block some folks messages from showing (*cough*adam*cough*) as they appeared to be shrills for the company. You might consider the same.

Just click "hey mods" and then choose Blatant trolling.

jbleau

join:2013-08-26
reply to jbleau
Update: Our internet went out tonight, again, after the second tech had been out here. I was pretty annoyed about it, and called WOW ready to switch. Unfortunately today I found out that Comcast is considering 250GB data caps on their plans, which sounds absolutely awful to me, and so really on that basis alone I decided to see if I could get another tech out here.

The lady on the phone was leaps and bounds better than my last two CSR's, we actually formed a bit of a rapport. She should be working in the customer retention department, and not as a general CSR, because not only was she incredibly friendly and positive, she managed to turn my mood completely around by the end of the phone call.

Hopefully the tech that comes out doesn't spoil it by being the third person to refuse to replace the modem. She told me that it's their general policy not to replace equipment that appears to be working, but she wrote the situation into the work order.

Keep in mind that I have only ever called WOW while my service was out, and every single time the CSR has been able to see from their remote location that my modem isn't functioning properly. I'm not calling them out to my house for fun.

Anyway, I was really happy with how the call went, and I'll make a final update after the tech comes out.


goober22
Resident Duh-Huh Member

join:2001-12-28
Panama City, FL
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Knology
Just so you know, Comcast already uses a "soft cap" of 200GB on the accounts. Their enforcing it evenly in all areas seems to up in the air. What they are proposing is making it a real 250GB hard cap and then charging you for every block of data you use over that cap. I can't remember if it's 10GB or 50GB blocks.
--
Certified Jenius!


mix

join:2002-03-19
Utica, MI
reply to jbleau
Can you see your signal levels by visiting the DG-950's internal web interface?

»192.168.100.1

What are the power levels, SNR, etc for upstream and downstream?

adam1991

join:2012-06-16
Columbus, OH
Reviews:
·WOW Internet and..
reply to goober22
said by goober22:

BTW, I had to block some folks messages from showing (*cough*adam*cough*) as they appeared to be shrills for the company. You might consider the same.

"shrills"?

Anyway, my comment stands: I'm sure there was a lack of communication there, with the CSR trying to help you out by getting someone out there right away but not going the rest of the way and offering something she could schedule more specifically. And you didn't ask if she could provide a more specific schedule.

Opportunities abound.


OSUGoose

join:2007-12-27
Columbus, OH
Maybe he did ask for a time frame and that's when she offered the call ahead.

jbleau

join:2013-08-26
said by OSUGoose:

Maybe he did ask for a time frame and that's when she offered the call ahead.

Correct, I had things to do that day and when I asked if there was no way to get a specific window she offered to have them call ahead. Which they didn't.

Two techs are coming out today. The internet went out four times yesterday, each for 1-2 hrs at a time. Of course it's working now. It seems to go out the most in the evening, but I've had IRC open all day yesterday (left it running on accident) and it did go out once in mid-afternoon (was able to tell by the disconnect notices in a low traffic channel.)

Hopefully they can resolve the issue today.

jbleau

join:2013-08-26
reply to jbleau
Tech left, everything seems to be working.

They FINALLY replaced the modem with a newer one. From what I understand my account information pertaining to what devices were registered and which weren't was messed up on WOW's end and he said it's possible this is why it has been having issues. I don't really know anything about internal WOW software so who knows.

It took him quite awhile to swap out the modem. He had to make a call into WOW to get all of the account stuff sorted first, and then the modem had a firmware update.

The levels on the line look good, and the speed is where it should be. Hopefully this is the end of my issues.

Fingers crossed!

baess

join:2011-01-28
said by jbleau:

They FINALLY replaced the modem with a newer one.

You had a DG950. What did they give you?

And what is your speed tier? You've never said.

jbleau

join:2013-08-26
They replaced my DG950 with a TG862, my tier is 50/5.

baess

join:2011-01-28
said by jbleau:

They replaced my DG950 with a TG862, my tier is 50/5.

No phone service? The TG862 is for phone. I think it can be used without but they have to configure it correct.


Jim Kirk
Premium
join:2005-12-09
reply to adam1991
said by adam1991:

said by goober22:

BTW, I had to block some folks messages from showing (*cough*adam*cough*) as they appeared to be shrills for the company. You might consider the same.

"shrills"?

Anyway, my comment stands: I'm sure there was a lack of communication there, with the CSR trying to help you out by getting someone out there right away but not going the rest of the way and offering something she could schedule more specifically. And you didn't ask if she could provide a more specific schedule.

Opportunities abound.

Wait a minute. Are you the same adam1991 that's on the greenbutton.tv Centon Echo forum?

jbleau

join:2013-08-26
reply to jbleau
Ugh, my stomach dropped today. My new modem orange-lighted on me for like 3 minutes this mid-afternoon. Hoping it was a random fluke.