Hello. Are you calling because you want internet? If so, please say "Yes". I'm sorry, I didn't understand. You can also say "Bend me over and give me internet."


Until yesterday, I had no internet since I moved into my new apartment more than a month ago.  Here’s how it began:

At first I tried to simply move my TDS DSL from my last apartment to my current one.  I had been out of my 2 year contract a few months.  My friends had complained about slow speed, but I always figured they were just a bit demanding.  I was stuck paying $80/mo, but I was out of contract.  TDS requires 2 year contracts.  I called to see what promos they had and what they’d offer me.

Apparently, they had restructured their plans a year or two ago, didn’t offer my plan anymore, and downgraded my service without telling me to 1Mb/s.  While still charging me the original $80/mo.

I was a tad upset about this, but I didn’t want to go with Charter as I’ve had problems with them in the past.  So I was left with no alternatives, and offered them to make me a deal.  They did: $45 for a 5meg plan (-$10 discount + waived install fees,…which didn’t matter since I had the modem already).  We set up to cancel and move my service the day I moved.  I had to be at my apartment from 1-5pm that weekday to greet the installer.

Two weeks later on the appointed day, after I had asked off of work, I call back to inform them my new apartment’s doorbell doesn’t work so they would have to call me Cell phone (not my TDS phone, which I had no phone connected to, only the dsl modem).

They told me they had canceled that appointment: hadn’t I been called?  Also, they had continued to charge me $80/mo and service to my old place, since my new move order had never gone through.  It would also take a few weeks to schedule another install, and they would not offer any further discount since they were at their max ($10 off a month).  It was also revealed the discount was only for the first year out of the two I would be contractually bound (when originally I was told it was a total discount).

I canceled my TDS account at this point.

They persisted (not insisted; they wouldn’t let me cancel and hang up the phone) that they were the cheapest, and that I was making a mistake.

The AT&T store also offrers DSL and Uverse.  I was not in the area for Uverse, but I could sign up for 6meg/dsl.  That’d be fast enough for Hulu and Netflix streaming.  They can come by in a week for the setup, and I don’t need to be there.  Plus the plan only costs $35 since I have a wireless account through them.  No contract required.


A week later I have internet, but something is wrong.  Every hour it just cuts out, then comes back a few minutes later (without me doing anything to bring it back).  I’m only getting 1Mb/s.  I call the tech and they say it takes upwards of 10 days to ‘warm up’ and achieve full speed.

Over the next few days, my speed slowly increases. (That shouldn’t be physically possible).

I hit a wall at about 4.5.  I still have disconnect issues, and some devices, like the xbox360, simply connect/disconnect at a much greater, more reliable, rate.  I can’t use my TDS modem; I have to buy the official AT&T dsl modem for them to troubleshoot it.

Diagnostics on the new modem reveal I have trouble attaining a DNS.
After an hour talking with someone in India who thinks the problem is my Xbox or Win7 PC (they don’t support Windows 7, sir), they send out a tech a few days later on Sunday.  I have to be at my apartment from 8am-8pm; he could arrive at any time.

The tech actually shows up (around 2pm), and lets me know I’m 3000 feet past the red line for 6meg service.  They switch me down to 3meg and the tests work fine.  They then switch me back to 6meg.  I have to call during normal office hours to change my service officially.  Also, 3 megs is way too damn slow for my normal usage, or my ideas to use Netflix instant streaming instead of needing Charter for cable.

The next day, during normal office hours, I cancel my AT&T service.

Right after that call, I call up Charter, the last company I know of that offers internet service.

They can send someone out the next day for a 3-5pm appointment.  Their automated service calls me back on Tuesday around noon to remind me of my appointment.  The tech shows up at 2:50, and finishes in under an hour (including rewiring the pole outside, the basement inside, and reattaching the electrical panel in the apartment that previous tenants had *pulled* from the *wall*).

Internet goes up, and I get my 10megs a sec from my speed tests.

The next day I return the AT&T dsl modem to the store.  Later, my speed drops to 5Mb/s.  At this point, after TDS’s downgrade and constant checking with AT&T, I check my speed test obsessively on multiple servers at different times of the day.  It remains there for a couple days until I reboot my modem (which fixes it).

That’s about where I’m at now.  The reboot fix was yesterday.  I wonder if I’ll have to do that every few days.

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