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Connection drops, bad DSL modem, goodbye EL! (Read 7350 times)

Yakity yak....

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Connection drops, bad DSL modem, goodbye EL!
03/19/09 at 18:23:54
I was an Earthlink DSL customer in good-standing for about three years. For most of that time, I had no problems with the DSL service or the customer service in India. Besides being a little hard to understand sometimes, they were basically friendly and knowledgeable. Then things went downhill fast.
About two months ago, Earthlink lost a server in Los Angeles and DSL service was out to the whole area for about 36 hours. I called into EL several times during that period, and every CSR I talked to told me techs were working on the problem and it should be fixed in a few hours. I wait a few hours, no DSL. I call back, several times. Each time they assure me it will only be a few hours more. The next morning, I still have no DSL connection. I call into EL again, this time they say the problem is fixed and I should have DSL. I don't. They run down a list of quick fixes, rebooting, resetting the modem, etc, but nothing solves the problem. Finally, the CSR tells me he's going to "reset" my profile (whatever that means), and in five minutes, I have a connection. But that wasn't the last of my problems...
Last week, my 3 mbps connection (which consistently ran at around 2.25 mbps) starting getting impossibly slow. As slow as 300 kpbs. I did all the normal fixes, power-cycling the modem, rebooting, etc and then I call EL. They reset my profile again which fixes the problem. A few days later, my DSL connection is down. I do the normal steps and then call EL. They reset my profile, and the DSL is back. Again, after a few days, my DSL connection is up and down, over and over again all morning long. I can see the DSL link light on the cheap Xylex modem they gave me stays lit for a while, then it starts blinking as if it's initializing the DSL connection. I call EL again, they reset my profile and it fixes the problem. This time, I start asking questions. Why does this keep happening? Is there a way to fix this permanently? They have no answer. Apparently, if you ask a question NOT in their standardized call scripts, the tech reps don't know what to say.
I start to think it's the DSL modem, a Xyxel 660r-elnk which is now about three years old. With cheap electronics like that, I basically assume it's only good for a few years so this one is probably bad. I ask EL if they will send me a new modem, for free. The answer is no. I either have to pay $80 OR sign up for another 1-yr contract with EL. I tell them I'm not interested in either option. I know the cheap modems they use probably cost them less than $25, AND I want the freedom to cancel my service if I continue to have connection problems. EL is not willing to send me a new modem for free. I ask to speak to customer retention...
I get transferred and start grilling the retention CSR about a free modem. He won't budge. It's either $80, a 1-yr contract or NO new modem. I tell him that if I cancel, my new DSL provider will send me a new modem FREE OF CHARGE, and that AT&T DSL doesn't require a commitment contract AT ALL. Still no help from the guy on the phone in India. He offers to discount my service by $2 for 12 months. I tell him that I know a new modem probably costs EL less than $25, so why don't they keep my service at the same price and send me a free modem instead? Not without a commitment contract, he says. I give up.
Today, my DSL is up and down, the DSL link light goes solid for a couple hours, then blinks, then solid, then blinking. Each time I lose connection. AGAIN, I call EL and have them reset my profile. That fixes the problem. Is there a permanent solution? No. Will they send me a free DSL modem? No. I ask to speak to the cancellation department. I get transferred to billing. Billing transfers me to cancellation, where I hold for ten minutes, then give up. I call back later and say to the automated computer voice: "cancellation." The voice says, "Sorry, we are experiencing unusually high call volumes. Please call back later," and hangs up on me. WTF!!! You're too busy to take my call, so you hang up on me? I call back, infuriated. This time, I say "DSL problems" and the automated computer transfers me to tech support. I tell tech support I want to cancel, and they transfer me to cancellations. Cancellations answer in just a few minutes. Wait a minute... was EL telling me they were too busy to take my call because I wanted to cancel? I don't know, but it sure seems fishy...
FINALLY, I speak to a higher-level customer retention specialist who is actually willing to HELP me! He sounds American, and I believe he's not in India (for ONCE!) He listens to my problems, keeps putting me on hold for LONG periods of time while he "checks" some things, then finally tells me he's shipping me a NEW DSL modem, FREE, with NO commitment contract! I can't believe it. It took TWO weeks, but I finally got satisfaction! He even gives me a "secret" customer service line with a "PIN" to get me through instantly! If anyone wants it, its: 866.860.1053. The PIN he gave me is 3000. So now I will get a new DSL modem in a few days.
Everything was resolved OK (eventually), but I wish it was easier AND faster. Also, after the problems started, I did some shopping around and found that AT&T will give me a 6 mbps DSL account with NO commitment contract for the same price as EL's 3 mbps account! SO, even with a free new modem on the way, I'm still canceling EL in a month! Sucks for them... They should have been more helpful / understanding from the start.
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Re: Connection drops, bad DSL modem, goodbye EL!
Reply #1 - 03/20/09 at 01:42:48
I too am with AT&T... and have been very satisfied
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