Monday, September 24, 2007
My Latest Qwest DSL Horror Story
From my perspective, Qwest has improved its service and offerings in several ways, but holy cow, they still have some silly policies.
This past June, our Qwest DSL modem went out. A technician came to the house and found nothing wrong. It took four days for him to get there. Ironically, just after he left it started working again. Then, about 3 weeks ago, it went out again. I called Qwest DSL tech support and was greeted by a much friendlier representative than before.
He pointed out that electrical surges, and particularly lightning storms, cause problems with the particular modem that I had. It all started to make sense--there had been lightning storms in close time proximity to when the modem had failed, sometimes for a few hours, sometimes for a few days.
They agreed to send me a newer-model modem for nothing but a deposit fee of $99.99. I have the new modem, and it works great. I sent the old modem back via UPS two weeks ago. My bank account is now overdrawn, because Qwest still hasn't credited my money back to it.
I called Qwest today. They told me that, yes, they had received my modem, but that it would be 3 or 4 weeks before they could refund my money.
Keep in mind that it is a bank account that they need to apply a credit to--they don't need to mail me a check. Do you know how long it took them to take the money out of my account? From the time I said, yes I want the new modem--about 32 seconds.
I can think of nothing but that Qwest is trying to make some interest off my money, which would amount to about 65 cents over the course of the extra month they used to twiddle their thumbs and file their nails before they credited my account.
Qwest is improving, but it seems only begrudgingly--when they have to to keep in competition. I'm not sure what the fastest speeds are for residential DSL, but holy cow, they're only about half what some people can get here in Utah with Utopia! And that's not to mention how much better internet speeds are in Japan and even Canada.
I remember when I first signed up for DSL. I had to talk to 6 different people, each of whom could only see their little slice of the non-empowered pie. About a year ago, I tried to upgrade to 1.5Mbps from 640Kbps and was given the runaround by the customer support representative. More recently, they've done a better job of customer support. But the payments department? It needs a massive overhaul.
I wish I could say that I'm through with Qwest nightmares, but I kind of expect another one sometime soon.