Saturday, May 9, 2009

Your Heart Any Fonder?

OK here is the deal... Last Saturday afternoon it rained. My 14 year old son was stuck in the house and surfed the web and watched some streaming videos of Japanese cartoons. Monday our Internet pretty much quit working. My wife got an Email from Direct Satellite saying we had exceeded our bandwidth allowance with some massive downloads. .......?!!

It took us a bit of time to figure out what they were referring to and the anger I had built up already over the service not working since Monday has grown to a monumental burn. So I want to tell you about our experience with Direct Satellite's Wild Blue ISP and see if you agree with me, in the need to report these fuckers to our state Attorney General for "Bait and Switch" fraud.

We live in a rural part of our county in Oklahoma. Not a bad neighborhood, I mean there are two school board members across the street from me and the President of the local University is just down the road. The thing is, I am between two towns that have different phone systems. Neither wants to put in new equipment to provide DSL the extra half mile it will take to reach my house. In fact, phone service was so sporadic during wet weather, I finally decided to cancel a home phone and use only cellular phones.

With that decision I then needed to find a new Internet Service Provider (ISP). I decided to go with the local guy that offered wireless service. We had used his service at work years ago and it was not good. I had heard there had been improvements and at $35 a month it was only a bit more than DSL. The problem is, the service was not any better and on windy days, stormy days and sometimes sunny days the service disappeared. The ISP dude told me it was out computers so we actually bought two new ones. Still the problems continued. He said it was my kids, so we killed the kids and buried them in the back yard. Still the problems continued. He then said it was my web sites and that pissed me off so I canceled the Wireless and decided to give Direct TV's Wild Blue a shot.

There was an AD we found that said for $100 they would hook us up and give us a new wireless router. So they show up, the bill is $300 and they do not provide a router. I call and they tell me that the deal was only if we called a local Direct Network person and we had called the national number that had the local Direct Network guy come out. None of that seemed right to me, I mean a Direct Network representative that only used a Direct Network logo for identification seems to represent the same place... right?

OK MAYBE I made the mistake. MAYBE it was a fuck up on my part by calling a different number when I signed up. It didn't feel like it to me, but I let that go. The system is supposed to run at basic DSL speeds and it does have a bandwidth limit but the ads say it only applys to people that would make massive downloads, like loading a lot of movies. Not a problem for us, we mostly just have time for Email with maybe a little Facebook and my Google Blogoverse. I should be in good shape! Oh yeah and they charge $50 a month for the same serive DSL charges %25 - $30 and Wireless charged $35. That's ok, if I can do what I want to do, it is worth it... even if I do feel I was lied to about the hook up fees and installation of a router.

That was towards the end of February. Now in May we are pretty much without service for the past week because my son watched some streaming videos on a rainy Saturday. It couldn't have been much bandwidth because we can't access most videos due to the slower speed. SO I call Direct and the first words out of their mouth is trying to sell me the next more expensive package. If I go to $70 a month, I can REALLY get the same service everybody else gets for $25 - $30 or that Wireless provides at $35. It is not as good as the next tier of service that costs around $100 a month but it will be enough so I can check Email, look at Facebook, go on my Blogger reader and maybe on rainy weekends my kids can use it.

They told me I am "slowed" until the bandwidth returns to normal. That was most of a week ago. It took me four tries to get the post page on Blogger to load. This is not slow, it is not functional and I have no idea how long it is supposed to last because of some streaming videos. Every time I tried to explain we run three different businesses from home and need a service we can count on, they offered to upgrade up to the $70 package. And I am totally convinced that even if I did pay the $70 for the service every body else gets for $25 - $30 dollars and that Wireless provided at $35... they will say I exceeded the bandwidth and need the $100 a month package. It is insane!

Yes I am pissed. I am in a two year contract with a company that I honestly feel is corrupt. I really intend to send this same complaint to the Oklahoma Attorney General's Office Fraud Division, as well as complaints to the BBB and FCC.... except...


1 comment:

Redneck Diva said...

I am so with ya, buddy! We pay $50 a month for WildBlue internet that is nonexistent on cloudy/rainy/windy days and is slower than molasses in winter. When we first got it (2.5 yrs ago) it seemed SO FAST because we had had dial-up for the past 5 years and that was just painful (we have the same problem with rain and land phone lines out here) but now I'm wise to the fact that it is CRAP. I know that if I upgrade they'll speed us right up but good gracious $50 a month already seems steep! It cost me over $400 to get hooked up with them and I can't stand the thought (nor can I afford) of switching and paying install fees again.

WildBlue sux.