Man o man, have I got a rant for you! Before even moving to Portland over two weeks ago, we decided to go ahead and get our internet service set up since it's kinda my life blood and sole source of income n' all, and I need it to be ready when we move in. Since our previous (and absolutely excellent) provider, Oxford Networks doesn't service Portland, I asked my new landlord what service he uses, and he replied; "Fairpoint Communications." Since I had heard of them and knew that they were a large company, I ASSumed that they would be reliable and probably reasonably priced. Now, I research EVERYTHING! I look up reviews for the orchard before I buy the Apple, but this time, I don't know why, but I'll blame it on the rush and stress of moving, I called Fairpoint blindly. BIGGEST... MISTAKE... EVER!!!
Here's how that worked out for me; I called to set it up, and they said that it would be ready on the day we arrive. I asked; "do I need to be there for the technician?"
They said; "not at all; we can activate it from our offices, and all you need to do is plug in your modem and let the surfing begin!"
I replied; "huh, they sent a technician out when we had Oxford Networks (the good guys), are you sure that's not necessary?"
They say; "not at all! everything's cool!" (paraphrase)
I say; "do I need a special modem, or can I use my own?"
They retort; "Naw, our service works with any and all modems! Everything's cool!"
So we got moved in, I set up my modem, and... nothing. I called them back, they walked me through all the troubleshooting, but still... nothing. They tell me that my modem doesn't seem to be compatible with their service. How can that be?!? They told me that their service is compatible with all modems! So now I have to "lease" one of their modems for $3 per month, and it would arrive at my door in two business days.
Two business days come and go, and no modem. I called back, they say; "due to the holiday, everything is backed up. It should arrive in the next day or two." AARRGGHH!!!
But, at the second day, a package did arrive! Excited, I instantly ripped it open with the gusto and enthusiasm of a child on Christmas morning hoping to get a Red Ryder BB gun... but got socks instead. Nope, this wasn't the modem I was looking for, but a pack of telephone splitter jacks. So that my modem and my non-existent phone can share the same plug.
At this point, my face has gone blood red and steam is shooting out of both ears! I wanted to punch somebody right in the face! I call them back and shoot off a venomous tirade of helpful business tips, constructive criticism, and hygiene suggestions for their corporate personnel. They responded with a sincere (sarcasm) apology and an assurance that my modem would arrive in... you guessed it... two business days.
The second business day arrives, and I find another package on my doorstep. Being thoroughly and understandably jaded by now, I opened the package with zero expectations, only to find my precious (insert Gollum voice here) Fairpoint modem! I instantly darted to my phone jack, grinning like a monkey, and fumbled to get the apparatus connected! Once I got everything plugged in and hooked up, I grabbed my trusty iPad, typed in my much-neglected blog address and... you guessed it again... nothing. Friends, words really can't describe how I felt in that moment, but what I felt... scared me.
Now resigned to my fate, I called them once more, a beaten and broken man, and relayed my tale of woe. In a peppy and confident voice, they told me that it must be a problem with my phone line. OH NO!!! IF ONLY SOMEONE, ANYONE, HAD SUGGESTED ON DAY ONE THAT THEY MAYBE SHOULD SEND A TECHNICIAN OUT!!! (sarcasm again). They gleefully announced that they would send a technician out, but they couldn't give me a date; only the reassurance that they would call before they come. They then issued another heartfelt apology (sarcasm for a third time!).
Now, I know what most of you are thinking; "why didn't you just call a different provider?" It's kinda like a gambling addict playing a slot machine. You invest a lot of time and money into a machine you know is juuust about to pay off, and you know deep down that you should leave and try a different machine, but you're scared that as soon as you do, the next asshole who sits at your machine will put one quarter in and hit the jackpot!
By this time, I finally say screw it and start looking for another provider. Looking at all of the reviews, it appears that Time Warner seems to suck the least, so we give them a call, and they say that we can be hooked up within a couple of days (yeah, heard that one before!). The next day, lo and behold, I get a call from the Fairpoint technician saying that he is in the area and ready to help! He arrives within the hour and goes straight to work! However, he is soon befuddled; he can't understand why there is a signal coming in from the street pole to the apartment, but it's not making it to my phone jack. He removes the jack cover from the wall, only to find a mangled, severed wire.
He tells me; "I'm sorry, but there's nothing I can do. It's your landlord's responsibility to have a new wire put in and restore service." No shit... after all of this time, there was never any way high-speed DSL would have worked for me.
We'll see how Time Warner fares with their cable internet.
We'll see how Time Warner fares with their cable internet.
So here I am, sitting in the yard across the street, piggybacking on the only wifi signal that's not password protected and relaying my tragic tale of woe as a warning to you all. Never, ever, ever even consider using Fairpoint Communications for ANYTHING! I wouldn't even trust them to wipe my ass without somehow screwing it up! Oh, and do your research! Check reviews! In this day and age, the best consumer protection is the online community; we gotta look out for one another!