In the UK, BBC News reports that free broadband users are “less happy” and not satisfied with their Internet suppliers.
“Free” broadband deals have resulted in a downturn in customer satisfaction levels, a report has said.
According to the uSwitch Customer Satisfaction Report, most providers fail to match rising customer numbers with improved services and technology.
The survey of more than 11,000 customers found a 9% drop in broadband satisfaction levels. The report also says consumer trust in their internet suppliers is currently at an “all time low”.
…He said: “However, it’s disappointing to see that the majority of providers are failing to accompany the growth in customers numbers by sufficient growth in customer service operations, and the required investment in their technology, to ensure that they are looking after customer needs in an acceptable manner.”
It’s hard to judge “free” when it’s free, but obviously the push for free Internet in England is having trouble because of the lack of customer support from the companies. So does this mean people are switching to paid services to get better quality service and Internet connections? In my mind, this is what the companies would want, right?
Still, it begs the question of how much you “trust your Internet supplier” and how you like working with them, paid or not.
Personally, I’ve been working with Comcast in Alabama, and while I want to totally blame Comcast for the lousy connection service and problems, Hurricane Katrina is easier to blame, though I had some problems before. The weird thing is that my mother in Washington State, several friends in California and Oregon, as well as on the East Coast of the US, all complain about the horrible fadeout and drop off rate from digital cable Internet connections with Comcast. A search of the net found a ton of complaints against Comcast for the same issue.
While this might seem like a minor issue, when it happens in the middle of saving or publishing a post, you can loose everything you were just working on. If you are blogging with WordPress.com blogs, however, you may be saved because WordPress.com blogs have an automatic draft saving feature which saves your drafts every few minutes.
The solution to the Comcast drop off problem? Always the same. You have to disconnect your modem and router for 20-30 seconds. Then plug in in the modem and wait for all the lights to sequence, and then plug in the router. Then you are okay for a few minutes, hours, or days.
The only serious answer to this comes from a few sources which talks about the “drop off” being associated with “IP lease times”. It seems that Comcast’s programming of the modem “leases” an IP address for a specific time, typically two days. A lease is a kind of permission to access number. At the end of the lease time, it is supposed to release it and then re-establish a new lease, thus re-establishing a new “connection” between your computer and the modem and Comcast. Unfortunately, this release and renewal doesn’t always work right, and the drop off happens. By turning on and off your modem, you renew the lease automatically.
This explains the frequent complaint “it worked for two days and then stopped”, but it doesn’t explain the “it worked for 2 minutes and stopped”. I’ve tried changing the lease time in the setup and changing from dynamic to static IP addresses, and so many different things – and all are temporary fixes. It’s good for a few days, a week or two, and then back to the 50 times a day unplugging routine.
So, are you happy with your Internet Provider? Or are you suffering from the same complains as those in the UK?
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