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By: Ashton Sanders

CenturyTel – Reliable Bad Customer Service

Jan 18 2008

Filed under: Century Tel,Review

I have already written a number of posts on the few times I have had to contact the CenturyTel Customer Service. I am constantly amazed at how reliable the Century Customer Service is as being HORRIBLE!

I thought I may have just gotten very lucky the first two times I had to call CenturyTel when I got the biggest idiots possible, but No! It was more than luck. Every time I have had to contact Century Tel Customer Service, I get very stupid people who do very stupid things.

Take today for example:

Last month I ordered a Static IP Address so my IP wouldn’t change. Before I ordered the Static IP, my IP changed about 2-3 times a month.

During the 1 month since I ordered the Static IP, my IP changed twice. (Three times if you include the Static IP order “going into effect.”)

So I call them up to get this fixed and get a credit on my month of not having the Static IP that I ordered.

I called the Customer Service, and told the lady my problem. She said, “I don’t get what you’re talking about, and you will need to speak with technical support to get it credited.”

So she transferred me over there. After another 3 minutes on hold, I’m told that they don’t have access to credit the account and I would need to talk to Customer Service… which just happens to be the same people who sent me here in the first place.

To make a long story short, he started asking me about what kind of routers I use even though my external IP address has nothing to do with my internal network.

After 26 minutes (17 of which were on hold and writing this post), I have been credited for not having a static IP, and I have been assured that I will have a static IP from now on.

I’m sure you’ll hear more from the endlessly epic, “Reliable Bad Customer Service!”
-Ashton Sanders

By: Ashton Sanders

Century Tel #4 – Service Review

May 5 2007

Filed under: Century Tel,Review

Here we go again:

(This one isn’t really that bad… its just a humorous waste of time.)

Note: I have a cell phone, and don’t have any use for a home line, but you need a phone line to have DSL, so here I am stuck with a phone line that Century Tel can Spam, and cell to Telemarketing companies… I don’t have Dish either, so all I use Century Tel for is Phone and 6.0 MB/sec High-Speed Internet.

I’ve had Century Tel DSL for just over a month at my new residence, and yesterday, I get a call from them letting me know that I can package all of my services… It would have been nice to have received that information when I first signed up, but you take what you can get with Century Tel.

Sweet, what can you tone down my ridiculously-priced services to?

Century Tel Representative: “I can package your High-Speed Internet and your phone together for $80/month. (and with the service charges, taxes, etc. it comes out to about $100/month.) Do you have the 1.5 MB/sec or 256 KB/sec?

Me: “Uh… I have 6.0 MB/sec High-Speed Internet… What would it cost for that speed?”

Century Tel Representative: “It says you can’t get more than 1.5MB/sec at your residence…”

Me: “A speed test just told me I’ve got 4.3 MB/sec which is usually what Century Tel gives when you pay for 6.0 MB/sec. Can you tell me what it would cost to package the 6.0 MB/sec?”

Century Tel Representative: “No, I don’t have the price for that.”

HAHA?!?! You called me to tell me you don’t know the price for the package you would sell me… Priceless.

-Thank you for wasting my time,
-Ashton Sanders

(P.S. Click to view all posts on Century Tel.)

(P.P.S. As of Today, if you Search Google For “Century Tel”, this blog comes up on the bottom of the first page! HA!)

By: Ashton Sanders

Service Review – Century Tel #3

Apr 20 2007

Filed under: Century Tel,Rant,Review

Century Tel does it again! Yes, if you have ever had Century Tel for an Internet Provider, or have read either one of these posts: Century Tel #1 or Century Tel #2, than you know how low quality Century Tel really is.

At the end of my last Service Review about Century Tel, I finally got disconnected from them, and got Bresnan (for twice the speed and half the price). Unfortunately, I have moved to a ranch in the country, and the ONLY high-speed Internet connection available is… you guessed it… Century Tel. I put off calling them for as long as possible… but the time came, and I had to reconnect to them.

The First Call

I dialed their number as I was desperately searching the internet for another provider. A representative answered the phone with their “My goal is to provide you excellent customer service for your communication needs…” or something like that. I gave them my address for my new house and asked what kind of high-speed internet I could get out there. She said I could get 6MB/sec. Hey, that’s not to bad, considering I live in Polson, Montana. (Although I get currently get 8MB/sec with Bresnan.)

Right then I found Quest, who seems to have a sweet deal on DSL Internet, so I tell the Century Tel rep that I’ll call them back if I can’t find a better deal. Unfortunately I do have to call them back because quest doesn’t give service to my area.

The Second Call

I call Century Tel back. This time the rep says I can only get 3Mb/sec…. “WHAT?!?! I just called in and they said I could get 6Mb/sec!”

The Century Tel rep said, “Really? On this address? You had them check this address?… Hmm… let me check… Oh yea look here you can get 6Mb/sec.”

Are you serious? Then why did you tell me I could only get 3Mb/sec? I can’t see your screen, it’s your job to be a representative of Century Tel. But hey, it could be worse… at least I was lucky enough that time. If she was dumb enough to miss that one, maybe I could get an even faster connection… “Can I get the 10Mb/sec?”

“Yes, you can.”

I had two reactions to this last statement: 1) AAAAHH!!!! Why won’t you just tell me what I have available?! It’s not my job to quiz you on all of the different options I have, It’s yours! 2) Sweet! 10Mb/sec. I finally have a justification to using Century Tel over all of the other companies who don’t suck.

Century Tel Does It Again (Third Call)

I get a call from Century Tel two days later saying that everything has been set up and I can now use my Internet. So I move into my new house, and try to set up the Internet, and surprise, surprise, the Internet doesn’t work. I call into their help center, after doing a system and modem reboot. I get a guy who has be reboot my modem a couple more times before telling me that I should just wait a couple more days and then try it again…

Thank you for that suggestion, but I do websites. I only work on the Internet. I can’t just wait a couple more days. You said it would be up today, and then called me to tell me that it was all set up, and now you tell me to just wait.

The Fourth Call

I try fiddling with my set up to get it to work for a couple hours to no avail, so I call Century Tel again to see if I could get an intelligent rep. As luck would have it, I get a lady who immediately fixes my problem with a quick username/password. Thank you! I love when bad service gets lucky. My Internet works, and I have 5Mb/sec! It’s too good to be true…… literally…

The Fifth Call

This morning dawns on three computers without internet. I check all of the connections, the power, all of the lights are on. I reboot everything and make sure the username/password is in place. I didn’t change anything from last night, so why is it broken? I have to call them again.

I get another guy who has no idea what’s happening. He has me do the same things over and over, and nothing is working. After a half hour, it finally starts working but I’ve got 4Mb/sec and it’s getting slower.

Whatever. At least I have Internet, and I can get to work.

Century Tel at it’s Finest

At about 3:00 in the afternoon, a Century Tel truck pulls up, and a guy fiddles with my wires. He tells me that they dropped me down to 1.5Mb/second because the 6Mb/sec was acting up, and giving them problems… And sure enough, here I am stuck with 1.5Mb/sec.

Summary:

There really is nothing quite like being promised one thing and given another, and on top of that, having customer service reps who have no idea how to read. Century Tel promised me 10Mb/sec and here I am four days, and five phone calls later, with 1.5Mb/second.

I better get a discount on my ridiculously priced service, or yet another Service Review about Century Tel will be coming along soon.

-“Oh, the Importance of Quality Customer Service.”
-Ashton Sanders

By: Ashton Sanders

First Post – Internet Service Difficulties

Feb 26 2007

Filed under: Century Tel,Review

Internet Service in Montana

Welcome to the first post of the website design in a flash blog.

I’ve had CenturyTel DSL Internet Service for a while, and I liked them. I got Digital Phone and 1.5 MB DSL connection (nice and slow….) for about $100/month… But at least I got free long distance, and a pretty good phone number. I stayed with them for about 10 months. I left town for 5 weeks to visit family of the Christmas Break, so since I wasn’t going to be using my DSL or phone, I decided to turn it off.

Unfortunately, I ran into a small problem: I signed up for a year-long contract, so I couldn’t turn it all the way off. I thought that was reasonable enough; I had said I would stick with them for a year, so I would. I turned the Internet down to the lowest possible setting: Dial-up with 300 minutes of Internet time: $9.95/month. This brought my bill to about $30 for the month that I was gone. Great. That’s not that bad.

This is where everything started going down hill: my cellphone died. So I called back, and the girl I talked to said that my account hadn’t been updated, so we would have to do the whole process again. And this time, she said the cheapest Internet I could reduce down to was $19.95/month…. Weird. I just got off the phone with you guys and you said you could do it for $9.95/month. What happened in the last 5 minutes?

Anyway, I ended up with a promise of a bill that would be about $40 for the month, and they would help me forward my home phone to my cell phone. (Which to make a long story short, never worked. Until I called the 5th time and had them manually do it.)

My vacation time comes to a close, and I go home. I get the CenturyTel bill: $110.00…..

WHAT? Are you serious?

After an hour on the phone with these guys, I finally get my bill back to $40.00. So I decide to get cable Internet and just leave the dial up with 300 minutes in place for the next couple months until my plan runs out.

I get Digital Cable Internet, and I still have never used the dial up that I pay for $9.95/month for. I get the bill this month…. $110.00…. WHAT IS YOUR OBSESSION WITH THIS NUMBER?!?!?

Apparently, I used the dial up internet for over 1000 minutes last month…. Oh, wait… I haven’t installed the dial-up software! I have been using another company’s Cable for two months now…

Ending Thought: Don’t use CenturyTel.

-Ashton Sanders

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You have found the semi-coherent ramblings of Ashton Sanders: a website designer, developer and webmaster. This is primarily Ashton's place to save notes about techniques and things that he learns in his never-ending conquest of the internet. Hopefully it's coherent enough to be useful to you too.

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