Website Designers and Webmasters

Dedicated to all the tasks Webmasters, Website Developers and Website Designers find themselves facing.

By: Ashton Sanders

AOL – Service Review

Aug 11 2007

Filed under: Rant,Review

You can really summarize companies in two general categories:

Customer Orientedand

Profit Oriented

(Obviously this is a sliding scale but for the majority, companies will prefer one or the other.)

I have observed companies like Logitech and In-And-Out to be very Customer Oriented. When they (or even I) messed something up, they would go out of their way to fix it for me. And because of this customer orientation, I speak highly of them, and spend more money with them.

AOL is on the other end of the spectrum: Profit Oriented. They go out of their way to stop you from canceling their services etc. Their first programs were basically impossible to uninstall from your computer unless you were a computer genius… and even then it could take weeks to really get it off of your computer.

My first email address was with AOL, and when we realized that we could get better internet connection for cheaper elsewhere, we tried to uninstall it from our computer… for two years. Granted we didn’t know a lot about our computer, but we did know that once something is uninstalled, it shouldn’t keep making shortcuts on your desktop…

“But that was years ago, they are better now…”

If you believe that, I recommend checking out some of these people who tried to cancel their AOL account within the last few years:

Ask Dave Taylor how he canceled his AOL account.
Vincent Ferrari tries to cancel his AOL account.

AOL’s business decisions have lead to shirts that say “Friends don’t let friends use AOL” and hopefully will end up destroying them.

-Customer Service is King
-Ashton Sanders

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

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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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