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Thread: Fed up with cable - Need advice on choosing a good dial-up ISP

  1. #1
    neo960
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    Angry Fed up with cable - Need advice on choosing a good dial-up ISP

    I have had it with the slow as snail comcrap download speed (Varies from 85Kbps to 360Kbps - that is Kilo **bits** per second, not bytes). Here is a test result I get very often from DSLreports:
    Test running.........
    ** Speed 85(down)/106(up) kbps **
    About modem speed!
    Logged result.
    Finish.

    I escalated the problem to level 2 support and they sent a dumb technician to my house who tightened the wire in the cable outlet and told me that that is all he could do. He also mentioned that the "wiring in my building was incompatible with comcast servers" .

    This game has been going on for two months now and all I got was a bunch of ticket numbers and oodles of time lost waiting on the phone, and taking days off from work for the tech to come to my house.

    I am ready to go back to dial-up now.

    I have been with @home for three years now. Since I haven't used dial-up ISPs for so long I need some advice on finding a good ISP with good customer service. I used to have dial-up access with bell atlantic before I subscribed to @home, but I hated their service.

    Can any of you good folks out there recommend a good ISP for dial-up internet access? Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    I'm White wee96's Avatar
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    You obviously didnt have a good tech like Indy and I. Something is wrong and can be fixed, but I dont blame you for wanting to cancel with speeds like that.

  3. #3
    Regular Member MtCableman's Avatar
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    What kind of troubleshooting did he do? Did he check the signals? Did he check the speeds with his laptop? Did he check the quality of the QAM signal? Did he try another modem? Are others having the same problem? Did he TRACERT to path to see if there is a "bottleneck" somewhere?

    What did he do?.....if anything? What did he say was the source of the problem? Did he give up?

    Sorry for so many questions, but I think he didn't look far enough.
    Closed course and Professional user.
    Don't try this at Home!

  4. #4
    neo960
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    Thanks for the replies folks.

    MtCableman: The first time they sent two guys who did a speed test at the cnet test site. At first they got a speed of 250 kilo bits per second. What they did next was completely idiotic. Despite the site's warning that pressing the "Back" button will load from the cache and will show a false speed, they pressed the browser's back buton and got a speed of 700+ Kbps. They would not listen to my protests, nor would they do the test at dslreports.com, which does not cache the files downloaded.
    That was the time I used to get at least 250 to 350 Kbps.

    Then one fine day my speed dropped to the 85Kbps - 110Kbps range and I called support again and got escalated to level 2. The tech that they sent did not even know how to do a speed test. He had a clamp an used it to tighten the cable wire at the wall outlet. Then he went outside to find the "Box" but he returned and said that he found the box, but did not know which "switch" goes to my apartment. He did not do anything else. I did not feel like talking to him much after his comment that "the wiring in my building was incompatible with comcast servers".

    I have a friend who lives across the street from me, and he has the same problem. So I do not think this is a problem with my building alone. Maybe the entire township is affected.

  5. #5
    neo960
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    So can anyone recommend a good dial-up ISP? I am looking for usenet access, regular web surfing and good customer service. I do not need web hosting services. I also do not want to install any software like AOL requires people to do. Just plain no-frills no-fuss access.

  6. #6
    SG Enthusiast
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    AT&T Worldnet. Average prices, excellent service and customer service. My whole company uses them for dialup when on the road.


    Skye
    anything is possible - nothing is free


    Quote Originally Posted by Blisster
    It *would* be brokeback bay if I in fact went and hung out with Skye and co (did I mention he is teh hotness?)

  7. #7
    neo960
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    Thank you very much Skye. I will check them out.

  8. #8
    Regular Member Cable_Dood's Avatar
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    I know it may be too little too late, but if you email your CM's mac address to cable_dood at lycos.com, then I will look at your modem on the router and tell you fo sho what your problem is. I can also assist in getting someone competent sent out.

    I don't blame you for being pissed either....my system would have handled that differently. I wonder if they're using contractors in your area? Most career cable guys are pretty good.

    It is more involved in an apartment because they have to jump through hoops to get stuff fixed. Often problems are cause by crappy 20 year old loop wiring in apartments and the apartment managers are too cheap to get it fixed.

  9. #9
    neo960
    Guest
    Hi Cable Dude,

    Thanks for the offer. I have sent you an e-mail with my MAC address.

    I haven't made the decision to move to a dial-up ISP yet. It is kinda hard to cut the umbilical from cable after three years of terrific speeds with @Home.

    I have lived in the same apartment since I got @home cable internet service and I used to get very high speeds with them. The speeds dropped only after comcast took over. So I am not sure that it could be the wiring in the apartment complex that is the source of the problem.

    Even with Comcast, I used to get 1.1Mbps to 1.2Mbps in January. Only in February the speed suddenly plunged to the 350Kbps range. These days I get anywhere between 350 to 85 Kbps.
    It is still 2 to 6 times faster than a 56K modem, but I am just wondering if it is worth paying $45 for that.

    I appreciate your help. Thanks again. Please let me know if you find anything interesting with my modem. The level 2 guy I spoke to at comcast did say he found a lot of interference in my line. But the guy that he sent to my house had no idea of what to test or look for. I dont mean any offense to him though.

  10. #10
    Advanced Member legalmind's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Cable_Dood
    I know it may be too little too late, but if you email your CM's mac address to cable_dood at lycos.com, then I will look at your modem on the router and tell you fo sho what your problem is. I can also assist in getting someone competent sent out.

    I don't blame you for being pissed either....my system would have handled that differently. I wonder if they're using contractors in your area? Most career cable guys are pretty good.

    It is more involved in an apartment because they have to jump through hoops to get stuff fixed. Often problems are cause by crappy 20 year old loop wiring in apartments and the apartment managers are too cheap to get it fixed.

    Exuse you! I own apartments. The cable wiring is the cable companies problem. Some managers and owners will do nothing, like some cable guys.( But some will help like me)
    I have had to help "some lame cable people" install the cable to units because they where to lazy to do it right.
    When walking around and I see a bad install or old wiring, I call the cable company to come out. If I have the time I have been known to help people with their computers.
    My residents on cable enjoy high speeds in part I think because of me. I try to work with the cable company and my residents to insure people get what they pay for. This makes the resident happy and they stay. The cable company knows they can count on my cooperation.
    So, with all parties working together, we gets things done right.
    All my residents have a direct drop to their computers with no spilters or TVs on that drop. I have even drilled holes through brick knowing that cable guys and their companies have a problem drilling holes through buildings.
    Do not make a blanket statement concerning owners and/or managers . Yes, there are some cheap and lazy ones out there, but some try very hard to do it right!
    Have Heart Will Fly!

  11. #11
    Regular Member Cable_Dood's Avatar
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    Yes...SOME do try to do it right. But in this case, I still think my blanket statement applies to the majority of apartment owners.

  12. #12
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    I know this may sound stupid but I was experiencing really low speeds on Cox.net. one day I was fooling around and I unplugged my modem and plugged it in again, and I was getting like really fast speeds after I did that. I don't know how this works or what I did...it might help i dunno...
    ~Rara~

  13. #13
    Regular Member MtCableman's Avatar
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    neo960

    Sounds like the "tech" that came out was incompetent! I don't work for Comcast so I can't speak for what they do. I am sure that if they care for their customers, they will provide better support than that. The HSD techs in our system provide better care than that.

    The "tech" should've check a LOT more than that. Wiring be incompatable! Maybe poor quality and it can be replced. If it's in an apartment, then the owner's permission might be required to replce the cable. Sounds like a "cop-out" to me. I haven't seen "incompatable" wire in my life! I have seen poor quality wiring and work before that could affect speed. The speed is affected by errors in the data that require re-transmission. All that can be checked by a QAM meter, S/N checks and signal levels. Sometimes a loose connector can cause random noise in the system that is hard to track down but usually the problem is with poor quality of work done on the installation.

    I wouldn't give up that easily if I were you. Your persistance might give others better quality of support from the local cable company. This guy that came out doesn't need a second chance, but the company does need a second chance. Another tech might find all the problems and fix them for you.
    Closed course and Professional user.
    Don't try this at Home!

  14. #14
    neo960
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    Actually Cable dude's statement on apartment owners is correct in my case. My apartment complex is a huge one managed by a company that also manages some 20 other huge apartment complexes in the middlesex county in NJ. Since they have a monopoly on 95% of all apartments in the county, they don't care about their tenants much. I wish I had a landlord like legalmind.

    Even then, wiring is probably not an issue because I used to get terrific speeds with @home. The same wires that gave me such good speeds suddenly could not become bad when comcast took over.

    The cable guy that came to my apt may have been incompetent, but it is the company that sent him in the first place. He was probably just a cable installer and not a network technician. The company should have made sure to send the right person for the problem.

    Since cable dude has generously offered to test my modem and help me by sending someone competent, I am willing to give him a chance and see the outcome. He works for comcast, btw.

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