UPDATE: I have written an update to this posting here.
Earthlink has been having trouble making money lately. It's abandoning municipal wi-fi efforts to focus on "more profitable" businesses.
Earthlink can't figure out how to run the businesses it has. After years of great DSL service from Covad, I decided to switch to earthlink for phone and DSL because it's cheaper. I was hoping this was still a decent entrepreneurial company, not a jaded loser like the monopolistic telcos.
I was wrong. My service has been spotty. A week ago, the phone line suddenly went screwy, full of static. The static comes and goes, and is so bad that I can rarely get a DSL signal through it.
I went to tech support, and they spent hours getting me to unplug and plug in lines, cycle the modem, etc. Finally they agreed to send out a technician. But I had to wait two days.
The technician checked all my interior phone lines and found no problems. He hooked up his equipment to the main phone box, and concluded that there was a bad signal in the local loop, which Earthlink leases from AT&T.
He told me he would put in a work order to AT&T to fix it, and said the telco contractually had 24 hours to fix it.
No such luck. The line is still bad. I called tech support again. the technician told me that the issue had never been "escalated" to AT&T. She read me the report. It said that tests found no stress on the interior lines, but did find a problem with the local loop. But, since he did manage to get a DSL signal momentarily on one line, he recommended also having my interior lines checked. Earthlink decided my interior lines were the problem.
I demanded to talk to a supervisor. The supervisor insisted that the technician decided not to escalate to AT&T, but said I should have my interior lines checked. I insisted he had said he would put in the order for AT&T. The supervisor said he would call the technician to see what the difference was. He hasn't been able to reach him for the last four days.
I was on the phone for two or three hours with the supervisor while he tried to reconfigure my system for a bridge connection. That worked for about half an hour, and now I can't get a signal again.
The supervisor had to get me to call a different technician to reconfigure my laptop, which runs Vista. I was on the phone for about two hours with that technician, but the Earthlink bridge could not recognize my earthlink password. He kept trying, changing the password, running off to talk to others. He wouldn't quit, despite zero progress. I finally hung up on him. I had wasted five hours.
Yesterday I got an automated call from Earthlink saying their records indicated my issue had been "resolved." If true, press one. If not, press 2. They connected me to another technician.
The technician said he had to transfer it to a supervisor and put me on hold. For one hour, I listened to a recording telling me that my call was very important to them, but all technicians were helping other customers. At the end of the hour, the recording said I had been waiting too long and they had to help other customers, but please call again. Then it hung up on me.
I'm so mad I can't see straight. I have to go back to AT&T for phone, which seems able to run a decent loop when it isn't for earthlink. And I'll go back to Covad.
Mr. Huff, if you want to know why Earthlink can't make money, talk to me.
I submitted a complaint to the FCC, then called Earthlink tech support again. The automated service asked for my case number, which I entered, and was again told by the machine that records said the issue was resolved. I pressed 2 to get a technician, and the computer told me that it could not reach any at the moment.
Do you think they set up my case number to start ignoring me?
So I called the tech support line again and just waited for a technician without giving the case number. I got a technician, who insisted HIS records show that the case is still open.
Which should I believe, him or the computer? I'll go with the Borg. It knows.
He transferred me to a supervisor, who first said that the report from the technician who visited my home indicated a problem with internal lines, not the local loop. I made the supervisor read me the report, and sure enough, it said there was a problem with AT&T. The supervisor said she would call the technician.
She called back after an hour and said she could not reach the technician. She would send out a new technician, who would stay in contact with the central borg while checking, so there would be no question of what the problem was.
The technician is supposed to be here on Thursday.
In the meantime, I'm using a wi-fi signal from a neighbor to get online. It works sometimes.