A few months ago I blogged about a good experience with my cable television provider (I Love Bob). I’m sad to report that much of the good will built up by their T.V. people has been squandered by their internet team.
About a week ago I received a call from a man identifying himself as a representative of my cable provider. Due to network upgrades in our area, I now had access to higher internet speeds than my current modem could support so they would be shipping me a new modem. There was no cost. There would be no change to my monthly bill. All they asked was that I return the old modem to them in the prepaid packaging provided. OK.
On Thursday, I received a call from a woman identifying herself as a representative of my cable provider asking whether I had received my new modem. I had not. After putting me on a brief hold she advised that it had been Fed Ex’d to me the previous day. She asked if I wanted the Fed Ex tracking info. I politely declined; the thought bubble over my head reading; “I didn’t order the thing and my service is working properly so I don’t really care if it arrives or not. Why would I want to track it?” A few hours later a box arrived from the cable company. Since we had out-of-town guests arriving that evening, I set the box aside planning to take care of it on Monday after the guests left. I’m so silly!
Saturday afternoon both my internet and telephone services stopped working. I called my cable provider’s Tech Support (thank goodness for cell phones!). What is the cause of my service problem? Once the new modem is delivered, they wait a reasonable amount of time, in this case 48 hours, and then deactivate the old modem. Setting aside whether 48 hours is a reasonable timeline, I think we can all agree it would have been helpful of them to have told me this was going to happen.
The Tech Support rep was very nice and extremely helpful. We got the new modem up and running in no time. There were some problems getting it to work with my router but after an hour of tweaking settings and “ipconfig” I gave up. I reset my router to factory settings and recreated my wireless network. I took time out to go to dinner and an opera with our guests but the total time to get back up and running wasn’t awful; just inconvenient.
Preparing to send back the old modem prompted me to read the Fine Print for the new one. While my old modem had an internal battery that would continue to support telephone service for up to eight hours in case of power outage, the new modem does not. Instructions were included, however, explaining how I could buy a battery if I wanted one. A reasonable person might think this was something to have disclosed to me before shipping the new modem. Maybe not.
Another highlight of the Fine Print, the modem is provided free of charge for telephone customers but, should I choose to discontinue my landline telephone service at any time in the future, a $6.99/mo modem rental fee would apply. Interestingly, during a recent visit the company’s Home Security Technician had suggested one of the ways to reduce the cost of adding their Home Security service was to eliminate the landline. We only have a landline to support our current alarm system. Charging the modem rental fee for if I discontinue phone service, essentially, increases the cost of their Home Security by $7 per month. Hmmmmm.
Oh well. In true Scarlett O’Hara fashion, I decided to think about all that tomorrow which is, after all, another day. I dutifully packed up the old modem and returned it. I did this, in part, because I am a good citizen and, in part, because the Fine Print informed me I would be charged $120 if I failed to do so.
But why, you may ask, did I title this post as I did? Starting this morning I began receiving cheerful pop up browser alert messages from my cable provider encouraging me to upgrade my modem. They seem to arrive about every 10-15 minutes. There is a handy info bubble that advises me to disregard the message if I have already upgraded and directing me to their website for more info about Browser Alerts. I visited their website, used their convenient online chat function to communicate with reps in both the Sales and Tech Support areas and telephoned their Call Center. I explained that I was dissatisfied with how they’d handled this modem upgrade and every time the alert popped up it created more ill will toward their brand. I would like to turn off the browser alert.