Getting Frustrated with Spectrum (Time Warner)
We had Comcast for internet service in Jacksonville. We loved their service but cringed every time we had to talk with their customer support. We were ecstatic when we moved to an area not serviced by Comcast.
I can’t say we’re much happier with Spectrum (Time Warner Cable).
We started internet and phone service with them in early June. Our internet service has gone out 10-15 times per day for the four months since then. In general, my wife and I don’t really get too upset about it; it’s back up and running in a couple of minutes. By contrast, when it happens during a Blippi video, it’s the end of the world in my three-year-old’s opinion. However, four months later and I’m still using a company mobile phone for conference calls because my broadband-based phone services dumps the entire call if it goes out while I’m the host. Similarly, web conferences that I lead have to be done using a Verizon Wireless hot spot, since my internet service is not reliable. This is absurd.
Two weeks ago, my service started going out 40-60 times per day. This lasted a couple of days and I’ve had three service appointments since then. My time is important to my employer, so this is not really convenient for either of us. Spectrum first replaced the modem, then added a signal buffer to it on the second appointment, and completely changed modem types on the third. This actually seems to have fixed it.
Last week, for an afternoon, I was unable to send email. I spent two more hours on the phone with Spectrum’s technical support, only to eventually be told it was a known issue and I had to wait it out. It resolved later that night. This week, I’ve been unable to send email since yesterday morning.
After two more hours on the phone with technical support, here’s what they have told me the problem is:
- My email address is blocked, so I need to send them the email address and they’ll unblock it. This isn’t true because they don’t know what email addresses I’m using. Further, creating a new email address also doesn’t work, which means they aren’t blocking specific email addresses.
- Ok, actually, my mail server is blocked, so I need to send them the server name and they’ll unblock it. This isn’t probable either, as the email address I created to test #1 was on a domain that has never had mail accounts assigned to it.
- No, wait, my hosting provider specifically is blocked, so I need to send them the name of my hosting company and they’ll unblock it. The customer support person advised me she had confirmed that the hosting provider (HostGator) is blocked by Spectrum. I hadn’t actually told them who I use for my hosting services, and I’m on a reseller account that doesn’t use their nameservers, so this isn’t likely to be true either. Also, why in the hell would a company like Time Warner unblock an entire hosting company’s server farm because some dude asked them to?
- Ok, then definitely my router is blocked, so I need to send them my external IP address and they will unblock it. This actually has some plausibility, given that removing the router and going directly from the modem to the desktop seems to alleviate the issue. It sounds as though the 6-10 emails I send per day somehow tripped their anti-spam software and blocked my router.. but here’s a question, why in the hell would you block my router but not the modem itself? Additionally, I can still send email through other non-Spectrum accounts using IMAP connections on the same ports, so how are you only blocking my personal domains from connecting on those ports?
This whole thing just seems fishy. I sent the email that technical support asked me to send, and they said it would be 72 hours before the router is unblocked. This means five days in the week and a half in which I cannot send email.
Fortunately, they issued me a credit to soften the blow of having reduced service for several days and spending nearly four hours on the phone with them. It was a credit for $6.00.
It’s time to look for another service provider.