Things have been pretty bad lately for Suddenlink Internet subscribers. For weeks the connection has been intermittent and often slow. I have Suddenlink at home. Since I manage a lot of services it’s crucial I have consistent connectivity while I am home. This weekend the service was so bad I had to drive in to the office at 6 AM on Sunday where we have DSL so I could make some corrections to a server.
Today, the Internet service is down altogether and has been for several hours. It’s really a shame. I don’t necessarily want to switch to AT&T. Their tech support is the worst I have ever experienced. But at least their service is consistent enough I almost never have to call.
I have been attempting to setup a home network using my 10 Mb Suddenlink connection, and although I am an extreme veteran with computers, this is my first network as I have never had a need for them before. Setting up a network for the first time (without ANY knowledgeable assistance) is quite a disaster. Yes, I realize every tech out there is going to tell me how easy it is, but that’s only because they are familiar with the phrases, idioms, hardware names, acronyms, et al.
But . . . what if you are NOT! Then what do you do? I have a Linksys WRT54G V8. Of course there is no manual, just a CD to follow. So, I put in the CD, and I already feel my teeth clench. I know what is coming. I was a well respected international how-to tech columnist, so I completely understand how difficult it can be to get all the ducky’s neatly lined up. Here is how it goes in lining up them lil’ quackers (what’s a quacker? Quaker maybe?) . . . The first lil’ ducky tells the third to go jump in a lake, the fifth knows where the lake is and spouts out directions to the second who has all the info on the weather, which he pummels the others with and the fourth reminds them of the original plan, which upon hearing they ready themselves for the flight, so that they may watch the third go jump in a lake. No one has ever done this, but they have heard that it is a necessity. Well, in lil’ ducky life anyway.
So they are all lined up and ready when the first lil ducky suddenly takes on a puzzled expression and racing back to number three whispers his concerns, looking suddenly at each other with amazement, they both ask another ducky. Suddenly there are four duckies walking in circles, frowning. The ducky that didn’t get told is brother dummy ducky, and why tell him? Y’know, he’s dummy ducky for a very good reason–you see, he’s the ducky that writes all the computer help files, and no one can figure out what the hell he’s talking about most of the time.
What IS the problem he wants to know, and all at once they all shout at him “What is flying? We’re suppose to fly, but it means about as much to us as Quattledischortizellininisterizing. Ma Duck and Big Duck told us to fly, but they don’t tell us what flying IS, so we don’t know what to do”
Ducky number five knew this too well after all the complaints he heard from his boss about what he wrote in his how-to books. He had never heard it from anyone else though, so he didn’t get concerned. But it worried him, and . . . of course, he finally thought, this is America the apathetic nation, and no one EVER complains. They just ask someone else and don’t much care. He had heard three complaints, but he dismissed them as jerks because he knew all about it, so why did they find it hard to understand. They must be even dummer than him. When he told number two, number two ducky said that if he had received three complaints, that in Apathetic America, that would count for several thousand who would never write a letter, complain, or even care one tiny bit. So, in essence, he did get a lot of complaints. Ahhh, so what. Who cares. Those computer help books are fine the way they are. I ain’t listening to no one. Whadda they know anyway.
Now what was that about flying? Hmmm, I heard about that thing somewhere. Wonder what it is?
Read the Suddenlink help on setting up a wireless but not tireless router and you’ll see some of brother dummy ducks finest work. Tells you how to do everything in “articles” Look in the help and for every question it has a “see article blah-blah-blah.” Just don’t tell you where the articles are, so by the fourth time that happens, you start clicking on the hyperlinks, but they take you to a page of advertising. I find myself talking to myself and congratulating brother dummy duck for his fine work–if he was counting levels of frustration as points, he doing great. Once I did find something, but it said something like “Take the OMVRU, by the PB coils, and lifting it upwards with just a little force, not to much, you wait for a little while, and here, this time is critical, because the 92THFR, Fragulator Flittinger may be damaged if you don’t give it just the exact amount of time. Just a little, ‘know whut I’m sayin?, then you need to reconstruct the HWPUIT-B,axs’s CC input so that there is a little bit of time left–just a little now, don’t get this wrong or it will decolonize and you’ll have to start over. However you can shortcut allt his by simply pulling on the lever a bit. Don’t use too much force or it breaks. and if you
So I broke it. I bet i used too much force. I was thinking a little bit of pounds and he musta meant a little bit of grams. If’n I’de knowd it were just a bit of grams, well then I would-uh had it just right.
Does anyone else get it? I’m the guy that actually says something and I’m glad I took the same time you all at suddenlink do to re-read and make things clear. I was so frustrated today i was ready to open the front door and fling all this junk into the road! Maybe that’s why I get the international tech columns and the Suddenlink people do the small stuff. Because I care.
Not that you would know it from that garbage above however.
I don’t have a clue what to do. Not one single company starts from the beginning when they attempt a help article, and that’s where every single person MUST begin. Most take you to dead links because they are too lazy to test it all. Hmmm I know some software written like that.
I’m about ready to quit Suddenlink and their almost always bad product. This is what you get when you do a product with MONEY in mind, not the product. As example, lookit Ubuntu. That’s good stuff. Free too.
Does anyone know where a NETWORK beginner go to find instructions on this? And not at Suddenlink!
Speaking of horrible, I have been having this terrible Suddenlink mess for 8 months now, and no one can fix it. Unreliable garbage, lousy ping times, completely quits at least three times a day, stays off for hours, my 10Mb speed has dropped to an all time record of 22K last night! The office people at Smashlink tell me it acts like you have three splitters in the line. No, I say, I have none. No reason for them with only one commuter until I put in this wireless thingamabob. (to use a kinder word that is more than 4 letters) but I decide to investigate anyway. Tough because I’m disabled.
Whatta I find? Whatta you think? Yup, that’s right . . . hiding behind the couch. Aaaaarrrrrggghhhhhhh!
You have never heard of yahoo mail? Gmail? Even (heaven forbid) hotmail? Among countless others.
I learned a long time ago that ISP’s will change changes, therefore *they* will force you to change your email address right along with them. Back in the bay area, I had to endure the @home -> att broadband -> comcast transitions, that all happened nearly within a year and change between. [Similar to your own Cox -> Suddenlink a few years ago]. It is a pain in the butt for your personal email, and if you use it in a professional capacity (especially a small bussiness) then it is a giant liability. Your hundreds of clients (and hundreds more of bussiness-card-in-the-drawer potential clients) will all have to update your information (nearly impossible to get all of them, especially the 2nd group) .
I gave up on being able to trust a single company long term and instead got a personal domain name and have been using that as my primary email for over 5 years, and I love it. This is where *I* own the domain name, and therefore *I* own the email address not some company. I have a large number of different email hosting/forwarding companies available to me, ranging from free to exceptional quality with a service level agreement. I have already switched once or twice when the company that I was with had oversold their service too much and it was taking hours/days to receive emails, so I was able to give them the finger and go with someone else. Try doing that with a normal email! At best, you can send them a bunch of emails complaining about the service and hope/prey that they will get their ass in gear to fix things because your address is owned by *them* and you have no choice.
Unfortunately, Humboldt Internet customers have to say, “…at humbolt one dot com. That’s humboldt, numeral one dot com,” every time they give out their e-mail address.
Take a look at sonic.net.
They are a comparatively small DSL ISP that is based on Santa Rosa, and has slowly started expanding their coverage area and have recently started servicing Humboldt county. My parents have them at home in san jose, and the service is absolutely top notch. You get DSL with straight DHCP (or even static ip) as opposed to PPPOE that you have to deal with ATT that makes it more complicated, a little slower (~10%) and unreliable (but still better then suddenlink by comparison). When you call their tech support #, you get sent DIRECTLY to a human being who has a clue what is going on (which is even better when /you/ know what is going on).
For example, once my DHCP lease got stuck (it got allocated to a machine that was disconnected, and it wasn’t getting released to the new router) and I asked them and they did it lickedy split. No spending 20 minutes going through “have you tried restarting your computer… your modem… etc”, then getting to the end of the most very basic issues, then being transferred to teir 2 (and waiting 10-15 minutes) , telling my story again and /then/ someone can reset things on their end..
If you want to go super-local, then go with humboldt internet (http://www.humboldt1.com/) that also provides DSL service in the county. Never used their service, but asking a technical question to their sales dept brought back a reasonable and relevant respone [vs a canned response that had nothing to do with my question, like with suddenlink/comcast/att] .
I agree with Carson. If you don’t have at least a Motorola Surfboard 5100, then it is definitely time to upgrade. Keep in mind that you don’t actually have to rent/purchase a modem through the cable company. There are many places to buy your own modem online and a few tech stores that carry them. You can save some money this way. Also, Motorola makes a pretty fancy Wifi Router/Cable Modem combo now, seeing as the majority of cable companies are falling behind in the world of wireless. In any case, just make sure that the modem supports the DOCSIS version that the CMTS at your cable company is using. I’d recommend going to the local office and asking to speak with a Headend tech for that information. If it’s at least version 2, then you’re fine (and version 3 won’t be implemented for a number of years).
In any case, hope this helps…
Sorry about having to re-negotiate your service contract. I hope that you benefit in the long run.
Please keep us posted on how the new modem performs.
I hope things are corrected. When I got home, the modem didn’t work as I was told at the Suddenlink office. I had to spend another half hour on the phone with support who said there was a provisioning error and they had to reset all the numbers in the modem. He finally got it working so things are fine at the moment. So, we’ll see how it goes. Thanks for posting. If I have further issues I’ll let you know.
Bob — Has your problem been resolved now? If not, let us know, and I’ll work with senior managers in your area to follow up. I’m in Suddenlink’s Corp. HQ office and can be reached here: pete-DOT-abel-AT-suddenlink-DOT-com. Thanks.
I tried this. My experience was different. Because my modem was so old, (7 years), they said the warranty had expired. So, they charged me $33.95 for the new modem. On the other hand I said since I am such long-term customer I thought I should get a discount. They actually offered me $10/mo. off my service fee (we have cable and Internet). So, I will have a net gain after 4 months even after the $33.95 charge. But these charges and discounts all seem rather arbitrary and not made clear up front. Why did I have to ask to get the discount? Was your old modem over a year old? I dunno. I just hope the new modem improves service.
Friends: be sure to take in your old Cox Cable modem and demand a Motorola Surfboard modem at the Suddenlink office. They won’t ask any questions and your service will improve immediately.