Good Service, No Foolin’

Al - Charter contractor 04-01-2015It might have been April Fools Day, but I’m not foolin’ when I say I’ve had some excellent customer service since I’ve been in Cape. We finally decided to switch our Internet provider from AT&T to Charter. That’s not a knock on AT&T’s Erin, who did a good job explaining her company’s offerings and being candid about her personal experience with ISPs in the area.

The result was Al showing up at the house within minutes of his installation window, just like Lisa Smith said he would.

Above and beyond

I told Al that I wanted the modem and wireless router to be in Mother’s bedroom where it would hook up to a large UPS and plug into a power strip on the floor so that when I got the inevitable Internet trouble call, I could just say, “Step on the big red button until everything blinks out; wait about a minute, then step on it again.”

It was a little complicated because the path was hidden by acoustic tile in the basement ceiling. I had blazed that trail before, so I warned Al that “this is going to either be real easy or real hard.”

It was easy

Al - Charter contractor 04-01-2015Al brought the expertise and equipment to fish the wire and get the internal wiring hooked up in no time. After that, it was a trip up to the aerial cable to connect us to the world, and getting the equipment in the bedroom plugged in.

He WAS impressed with the cool Wifi Analyzer ap on my Droid that does all sorts of signal analysis. Minutes after he saw it, he was downloading it.

It’s nice to have a guy on the job who is knowledgeable, professional and personable. I never thought I’d be saying good things about a cable company.

For what it’s worth, both AT&T and Charter were in the ballpark of delivering the bandwidth they promised: about 6 Mbps down and 512K up for AT&T, and 65 down and 4.3 up for Charter. For roughly the same monthly price, I’m willing to gamble to get the higher speeds.

Charter or AT&T for Internet?

Pep rally c 1965You’re going to get this shot of Jim Stone (Central T-shirt all excited about something on the paper he’s holding) at what looks like a pep rally because I was too busy today to come up with something better. Jim never had a lot of pep and I don’t recognize many people in the background, so I have no clue what the event was.

The main reason I’m behind is that I spent the afternoon talking to Internet service providers.

Internet dilemma

Mother has had AT&T DSL for some time now. When I started spending more time in Cape, I told her I’d pay the difference between a promotional price for AT&T’s “Elite” level and the basic service she had before. “Elite” allegedly gives you 6 MBS down and about 512K up. After the promotion expired, the price went to $46 a month and is slated to go to $52. They offered me another promo plan, but it will expire in six months, so I don’t want to consider it.

I’m used to Comcast Business in West Palm Beach where I get 100 down and 20 up, so AT&T “Elite” feels like dial-up.

How about Charter?

Charter is offering a 12-month promotional price comparable for what we’re paying for AT&T, but they claim to deliver 60 MBS down. The extra speed sure would be nice. I’m still going to be dealing with an expiring promotion in a year, but a lot can happen in that time.

A lot of you folks like in the Cape area. Talk me out of Charter. Thanks in advance for the advice.

Bundling, by the way, is not an option. I want to keep her AT&T landline for redundancy and reliability. We dropped cable for an antenna in the attic and streaming video. All I’m looking for is a straight Internet package.