Saturday, November 11, 2006



At my old apartment, I had my house phone and DSL through Cavalier Telephone, a CLEC based out of Richmond. They were professional, reliable and (for the day) cheap at $75/mo. So when I moved to the condo I didn't even shop around, just moved my service with me. Well, forget professional. First they told me I needed to start a new order. Then it was ok to transfer my service. The craziest condition was that I couldn't have two accounts active at the same time, which eventually resulted in me reverting to a brand-new service order and a new phone #. What if I'm a landlord who is keeping the utilities at my properties all under my name? Thinking about it now, it probably was because I wanted to keep my phone number, but their people didn't bring that up at the time.

I could have dealt with all that incompetence though, if the service worked. It didn't. After being assured that the DSL modem they gave me for the apartment would also work in the condo, it took a month and several claimed-but-probably-never-done technician visits for them to figure out that I was in an area with a different type of service and needed a new modem. To make up for it, they promised me three free months of service. After five months, I started to wonder why I wasn't getting any statements in the mail, but the remembered pain of dealing with their customer service kept me putting it off until... I came home Thursday night to find my service cut off. Of course in their minds (and their computers) this is due to nonpayment, but it's hard to pay a bill that's never sent to you. The problem seems to be that they have the wrong city associated with my address. This both is and isn't their fault. It is their fault because back in the spring I corrected my address with them over the phone at least twice. But given the particular mistake they were making with it, they may not be responsible for the mailing problem since I've noticed Verizon's FIOS website also chokes on my address and wants to "correct" it to the same wrong city. So maybe it's a problem with error-checking software. Anyway, whatever the problem is, it's one problem too many and this once-good telco has permanently lost my business. As irritated as I've been with them this year, that still makes me sad because I remember when they were a good alternative to overpriced cable or Verizon DSL.

Check out your alternatives at .. You probably have at least 5 alternatives for DSL alone.

I'm on my 6th DSL isp and yes, sometimes (Earthlink, Lightning Bolt, SpeakEasy) it just doesn't work out. was awesome.
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