* Posts by Kevin Haddow

1 post • joined 21 Apr 2008

CPW broadband targets feel the crunch

Kevin Haddow
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AOL migration a complete farce, could be something to do with it

I have been with AOL for over 10 years. The service has always been reliable, with excellent customer support. However, since the takeover by CW things have gone very rapidly downhill. First their call centres were outsourced to India, it takes 20 minutes to get through and more than 40 minutes to talk to a tech support person (and that's a minimum, it can take over an hour sometimes). Once you get through it is very difficult to explain any problems due to language difficulties and most people i know around here, and on various forums such as digitalspy.co.uk say they eventually give up in frustration. Then the problems got much worse when CW started migrating all of us over to the their CW/Opal Telecom network. We have suffered very, very frequent outages sometimes for days at a time with NO information being given on the AOL or CW websites if you do get online. Just this week we were unable to access Google or Youtube for hours. Many on digitalspy have reported exactly the same and there are many threads in their Broadband forum about these problems. Many users are leaving in disgust and the story is the same on many other broadband related forums and blogs from disgruntled AOL users.

To top it all, a friend of mine who lives just next door has a 2Mb connection on the same exchange with another ISP without problems, AOL advised me 1Mb is the maximum I can receive, despite me argueing with them they refused to budge on that issue at all.

I have absolutely no doubt that many possible customers have a look at tech forums and the like, see the problems listed, and choose another supplier instead of AOL or CW and this is one part of why their figures are disappointing (perhaps a small part).

I was even considering signing up for another 2 years before all of this happened, and have decided to give it another month or so before I make a decision. One thing I have discovered is that MANY of the current problems appear to be DNS related, I changed my router to use OpenDNS and things have settled down a fair bit, although there are still random outages.

And my final rant, their terms and conditions are ambigious to say the least. The terms and conditions regarding fair use say that AOL decide what is fair use, AOL decide how much you download before it triggers a slow down, AOL decide how long your download speeds are restricted and AOL give you no control panel where you can see how much you have downloaded and how much is left before you hit your limit. Almost every other major ISP does, and their fair use and download limits are normally much clearer.