For internet/TV we were allowed free reign to choose our provider. The biggest and most popular company in the area is XYZ , so we went with them. Not once did we have any issues or outages. Monthly charge for basic cable with all the channels we needed, including some in HD, was only $13. Super fast internet (10+ MBPS) was $35 monthly. It would take less than a minute to download a song, maybe an hour or two if you wanted a movie. Everyone was happy.
Last summer we got a notice in the mail that XYZ was being asked to disconnect from the complex. A new company, that we will call SUX, was taking over. No one has ever heard of this company. A Google search brought up 2 results, both from SUX’s vague and non-informative website (that looks like it has been put together in 15 minutes). Conversations with a few of my neighbors reveal that they are angry about this change. I went to the office to complain, but the property manager couldn’t do anything since it was a corporate decision. She was sympathetic and informed me that we can go with any other company, just not XYZ. Well that’s not bad news, right? Also, a talk with a XYZ representative on one of my forums reveals that (as if it wasn’t obvious) SUX threw a bunch of money at the corporation and it was a very shady deal. XYZ is getting complaints but it isn’t their fault so they can’t do anything.
The date for takeover keeps getting pushed back, until a final date is announced to be in mid-February. SUX has sent out pricing information, and it’s completely ridiculous. A basic 100 channel package is $40, and it only includes a few of the channels we watch (not even Animal Planet, Speed, or MSNBC). The next level up, 200 channels, would be $50/month. If you want any HD channels, you would have to add on a separate package at $10. So we would be paying $60 for something we previously got for $13. SUX openly claims that they are using Dish Network, but do not admit that they are overcharging. The internet is advertised as “high speed cable” and is $35/month, which seems okay, but we want to avoid this company just on the principle that we are angry about the takeover. Meanwhile DirecTV dishes are popping up everywhere, and Verizon vans are coming and going. Apparently most of our neighbors dissent as well.
We go with DirecTV for television. Normally the package is $55/month but there was a $29/month deal in exchange for a 1 year contract. So we have satellite television but it’s really just a bunch of crap we don’t need (combined we watch about 6 channels), and the picture/sound go out occasionally. It’s working out, but already we are inconvenienced.
As for internet, our only other choice was Verizon DSL. I’ve had DSL before and was not pleased, it’s slow, and we don’t even use a landline. So we grudgingly sign up for SUX. The one good thing about them is that there are no contracts, so we figure we will try it out. They kept sending us notices claiming how exceptional they are and how they continually update their equipment and service offerings, and it is cable internet after all, they can’t be that bad, right?
Boy were we wrong! Within the first four days of installation, we had three outages. When the internet is working, it is completely slow. It can take over a minute to load a page, or even just a picture. Files download at 8-14 Kb/sec (XYZ was 100-200 KB/sec). A test on speedtest.net shows our speed is 456 KBPS (XYZ was 18,000+ KBPS). My bf can no longer get online with the PS3 or Xbox. Streaming video (YouTube) is out of the question, and we can’t keep a constant connection so it takes multiple tries to sign onto AIM. Never in a million years would we expect cable internet to be so horrible, especially in 2009. One tenant says it is so slow because the whole community is now sharing one line of internet, similar to why speeds are slow on a Navy ship. Quote “I will place a bet that the only reason [apartment corporation] is forcing this [SUX] company's poor services on it's renters is that they are getting a cut of the profits.” Fellow tenant, you might have a point. We call to complain about the speeds, and they basically tell us their slow speeds are the norm and they won’t be as fast as XYZ. Which is funny, because their website claims “We constantly monitor the overall usage of our Internet service installed at your community and if we see a pattern of high usage, we increase our speeds to meet that need.” They also try to make it seem like they will be extremely fast because their line is dedicated to our individual community. “Unlike DSL and other cable Internet providers, our onsite Internet systems are designed for and dedicated solely to your community. Enjoy the speed of broadband Internet that you share only with your residential community!” At least they got one part right, they are very much unlike DSL and cable!
So what do you do in a ridiculous situation like this? What do you think of it all? It’s already on my list to contact the apartment corporation, but what other points should I make?
Edited by kairi2, 27 February 2009 - 04:10 PM.