Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Grande "Lack Of" Communications


For almost 2 years while living at my apartment, I used Grande Communications for my phone and internet. Oh how they have fallen out of favor with me now. About two weeks before moving from my apartment, to my new house, I call them up to notify them of my upcoming change. Their customer support guy takes my information and tells me everything is in and the service should go live on the day I need it to. Great! Im all set. I then tell him I will also need my DSL internet to be moved on the same day. He begins looking for my account information, but cannot find it anywhere in his records. He asks me, "are you sure you have DSL internet?" I tell him, yes... I am sure of it. Turns out, somehow my internet account got listed as a business account handled by a different department. I'll have to call back to get that changed. So a couple days later I finally get through to that department and get that transfered on the same day as my phone stuff. Now... I am all set.

I move into my house and thank goodness, there is a dial tone. I have a phone. The next day, the DSL technician is there to hook up my internet. Im online again and life is good. But things were only good for about 3 days. I quickly find out my phone features like call waiting and caller ID are not turned on! So, back on the phone with Grande customer support. He says that he can see the order was entered but somehow didnt get all the features transfered to the new address. Um.. ok. Strike one. He turns them on for me and phone-wise, im back in business.

Then the real fun starts. And with it, the start of the downward spiral of my faith in Grande Communications. I come home from work the next day to find out I have no internet connectivity. My first thought is maybe there is a problem with the Grande network and their DSL service has been interupted in my area. My system worked just fine the night before when I shut everything down. I quickly double check all my settings, modem and equipment to make sure its still set up as it should be. Everything is the same as always and should be working. So I call up Grande tech support. I ask him if there is something going on in my area and he tells me there are no known problems. I tell him whats going on and of course he tells me to "reboot my computer and that should do it". To humor him, I do it. He then walks me thru the level 1 tech routine of resetting the modem and removing any routers that are connected. Oddly enough, I can connect at a slower speed when hooked up directly to the wall thru my modem, without the router in the mix. I tell him this and he say's he'll have to get a field tech to have a look. Finally they get someone out there on the next saturday afternoon. Actually 2 techs show up. They go over everything Ive already done and then run a few more tests. He gets on the phone with some special people from Grande and they try to figure it out. None of them can figure out why I suddenly cannot connect to my DSL service through a router. Finally he tells me the problem isnt on my side, its on the Grande equipment side of things. They recently took over internet service in my area from another smaller company and now the equipment and information transfer between the 2 companies has made things messy. He then goes on to tell me, the network bridge in my section of the city is flakey and it could be 8 to 10 weeks before its replaced!! Then, he says something to me that was Grande's nail in its coffin as far as im concerened. He turns to me and says "well, do you really need to use a router?" I clench my jaw and fists trying to remain calm... I look around my at the 3 other computers that share my internet connection and then back at him and reply "yes, I really do need to use my router". He then says "well, I'll have to talk to some people and I'll call you back on Monday with more information". Monday has come and gone, no call from Grande, still no connection through my router. I am now shopping for a new ISP. Goodbye Grande. You failed.
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