Friday, June 11, 2010

Time Warner cable vs. Windstream DSL Part II

On Thursday, I wrote about beginning to change from years and years of solid service from Time Warner Cable's Road Runner broadband internet service to Windstream DSL. You can click here to read that blog.

My initial Windstream order was not done correctly, and I was only getting download speeds of 3 megabits per second yesterday, which was much slower than the 13 I was getting from Time Warner.

At 13 megabits, you can download a good sized movie in about eight minutes or an iTunes song in four seconds. At 3 megabits, the speeds I was getting, it's 14 seconds for the song download and 35 minutes for the movie.

But more than that, the internet was just slow. And after Road Running for a long, long time, it felt like I was back on the old AOL dial up connection waiting for that infernal blue bar to move all the way to the right.

That wasn't going to work.

Long story short, I was making the change due to Windstream's new bundle offer -- $49.99 for internet and phone with unlimited long distance for life. The $49.99 offer is good for 3 megabit speed, so I upgraded to 12 megabits, as fast as Windstream offers. That pumped up my bill to $59.99 (or $66.49 after taxes).

Well, it took three calls to customer service and about an hour of total time to get things fixed, but a Windstream tech made a switch to my service this morning, which involved changing a PIN number. That opened up the broadband pipe to my home. I am now getting speeds of 12.63 megabits per second, not far off the 13.31 I was getting from Road Runner yesterday. My upload speeds are twice as fast (0.64 to 0.35) as I got from Time Warner.

Best of all, I'm getting a home phone again plus speedy internet for about the same price as I was paying Time Warner Cable for Road Runner alone.

Late last year, I dropped my home phone service and just went cellular. It trimmed my bills, but giving the kids your cellphone to use whenever they needed to make a call -- or giving it to guests -- got a little bit old.

So next week, I will cancel my Road Runner service, turn in my modem and move on.

Am I making the right call?

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

Langston, can you get U Verse where you live? I get 30 down with 5 up with U Verse and bundle it all with iPhone and great TV service for like $275 per month. Can't beat it. I think you may regret Windstream unless you live in one of their "sweet spots"

Anonymous said...

1. U-Verse.
2. Windstream
3. Anything else.
4. Road Runner

TWC is crappiest thing ever. Always out and customer service is terrible and service techs are worse.

Anonymous said...

I have to say this: you got a good deal. I would say you got the best deal unless you get UVerse where you live. UVerse and DirecTV are the best TV packages out there

Anonymous said...

I love my Windstream dude. I had TWC and switched and I have no regrets, and I have 6 MPs from Windstream, not 12 like you have.

Anonymous said...

WindStream is the worst ISP i have ever dealt with. I do IT consulting for a living. I had a client with windstream as their backup internet connection. it went down and I had to call windstream for support. They denied we were a client. I had to elevate my ticket two tiers and fax in 3 months of bills and returned checks before they would even acknowledge we were a client.

Anonymous said...

I'm about to dump TW over internet speed but the main reason why is the fact they are FORCING people to pay $9.95 PER BOX to be able to get "digital programs". They have gone that route with HBO, C-Span, Shop NBC and Oxygen. TW claims this alloes US more flexibility.

What TW wants is to get the DVR in the house wich includes Movies on Demand, hoping to get more revenue, not to mention the per TV cost of the stupid box.

I HAD HBO and was willing to keep paying for it, but I'll be damned if I'm going to be Forced to get a box to get it and pay $9.95 a month for it.

TW is NOT about choice. I don't care about the digital aspect, just give me the basic srvices. If someone else wants to pay for those, that's fine and plenty do.

You made the right call.

Anonymous said...

I despise TWC. I have been battling with them for about 5 or 6 years over a bill for service I didn't recieve. BellSouth DSL was the slowest thing I've ever seen, but then I found Clear! I love it!!! The price is great and for a house built 50 years ago, with 50 year old phone lines, wireless is the way to go!

Anonymous said...

If the author lives in a WindStream market, then U-verse isn't going to be available since that's an AT&T product and the two phone companies don't generally compete on each other's turf.

Anonymous said...

I have mi-connection on the north side (davidson) and it's great. I have 12 down/2 up, and it's always rock solid. The 2 up is soooo nice. However, it was once Adelphia and sucked, then run by TWC while in banktruptcy and it still sucked. Took them a while to get the system up to par. I just wish they would get a better DVR box.

Langston Wertz Jr. said...

Anony 2:50 p.m., you're right, I cannot get UVerse where I live. I'd love to try it. My mother can get UVerse and I'm trying to convince her to switch. Plus, I'd love to see it in action. She uses Dish now and Time Warner. We'll see.

Anonymous said...

ANYTHING is better than dealing with TW!!!!! Rude, self righteous, condescending and ignorant are the BEST things I can say about their support staff. I am still saddled with their service for another week then it is U-Verse for me. I will NOT regret telling TW to slam it up their tookus either.

Anonymous said...

Better hope you qualify for U-verse. If not AT&T requires a NON-REFUNDABLE $450.00 deposit to allow you to sign-up. They think alot of themselves. There will be other companies coming to kick AT&T's butt.

Anonymous said...

I love my Road Runner and Time Warner

Anonymous said...

Time Warner in horrible. They claim to have built in virus protection, wrong. They claim to have the fastest speed available, wrong. Their customer service is the worst I have ever encountered. 4 years ago I dropped them for Direct TV, and switched to Windstream's lower speed DSL internet. Direct TV has been fantastic, the bills are manageable and the HD and channel selection is top notch. The Windstream DLS is what it is. For the money you can't go wrong. I'm not one of those people who's life is so fast pace if I have to wait five minutes for a song to download. My computer with Windows 7 runs much faster than my Vista comp, so that may have a little to do with it. Time Warner is the closest thing to a monopoly there is in the area. They spent way too much money in the past to buy and install their infrastructure, and are passing off the cost on the consumer at a rapid pace. They are a horrible company run by idiots. Join the DirecTV revolution and sign up with your local internet provider. Cripple those skeezy bas**rds!

Anonymous said...

Well at least you have a choice. We live in York County where all you have is Comporium. After being ripped off and dealing with poor customer service, I just dropped cable altogether. I am getting ready to drop the home line as well and just go cell (it actually saves me $5 per month to get my kids cells than have a home phone). My only problem now is we have NO option for internet (that I am aware of).

Anonymous said...

You are making a big mistake to go from TWC to Windstream. The customer service at Windstream is terrible and takes for ever to get problems resolved when you call them. The customer service people leave a lot to be desired since the are not trained were well. The technicians are good, however they get the repair orders from customer service in another state. I now use TWC and like the service response.

Gone2Carolina said...

When we bought our house, we did lots of research to see which way to go for cable/internet. Time Warner? DirectTV? Dish? UVerse? Well we dont live in a UVerse area unfortunately, and we definitely did not want TWC based on all its bad reputation for customer service. We went with Dish and Windstream (got some kind of bundle deal), and are very happy. We've had good customer service. I think you made a great choice.

Anonymous said...

I have comporium in York county. My experience has been very good in contrast to what was stated above. Although it would be nice to have another option besides the satellite companies.

Bobby said...

When I had Time Warner they always treated me like crap when I had a problem -- which with their service tends to be a fortnightly thing. Uverse is pretty good, it's reliable at least. I'm not a good judge of speeds as I don't do gaming, but it does what I ask it to without any issues. The TV service is good too.

discourser said...

I've been a TWC customer for 30 years. I love RR and my HD digital. I don't even pay for the new faster RR internet access I hear other people talk about.

I set up my own wireless LAN at home. The latest incarnation is a Wireless-N gigabit router. We can run one hardwired and two wireless at the same time with no noticable disintegration of bandwidth.

I really am surprised when people say they have problems. We haven't had the cable go out since the Big Ice Storm.

I even got a $60 reduction in my overall bill through the customer retention department. Of course, we have almost every channel know to man, but, with the varied tastes in my home, we use several channels in every tier.

Anonymous said...

Windstream is the worst company I've ever dealt with. When my service was down, I was transferred SEVEN times to different departments. The last transfer was to the third person I had talked to who then said (after being able to access it the first time I spoke to her) that she couldn't find the account at all. I immediately canceled all my services with them.

I've dealt with the big 3 companies in CLT. IMO, ATT/BellSouth is the best, followed by TWC and finally dead last behind every other company on the planet (including BP) is Windstream.

discourser said...

I should have mentioned that I have Windstream as my business ISP. I upgraded it last year from a T1 to an EIA and am very pleased. Customer service has been top notch since it switched over to them from Alltell due to a buyout.

The only time I have problems with them it is actually not their fault. AT&T likes to cut us off at the box up the street a couple times a year.

Anonymous said...

I believe it is a great change. I, too, had Time Warner and the customer service experience was horrible. The TV displayed worse than satelite after the switch to digital and I couldn't maintain a stable internet connection. After getting the Windstream bundle with Dish Network and the TV works great and I have not been disconnected from the internet at all in over 2 months.

Anonymous said...

TWC customer service used to be really bad but they have really really improved. When you call in now, the hold time is almost non existent. I just locked in for 2 years and am really pleased.

monquee da cat said...

I have windsteam and by far its the worst service that I have ever had. I'm sorry CTC sold out to them. Slow service cant find DSL a sorry modem for which I had to pay for..AOL dialup in the 90's was faster than what I have now. Windstream is just another name for Allsmell

Anonymous said...

use speedtest.net to check ur download and upload speeds..im in concord and roadrunner is rock solid where i live...others in neighboprhood have windstream and complain a LOT

John said...

I just want to say this. After working in public safety for over 20 years please please please don't cancel the home phone. I don't care what service service you have just know cell phones are close proximity home phones show right where you are. I was working dispatch one day and a woman called and couldn't say much because someone was in her house so it took about 10 minutes to get the address clearly. If she would have called from a home phone we would have had it instantly.

Anonymous said...

I have used RR for over 10 years with no issues. Also, I like being able to speak, in person, to customer reps at a mall near me. Most of these TWC, Windstream, Dish, DirectTV posts that have the word "sucks" in them sound to me like children.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter the connection... when the general programming has become so poor it's hard to justify keeping any service in this economy.

Anonymous said...

I got rid of TWC. I have Directv and I went to Verizon and got their wireless internet card. It plugs into my usb port. Great upload speeds. Portable. I have a son who is 13. When I leave, I take the internet with me. Safer that way.

Anonymous said...

You were getting 13 mbps with Time Warner? I am paying for the Turbo service and I am only getting about 700kbps download and 480 kbps upload. When I talked to Windstream, their rep said their speeds were even slower than Time Warner. I need to see if I can break my contract.

LifeSkeptic said...

Cool thing i love about Windstream is you get access to ESPN3.com for free(twc doesn't provide access to it)

discourser said...

Replying to 11:38 PM post for LifeSkeptic said...
Cool thing i love about Windstream is you get access to ESPN3.com for free(twc doesn't provide access to it)


I have TWC, just tried the URL for ESPN3.com No problem...

discourser said...

Replying to Anonymous at 7:17 PM
use speedtest.net to check ur download and upload speeds..im in concord and roadrunner is rock solid where i live...others in neighboprhood have windstream and complain a LOT


Reminder that I have RR on a wireless LAN I installed.

Ran the speed test on my hardwired and it was 10.32 mb/s. Only one wireless running jointly at this time. It is my son who is playing an on-line game which is a bandwidth hog. Not bad at all.
;-)

I think the best home service for an individual is based solely on what the technology deployment is in your specific area. We did have some issues with one of our HD TV's which is on a separate box for the backyard man cave a couple of times. (Yeah... I'm a techno geek - we have four HDTV's.) As people were coming on-line for the HDTV's when they became cheaper and more popular, TWC was stretching their resources too thin. The output wasn't enough to handle the quantity we had here. One of the TV's had screwy reception on just a few channels. They had to uppgrade at a junction for our area twice both times.

Since I have a geeky background, when I call I know more than the initial person who answers. I immediately ask them if they understand such & such. I do this for all tech problems regardless of vendor. I then tell them to push me up to the proper escalation level that is familiar with it. I may have one in between, but normally I think it scares them enough that I get into top escalation mode immediately. As an FYI, If you ever has MS functionality problems you can get to the core troubleshooters VERY quickly if you throw out applicable terminology.

Anonymous said...

Uverse is fantastic.

Anonymous said...

You need to get Skype for home phone if you are getting those speeds. Unfortunately, down here in York County all we have for residential internet is Comporium. The service isn't bad, and it's nice to deal with a local company, but I don't think it's right when customers do not have a choice.

LifeSkeptic said...

Replying to what discourser said...
Replying to 11:38 PM post for LifeSkeptic said...
Cool thing i love about Windstream is you get access to ESPN3.com for free(twc doesn't provide access to it)

I have TWC, just tried the URL for ESPN3.com No problem...


What i was refering to is if you have Windstream you can watch the live video on ESPN3.com...of course TWC customers ca go to the ESPN3.com website, but you cannot get past the home page and view the videos... Windstream, and AT&T U-Verse(in the charlotte area) offer access to this site.

Phillip said...

Internet is capitalized, for future reference.

Other than that, TWC may have some shoddy customer service, but at least they're not bending over backwards to help movie labels and record industries find out who is behind that IP downloading their material. Many other ISPs simply hand over your private information without so much as a question.

Just look at The Hurt Locker lawsuit. It screams unconstitutional, but ISPs not named Time Warner Cable are doing anything they can to avoid a lawsuit, so selling you out is their main goal.

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