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Best Cable/High speed internet/Phone company???

What are the things that puzzle, enrage, delight and tickle you as you go about your life in Madison?

Postby lukpac » Tue May 13, 2008 12:43 pm

Ryanwiz wrote:I use Charter...but that's about to end. Unfortunately, I don't know how else to get internet out here in Westport.....


Is TDS the local phone company there? I'd think you'd be able to get DSL.
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Postby Ryanwiz » Tue May 13, 2008 3:31 pm

lukpac wrote:
Ryanwiz wrote:I use Charter...but that's about to end. Unfortunately, I don't know how else to get internet out here in Westport.....


Is TDS the local phone company there? I'd think you'd be able to get DSL.


I tried that one a bit more than a year ago and I could swear that they required that you to have phone service as well.

I have done some research today and I think it's gonna be AT&T for this guy. Too bad I'll be giving up cable...but hell, it's summer and I'm sure I can find something better to do with my time than search the depths of the digital menu to find shows that "will be available shortly".
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Postby lukpac » Tue May 13, 2008 3:41 pm

Ryanwiz wrote:I tried that one a bit more than a year ago and I could swear that they required that you to have phone service as well.

I have done some research today and I think it's gonna be AT&T for this guy. Too bad I'll be giving up cable...but hell, it's summer and I'm sure I can find something better to do with my time than search the depths of the digital menu to find shows that "will be available shortly".


TDS has changed their rates and packages. You don't need phone service.

However, exactly what you get depends on if AT&T is the incumbent phone company there or TDS. TDS offers different services in areas where it owns the lines (Middleton, west Madison, Waukanee, etc) and where it doesn't (Madison - they are owned by AT&T).

Also, if TDS *does* own the lines, AT&T won't be an option.
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Postby medbh » Tue May 13, 2008 4:08 pm

Good luck calling AT&T. I jumped through 5 minutes of computer hoops before telling the automatic receptionist thingy to fuck off and hung up. I can understand AT&T jerking around current customers to save money, but do you really want to make me work that hard to sign up for service?! I shouldn't have to wade through 10 layers of questions to get to a person. Is it really that much faster than me simply asking a costumer service person "How much does naked DSL cost for residential service?" Hell, I don't even need to talk to a person, I'd be happy if I could just look it up online. But the only price I've been able to find requires phone service, and I only want the DSL.
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Postby fisticuffs » Tue May 13, 2008 4:13 pm

and I only want the DSL.


Good luck with that. While it's absolutely technically possible ATT won't do it. When I have a problem with ATT I go into one of their many stores and make their people wade through all the BS on the phone system. It's much less frustrating.
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Postby lukpac » Tue May 13, 2008 4:45 pm

fisticuffs wrote:
and I only want the DSL.


Good luck with that. While it's absolutely technically possible ATT won't do it.


The last time I checked online, they were indeed offering DSL only. That said, they jack up the price a bit.

And now that I've looked again, it looks like TDS only offers "naked" DSL/WiMAX in its Metrocom (AT&T) service areas. In Telecom service areas it appears you need a phone line as well.
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Postby Ashley » Sun May 18, 2008 10:47 pm

Even though Charter might be a better deal for high speed internet only, I'm happy with AT&T. I've had far fewer service and outage problems with AT&T compared with Charter!
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Postby snoqueen » Mon May 19, 2008 10:46 am

medbh wrote:Good luck calling AT&T. I jumped through 5 minutes of computer hoops before telling the automatic receptionist thingy to fuck off ...you really want to make me work that hard to sign up for service?!


Those "receptionist thingies" are a HUGE part of what/who I decide to do business with. TDS gets you to a person fairly quickly -- a person who actually speaks American English. I'll PAY for that.

Same with credit cards. I am in the process of cancelling a Citibank account of my mother's (I am her POA) because I am fed up with officious ladies in India who are more than willing to tell me everything I've done wrong in the past six months. (And their rates suck, anyway.) Other things being anywhere near equal, I will keep the card with the most accessible, helpful, and usable customer service.

Same with retirement accounts. I've got one that gives me a person BEFORE it starts the menu shit. I'll do ANYTHING to keep that account, within reason. It's got a separate number for when you just want to put in your PIN and hear your balance. Good judgment.

I tolerate the cell phone service I have because its rate structure suits my near non-usage, but the poor frightened Chinese men on the help line are so pathetic I wanted to buy the last one a counterfeit green card and smuggle him outta there. What were they doing, beating him when he forgot how to say something in English? I kept telling him he was doing a great job even when he wasn't, just so his day would have ONE nice person in it, somewhere across the ocean.

Cable and internet services ought to listen up, but for now they're so close to a monopoly they don't have to. Any legislation that loosens things up and brings more consumer choices into play, I'm for.
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Postby eriedasch » Mon May 19, 2008 12:50 pm

snoqueen wrote:
medbh wrote:Good luck calling AT&T. I jumped through 5 minutes of computer hoops before telling the automatic receptionist thingy to fuck off ...you really want to make me work that hard to sign up for service?!


Those "receptionist thingies" are a HUGE part of what/who I decide to do business with. TDS gets you to a person fairly quickly -- a person who actually speaks American English. I'll PAY for that.

TDS does not outsource any work to other countries and more often than not the person you end up talking to will be working (and living) right here in Madison or Middleton.
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Postby Bwis53 » Mon Jun 02, 2008 9:23 am

This seems like an ideal time to switch to TDS, since I'm moving in 8 weeks. I've got a package from ATT (phone, DSL and Long Distance, around $90) Should I send notice asap? Will I save a lot of money? The old modem works just fine. Thanks in advance!
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Postby lukpac » Mon Jun 02, 2008 10:22 am

Bwis53 wrote:This seems like an ideal time to switch to TDS, since I'm moving in 8 weeks. I've got a package from ATT (phone, DSL and Long Distance, around $90) Should I send notice asap? Will I save a lot of money? The old modem works just fine. Thanks in advance!


What speed do you have now?

Looks like you can get phone and 4 meg Internet for $55 a month ($40 for the first 3 months). 6 meg (if you can get WiMAX) is another $5/month.

Location makes a big deal. Where abouts are you located?
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Postby Bwis53 » Mon Jun 02, 2008 11:21 am

Currently have ATT highest speed (forgot the technical stuff, I'm spoiled for highest) and new neighborhood will be S.Park & Lakeside. (not too far from Henry Vilas, I guess.)
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Postby lukpac » Mon Jun 02, 2008 11:37 am

Bwis53 wrote:Currently have ATT highest speed (forgot the technical stuff, I'm spoiled for highest) and new neighborhood will be S.Park & Lakeside. (not too far from Henry Vilas, I guess.)


I would guess you'd be able to get fairly solid 4 meg DSL there from TDS, based on what I know about the lines in the area. I'm off of the far end of Lakeside (near John Nolen), and I get 2-2.5 meg with fairly frequent disconnects. Without knowing your exact address, I'd guess your distance would be between 9,000 and 10,000 feet from the central office. I'm a bit over 13,000.

No WiMAX there (yet, anyway), so you'd be limited to 4 meg.

If the rates and terms look good to you, I'd say go for it.
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Postby Bwis53 » Mon Jun 02, 2008 11:44 am

Frequent disconnects? I can count on one hand, the few I get, from ATT, in one year.
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Postby Henry Vilas » Mon Jun 02, 2008 12:14 pm

I've had TDS DSL for a little over a year and was disconnected only once - when that cable near Chicago was cut a week or so ago.
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