CenturyLink Sucks, Part 57

Blogging at Panera’s

I don’t usually work at a coffee shop, but here I am, at Panera’s dealing with their bad (also CenturyLink) internet service, because my internet service is down at home. Yes we are going into DAY NUMBER 4 of the great CenturyLink Internet Service Outage of Parker, Colorado. This started inauspiciously, perhaps coincidentally, during a mild thunderstorm on Friday before the Memorial Day Weekend. Internet could not be reached, internet light on router out, though DSL was on. After the obligatory multiple router reboots, no change. Call to CenturyLink. Outage in our area, should be fixed in 12 to 24 hours. About 30 people affected. This being the start of Memorial Day Weekend, I was not optimistic.

As the weekend has dragged on, my worst fears have been confirmed. That is why I am sitting here, nursing a cup of coffee at Panera’s, writing this. After multiple calls to CenturyLink, the story has not changed, other than the expected duration of outage, from 12-24 hours, to 24-48 hours, and, most recent estimate, from 48-72 hours. When I accused the customer service person that their technicians were goofing off over the holiday, I was answered with an agrieved “Our technicians work 24/7” and “the technician is there now trying to fix it.” Sure.

A little background may be in order. I live within 20 miles of Denver, supposedly a telecommunications hub. I can walk to the top of the hill in my neighborhood and see the buildings of downtown Denver. Despite this, the only option for internet service in my neighborhood is CenturyLink, via the phone lines. And, up until a year or so ago, the only speed we could get was 1.5 Mbps. After writing to the FCC and complaining multiple times, our service has been upgraded to a whopping 3 Mbps. This is in the era of Gigabit internet service. As you may know, the federal government granted billions of dollars of incentives to the ISPs in order to improve the internet backbone with a goal of providing broadband service to “rural” America.  Broadband internet is now defined as a minimum of 25 Mbps.  3 Mbps doesn’t cut it. Sadly, the US is way behind the rest of the world in this regard. It is clear that the ISPs took the federal money and used it to pad their executive salaries. No wonder the most hated company in the US is an ISP, though I bet with the next go-around the airlines will give them a run for their money.

Given the context of baseline sucky internet service and no alternative ISP in our neighborhood, I have very little patience with a 3 day and counting outage. CenturyLink, Shame! (Ding).

By mannd

I am a retired cardiac electrophysiologist who has worked both in private practice in Louisville, Kentucky and as a Professor of Medicine at the University of Colorado in Denver. I am interested not only in medicine, but also in computer programming, music, science fiction, fantasy, 30s pulp literature, and a whole lot more.


  1. Most large corporations do not give one damn, or even half a damn, about individual customers. That kind of thinking led to the demise of Circuit City, among others. The “fiduciary responsibility” to maximize profits for shareholders has been taken to extremes and now is used as an excuse to provide bad service. I spent time last night on the phone with ATT customer service based in the Philippines by the accent I heard. I was trying to get someone to tell me how to create an alias for my email account to use with my iCloud password. (Long story. Don’t ask.) The customer service rep kept saying “So you want a sub account.” I kept saying “No. I want an alias for my account. Look at the ATT online help page and read it.” He then put me on hold so he could try to find the correct script to read me. After about 10 minutes of this I thanked him for trying and hung up. We the people are no longer represented in Washington. Republicans, democrats, Tea partiers, Trump crazies, are all owned by the corporations. I don’t have an answer for this except maybe we all need to get more politically active, as dismal as that sounds. I don’t know where to begin.

    1. I couldn’t agree more! We’ve always had terrible service from Century Link because they’re a monopoly and indeed they don’t give a damn.

  2. I would also like to point out that some companies have tried to preserve customer service and we should patronize these companies. Southwest Airlines has a culture of providing customer service. Nobody is perfect but they try. Call Apple for support. You will be speaking to a person, based in the US, speaking intelligible English, who actually has knowledge about the issue, within minutes. No offense to immigrants or call centers in other countries. If they were providing the service I would not complain. My point is that if you receive good customer service from a business let them know you appreciate it and spend money on their products.

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