Lifehacker Suffers Trifecta of Crappy Cable Companies

Adam Pash, Lifehacker associate editor, moved into a new apartment and signed up for Adelphia internet connection, which promptly had mad troubs. Which is understandable. Adelphia is bankrupt.

Time Warner bought Adelphia’s assets in California, plus Comcast’s. TW and Comcast are divvying up Adelphia’s old subscriber base in a series of deals playing out on the local level across the nation.

Great for their bottom lines, but Adam’s been shuffled between a trifecta of nonworking cable options like a shuttlecock at an epileptic badminton tourney.

Takeaway: Don’t sign up for service from bankrupt companies.

Adam’s letter, after the jump….

I just moved to a new apartment where my friendly neighborhood Comcast told me that I was no longer in their neighborhood. So I switched to my friendly neighborhood Adelphia.

In the course of one mind-blowing week, my Adelphia internet was borked for 3 out of 7 days (and I work from home!). But since I had been told that Comcast (with whom I’ve had surprisingly little trouble with in the past) didn’t service my area, and that Adelphia was pretty much my only choice for broadband, I gritted my teeth bloody and kept going.

But a week later when I called to officially cancel my Comcast account from my old apartment, Comcast told me that they now could service my area. And I said, “Great, get your asses over here! Adelphia sucks!”

So on August 1st (yesterday), I started service with Comcast and ended service with Adelphia. But guess what – something went wonky about 30 minutes after the Comcast technician left, and rather than hanging ten all over the web with Comcast’s relatively speedy 6Mbps, I was redirected on every browser request to an Adelphia installation page.

Wha? Annoyed (I left Adelphia specifically because I was sick of talking to CSR every afternoon), I called up Comcast. After much hemming and hawing (on both of our parts), the CSR told me that Adelphia and Comcast had just yesterday merged into Time Warner, and that it may be some sort of bug in a new system. In all of his kindness (actually, he was a pretty good CSR), he was sure to let me know that a technician will be on his way as early as the 3rd.

Motherfucker! So in effect, I left Time Warner for Time Warner yesterday, and now I’ve got this huge pain in my ass of a totally non-working internet connection for at least 2 days (thank god for my unsecured wireless neighborhood), and tomorrow I have to wait around for Adelphia (now Time Warner) from 8am-7pm to come pick up their cable modem and cable box as well as Comcast (also Time Warner) to try to fix my internet, which (sorry technicians) I’m not terribly confident will happen.

Anyway, I just wanted to extend my thanks to Comcast, Adelphia, and Time Warner. I appreciate all the inconvenience you put me through so that I can end up with nothing more than I had to begin with. You’re a tribute to your kind.


Edit Your Comment

  1. homerjay says:

    three simple letters… D S and L.

  2. TedSez says:

    It didn’t take bankruptcy, or the looting of the company by its founders, to turn Adelphia into a world’s worst service provider. This is a corporation that long thrived on treating its customers like garbage, with the knowledge that there were few other choices available for TV or high-speed Internet services. What killed them was the advent of competition, and I thank the heavens that DSL and DirecTV allowed me to say goodbye and FU to Adelphia years ago.

  3. DSL and pick someone who isn’t up someone’s ass like perhaps a Covad reseller.

  4. icky2000 says:

    You would think DSL would be the perfect answer but DSL deployment is not always perfect either. 3 years ago I ordered DSL on top of an analog line in my new Brooklyn apartment. The end result was that the DSL people would make a change in the morning which would make my analog line inoperable and then I’d call and complain and the next morning the analog line people would make a change to fix that but it would kill my DSL. We did this for 10 days straight before I could get the analog line and DSL people to talk to each other and figure out what they were doing.

    I might have a clue, though. In the picture above, I can see that Adam appears to be using a later version of my computer desk, purchased from lovely Ikea. Clearly there must be something about Ikea furniture that kills new connectivity.

  5. phantomdata says:

    I’ve always loved the way cable companies do business. We’ve recently dealt with similar problems when Charter Communications purchased Astound here in Minnesota. Astound used to be a wonderful ISP that kept their network running 100%. Then Charter bought Astound and started routing through their screwed up network that goes down at least once every two weeks for at least 3 hours at a time with major network outages at their internal network.

    They switched our business account over to an ordinary residential account and started filtering everything and blocking any packets that moved – but they were happy to continue charging us for our business line!

    My business has switched away from Charter, but I’m still forced to use them for personal internet access. Why you ask? My apartment complex never installed a switching station (or routing box, someone correct me here) for the local TelCo to provide service. That’s right, Charter is the only ISP that I can get.

    Is there anyone else in a similar situation, where they can’t even get DSL if they wanted to?

  6. John says:

    You’ll all get little sympathy from me. My idyllic countryside home has
    only satellite for highspeed access. No cable and too far from a
    switching station for DSL I have to go out and wipe off the snow during
    storms. Hey, it’s better than the shitass dial up I was using less than
    12 months ago.

  7. JpMaxMan says:

    In a TimeWarner test market like Austin TW rocks! In NYC TW does not. DSL actually has very low latency which for things like VOIP phone calls, quick respsone from websites, SSH sessions, etc. is more important than a massive pipe. Now if you’re downloading the latest blockbuster… cable all the way!