Saturday, December 08, 2007

I switch to Qwest DSL Platinum

I used to have an ISDN broadband connection.

Hey, everyone has a special story.

When I switched to DSL I went with VISI.COM, a local company. They provided great services back then, before a series of management changes. Alas, they were dependent on Qwest for connectivity, and Qwest had other priorities. Meanwhile my ActionTec router was behaving miserably.

I considered cable, but that sounded equally bad -- especially since we don't have cable television (or much of any television, actually).

The ActionTec finally died, and I decided to try a higher grade of service, in the hope it would come with better gear. I'd become disenchanted with VISI over the past few months, though their support people were always great, so I figured I'd just go with Qwest/MSN - doing a Qwest DSL | High-speed Internet Upgrade. At least with Qwest I'd have one place to call.

I didn't get any deals doing it by phone -- except they waived the connection fee. My new 2WIRE router cost $100. The Qwest rep I spoke with was, wait for it ... efficient, funny, charming, and even a bit sarcastic. I'm guessing phone support isn't her regular job.

The economy can't be all that good, by the way, because lately I've been getting excellent phone service from a variety of companies. That's a sign skilled people are having to take whatever jobs they can find.

The MSN part of the deal is irrelevant. I get all my ISP services,including IMAP email, from Google Apps anyway.

The changeover could have been worse. This morning we lost internet service, and this afternoon the the router in the box we put out for it. After 5pm I plugged in the $100 WIRE router (no wifi, which is great since we use an Apple Airport Extreme) and it connected quickly.

Alas, the box didn't contain our un/pw for the connection or even for MSN. For that stuff you have to install Qwest's "QuickConnect" software.

I sighed deeply and started it up on my XP machine. I didn't want Qwest's vile code infesting my Mac.

Minutes later the splashscreen was still drawing.

Evidently they wrote this app using a new programming language that runs in a sandbox that runs in a 68030 emulator running in a non-compiled Java 1.0 VM.

Or maybe there's code running in the background outsourcing Qwest's computational work.

It chugged along a bit further, but by now I'd decided I didn't want this dreck infesting even my XP box. So I fired up, found the screen for adding un/pw, and called Qwest.

The tech person was, again, very good. She promptly gave me my Qwest un/pw and, for what it's worth, my MSN un/pw (guess I need a mail forwarder there [1]).

So far it's been fine. I'll update with this post as I learn how well it works, and, most of all, learn how much it will really cost. (Signing a contract with a phone company is good practice for besting Lucifer in a tough deal. I suspect it will be about $50 a month when all is done.)

[1] MSN won't forward to a gmail account, so I had to use my custom domain. Cowards. MSN sign-in creates a Windows LIVE account, with all sorts of nasty authentication issues, so use a very strong password.

Update: no MSN actually doesn't forward at all - despite what they say. It rejected and Incompetent cowards.

Update 9/17/08: Qwest has done well. No complaints.

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