People tend to complain about Verizon, but I have to admit that I’ve been pretty happy with their services. Among the multiple wireless providers I’ve tried, for example, Verizon is hands-down the best for me; neither Sprint nor AT&T were able to get a signal into several of the buildings in which I’ve worked, but Verizon works even in my current government facility, whereas most of my colleagues end up having to walk outside to take or make a cell phone call. They’re also the only national provider that offers service both here in Arlington as well as down in the mountains where my Mom lives; in fact, I get better cell phone coverage there with Verizon than Mom does with her own local provider.
And I’ve been very pleased with Verizon DSL, having been one of their first couple dozen customers for the service. Recently they’ve introduced a new 3.0Mbps home DSL service, from the older 768kpbs, and I’d been hearing that people were able to upgrade for no additional cost just by calling and asking. So today, while I was home sick from work, I gave them a call to see if it would be available for us.
I did have to wait on hold for 20 minutes (though that turned out to be partly because one of the local call centers was closed for the day due to a power failure or the like), and the answer I got at first didn’t make me happy: I was told that because I’d had one of the original accounts, it wasn’t in the same system as the newer accounts and couldn’t therefore be upgraded automatically. I expressed some dismay that as someone who’d been supporting them from the beginning that I didn’t have the same opportunities, even though I was paying the same monthly fee, as new customers. The salesperson actually agreed with me that it didn’t seem fair, but that those were the rules. However, she countered that I could switch my account to the new system, which would then potentially be eligible–based on the availability of service to my condo, which didn’t worry me since I can see the central switch from my balcony–for the 3Mpbs upgrade. She cautioned that this could mean that we’d be without service at all for 24-48 hours as they moved my account from one system to the other, but said that she’d fix me up with a dial-up account if that happened.
So I went for it, and she made the switch then and kept me on the line to see if the service stayed online in the interim. After about ten minutes, she said that if it hadn’t been disconnected by then, she thought it likely that it would remain in effect until the new service took over. And indeed I didn’t lose service all day.
I’d been checking the speed of the connection off-and-on since then, and it was still showing roughly 721kpbs downstream, 132 up. But after picking Jeff up at the Metro tonight, I came home to discover that we’re now getting rates of about 2.7Mbps down and 700 up; I can now download four times faster than before, and even upload faster then the previous download speed. And at the same monthly rate I’ve been paying: $29.95.
To top it off, the saleswoman at Verizon was charming and patient, turning the experience from a frustrating one at first into actually a delightful one.
So, props to Verizon. And yay for the faster broadband!