Working Hard to Avoid Giving Service

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I just got off another chat session with the "avoid service" department at clear.com. I have to say that chat is somewhat less annoying than sitting on hold, and gave me this chance to share with you.

Hello warren. Please wait while we find a CLEAR specialist to help you.
Your question is: you turned off my access.. again. please reset
All agents are currently busy. Please stand by.
An agent will be with you in a moment. Thank you for your patience.
The next available Agent will be with you in a moment.
All agents are currently busy. Please stand by.
An agent will be with you in a moment. Thank you for your patience.
The next available Agent will be with you in a moment.
You have been connected to Marinella Johansen.
Marinella Johansen:  Hi warren! I’ll be happy to help you today!
Marinella Johansen:  May I have the phone number associated with your account, please?
warren:  xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Marinella Johansen:  Thank you!
warren:  look it up.. same problem as yesterday
Marinella Johansen:  Please give me a moment to review your account.
Marinella Johansen:  I’m going to reset your connection to the towers. You may see the lights flash or blink. This will take a minute to process. Thanks for your patience.
warren:  that fixes it
Marinella Johansen:  Please let me know if you are able to browse online.
warren:  please put in a ticket so the real problem gets fixed.
Marinella Johansen:  Please give me a moment and I can make some adjustments to fix this for you.
warren:  the tech who came here last week showed me how there is a tower problem that is keeping us from getting decent speed most of the time. It’s better, but not anywhere near consistent
warren:  yesterday and today, you’ve blocked us from accessing the net
Marinella Johansen:  Please give me a moment to see what ticket I can submit for you.
warren:  thanks for passing this on to get it fixed
Marinella Johansen:  Are you getting a message page? If so what does it say?
warren:  It’s working again since you reset.. I just don’t want to waist 30 mins a day having it reset
Marinella Johansen:  I do understand. I am still researching the type of ticket I will be submitting for this issue.
warren:  the page shown is a sales page.. blanked out with a stupid pop up that says "GO WiMAX" .. once I click, it goes to your site.. I log in and go to chat. Happened Wednesday night at 7 pm and again about 1 hour back
warren:  both times, a reset fixed it..
warren:  the arrogant guy who came to my house said that he’d be happy to mark the account so I can get a full refund. What I want is service that works
Your session has ended. You may now close this window.

This is representative of every exchange I’ve had with Clear or Clearwire or whatever Sprint allows them to call themselves this week. Nice people, mostly clueless and ultimately dropping me at another dead end.

Quick background…

I signed up for service in the Summer of 2009. Was traveling back and forth to Atlanta from home base in Vegas and heard both markets were covered. Turns out ATL coverage ends 5 miles from where I was staying.

Each time I was back in Vegas, I called and asked why, with a strong signal, I got less than 300k download speeds, about 1/20th of what they had promised.

They sent another modem, checked MAC addresses, tower maps and insisted that the 5 lights on the modem meant that the position was not the problem.

At one point I did a Twitter campaign to find out if the company had anyone listening. They didn’t. Just a Facebook page full of complaints from customers pointing to a Twitter profile full of “clear sucks” tweets and a link to… you guessed it… the Facebook page.

One Clearwire employee with a name like mine was intrigued. He’s an engineer and quite knowledgeable. We exchange a few emails and once I assured him I wasn’t going to send others with customer service problems to him, we spent an hour on the phone. Most of the time we talked tech.. he readily admitted that he was powerless to access anything about my account and could only verify that there were problems with the network where I live. Some fun, but ultimately the same fruitlessness I always get from Clear.

After months of going through the same inane “have you tried rebooting your computer” level one and level two processes, I had enough and said I’d take the refund they had offered. They said no, and insisted that a tech could come out and guaranteed a one visit fix… IF I’d submit to one more level one SOP.

I relented. The nice girl on the phone said “have you tried moving the modem to another location?”   Well, no… your people insisted that would  not help. I did, and got decent (but no where near rated) speeds. A cardboard box, some tape and a long cable got me 2-3 megabit downloads most of the time for the next 4 months.

Move to a Perfect Location

On July 1st, we moved into a house with a clear view of the Las Vegas Strip, and 2 Clear towers. I was excited that I might see the above 4 meg speeds they now promised (the sales literature had dropped the 6 megs that was promised when I signed my contract).

No go. Speeds are generally under 1 meg and sometime HORRIBLY so. A couple of long calls got me to a guy who said there was a tower on the other side of the house. I got out the cardboard box and lived with 1.5 to 2.0 megabit most of July.

Then it went to .25 and lower. That’s just 250,000 where I should be seeing 4,000,000 on average.

I dug out a long cord and hooked up a laptop to the modem. Went to every possible point I could think of and used all the angles I could. Nothing over 1 meg for more than a few seconds. The PING tests went from numbers one could average to HUGE changes (by this time sitting still for a continuous 10 hour test).. one PING would be 70, the next 4200, then 300, then 800.. that sort of non-pattern.

So I yelled a bit more and got them to schedule a service tech. Only a one week wait.  This tech came out and said such things as

  • The newest modem they sent you is crap
  • The tower across the street isn’t accepting traffic and overloading the one a block away
  • There is new software that will let me see what tower signal is, but I missed the training on that
  • I can’t do anything. It’s those dang tower guys. They’ll probably have to reboot something. I’ll put in a ticket and they’ll get to it in a week or so. I don’t know if that will work.
  • The tech support people screw up modems. I’ve reset yours and it will be fine (refusing to hear that I had tested extensively BEFORE they reset it using settings that had been better for 3 weeks).

When I asked him to leave my house, he grunted that he’d mark the account so I could get a refund. I don’t want a refund. I want the cool WiMax service they say is possible.

Or is it? Everyone I’ve met who has tried Clear in Vegas has given up.

Does Clear work for you?

Are there any Clear reps working online that are willing to address the social media outcries for help?

Do you know anyone that will talk to me publicly?

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