The Folly of RCN

17 08 2008

To: RCN

From: A disgruntled customer

I’ve been a RCN customer for a total of one week and am already dissatisfied! I’m not sure how it is in other places, but in DC (where I live) the customer service just, well, sucks. The technician who came over to connect me to the Internet decided it would be best to set up the modem in the living room — I was ok with that. The problem is the ethernet chord the guy had wasn’t long enough to reach my desktop in my bedroom, so we had to connect through my wireless router. After a week, I decided going through the routher wasn’t the best of ideas. It turns out I don’t like waiting forever to read e-mails, who knew?

Ok Ok, so the technician didn’t do the best job, but I’m ok with that — the dude was probably really busy, it was humid outside, and I probably wasn’t in the best of moods that day. The problem is their call center/help line. I can’t believe their reluctance to help people, I was shocked! I called them last night to get a technician back to my place to either set up the modem in my room or provide me with a long enough ethernet chord to reach my desktop. The woman I talked to (who had to speak to her supervisor 2-3 times for clarity) said they could not send out a technician until I went and purchased a long enough ethernet chord myself, then they would send a person out!

I don’t understand why RCN wouldn’t send somebody to fix a real problem, but are totally ok with sending them out to connect a frickin’ chord!! haha, I can’t belive it! Anyways, after about 10 minutes of telling the woman that I didn’t think it was my responsibility to buy a chord to connect my computer to the modem — something that I think is foundational and expected of an ISP — she hung up on me!

Am I wrong to hope and think that if I sign up and pay for a service (in this case, a certain transfer rate) that the company would at the very least provide it? Am I asking for the world when I ask my ISP to connect my computer to the Internet? Maybe I am. Maybe I’m just a selfish fool trying to bring down the poor corporate conglomerate.

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21 responses

11 09 2008
RCN SUCKS

i have had multiple tech’s come by and they cannot fix my problem! they do not spend enough time on each call and have to come back multiple times
i have been paying for cable that doesnt work

DONT EVER USE RCN!!!

their hd sucks anyway

11 09 2008
Chris

wow, that sucks. RCN is becoming the new old Comcast.

30 09 2008
Ashleigh

I ABSOLUTELY DESPISE RCN. Nothing but problems, then I canceled services. They continued to bill me, and then told me they would not “cancel” my service until I paid for the additional 2 months they charged me after the first time I cancelled. What a shit show! Now I am on the phone listening to automated messages(28 minutes now, no people to talk to, what a surprise)… I would rather be without internet!

3 10 2008
Chris

haha, yeah. They continue to piss me off. Just the other day, I was on hold for 20 mins. I ended up hanging up. Their customer service sucks.

12 10 2008
stewie

they are like AOL and vonage when it comes to disconnect. they make it impossible and say you need 15 day notice..unbelievable!

28 10 2008
CLP

AMEN! I’ve just spent a great amount of time on the phone with the infamous RCN, when I should have been helping my son with his homework. I could call later in the day, but their billing and customer service department is not open then. Nice!

So, here’s my rant (keep in mind I reside in Delaware County, PA). I was perfectly happy with RCN for five years, so when I received a promotion for a wonderful package that had a 2 year contract attached I saw no problems. I even convinced a friend of mine to leave Comcast and sign a contract with RCN. I thought I would be a content customer for more years to come. This is how I’ve been thanked.

BANG! Not two months after I enter into this contract do they “stop offering” their “free service” of cable without a cable converter box according to their floor manager Amber. But why didn’t they tell me at the time I entered into this contract that I would need these boxes which would be an additional monthly rental charge? Were they afraid I might not sign on the dotted line and pledge my undying loyalty to their company? Well, they would have been right. Maybe I would have shopped around a little more, kept my account open to cancelation at any time, or (God forbid) changed over to their competetors Comcast or Verizon.

Oh, and RCN doesn’t accept any kind of coupons or aid that the government is giving out to try to keep people from raising a stink over the analog to digital change. You can’t buy a box for a one time fee, and the only place you can get said box to convert RCN’s “special” signal is from their very own company, for an additional fee of course. I received another slap in the face when I was told that customers who used to receive cheap basic service get a free box now and enjoy around 31 additional channels for not one penny more. After 5 years of my loyalty, and the additional two years I just got snowballed into this is how they repay me and their other customers (with additional charges).

Floor manager, Amber, and tech support operator, Justin, assured me there was nothing they could do. I have the premium package, the one with all the bells and whistles; however, now for the next 24 months I have to pay to rent additional converter boxes plus tax.

I assured Amber that it was not the additional charge that annoyed me that prompted me to call, but the principle behind entering into a contract under false assumptions. Again, Amber told me they were allowed to cancel “fee” services at any time. She told me they were not altering my contract, but that I would have to pay additionally for these boxes on top of my contract. I am fit to be tied. Peter Aquino, in all of his online interviews I’ve read, makes it seem like you just go and pick up additional boxes or have them sent to you. Not once have a read a quote from him stating the additional charges you will experience if you have multiple TVs in the home.

I URGE ANYONE OUT THERE THAT STILL HAS THE FREEDOM TO CHOOSE TO STAY AS FAR AWAY FROM RCN AS POSSIBLE– THEY ONLY CARE ABOUT THEIR PROFIT MARGIN!

20 11 2008
Chris

Hopefully, RCN will jump on board with Comcast and begin taking customer comments seriously. I really have to give props to the latter, their investment in responding to customers online is very impressive. It’s really just a matter of protecting their brand and making sure customers are satisfied.

25 01 2009
Kris

I agree, rcn stinks. I’ve been on hold now for 1 and a half hours. Now I’m just too stubborn to give up without talking with them. I will cancel tomorrow and get any other service. What a misguided company.

25 01 2009
Chris

I need to write another post — RCN ceases to amaze me at how horrible their tech people and customer service are. I just had more issues myself this past month, which took me about 2-3 hours to resolve. grrr, just thinking about it frustrates me 😦

6 03 2009
Arnold

I have RCN in Maryland – bot no longer. DirecTV has a great promotion right now ($40 for all channels except movie channels), so I called RCN to see how close they could get. The person I talked to was stupid, of course, but seemed helpful. After many attempts at explaining I didn’t want to know about their promotions, I wanted to know if they could work with me, she finally came up with something that sounded great ($77 for same channels plus cable internet). I asked her three times, are you sure I have all the same channels as I had before, because the deal sounded too good to be true. She swore I did.

Turns out, of course, I don’t: this “deal” did not include the movie channels and many non-movie channels. I call back today to explain. The first person is nice and seems like she wants to help, but can offer me nothing. I ask to speak to a supervisor. After being on hold for about an hour, she comes back to say, no one can speak to me right now, I should try back later. That mildly annoyed me – I told her, no, if they want to keep me as a customer, someone will speak to me right now. 30 minutes later, a supervisor picks up. I explain what happened. He says, I understand, I can work with you. This is his version of working with me: he offers me one little month of free HBO – that’s it! I tell him, if that’s working with me, I’m suing RCN for fraud and canceling my service. He says, is there anything else I can help you with today?

RCN sucks!

24 03 2009
Mike

I hate RCN. I have been with them for 2-3 years now. We pay about 150.00 a month thats just basic. I would have changed but I dont have 5 days to stay on hold.

8 04 2009
Mona

Hate RCN. It is real money sucker with no service commitment. Charged me $125 for a package service that does not work fast. Finally disconnected. Huh.

8 05 2009
Julie

I can not express how much I hate RCN. I have problem the service. Anytime I call I have to wait 30-40 mins and then they can not help with my issue. Even when I wanted to talk with a supervisor. Then it is more delay and they disconnet the phone line.

21 08 2009
J.D. in D.C.

I started my attempt to pay my bill at 11:20am. Didn’t conclude until after noon. And I never did get to speak to the manager to file my complaint. It seems there are a LOT of complaint to which the manager must attend.

Here’s how it started: the online payment system was down. So I dialed up the automated phone system which is… slow… as… hell… as… the… computer… voice… repeats… everything… twice. After you get through it all, they tell you there’s a $3.50 fee for paying over the automated phone system.

I’m not going to pay to pay my bill. Especially when THEIR internet system is down.

So I finally get an operator. They’re going to charge me $5.95 to pay my bill through them. At this point, I just want a manager to complain about the following:

* not letting us know about the automated phone fee up front so that we don’ t have to spend 10 minutes getting through the system

* the online system sucks (obviously)

* the cost of services KEEPS GOING UP while the number of channel choices KEEPS GOING DOWN

Look, I don’t watch all these channels, but after the recent fee hike, we lost the National Geographic Channel, Oxygen, MTV2, and a bunch of other channels. Now my bill says they’re dropping the Game Show Network (which I also used to have, but haven’t had in a year anyhow).

BUT, if you like Indian television, or Spanish media, you’re in luck! It seems RCN is going the international route to attract immigrants, but they’re losing the rest of the citizenry in the process.

Adios, RCN!

15 10 2009
Alex

I love RCN u guys r haters..

20 03 2010
Mark

Alex is obviously an RCN “plant”. No one loves RCN. And yes, I am an RCN hater.

20 03 2010
Mark

I totally hate RCN. They unilaterally changed my cable service without my knowledge or permission. When I called them I ended up with some total idiot customer service rep. He didn’t know what state Chicago was in, and he didn’t know that the “s” at the end of “Illinois” is not pronounced.

They refused to change my service back to the basic level stating there was some contract that really wasn’t a contract. They had my apartment listed as some dance club. I live in a large high-rise in Chicago that has never had a dance club associated with it. They stopped sending me monthly statements and when I asked to have them restart that, they stated they wouldn’t do that without my password. We finally figured out my password by the customer service idiot asking me what my favorite movie was. They also had copied the original password wrong.

Amazingly, at the end of the conversation, the idiot rep asked me if there was anything else he could do for me. Since he didn’t do anything for me in the first place, I can’t imagine what else he could screw up.

Overall this company provides the worst customer service of any company I have ever dealt with. I just hope my apartment will allow other cable in Internet providers.

28 03 2010
Matt

rcn suckssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss!!!!

28 03 2010
Matt

verizon fios is much better!

28 03 2010
Matt

Verizon is 99.99% much better than rcn!

23 08 2010
Greg

I absolutely concur with the sentiment that RCN is terrible and the fact that our homeowners association decided to switch – taking us off of a good set of basic services from another cable company is beyond me. We have wasted a total of 10 hours waiting for the techs to show up and been without the service we’re paying for since they disconnected the old service, for nearly two weeks. The techs (there have been a few) that come by have no clue how to install cable or set up the equipment. They even asked us how to do some of the basic settings. It’s unbelievable. One spent an hour in our house trying to figure out the TV menu to adjust the cable settings and now says he has to come back on another day because only his supervisor can do what he is supposed to do on our equipment.

We are now paying extra for the basic services we received before, have cable modems installed all over the house and had to run wiring for the cable boxes using 10 years old cables since the stuff they use is so out of date. In order to see their line up I now have to buy new TVs, converter boxes, new Tivos and “rent” a cable card from them to see the channels that come standard with my package. What a load of total BS!

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