Saturday, August 20, 2011
I mentioned in an earlier post that Comcast denied servicing my new address. I suspected that was false information,but didn't really want to subscribe to their internet service anyway, so I called around to see if there was anything else available. I had no luck. Management confirmed Comcast and only Comcast is my internet provider. Darn.
I called again and was transferred to three different people in my attempt to get connected. I first spoke to someone in billing (how I ended up there I don't know) who told me to transfer my digital cable equipment from my old address to the new I would need to talk to sales. (Even though I have an HD TV, I can't receive digital channels without Comcast boxes. Why? It's not the fault of my TV because I was receiving them for months before they were blocked.) It took her 30 minutes to complete the transaction.
I then asked how much it would cost to add internet service. She said she could mail a cable modem that would be $99 and a wireless router that I could rent for $7 a month. "Why can't I go to Best Buy and get my own equipment?" She thought I could but was not able to answer my questions about which modem to buy, why did I need to visit their office to pick up a CD, or if the wireless router I already own would work with Comcast service. So I was transferred again to billing (Why?) who could not help me and sent me to tech support.
Tech support confirmed I did not need a CD to install their software, which is good because my netbook does not even have a CD drive. He informed me that my modem was a DSL modem which would not work, but any of the major brand cable modems at Best Buy would. Forgive me for being skeptical after 2 phone calls, 3 transfers, and 45 minutes of my life that I can never get back.
While at Best Buy, I discovered the prepaid Broadband modems offered by cricKet, T-Mobile, and Verizon. Some are instant hot spots that can connect 3 or more devices at once, and some are like the one in the photo above (mine). The modem cost $80. (Damn! I could have ordered it from Amazon for less.) I didn't have to wait 5 days for it to be delivered, I don't have to rent a wireless router, it works everywhere there is a cell phone tower, and took only 5 minutes to install. The service plans range from $30 to $60 a month based on allotted data. I chose the $30 plan. After I download/upload 1GB of data within a 30 day period I still get unlimited email and basic web browsing, I just can't upload or download anything. If I find I need more I'll change plans. There are no contracts, no late fees, no credit checks, and no Comcast customer service folks to deal with.
I'm now surfing the internet in the air-conditioned comfort of my new recliner. Hooray!
To see what plans are available in your area, visit cricKet's website.