Update #2 (03/21/2006): Finally, after months of being referred to the “installation supervisor” (who has nice voicemail but never returned my calls), I finally talked to someone in billing who was very helpful, and saw reason fast enough to give me a $150 credit while I was still on the phone. That is better than I would ever get from Verizon, so I’m now back to being up in the air about Speakeasy.

[Update (02/27/2006): Speakeasy sent me a bill this morning that included an $150 “missed appointment fee”. That’s the final straw. I am never, ever recommending Speakeasy to anyone ever again. Sign up with Verizon, everyone—the same crappy service for 1/3 the price!]

[Note: I still recommend Speakeasy as a great ISP with fantastic customer service. I am treating this particular experience as anomalous because my past experiences have been so good. Still, be warned, Speakeasy! My beneficience only goes so far…]


I just wanted to drop you a line to thank you for your help with my install, and also to let you know about a few things I think you could do to provide future customers with a more positive experience.

First of all, adequate communication with covad is absolutely essential. I missed an appointment even though I was at home solely because my buzzer is broken, and the covad tech had the wrong contact phone number for me. This despite the fact that I had called you to specifically mention that exact scenario as a concern, and to request that you update my contact information (as it was incorrectly listed in MySpeakeasy).

To add insult to injury, that was the second time I had taken the day off work to wait at home for the tech to come—the first time, covad rescheduled—but I was not alerted to this change until the daily update e-mail arrived. It was lucky that I took the time to actually read all the way to the end of it, or I would have waited around all day long instead of for only half of it. Equally lucky is the fact that I was able to check e-mail at all, thanks to a very temperamental open wireless network. Which brings me to my second point: phone communication with the customer awaiting setup is INCREDIBLY important, ESPECIALLY in the face of schedule changes.

Finally, and most importantly of all, you should immediately abolish the second technician visit from your setup. I was shocked and amazed to find out after more than two weeks without DSL that I didn’t need the second technician at all to start using it. I could have done that part of the install myself in approximately 27 seconds. I can’t really state this strongly enough. I, and probably most of your customers, depend greatly on high speed Internet service for their livelihood. The minimization of the period during which the customer is without the Internet at home is of the utmost importance.

I am actually stunned that I could have called you up 3 or 4 times to try to bump up my technician date without you ever seeing fit to mention that I could complete the install myself. I quite clearly remember articulating that the reason I wanted a sooner install was that Internet access was extremely important to me. I assumed, as I’m sure many of your customers do, that you wouldn’t want to waste a technician’s time with something that the customer could do very well on their own, or I would have tried it out sooner.

I’m not discounting altogether the idea of having a technician stop by to make sure everything is 100% kosher, I just can’t imagine why you wouldn’t help the customer get up and running in the meanwhile—if only to stop them calling and whining at you about how much they need the Internet!

All of this has been especially disheartening because up until this point, I have never received anything but the best service from Speakeasy. I pay the premium for your service because I don’t WANT to have to deal with the mockery of service that Verizon et al. offer. I hope sincerely that you will take at least some of this to heart, because I think you’re a great company, and I would very much like to see you wrest as much business as possible away from the service-impaired ISPs of the world. You’re not going to do that with the kind of service that I received.

Thank you again for the work you did on my behalf—in spite of the rant, I do appreciate that I now have DSL. And thanks for reading the rant (if you indeed did read it in its entirety).