Last night was the DSL service ready date. 6:00pm came and went. No DSL. I’m at the 1-month mark of being without DSL, in my valiant attempt to switch from one DSL provider to another.

I have to name them now. I’ve been trying to switch from Earthlink DSL, who is a “reseller” for Covad, to Verizon DSL. My impetus to change, besides liking change more than the average bear, $240 per year. (Earthlink wanted $49.95 a month from me, Verizon wants $29.95 a month) Almost enough for an iPod.

My 4th activation order with Verizon DSL was inadvertently cancelled, with no notice to me, again. Called customer service, they still found DSL signal on the line from the previous DSL provider (Earthlink/Covad). Turns out they couldn’t override the DSL carrier signal. The previous technican who said he could override was either misinformed and/or Earthlink/Covad was one of the providers that they couldn’t override.

Verizon DSL only notified me the 1st time they cancelled my order due to a DSL signal already being on my phone line. The last 3 times they have not notified me, and left me waiting for the elusive service ready date that turns out not ready time and again. THey’ve had my email address. They’ve even sent equipment an extra time and a half, which has resulted an extra trip to the UPS store to return it.

Then I spent over 45 mins with Earthlink customer support, to find out about cancellation order. The previous 2 orders didn’t make it to Covad. The 3rd level customer service rep said a “database error” kept the cancel order from getting through to Covad. They tried again, and the cancel order (allegedly) arrived at Covad 7:00pm tonight. Should be cancelled in 72 hours. No way for them to notify me when the cancellation is complete, and no way to check online. I’d have to call them by phone and wait for the CSR to click through his/her computer screen, instead of me clicking through my computer screen.

Small consolation: at least I’m not getting billed for DSL by Earthlink. The accounting/ billing department was prompt to issue the cancellation; but the handoff to get the DSL signal removed by Covad has taken over 1 month.

I’m tempted to switch to Cable High-Speed Internet, which is noticeably faster anyways. But the dollars are more on that side too. So, in pending consultation with wifey, we’ll keep waiting.

I can’t speak to the impact of my being on dial-up upon my family members, they’d have to weigh in on whether it’s improved our quality time and such. One colleage invited me to comment on life in the slow lane in a connected world, but I’ll defer until I get back full-speed on the information superhighway.

Problems that could be easily solved – a few suggestions to make the online world a more inviting place:

– contact the customer on activation cancellation, 100% of the time, not just 25% of the time
– contact the customer on cancellation completion, especially when it takes multiple steps
– provide online order status check, with extra fields for “verification purpose” — a customer can punch in info on a form quicker than a CSR

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