Tag Archives: FiOs

Talk About Absurd. TDS Is Making Me Pay $6.89 Tax For A Telephone Line I Do NOT HAVE!

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

by Anura Guruge

Related post:
TDS Highspeed (Fiber) Internet Access In Alton — It REALLY Was The D-Link Router! — Sept. 9, 2012.
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If not for the fact that this is actually costing me real money and I have NO CHOICE but to pay it, it would be funny.

In an furlong effort to get more severely needed bandwidth to this house I ended up getting two (2) broadband fiber links from TDS — at a price. This is when it sucks to live in rural NH. You have no choice and what little choices you have are nowhere close to offering you what other folks take for granted South of us. I would love to have Verizon FiOS, Time-Warner Cable Roadrunner or similar. But, alas, we get treated as the country bumpkins the world thinks we are.

Though we have two separate fiber lines coming to the house, we ONLY have one (1) land line. Don’t need more than that. We tend to use our cell phones.

So, when we got the 2nd fiber TDS told me that I can have a 2nd line. I politely declined, and then after keeping me on hold for 40 minutes, they gave me a price for fiber without a phone line‘. It isn’t as if I had a choice. The TDS folks are very nice and I have complimented them often, but as a corporation, TDS, somehow, presents this menacing, ‘we have your lower belly appendages firmly in our iron fists‘, demeanor.

Thanks to the OUTSTANDING support of our local TDS technician, I finally got the 2nd fiber line (and no 2nd phone line). Yes, it was a struggle and it involved 3 phone calls, 4 e-mails and 75 minutes on the phone to get it all sorted — with corporate. What was supposed to have been a Thursday install finally got done Monday. Again all corporate, somewhere in the mid-West, as opposed to the excellent local folks.

Yesterday, I get a bill, in the mail for $6.89.

That alone is strange, because I have electronic billing and pay online. I called corporate. They were very nice, BUT said I have NO CHOICE, I still have to pay taxes on the 2nd land line that I did not want and do not have!

Not much I could do. I could feel the pressure in my lower belly. It was their way or the highway.

Even though my monthly payment to TDS is only due on the 26th of each month, I pay it WAY EARLY, electronically, because they love to say that they didn’t get it and will disconnect my service! Yep, they always go for the lower belly.

So that is it. No choice. I now have to pay $6.89 for something I don’t have or get. It is wonderful. The joys of living in Alton, NH with utilities from TDS, Metrocast and PSNH.

Internet Bandwidth Issues With My TDS Broadband Access

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

by Anura Guruge

Normally my (supposedly) dedicated, 10Mbps to the house broadband internet access works flawlessly — just as a utility should. It is there, it is constant and it is stable. Since Friday I have been having a heck of a time. Around noon Saturday I had zero, yes ‘0’, upload bandwidth. So I couldn’t upload anything. Download bandwidth was down to about 3Mbps. It was slow.

It has been awfully erratic since then. Sometimes, as you can see from the above screen shot, I get the bandwidth I am paying for. Around those readings I am fine. Yes, I would LOVE more bandwidth. I will gladly pay more for more bandwidth. But, this another one of the travails of living in rural NH. We don’t get much choice and we don’t get much bandwidth. Oh, to have Verizon FiOS! Alas.

TDS claims to offer higher bandwidth, e.g., 25Mbps, in NH but every time I call they say ‘Ah! Not where YOU live’.

Right now I would be happy if I could just have constant bandwidth. Without bandwidth I am a fish without water. I can’t do anything on my computer. As I write I am waiting for a TDS technician to appear. I might have to call again.

I did not start off with TDS. 26 months ago, in June 2010, I signed up with our local Union Tel. for the new, dedicated, 10Mbps fiber to the house service. Sounded good and the price was very reasonable. Yes, it took them 6 days to get me a stable, reliable service — in the end they classed me a business account and gave me a dedicated IP address. Since then, until this Friday, things were good — during that time we only had one long, 12 hour, outage.

TDS bough Union Tel. shortly after I became a customer. For about a year that didn’t make a difference. Now it does. TDS telephone support really tries hard to please. But, they have NO CLUE and NO INFORMATION about my Internet service other than how much I have to pay. Yes, basically ALL they have on me and know about me is my billing information. They can’t even PING ‘their’ TDS router. Until this weekend that was OK. They didn’t have to do anything.

Now it is a problem. I am hoping they can fix this. Otherwise I am sunk, I am screwed.

I was a Metrocast cable and Internet customer for a long time, for over 11 years. I was one of their first Internet customers in the Lakes Region. Over that time I got very au fait with how their Internet access worked. 80% of the time I could troubleshoot the problem ahead of their tech. But, as with ALL utilities in Alton, Metrocast in Alton was not what it was in Gilford or Meredith. I do not know what it is with Alton but we are definitely the poor cousins. On this road with Metrocast, on a Saturday night, when most of those on the road were using their Metrocast cable, bandwidth would drop precipitously. Similar to what I am having with TDS today; difference being that I knew Metrocast cable was a shared access media while with TDS I am paying for a dedicated line to the C.O. in Barnestead.

Since June 2010 Metrocast has upgraded their service to Alton. They pulled some new Fibre and upgraded their network equipment. They now offer 25Mps download and 2Mbps upload. I just got off the phone after long, very productive, very pleasant chat with a Metrocast rep in Pennsylvania. He understands my issues. He himself has never used the 25 Mbps. He used the 12Mbps, albeit in PA. Yes, his bandwidth drops to 10Mbps on Friday and Saturday nights. That is about a 17% drop. If I get a 25% drop I will be down to 18Mbps. That will still be twice what I get, best case, with TDS. Yes, I will be paying more, but bandwidth, to me, is a necessity.

So, I might be going back to Metrocast. They are all set to send a tuck over here the next day. I also have a ‘magic’ name of a person to call to have it all expedited. Stay tuned. If you don’t see any new posts you will know that my Internet is down.