I recently changed ISPs to use Road Runner (not really by choice, it is just happens to be who Time Warner Cable works with for their bundled deals). And boy has it been a real eye opener as to how bad the ISP industry really is.

When we first had Time Warner Cable TV hooked up, the technician (who was outstanding by the way, and even drove a 1 hour round trip to pick up more white coax cable so that it would suit our decor), he mentioned that he was concerned about the signal strength in the house, so he disabled a couple of the coax jacks where we weren’t going to use them, to try and help the situation.

Our first contact with Road Runner was a technician showing up to install the cable modem in our home office. Clearly a task I am more than qualified to do, but I decided to let a technician do it so that if there was trouble, they couldn’t point the finger at me (a very wise decision on my part).

The technician who installed the modem was a sub-contractor (ie. not a direct employee of TWC or RR). I asked him about the signal strength now that we were going to add a modem to the mix and he said it was “fine”. BTW, this guy was nice enough, but I am not sure about his technical abilities.

Within a week, my wife and I were so exasperated with an unreliable connection, we called TWC and complained. They sent out another technician (I wasn’t home this time, so I am not sure if he was an employee or a sub-contractor). He tested the network and decided that the signal strength was weak and installed a signal amplifier in our home office.

Unfortunately this was not the end of our problems.

Currently, the cable modem is resetting itself as much as once every 30 seconds, however the gap between resets is not consistent and I have not been able to determine a specific trigger that is causing the resets to happen. I have not yet had the time or patience to contact Time Warner and complain about this yet – nothing bothers me more than being talked down to by someone who is reading a script!

When the connection is up, the speed seems reasonable. They do offer an upgraded speed package, however until we can get stable service at the lower speed, there is no way they are getting more of my money.

However, even when the modem is up and functioning, we regularly get DNS errors reported by Road Runner. For example, when I tried to go to the Google main page just last night, I was greeted with this custom DNS error page from Road Runner.

road runner google.com error

Really, you can’t find google.com?? It’s only the most visited website on the entire internet!! Are you sure? Perhaps you would like to look again?

The irony is that all of the suggested links on the page are to google.com sites.

Before we moved to our current house, our ISP was Cox Communications. Looking back now, I never really thought about it at the time, but in 7 years or so of service, our connection might have gone down 2 or 3 times total, and that was usually due to mass outages or scheduled maintenance. I never thought I would look back fondly at the easy and reliable connection I had from Cox.

What’s your horror story of dealing with your cable company or your ISP?