Suddenlink Under Fire

Inyo County has joined a growing effort among rural entities on the East Side to get Suddenlink to improve broadband services.

Mono, Placer and Nevada counties as well as Mammoth Lakes and Truckee began Suddenlink bashing earlier this month with a long list of grievances leveled at the company. Those grievances were shared with the California Public Utility Commission. According to the official letter sent July 7, problems with the service have been on-going for more than four years.

Digital 395 was supposed to kick the Eastern Sierra into the 21st century, providing fiber connection to the Internet. According to Mammoth Lakes Town Manager Dan Holler, the initial focus was connecting government facilities, the town, county, hospital and schools. But, “it is not widely deployed in Town and we do not have extensive fiber deployed.”

Some private users extended the connection to their business, but that came at a price. “I believe Suddenlink, our primary provider, is also connected to Digital 395, but again their delivery system in Town is not great,” Holler explained via e-mail. Connection issues were chalked up to wiring in older condos and overloaded connection points.

“The concerns we hear about, customer service, connection issues, cost and bandwidth shortfalls, are related to services provided by Suddenlink,” Holler stated.

While those issues may have been festering, the past year of stay-at-home orders, a greater reliance on internet services and the subsequent overload on internet infrastructure popped the boil. At the same time, the Eastern Sierra is considered a “served” area and as such doesn’t get the attention of those geographic areas with no service at all.

Then there are billing issues. A resident of Inyo received a bill that exploded from less than $100 to more than $4,000, an obvious error that was casually blown off with a “we’ll look into it” by Suddenlink staff.

If modern technology isn’t complex enough, Suddenlink offers bundling opportunities so one monthly bill takes care of television, land line and internet connection. Figuring out alternatives is a little like removing a bottom card in a two-foot tall card tower. Will I crash the whole thing if I pull out one of those cards? Could be.

A quick google of internet providers is depressing for those who need or appreciate speed. In Inyo County, Suddenlink, with cable delivery, is the fastest with 1000 Mbps followed by Frontier, fiber, at 150 Mbps. In Mammoth, the difference is almost insignificant: Suddenlink, 1,000 Mbps; Frontier, 940 Mbps.

So, here is a list of complaints from both Inyo County and the northern entities:

  • Local customer service: long wait times to get help over the help-line and up to two to six weeks for on-site service
  • Promised refunds never materialize
  • Quick fixes to issues rather than addressing the root cause
  • Broadband speeds are rarely available as promised
  • Rate increases with no explanation
  • Tech support is iffy
  • The closing of Mammoth Lakes’ customer service center
  • Service Level Agreements with businesses aren’t being complied with
  • Network congestion
  • Aging infrastructure

[Editor’s note:  In a Xtrium.com article posted July 15, 2021, it was reported that per independent research, in 2019-202, Suddenlink has the highest number of Downtime failures. It reportedly has lost 20% of its customers. Internet Downtime accounts for 67% of all complaints the company receives from its customers.]

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6 Responses to Suddenlink Under Fire

  1. Mike July 23, 2021 at 12:37 pm #

    TOML, pleeeeez find us an alternative.

     
  2. Mike July 22, 2021 at 6:02 pm #

    I believe this article misses the main failing of Suddenlink, which is — customer “service”.
    They should be sued for misrepresentation! To call what they do, their treatment of customers, “service” is a cruel joke.
    Few there have the desire to solve problems… and even fewer are knowledgeable enough… and fewer still have the authority.
    They have padded my bill significantly TWICE, in schemes that are both theft and fraud.
    They have terminated my service without any effort to contact me… then took 0+ phone calls, missed appointments, and many broken promises to restore it.
    I have been hung up on several times by their CS people 1) because they become frustrated at hearing factual information…and 2) because they can. Mind you, it takes the patience of a saint just to speak with a functioning human there.
    Mammoth Lakes needs to smell the coffee; you can’t “make” Suddenlink a better company. Better to invest energy into finding an alternative. Even if that only means buying Suddenlink in bulk and re-selling it to the residents of Mammoth. I have to figure that, since every resident and business in town needs to be a customer, ML would get a sufficiently discounted price to allow the hiring of their own billing and installers.
    Again…it’s the Customer “Service” that’s the problem.

     
    • Mike July 23, 2021 at 9:39 am #

      UPDATE: In frustration over my latest I wrote to Mr. Dexter Goei shortly after my first post. He replied !!
      He is the President of Altice internationally and the CEO of Altice USA.
      His reply was short. He would “Escalate this ASAP”. Hmmm… he would escalate? He is the very top after all. Dictate or direct, would be more like it. But I am irrationally ever hopeful. I will report back here with or without results.

       
    • Eddie GONZALEZ July 23, 2021 at 6:52 pm #

      SUDDEN LINK HAS TO GO ” ASAP “. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

       
  3. Dee July 22, 2021 at 12:31 pm #

    They’re just simply horrible, don’t care about the customer by any means whatsoever. This is one of the results of the very troubling 1996 Telecom Act that pulled most of the regulatory teeth from the FCC. What it promised, better less expensive more competitive cable TV and internet service was obviously a sham,a myth.
    It’s like the myth of huge tax cuts for billionaires actually helping the average folks myth, the hollow corporations are people myth, and Trump won the 2020 election myth, flat out lie.
    Suddenlink is a bright shiny example of corporate greed and grift.

     
    • Mike July 23, 2021 at 10:07 am #

      UPDATE: Immediately after my previous UPDATE, someone from Altice called. A miracle right there! Although she was polite and smart, the answer was not as I had hoped.
      She explained that because I wanted to transfer my ski condo account name to an LLC, I must buy a “corporate” plan. Considerably more expensive for the same, already too expensive, service. Mind you, my condo is still a residence, but for their reasons “residential” service no longer applies. At least that bad news was definitive and provided quickly… I have been trying to get this done for well over 2 months. Some one from their sales dept. is supposed to call me to sell me corporate service (ugh). Mind you, it hasn’t happened yet, so there’s still time for this train to jump the tracks…but hopefully when the boss of bosses calls, things get seen to resolution. Maybe not a customer-centric one, but a lot less frustrating than the usual process. Am I happy? No. But I am relieved. 🙂

       

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