For the last 9 years, I’ve been hosting this site and its predecessors out of my home. This is partially due to me being a control freak, and partially due to me being lazy. It was expensive, but the cost of a static ip comparable to paying for shared hosting someplace else. With this last move, the most economical way to accomplish this was to set up a Business account with WOW! Cable (since we were now hosting Jackie’s business site out of our house). It was a tough sell to get me to move to cable; I’d always used DSL previously, but AT&T sucked enough for me to finally make the leap.  The download connection was slower than I would have liked (2meg down!) because I wanted a higher upload speed, but it was better than nothing.

With LiteraryEscapism getting so popular, we finally saturated our home bandwidth to the point of not being able to use the internet, so we made the decision to migrate Jackie’s site to a VPS provider. It worked so well that we’ve basically moved all of our sites to Linode, meaning we’re no longer using that static IP that we pay good money for.

So, now I’m no longer hosting anything at home, am paying for a static IP, and have a dog-slow connection to the internet. Upgrading should be easy, right? I figured it would be a chance to bump my internet speed up and maybe get a better cable package so I could get BBC America.

I call WOW! and explain that I want to switch my business account to a residential account.  Since I called the business support line, Tracy the sales lady tries to convince me to stay with a business account, because they’re fairly competitive.   After a 20 minute conversation, she calculates out that if I keep the same speed, same cable package, drop the static ip,  and agree to a 2 year contract, She can lower my monthly price by $2. Yes, you read that right. Cutting off a $15/month static IP would save me $2 and force me into a 2 year contract.

I tell her that’s not acceptable, and that I can spend that much at comcast and get a much, much faster connection. Realizing that she’s about to lose me, she offers to “conference in” one of the residential sales people.

The new sales lady can bump me up to a nicer cable package (which includes BBC), increase my inetnet connection to the 8 meg package, provide me with a dtv box for my analog tv and an HD box for my other TV all for free,  and do it all for no contract and $2 MORE than I paying for right now. The Business rep who is still on the call is in shocked disbelief asking for clarification for her benefit more than mine.

Sounds great, right? Well, since we currently have a business account, our home is flagged as a business and not eligible for a residential account currently. I get that, it makes sense- they don’t want a business cutting costs by getting a residential package.  The residential sales lady says they can send someone out to ensure it’s not a business, then check with the post office, but it should be doable. The new connection would come in on a new line, so I could wait until they have it set up before cancelling the Business account- this would ensure uninterrupted service. The new sales lady (I didn’t write her name down, sadly) says it’ll take them no longer than 2 weeks to get things sorted out, then she’d call me back and we could set it up then.

How cool is that? Wow is one of the most sane companies I’ve worked with.  But wait, the title says disappoint…

So Two weeks come and go without a peep from them. Three weeks. I finally call back and get a tool. He acts as if he has no record of this prior conversation, and tells me that I need to cancel my business account before he can set anything up, and has no knowledge of needing to confirm that I’m not a business. When I ask him “so If I cancel my business account, when will the techs come out? when I try to set up the residential account, are you going to then need to contact the post office and send people out like you said before? How long will I be without service” He gives me a “I don’t want to put this much effort into this conversation” type of attitude and says they usually install next day, but avoids answering the non-business verification questions. I  point blank ask him “So in order to get uninterrupted service, I have to switch to comcast. That is what you’re saying?”

Stunned silence.

I thank him for his time and hang up.  WoW! is a good company, but I don’t want to deal with this- Now I gotta look up comcast pricing. Ergo,

UPDATE:

I’ve been a bit late in posting this, but Wow was able to get things straightened out. no contract, faster speed, and BBC for about the same price. Wins all around.