Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Brooklyn Time Warner Road Runner Crawling Like a Turtle?

It's a small miracle that Gowanus Lounge exists this morning, becuase our glorious Time Warner Brooklyn Road Runner service has been glitching up. Let's just say it's been a little slow, on and off, for a couple of days. In our experience, Time Warner provides a singularly awful, undependable cable internet connection. We know ISPs that have fewer bad days in a year than Time Warner has in a month. We can count on at least several days a month of dial-up speed or more. Not to mention the times our cable modem needs to be reset because service cut in and out when we weren't online.

We can't get DSL (not that we're big fans of it) in our corner of South Brooklyn, so we're stuck with our monopolistic cable provider. Or dial up, which ain't happening.

So, our question is: Is it just us? Are we just on a node with 150 neighbors all downloading 5GB DVDs at once? Or do others in Brooklyn get the same generally sucky on-and-off performance from their Road Runner (so called)?

Anyone else suffering from Meep Creep?


Anonymous Mark said...

Time Warner generally works fine when you have a pristine connection to the pole. It slowly degrades as their contracted repair service idiots splice and dice connections to fix one problem without any regard for how many other problems they cause. The only solution is to keep calling them out until they send the one guy in ten who will run a new connection instead of patching an old one.

(My favorite experience: the guy who showed up at the door and then refused to any outside work because it was raining and the office didn't issue him a raincoat.)

9:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not just you. TW Cable has been horrible for me for the last couple of months. Constantly cutting in and out. Sometimes slow, sometimes not working at all. I have to reset the modem sometimes five times a day. I do work at home and also use VoIP telephone so it's been a real disaster. I've been unable to get through to a human being on their "help" phone number. I can't believe that there is no other choice of cable company and we are stuck with this idiot monopoly. And, yeah, I've had a guy come to do service (after waiting for him to show up in his 8-hour window or whatever) he said he wouldn't do the work because it was drizzling out. Another guy wouldn't do the work because the pole he needed to get to was in my neighbors house, they weren't home, and he wouldn't climb a completely safe ladder from my backyard to my very friendly neighbors'. There has to be a class action suit here. These guys are the worst. There is no way that the service could be this bad in Manhattan.

10:16 AM  
Anonymous andy said...

i live on 4th ave near union and my cable modem was flakey all weekend. i have, sadly, gotten used to this phenomenon and only call when its out for 24+ hours (which happens at least once every 6 months).

10:31 AM  
Blogger Z. Madison said...

In Carroll Gardens, I also use TW. God help you if you need to get in touch with a human at the helpless line.

I find that i have to reset my modem at least once every couple of days.

10:37 AM  
Anonymous bripod said...

Nope, it's not just you... I've had TWC as an ISP for years now, and they've always been fairly unreliable -- service interruptions and periodic reduction to dialup speeds are the norm. I have had the connection from the utility pole to my apartment replaced more than once and it doesn't seem to have made any difference.

10:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TW slow slow slow over here in P. Heights.

11:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's not just my. my rr connection (also in south brooklyn) has been on the fritz for the last couple of months. personally, and i have no evidence to back this up, i think tw is doing some major upgrades (to handle capacity of all the anticipated triple play customers) and aren't willing to tell anybody, lest they be held responsible for service interruptions. class action suit? that's a definite maybe.

12:41 PM  
Blogger bigmissfrenchie said...

Yeah, I've had the same problem with the modem and with my cable TV. Periodically, I just won't get certain channels while others just freeze and sometimes go black in the middle of watching something. The repairman who came (after not showing up for the first appointment two weeks before) told me that he was surprised I had any service at all given the signal strength coming off of the ridiculous patchwork of switches, etc., on the pole. He said that he couldn't do anything about it and that he would have to call for "engineers" to come. That was well over a month ago, and there has been no sign of these "engineers" nor have I been contacted by TWC. I called them a couple of times soon after all of this happened and have been thinking I've doing it again since it is acting up again after being okay for a while , but dealing with them takes a lot out of me. I think it's part of their plan to wear you down so you just won't call them for service and suffer in silence.

12:50 PM  
Anonymous mark said...

Yes, persistence is key. My uptime was pathetic after the intitial installation. It took eight service visits over three months before it worked acceptably. (Meanwhile, on Long Island, Cablevision offers connections with 30MB down / 5MB up. Grrrr.)

1:44 PM  
Blogger Douglas said...

I live on 7th st in Park Slope, and left TimeWarnerCable last week. The connection was never great, but got unreliable once the heat wave hit during the summer.

Multiple technicians came by, and explained that Brooklyn has a problem in very hot or very wet weather. TimeWarner customer service claimed that an upgrade had "just been completed" - but they said this each time I called over a five-month period.

As I was running Vonage over the cable-modem, my estimated 50% downtime was just unacceptable.

The last TWC technician who came - a black woman from Manhattan - told me that TWC internet service in Brooklyn will remain undependable for years to come, because of infrastructure issues. She suggested going with Verizon/dsl, or EVDO.

I opted for EVDO, which I'm using now. I have a feeling Sprint EVDO is better than Verizon's in this area, but I do get terrific download speeds. EVDO is wireless - the kind of thing that executives shove into their laptop slots for road trips.

But you can stick the same little card into a router (something called a KR1), and then do all your Airport or whatever you want through it.

It's medium-to-low DSL equivalent, but totally dependable. And if we move or take a road trip, my connection comes with me. (You can even plug the router into a car lighter.)

11:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unfortunately I live in a neighborhood that is consider "rustic" which means in proper terminology POOR, our neighbors in Bay Ridge and Park slope have fine service, but here in Sunset Park Brooklyn, the service is horrendus with Timer Warner, we have horrible pings even for cable television, our indemand is good if you don't mind waiting 20 minutes for your indemand program to load up. Internet, dont even think about it. I called a number of times in the last 2 years to complain, I always get "everything seems fine" when I push the envelope and the "tech" tells me yeah we're seeing 1.4 mb, and I asked them what should I be getting, they finally admit "oh around 3 to 5 mb" and then I go well is this normal "No, but 1.4 is still good" and then I have to tell them 1.4 in speed test scenario may still be considered good, but in real time use, webpage, huge files, several people using the connection, it becomes unbearable. With pocket lost, high pings, erratic speeds and of course dropped connections all together. I've had 4 technicians come over and everyone of them admits, yeah your service sucks in this neighborhood, I live around here and I know how bad it gets when it hits 6:00 pm. They dont bother doing any work on your lines, your area is considered..... POOR, even though we have just as many customers here as the "RICH" neighborhoods in Brooklyn, if not more. If you happen to live in a place still considered "poor" by a monolopy's definition, or misconception, do not even bother getting cable, since my upstairs tenents moved out I no longer have to share the service with them, and pretty soon, I think I'll give DSL a try, I know 3 mb isn't as fast as 10 mb, but when three people are fighting for the table scraps of a signal usually our "realtime" speed tests like speakeasy and intel speedtest tells us we're actually getting around 300k, that 3 mb looks pretty damn good wouldn't you say?

11:47 AM  
Anonymous Jennifer, SA Texas said...

This is crazy. I live in south Texas and have TW's Road Runner and it has been sucking lately, too. Everything that everyone has posted on here has been happening to me!

First, the company they are contracted with sends out a guy that ilegally hooks it up (he didn't create the outlet he should have--he just hooked it to a line we already had) and it took them a week to discover that. So they send a guy out here who takes pictures of the connection, explains that our performance isn't what it should be, and then takes off! He didn't even fix the effing thing.

So then the internet goes down, and when we try to call TWC we cannot get anyone to help us. It is a voice activated line, and when it finally went through to someone they didn't know what they were talking about. They tried telling us to uninstall and disconnect the network I paid GeekSquad $250 to come out and install. I told the girl I wasn't going to do that--that the problem is one Time Warner's end and not the network. I explained everything about that guy being sent out, and she said she was going to put me through to someone.

I sat waiting on hold for I kid you not-1.5 hours! I was determined to get through to someone. So when I finally did, they barely spoke a lick of English and had NO IDEA what I was trying to tell them. It was 11pm and I decided to just give up.

The internet has been so slow lately that it takes 10+ minutes just to download a 2:48 minute from You Tube. This is what I'm paying $50/mo for?! But since I signed up during a promotion, I now have a year long contract with them that I can't break.

6:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And I thought I was the only one
experiencing this sometimes-on,
sometimes-off connection. The worst thing is that all three are affected ( cable tv, digital phone & internet ). I got my 'triple
play' package installed on 08/21 and everything was down the very next day. I reported it and another technician was sent to
right things. Last night at 10 pm,
it gave up the ghost again and at the time of this writing, I am still waiting for a promised technician. I wasn't able to get
even an estimated time of arrival.
I suppose I will have to wait all evening.

5:15 PM  

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