New Wave Communications: The Worst ISP in America

It’s hard to even figure out where to start with a company as truly awful as New Wave Communications is, but I’ll do my best to start where my problems with them started, which is as soon as the took over my local cable network from Charter Cable in Spring of 2008.

Since the very first day New Wave took over and my IP address switched to their network I have had atrocious service, and no one from New Wave cares about it.  By fall 2008 I had called them no less then 10 times over a network congestion issue. I honestly lost count of how many calls I made and every single time I reached a “tech support” person, they were 100% incapable of understanding my problem and 100% unwilling to even do anything to attempt to solve it.  The exact problem I was having was network congestion.  During peak internet usage hours (evenings after work and weekends… basically any time I wanted to actually USE my internet), the service was unusable.  My ping times would often shoot from 30ms ping times to over 500ms ping times during peak hours.  Trying to use my “broadband” service for any “broadband” activities like streaming video, playing games online, was 100% out of the question.  Pages would often take minutes to load, streaming even music was not even possible.

At the time I didn’t know exactly what was happening, so I took it upon myself to write a script that sent out 1 ping per minute and log the response time.  After running the script for a few days I quickly realized that my problem was because of network congestion.  The sad thing is, I diagnosed in a few days, what New Wave had been unable to tell me for months.

Here is one example form Fall of 2008.  I was still suffering from unusable internet at this time (blue lines indicate ping times under 100ms, which was my cutoff for “acceptable” pings.  Red lines indicate pings over 100ms.  The taller the line, the higher the ping)

As anyone with half a brain can see, the internet functions more or less ok until peak usage hits (late afternoon), then everything goes to crap.  In November 2008 New Wave FINALLY fixed the issue.  It took them around 6 months to correct the congestion problems.  For 8 months my internet was basically unusable.

Since then I haven’t had any serious problems with my internet.  There were outages every once in a while, but whatever.  It happens, and I understand that.  But, I was left with a very bad taste in my mouth from dealing with New Wave for such a long time and them dragging their feet for so long on this issue, that I doubt they could ever do anything to make me happy with the service again.

Early this year I found out New Wave was offering HD service in my area.  Finally, something improved over New Wave’s pretty shitty “digital” cable picture, sweet!

But, I should have known that coming from a company like New Wave that simply does not give a shit about it’s customer, dealing with them again would be a frustrating experience.  Boy, was I right.

A couple months ago my cable modem gave up the ghost.  The tech who replaced it mentioned HD service, and I told him I would like to sign up.  He called up the main office in town and put me down for an HD receiver.  Like any other truly awful company, they were out of stock and had to put my name on a waiting list, assuring me they would call me when my receiver came in.  They never called.  Days turned in to weeks, weeks turned in to months.  I never heard a peep from them.  So, I suffered along with my fuzzy cable for a few more months.

A couple weeks ago I was feeling ready to be ignored and abused by their “customer service” department again, so I decided to stop by their home office in town.  I walked in and was able to order HD.  They scheduled a tech for the following Thursday to come out and install it.  I asked them right there if they could just give me the hardware, as I was PLENTY capable of unscrewing a coax from the old unit, and screwing it in to the new unit.  She told me that was not an option and they had to come out and do that.  Fantastic.

Wednesday night rolled around and we got an automated call from New Wave reminding us that they would be there to install the HD box the following morning from 8am to 10am.  Wow… I was finally going to get my HD service!

HAHAHA, YEAH RIGHT!  Thursday came and went.  Not a single word from New Wave.  They never showed up.  They never called me.  A week later, I still have not heard from them.   Wow.  Awesome job New Wave.   I have never had such trouble trying to PURCHASE a product from a company like I have from New Wave.  You would think that if I was willing to fork over more cash to their shit-fuck company, that they would actually want to take it, but apparently not.

The problem here just isn’t New Wave, but it’s the illegal monopolies cable companies are allowed to have over service areas.  Companies like New Wave are allowed to put a strangle hold on their customers and treat them as shitty as they want, while the customer has no other option.  We either take it in the two-hole from them, or we go with out.  And being the geek that I am, going with out broadband wouldn’t work very well for me.  So here I am.  A broken desperate man, who only wants HD service in his home.  Why is this so much to ask from a company?

UPDATE (4/9/2010) – New Wave has fixed my situation and I finally have HD!  Read about it right here.