It’s no secret that the past two years have been an utter failure of Lumen/Level 3 and Google Fiber, but I got to wondering how much money these companies have actually cost us with everything that’s happened. Also how much have they cost themselves?
You can read about the start of the Lumen fiasco here. It’s still going on because they’ve been unable to send a return label any time within the past year that they dropped us, and decided to send a 10K invoice for the two boxes that have been sitting in an office since May 2020. Take them back Lumen.
Each of these Fiber providers have wasted staggering amounts of time and resources to lose a customer. With Google’s contractors dropping in unannounced requiring me to suit up and drive in to show them a closet again, and again, and again, to two months attempting to reach anyone at Lumen who would even bother calling back a customer of 8+ years.
Every call to Lumen is 5 minutes going through their phone tree, answering the same damned questions every time, and no ability to just punch in a ticket number. Yes this is my name, here’s the phone number, verifying the address for the 38th time in two months, yup, I know it’s not your fault but let’s skip to the ticket.
But it’s not just the cost to me, these companies are working as hard as they can to shoot themselves in the foot. Google spent probably upward of $20K on a buildout that missed the deadline by 6+ months and now literally nobody trusts them to be an ISP in this building. You miss a deadline by a week or two during a pandemic, that’s forgivable. Miss it by 6 months, next to no status updates, nobody is going to sign up. But hey, they got in the building and can market to people.
Lumen had several months of contractors, site surveys, talks with planning, getting the permits to pole to our building.
When I think about how many status update requests I’ve gotten on this since November of 2019, and all of this was from our attempts to get away from AT&T (which cut our costs to reasonable and doubled the speed, knowing we had options)… man, so much waste I’m surprised there’s a business model that supports this.