Here in Pensacola, Cox internet is about the only one that has fairly reliable service, and definitely the leader when it comes to best download/upload speeds. Their support on the other hand seems to vary widely depending on the day, location, and luck of the draw. Personally, I have Cox business service at my home office and it is fantastic! The speeds are great and I have never had a problem with support – they have been quick, competent and effective.
For home users however, in my recent experiences, the customer/technical support has left a lot to be desired. A couple of cases in point: I was hooking up some new computers for a client, and they had received a ‘mandatory’ modem upgrade from Cox. The instructions in that came with the modem were very simple and straightforward and of course they were also completely useless. Almost any new computer you buy today will come with Windows 7, yet when following the ‘simple’ instructions from Cox, the modem sent me to a web page to initialize it for it’s first use, and guess what? – yep, you guessed it, Windows 7 was not recognized. So then I called the customer support number on the instruction sheet that Cox sent me (the local support number) – and this really pissed me off because I had to jump through hoops for about 15 minutes before I could get a real person on the line. While I realize this is designed to help reduce costs and actually try to help people, it really just ends up ticking most people off. Once I finally did get a tech support person, I told them exactly what they needed to do – they needed to initialize my modem. After letting them read through what must be a script they all use – “have you unplugged/reset your modem?” – yes, “have you rebooted your computer” – YES, “have you jumped up and down like an idiot while I keep asking you to do things you have already done? – YES YES YES! Finally, after I explain that the STUPID setup program will not recognize Windows 7, I get the reply “yeah that setup program is worthless” and they proceed to do what I told them to do 10 minutes previously. Another 30 minutes of my life wasted because of crummy support.
Now that was bad, but today I get a call from a regular client who told me that Cox had come to their home to install a new modem, but the technician couldn’t get it to work properly with their computer (the computer worked fine with the old Cox modem), and then he told them that their computer had a virus and they needed to take it to Best Buy to get it fixed (what a total crock of you know what!). The technician then told them that he had been doing this work for ‘years’ and was sure that was the problem.
Upon my arrival, I sat down at their computer, opened a command prompt, typed in ipconfig /release, then hit enter (this clears the current IP address on the network adapter), I then typed in ipconfig /renew (this aquires a new IP address), and presto in all of 10 seconds the computer had a working internet connection. There was no virus on the machine (AVG, Malwarebytes, and Spybot S&D all came up clean). Basically, the Cox internet technician was a complete idiot who probably was getting a cut from Best Buy for referrals (probably not really, but not beyond the realm of possibility – they were definitely an idiot though).
Of course my poor client had nothing to go on but what the supposed ‘experienced’ Cox technician told them, and even they questioned as to why it worked fine before Cox switched the Modem, but the tech assured them that it was a problem with their computer. It is this kind of thing that really pisses me off, and it definitely gives all of Cox support people a bum rap as I’m sure not all of them are the class of idiot that this technician was – I mean seriously, what I did is basic tech troubleshooting 101. Although Cox may be getting overly comfortable with their strong market share, there is still competition and if they don’t keep their customer service up, Verizon is liable to swoop in with some FIOS Internet service and scoop up a lot of unhappy Cox customers.