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call centerLast year, I decided that I was finally cancelling my home internet service with my big-name ISP.

I’ve been with this ISP for home internet for awhile, really for no specific reason. I initially got set up with them years ago and haven’t bothered to switch.

However, five months ago my connection started failing every 20 minutes. This being unacceptable, I called them. Two months later, I’d been on the phone with them at least 5 times (usually for 20 minutes or more), stayed at my house for a whole day waiting for a repairman who never showed, and finally got dropped off my call when threatening to cancel my service. That was the last straw, and I switched to Sonic.net happily.

How could the ISP have done better? It wasn’t just about being nice. It’s about how they failed to scale their customer support, and now they’re stuck in a mire of bad support that they can’t hire their way out of.

I have sympathy for this ISP. It’s very hard to scale quality customer service as your company grows, and they have a hell of a lot of customers. They also probably think that they're so big that some bad service here or there can't hurt them (they're wrong). Here’s hoping they read this article and put some better structures in place…or, at the very least, you learn from their mistakes.

Photo courtesy of vlima.com.

Evan Hamilton

About Evan Hamilton