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CenturyLink vs. Comcast

I've taken nearly a month to make a decision on a new broadband provider since I've recently moved from a more rural area.  With greater options and too many choices, it made the decision to go with CenturyLink for DSL or Comcast with Cable Internet with the other amenities of cable.

I initially threw out any consideration for CenturyLink, because I assumed that I would be required to have a phone line, for which I didn't need.  Comcast offered the Double Play option with Internet and TV, which was fine, because we've completely abandoned the need of a land line.  Other options, such as my previous provider Air Pipe were completely out of the question because the cost was typically double and the connection speeds were dismal.  It's funny to consider a 1Mbps connection speed dismal these days.  Additionally, other wireless providers such as Clear Wire, AT&T, and Verizon, though have impressive speeds, weren't the direction I was interested in pursuing.

Challenges with Comcast

I had initially called and arranged service with Comcast without the consideration of CenturyLink because of the perceived phone line requirement, but my first three attempts all fell through.  The first contact I had made, I was put on hold for nearly close to 30 minutes while the representative determined why she couldn't figure out what city my zip code was in.  Unfortunately, at about the 30 minute mark the connection was lost, as if I reached a max hold time.

My second attempt ran into the same zip code fiasco, but the representative was able to get around the issue rather quickly.  When she was describing the services, I was more informed that digital doesn't really mean HD.  If I wanted HD content, I was going to have to pick up a heftier TV service plan, premier that is.  The problem with that is, I don't watch a lot of TV, and like the Netflix ability to stream a show at your convenience.  With that, I decided, I'd go with it and provided my information, and upon sign-up the representative stated I would be receiving a post card with my installation date within a few days.

About a week and a half later, no notice had arrived and I started thinking that maybe this is a sign that I should look elsewhere for broadband service.  I contacted Comcast again, and the representative stated, that she'd never heard of them sending out a card with installation dates.  Amazed by this, I still considered them as an option, but a new concern had arisen.  The current incentive program for new customers requires a 2 year agreement, but the pricing is only locked in for 1 year.  I don't like that option as a customer, even though they specify what the increases typically are.  If you're going to want me to specify an agreement, I want that price for the entire term.  With this new discrepancy, I decided again, to pass on Comcast.

CenturyLink Options

After another week or so, I checked out the CenturyLink site, and found that they had a broadband plan that didn't require a phone line in order to establish service.  This was a great find for me, being that we have mobile phones, and have been without a traditional telephone for about 5 years now.  I chatted with the representative on the website was able to get all of the details regarding the services and costs.  I opted not to start service via the chat, even with the additional $50 closer card that was being offered.

 On the morning of Black Friday, I was walking through the local mall, and saw a CenturyLink booth and talked to the sales representative about the service and what other options that may exist for me.  I thought more about my desire for media content when the rep shared that Hulu Plus is a great option for augmenting Netflix, and the price is very reasonable.

I ended up going with the CenturyLink service, obtaining a 20Mbps connection at $40 per month with a guaranteed price for 12 months, and no term agreements.  This is 50% less than what I was paying for a 1Mbps wireless connection just a couple months ago.  Additionally, it was recommended to talk with their loyalty group to negotiate a new price at the end of 12 months, which I can see being a hassle, but the price after 12 months, is not that drastic of a variance.

In the end

Overall, I've gotten a great plan, the device was easy to set up, and we didn't have to have anyone on site from CenturyLink to roam around the house getting things turned on.  I'm sure they had the capability to enable service from the maintenance panel on the side of the house or at the neighborhood presence.  So far, the service has been great and the connectivity is fast and responsive.  If you're looking for an internet provider without the need of cable TV or telephone service I recommend giving CenturyLink a try.

14 comments:

  1. We begged CenturyLink for broadband for years at our house. They didn't have it available in my Neighborhood. So after waiting and calling them for 3 years we were finally told they will not upgrade the infrastructure in or neighborhood due to low customer density. So we settled with Comcast. We have the phone and data plan only. We pay extra for 20Mbps with speed boost. And I must say it's Smoking fast. When I do connection speed test I'm between 40-50Mbps Due to low traffic demand on our node. (told by the cable guy)
    At the time being, I'm happy with the service performance but our invoice is continually wrong and we have to call Comcast and go through the phone fiasco to get it straightened out. Just to have it wrong the next month. So Comcast has a long way to go on customer service. If and when CenturyLink is available in our neighborhood I'll gladly give them a try. I did not know they had 20Mbps service now. last I looked their fast service was 12Mbps. Good to know, Thanks for the post.

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  2. We switched to Comcast several months ago. Phone, internet and TV. Overall it has been a good experience. The only issue is you must shut off the power to your modem once a month of so. Otherwise the On-Demand feature will not work and this is a Comcast supplied modem and router. In general we are happy with Comcast.

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    Replies
    1. These are two completely separate things that do not affect one another. You should get a technician out.

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  3. i actually signed up with century link because of the dsl connection because when i was talking to them they said since comcast uses cable you are pretty much sharing it with other people so it affects your speed for example one second you might get 20 mbps and then if your neighbors and such have the same provider and are downloading thing it might go down tp 10 or something.

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  4. Nicely written article. Thank you.

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  5. I'm a former Comcast employee at the executive level. Although Comcast has always been interested in the bottom line as would any corporation, it used to have a very clear and dedicated focus on the customer. Progressively since I left 5 years ago Comcast's only focus has been on generating billings with almost no concern for getting things right, supporting its best customers, and providing a better product. Yes, Comcast has the luxury of speed due to its network; but when you are paying top dollar for an inferior product in every other way it should be concerning. Until we all have access to reliable and fast internet speeds from a variety of sources, Comcast will continue its near monopoly and its continuing (and quite conscious) lack of attention to providing quality services and products. A true shame.

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  6. I have had a similar headache with Comcast. Just decided to go with Century Link instead. I will be getting their 40 mbps speed for $29.99 for the first 6 mos. It goes to $70 after that, but its still less than what Comcast was charging. I also prefer Netflix and Hulu over cable.

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  7. Whoohoo! CenturyLink finally offers service in our neighborhood. Comcast has been intermittent ever since I have used them. We went with the Direct TV/phone/20MBPS internet. Gets installed in a few weeks. I will let you all know how it goes.

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  8. I had a horrible time with Comcast service. The internet service was intermittent. They came to the house to look at it twice but I could not seem to get them to check the outside connection although I was paying a monthly maintenance fee. Similar to the post above, when telephoning Comcast, the wait time was always at least 30 minutes and sometimes more. I am hoping Century Link is better.

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  9. I've had issues with Comcast for the last few years, one of which is the billing. It constantly changes and we could negotiate a different rate. Lately over the last year and a half I've been suffering outages 5 to six times a day sometimes at a rate of 5 times in a two hour period. Every time Comcast comes out it's a $50 charge. Every time it's different reason but nobody has fixed it. I have the pedestal in front of my house and it's exposed to weather, pack rats, and vandalism. It's been 3 weeks now since I informed them. No trucks out here to fix it yet. They call a minimum of 3 times a day though to make sure payment gets to them. They've been warned about the harassment and it stopped for a couple of days but since has resumed even though I'm up to date. Too much BS and too expensive for what I'm getting. The tv service is fine, it's just been the internet. I've had enough of Comcast.

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  10. i have had century links 40mbs deal for years and i am very irritated the modems break in 3 months the internet is slower then any Ive ever had and the price is on the high end.if you want media based internet (Games, Movies, Music, etc) i recommend anything but century link.

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  11. Thanks for the article. We are seriously considering Century Link as the customer service at Comcast is terrible and the price is $72 vs $30 for the comparable speed with Century Link (40mbps). I also like the option to buy the modem vs rent it.

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  12. I canceled my comcast, and switched over to CentryLink. When on the phone with cancelation department with comcast they claim they are faster actual speeds. What do you think on this issue. However as long as im over 20 im good plus great customer service. They even waves almost all tech fees.

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  13. I think we all know that Comcast is better for Internet Speed but their customer service is horrid. You always get a screwed up bill if you make changes to your services. For the past year I had nothing but credits added to my bill. What I like about comcast is they won't hesitate to give you credit even though that is poor business practice in my book.

    I cancelled them after their triple play package was around 130 bucks with an extra 30-40 bucks in equipment charges. (17.99 for DVR, 9.99 for 1 box in main bedroom and 1 2.99 cable box, Cable Modem rental 7.99)

    What got me to switch to century link is the fact that my 2.99 dollar box did not get all of the channels I have out in the living room. So overall I was overpaying by a lot for these services. I can see that Comcast raised their prices for their packages. So I called and threaten to cancel if I don't get a better deal. I went with CenturyLink.

    I went with Century Link because they gave me almost the same package as Comcast but at a lot cheaper rate due to them not charging me for my boxes. Century Link goes through DirecTV and my price will never change due to signing a 2 year contract. My speeds are 40MB which consistant of between 30-40MB which is overly acceptable for the price I pay for ($30 a month with package).

    Overall outcome: Comcast Triple Play with 3 receivers: 159.99 CenturyLink Bundle Package of Internet, TV, Phone: 109.99

    I save over 50 bucks a month and still get the max speeds. I do like comcast and their cable modem speeds but they really need to lower their prices if they want to compete. What saved me the 50 bucks was the fees on their receivers and their Internet Modem which comes with built in wifi.

    CenturyLink wins in pricing. Will update within next 2 months on this review.

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