Rage Against Spectrum

  Last modified on May 20th, 2021

This post was submitted to us by our reader, Heath Hughes. Heath lives in the Lincoln Square area, and frankly, he’s fed up with his crummy internet service. We’re posting his message below, with some light edits made for clarity. Those who wish to commiserate with him, give him some words of encouragement or advice, or connect with him to form an alliance and launch an uprising against Spectrum, can reach him on Instagram @heathmhughes or Facebook @heathhughes.

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Hey, fellow UWSers!

I am writing because I suspect that, like me, you have also experienced repeated, time-consuming, infuriating and unending problems with Spectrum. Following a brief overview of my personal encounters, I’ll get to the part that specifically pertains to other UWS residents.

For 1.5+ years, we have had approximately eight service appointments. At each visit, the technician explained what the previous tech did wrong:

  • “Oh, no, your service was installed sharing your neighbor’s internet—no wonder you have had such a weak signal.”
  • “This modem you were given is really old and we don’t use it anymore. You should have been contacted to receive a replacement.”
  • “Your wifi (installed within the last year) unit has repeatedly stopped connecting since I arrived. You really should not use Spectrum equipment: we give you refurbished equipment—that you pay for—and often it is faulty and really should have been discarded. Even though I get a discount, I refuse to use it. I buy my equipment elsewhere.”
  • “Your last service tech connected this cable to a splitter that should not be here, so half of your internet signal is going to this third output and is draining your signal. That should never have been installed.”
  • “When I arrived, your wires were not torqued. I should absolutely not be able to twist this with my hand instead of this tool. This was not installed correctly.”

Over the past year, they have dropped new lines, the inside wiring has been replaced, and they’ve been on the roof who knows how many times.

Today, the tech guy called his supervisor and put him on speakerphone. The supervisor explained that my apartment is on “node bc06,” which controls signals to the whole area. To be exact, this specific node sends internet signal to at least 355 accounts here on the UWS (I assume all in Lincoln Square). The supervisor reviewed this shared node’s activities and signals for each day of the past week in the neighborhood, and his exact words about the quality of the service were:

  • 5/8: “horrible”
  • 5/9: “horrible”
  • 5/10: “horrible”
  • 5/11: “horrible”
  • 5/12: “the worst”
  • 5/13: “horrible”
  • 5/14: “horrible”
  • 5/15: “better than the other days”

Yes, he referred to the internet signal going to all of the apartments in the area as “horrible,” and without this admission, none of us would have known it’s happening on such a large scale. My tech didn’t even have access to that info because he could only see that my modem dropped twice yesterday (my signal dropped about four times, that I noticed).

I am writing this because we are all held hostage to Spectrum and their lousy service. Whether it be incompetence, indifference, or a combination of both, I have been paying for service that has been abysmal. Whether trying to work online, or simply relax at night and watch a movie, it’s been ongoing problems hundreds of times. And Spectrum has not taken it seriously, they have not fixed it, and they have not refunded any money to offset the significant service failures.

Today, they admitted it’s likely that the node has been causing problems for a long time: “but if not enough people call in, we don’t look beyond your apartment to see if there is a bigger issue going on.” I forced them to look today and it appears I’ve been right all along.

I do not know what can or will come of this, but I wanted to share my story. Do any of you have similar stories?

Heath Hughes, your neighbor

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