What it’s like to deal with Bright House for 11 years


Bright House

I’ve had Bright House cable Internet service at home for 11 years. In the past 5 years working there as a communications consultant, I need reliable online access 24/7.

Unfortunately, my service (Earthlink funneled through Bright House) is interrupted frequently, usually by cold or rain. While Bright House is usually responsive, it can be aggravating to deal with their support staff.

Below is a chat transcript from this morning, trying to report two issues. (I’m lucky to have this transcript, since I usually am forced to call customer service because Internet service is completely out. I’m doubly lucky that I can still access my own site to post this.) It reflects the same problems in dealing with Bright House that I’ve had every time I’ve asked for help in 11 years (and in my service area, outages have numbered in the dozens.

[First part of transcript emailed to me was cut off. Classic Bright House. The representative had just asked what the service problems were …]

Wade Kwon: 1. Cable Internet signal drops repeatedly. 2. Also having problems web browsing to random sites similar to problem a few weeks ago with Bright House.

Angie: Thank you for taking the time to contact Bright House Networks. I would be happy to assist you with your Internet.

Angie: I’m sorry to hear you are having issues with your service.

Angie: May I get the telephone number, or the full address that is associated with the account, please?

Wade Kwon: 205-xxx-xxxx

Angie: Thank you. It will just take a moment to access your account. How is the weather looking there today?

Angie: Are you at home right now, Wade?

Wade Kwon: yes

Angie: Okay, have you tried resetting the modem?

Wade Kwon: It’s not a modem issue.

Angie: Okay, I can send someone out to take a look at it.

Wade Kwon: Thank you. They’ll need to be able to examine the junction box at the top of the utility pole.

Angie: I have appointments available tomorrow?

Wade Kwon: Any time is fine. I won’t be home, but I can follow up later if there’s still a signal issue.

Angie: We will need someone home for a service call.

Wade Kwon: Fine, I’ll be home. Please send someone asap.

Angie: I have 8 am to 10 am tomorrow, does that work for you?

Wade Kwon: yes

Angie: Our technicians try to call you about a half hour prior to coming out. What is the best number to contact you on?

Wade Kwon: 205-xxx-xxxx

Angie: Great! I have that set up for you.

Wade Kwon: Thanks. Will you also check on another problem? Similar to a few weeks ago, I can’t reach random sites: weather.com, dropbox.com.

Wade Kwon: Other sites work fine: facebook, cnn.

Angie: The technician can take a look at that when he comes out, as well.

Wade Kwon: Please pass it along to your tech support colleagues asap. I believe it is a problem that can be fixed now and is related to some kind of server/IP issue across the network. BH had the same issue a few weeks ago.

[See related tweet and tweet | screencap and screencap]

Wade Kwon: It’s not related to my home service, but a BH node issue.

Angie: One moment please…

Angie: For further support with this issue you can contact Earthlink at 1-800-817-5508.

Wade Kwon: It’s not an Earthlink issue. It’s a BH issue. As I said before, BH had this exact problem several weeks ago. All I’m asking is that you pass this along to the correct technician at BH.

Wade Kwon: I need to go. Thanks for your help.

Angie: If you wish to escalate this, it would have to be done through Earthlink.

Wade Kwon: It’s not an Earthlink issue. How can I report you to your supervisor?

Angie: I can certainly let my supervisor read the chat, if you wish?

[Chat transcript cut off. I had asked that the supervisor review the transcript and call me by the end of the day.]

This is the first time in 11 years that I’ve aired my Bright House grievance publicly. In the past, I’ve written letters and emails to resolve these issues, but I’m tired of how poor the treatment is. (I would switch, but Birmingham’s granted monopoly to a select few providers makes this a bad choice all the way around.)

Update April 10: In the comments, Bright House representative Gary Doda has contacted me. I’ve emailed back and forth with him, but for whatever reason, he’s decided to break protocol and continue our discussion both publicly in the comments and privately by email.

Gary DodaMr. Doda has been, like many Bright House employees, a challenge.

He found repeating modem resets that were yet another problem in my home Internet service. (This shows how severe my Stockholm syndrome is with Bright House: I thought all these interruptions were normal.)

Two service vans came out to the house Saturday, and both technicians worked on replacing all the cabling from the modem to the wall to the crawl space to the exterior junction box to the utility pole. A third technician arrived, unaware that two colleagues had already been on site for an hour.

I went from being ignored and dismissed by Bright House to being inundated.

After the big cable replacement (the technicians said it had been gnawed by animals), I checked my stats on speedtest.net. No change.

And the modem resets continued.

Mr. Doda emailed that same day:

“Things look much improved since your visit on Weds. Please confirm the experience one way or the other and thank you for allowing me to get my folks out there to work on this.”

I explained that the corrective measures had made no difference and that if he had proof otherwise, he should show me.

I haven’t heard from him since.

I’ve still been in touch with a local supervisor by phone, as his team continues to eliminate causes for the Internet disruptions. That supervisor mentioned that this is an area problem, one that affects other households besides mine (a point I have to stress every time I call in a service issue).

I appreciate the work that all the techs have put into fixing this problem. I hope they find it, solve it and never visit me again.


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