KIRKLAND, WASHINGTON -- Facts: I was shopping for broadband service, visited several locations, spoke with different companies, and after careful consideration and internet research decided to go with Clear. 10/08/2010: After a second visit, kiosk location, I made a purchase of a broadband device Clear 4G Mobile USB order # ** based on rep's recommendation as a result of search based on my home address as well as an explanation of my needs for on-the-go access. I went home and had no access at all, no connection was found from any part of the house, my parking lot or even my development. As the chat with a Clear Rep. confirms, there is no service in my area.
Here, based on his recommendation, an express warranty was created, as a purchaser, I do have a direct action against the seller. The warranty was breached, the product is not as represented. Therefore, I will be filing a suit on the theory of breach of implied. 10/09/2010: at approximately 11:15 AM I returned to the location of purchase to return the device and get my money back. I was told that I could return within 14 days, here, it was less than 24 hours later. I need the access for Tuesday, for class, so by returning it promptly, I would have a chance to make a purchase with another company, however, I do need those funds back to make yet another purchase.
There was someone else at the location; and after I explained to him that I could not get a connection with the device that I was sold, he quickly responded that I had the wrong device, that I needed something different; he said that he could not help me, give me my money back. I said that my purchase was made based on recommendation. He was angry. He said I was being mean because he is Black, not true. He said he was going to call security, there were cameras everywhere and that everyone knows him because he is a nice guy; irrelevant. He was angry. I was mistreated. He told me to leave the kiosk because I was making a scene.
I was afraid he was going to hit me, he was angry, his eye contact intense and speaking/yelling at me. He caused me apprehension. Here, all the facts lead me to the intentional tort of assault, I am able to establish the prima facie case successfully, therefore, I will be filing a claim for assault.
In addition, I was an invitee at the location, someone at the location for the purposes of a business transaction; and there is a duty owned to me for a safe environment where a reasonable person would expect to come in and be treated with decency. Therefore, I will be filling a suit on the grounds of negligence. After chatting at the company website, I was also told that I was sold the wrong device, I was told that she could not do anything for me. I am out of the money, I have no service. Since I am out of the money, I am unable to shop elsewhere until I have the money back. The cost of the device is the equivalent of roughly 5.5 hrs of retail work before taxes.
10/11 Called the company again, and after a very frustrating conversation, I was told that she was going to send me a UPS return label, she could not return my money. I explained my urgency, the fact that I got screwed, I would expect them to handle it properly, and return my money, so I could go elsewhere... no that didn't happen. I was told it would be an overnight return label, and that a return would take about 3-5 business days... It was a ground UPS return label. Today is 10/15... no money. CLEARLY A SCAM. CLEARLY DOES NOT DESERVE TO BE IN BUSINESS AND HURT PEOPLE LIKE THAT. I paid for service and not to be assaulted.
PLEASE DO NOT GIVE YOUR HARD-EARNED DOLLARS TO A COMPANY THAT DOES NOT CARE ABOUT YOUR NEEDS AT ALL. I don't expect a business to care about me as a person, I do know that they care about my money so from the customer stand point, do the right thing. They clearly have no ** idea.
In January 2010 I got a postcard offering home and mobile wimax from Clear for $50.00 for life. OK good. They advertise super fast internet anywhere in their coverage area. I am in the Chicago market. Well the day I got the modems I was so excited. They claim speeds up to 10 meg. They guarantee speeds of 3 meg. Well I got. 27 meg on the first day. WOW!!! I called and they said that they will create a service ticket. They will extend my 7-day trial period and I should call back in a week.
I found antennasearch and looked up the antennas in my area. I am triangulated between 3 Clearwire antennas. One is about 200 yards across the street from me. I had tech support on the phone and was driving from tower to tower checking speeds and they ranged from .12 to 2.7 meg. The 2.7 meg was about 4 miles from my home and was in the Clear store parking lot. Well anyway after 2 months of calling in every week they finally sent a service tech out, we sat outside and he tried a speed test. He said "Hey this really is bad". I said "I know". He said he would open a service ticket for engineering.
I had tried to cancel in Feb and they talked me out of it by extending the trial period and crediting my Clearwire account for Feb. (I still paid the original 60.98 when I signed up). I went into a Clear store down the road from me. They have a tower in their parking lot and only get like 2.5 meg. Super fast? NOPE. 20 mile from my home I did find a spot where I did get an 8.5, but this was at the junction of three major expressways and there really is no one there using up bandwidth. I get all the lights on my modems at my home but the speeds are almost nonexistent.
I called in yesterday again acting like I want to keep the service and they did not care and even wanted me to cancel because they would charge me for a service that does not work. I went through 2 hrs and 5 different people until I finally got credit for next month hoping that it may come online.
I am not on the fringe of the coverage area, in fact yesterday was the first time in 3 months I got somewhat of an answer as to what is going on. One tech actually did some investigating and found that while my ticket says nothing, there are about 80 or so issues that relate to the towers by me. Specifically the one across the street. He said it may be until September until it works. I asked him why would they sell something that does not work and expect to get paid for it? Fraud is what comes to mind. They tried to get me to agree to a lower fee until it works. I said "No way". Why would I pay for something that does not work and why would I commit?
They were trying to get me to agree to a 2-year commitment that has been on hold until the service works. In other words they were trying to be slick and get me out of the agreement they made with me not to commit to service until it works. Why would anyone commit to something that does not work? Some of the people at Clear on the phone are nice and have sense, but most of them are just warm bodies that have no clue. I asked for a number to corporate as you cannot find one online, and the one girl ** was her name said "That will never happen".
I asked about crediting me for the time until the service works, she said "that will not happen we already credited you for 2 months" I said yeah but you sold me an empty box. she was sooo rude. I asked for my money back and she said we already credited you clear account for 2 months. And I replied, you credited me so I would not be charged for an empty box, you still have my $60.98 from when I signed up, and she replied that they credited my account with clear, I said yes but I still have an empty box, so I am out $60.98 for an empty box. She still did not understand and hung up on me.
The service will be nice if they ever get it to work. I think as a customer I have been very patient, and even helpful, but the misrepresentation of speeds and service coverage, along with the general disrespect from customer service is unacceptable.
Would I recommend Clear at this point? No way. Will I stick it out until it works? If they keep crediting me I will wait and see, if they try to get me to commit to something that does not work, and try to charge me for something that is anything but useful? No way. They are sending return labels for the modems and I have 10 days to use them. Even though they credited me for next month already I think I will just send the garbage back and get my $60.98 back and say goodbye to this company. I do not see them lasting very long here in Chicago with this garbage.
Clear is new 4G wireless internet service. It provides internet service similar to cellular broadband cards (although MUCH MUCH faster) and also provides a home modem for home use in addition to their own VOIP service (similar to Vonage). Unlike cable or DSL internet service they are a radio-based service - there are no wires into your home you receive your internet service through the air. They are in service in 27 major cities and growing.
Here's my experience. Their price is phenomenal. I get a mobile card VOIP and my home internet for what I paid the phone company for DSL and a home phone and Clear comes with free long distance. In addition they offer some of the best international rates I have seen (international is not included in the free long distance plan) but we make calls to Germany and their international rate is 2 cents per minute. I can get that international rate through calling card services but they all add a $5 or so monthly fee. On Clear I just pay for the international minutes added to my monthly fee.
Clear also offers call forwarding services with a few more options than the phone company but you have to activate it and deactivate it on their website. A nice feature is voicemail by email if you get a message they can email a wave file to you, you can play on your computer. This is included in the VOIP service.
Since they are a radio service it's like TV with the old rabbit ears. It may work where you are and it may not. You may have to move the modem around. I put my home modem in on the window sill and it works fine. The mobile modem doesn't work in my house. I did buy a 15 foot USB extension cable and put the modem by a window and then it worked. I tried in a hotel in San Antonio and the same problem no signal in the room but moving the modem to a window with the extension cable and it was fine. At a location in Chicago I had an excellent signal everywhere in the building.
Service is very fast. It is noticeably faster than my DSL service. But unlike cellular broadband cards Clear will ONLY work with Clear. The cellular cards will work in 3G coverage areas and default back to regular cell towers if 3G is not available. Now service is painfully slow on a cellular card if 3G isn't available but you will have service. In weak areas the cellular service will drop to slow service if 3G service is spotty, so usually you can keep working just slowly. This doesn't happen with Clear. If Clear can't get a signal (or loses it) it can't default to another available (albeit slower) service.
I tried this driving out of the San Antonio airport. Clear had a signal when I got on the hotel van and lost it when we drove under a terminal then gained it again between terminals. However, Clear's price is much less. I had a cellular broadband card and it cost $60/month. The Cellular broadband card also dropped A LOT. Clear gives me 2 modems: my voice and free long distance for $70 (before tax prices). Much of the frustration here seems to be connected with Clear contracts. You can avoid all that hassle by buying the modems.
All of my equipment home modem, mobile modem and VOIP adapter cost about $150. That alternative is leasing the equipment for $12/month. Basically in just over a year you pay for the equipment. With leasing though you are tied into a 2-year contract. My advice, buy from a place that takes things back and try it - if it doesn't work at your location take it back. Clear offers a mobile hot spot device (I don't have thisyet) for $140 and I am thinking about that then you could put you mobile modem and hotspot device in a window and use your computer near it avoiding my cable connection option.
At home I connected the home modem into my router and I use my home wireless network and that works fantastic. I have the modem where it gets a good signal and use the wireless router signal for computers throughout the house. Overall, Clear provides me for $70/month what I was paying almost $120 a month for. It has its drawbacks of "no signal no service" and doesn't have the coverage that the cellular providers have. However, for occasional mobile use if you are willing use a cable to locate the mobile modem where it gets a good signal it is more than adequate.
January 27, 2010 - In the mere week or more I have been a Clear customer, I have had nothing but problems. First, I was told that I was right in the middle of the network and using the USB mobile modem would be no problem.The rep **, even told me he was able to download a high definition movie using the USB in six minutes. I found this hard to believe, but continued anyway. After I became a customer, I got home and found that I could not get online with the USB modem. When I called for assistance, all the customer service representative could recommend was that I move my desk and such to the window rather than address the problem.
I was able to talk to someone else who decided to send me the home modem. I was willing to have a look at this, however, it was not what I signed up for and defeated the purpose of getting mobile internet service. I decided to try it anyway. After waiting for the home modem, it finally arrived and guess what? No service again. I called for technical support and they suggested I move the modem around to different spots to get a signal. I did so and got a minimal signal. Needless to say that at this point I am becoming irritated and ill impressed. I decided to try it.
Next I found either the discrepancy on my account or it was something else. I can hardly remember exactly as I have been on the phone with Clear nearly everyday since I have been a customer. At any rate, I expressed my concern about the charge, the representative I remember as ** was helpful as I also expressed my hesitation at even continuing my service with Clear. She suggested a wireless router to boost my signal and provide me wireless internet at least in my home. Even though this wasn't the point of becoming a customer, I decided to give that a try. She said she would “overnight” this router to me. It didn't arrive for several days.
When the router came, I was excited though I had to drive across town in heavy traffic to pick it up. This took about an hour. Once I got it home, I commenced to set up my new router and hoped my problems would be over. Instead, a new set of problems emerged. The software did not work with my brand new laptop, there was $30.40 of funds still on hold on my bank account from Clear, and I was still not able to get online with the signal as promised by the Clear representative. As of this moment, in fact, the funds are still on hold.
I have, by the way, also spoken with account services twice in regards to this. Once, I was even on a conference call with my bank and the Clear account representative The bank gave explicit instructions as to what the Clear representative needed to do to release these funds. Within a day or so I got an email from the bank saying that the Clear representative had not executed the instructions properly. I called and spent another 45 minutes on the phone with Clear. Incidentally, each time I have had to call Clear, I have spent at least 45 minutes to well over an hour on the phone each time. I don't even talk to anyone in my family that long.
Since then, I have been on the phone for an hour twice with technical support for the router. The first time was to get the router set up using online software, the second to voice the problem that whenever I restart my computer, I also have to reboot the router. I am not encouraged by Clear's inept ability to solve problems. The continual apologies by each representative I speak to, have now become annoying and seem insincere. The funds are still on hold. I have spent hours on the phone with either account services or technical support. The service has not worked as promised and I now attempt to use a version of the service that I wasn't even in the market for.
In short, I am not impressed. I am currently looking to return to cable internet and use a wireless service through my cell phone service. I am curious as to how Clear thinks they will meet the needs of a growing customer base with this kind of service. I saw a Clear representative selling service at my college. I suggested that no one should sign up and shared a brief synopsis of my experience. I have also relayed part of this nightmare with the local Best Buy where I signed up with Clear when I bought my laptop. I will be happy to inform the corporate offices as well. As for now, I am simply tired of being on the phone.
To Clear I would suggest the following: Fix the problems, better train your support staff, take better care of your customers, financially compensate for the endless inconvenience. There is no chance that I would recommend this service to anyone. It has been the worst experience I have ever had with any kind of service. It's funny. When I tried to email this to Clear, there isn't even an email address on their “Contact Us” page. Can't say I'm surprised. I would expect their Inbox would be filled with letters like this one.
I have been a Clearwire customer since January 2010. Clearwire was the only service available in the newly built subdivision in which I moved to in Richmond, Va. I am very pleased with the services, however, I ordered a modem for a PC which has never worked, and I have had several of your technical employees to walk me through the setup and for some reason my services never worked.
This past week I choose to get services through another company (only PC services, my home internet services remain with Clearwire). I called in to have my services disconnected only to be informed my services were never connected, the representative I spoke with first (sorry I did not write her name) states the modem was reported stolen. I asked her how that could be when I have the modem at my home. She then transferred me to the department to have my services disconnected, and I inquired about a refund since I have been paying $35.24 for 18 months ($ 563.84 total) and have never had any services.
I have tried to use my PC several times at school, at coffee houses, in different states and cities and it never worked, NEVER. According to your representative my services were never activated and it's the customer's responsibility to make sure they follow the steps for set up, Clearwire do not track services at all. I asked your representative if I could receive a refund since I have paid for these services for 18 months and have not received ANY services.
I am not a wealthy person, and in this economy no one has money to throw away. I am a loyal customer who has NEVER missed any monthly payments, neither have I ever been late, or asked for an extension. I was granted a 3 month credit of $105.72 and 1 month free PC service for $35.74. I am appalled that I was not credited a full refund for services I paid for and were never able to use, since my services never worked, and your company has proof, as I know your company keeps track your representative informed me of that in our phone conversation 7-25-11 @ app 11:30 - 12:30, yes the call was almost an hour long.
I am no longer a satisfied customer and I am requesting a full refund of $563.84 minus the $105.72 which will bring my refund to $458.12. I am truly outraged at this tactic; Clearwire has shown a poor quality regarding customer satisfaction. I recently purchased a new computer (Apple for $1,400.00) because I thought my DELL computer was just not working. Well the realization of the matter is MY CLEARWIRE SERVICES WERE NEVER ACTIVATED. Again I am requesting a refund for services I paid for and never used.
I also requested that I receive monthly bills and was told that is not possible. I would like to have this matter resolved; I am willing to do whatever is necessary as a paying customer to receive what is rightfully owed to me which is refund. I am not asking for Clearwire to GIVE me anything, I am only asking for what is rightfully mine.
THIS was my most recent post to a representative at Clear.com. They promised me a full refund of my first payment taken from my credit card. I began "service" with them on May 26,2010 and cancelled about 3 weeks later. I NEVER was able to obtain HIGH speed advertised, never could use their clear.net email (it would not work),etc.
I LITERALLY spent over 10 or 11 hours on the phone with them, trying to get email working and to get better speed for internet. No one had told me that this company operates on "bars of a cell phone".... I could only get 2 out of 5 and was being charged for HIGH SPEED. Other features I had for free with Time Warner Cable were not free with Clear.
"I recently cancelled my account for telephone and internet with Clear. I was promised a FULL REFUND of the $83.09 I had paid for my first bill with you. I returned all equipment, per your UPS labels. You did not give me a full refund. You only gave $70.74. WHY IS THIS? Please credit my Mastercard for the remainder and send me a letter of explanation as to why you did not give the complete refund in the first place and how you calculated as you did. ** in Pensacola told me I'd get the entire payment credited back to my credit card. ** in Pensacola, ** all ** told me the same thing as did you."
It was bad enough that I did not receive HIGH SPEED internet that was advertised. From all the reps I spoke with at Clear, NONE was able to make the email work! I was told to go use free mail like gmail, Hotmail, or yahoo! For the internet, I was told to go out of my house and find the telephone lines and do something out there with them - I refused! I spent LITERALLY over 11 hours with your customer service people, all giving me different instructions than the previous one. It's black and white, clear-cut direction as to HOW to set up the email.... You each had me changing the ports, the boxes to be checked, from IMAP to POP3,etc.
The "high tech, top of the line" service technician I was being sent in person was promised to fix the internet AND the email problems on my PC AND both laptops... When he arrived, he told me he did not know ANYTHING about how to fix email - that he did not use Clear! All he did while here was run the speed tests and I already had done this from several diff. companies, all with similar results - less than 1 mb/s.... ".51" was a typical a one.
I was able to play an entire game of solitaire while waiting for one screen on Facebook to change!!! NO ONE can live like that for 2 years.
Because you were unable to make anything work with your equipment, because you were unable to provide me with HIGH SPEED internet, because you were unable to make a simple thing like email work (even though I followed your on-screen pictoral, graphic instructions), I should get the full refund- - AS I WAS PROMISED. I paid you for high speed; I paid you for high speed; I paid you for email. YOU COULD NOT FOLLOW THROUGH DESPITE ALL MY COOPERATION....so I want the rest of my money back now. Either send it in a check to me or credit my Mastercard. Since you have all my info on record, I will not broadcast it here.
Clearwire is an unjust, immoral company that has done everything in their power to continue billing me for services they could not render. In June 2007, I started a subscription to Clearwire service and signed a two-year agreement. One of the major factors in signing was that I was moving in six months and had no idea if service was available in the new area. I was told that was fine and that if this was the case, they would help me find another potential customer to take over the contract.
I lived in Jacksonville FL at the time and service was ok but I was unable to use my company VPN connection and most of my online games didn't work at all. Instead, I subscribed to Comcast for home service and started using my Clearwire strictly for internet access in my vehicle as I traveled around Jacksonville for business. Once we figured out we were moving to St. Augustine FL in December 2007, I went to the new location and tested service. No signal. I spent multiple hours on the phone with tech support just to be told I was 2 miles out of range.
I went back to my local office and spoke with the representative about help. I was promptly told that Clearwire does not assist in finding a customer to transfer to - they only file the paperwork. Outraged, I called the main Clearwire number to ask for help there. Again I was told flat out that I had to find someone and Clearwire would continue to bill me until such time. Since then, I have called several times trying to complain that Clearwire Representatives have called me, sent me mail and set up fliers and signs in my neighborhood advertising their service and products - all while I continue to get none.
I told them multiple times that it is not right to advertise service in an area that can't receive it and a slap in my face since I am paying for it anyway. After rereading the contract I signed, there is a specific clause that states the reseller can terminate the contract if the customer is unable to be provided service. I called again and did not stop complaining until I got to as high up a manager as I could and still I was told to pay it and like it.
After all the time and effort I spent trying to convey my frustration and disappointment in this company, I decided to write the entire problem off and just pay out the contract. I never used the service the last 18 months of the contract and still I paid on time every month. When May 2009 came, I called Clearwire. The Representative I reached was able to cancel my account as of the last payment and said a box would be sent for me to return the equipment. I waited patiently for it to arrive and it never did.
After 4 weeks I noticed that Clearwire charged me the monthly charge again. I called and complained and told them I did not get a box to return the equipment. I was told to be patient and that the charge would be refunded after the equipment arrived. I still never received a box.
Now, on July 28th 2009, I received 6 automated phone calls from Clearwire. The first automated call hung up on me when I answered but I was able to get the first few seconds identifying the call as Clearwire Account Services. I called back immediately and when a Representative answered I asked why I was called. She stated that I had a past due balance of $40.23 and they had been trying to bill it to my card unsuccessfully for the last 5 days.
I got really upset at that point and demanded an explanation why their company was so incompetent and why did I need to suffer because of it. She explained that they would continue to try to charge the account until the equipment arrived. Heatedly, I explained that I STILL had not received the box and that it was their fault the equipment was not returned. The Representative told me they do not send boxes. I was dumbfounded. I told her to check the notes on my account about waiting for the box and she instead told me they do not send boxes, they email UPS shipping labels.
I waited while she processed the request for a label and she instructed me that I would receive it in my registered email. I used my company email that I am in charge of so I know I would get it. Following that call, I received two more automated calls that hung up on me after I answered. The fourth call came around 4 PM and when I answered it allowed me to proceed through the menu and get in touch with another Representative. I informed her of the calls and that I had already handled this issue but was still getting called.
I also told her that I had not received the confirmation email I was told I would get so I had her give me the UPS tracking number and that I would take it to a UPS store to ensure it was sent tomorrow. I also asked about my refund and was again told my refund would be determined once the equipment arrived. I left it at that and resolved to just return the equipment tomorrow. I got another automated call an hour later that hung up on me.
Then another just after I arrived home except this one did not come from the same number - instead it came from an actual land number not the 888 number. I answered not knowing who it was and was greeted by yet another Billing Representative from Clearwire trying to charge my card. At this point, I was really upset and informed the Representative of how many minutes they had racked up on my cell phone today and that I was tired of dealing with them and to stop calling me - I had already made arrangements. I was told by the Representative ** that I would have to deal with the calls until the equipment arrived. That was the last straw for me.
I asked for a higher Manager and reached ** who informed me he could make the calls stop. At this point, I told ** that I was no longer going to sit back and take this abuse and that I would write this letter to the BBB and pursue a full refund of $1007 Clearwire has billed me for over the past 25 months. I have had nothing but horrible customer service, no actual service and dozens of rude, unhelpful Representatives over the last two years and I feel taken advantage of.
As a consumer I was strung along by this company and when I finally could legally separate from them, they seem to do everything in their power to keep my money coming in. If it were not for that card expiring just after the last charge, they would keep charging me. I plan to explore my options to recoup my losses in small claims court and will settle for nothing less than an 18 months refund.
Unlike other people, I have been able to get a "decent" signal (2/5), but, like others, I have never been able to surf the internet anywhere near the advertised speed. Because of Clearwire WiMax not being reliable (disconnects, particular about the placement of the modem, which renders a spot in my living room an eyesore) I am now considering the switch to traditional internet providers. I forked over the activation fee in favor of signing a contract, wanting to test out the new service without committing myself. I am glad I did not sign a contract, as, having in theory "paid" for the privilege, I can now cancel whenever I want.
I found out what canceling would entail, and the road is almost deceptive. In order to cancel, your "rented" modem must be shipped and received by Clearwire's warehouse. Now, there's no problem with a company wanting to reclaim their equipment. However, I consider it a mean policy towards customers when Clearwire charges customers for services paid for, but rendered unavailable. What do I mean by this? Let me attempt an explanation.
In the first place, when you ship the equipment, you can no longer make use of the internet service that were promptly charged you a month prior for this simple reason: no modem, no service. So, during the modem's journey to Clearwire's warehouse, you, the customer, are without the service for which you paid. If, for some unfortunate reason, you did not allow enough time to ship the modem and your billing date comes around without the equipment being received by the warehouse, you will indeed be automatically billed again.
As long as the equipment is not received by the warehouse once you initiated a cancellation request, your account is not considered cancelled. What does this entail? It will be an interesting road ahead for a customer who wants only to go through a simple cancellation process. If you choose the first situation and mail back the equipment, setting aside such a time as would ensure its arrival before the billing date you would have been cheated out of the service for which you have paid during that time.
A recommendation given by a Clearwire representative is 7 to 14 days prior to the billing date: Given the fact that there are at most 31 days in a month of billable service, this certainly makes up a significant portion of that period! If, on the other hand, you have good faith in your shipping agency but the very same entity failed in your expectation, you would be automatically billed again for a service that, in the act of shipping the equipment, you expressed full commitment in canceling. But what about simply returning it to a Clearwire store? I inquired the very same. The answer? It matters not. Clearwire Store is not Clearwire Warehouse.
Returning to the Store might simply cause a delay, as the Store would then, on its own time and schedule, forward your equipment to the Warehouse. As I have noted, your account is considered active and billable as long as the Warehouse have not received your equipment. But… That's right, and I'll admit this much in favor of the company. If Clearwire's Warehouse received the equipment within seven days after having billed you, they will issue you a refund. Well, if I get a refund, what then is really the issue here?
I don't know, but I'd rather not place friendly calls to Clearwire to remind them to give me a refund when the charge should not have been made in the first place! I'd rather not be unfairly treated if I should choose to mail in the equipment before the billing date. In fact, I'd rather not be so shocked by this cancellation process that I felt compelled to write this review. But life sometimes doesn't float the same boat. That's my 3 cents on this matter.
(If I have spoken ill and false, I should be embarrassed if I don't correct myself immediately in some form or other)
Update: 07.08.09 - When new customers are signing up for Clear, they have no choice but to buy the modem in whole and pay activation fee if they don't want a contract. On the other hand, signing a contract for 2 years will waive activation fee and allow the customer to rent the modem versus buying the equipment. So, my complaint in part is no longer valid with regards to customers who decided to buy the equipment and pay the activation fee without signing a contract, since the modem is no longer property of the company.
CLYDE, TEXAS -- Most people by now have heard of Clearwire and their "simple, affordable, portable alternative to cable or DSL". As a past AT&T DSL and Suddenlink Cable user, in my personal experience and opinion Clearwire does not constitute as an "alternative". The Clearwire internet service concept is based on the ability to place a modem that receives a wireless signal anywhere in your home and allow you to connect to the internet at high speeds (up to 1.5mbps).
The first problem that I ever encountered with Clearwire was that the modem realistically couldn't be just "anywhere" in my home. It had to be turned a certain way, tweaked within a window pointing towards their tower. All this has to be done in order to acquire even a mediocre signal if you aren't within extremely close range of their towers (assume a 3 mile radius). If you can house your modem within a window relatively close-by to your computer, you're alright and won't have any problems with this. However, the "mobility" factor goes right out the window.
The second and EXTREMELY frustrating problem I encountered with Clearwire was the reliability of its service. Clearwire works well-enough at 3:00 am so long as it isn't, cloudy, raining, snowing, foggy or anything other than quite clear weather conditions. The service seems to constantly be interrupted, if only for mere seconds... but completely severing your connection to the internet here and there consistently.
I assume this could be due to the "wireless" technology, maybe sometimes packets just get dropped completely and cause the service to timeout during that one trip. Whatever the case may be, it causes infuriating headaches if it doesn't reestablish connection while trying to download something.
The third problem I encountered with Clearwire was that I never touched even CLOSE to 1.5 mbps in download speeds. Just now at 7:20 pm CST on a Wednesday night I did a speed test (at speedtest.net) and my download was 179kb/s. 5 minutes later at 7:25 pm the download was 1108kb/s. Finally another 5 minutes later at 7:30 pm it was 306kb/s. Download speed fluctuation is normal with all ISPs but 200kb and 300kb is far short from 1500 (1.5mbps). And it's a regular thing to notice such vast differences in speed.
The final and probably most ANNOYING thing about Clearwire service is the unbelievably long and regularly fluctuating latency. The latency can go from 78ms to 2000ms and higher and timeout completely. Effectively rendering online gaming and video streaming nearly impossible.
For those of you that don't know, latency is the time it takes for data to go from your computer to the next hop. An example would be, my speedtest. FT. Worth, TX is the closest to me at about 135 miles. My first and SLOWEST speedtest had a 56ms ping. Meaning it took a fraction of a second (1/19th roughly) for data to go from my computer to FT. Worth. The second and highest download speed had a 376ms ping (roughly the same ping time of Dial-Up). And the last time the ping was 94ms.
As you might've guessed, because the data transfers at different speeds at so many differing intervals so many times... something that requires a consistent connection like online gaming or streaming is nearly impossible without serious spikes of lag if not complete temporary disconnections from the server. That's merely the technical problems I encountered with Clearwire. The incompetence of their customer and technical service staff is beyond comparison. Never, in all my life have I dealt with people that didn't care less or didn't know less than these people.
I composed a log within a months time of the times I experienced elongated downtime and required me to restart my modem and/or wait for service to come back up. In a 30 day period the service was down at least 15 minutes 11 times. When I brought this to the attention of their customer service department, after numerous complains and new contacts, I received a $5.00 credit for the month.
The HIGHEST speed Clearwire offers is 1.5mbps at $45.00 per month. Cable internet at roughly 5mbps is around $35.00 per month (in my area). If ANY other internet service provider is available in your area... I STRONGLY suggest, no I implore you to go with a different provider than Clearwire. Sadly, I live in a rural area and other than Dial-up there is only Clearwire. But I will rejoice the day DSL finally inches its way to my house because I'll rip up the contract and cancel my credit card and tell Clearwire to send me a bill.
For those of you wondering, I have cancelled service with Clearwire 2 different times already because of their incomparably dismal service. But because I have had no alternative at all, I was forced to sign back up to use the internet. Make note that I am MOST dissatisfied with their service on EVERY level and hope every day that another provider becomes available.
OLATHE, KS. 66062 -- Since the Sprint takeover my monthly unlimited 4G Wimax plan is increasing from $45 to $50. Two days ago they started throttling my speed. My download speed has gone from 3.5 to 4.5 mb/sec down to 1.5 to 2.5. Not exactly "HIGH SPEED INTERNET SERVICE." Closer to slow "DSL" or even the dreaded "DIAL-UP." More cost, less service, what else would you expect from Sprint - not exactly the corporate model for telecommunications success!