Clearwire Complaint - Clear, it kinda works
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 3meg. 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 non existent. 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 Rene 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.