I've Had It with CenturyLink (aka "gunk")
Why I'm Going Back to Dreadful Horrible Comcast


Published on by nick

Tags: centurylink, isp, usability, customer-service

OK, so I'm throwing in the towel. I was considering renewing my contract with CenturyLink after an hour long discussion with Aurora B, but now I've had it. I have god-damned, motha-fu** had it!

The most recent pile of crap I've had to deal with? Oh yeah, something novice web developers get right when they build their first web form: how to make it so the user can actually send the information they intend to send (without errors, as a bonus). I remember testing furiously, making sure everything was just right, so when one of my users actually pulled up the good ol' contact form, the damn thing actually worked. I know, I know, this can be hard... all those complex details… I get it ;-)

After a rant about how disappointed I was that CenturyLink (heretofore known as "gunk") is selling my personal information to third parties, and after Aurora B swearing that they didn't, I simply asked her where I could read that policy. Yes, gunk's policy on sharing my information. Of course, she couldn't provide me with a URL, so she said, "go to our web site and find the form thingy and use that -- they are really good about getting back to you guys..."

I conclude the call, hang up, and head over the gunk’s web site. I click “Contact Us” towards the bottom, and I proceed to fill out the contact form; pretty standard as they come, so I was hopeful it might actually work. I began envisioning what this “privacy” policy would look like… I get to the bottom, click “Submit” and boom!

http://www.centurylink.com/home/emailus/failure.html

I literally start laughing hysterically (really loudly too, like this is not my real laugh). I feel a wave of complete madness wash over me and just sit there, despondent.

After a few minutes of this deep sadness at the state of affairs of this ISP giant, I set out to find out what the hell is wrong here. Of course, I resubmit the form. Nope… I go ahead and assume the person who built this piece of shit forgot to render the validation errors; yes, I checked the form fields for common validation issues. Nope… I then fire up Firebug and start interrogating the page. I see much of my POST data is missing, despite it being in the form, so it’s probably a validation error of some sort, hiding behind some other issue. At this point I just give up because, really, I’ve got better things to do. And this post is meant to be about usability, not how to diagnose someone else’s poorly designed web forms.

Not only am I going to cancel my gunk subscription as soon as I can, but I’m going to go back to Comcast, the ISP I swore off nearly a year ago due to tons of issues of its own. The real sad part about this whole thing is that I didn’t even go into detail about what happened prior to me needing to contact gunk with this form. This company is a train wreck. I’m not sure how many others out there are experiencing this, but based on how systematic it feels, I wouldn’t be surprised if there were thousands…

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