I’m ISPicky

As you may or may not know, I’m moving out of my parents’ house on Wednesday. And, though terrifying in that “oh god now I have to pay power bills” kind of way, it’s going pretty well. Once I buy renter’s insurance later today, I’ll be all set to get my keys. Yay!

Since the essentials are taken care of, I thought I’d move on to things that–though not necessary to move in–make apartment living nicer. I settled on getting the apartment’s wifi set up.

This was a horrible decision. Unlike the other utilities with their beautiful government-enforced monopolies, there are many options for selecting your ISP. Except it’s a trick, because all of them are terrible.

I like to think of myself as reasonably good with computers. I’m swimming in the advanced beginner kiddie pool. And I find myself having to consult multiple sites (and my IT worker father) to get my wireless network ordered and set up. I have absolutely no idea how non-tech-savvy folks ever get the whole thing done, because it’s been three days and I’m about to tear my hair out.

What I want is an ISP whose site asks the following:

  1. Do you watch a lot of Netflix?
  2. Do you already own a modem and a router? (If no, give me an option to lease both from you or give me a link to New Egg to go buy my own. Have pictures.)
  3. How long do you need internet service for? (Drop down menu with 1-12 months and a “longer than a year” option.)
  4. Do you want to consult with a customer service rep about your specific situation and discuss questions not answered here? (Pop-up chat window.)

THE END. That tells you what speed connection I need, what gear I need, and how long I need it for. That is all of the information you need to provide me service. Easy to navigate for those who aren’t tech savvy. Done! Go to a page that takes my credit card and/or PayPal!

What I don’t need is what folks currently provide–a weird, blingy list of the 16 packages on tap. Give folks an option to compare them if they want, but what I really am aiming for is the ability to watch Doctor Who episodes on my iPad. You can extrapolate from that without me ever having to deal with things that I do not need. Hell, Tumbl-fy the layout for the site and every impatient college kid in the US will order from it.

And now that I’ve typed my piece, I’m going to go take another stab at the Comcast website. I hear they’ve got many packages tailored to my needs.

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