Cleveland, VA is a rural area and unfortunately, Almega Cable Co owed by Thomas Kurien is the only option for high speed internet. Almega Cable was given grant money from the government to install this internet through Cleveland and Carbo Virginia. In fact, they were given over $80,000.00.
It all started with a friend I had gone to school with, Aaron. He was marketing Almega in Cleveland and I agreed to sign up because the only internet options in Cleveland were DirectWay (now Hughes Net) and Dial-Up. We had problems from the beginning and were told by Aaron that Almega Cable had upgraded a T-1 line in another area, so they brought the used T-1 line with used parts and installed it in Cleveland. Aaron was very frustrated because of all the problems and stated to us that Almega would not order new parts because they did not want to spend the money. Aaron has since left Almega.
I have since had terrible service issues, our internet is off more than it is on and recently in the past 3 months (May, June, July 2011) we have had 7 days of service and those seven days the service was off and on. The previous months before that (Jan 2011-March 2011) the service has been terrible as best, sometimes it is on for an hour or two then off for an hour or two. I contacted Almega almost everyday and at times I am not nice to say the least because I am so fed up and regret that we (Cleveland) chose them for our service provider. My records, if any, only go back to 2009 because they got a new computer but I have had service longer than that. I will have to check but I believe I switched to Almega in Oct 2007. The service has increasingly gone down hill.
I have filed complaints with the Better Business Bureau due to the fact that Almega, will not send anyone to work on the service issues and they will not fix the service issues. However; Almega has a F rating and does not answer complaints because they don't seem to care.
When I contact Almega, they do not pull up any accounts, do any trouble shooting, I get the same answer everyday. I am told that they are working on it and will send someone, or they are having issues in my area, however they never give me a date or time that someone will come or when it will be fixed. If pressured for a date or time, I have learned not to miss work and stay home waiting on Almega because they don't show up. One time only, I accidentally got a guy named Mitch when I called in and he actually done some trouble shooting and got my modem # (MAC ID) and re-entered it and promised to trace my modem to see what the problem was. The internet was on for a few days and then back to the same thing. I normally manually reset my modem everyday to determine if the internet is going to work or not. (When internet is on and working the ready light is steady and when it is off and not working ready light flashes). This is my personal modem due to the fact that a couple of years ago the modem Almega provided quit working, I waited over 4 months without service to get a new modem and they never sent or brought one, so I finally got my own and finally got Almega to activate the MAC ID.
I have 4 children that could use the internet for school projects, ect. and we like to order things we need online and we pay our bills over the internet and our bank is online. We also have several online subscriptions that we get charged monthly for but cannot use due to the internet being off or when it is on too slow to load. We are a technology family with iPhone's, iPad's, XBOX, and my husband works on computers in his spare time. None of that does much good when you can't use them because the service is not reliable. Our children's school had Almega but went with another provider that actually put an antenna on the roof of the school due to the issues with Almega. I wish that company's service would pick up where we live but it does not. Other customers have the same issues in Cleveland, but we are the last house in Cleveland on the internet service and it seems that we have more problems, or we at least call in more. It could be as simple as a bad modem or cable but they will not come check. The speed is terrible and in fact on several occasions when the service was working we have checked the speed and it is the same as dial up. It is like .5mbps. We are always promised credit for the time we do not have service, but we never get that credit because they will not give you credit while your service is off and I am pretty sure that most of the representatives or family members that answer the phone do not even document anything, at times I can hear TV's in the background and children. Plus, when you service is off most of the time, and off for months at at time, when and how are you going to get credit??
UPDATE: August - The service is working and has been for over a week because according to Mitch they had to order a part that cost $5000, it actually has only gone off a couple of times but it has come back on. So, today I called to get credit. Please note when your service is off and you ask for credit you are told to call back when the service is working, which in my case is RARELY, so I explained to the guy that answered (they all sound the same but give different names) that I was calling to get the credit and was offered 15 days of credit, I was upset because I have not had service in 3 months and before that the service was terrible and not reliable. So, I ask to speak to his supervisor and guess who I get, Mitch, so I thought this will be good because I had told Mitch all my problems before and he had been the only one to help me, NOPE, he was rude and offered $50 credit. I told him that all the employees at Almega had spoken to me everyday almost and knew I did not have service and even he had known, $50 is all he could do, I was getting very angry, so he offered $60. I said I would settle for $87.40, he would not give me the credit and said he had my internet usage records, I advised I would like for him to send those to me, and he refused, I keep records myself, so I asked to speak to his supervisor, he told me he did not have one, so I asked to speak to Thomas Kurien the owner, Mitch then told me that Thomas was out of the country. So I asked Mitch to leave Thomas Kurien a message to contact me when he came back to the country, and Mitch told me that Thomas does not take calls from customers and does not sit at a desk. What kind of owner does not take calls from customers????? I am very upset of the years of getting RIPPED OFF by ALMEGA CABLE.
All I want is for the service I pay for to work and credit for the days and months and years it does not work and for the times it half works then I expect to pay for half only.
I then open my email and get a response from Better Business Bureau that my case has been closed due to no response from Almega Cable, so I check Almega Cable history and find this: "According to Thomas Kurien, Almega Cable provides cable service to Virginia, South Carolina, California and Oregon, and are headquartered Toms River, NJ. Almega Cable is the management company for PC One Cable which is headquartered in Ramsey, NJ". "Complaints processed by the BBB concern service and billing issues. Specifically complainants allege they have not received the services they are being billed for".
In CA they have shut down Almega Cable because the BBB reports: According to information in the BBB files, it appears that the company is no longer in business. The phone numbers the BBB had for this company are disconnected, and directory assistance does not have a listing for this company. The BBB's mail to this company has been returned as undeliverable. If you have an unresolved dispute with this company you may wish to seek legal advice."
Please do not get me wrong, I hate to complain, and usually just pay my bills and go on, but Almega's service is terrible and it is a total shame that Rural Communities as well as large communities end up with this type of service. As consumers, you expect to pay for services you receive but when you continuously have service issues, you eventually get tired of paying for something you don't get. I can assure you their Cable is not much better, I switched my cable to DirecTV and never have an issue that they don't immediately take care of.
They provide internet and cable and now their website don't even work...................DO NOT GET ALMEGA CABLE, IF YOU HAVE THEM CANCEL AND FIND ANOTHER PROVIDER. This is my suggestion.