I've been a small business customer of Birch since June of 2003. From June of 2003 to January of 2013, Birch has been paid $29,613.76 by my company.
Initially, we received telephone services only. My overall rating of Birch's performance for this period is about 5/10--acceptable enough to live with, but definitely not spectacular. Problems during this period were outages on occasion (that can happen to anyone), but with a "pass the buck" attitude by Birch's technical service department. From a staffing and workload standpoint, it was not feasible to make a change and so "acceptable" performance was reluctantly accepted by us.
In 2010 we added internet services and from 2010 to 2013 Birch's performance steadily declined from about a 5/10 to a 2/10. Problems during this period were incredibly slow internet speeds (clocked and recorded by us over at least the last 2 years), both telephone outages and internet outages, billing misstatements that border on fraud, unhelpful technical service help, and abusive billing department attitudes. Birch's internet service to our company was a T-1 line that never had performance above the DSL line speed level based on tests we made during this period. Our caller ID was dropped on two of our four lines after Birch installed the T-1 line and Birch then handled the problem by passing the buck to AT&T. After a series of back and forth discussions with Birch and AT&T, we stopped calling to avoid a continued loss of time and money.
We then checked out the availability of new Comcast service in our area and arranged to make the switch. Birch then refused to allow Comcast to take over one of our four phone numbers--without a legitimate reason. This delayed the switch for another 2-3 weeks. Birch then sent the next bill with a $75.00 increase--which will bring the grand total since 2003 to about $30,000.00.
Phone calls to Birch's customer service department were met with the most abusive tactics I have seen in 31 years of business. "David" and "Ben Schubert" in the Billing Department should be fired for gross incompetence. As a company, Birch should do some serious retraining of their billing department staff. Regardless, I will not do business with Birch again and plan to tell anyone who will listen to avoid this company like the plague. Alternatively, if you already have Birch, be aware of these tactics and make a switch at the first hint of similar behavior by Birch.
I will close by saying that two of Birch's Customer Service representatives in Macon (Tyra and Tara, I believe) were polite and professional. Thank you.