Those of us who live in the digital world are tethered with a permanent IV to a set of communications providers, many of which do not have a strong reputation for customer service.
I hear complaints all the time from people who are fed up with their ISP, wireless carrier, or phone company and wish they had better options.
It's one thing when your service goes out and you can't get online or can't get a good cellular signal. People are always going to be upset when they have a service outage. What makes it much worse is that, all too often, communications companies show little sense of urgency or responsibility for outages and customer problems.
In addition to outages, communcations companies also draw the ire of customers by locking people into long-term contracts, hitting people with hidden fees, and taking too long to fix problems.
Obviously, I don't want to paint with too broad of a brush. There are people who are very happy with their communications providers, and there are a few providers that offer decent customer service. The real test is when you run into service outages or issues with your bill, for example. How well does your provider respond?
With that in mind, we'd like to know which one of your communications providers is the worst to deal with. We realize that for many of you, your cable company and your ISP are now the same company, for example. So, when you're answering this poll, simply select the category that best describes the way you think about the company that comes to mind. Also, please post your horror stories (and excellent service stories) in the discussion.
Jason Hiner is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He writes about the people, products, and ideas changing how we live and work in the 21st century. He's co-author of the upcoming book, Follow the Geeks (bit.ly/ftgeeks).