Clear came to St.Louis roughly over six months ago, promising better internet service. The pitch caught my attention when they offered hi-speed internet service on a 4G network at such an affordable price, as well as no buffering when it came to streaming videos. Also, they offered bundle plans, making it more inviting the more you bought the more you saved. Well, don't hold your breath. There are a few pros and cons to this deal. Like its competitor, there are no grace periods to paying your bills. If payment is due on the 20th, you have til midnight that night to pay, otherwise services will be temporarily suspended. Next, if you bought the home module, the service ran slow (medium size black box). Some pages take time to load, the connection may drop and videos-they tend to buffer. At times the service was stagnant, ranging from 1 to 3 bars, holding steady-only if you connected during down times. Like early in the morning, when broadband traffic was slow. But if you try to access the web during prime time hours; 5pm to 9pm, then you're sure to encounter some problems. As in my last content, we optimized the device to meet its full potential, but again we still had to tweak it. We found out it runs potentially better if placed in front of a window. This help support a steady reception, pushing the device to a full 4 bars! Never have I seen it stay at 5 bars!
I reported these incidents several times, hoping that a few were just isolated, but unbeknown to me, quite a few have created a forum surrounding this very issue. Reading through the complaints, (keeping my fingers crossed for a resolution) none were available. Most replies, complained of contacting Clear, only to hear technical support babble on how to re-start your computer, turn off the device, wait 5 minutes....blah, blah, blah. That never works. Once, I was told, since my bill was 1 day past due, that causes the service not to perform at its optimal. To say the least. I was really peed off. Since when do services perform under par, if you schedule a payment plan? Really!? Are you serious? Your lights don't suddenly become dim or your gas doesn't heat a percentage of your home if the bill is not paid in full. Now, they may turn off your utilities due to non-payment, but not for being one day late. I politely replied "stop providing boot-leg internet service" and hung up.
Anyway, Clear offered a promotion to get all 3 services, home, mobile and phone. Which I needed, since AT&T seemed to have lost their damn minds. The bill just kept getting higher and higher, but that's another story. However, with all 3, my bill averages around $80.00 a month. The mobile device works beautifully, the phone-no problems to report. I get local and long distance, including basic features, and voice mail. Now a good feature on the home box, is that you can take it anywhere. The box is thin and light. For awhile, when we visited a friend's house who didn't have internet access; we plug it in, install and ready to surf. Still no five bars though.
For the most part, the concept is phenomenal, I'm glad we have choices; Clear, Cricket, AT&T, Verizon and Charter (services offered in our area). But become an educated consumer, weigh your options and get what best meet your needs. Clear is a good choice, especially for college students, teenagers or anyone on a budget. I highly recommend getting the mobile device and the WI-FI spot. You can go to clear.com to learn more and/or check for availability in your area. Happy Surfing.