- January 23, 2018 - We’ve updated this review to address facts and policies that have changed since originally published. We also reformatted the presentation of information to more clearly display our research. Most noteworthy, WOW! now offers faster speeds and online purchasing.
Our WOW! Review
With impressively high speeds, and no data caps — WOW! is a great provider for households that enjoy streaming content, playing online games, or tapping into 4K resolutions. It ranks fourth on the Netflix speed index (measurements of Netflix performance) just below Comcast and two fiber-optic options. It’s only $40 for 100 Mbps in most areas, compared to the Comcast 60 Mbps plan for $40, WOW! is a great value.
All of WOW!’s plans come free of data caps— meaning streamers need not sweat their monthly binging. And those plans also come with a no-contract option for about $10 more per month.
WOW! anchors most of its marketing and infrastructure around its mission to provide excellent customer service. It claims that WOW! has, “award-winning customer service with 24/7/365 customer support.”
Is it True?
Seems likely. Its Consumer Reports Reader Score is 68/100. And while that may be a failing grade on any other scale, the internet service provider realm is notorious for tanking when it comes to their customer service. With a 68/100, WOW! placed in 10th out of 48 providers. That’s about 38 other providers with scores worse than a 68. Yikes. Those who placed better are Google Fiber, with the top score of 85, and Verizon Fiber with a score of 70. All this is to say, WOW! fared well above other mondo telecom providers and received “Good” ratings across the Consumer Reports metrics: reliability, speed, technical support, customer service.
WOW!’s plans tend to serve both extremes of internet usage. For large families and heavy internet users, its high speed plans range from 100 Mbps to 1 Gbps (1,000 Mbps). Most providers max out at 100 Mbps. But if you’re on the lighter side, WOW! also offers a 10 Mbps for the casual users. Occasionally, some locations may have the option to choose a 50 Mbps internet plan. Otherwise, any average user that may fall in between will want to look at other providers for more midrange options.
Even if you are interested in WOW!’s cable Internet services, you may not be able to get access because its service area is rather limited. WOW! provides good coverage to just 10 states in the Midwest and the South, but people living on the East and West coasts are out of luck. Despite its limited state coverage, it services an estimated 7.2 million people, which makes it the 5th largest cable broadband provider in the U.S.
If you’d like to bundle, its cable TV options are uniquely grouped into three sizes; small, medium, and large. It’s refreshingly clear which channels are included in each package and every jump contains a significant amount of additional channels.
WOW! also offers a 30-day guarantee where you can cancel your service for free. If you cancel outside of that first 30 days, however, it will cost you $345 for an early termination fee. The fee will decrease by $15 each month into your contract.
A Closer Look at Features
|Speed Options||10, 50, 100, 500, 1,000 Mbps|
|Best For||Streamers, heavy internet users|
|Not For||Average to light internet users|
|J.D. Power Rating||2/5 in the North Central Region|
|Consumer Reports Reader Score||68/100|
|Standout Features||No data caps|
- COX Communications: Like WOW!, Cox uniquely offers some low-speed plans for the ultra-light internet user. Those 5 Mbps low speeds, however, will cost $30. For just $10 more you can get 50 Mbps. That $40 can be used with WOW! to sign their 100 Mbps plan. Cox won the J.D. Power customer satisfaction award for the West region, so their customer service is promising.
- Mediacom: Mediacom tanks when it comes to serving its customers. It consistently ranks at the bottom from every rating source. Because the industry standard for poor customer care is already pretty low, be wary of a company that is the worst of the worst. It does offer high-speed options, with speeds ranging from 60 Mbps to 1,000 Mbps. Its data options come at an impressive range too; 400 GB-6,000 GB.
- Charter Spectrum: Spectrum offers a tempting promotion for its Triple Play bundle, with a free modem, installation, and DVR service. Its speeds start at a whopping 100 Mbps and Charter also offer no data caps. To top it off, it’ll help you leave your current provider with a $500 contract buyout option.
The Bottom Line
Heavy internet users who plug in to stream, game, or download large files, will enjoy WOW!’s plans. If it's available to you, definitely consider it a promising provider with a customer service reputation better than the majority of the industry.