My internet provider (Mediacom) is notorious for having the typical tier one support techs manning the phone and all they do is use a proprietary computer program that dictates troubleshooting steps which they then repeat to you. 99% of the time it's pointless to call them and start spouting off signal frequency readings and SNR quality from your cable modem because all they'll do is say "well have you tried rebooting the modem...Derp?" To which you might reply with "of course I have". To which they'll reply "well can you try it again?" And that's frustrating to say the least.
However I did manage to get a tech to tell me how to get better elevated tier support and that was to go straight to their forums. Those are the cushy jobs and only the best techs at their company have the privilege of not answering the phone and sitting at a computer all day. So now I go straight there and usually get the answers I need. If my internet is down of course then I need to use my phone. If both are down I can be pretty sure a fiber trunk was cut somewhere or it's a zombie apocalypse.
Also I use DNS jumper to read the fastest DNS servers and then set those in my router. Of course it's dynamic which servers are going to be the fastest but if I notice slower speeds I just rerun the utility and enter the new values.
Ah, a fellow Mediacom customer. I hate dealing with their tech support. Really I hate dealing with them period. The headache inducing effort that is required to get anything accomplished with them drives me crazy. Then when you finally get them to send a tech out, you get an appointment four days later that is scheduled for 0800 to 1100 with a phone call 30 minutes prior to arrival. You call at 1200 to check the status of the tech. Their response is that the tech came and no one was home and therefore canceled your appointment. BS, one you didn't receive the 30 minute call ahead and two you have been sitting in your living room with a direct line of sight of your front door all day. So now they have to reschedule your appointment. This appointment is then scheduled for two days later. Now you are going a week without a working internet connection.
Mediacom used to be that awful around this area, but in the past two years I think they've put effort in making some things better. I used to have the same problems as you, but anymore I've had them give me :30 minute windows to which they've always been on time and I've even had them send techs on Sunday.
Hopefully they do the same in your area or maybe we can get some competition...ahem *Google Fiber* ahem..
They go through cycles. A couple years ago, I didn't really have any complaints other than a misdiagnosed problem that took a little too long to correct. A couple years prior to that and they were pretty much the worst company in business. Now, I despise them a lot.
I would love for Google Fiber to come here. I live in the Huntsville, AL area and I thought it would be a perfect place for it. I mean, we are the Rocket City after all. We put man on the moon and we love technology. We need 1Gig internet!