Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Comcast Service Outage

Yesterday morning I woke up to be confronted by Bill with his iPad in hand. Even before I poured my bran flakes into my cereal bowl, he said "I can't get on the Internet."  

"Oh here we go again" I thought.  Losing Internet service was almost a weekly feature when we have Verizon DSL Internet service.  Finally, back in 2011 I gave up on Verizon ever getting FIOS in our development in my lifetime and against my better judgement and because I had no other choice, I went with Comcast. Of course the service cost more than twice as much as my Verizon ($75 a month versus Verizon's $30 a month), at least I would have dependable service.  

Another reason I was reluctant to go with Comast in addition to the high cost was because of my past history with Comcast.  I'm not going to bore you with all my past dealings with Comcast when we first moved into the development where we now live but suffice it to say Comcast more than lived up to it's reputation for having one of the worst customer services records in the industry.  Quite literally they are awful. 

Now I'll know I'll get a comment on this blog posting from a Comcast representative because they obviously spend a lot of money to monitor anything negative said about Comcast on the Internet.  The comment is always the same, from a customer representative who is willing to help me to assuage my bad experience.  My question is:  Why don't they spend the money on good customer service up front (like Apple for instance) than spend so much money on the end after the bad experience.  

So I made the call to Comcast yesterday.  After going through the usual automated menu options I got a live person, who I could only understand about 70% of the time (I couldn't determine if he had an accent or was just bored) and who was obviously reading from a script instead of actually listening to what I had to say.

I told him that I didn't have an Internet connect.  He did the usual apologies then proceeded to walk me through the usual "checking the connections."  He asked about my Wifi "connector".  I told him that I only have a modem, which was supplied by Comcast (now at $10 a month - up from the original $8.00 a month then $9.00 a month and now, viola! $10. 00 a month).  He said "Then you don't have Wifi.  Uh.......I DO have wifi.  In fact I have my own network.  He said again "No, you don't have Wifi, you probably have a hotspot."  Here we go again folks, reminds me of the time when I moved in here in 2006 and I was being billed by Comcast for service that I wasn't receiving.  I called Comcast and told them I wasn't receiving service only to be told "Our records indicate that you are receiving service."  I told them again, "I'm not receiving service."  Again, the Comcast service person told me "But you are."  They were arguing with me! 

I told them to come out and check for themselves to see what I was telling them was the truth.  The next day, in the pouring rain (of course), a sullen service person came out and did indeed confirm that I WAS NOT RECEIVING SERVICE.  Of course no apology, or anything.  He did set me up for service and left his wet footprints on my wall to wall carpet in my office (oh why did I ever opt for wall to wall carpet when I had this house built)?

I had several other interactions with Comcast, including their TV service with similar results.  An employee with an attitude that they were doing me a favor and argumentative and not at all customer orientated.

Back to my call yesterday.  The service tech that I was talking to yesterday transferred me to someone else (of course he did).  This was a young lady named "Shantel" (hope I got the spelling right).  She was nicer and DIDN'T have an accent (thank goodness).  She actually listened to me and thought that I needed a new modem-router combination.  She also scheduled an appointment to have a service tech stop by the house here at Casa Tipton-Kelly to see why I still don't have an Internet connection. But the earliest she could make the call was NEXT TUESDAY.  Wow.  Can you believe it?  Even she thought that was too long, so after a long hold on the phone she said a service tech would stop by today between 2 and 5 pm.  She said he would "try to squeeze me in" but could make no promises that he would actually be here.  Ah yes, Comcast continues to amaze with their customer service.  You know folks, when I call DirecTV, they would send me the equipment overnight and have a service guy (or gal) here the NEXT day.  But we're dealing with Comcast here, who apparently wants to maintain their reputation as one of worst customer service companies today.  Total time on the phone yesterday one hour and forty-six minutes of guy life which I will never have back again.

The time now is 3:43 PM.  No service man (or gal) yet.  No phone call either.  Do you think anyone will actually come today?  I don't.  And tomorrow I work so they can't come.  And what are the odds of them coming Friday or God forbid, on the weekend?  Not likely.  But folks, I am prepared to be amazed.  

So how am I managing this write this blog and post it on the Internet now?  Simple, I'm using my neighbor's Wifi.  Thank you Barbara. 

And by the way, those of you who use Comcast and are tempted to tell me "Why I don't have a problem with Comcast" . . . all I have to say to you is "Well, aren't you special?"

I would use another Internet service company but there ARE NO OTHER INTERNET SERVICE COMPANIES IN MY AREA.  And Comcast knows it and it shows in their attitude towards their customers.  Believe me, I know.

Come one Verizon, get FIOS in here!

Update 4:29 PM

Of course the Comcast service person did not arrive.  No phone call.  I'm on Hold now with Comcast.  They said the next available time for a service call is NEXT TUESDAY, DECEMBER 22.  Yes folks, a WEEK since my Internet service went out.  

Now get this, they said they would give a $20 credit on my SERVICE CALL BILL because no one showed up today.  Uh, I am not supposed to be  charged AT ALL BECAUSE I RENT THE EQUIPMENT.  They checked and viola!  I was right.  No served charge because the call is equipment related.  

Folks, it take a lot of patience.  I blasted the person I was talking to on the phone a little bit but I understand how it is to be a lowly munchkin on the other end of the line being paid by an unfeeling corporate giant to be a punching bag for customer's frustrations.  

Ah Comcast, your reputation continues to grow.


Jeff in Chicago said...

There's an old joke that if we really wanted to end the war on drugs, all we need to do is legalize every drug and require that they must be purchased and delivered through Comcast customer service.

Travel said...

I had service with Comcast for the first 13 months I was in DC, yes the customer service stunk. When I moved to the condo, Cox is the provider and their service is much better. I can usually get a live person on the phone. Have you tried a hard reset of the modem? There is a reset button someplace, sometimes you have to use a pencil to push it in. Failing that, they simply replace the box. It might be faster to go by the office and pick up a new modem.

Geo. said...

How frustrating! I'm no expert, but I recall Time Warner was all set to sell to Comcast last year for $55 billion but probably couldn't get anybody to return their phonecalls in English. Also, NASDAQ graphs show Comcast stock pretty much flatlining right now. Something is definitely in need of adjustment there and I'm dismayed to learn you, and doubtless other customers worldwide, are suffering because of it.

Ron said...

You know something? This is actually a great suggestion to end our drug problem. Make Comcast the distributor. First they would charge an outrageous amount and then fail to deliver.

Ron said...

I considered just buying a new combination modem router. I'm not sure if it would work though. I'll check out though. I have reset the modem several times to no avail. Comcast also did the same thing by phone.

Ron said...

I couldn't believe that our government would actually seriously consider letting Comcast buy Time Warner. Already Comcast is too much of a monopoly in too many areas of this country. I'm glad they killed the merger.

Jon said...

You should probably write to Santa for help. I truly hope you get an Internet connection before Christmas. I had your same problem when I lived in Texas and the modem (box) had to be replaced. The whole ordeal took over a week to be resolved.

My service provider in Texas was Windstream and it only cost $55 a month. Here in TN I'm stuck with Twin Lakes and they charge $80 a month. My only alternative is Comcast and - from what you said - I would be very afraid to try it. At least Twin Lakes has customer service reps that speak English - and they're polite.

Good luck, Ron - - you'll need it!

Ron said...

If you have an alternative to using Comcast for your Internet services, use them! You absolutely do not want to use Comcast. They are expensive, unfeeling, arrogant and the worst customer service company I have ever experienced in my life. They only care about collecting money and dominating the world, which they are well on their way to doing. A week to wait for a service person to restore my Internet service? Unbelievable. Fortunately, my neighbor is letting me use her Wifi temporarily until Comcast gets around to restoring my service. My only alternative is to go back to Verizon which is a slower connection and frequently goes out. I don't have the option to use their FIOS service which is great but they can't provide the service in the development where I live because Comast has it all locked up.

Anonymous said...

Well written .... I actually got a deal on data from tmobile that's cheaper and got a hotspot, so with my free data on cell and iPad the three make us a no Comcast household

Ron said...

You are indeed a lucky man. I thought moving into a new development here in southern Delaware I would have the best service and choices. But sad to say, Sussex County Delaware agains lives up to it's reputation as "LSD" (Lower Slower Delaware"). Who knows, maybe in my lifetime we'll have FIOS. I've been waiting nine years so far.

Ur-spo said...

oh the pain; oh the frustration.
Thank goodness I don't have to deal with the cable company.

Ron said...

I wish I didn't. FIOS was great. Unfortunately I'm stuck with Comcast if I want a decent Internet connection. The bad customer service is just something I have to tolerate.