Tuesday, May 13, 2014

My Travels with Comcast

Ok, this one has nothing to do with the CJC, but I have to do some extreme venting.  It may be tangentially related to a life of crime, because I could see someone snapping after being forced to deal with Comcast for a prolonged period of time.

As most of my friends know, my family and I moved to Oak Forest last weekend.  We had been looking forward to living in the new house and had been very organized in our planning for the move.  One of the things on the our "to do" list for the move, obviously, was transferring service for cable and utilities, etc,  For the past several years, I've used Comcast/Xfinity as my cable, internet, and phone provider.  Although we experienced some issues with Comcast when we added their home security to the mix last year, for the most part, things had been okay.

So, I made the ill-fated decision to bring Comcast on over from the old house to the new house.

Huge mistake.

Our moving day was Friday, May 2nd. A few weeks in advance, I called Comcast and told them I would like to transfer service.  We agreed to shut off service at my 5th Ward townhouse that Friday and their technical folks would come set up cable, internet, phone and security on Saturday, May 3rd.

Comcast sent three techs out to the new house on Saturday.  Two guys were doing the phone, internet and cable, while the third guy was there strictly for security.  The phone, internet and cable guys got in and got out fairly quickly and everything was working fine.  The security guy would prove to be a bit more problematic.

He began by telling us that he was a specialist at installing the fire/smoke detectors and that we must have ordered that (more expensive) addition to our security system.  When I told him that we didn't need fire and smoke protection from Comcast, he acknowledged that we had not previously ordered it.  He was basically just trying to con us into it, I suppose.

He spent the next few hours installing gadgets around the house and then attempted to bring it online.  To make a long story short, all of his attempts to get the security system online failed.  He blamed it on the fact that the service was being transferred and he was getting really angry with the people he kept calling on the phone.

Ultimately, he gave up.

"Look," he told me.  "You've got two options here.  You can sign this paperwork and say that we've correctly installed everything and then get somebody else out here to fix it next week.  Or, you can refuse to sign and I'm going to have to take the equipment down and take it with me."

Seeing as how I'm a lawyer and such, I told him I wasn't going to sign a piece of paper stating that everything was installed correctly when, in fact, it was not.

Well, that pissed him off.  He took down the alarm monitor and the wireless router for the alarm and left without another word.  He didn't reschedule an appointment to correctly install the alarm system.  He just left.

Once he left, I immediately noticed that the internet was no longer working.  So I called Comcast.  Over the next three days, I probably spent easily four hours on the phone -- holding and being transferred from one department to another.  Techs tried to walk me through rebooting the internet.  We got the internet working, but for some reason the modem wouldn't communicate with my home wireless router.  Ultimately, we determined that our friendly neighborhood tech had somehow disabled it when he left in his snit.  They said that they would send me a new modem with the wireless router built in.

They told me that last Wednesday.

In the meantime, I had to call and spend another couple of hours on the phone trying to reschedule somebody to come out and install my home security system.  For some reason, getting another tech out seemed to require an act of Congress.  Seriously.  It was ridiculous.  I spent a good forty five minutes on the phone with a lady who told me she would have to call me back before she could schedule a tech to come out and install the damn security system.

It was totally shocking when she never called back.  When I called back for a follow up, the automated answering service informed me that they had scheduled an appointment for me for Wednesday, May 14th some time between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.   Somehow, nobody from Comcast had bothered to check with me or inform me that I would be taking the day off from work to meet someone at my house to fix their screw up.

In the meantime, I'm still anxiously awaiting the arrival of my new modem/router that they promised to send me last Wednesday.

So, I made yet another phone call to Comcast, and after being transferred three times, I ended up on the phone with a reasonable enough person.  I told him all the trauma and drama we had been going through just to get a damn tech out to the house, and I told him that I thought that enough malfeasance had occurred that they were in breach of the three year contract I had with them for security.  He ultimately agreed to let me break out of the contract with no penalty fees.  I would just need to allow a representative from Comcast come collect the remainder of the security gear.

No problem -- we set that up for Friday, May 9th.

In the meantime, I'm still anxiously awaiting the arrival of my new modem/router that they promised to send me last Wednesday.

So, on Friday, a tech from Comcast shows up to collect the security equipment.  He was a nice guy.  He looked around my house and then asked where the router and security panel were.  I informed him that the first tech had taken it with him when he left in a snit.  The new tech told me that the first tech had never turned the equipment in and that I was going to be billed for it.  When I calmly explained to him that this was a tremendous crock of shit, he seemed sympathetic.  He told me he would send an email to his supervisors when he got back to the office.

In the meantime, I'm still anxiously awaiting the arrival of my new modem/router that they promised to send me last Wednesday.

So, the weekend rolls around and it was relatively busy with Mother's Day and all.  Our living room looks like R2-D2's intestines with the ethernet cords that we have dragged around the house.  Since we only have one modem and ethernet cord, my wife and I have to take turns using the computer.

It's like we're Neanderthals, people!!

In the meantime, I'm still anxiously awaiting the arrival of my new modem/router that they promised to send me last Wednesday.

On Monday, I get anxious about why I haven't gotten the new modem/router, so I call Comcast to check its status.  That phone call lasts about 45 minutes.  The nice lady that I talked to fluctuated between telling me that the order had not shipped yet and that it had.  Ultimately, she convinced me that the order had shipped and I should be getting it at the new house at any moment.

So, there was much excitement this afternoon (Tuesday, May 13th) when UPS knocked at the door with a box from Comcast/Xfinity.  The family was like a group of kids at Christmas!  At last, wireless internet had returned to our home and we could leave the Stone Age.  No one seemed to notice that the box was relatively small from one that was supposed to contain a modem.

We all anxiously gathered in the kitchen as I ceremoniously opened the box.  As I cut away the tape and opened the box, I found . . .

Nothing.

NOTHING!  The jackasses at Comcast had literally sent me an empty box.  The only contents inside were styrofoam, a mailing label, and instructions on how to mail back my Comcast equipment.

So, I made yet another call to Comcast.  It was easily my 10th call in the past 10 days.  The nice young man at the other end of the line found a record that they were supposed to send me a new wireless router/modem, as well as the packing material to send back my old modem.  As he looked at the order form, he told me "Well, it looks like the only thing they sent you was the old modem's return box."

He then modified that statement to say that what the return box was actually supposed to be for was my alarm equipment.  I had to explain again that the angry first tech had taken all that equipment with him when he left.

The man on the other end of the line said he's sending a new tech out tomorrow to fix my wifi.  I asked him if he would have the wireless router/modem.  He told me that all the Comcast techs have that equipment with them for installation at all times.

In the meantime, I'm still anxiously awaiting the arrival of my new modem/router that they promised to send me last Wednesday.

So, if you actually read all the way through this lengthy post, I thank you.  I needed to write it more than you needed to read it, so thanks for bearing with me.

In the meantime, if ever presented the option of another cable company or Comcast, always choose the other company.

In fact, if ever presented the option of Comcast or living as the Amish do, you might want to purchase a bonnet and get ready to start churning some buttermilk.

19 comments:

Vicki Brandon said...

Comcast is by far the dumbest bunch of folks out there. Well, Conn's comes in a very close second. Instead of transferring my service (of 2 cable boxes and internet), they created a brand new account with just 1 cable box and made up a completely different address than the one I moved to. Not even close to my new address. Took a month and a half to get all that straightened out. Then they kept applying my payments to the old account that they never closed out. 2 months in a row they turned my service off for non-payment. I feel your pain!

Anonymous said...

Comcast is bad I agree, their parent company must be Chase Bank. I had a similar scenario with a bank account, getting passed around from one dumb person to the other for days. I vented to one representative about their quality of service and she told me I should start asking for names of the reps I talked to so I can create a trail. What a great idea! I asked for her name and do you know what she did? Yep, she refused to tell me and then hung up on me. Customer service is gone, buried at least six feet under ground.

Anonymous said...

If it makes you feel any better, I had Comcast internet for 3 1/2 years and every month I got a bill in the mail saying paid in full. I never paid for that entire time. Unfortunately I had to get rid of it because they could not keep it working. Lol

Keith Satterwhite said...

I have had more than my fair share of dealings with Comcast. The main issues I had were getting things up and runnings. Once that happened, all was right in the world. One of the many times they had to come out was to install a CableCard in my Tivo. If you aren't familiar with them, you simply plug it in like a memory card. I was told an installer must do it. Of course, there was an install fee for that. The installer showed up and had no clue how to install it. So, I did all the work while he sat on the couch. I was still billed for the install. It was during the process of disputing the install charge that I collected quite a few upper level contacts at Comcast.

My suggestion is to use social media to your benefit. I have found posting a courteous message on a Comcast's FB wall or twitter account results in a prompt response.

The morale of this story is to use social media to your advantage.

Anonymous said...

Their mistakes/false promises left me without cable for a few weeks. I got used to not having cable, bought an antenna, and really only miss Jon Stewart and the DVR. I still have their Internet service but would ditch them in a heartbeat.

ComcastCares1 said...

My sincere apologies for the frustrating experience.

I work for Comcast and I'd like to share your experience my my local colleagues and ensure that your concerns are addressed

If you don't mind, will you please send me your account info, best contact number and a link to this page as a point of reference?

If you are interested in my help, please feel free to contact me.

Thank you,

ComcastMark
We_can_help@cable.comcast.com
https://www.facebook.com/xfinity
@Comcastcares

Anonymous said...

I had "almost" a similar experience with Comcast 2 or 3 years ago I could not resolve it with 10 or more calls over 2 or 3 weeks. I finally entered a Better Business Bureau Complaint. Within a few days I was contacted by someone with authority who quickly solved my problem. They really don't know how bad they are. Hence, if ComcastCares1 doesn't resolve everything quickly, I suggest BBB!

Anonymous said...

U-verse is much better. Plus U-verse will have the SEC network to watch the Ags.

David Singer said...

I have U-verse internet and Directv and have had similar issues with both companies. Its gotten to the point that you better be able to fix your own equipment(or know someone who can) because these companies don't want to take responsibility for making their equipment work with all of your other related systems in the house.

Jefe said...

Hey, Buddy, that's a nice router you got there. I wouldn't want anything to happen to it, if you know what I mean.

Anonymous said...

Was the elevator system at the Harris County CJC built by Comcast? Or just fixed by Comcast?

Anonymous said...

Google Reviews, Yelp and whatever other review system or social media site needs to see a copy of this post. I've always heard to avoid them and have even been told to do so by one of their engineers. I feel your pain in general whenever dealing with any customer service department anymore.

Anonymous said...

This pretty much mirrors my experience with Comcast as well. I've often felt like I'm in an emotionally abusive relationship with Comcast - they say they'll call you back but they never do and they always promise that things are going to get better.

At the least, I would demand a statement credit for all your troubles. Even though it's small comfort as I repeatedly tell them that I would gladly pay their exorbitant fees IF their services worked as promised, I think statement credits is the least they can do when they screw up so royally. Hope you're back online soon.

Adam Poole said...

If I wrote a blog post about my Comcast nightmares it'd be twice as long as yours. I honestly wouldn't use them it it were free.

Adam Poole said...

I don't know anyone that has ever been satisfied with Comcast. My experience was much worse than yours. I would never go back even if the service was free.

Glenn Dodson said...

Get a satellite dish. We did. It's cheaper. We only have Comcast for internet and phone. Their internet is the best. I think it's a mistake to give control of all my tech business to one company. Oh, and for security, we have a pit bull. No break ins so far :-)

KolbeCoErica said...

Comcast was recently voted the Worst Company in America by Consumerist.com. Antennas Direct wanted to congratulate them on this impressive victory by delivering a cake. Check out what happens.

http://www.antennasdirect.com/blog/congratulate-worst-company-america/

roy said...

I can say that my family had comcast for many years. We too moved into a new house. This one presided in EVERY room for phone, internet and cable. I could write a comment as long as your initial post about the result, but in the end, they ran wires all over the outside of my house, then tried to bill me almost a thousand dollars for all of the DROPS. It took a lawsuit to clear everything up. AT&T Uverse is great.

Anonymous said...

Give up. U-verse rocks. make the switch