A Hockey Fan‚Äôs Comcastic Lament

Yesterday my stress was not related to wedding planning (I’m getting married in November), but rather provided courtesy of Comcast. I took the day off work to be home for the switch to Comcast’s Triple Play digital television-Internet-phone package — partly because it’s cheaper than what I had with RCN, partly to get a DVR, and partly because Comcast carries Versus & NHL Center Ice.
No, this isn't me, but it's how I feel right nowFriday, 8:00 AM–The phone rings; I awaken and fumble for the receiver. I muzzily hear someone talking about Comcast, so I press “9” to buzz them in, impressed they showed up so early. Doesn’t work. I press “9” again, to no avail. Finally I’m awake enough to understand what the caller is saying: it’s Comcast HQ calling to make sure I’ll be home in the 8-11 AM installation window–not someone downstairs waiting to be let in. D’oh. I sheepishly apologize and say yes, I will be here.
Friday, 10:45 AM–The installation technician arrives within the originally scheduled time window, which was a nice surprise. However, while my name and phone number are on the work order, everything else is wrong: the address is a different unit in my building; the order is for a Comcast service upgrade rather than a whole new installation; and they didn’t start the process to port my existing phone number to the new account.
As I type this he’s been here over an hour and a half, mostly on the phone to his headquarters. From what I can gather it seems they’ll be able to install everything, but they won’t be able to port my phone number today. So for a few days I’ll have a new phone number with Comcast, yet I’ll have to continue paying RCN to keep the other phone line active otherwise I risk losing the phone number I’ve had for eleven years. Wonderful.
Friday, 1:30 PM–After three long hours, the technician has finally gone. Most of a day wasted, but at least my high-speed Internet is back up (as evidenced by this post). The tech was very polite, and installed my DVR, cable box, and cable modem successfully . . . well, for the most part he did–I had to configure my own wireless router, as he was stumped by my pretty typical LINKSYS router. He did stay until it was working though.
This cable installation play-by-play is on OFB for two reasons. First, venting makes me feel a little better. Second, I was unable to get to the Kettler rinks today as I planned, so I apologize for being unable to provide coverage of the day’s events as I’d hoped.
So my cable service installation is only 2/3 complete, yet it consumed most of a day. Now all I have to do is wait five days for the number port to be complete, then schedule another technician visit to switch my phone lines. In the meantime, I have to continue paying RCN to keep my existing phone number active.
Thank you, Comcast, for perpetuating the well-deserved stereotype of disorganized and indifferent cable company service.

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14 Responses to A Hockey Fan‚Äôs Comcastic Lament

  1. odessasteps says:

    from the horror stories I have heard from friends across the country that have comcast, you got off very light. :>

  2. OrderedChaos says:

    Heh, true Odessa — though until I get my phone switched successfully I’m not considering it “over” quite yet!

  3. Blackaces says:

    Hey, at least the guy Comcast sent out spoke English. Last year, DirecTV sent up a Spanish speaking service guy, who, while very nice, couldn’t understand the words that were coming out of my mouth.
    Somehow, DTV had us listed under ‘Spanish Speaking’. Which makes no sense, since my last name is ‘Brown’.

  4. Kurt says:

    Yeesh… at least you’re getting Center Ice now, that has to be worth a heck of a lot of hassle. Versus, worth considerably less hassle but required for the complete hockey experience.

  5. odessasteps says:

    Since I had Center Ice, I doubt I watched Versus more than 3 or 4 times the entire season. I have no great desire to watch the Penguins or Rangers all the time.

  6. TG says:

    And you didn’t get Verizon’s FiOS why? Good god man, you haven’t heard me (or the millions of others) bitching about Comcast? Stupid cable monopolies. I can’t wait to move to a place where I can pick someone, ANYONE, other than Comcast.

  7. Gustafsson says:

    The flaw with FiOS (and I have them for internet and phone) is the lack of NHL Center Ice.
    Once they add NHL Center Ice, I’ll switch from DirecTV to FiOS.

  8. pepper says:

    True, Gus, about FiOS. We have FiOS internet and phone here in NYC, but no TV yet, and I know Verizon has no contract to get CI. So it’s Time Warner Cable for me, for now.

  9. OrderedChaos says:

    Heh, if FiOS were an option I’d have chosen it. But, despite almost monthly mailings from Verizon singing the praises of FiOS, they do not offer the service in my building. Why they’ve wasted over 18 months of mailings to my address despite not offering the service, I’ll never know.

  10. Gustafsson says:

    IwoCPO at Able to Yzerman live blogged his call to Verizon to inquire about the availability of NHL Center Ice on FiOS TV. It’s painful, but somewhat funny. I had a similar call to them myself.
    Enjoy
    http://www.kuklaskorner.com/index.php/A2Y/comments/liveblogging_my_call_to_verizon/

  11. Blackaces says:

    It’s irritating that our neighbors directly across the street are eligible and have FIOS. But we aren’t. 20 feet away. They have it, and we don’t. Ridiculous!

  12. Dan,Jr. says:

    Just be thankfull you aren’t forced to settle for Clearview. At work (a little north of Baltimore), that’s what we’re stuck with for cable internet service. It’s absolute rubbish. When you start up, you have to tell them your screen names along with the passwords! We just use it to get to our AOL & COMCAST accounts. Personally I’m not a fan of any telephone or internet service provider. Choosing one is kind of like voting for President. You’ve got to pick one you “like”. But you know you’ll soon be cursing your choice.

  13. Yngwie says:

    I can best express my Comcastic horror by posting a letter that I sent to their corporate a few months ago. For any of you having problems, note the contact info at the start and the cc: at the end.
    And I did hit the right buttons, as they gave me the two months’ credit that I requested. Apparantly all of those horrific year I spent working for Beneficial’s call centers did teach me to write a good complaint letter, if nothing else.
    One other note – take the date, time, and names of whoever you talk to. Including the names of the bigger idiots that you deal with earns them a nice little ding that gets dropped in their personnel file.
    Stephen B. Burke
    Comcast Corp.
    1500 Market Street
    Philadelphia, PA 19102-2148
    5/15/2007
    Mr. Burke:
    I am writing to you in regard the appalling level of service that I received during my recent dealings with Comcast. When I received an offer to secure a $129 per month bundled package that would expand my existing service while adding a regular phone line I thought that it was a great deal. While it is a good value, had I known the ordeal that I would have to go through I would never have signed up.
    My first warning should have come when I called up to sign up for the offer. Your telemarketing rep immediately attempted a bait and switch by trying to sign me up for the $159 per month deluxe package. I corrected her and was offered the $129 package in its place.
    A few days later your reps came out to install the hardware for my new service, and to my chagrin I did not have them test the channels completely before leaving. A few days later I realized that my on demand channels were no longer working. Rather than give a blow by blow complete synopsis of my experience, I will briefly summarize the more pertinent points of what I went through:
    • After talking to a few reps, I had to make a total of seven calls requesting to speak to a supervisor
    ‚Ä¢ Your phone agents are not well trained, as a few of them interpreted the phrase, ‚ÄúI want to speak to a supervisor‚Ä? to mean that I wanted them to blind transfer me to a voicemail that would not be responded to.
    • It also took a total of seven appointments to get my problem resolved. Even though I asked to be called 30 minutes in advance each time, I was not called in advance on three of the attempts, and on one occasion your rep did not even bother to show up or call.
    • The second to last visit ended with the visiting contractor telling me that my signal was too weak and that I should go to Best Buy and buy a signal amplifier. I was under the impression that this was what I was paying Comcast to provide.
    Visit #7 finally resolved the issue, but only after over a month of calling having to waste several hours at a time and continuous aggravation.
    Given that during this time you failed to provide the agreed upon services and all that I had to go through to receive what I have been paying Comcast for I request that you credit my account for two months’ of service.
    I look forward to your response.
    Sincerely,
    Jeff Walyus
    Cc: Brian L. Roberts

  14. OrderedChaos says:

    Excellent letter Yngwie, thanks for sharing it. And I’m glad you hear that it had the intended effect.

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