Blog Post

Comcastic!

Comcast, what can I say about them? Well, for the past three weeks, I can’t say anything good about them. If you are on IRC and in a channel that I am in, then you probably already know about my connection issues for the past 3 weeks. Then today, I woke up, went to go online, and boom, connection issues again.

So I go to the Comcast.net website to see about any issues in the area. When I go to connect, I was greeted with a web page that said I needed to update my browser. My browser is Konqueror, part of the KDE 3.5.7 desktop, and labeled one of the most compliant web browsers there are. So I read the page and it tells me to take a look at the possible options:


browser update page

Well this infuriated me a bit. So now I decided to call Comcast once again about my connection issue.

The lady on the phone was very nice, which I guess they need to be since everyone calling them tends to be fairly pissed off, and it is hard getting upset with the person on the other end, even though it isn’t their fault. So one good move by Comcast, maybe the only one. She goes to connect to my modem to check for problems. She tells me she sees no problems with the modem and then proceeds to tell me they do have an outage in the area and that due to this she cannot dispatch a technician.

So she goes on to tell me my options and that as it stands, since this was my first call this week, my problem cannot be escalated for support. She said I have to have at least 3 more issues recorded within the week since it is an intermittent connection issue in order for them to a) dispatch a technician, and b) escalate the issue.

OK, 3 more times, 1 down, 2 to go. So as soon as I hang up, I call right back for #2. I get a guy on the phone this time who seems to enjoy chewing his gum more so than talking to me. Well he goes through the same spiel, and tells me the same 3 strikeout rule, and I tell him that this is my 2nd call and I give him the reference number that was given to me. He says he is running a line and modem test and doesn’t see any problems and goes on to say that it is my network in the house possibly. He asks me, “what are the lights on your modem doing?” I simply answered “nothing, my modem is not even powered on, there is not 1 cable going into it.” He goes silent for a second to come up with a lie, since I just busted him. How could my modem be fine from his end, when it isn’t even turned on, and the closest cable to it is about 5 feet away?

Well, in the end, the 2nd call didn’t count because it was for the same issue. So, as I promised Comcast, I would blog about how horrible they are and hopefully try to keep people from choosing them. I have been warned of possible legal issues by their proper people, but do I really care? Sue me! All I have are a couple of text books for school, a few pens, 4 folders, and a notepad.

So, if you are in the United States of America and are looking for a broadband Internet provider, don’t choose Comcast. I told them I would rather have AT&T and big brother spying on my connection then no connection at all. I think I am starting to notice a pattern around here, didn’t someone else just blog recently about how horrible Comcast was?

Update: What are the chances? I did not even get to finish writing this and the dog is going nuts. So I go to see what his issue is, and boom, the Comcast guy is in the backyard! He just told me that there is a “noise” issue somewhere in our node and he is going box-to-box to locate it. He said he will get it fixed, and for once, I kind of felt good, but still, Comcast is bad! Man, this instance, or coincidence kind of kills this whole post now, but we shall see how it goes. At least the guy who is out here sounds like he knows what he is doing.

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  • qhartman

    I just had one of my users relocate to Indianapolis and she got setup with Comcast for her Internet connection back to the office. Not only was it a total pain to setup with all the BS “activation” you have to do, but it the VPN gateway that worked fine in Chicago on Comcast wouldn’t work. Called support and they tell me that they don’t support VPN’s. Well, that’s fine, so I ask if they did anything weird with their network that might prevent it from working. The guy says they don’t do any sort of filtering, so the device should work. Long story short, I spent days trying to figure out what the problem was. Finally ended up switching her to a DSL line from ATT. Guess what? Up and running in less than 15 minutes.

    Down Comcast!
    Up anything else!

  • The problem is, I don’t really have a choice. I mean, sure, I could downgrade to DSL, but I ditched my land line in favor of cell phones, and the phone company dings you for an extra charge if you don’t have phone service (just like Comcast robs you blind if you get cable internet without cable TV). So my choices are “bad” and “worse”. Thanks to our lovely government, Comcast has a monopoly in most places, and so they can stick it to the customer, and threaten to sue us when we threaten to tell everybody how crappy they are… And I can’t think of anything that says “bad” more than having to threaten to sue your customers to keep them quiet.

    I’ll have to remember, though, the next time I have connection issues, I need to unplug my modem completely before calling. Because busting customer service on a lie would really make my experience much more enjoyable.

  • Well, I’ve gone through a similar experience with Comcast recently. I have to agree, their customer support people are very nice, but not very helpful.

    I will say though, when Comcast is up (and it is perfectly fine most of the time), its been pretty good to me. But when it goes down, it goes down for a while.

  • specker

    I literaly moved. Bough a house and moved to get out of Comcast. They are so very bad.

  • Siath

    My father in-law had ComCast for a while, he did finally have to give up on staying connected with them, he know uses AT&T (hmm)

    I happen to have Embarq DSL (formerly Sprints Fast Connect DSL), and other than a real clueless support staff the service is usually good.

  • nos

    Comcast is bad, but AT&T is bad too. It seems like it’s pretty much lose lose for internet in this country.

  • I am impressed to a certain degree now. Remember in my update a Comcast guy showed up. Well this guy actually knew his stuff. He actually broke down everything in what he was doing and what he should be seeing in his test equipment. Well after a few hours, I am actually happy to say, this same technician, line technician, came back to my house out of the goodness of heart to tell me what he found, how bad and silly it was, and how he fixed it. He even brought me the old parts to look at it. I am very impressed, and this guy gets 2 thumbs up, and a case of his favorite drink, I don’t care what it is. He said I should not have anymore problems now.

    So what was the problem? Well, one of the main boxes within my area was put together by morons. Morons actually a tad bit nicer than what he said. He said there were three connections that were put together so wrong he couldn’t believe what he was seeing. I guess the main leg to our area could be drawn like this:

    …………….:::::::::::::::::::::IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII

    the …… would be a regular small coaxial type cable
    the :::::: would be a tad bit larger coaxial type cable
    the IIIIII would be an even larger coaxial type cable

    these were daisy chained together, which if you think of it, would almost look like a funnel. Now the problem wasn’t so much the funneling produced by the 3 different sized cables connected to each other, but it was the connections themselves. He said when he would touch the cable, he could see the connections were loose. When he went to look at the connections, he said they fell apart right in his hands. He said he replaced that entire section with the correct specifications and that I shouldn’t experience these problems again.

    So my hats off to the tech who was in the neighborhood today. Like I said, he wasn’t like one of the techs who come to the house, he was a line specialist w/o a doubt. He had a big truck with the bucket in the back, not one of the little vans they put the uneducated into.

    I would like to think my call or my blog threat caused them to act, but I definitely cannot be sure on that. No matter the case, the results of today have impressed me. I can honestly say that in the past 7 years on the same exact line, I have only had 2 issues. This one, and the one where the modem died. Other than that, I have had great service. Except when they throttle my torrent downloads and block my email server every now and then.

    You guys are right, there are a couple of exceptional providers in the US, but for those of us who do not have access to a nice free market like that, we tend to get screwed. I have the choice between Verizon DSL and Comcast at this time. Comcast smokes Verizon in speed, and lord knows I need my speed for all of the iso downloads to test.

    Thanks everyone for the comments, it sucks to see I am not the only one who views this as a problem, but at the same time, at least I am not the only one in this boat :p

  • james

    I must say, all I hear lately is how bad Comcast is. I’ve been working for Comcast now for 2 years, and the only problem I’ve had with my cable service wasn’t Comcast’s fault at all. Same sort of thing. I had to have line maintenance out to correct the problem. Nothing inside at all. (My problem was there were many drops – the lines to houses – that weren’t in service at all, and they were somehow dropping timeouts to my modem.) As far as service, it does depend on the area you live I guess. I’ve worked in technical support, and now I work in CDV (Comcast Digital Voice) Provisioning. To be totally honest, I can’t say enough good about the products we offer. On the other hand, the competition where I live is Verizon DSL, which isn’t much competition at all. FiOS isn’t here. Yet.

  • Same problem as Wolfger here. I’d like to choose someone else, but Comcast is the only cable option, and Qwest is the only DSL option. Our Comcast connection is fast when it works, but the amount of downtime is quite surprising to me. We just switched to them from dialup at the beginning of the summer. We really really need to get some anti-monopoly legislation and enforcement of what exists going in this country.

  • I have had problem with Verzion DSL. Of course they blame Gnu sometimes, then they blame the Modem, then they realize its on their end, but that is never admitted. I just have to call, and then wait about 5 hours and the problem is fixed or I call and have then ‘reset the connection’ and its fixed. As for competition, this can never be. You have att or verizon, all others get the cable from them, so if you are a 3rd party, your issues are fixed by att or verizon last. Then there is the copper-fiber consipicy. The phone companies are supposedly ignoring fixing copper wire in an effort to push people to fiber. Fiber means that you will get voice, internet and tv from ONE provider, thus a new monoply and a chance to monitor you better.

  • kt

    [offtopic]
    – is your gradient in menubar broken for the style you use or it’s supposed to end so abruptly?

  • @james: so far, my only problem besides the cable modem dieing was Comcast’s problem. We have Comcast rolling through our neighborhood constantly fixing the garbage they have around here. Hopefully this tech that stopped by today will go through and help straighten stuff out. I was impressed, as he WALKED the entire neighborhood going from box to box listening for line noise. As for the digital-phone service, that ended today! For the past 3 weeks, did I not only lose my Internet, but I also lost my phone, totally unacceptable. Cell phone it is from now on.

    @kt: you know, I really don’t know. I have never noticed it really. I don’t know if it is supposed to look as if it is sunken in or not. I don’t use any funky gradients, I use the default Plastik theme and colors, have done this since I can remember. I am one of those who could almost care less about looks, just as long as it is functional, doesn’t impede my work process, and works overall 🙂

  • kt

    @nixternal:
    this is anything but plastik style, I suspected lipstik at first however colored scrollbar rules this out also…

  • you are right, I am sorry. It is QtCurve, and an outdated one at that.

  • well, so far my connection has been stable since Monday. Pretty impressive I must say.

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