Comcast Fail II

Here’s a good way to get speedy reaction from the monopoly utility that can’t quite get your service right: Write a blog.

I may not have legions of readers here at RogerCatlin.Com, but a post on “Comcast Fail” a couple days ago surely caught the attention of someone from their national response teams.

How can this be rectified? He asked, hours after the post published. The next day someone from the Comcast regional office followed up: Can they send a crew out?

Now this was service. Had I called myself, as I had several times before, I’d have been on hold for a while, and had to make an appointment several days after.

This time, someone would be there the next day: That is to say, today.

The only thing I forgot to do during the call was have them wait on hold until they could talk to me, for a change.

And though the Comcast technician was late when he arrived this afternoon, missing the three hour window of promised service (and earning me $20 or a free premium channel for a month, according to Comcast ads), he installed a new DVR box that he said would actually record.

And it seemed to be doing just that, while he was there. But you know how these systems work. It would take 45 minutes for the “To Be Announced” listings to be replaced by actual show names; a bit longer for the DVR to get in business.

He was long gone by then, so I couldn’t tell him that things were worse than before – I couldn’t record a single thing, let alone two things at a time (a feat some here seem to think is impossible but was common when I had Comcast in Connecticut). I called customer service, and stayed on hold for a while and they did those things where they send a signal, zap your screen, turn off your set, and reset everything. Then she promised to call back and see how it all went. She never did.

I never really expected she would. The only way I can get some action here is to blog about it, apparently.

Now I just need to know: How much do they expect me to pay for my Comcast service, as it has never worked correctly in the two weeks I’ve had it?


Well, the second blog got their attention too. I may even be on their callback Rolodex by now. But they said they’d send a third team out to fix it. This guy, obviously from the Comcast A-Team, had not only a third different box but could troubleshoot other things in my setup (no need for two boxes for wireless and phone, there was a new box that did both, saving me $7 a month). Also, in setting up the wireless, he said a complicated coad would be the one I should use instead of the personalized one I put in when the last wireless was set up (personally, by me — wireless service comes only if you ask for it, and then it is sent by mail and you have to hook it up).

His supervisor came over to check on things and so did another guy. It was practically a Comcast convention. Obviously, they were considering this case as more important than most. Anyway, it got fixed, I got a couple of followup calls and though I’ve been out of town for a few days, everything seems to be working dandy (though they didn’t hook my own DVD player up again after installing their box; that was easily remidied).

Only a few questions still linger:

  • Are all, i.e., non-blogging, customers afforded this kind of attention?
  • Should the bill be discounted for its weeks of non-service? (If I don’t get a newspaper one day, they dock the bill accordingly).
  • Why didn’t service persons one and two have the kind of information that could have prevented the need for repeat visits?
  • Shouldn’t all rules be standardized system wide? (The new code for wireless seemed arbitrary and odd).
  • Should customers get wireless only if they ask for it, and then be expected to install it themselves? (I didn’t have to install anything else for my $200 monthly bill (which I just paid, by the way).
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