Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Comcast Tales Of Woe

I first became a Comcast subscriber in the winter of 2009. Since then, the service has been a perpetual pain in my backside like no other. The first such incident being the day we were scheduled to be installed at my family's previous address. We had just moved in the day before and were excited to be getting the TV and internet hooked up. The whole On Demand thing had me excited as VCR tapes were scarce and basically, there were times when you didn't have the opportunity to watch Parking Wars or Pawn Stars when it would originally be broadcast.

Anyway, like clockwork the installer shows up and then asks us if we have any cable for him to install. That's funny, I thought he was supposed to bring that. Yes, the man who was going to be installing our cable asked us if we had any. The guy from the CABLE COMPANY didn't have any coaxial cable in his truck. He then leaves.

A second guy gets rushed out (and I am using this term very loosely). He then installs everything according to plan, but not before scaring the ever loving crap out of my wife. We informed him, like with most service calls we would receive that we had a cat and to let us know if he was doing anything that would prompt the necessity to move our cat into another room for a time. Well, the guy fully opens without screen, a second story window and doesn't tell us for five minutes. We go into the room, see the open window and can't find the cat seemingly anywhere. For about twenty minutes this guy had me going into panic mode all the way to searching around a new neighborhood when the man could have just told us "Hey, I might need to open this window to drop a line" and been done with it. But nope, my first real contact with a Comcast rep was him scaring the shit out of our whole family by making us think that he'd given the cat the opportunity to jump out of a second story window.

Everything after that seemed to go smoothly until the day came that we were going to go out of our normal course of spending habits and purchase that year's Wrestlemania Pay Per View. I do the on screen order early on in the day and get the popcorn and chips ready for six thirty in the evening when the show was scheduled to come on. The time comes and we have no show. Their wonderful automated ordering system fouled up and I had to spend nearly an hour and change, while the show was going on mind you, re-ordering the show causing me to miss a good portion of it. Sweet Jesus...

The next year, we moved into a different home and of course had to have service installed there. Going into it with the thought of "well, this couldn't go bad two years in a row" we decided to have Comcast installed at the new home. We even had it timed and set where the installer would show up in between 4pm and 6pm, about two hours after the movers left and we had everything hooked up. All the guy would have had to do was pop in the new boxes and flip a switch. There was just one problem. He never showed up...

Yes, that two hour window of four to six came and went. Five minutes after six, we call the venerable Comcast Customer Support number and get told that they are going to be sending somebody out immediately to install the service. To make a long story short on this part of the long storied history I have with Comcast, the hours came and went until such a time where they weren't allowed to send somebody out to install. These bastards had me waiting until nine at night, finally telling me that they would have someone out as soon as possible the next day. The installer shows up at not too long after six in the morning.

Fast forward a couple of months. The On Demand just stops working on all three boxes we have installed. Just stops. Added to that, random channels just won't show up. To put it to an example, if we had a hundred channels, one box would get a third of the ones we were supposed to get, another would get a second third, and the third box probably got nothing at all. It takes three customer service calls and them coming out to dig a new line to fix the problem. By the way, they also told us at first that we were going to have to wait and still pay the full price for our service for several months until they could come out and dig the line. I'm thinking this was going to require heavy machinery and possibly the presence of some union contractors. Nope, was literally a little three inch ditch they had to dig that was about as wide as a pencil. Took several calls to the corporate office to get this taken care of.

By the way, all of this is inter spliced with the normal outages and box malfunctions that have nothing to do with us, all their crap. Summer of 2013, we get a letter in the mail from Comcast, oh excuse me, Xfinity saying that for the past few years they had been forgetting to charge us for modem rental and that starting the next month we were going to be getting charged. One problem, since day one we've owned our own modem and paid for the damn thing with our own money; not renting some modem from them. Never do that if you can. Takes a call to corporate once again to get the problem resolved.

July 2014...We get a call asking us to upgrade to the X1 platform. We had been looking to upgrade and figured this would be a perfect time. We get told that even though we weren't going to be utilizing the phone poriton of the Triple Play Bundle that we would still have to pay for the modem rental on a phone we weren't going to be using. The hell with that! Takes ANOTHER call to corporate to get everything fixed around. turns out the original call we got was from some telemarketer that was working on behalf of Comcast.

Since getting this wonderful X1 service, about every other day we have to power cycle the boxes because when they installed the damn things in our upstairs bedrooms there's this signal loss that even an amplifier can't fix. On several occasions we have gotten that purple error screen saying that they can't get a signal in. This is their equipment having a fit, folks. Shoot, sometimes the guide works and sometimes it doesn't. Most recently, we suffered a damn near total service outage due to the signal loss issue that may have been caused by the installer not putting things in together correctly. 

Two of the past three weekends we've had no service on two of our three boxes. After having to wait at least two days to get service restored on all of them, last week they finally send somebody out to fix the issue. Or at least it's fixed for right now, but that's not the problem that's causing the smoke to come out of my ears.

I'm casually looking through my online bill and notice a charge for the service call. This is a service call that the customer service rep ordered, not me; although I can't imagine that I should have had to pay for it even if I had asked them to come out. It was an equipment issue on their end and they want to charge me. The hell with that!

Not too long before beginning this bitching and moaning session, I called their Corporate office and lodged a complaint. Whoever answered me said it could be up to three business days before somebody gets back to me and they will then investigate whether or not to reverse the charges or what to do about this. But I've got to tell you folks, steam is slowly coming from my ears. There shouldn't be any damn question about them reversing the charges, that's the absolute least they could do for me having to take time to even deal with this nonsense again. 

Damn near being the only game in town in my area, I suppose they think they can pull stuff like this. But it's a disgrace to people who actually provide good customer service that this shit is allowed to go on. I know it's a giant corporation and all, but dammit; do they really have to nickel and dime you for everything? They shouldn't be charging anyone for anything when their equipment starts pooping the bed.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, there's certain shit that people shouldn't have to put up with and this is definitely one of them.