I pit Comcast

Seriously, how is Comcast still in business?! I know, we’ve pitted cable companies before, but this requires its own thread due to… just… gaaaah, I’m so pissed off I can’t even be witty. I’ll just get right into it.

I need to note for clarity that I generally work 2nd shift.

I picked up the keys to my new apartment the beginning of this month. On Thursday the 2nd I found a deal online for a self-installation package for comcast. It came with a free modem and the first 3 months were cheaper. Great, they have to mail me the modem and installation CD, but I can live without internet over the weekend.

Monday the 6th rolls around and the package arrives. I plug in the modem, and nothing. It can’t get a signal from the wall jack. I call the Comcast number and they make me jump through all the “Is your modem working correctly?” hoops. Eventually, I am told that for some reason my account hasn’t been registered correctly. No problem, they set up my account, give them my MAC address to the modem, and everything should be good. I am told that it might take about 3-4 hours to take effect. It is already 11PM, so I go to bed expecting internet in the morning.

It is now Tuesday the 7th. I wake up, no internet. I call and the first person on the phone can’t figure out what is going on. I get transfered to a supervisor who tells me that the previous tenant of my apartment was “red-tagged” and his service was shut off. Why didn’t they tell me this yesterday?! “Ok, so turn it back on then” I say. Apparently they can’t do that until I take a copy of my lease into their office during normal business hours. I’m already almost late for work, so it isn’t going to happen that day.

On Thursday the 9th I manage to get into their office. I hand my lease to the girl at the counter, she does alot of typing, gives me a receipt, and says that a truck should be out later. When I get home, I notice that somehow she typed in the wrong apartment number. By this time, the office is closed.

On Friday the 10th, I call the local office and explain the error that was made. I am told that they can’t sign me up at my apartment, because there is someone else’s account at that address that has been red-tagged. I fknow, I was just fucking in there!! I end up speaking to the head manager of the place. She manages to cancel the account set up by her employee’s typo, cancel the previous tenant’s account, and set up my account to the correct address. She says that it should go through within the next 4 hours, sorry for the inconvenience. I go to work.

On Saturday the 11th, internet still doesn’t work. I call the local office. They tell me that no truck was ever dispatched to my apartment, and that my account is marked as being red-tagged. Have I been paying my bills? they want to know. The fires of a thousand suns burn them. After about an hour I convince them that a truck needs to be sent out to just freakin unblock my line. I am told that the earliest a truck can be dispatched is Sunday between 1PM and 4PM.

On Sunday the 12th I sit around waiting for the cable guy. Never shows up. At 5:30PM I can wait no longer and leave for work. On the way, I call the Comcast office and tell them their guy never showed up. “Oh, it says here he was at the address…” After some prodding, I find out that they sent him to the address on the supposedly closed ‘typo address’ account. Damn you guy in apartment 37, you have my internet!! They will re-send a truck out on Monday, and they credit my account $20 for my trouble.

On Monday the 13th my internet is turned on. OMG INTERNET! And only a hair under 2 weeks. At this point I have talked to 17 different Comcast reps over the course of 9 different calls and 230 cell phone minutes I am not getting back. But at least my internet works.
Today in the mail (Wednesday the 22nd) I received 3 bills from Comcast. One that is charging the correct amount, one for full price for the typo’d account (shouldn’t it have at least gone to that address?), and one for full price that has my name spelled wrong.

I think I’m going to cry.

Captain, the sad part about it is, that if you get your cable tv through them too, when you get off from working second shift, you will still have 542 channels and not a damn thing to watch!

You’ve got some duds out there in Michigan! I’ve had really good luck with our Comcast people in Indiana. My installer even directed us to the best pizza place in town, which we didn’t know about since we were new.

Your whole sequence of events is ridiculously bad. Why not send them a letter, since you’ve got it all typed up anyway?

Might get yourself a free pizza out of it!

This is the sort of behavior I’ve come to expect from Comcast, which is why I tried to vote with my wallet after about a dozen prime-time internet outages lasting an hour or more each.

It took eight calls over the course of SIX MONTHS to get them to cancel my service and credit me back for the extra auto-debits they took out after they supposedly cancelled, and I still ended up paying $130 for two months of service I didn’t use.

Verizon has so far been much more kind to me.

In my home town, and many others, I suspect, we have no choice of cable companies. It’s Comcast or nothing. :frowning: So I have satellite!

The good Captain already knows this but to let others out there know how bad it is in Michigan in general, at my last apartment we had Charter Cable (at about 150% the price of Comcast for about half the speed, but it was all that was offered) and two winters ago, between the months of November and March every time it precipitated anywhere in the state our internet went out for anywhere from several hours to 2 weeks. On average we had internet around 60% of the time. The next winter we still had frequent outages, but not quite that bad.

In my new apartment my only cable option was Charter again. I have DSL. Even with the land line it is only $5 more, over twice as fast, and the best part… in 8 months I have had 5 minutes worth of blackouts. I don’t think I will ever use cable again, at least not in Michigan.

Don’t you just love local monopolies? Screw the customer twelve ways for Tuesday, because they can.

Update: I need to take ID and another copy of my lease in to their office to prove that I am one person with one address.

The girlfriend is making me leave the baseball bat at home :frowning: (she won’t let me take my lightsaber either)

It’s not a baseball bat. It’s a cluebat. :smiley:

My story (which I’ll spare you) is extremely similar to yours but you’re right- they’re morons. I think they filter out the higher I.Q.'s and only employ the nitwits- statistically, there can’t really be that many idiotic people working for one company.

After my 10 days of Comcast hell recently, I waited 15 minutes on hold to speak with the Senior Customer Service Monkey, and I calmly but firmly related the events of the past 10 days and lodged a formal complaint about the ineptitude of both their customer “service” and technical “support”. She quietly listened and in her defense, I got the sense from her that she was actually one of the few intelligent employees there, as she seemed to be genuinely sympathetic and apologetic. I think she was fed up with the complaints she’s received about the moronic staff.

Then I told her I was switching to Verizon FIOS and I sensed a sort of relief from her, like she wanted to shout “You go, boy! Stick it to these shitheads!”

While your there get the manager to sign a piece of paper saying he acknowledges you have come out there with proper proof that you are not the delinquient. The manager will remember you then. Get the manager to put down that they will not charge you for the service plan from when it started through to today. This will help later when they mess it all up.

I’ve had this same problem with my internet provider…only with the wrong phone number, not wrong apartment number.
I’m sitting at home, waiting, for 4 hours, and when I call them to find where the hell the service guy was, I get “oh, he needed access to your apartment, so he tried calling your cell phone. You didn’t answer, so he left.” He called the wrong number, and didn’t have the sense to, maybe…knock on my door! Seeing as how I was told to stick around from 4 til 8. Stupid ass.

You have no idea how the cable industry works. If there’s a cable “monoply” in your area, it’s because your local government authorities have arranged it that way. Before a cable company can operate anywhere, it must have a franchise agreement. That agreement is granted by your local politicians. You want competing cable operators in your area, tell your city council.

In many areas, the incumbent cable company is the incumbent because they bribed the right people and received an exclusive franchise for the area. Now that there is, at least theoretically, the possibility of competition, they still have a massive competitive advantage over any new entrants to their market. The result is that they can behave like a monopoly, even if they no longer have an exclusive franchise.

As far as Comcast is concerned, I’d like to tar and feather their senior engineering staff for designing a system that relies on customer complaints for the detection of equipment and link problems. Right now I’m getting terrible packet loss rates on any video-on-demand programming. I’m sure that the digital cable box is collecting exquisitely detailed statistics on packet errors, RF SNR, bit error rates, etc. Why aren’t they using that information to proactively detect, diagnose and repair problems in their network? Instead, they insist on wasting large amounts of my time every time I try to get a problem fixed.

The technical support for Comcast California once spent 20 minutes trying to convince me that clearing the cookies from my browser’s history would stop the internet from simultaneously cutting out on all three of our house’s computers.

Another time, I had a complex billing issue that involved confusion between two different accounts. The Comcast Accounting Monkey only sort of spoke English. When I politely asked if there was anyone else I could talk to, she refused and said that I had to deal with her.

I miss Oceanic cable. :frowning: