Recently submitted complaint
32459, FLORIDA -- Mediacom Customer Service & Administration:
I would like to a few minutes to discuss my experiences with Mediacom’s cable TV and high speed internet services. Hopefully, you will also take the time to review my comments and concerns in regards to your services and take appropriate actions to overcome any short comings in the future.
On March 15, 2006, I relocated to a home in Santa Rosa Beach, FL. When I started getting utilities turned on I, of course, inquired about the cable provider for my area. My neighbor provided me with Mediacom’s telephone number. I called the next day to see about getting service activated at my new location. Much to my dismay, I was informed that service was not provided to my location. I was told that service WAS available on my cross street (Don Bishop Rd.) but, it had not been run down the side street yet (Mario Rd.). I wasn’t too surprised to hear this news because; there were three abandoned satellites on the property from previous owners.
In the next day or so, I mentioned the situation to my new neighbor and he indicated that he had experienced a similar problem with Mediacom, when trying to obtain service at his location. He said, he knew that service was available because he was home the day they trenched the line to each house on Mario Rd. Rather than arguing with the Mediacom operator he called upon a “friend of his” that worked for the local branch. His friend activated his service and took care of initiating the paperwork and billing. He urged me to call back and try to get service established again.
After being advised of this I made a second call to Mediacom and was told the same thing. Service was not available in my area. Discouraged at this point, I started researching satellite options and pricing. I assumed that Mediacom was correct and my neighbor just didn’t know what he was talking about.
After a few days my neighbor and I met again in the driveway. I explained to him the situation. He just had a look of disgusted and shook his head. He then proceeded to walk me around the side of my house where he pointed out the Mediacom drop. Sure enough, there was a black cable with a blue Mediacom tag and identification number on it. At this point, my discouragement was also turned to disgust.
The following day I called Mediacom for the third and last time. I had made up mind, if the operator couldn’t get it right this time, I either had to have a “friend in the business” or Mediacom didn’t want my business. This time the telephone attendant acted like there was no problem and said a technician would be out on the scheduled day to activate my service. At this point I was unsure if the operator actually knew if service was available at my location or if she was just sending someone because I told her that this was the third call and that there was a tagged line at my service entrance. I asked myself, “Now why couldn’t it have been that simple on the first call”. Regardless, at this point I thought all the trouble was behind me and service would be activated within a few days. Boy, was I wrong. That was just the beginning.
Shortly after having service established, I started noticing problems with my cable modem. It would stop working intermittently. I was unsure if Mediacom’s high speed service was just unreliable or if I had a problem. I placed a call to customer service and made an inquiry about my concerns. The gentleman, on the other end of the line, seemed very knowledgeable and helped me as much as he could. He said he had no problem “seeing” or “pinging” the modem from his end. He advised me that my wireless router was going bad and it should be replaced. Upon his advice, I went to my local electronics store and purchased a new router. After $100 and several days, my service was doing the same thing.
I called back to file a second complaint. The telephone attendant gave me the same information. He too indicated my router was going bad and it needed to be replaced. Being skeptical of his diagnosis, I completely disconnected my local area network and attached Mediacom’s cable modem directly to my PC. As I had expected, the problems continued.
After calling back with a third complaint and telling the telephone attendant that I had no routers or local network he agreed to dispatch a technician to my location. The technician arrived on time and greeted me at the door. After working inside my demark for a few minutes, he informed me that the splitters in the house were hooked up all wrong and this “could” be causing my problems. He informed me that my cable modem needed to be installed on a “homerun” to the demark and that the signal to noise ratio was too high at the modem’s location. I inquired why Mediacom’s self installation package included a splitter if it wasn’t intended to be installed that way. He didn’t really have an answer for my inquiry besides “a home run is the way it should be”. He changed around the splitter configuration, replaced a few “F” connectors and disconnected my television in the master bedroom. He said that both the television in the master bedroom and the cable modem could not be on the same drop. At this point, he told me that he was putting in a work order for “the guys” to do some checks/work on the road and I should give it 7-10 days for them to finish up. Basically, I was being told that if the work he completed didn’t fix my problem that the work “to be completed” on the road would fix it. I didn’t really feel that this was proper; having to wait 7 to 10 days for the work to be completed. At any rate, I agreed to wait to see if this actually resolved my problems. Oddly, the technician didn’t leave after completing his service. He offered me to join him, in the shade of my opened garage, and engage in conversation. During this few minutes in my garage, the technician complained to me about the Sandestin office was short staffed and how hard they worked for such little pay. I this point, I was ready to invite the technician to leave until he willing revealed that he had to spend “customer time” with me. He proceeded to show me, on his handheld, that he couldn’t leave until my customer time was up. This really enraged me that Mediacom had to pay their technicians to be friendly and talk to the customer. I didn’t know if he was being serious about this or just feeding me line of nonsense. Either way, I had stuff to do and didn’t want to be hassled with conversation. I unwillingly entertained his conversation for a few more minutes before disengaging and returning inside.
Meanwhile, during my 7-10 day wait, I contacted a local contractor to run an additional drop to my master bedroom. I wanted to get both the television and cable modem working in the same location. After spending nearly $200 for an RG-6 cable drop and waiting nearly 2 weeks, I was furious to find that Mediacom’s cable modem was STILL working intermittently. At this point I was planning on discontinuing service. Obviously, Mediacom couldn’t provide reliable service to my location.
After feeling degusted, deceived and violated, I called for the fourth time. I gave the indications, listened to the solutions, threatened to discontinue service and then had to almost demand that a technician be sent back out to review my problems. Unwillingly, the telephone attendant agreed to have someone come out but, assured me that there was no problem on Mediacom’s end.
This time a different technician arrived. I explained the problem to him, along with the history. He immediately went to my desktop computer and entered a series of commands and began to shake his head. “You have a bad modem”, he explained. “Let me go to the van, and get you a replacement”, he said. After a few minutes of work the technician said, “This modem is bad too! Let me try another one.” Upon testing and trying the third time he told me that “this” modem is good and should take care of everything. He showed me the diagnostics on the modem, both before and after his repair. He assured me that I was all taken care of. His actions, confidence, and lack of hesitation reassured me that “he knew what he was doing” and “he hand my problems repaired”. After engaging him in a short conversation and explaining the entire history of my account, I found out that this technician was from another location (Pensacola, I think) and he was in this area to help out with the employee shortage. Without directly stating the obvious, he indicated, that the technicians at my local branch had no clue how to service the cable modem network; much less maintain the cable TV system. He eluded, that most of my local area technicians were quite incompetent of their job positions. I agreed with his speculation. At least this employee provided me with a cable modem from his van as opposed to the original technician who dug my modem out of an old box, in the back of his pickup truck, and had to “try to find” the right adapter. In the end, this technician proved him self correct. I had wasted $300 on a router and new drop. Neither of these items were causing any problems or required any attention. Thanks to this educated technician, I have not had any further problems from Mediacom’s high speed internet service. It just behooves me that my problem could not have been solved 3 telephone calls or $300.00 ago.
After FINALLY obtaining stable service, I placed 2 separate telephone calls to customer service regarding “send/receive” problems with my independent email account. Both times, I was instructed my by Mediacom’s employees to call a 3rd party vendor that “handled those servers”. Both times, Mediacom’s employees advised me to leave a message because “these guys don’t normally answer but, the WILL call you back”. Only one time, I never received a return telephone call. While calling, I wondered why I was calling Mediacom’s subcontractors… “I am contracting a service with Mediacom. Shouldn’t they be calling the subcontractor?” Fortunately for me, the problem was found to originate from my hosting provider and had nothing to do with Mediacom. Regardless, I felt that while back tracking the error Mediacom’s employees could have at least denied responsibility as they had done so many times before. At least I would have called my server administrator earlier.
In addition to the previous problems experienced, I have tolerated, at least, 5 area outages (that I am aware of) in my location. These outages include both cable TV and internet service. The most recent occurred on September 28, 2006 and one approximately 1 week prior. Each time an outage occurred, I’ve called Mediacom with 100% no resolution to my circumstances other than waiting.
Now please don’t misunderstand me, I DO understand outages due to upgrades, impaired service poles, and equipment failure but, I feel that major majority of outages I’ve experienced was not due to these conditions. I’m confident that my misdiagnosed internet service failures were NOT due to these conditions. If outages were caused by these conditions, I was not advised nor compensated for Mediacom’s failure to provide the services that I consistently pay for every month.
In approximately 6 months of service, I have had 14 (four-teen) encounters with customer service. This equates to experiencing hassle and dissatisfaction “less than” every 2 weeks. I wonder why I pay my bill on time and in full every month. I am obviously receiving less that “full” service. I pay for complete, reliable, and maintained service each month. Is it to much to ask Mediacom to provide me with what I’m paying for? I don’t think so! At this point in time, I am seriously considering contacting my local franchise authority (Walton County Courthouse Clerk @ PO Box 1355 DeFuniak Springs, FL 32434 850-892-8474 FCC Community Id=:fl0647) and the Better Business Bureau to file the appropriate complaint forms.
According to my calculations, I pay approximately $.0.09 per hour for both internet and cable TV services. Additionally, I was advised to purchase and repair approximately $300.00 in equipment and cabling by Mediacom. After reviewing all the hardships and misdiagnosis endured by utilizing Mediacom’s service it has cost me an additional $50.16 per month. In conjunction with Mediacom’s statement of $63.09 (per month), my continued cost of $113.25 (per month) is completely unreasonable for the substandard services I am receiving. These calculations don’t even remotely reflect the time I’ve spent on the telephone or money that I have lost due to service failure.
As a local business owner serving both Okaloosa and Walton County, I DO understand equipment failures, local employee decencies, area conditions, and any other circumstances that Mediacom might endure. Guess what!? I endure them too!!! There is just no reason for treating any customer the way I have been dealt with.
At a minimum, I hope Mediacom will at least respond to my complaint with an explication for this type of customer service. That would be the minimal expected resolution.
In addition to the above complaint, I would like to add that a mailing address for customer service was not available online. Upon attempting to send this letter, I physically had to call customer service for information. On the first attempt to contact customer service, I was never reached a telephone attendant. I was just connected to an automated survey. I understand that mistakes happen within automated telephone systems but, this was just another example of the repeated problems. After making the second telephone call to customer service, I was advised that the telephone attendant DID NOT have a mailing address for the main office in New York. In addition, she stated that there was no mailing address for “customer service” available. I was advised to contact my local office.
Now maybe this only makes since to me but, why in the world I file a complaint with the office I was complaining about? After explaining this to the operator she, provided me with an address for the Gulf Breeze office. She stated that “this” office was a big service area for them and that they could handle the complaint appropriately. I sincerely hope she is correct in her statements. If not, I have no other method of initiating contact with customer service other that contacting the Better Business Bureau or the FCC cable information hotline.
Thank you for your time: