Comcast Corporation Complaint - You can Get Even More From Comcast, says Comcast
In my neighborhood, there’s not a lot of confidence in COMCAST cable.
This is based on incidents such as the following:
One spring day I saw one of their installers working on a townhouse unit about four doors up from mine, installing Comcast internet for a new resident. Later that day I saw that the worker had gone, but he left a length of cable going across five backyards, up and over four privacy fences.
Had anyone walked out there in the dark they would have hung or decapitated themselves!
I notified the Condo Association which notified Comcast. Three days later the cables were gone. Luckily no one was injured in the meantime.
It was at this time that I found out that the previous month, they had left similar cable draped across three driveways in the units across the street. Again, Condo Ass’n had called and it took several days for those cables to be removed.
Then one day my cable just went OUT.
This was on a Friday mid morning, and I called and was told that the soonest anyone could come to look at the problem would be Monday afternoon.
So no TV Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, or Monday morning, but they'd credit me for two days service, which amounted to $1.47 a day, as much of the bill is strange fees and taxes. They only count Sat. and Sun. not the rest of Friday and Monday, only full days without service.
The fellow arrived Monday and was unable to find the problem. Kept trying and scratching his head.
Finally, some lightbulb went on, and he asked if anyone new had moved in recently. When I told him that there were new neighbors across the way in #307, he went outside to the main box, and then returned to tell me that whoever had come to hook up #307’s cable on Friday, had also disconnected mine!
Around the same time, my sister, who lives in a different neighborhood, had numerous problems getting them to correctly hook up her Comcast internet. Finally she found that she could insist on an inhouse tech instead of a subcontractor, and eventually the work was done correctly. Good information to have for future reference. No subcontractors. Remember that.
So I was not interested in calling Comcast when I received several letters and cards telling me all the wonderful additional services I could now receive for additional charges. I had my expanded basic service tier, channels 2-99, no pay per views, no extra pay channels, and could access all I wanted to watch using that along with my HD TV set. Why change?
Then in the fall more letters began arriving, sometimes two or three in a week, until the December letter stating that if I did not call NOW and get this digital converter box before the end of the year, I would lose all channels 22-99.
So I called, rather than go online, because I wanted to ask two questions, one about monthly fees after the box was attached, and the other about how to hook up this ‘box’ so that I could still utilize my VCR-DVD-r machine which I use to tape some TV shows for later viewing, and to transfer a huge collection of vhs tapes to DVD.
What I got was a computer voice mail system, one where you have to speak to the computer voice, which, of course, only recognizes certain words and terms.
After way too much time and effort I got a bit frustrated and yelled “OPERATOR” into the phone, at which prompt the computer voice nicely said, “Oh, you wish to speak to an associate, please hold”.
This is how I eventually got to speak to MARIA. Now Maria was doing pretty well with her ESL classes, as I could understand almost every other word she said.
But she had no clue about hooking up the digital converter so that the recording equipment could be used, and started making guesses about adding two or three more boxes of different kinds (each with a fee, of course).
So thanked her for her effort, and asked to speak to a supervisor.
I got ten full minutes of dead air (not even any muzak or Shaq commercials) before STEVE came on the line. Turns out Steve is not a supervisor, just another operator like Maria, and has no idea how my call got to him.
But I explain it all again, and Steve does have some answers.
After we explore several options, it is decided that the best course of action is for me to pay $16.95 to have an installer come to the house instead of trying to install the new equipment myself.
This is when I told Steve our neighborhood history with Comcast and that I must insist on getting an inhouse tech here. Steve assures me this can be done Friday between 12-4, and I agree. Steve assures me that he had made this notation on my work order.
So I rearrange my schedule for the week and free up that time to await THE CABLE GUY!
This only took two hours of my day.
At a few minutes past noon on Friday, an unmarked white truck pulls into the driveway.
I go to the front door, and wait for GARY to get out of the truck. He’s carrying only a clipboard, and greets me with,
“Hi, you want three boxes installed, right?”
Gary holds the clipboard up in my face and tells me to read the work order because he can’t see without his glasses. Sure enough it does say three adapters, and says nothing about no subcontractors.
I tell Gary that I own ONE television and I want the ONE digital converter (no adapters) and some instructions on how to use the new remote and how to access my recording equipment; adding that an inhouse tech is supposed to be here, no subcontractors.
Obviously this is not Gary, as he backs up and says, “I’ll cancel this order.”
“No, don’t cancel anything, you’re here and I’m here, so let’s see what you can do.”
I figure we’ll make the best of what we’ve got, and hope for the best, and open the storm door and tell Gary that he may as well come in and install a digital converter and if there’s anything else needed I’ll just have to go through the maze of the Comcast voicemail again if necessary.
Gary’s reply is that he’s cancelling this order and I should just “call the 800 number”.
“No,” I tell him, “Come in, just do what you can, and we’ll go from there.”
But Gary is pulling out of the driveway, and through his car window hands me a package of booklets, saying “the 800 number is on the back, I’ll try to call dispatch later if I can” as he drives down the road.
The “800 number” is actually 1-888-COMCAST, and I call it.
Again, the voice mail, but no computer voice this time, just punch this or that number, none of which selections applies to what I want now, which is CUSTOMER SERVICE or the COMPLAINTS DEPARTMENT!
So I start hitting numbers that might be remotely connected with customer service, and finally somehow after many tries, do get connected to a human.
This one is named CAROL. Speaks English. Things are looking good!
I tell her what happened with Gary, and she says she’ll try to get a supervisor for me.
Shortly thereafter, JACK comes on the line. I ask Jack to please begin by telling me what he knows about this situation rather than me repeating info he already has.
Jack say, “All I know is that you refused to let our driver in the house and sent him away.”
What???????????? So English speaking Carol is either a liar or has a severe hearing problem!
I tell Jack that’s all wrong, and then repeat what did happen.
This is met with a very silent pause, a deep sigh, and then Jack says,
I reassure Jack that I know it’s not his fault personally, but that yes, his company should be mortified.
Jack reads off the order that it does say 'no contractors' and that it does say "one digital converter". (Not what it said on Gary's clipboard, the one I had to read for him!)
Jack promises to get to dispatch and do his best to get someone out to my home within the 12-4 Friday time slot which is now ticking away. He'll call me back.
The phone rings, and it’s GARY. He says he just wanted to let me know that he did call someone and they will PROBABLY get someone out to me today.
Probably? OK, have a nice day, Gary.
Then Jack calls back.
He apologizes that there is no one available any time today, and the soonest an inhouse tech can come out is Sunday 4-7pm.
I agree, and Jack does offer one month’s free cable for my time and trouble. I agree to that as partial compensation for my time and aggravation.
Before saying goodbye, I do ask Jack for a direct number to reach him so that in the event of any problems I won’t have to go through the voice mail computerized thing again. He tells me he won’t be there Sunday, but that if there is any problem, I can call him at that number on Monday.
Of course I’m going to be away all day Monday, so let’s hope that Jack’s efforts actually produce an inhouse tech who can install this digital converter (which is so easy to do that I could do it myself, they say!) and show me how to use the darn thing.
If not, I sure hope Jack is there on Tuesday, cause he’ll be hearing from me.
The less than satisfactory conclusion:
Well the person arrived around 6pm on Sunday. Had called to say he’d be there in ‘eight minutes’ and actually showed up 20 minutes later.
This one is Eric.
(I heard him tell someone on the phone, he didn’t introduce himself to me.)
He also at first said he was going to install three units. (here we go again!)
It took him 55 minutes to get the job done, attaching the one digital converter so that it works..
He had a lot of trouble setting up the TV to work, and more getting the new ‘box’ to work with the recording unit. Had to get a small TV from his truck and try that to make sure the ‘box’ was not a dud. It wasn’t. He asked me a lot of questions, and finally he got it to work.
Yeah, this is so easy, I could have just done it myself. Sure.
(And, btw, he told me he is not an inhouse tech, but is a subcontractor. But this one had a Comcast truck and shirt at least. And did connect the box, and hopefully did not foul anything else up. )
Now why is this less than satisfactory?
I could watch quite a few high def channels on my high def TV before this ‘box’ was attached. Such as tuning in CBS-HD on 2.1 instead of CBS on 6. 2.1 was high def, 6 isn’t.
Now everything MUST come through the ‘box’ and the TV has to stay on channel 3, so no more high def viewing. This new remote for the new box does not input any decimal numbers.
(unless I purchase MORE services from Comcast at a higher monthly fee, of course, to get the digital channels I used to get directly through my TV at no additional charge).
Since all recording also must go through this box, it is no longer possible to record more than one show. If I ‘m going out, or out of town, and want to record one show on CBS and another on NBC, I can’t do it.
I used to be able to preprogram up to eight shows on various channels on timer record on my DVD-R machine.
Now everything has to be on channel three, so the only way to change a channel is by manually changing the channel on the box. Impossible to do when one is out of town. So timer recording is basically no longer usable. This is a BIG inconvenience.
(Unless of course I purchase a more expensive package from Comcast, one that includes their version of DVR….)
So I now have no high def viewing, and cannot use timer record except for one program on one channel.
I cannot watch a show on one channel while recording another show on a different channel.
Oh, and I still do have to keep the old TV remote handy because the remote for this new ‘box’ does not work for changing the picture size from standard to fill to overscan. Guess that doesn’t matter much since I can’t watch any high def anymore, may as well have a smaller picture on the screen….
Somehow this is supposed to be an improvement. Comcast said so!
(all sarcasm fully intended!)
Now I think I know why so many people are switching to Verizon.
Not that Verizon is perfect, but how could it be any worse?