Comcast Tech Bullies Customer for Cash, Breaks His Hard Drive, Drills Huge Holes In Walls And Baseboards

Jason ordered something very simple from Comcast. He wanted cable service, internet, and a router. He wanted the internet hooked up to several computers. He wanted two regular cable boxes and one DVR. He wanted wall jacks installed in his home. Comcast, last we checked, offered all of these services. So why did Comcast’s installer show up without a router asking for $115.80 in cash? Why did he drill holes in Jason’s walls and baseboards, and unplug his HP Media Center PC Box (thereby breaking it)? Why was he rude to Jason, requiring him to “show the cash” to “make sure he had it?”

Jason cc’ed us on a letter he wrote to Comcast asking for compensation for the holes their subcontractor drilled into his walls and baseboards, as well as the hard drive he fried by unplugging cables from the Media Center Box without powering it down:

The representative I was talking to put me through to asupervisor, who asked me how much cash I had on me… and odd question to be asking a customer I think, however I told him I had around $60 on me, and he told me that if I would give the technician that amount, that he would allow him to install the service and place the remainder on my first bill. This seemed sort of unorthodox to me, almost like bullying to get some cash up front, but I obliged, since Comcast obviously had the upper hand. The installer actually asked to see the $60 cash, as if he didn’t trust my word, however when I tried to give it to him, he said “no, I’ll collect when finished, just wanted to make sure you had it”. This began what was to become a very long day for both me and Comcast.

Read the rest of Jason’s long day inside.

Jason writes to Comcast:

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February 16, 2007
Dear Comcast, The following is a complaint that I would like for formally register with Comcast. When I called Comcast to get the address to send this to, I spoke with Brandon, extension 52146, and he insisted that I file a claim for damages with him after hearing about the incident. The reference claim confirmation number is: (

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?) I explained to him that I did not believe a simple damage claim would let me express everything that happened in the incident, and he suggested that I forward this letter to you for further investigation. Below is a complete description of the incident. My contact information is at the end of the letter.

On Thursday, 02/15/07 we had an appointment for our new cable service to be installed by Comcast. Our order was for our home office, so we chose residential service, and our package included high speed internet with home networking, along with digital cable service for the living areas. Our experience was less than ideal, and I feel that my experience with Comcast needs to be addressed. It is my hope that you will review the situation that occurred carefully, and try to correct the errors that happened, both for myself, and future customers. We it not for the fact that you (Comcast) are the only cable provider in this area, we would certainly take our business elsewhere. Our appointment was made via the 1

?800

?COMCAST phone number about one week prior to the install date. We spoke with a representative that assured us he would take care of everything, and we would not have to worry about the small details. This was reassuring; however it turned out to be a disaster.

We initially called to get the special ‘Triple Play’ package, but found out that we did not need everything in the package, and needed a few things that were not included. In the end we would wind up paying twice the price, for about half the services that we could have gotten and just not used with the Triple Play package. We explained to the representative that we needed the following things:

Hi

?Speed internet, and to connect 4 computers
Digital Cable Service (2 regular boxes, and 1 DVR)
ShowTime movie channel
OnDemand Access

Our representative took a few notes, and reviewed what packages were available. He decided that the bronze package was the best for us, and ShowTime as an addon. With the addition of the HSI request, we were given an appointment time for Thursday 02/15/07 and quoted the time block of 9AM – NOON. The representative told us that our install would be $39.99, and we would have to pay that to the technician that came out to setup our service. He then added that our monthly bill would be $75.81. We were happy with this, and he welcomed us to Comcast. At this point everything seemed to be set, and we looked forward to Thursday.

On Thursday morning, I awoke around 8:30 AM, to find a voicemail on the office phone from the Comcast Dispatch Center, stating that a technician was at my door. The timestamp on the message was 8:04 AM. Since we had been told the time block was between 9AM and Noon, this was unexpected, and not within our normal schedule. I called back the number that was left on the voicemail, and she stated that we had missed out appointment, but she would contact the technician and see if he was willing to come back out since it was technically a missed appointment. I tried to explain to her that we were given an appointment time of 9AM – Noon, and she got very combative, stating that everyone knew that AM appointments were from 8AM – Noon, and it was simply not possible that someone told me 9AM instead of 8AM. She put me on hold for a long while, and contacted the installer, whom relayed that he would return to do our installation within the hour.

At around 9:15 AM he indeed showed up and was ready to install our service. He never introduced himself, so I can only reference him by his installer number, which was 692, and I do know he was from Helm Cable, which I assume is an authorized contractor for Comcast. The first words out of his mouth were to the effect of he needed to collect $115.80 to install our service. This of course conflicted with the $39.99 that we were told by our sales rep that the installation would cost. Figuring he was trying to pocket a few bucks, I immediately called 800

?COMCAST to confirm. I was transferred to a couple of departments, and eventually told that it would indeed be $115.80 to install my service, despite the $39.99 that I was told by the initial sales rep. Apparently the initial rep neglected to inform me that we would be required to prepay for the first month of service as well. I was sick on Thursday, and had limited cash on hand, and I wasn’t about to leave the technician at my home alone while I went out to the bank or ATM. The representative I was talking to put me through to a supervisor, who asked me how much cash I had on me… and odd question to be asking a customer I think, however I told him I had around $60 on me, and he told me that if I would give the technician that amount, that he would allow him to install the service and place the remainder on my first bill. This seemed sort of unorthodox to me, almost like bullying to get some cash up front, but I obliged, since Comcast obviously had the upper hand. The installer actually asked to see the $60 cash, as if he didn’t trust my word, however when I tried to give it to him, he said “no, I’ll collect when finished, just wanted to make sure you had it”. This began what was to become a very long day for both me and Comcast.

Keep in mind that we operate a very successful home office at this location, and to question me, the customer, like that was simply uncalled for. I was extremely belittled and left feeling like I was subject to whatever Comcast wanted or they simply would leave without installing the service. Technician 692 began in the living room after I gave him instructions on what types of boxes would go where. He installed the DVR Box in the living room without much effort, although he did unplug some of our AV components from a power strip, without regard to them being functional. One of those devices was a HP Media Center PC Box, which provides the ability to watch things from the computer on the television in the living area. He never asked if it was ok to do so. When he unplugged the HP box, it immediately shut down, without being done properly from the console. Later that evening when I realized this and plugged the box back into the outlet and tried to boot it up, it stated that the hard disk had errors from a bad shutdown, and would not boot. HP states that it will be $230 for a new hard drive for this box, and that doesn’t even to begin to consider the countless hours of programming and digital family photos that were stored on the box, that are now unrecoverable.

This was caused solely from the carelessness of the technician. After the living area was up and running with a DVR box, he moved onto the bedroom, where a regular digital box was to be installed. This was done without any issues other than the fact that apparently did not have the box setup properly in line with our account, because when I tried to tune to ShowTime later that night, it stated that it was a subscription only service, and that I should call Comcast for ordering information. I did just that, and within a few moments they had updated the box so that our already paid for subscription was now active on it. Note that on this particular digital box, and on this box only, about have of the OnDemand videos are unplayable. We receive an “Error Code 224″ when attempting to play certain OnDemand channels. I called customer service several times about this matter, two of the times I spoke with a lady names “Latonda(sp?)” who’s operator number was 52008, and she had us go through the standard troubleshooting procedures, and then told us that we had to watch an 8

? minute video entitled “About OnDemand” before the service would be activated. I tried to explain to her that several of the OnDemand services worked, that the issue was limited to certain channels within OnDemand, but she didn’t want to hear any of that. When I asked to speak to a supervisor, she stated that customers were not allowed to speak to supervisors, and that she would have to relay my message for me. I called back a second time hoping to get a different representative, however I reached her a second time, and as soon as she realized that she had just spoken to me she said “I cannot help you any further and will now disconnect this call” and the line went dead.

The third call to 800

?COMCAST got me a different representative, who had me try the same troubleshooting methods, and eventually told me that they would have to send a technician to my house to diagnose the problem. I stated that I had filed a complaint with Comcast and the BBB regarding my installation, and that if they sent a tech, it would have to be someone different than the Helm Cable Contractor that did my original install. He stated that they could not guarantee that, and set an appointment for 02/19/06 from 10AM – Noon. If Helm cable shows back up for this appointment on Monday, they will not be let on the property. Only an actual Comcast employee will be authorized to be on my property at this point – no one from Helm Cable Contractor – they have messed up enough already. The third and final digital box was installed in the home office area without issue. The remainder of the home office install was – putting it lightly – the worst experience with a company, ever.

The technician began by running a wire up from under the house, up into the office. However, he simply drilled a hole in the floor and left the cable poking out between the baseboard and the carpet – this is in our home office, where clients come to meet, and we try to keep a professional image. This was not acceptable. I informed him that I wanted a jack on the wall, the response was that it would be $40 to place an outlet on the wall, and since he had already drilled a hole in the floor, he would still have to charge me $9.99 additional as well, even though the cable would be moved to an outlet. He also said that I would have to pay the $40 today, despite the fact that the customer service supervisor already agreeing to accept $60 cash today and to bill the remainder on the first bill. The supervisor told me specifically that he had ‘flashed’ the new price to the technician, and he would have to accept that. Since I did not have the extra $40 in cash on me, I am now left with a cable wire coming up alongside my baseboard from the floor. The hole is not even up against the baseboard either – it is about an inch out into the floor, creating a very unsightly appearance. I would like this fixed, and I would like it done at no cost to me, bearing in mind the ordeal I have encountered up to this point. After the installer had left, I noticed that he had also drilled holes in three other walls as well – some of them much larger than they should have been, leaving access for weather and insects to now enter my home. I have included photos of these at the end of this letter, and would like them repaired as well.

After the cable for the HSI was ran, the technician just sat down at my office desk without saying a word, and started closing programs. I immediately stopped him, and asked him what he was doing, to which he replied that he had to close certain applications for the internet to work. Let me preface this by saying my company is in the internet business, and we have several years of knowledge on whatever this guy learned in his narrow field and classroom training as a technician. I informed him that some business applications had to remain running, and he actually rolled his eyes at me, as if our business was unimportant. He was very immature in the entire matter. I then opened up a web browser for him, so that he could download the software that he needed. He tried for about twenty minutes to get the modem to activate, and he eventually had to call someone to activate it from their end. He started to get up and leave, and I had to ask him for my usernames and passwords, which he then wrote down for me.

It was at this point that I looked over to the equipment that he installed, and realized that he only installed a single modem and hooked it to a single computer. This was not what we ordered at all, so I asked him where our router/gateway was at. The technician initially informed me that we did not qualify for a gateway, and could only use the single line modem. As far as I know there are not any ‘qualifications’ to receive a gateway, other than ordering one, so this was beyond me. He said that he had done everything he was supposed to do, and was leaving now. At this point I had not yet signed the paperwork or given him the money, so I called 800

? COMCAST yet again, to find out that the initial order was botched and no gateway was put on the work order. When I asked what we could do to resolve this matter, the representative said someone would call me back. We waited about twenty minutes with no response, so another call was made to 800

?COMCAST, and we were transferred to an unknown department whom asked the technician if he had a gateway on his truck, to which the answer was no. They then told me that they could not send out a Comcast Person with a gateway because since he was a contractor they could not release their equipment to him, and they would have to schedule me an appointment for the following week. I was very tired of dealing with the interruption to the office at this point, as it was well after noon, and the technician had been here over three hours. I told the technician if he could not get a gateway installed today, that he should just pack everything back up, take it back with him, and I would reschedule in hopes of getting an actual Comcast Employee to do my install.

It was only after this, that he offered to go back to his warehouse and retrieve a gateway. The technician called his warehouse to make sure they had one there, and the proceeded to let him know that he would have to charge me $149 for the gateway, and it would have to be paid to the technician today before he would install it, while he was on the phone they also told him that he had a ‘flash’ saying that $60 was due today instead of the previously quoted amount. Even after telling him that, they still insisted on me paying them $149 in cash before he would return with the modem. It was at this point the technician left, but not before telling me that I could not use my current DSL internet connection anymore because it would interrupt his install, and returned with a gateway about 45 minutes later. So my business was without internet service for a total of around three hours. Upon returning, he did not knock, or make his presence known; I simply looked up and seem him walking through my house unannounced. He’s quite lucky I didn’t call the cops on him right then. He hooked up the gateway when he returned, and stated that I owed him $149 before he left.

I immediately called 800

?COMCAST (yet again), and after speaking with over 4 people, someone eventually told him that the cash up front would not be required. He mumbled a few words and tried to activate the new gateway. At this point to be quite frank – all hell broke loose. Apparently in the Nashville area, from what he explained to me – there are two ‘districts’ and 05 and an 07, and a modem that’s programmed for one will not work on the other. He had brought back an 07 modem, while I live in an 05 zone. While sitting in my office at my desk, he picks up his cell phone and proceeds to very loudly use vulgar language towards who I assume is the worker at the warehouse that gave him the wrong gateway. It’s now after 2PM, and he make the comment (exact verbiage)”I guess I should have packed my shit up and taken everything back and forget about this job.. in fact it’s close to being my last day, I’m over this bullshit.” He drove the few miles back to the warehouse and eventually returned with a new gateway around 3PM. Once again he never knocked or announced his presence; instead he opened my front door and walked in like he owned the place. He even went into the bedroom where he installed a digital box several times to talk on his cell phone, I assume so that I would not hear him. Each time however I would follow him, and eventually had to keep shutting the door so he would not enter. He installed what was now the third box, and once again had to call someone to activate it from their end. I then signed the papers, gave him the $60 and asked him to leave my property.

He made the comment that if I had any problems that I should hope that I don’t get Helm Cable as a contractor, because they will not make future service calls here. While I’m sure that was just him spewing at the mouth, it’s not something I want to hear as a new customer. The entire installation experience was a complete and total disaster. What should have taken 1 to 1

hours at the most liberal estimate, took six hours. The remainder of this time my home office spent without access to the internet, which our business depends on. The entire attitude of the employees of the contractor, Helm Cable, was contemptible.

During the installation we spoke with at least 14 representatives over the course of 6 calls to the 800

?COMCAST customer service number. During each call I did ask the representative to make notes on the account specific to the call, so that someone would be able to review everything at a later date. I ask you to please review this incident, including what I have written to you, along with the notes that are on my account (assuming they’re complete). It is my hope that you will resolve this matter quickly, and correct the wrongs that have been done, and work to ensure that mistakes such as this do not happen again. The only reason that I am still a Comcast customer is the fact that, as far as I know, Comcast is the only cable and HSI provider in my area, however I will be researching that fact this coming week.

Here are the resolutions I would like Comcast to take, in order to retain our business, and correct the mistakes made during the installation of our service.

Compensation for replacement of the drive in the HP Media Center box that was damaged by technician 692 when he disconnected power from the device without asking any questions.

Repair of the unsightly holes and cables that protrude through the home office floor, living room wall, and bedroom baseboard, and professional re

?installation of the lines via wall jacks, as initially requested. I would request this be done by an actual employee of Comcast, and not a contractor, such as Helm Cable, who performed the initial installation.

Credit to our account for service, for the time lost dealing with this matter all day on Thursday during the installation. We operate a home office, and lost time is a valuable commodity. We spent 6 hours for what should have been around 1.

A formal apology from Helm Cable for the trouble and disruption they caused both me and my business, and their rude and demanding behavior regarding prepayment, despite prior Comcast arrangements.

A resolution to the problem stated above with digital box (

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?). OnDemand only works with very limited functionality on this particular box. I’ve attempted several trouble

?shooting calls as stated above, with no resolution other than them offering to send Helm Cable to repair it. It is my sincere hope that we can work together to resolve these problems, and maintain a proper business relationship for the future. Please contact me to confirm that you have received this letter and that the problem is being looked into. I have CC’d several people on this letter, including the Better Business Bureau….

Thank you in advance for resolving this matter,

Jason

Comcast has a serious problem with their subcontractors. —MEGHANN MARCO

Jason’s Letter (PDF)

Comments

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  1. B says:

    Wow, that is a long story. Can I vote for Comcast’s subcontractors in the worst company poll? Also, it’s pretty obvious why it’s his last day.

  2. JPropaganda says:

    Wow… that’s some of the worst Consumer Service I’ve ever heard of.

  3. JPropaganda says:

    wow. That’s the worst Consumer Service i’ve ever heard. That sucks.

  4. Slosh says:

    damn! that’s one serious complaint letter.

  5. formergr says:

    Okay, that letter is way too long and could have been heavily edited while still conveying all the pertinent information.

    That being said:
    Comcast may want to improve their training and oversight of their contractors, considering they are being sued for allowing one of their service reps to continue making house calls who they **knew** had been questioned by the police and DNA-tested in the case of a rape/murder investigation involving a Comcast customer whose residence he had serviced.

    What happened? He raped and killed another woman on a service call a month later. Nice, Comcast, makes me feel real comfortable about letting one of your service agents in the next time I need cable installed.

    Story here:
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chicago/chi-07030

  6. Youthier says:

    $75.81!!! Is that a special for the first few months of service? My god, I pay Comcast a 100 a month for extended basic, high speed, and a modem rental (and I know, I should just buy a modem already). I’m getting jacked more than I thought.

  7. juri squared says:

    YIKES. That’s a nightmare right there.

    I recommend getting your cable lines installed by a trusted friend or relative who knows how to do it, or learn to do it yourself. It’s not too hard, though it can be time-consuming and a bit of a headache. Still, at least you won’t be reamed by Comcast.

    The same goes for a router – just buy your own and get a tech-savvy pal to set it up after the technician is gone. The less the crappy subcontractor has to do, the less opportunity he has to screw it up.

  8. mopar_man says:

    That’s something else. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a customer of any business so displeased. Perhaps a complaint with the BBB would be in order as well?

  9. color_guru says:

    i say damn that is about the worst story i have ever read.

  10. zolielo says:

    That is what often happens with “natural monopolies.”

  11. formergr says:

    Oh, and I forgot to add, what’s with the cash-only bit? It sounds pretty shady and would make me think twice.

    Isn’t that a really bad idea to a) trust contractors with that much cash (say he made 5 service calls at >$100 each), b) it also makes them targets for a mugging in their rather recognizable vans.

    Seems like they would just either bill the customer or require a credit card deposit…

  12. bluebuilder says:

    Let’s see Comcast’s PR rep jump on this one and try to clean up the situation. This should be a serious embarrassment for the company. If I was in authority at Comcast, I would investigate the subcontractor, and if the claims are well founded…make an example of them. Subcontracting CAN work, but it takes oversight of the contracting company.

  13. leftistcoast says:

    As bad as his story is, at least it all happened over the course of a single day. When my wife and I moved from Cambridge to South Boston, we spent the better part of a month working with Comcast’s worthless contractors trying to figure out why our internet service kept dropping. The first tech that came out deciding that our modem was bad…then went through no fewer than 5 brand new modems that he had in his van before he found one that worked (a ‘bad batch’, he declared). That was just the beginning of a month of nightmares with them until they finally determined that it was a problem at the pole. We had over eight visits from techs. What finally got it fixed was my wife calling Clark Howard’s people in Atlanta who got her the phone number for the CSR executive in Boston. Magically, the problem got solved the next day.

  14. Avacasso says:

    Comcast in nashville is horrible.

    I wonder if I had the same ‘contractor’ come by a few years back when I had my cable installed. His demeanor and behavior sound very similar to that which you described.

  15. William Mize says:

    I absolutely cannot wait to hear Comcast’s reply and side of the story. I better go pop the popcorn now.

  16. RobUsdin says:

    Re – the hard drive:

    He should make them pay not only for replacement of hard drive, but for a hard drive recovery service to recover his data.

    To that point though – if he had personal photos on that PC – and only that PC – it’s a perfect point made for BACKING UP one’s essential data.

    –*Rob

  17. @B:
    I don’t think it’s fair to just blame Comcast’s subcontractors and give Comcast a free pass.

    They want to save money by not employing their own people to do the work of installations and service calls, and they are responsible for the actions of their subcontractors.

    If I call Comcast, whoever they send to me represents Comcast, regardless of the internal business arrangements they may have.

  18. DrTweeker says:

    Hey everyone. The Contractor was Helm Cable. It’s an ongoing process. I’ve had techs at my home, looking at the damage, and attempting to fix parts of it… on 02/19, 02/21, 02/22, 03/05, and again today 03/07. I’ve insisted on it being actual comcast employees – however the company is so big that they’re never coordinated – and to this day, 3 weeks later, they’ve only adjusted my bill for one month and re-ran some wires and covered one hole with a face-plate. I’m hoping that someone higher up the food-chain will see this, and will make things right.

    I’m begain to put all of my documentation up at comcastfixmyproblem.com in hopes that someone high up at comcast will get the picture.

    Jason in Nashville

  19. Little Mintz Sunshine says:

    While I sympathize with this poor guy, at what point do you say “Get the f*ck out of my house”?

  20. Youthier says:

    I want to know if Comcast said cash or just that it had to be paid at time of service. The supervisor’s question implies that they wanted cash but I’m curious if Jason asked if he could write a check. I paid my install charges to the tech with a check and there’s no way in hell I would give even the nicest, friendliest fella a wad of cash.

  21. faust1200 says:

    Yeah um Ben? Can we do a re-vote to get Comcast back into the worst company running? Between this and the raping/murdering tech I just don’t get how Sony wins.

  22. chrismar says:

    Normally I would empathize with a customer in this situation, but I have several problems with this story:

    1- Its way too long. I lost interest around paragraph 4 and skimmed the rest.

    2- If he’s the “internet expert” he claims to be, why is he relying on Comcast to setup his home network? Isn’t that something he’d want to do for himself?

    3- Whenever anyone leaves my house I immediately lock the door behind them. Why is he leaving his doors unlocked and permitting the contractor to come and go as he pleases?

    4- Why did he agree to the shady cash exchange operation? That’s a red flag in my book. I’ve moved several time and had several cable operators and none of them have ever asked for cash up front and always billed it to my account.

    All in all, I hope he gets what he’s looking for, but he should have taken several steps prior to the situation getting as bad as it did.

  23. kerry says:

    @William Mize: I’m with you, I spent the last half of that letter really unhappy that I couldn’t get the instant gratification of a follow-up from Comcast right then and there. There’s so much wrong with the way that service call went that I just can’t even comprehend it, I’m dying to know how they plan to fix this (if at all).

  24. rocketslide says:

    I would have said “”Get the f*ck out of my house” the second he demanded a cash payment. I’ve never ever had any installer demand cash money, and no way would I ever give any indication of having money in the house. There were lots of red flags right from the start here.

  25. jackofalltraits says:

    I think there is another side to this story. Not to defend Comcast but there are things that aren’t being told. I use to work for Comcast as a subcontractor and as a Customer Service Rep so I know how bad Comcast sucks.
    First of all if the sales rep quoted you a price of 39.99, he probably didn’t have access to your past due amount (or he didn’t care b/c of the commission). Comcast (and I believe any company) has a policy to collect past due amounts before giving new service. Just a word to the wise, next time give a different name, SS#, phone #, and/or tell them your house is now a 2-4 unit home. ie. apartment #Front / #Back / #Attic etc. They wont check.
    Second of all Comcast does charge you a price for each outlet installed and active. I believe its 9.99 to activate an existing outlet and 17.99 to install and activate a new outlet. Subcontractors get a commission for each job and extra $ for additional outlets, but its only $2-$5. That is why a lot of subcontractors rather install them “under the table” and they pocket the money.
    Third, yes it does look like he did a shitty job. They are supplied with additional accessories to make the job look as presentable, but by your pictures you don’t take care of your home either. You have no baseboard and the paint is falling off the wood panel and you expect him to do a great job? Did you follow him while he was installing the outlets? You should have! After the first one, you should have stopped him. Did you leave the tech enough space to maneuverer or where there places that it was feasible impossible to install an outlet? Word of advise, Comcast does not do Whiteglove installation ie. fish coaxial cables through walls. You have to hire someone else to do that. I’ve had jobs that the homeowner asked me to just through a cable across the living room floor b/c they didn’t care how it looked, but then again I had customers who wanted every wire cut to the exact length of required. So again, why didn’t you open your mouth when he was doing it? Why are you doing it now?
    I’ll be truthful, I didn’t read your story completely, it was too damn long and I stopped after your third B.S. complaint. I have real stories about how Comcast #$%#ed up a customers home/order etc.
    Don’t get me wrong, I hate Comcast, not only personal but professionally as well.

  26. pete says:

    re: the hard drive

    While pulling the plug on a running pc can corrupt its hard drive in some cases, the damage is very rarely irreparable. This usually just results in corruption of the file table, and Spinrite should repair it – http://www.grc.com/spinrite.htm
    You shouldn’t have to replace the drive.

  27. joopiter says:

    I think I’m going to stop complaining about Cablevision now. Their rates are ludicrous and their service spotty, but at least they’ve never actively destroyed anything in my apartment. Jeez.

    I’m all for having a trusted tech-friend help set up a router. We did that in our apartment and, having watched him do it, can now troubleshoot some of our own issues without having to call for service. Plus, it seems a lot easier to bring a busted router to a store and say “this doesn’t work give me another one” then waiting for your cable company to diagnose your problem and send a tech out.

  28. QuirkyRachel says:

    Wow. I mean, just, wow. And here I was thinking I had a rough time with Comcast after going through 7 cable boxes…
    I really wish we had another choice besides Comcast…

  29. ddrager says:

    I would hope that Comcast drops Helm Cable as an authorized contractor, as they handled the situation in a totally inappropriate way. What they said might be true but they could have handled it differently.

    That being said, a technician has no idea what they will encounter when going out to an install site. They may have “quoted” you a different price because they assumed your home was already cable wired as most are.

    Also something that sounds fishy, but I guess depends on your Comcast franchise, is that they ask for Cash on install day. I’ve never heard of them doing that around here, unless someone has bad credit.

  30. vanilla-fro says:

    I wonder if Comcast is going to pull the old “we have a hold harmless agreement with helm cable and you’ll have to take it up with them”?
    Hopefully they will take care of this on their own, but there is always that chance that they will make him go through helm cable. and i’m pretty sure that won’t go well.

  31. evanchsa says:

    I am skeptical that the hard drive was “fried” by the mere fact that the cable tech unplugged the power from the device.

    Modern hard drives use the rotational energy of the platters to park and land the disk head in a special zone. This prevents the head from slamming in to the portion of the disk that contains the user’s data. There is no difference between unplugging the computer and doing a normal Start->Shutdown at this level.

    What could have happened is the filesystem got all messed up because filesystem metadata and file data wasn’t flushed to disk. This is semi-likely but does not fry the drive at all. You could put it in another machine and get at most / probably all of the data.

    It sounds like the drive was on its way out already and would have died in a matter of days if it was rebooted, powered off or just left to run.

    I do not think the hard drive issue is Comcast’s fault.

  32. kevjohn says:

    @missbrooke06: I know it’s odd that the deal he’s getting is the thing that stood out the most to me, but I’m getting screwed too! My Comcast bill (ransom) is close to $100, and that’s just for Basic and high speed Internets. No premium channels, no modem rental, no nothing.

    I should just get the bootleg like half of my neighbors do.

  33. junkmail says:

    Jeez, I guess I’ll say it a second time… God BLESS Cox Cable.

  34. mconfoy says:

    So I guess I should be lucky that Adelphia now owned by Comcast did a professional job and did not charge for running line through the wall, with out charging for the new outlet? Of course the install was $99, not $39 but no strings attached either. Glad my company was paying. But yes, I interacted with the adelphia guy to make sure I was happy. And guess what? They all have to take checks like cash. Why did not giving him a check come up? And all of the work to be done should have been discussed before any work began. If the lame brain from Helms did not do that, then the customer better. Also, doesn’t your front door have a lock on it?

  35. tadowguy says:

    My Dish Network installer did an AWESOME job, and he was not a sub-contractor.

  36. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    Wow. That letter was too long. While I applaud his ability to properly articulate his thoughts, it’s way too long for most people. Most likely the recipient will just skim through it, and respond with a generic canned response.

    But I’m just wondering why he insists that an actual Comcast employee repair the damage? What does a cable tech know about patching holes in drywall? Just have a carpenter or general contractor fix it, and then send the bill to Comcast.

    Personally, I wouldn’t let anyone touch my A/V or computer equipment. And I certainly wouldn’t let anyone drill holes in my walls. I would’ve done all the wiring and outlets myself. Then just have the tech run the cable to a patch box outside the house. No need for them to come inside and mess the place up. You can pay someone $100+ to do it wrong, or you can spend $100+ to do it right yourself.

    And there were several warning signs that the guy ignored. I would’ve kicked out the tech from the moment he asked for money. For most services, payment is exchanged after the job is complete. Comcast should’ve just charged him the installation fee on his first cable bill.

  37. magic8ball says:

    @jackofalltraits: First of all, Comcast should have told him up front what the TOTAL cost would be at the time of installation, regardless of what other fees went into that total. It is not reasonable to tell a customer that “installation” will cost them a certain amount, but then not tell them that you will be forcing them to pay other amounts at the same time. And what makes you think the customer had a past due amount? Second, why should the customer be able to anticipate everything the installer might do wrong on the installation, and then have to follow the installer around to make sure it doesn’t happen? What happened to the idea of people doing the job they’re paid to do, correctly, the first time? It’s the installer’s job to do it right, not the customer’s job to keep him from doing it wrong.

  38. Namrepus says:

    As the son of a man who works in the cable industry, this is simply appauling. I remember the comcast employee who fell assleep at a persons house being absurd…but this goes beyond that.

    If comcast says they are under no obligation to help you or anything. I suggest calling a lawyer and persuing this in the courts cause obviously they don’t care about you as a customer, but they should care about you as a person and the fact that someone attempted to potentially ruin you professionally and personally by using their name.

  39. 44 in a Row says:

    I think I’m going to stop complaining about Cablevision now. Their rates are ludicrous and their service spotty, but at least they’ve never actively destroyed anything in my apartment. Jeez.

    Seriously. A few years ago, I used to bitch about Cablevision constantly, mostly because of their rates. But they’ve always done right by me whenever I need a problem fixed, and they’ve never busted up my walls.

  40. proginoskes says:

    I agree with “evanchsa”. While the tech shouldn’t have unplugged the PC without permission, you can’t hold him responsible for the PC’s apparent inability to survive a simple POWER FAILURE.

  41. hop says:

    this is the kinda reason that i have direct tv…..not great, but got the comcast beat all to pieces……………..

  42. Sudonum says:

    Like a previous poster said, Cable Companies or their sub-contractors DO NOT run wire into walls. Their insurance won’t cover it, and in many cases the walls will have to be cut open and the drywall repaired. DO NOT expect a cable tech to re-wire your house for cable or either net. That is what LICENSED ELECTRICIANS are for (and they won’t patch walls either, but they’ll make fewer holes). Don’t believe me, ask Meghann’s Dad. And you always watch any repairman at first to make sure they are doing the job the way you want it done.

    And if the data on the HP TV device was so sensitive why was it not on a battery back up or UPS system? Like another posted said, the same thing would have happened during the next power outage.

    I am not defending Comcast. Hell, I voted for them every chance I got as the worst company. All I am saying people is CYA. You are now the one trying to solve all the problems these idiots created.

  43. jackofalltraits says:

    @magic8ball Yes Comcast does tell the customers upfront pricing but if the customer ordered just one outlet when he placed the order and then later they decided to get more when the tech is there, it wouldn’t have been included in the the initial cost. The tech would have two options at that point, tell the customer to call customer service and setup separate install or do it himself, time permitting, and let Comcast bill them.
    I believe the customer had a past due amount because how else would a charge come up? Something had to link to an old account, either a name, past address, social security number, phone number, etc. I know because I’ve seen it before. Don’t get me wrong, they probably didn’t owe a cent. It might have been someone used their personal information to get Comcast. It doesn’t take a lot to get Comcast service with false information, at least when I worked there.
    As far as your last comment, who in their right mind lets a stranger, regardless of their profession, wander around their house without any supervision? It’s like leaving your personal items around your car when you take it into the mechanic or letting a new barber cut your hair while your eyes where closed. No matter who, what, when, where, why, or how something is done, you always have to double-check your personal property.

  44. billhelm says:

    they are probably better off buying his own router and installing it. I don’t know how much comcast charges for those, but a router isn’t too expensive these days and they are relatively easy to install.

    horrible story, but that letter was way too long and there were way too many irrelevant details.

  45. jwissick says:

    That installer would have been staring down the barrel of my Kimber 1911 the moment he walked in like he owned the place. Comcast really sucks big hairy goats… Congress really needs to break them up.

  46. thymesonline says:

    This is the link to that similar article, about some guy who was not allowed to park outside his house!
    http://thymesonline.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&tas

  47. jeeperz says:

    I used to work at an Adelphia/Comcast call center. I actually worked for Nucomm, but we handled Comcast. In most areas the installation fee and the first months charges are payable to the tech. These can be waived by the CSR. And contrary to an earlier post, they do run cables in the walls. It is called a wallfish. It isn’t done in all areas, but it is done.

    Comcast will not even set up new service without the past due being paid first or while on the phone with the CSR. The system won’t allow the service to be set up. I worked on the help desk which is who you will get when you ask for a supervisor. I did not have much more power than a regular CSR. The only things I could do that they could not was refund more than $100, take payments of more than $100, call dispatch to find out where techs were, reschedule trouble calls on a “must do” basis, and generally make the customer feel like they have someone important on the line.

    I don’t do this line of work anymore because of the terrible service from the techs in the field. Comcast is starting to sub out all there tech work and it is horrible. I got tired of being yelled at for something I had no control over. Dispatchers are were just as rude to me as the techs were to customers.

    Comcast offers a good product, they just don’t back their product very good. A few tips. If you charge a bunch of pay-per-views over the Christmas holidays, don’t call up on January 1 and expect to get a refund. Customer service is trained over this and it won’t happen. If you ever have to call for any reason, ask about any deals going on at that time. They always have deals going on and if they don’t ask for some type of discount on your current service. One caveat to this, if you have a bad record with payments, forget. You won’t get it.

    Don’t get irate. CSR’s are trained to warn you once and then hang up. Be nice. If you feel the need to speak to a supervisor, ask for one. But as I stated earlier this only transfer’s you to the help desk. They don’t deal with the general public much so they are more likely to get you what you want. They can give you better deals also. The actual supervisors will not get on the phone. They don’t know much anyway.

    Good Luck….

  48. ne0shell says:

    WTF is up with all this “Comcast doesn’t fish wires in walls”? Time Warner dba Road Runner does, I mean why are you paying for installation if they don’t do proper work? Back in college I installed high end A/V / Home Theater systems and we had standards these clowns will never approach. Yes, it was “white glove” and perhaps Comcast doesn’t do that but please don’t act like fishing a wire is “electricians work”. As long as there is access above or below the wall the only hole should be hidden behind a level wall plate.
    I’d send Comcast and Helm registered letters detailing the damages, compensation expected and give them notice you’ll be taking them to small claims court, (search online for your state’s procedures and requirements). If they bother to call you and tell you how their lawyers will run you over be sure to mention you intend to ask for a jury trial. I’m doing this with a VW dealer over warranty issues and so far they’re starting to refund money quite rapidly.

  49. sixsnowflakes says:

    Jason has some dramatically self-serving and unrealistic expectations:

    1- A business is going to use a regular residential package (and an exceptionally cheap one at that)?
    2- Can we say easily offended? This letter is full of whining, not legitimate complaints.
    3- Customers should always prepare their televisions and computers for such installations. It is not unreasonable for the installer to want to restart his computer or deprive him of internet while installations are completed. HD damage is likely neither as extensive as claimed nor Comcast’s exclusive liability.
    4- Lack of communication is evident, however, this is the fault of both parties. (router, wall outlets, installation time)
    5- Comcast always expects payment to be made upon installation. He should have been informed, but he could have also paid by check.

    Comcasts service appears normal, which is nothing to be proud of, but doesn’t warrant these demands.

  50. dayjayvw says:

    Same thing kind of happened here. I’ve had numerous comcat issues and had actuall comcast tech employees out to my house 12 times in 12 months.
    When we upgraded to digital voice I made the mistake of having my mother inlaw house sit for the install. When I came home he had run a new phone wire for the telephony modem and litterally made a 3/4 inch hole in the wall outside/in to fit that pots line cable. He caulked the shit out of the whole on the outside, and then left the gaping hole on the inside. Aggravates me that they wouldn’t just install a plate than a bare wire.
    Worst of all is that the wire coming out of the wall is 3 feet from the floor………..

  51. crayonshinobi says:

    It’s Comcastic!

    Good luck Jason, though I don’t hold much hope for you and your new relationship with Concast.

    Start searching for alternatives. My wife and I had Concast for a year before we finally decided to use DSL and go without TV. We’ve never been happier.

  52. Coyote says:

    Personally if I were the one supervising him. I would have let him complete the work and refused to pay when he demanded the $115 plus $149 for the gateway. Either he packs everything back up or he leaves.

    Comcast may have a monopoly but there are other services. DishNetwork, DirectTV both offer satellite internet service tho its more expensive. Cingular and verizon offer not just DSL but cellular internet, again it’ll cost more.

    Either way there is still options and he should have let comcast know this. Also a lawsuit should be in order for the damages to his property (especially if he didnt give permission for any of the work)

  53. citizenc says:

    RE: “unplug his HP Media Center PC Box (thereby breaking it)” and “well as the hard drive he fried by unplugging cables from the Media Center Box without powering it down”

    I’m an IT professional, working in the industry for 13 years. (I am currently employed in the corporate/external services division of the largest computer store in the city.)

    Unplugging a computer from the wall, even while it is running, will NOT immediately fry a hard drive. Unless there was a defrag / scandisk / some other constant drive read/write operation running, the odds of the drive dying are basically zero.

    Correlation does not imply causation. Well, that’s not true. It implies it like a mofo, but it doesn’t prove jack shit.

    Hey, “internet expert”. Yeah, the installer was rude. Yeah, he drilled a bunch of holes in your shit. But maybe you should learn a thing or two about how computers work before you post potentially damanging comments like how the installer fried your hard drive.

  54. Sudonum says:

    @ne0shell:
    Who did you work for when you did this work? Was it a licensed A/V company? In many municipalities you must be licensed and insured even for “low voltage” work. And legally, permits must be pulled if you are going to cut a hole in the wall or drill through the top plate of your wall framing. (Hell Los Angeles County requires a permit for you to change your dishwasher) Most cable companies simply aren’t going to give you that level of service. They don’t want the liability. I had Time Warner when I lived in CA. They WOULD NOT fish cable wires through the walls.

    When you state that “As long as there is access above or below the wall the only hole should be hidden behind a level wall plate” You are wrong. Many walls have blocking between the studs preventing you from fishing the cable. Even if there is no blocking, as Meghanns Dad pointed out in a previous post, if you have wall insulation that “fishing” job just went from a few minutes to possibly an hour. Do you expect to get all of this for your $39.99 installation fee and $9.99 an outlet?

    I’m not saying it can’t be done. I’m saying that MOST cable companies WILL NOT fish wire through the walls. The ones that will are the exception, not the rule.

  55. rswitzer says:

    My own experiences with Comcast were unbelievably bad. I don’t understand how they remain in business. Along with Dell Computer, Comcast is on my ‘won’t buy again, ever’ list.

    I suffered arrogant, clueless installers, bad customer service, over-billing, and a product (digital cable
    TV + internet) that just plain sucked.

    I wound up replacing Comcast with DSL resold by a local ISP and an 18″ satellite dish from DirecTV.

    The Comcast services *looked* better on paper, but factoring in the shitty service, the reality was far different. If you’re considering anything from Comcast, don’t. Go elsewhere. You won’t regret it.

  56. attackgypsy says:

    I work for a Comcast competitor, Cablevision in the NorthEast.

    Yes, we do use contractors in certain areas. Where I happen to live, they’re Cablevision employees. Our contractors NEVER handle cash. Ever.

    The rep disconnecting the call? I work as a tech support rep, and if I ever did that, I’d get fired immediately. I can have, at any one time, 14 different people listening to the call. (We just started this new CS program, so they’re monitoring big time right now)

    Our techs would have never touched his home network. Why? Because we don’t accept the liability for that. One connection to one computer. That’s all we’ll do. Hell, we won’t even support a router connection. We’ll try resetting it, then we’ll bypass it. As far as routers and home networks go, you’re on your own.

    He wants wall and floor damage repaired? Good luck. That’s not considered damage to drill a hole in to run a wire. For the floor, they’ll rip up your rug, and your floorboards to repair it. Do you really want that? A bit of whineing there.

    Yeah, his experience sucked. But he made it worse.

  57. happyisdeb says:

    Comcast did the same exact thing to me, except they didn’t ask me for any money.

    Quite bullshit, especially when you move into your brand new home and THEY decide to break it in for you.

  58. Addison says:

    After working for a cable contractor, I have to say this guy would have been fired immediately. Our customer would have called us and said basically that this tech had been out of line and they didn’t want him working for us anymore and that would be that. Now, I’ve had some customers try to pull some bullshit before just to get money off the install, but this guy went through hell.

    Seriously, get the corp number for Comcast and start calling and don’t stop until you get a resolution. Let them know that you are going to hound them like a dog.

    I would also get the number for Helms Cable and find out who this guy’s supervisor is. Have the QC person for Helms come out and check the install.

  59. DaddisGrl says:

    Can I give you some cheese with your wine?

    Wow, what a long story. I agree a summery needs to be made.

    I think the poster is an ass. To leave your computers on while a tech is working at your house is stupid. You claim to be experienced with the net; you sure don’t sound like it.

    Most serious computer users wouldn’t allow someone else to drill holes, they would set the outlets up themselves. They also would only pay the tech to come and set 1 modem up, they would wire the rest themselves.

    No one in their right mind would pay someone $150 for a part you can buy on Newegg for -$75.

    I’m with citizenc on the computer, and who charges that much for a hard drive anyway? Slave the drive to one of your many other computers, then reload windows if you have to. Consider it a lesson learned & next time do your job as homeowner and prepare the work site.

    Oh, btw, learn to lock your doors.

    Me wonders if he drilled the holes like that because you were rude to begin with.

  60. lonewolf667 says:

    @citizenc: I’ve been in the computer field for 24 YEARS and i can tell you from WATCHING IT HAPPEN that a computer being unplugged abruptly can fry a HDD. H*ll, powering down your system can cause this to happen because of thermal expansion and contraction.
    Bear in mind that every system is nothing more than an elaborate electrical translating device that takes regulated power flow and turns it into a form your eyes can understand via the monitor. Interrupt that flow and unpredictability is the result. Why do you think you have blown caps on a mainboard after a black-out, gee could it be because the power flow was unexpectedly terminated and voltage regulation shorted long enough for damage to occur.

    This is the kind of thing i deal with on a consistent and regular basis. 90% of our customer base are brand-name driven, media minded individuals who happily rank and file every time Wal-Mart has a sale. They accept what they are told as unavoidable and take it up the a** with no qualms because they believe they do not have options. Granted, because of this fact, those of us in the IT profession will always have job security til the day the average user gains the confidence to handle the matter themselves, but until then, it is our job to see that their systems are functioning the way they should.

    And by the way, he may be an “internet expert”. For all you know, he could be a sysadmin. I have met dozens of system administrators who looked at the inside of a computer and turn green.

    On the same token, though, this guy is not without error. My cable company will never ask for cash onsite nor any other form of payment aside from a signature that indicates I understand that the charges will be added to my next bill. I have no doubt in my mind that the “tech” pocketed the cash and did a shi**y job just because he could.

    (Note: A lot of computer techs know that most people know jack about their systems aside from how to check their email and surf porn. Those with honest intentions will even tell you this, straight to your face. I do it all the time, but I make it a point to make the customer do most of the work. Why? Because they will learn how to do it on their own. And the more confident they are, the more they will rely on me to help them through the rough stuff. The ones who are frauds will sugarcoat whatever problem you actually have with buzzwords to make it easier for you to lay back accept that the “tech knows what he’s doing”. You’re less likely to question the $300 upgrade if you have no clue what the upgrade really does. Sadly, its the latter that give the rest of us a bad image.)

    Lesson here: learn from your mistakes and brace yourself for the next ones.

  61. demoman says:

    During a Recent COMCAST nightmare of my OWN trying to Port my telephone number out of COMCAST.
    I found a method for getting them to LISTEN to you.

    Calling the State’s UTC as well as Legislators seems to work as they file complaints with them.

    Also calling the corporate HQ in Philadelphia get’s IMMEDIATE Action. The team your looking
    for at your regional HQ is called Executive escalations Department.

    Here they have 2 people working on the MAJOR issues that the company has in the area. My issue
    was solved with in 2 days and I got a MAJOR pay off from them as well for all of my troubles.
    If the rest of the company worked as well as these 2 individuals did.

    Comcast’s repeated Black eyes would be NILL.

  62. wess24m says:

    That’s a pretty interesting story you have there. I am a Comcast technician, and I’m not calling you a liar so please don’t take the points I wanted to bring up as such. First off I know the customer reps give people false information about things especially trouble shooting things, but even the newest reps should have given you the right times for your appointment. We have 3 time frames 8-12, 10-2, 1-5, 3-5.
    When they take your order they have the time frame information right in front of them. When we can’t get in touch with the customer we have to call it in to our dispatchers and then they call the home number that you provided on the work order. Now the COD issue, the COD amount is printed on the work order at least here in California. So you can see for yourself what the tech is suppost to collect. We can accept cash or check, so you should have been given that choice, It’s a common practice to ask for the COD upfront because not all customers are honest like yourself, If the contractor would have setup all your equipment spending the time to run outlets and get everything up and running and you didn’t have the money he would have to go back and take out all the equipment he just spent his time installing. So you can see why we would ask for the money upfront, it’s no different than your home business providing a service and investing your time only to have to go back and get no return for you work.

    Now I’m in a different situation because as an “in-house” tech I get paid by the hour and while I’m not defending the contractor for his rude behavior, but you have to realize that if he was there for 6 hours he probley only made 25 bucks for 6 hours of work, I think anybody would be irritated by that. So you had home networking a DVR and 2 DCT “cable boxes” installed, that’s by no means a 1 hour job to just install home networking if everything goes semi smooth you’re looking at an hour, and that’s of all the outlets are preexisting. There are a lot of things you didn’t provide in your story, was the room where the tech ran the cable through the floor a room without an outside wall?? Was the room near the front side of your house?? The contractor might have been trying to save you from having cable wire from being visible on the front of your house. As far as the holes that were drilled, you said that you were following him around the house, I think somebody else brought this up in the comments, why didn’t you say something to him when he had the drill with a 2 foot drill bit pointed at your floor, now he should have gone over the whole install and what he was going to do before hand but like I said they get slammed with work and are paid by the amount of work perform unlike me getting paid by the hour.

    I have a hard time believing that just by unplugging your pc that it destroyed your hard drive, I’ve been in the IT field for 10+ years now and I’ve yet to see even one pc hard drive fail because of powerless. Again if you were with him the whole time you should have seen him unplugging things and notified him about your media pc. When we set up HSI on computers we need to shutdown virus protection so we can provision the modem, also if you know you’re going to have internet set up on your pc why would you have important programs up for the world to see? I don’t know the nature of your business but I don’t think your customers would be happy to know that you’re being so lackluster with their information.
    I think the contractor could have done a better job as far as customer service things better such as walking you through the install before drilling holes, confirmed that what was on the work order was correct with what you ordered, and he shouldn’t have been talking on his cell phone using profanity in front of you the customer. If you do have any further issues go to the Comcast office and talk to a supervisor instead of writing e-mails you’ll get things sorted out quicker. In my shop we only let contractors do “positive work” such as installs. Any service calls are done in-house, you can always request for an in-house tech and I don’t know how that local shop works but here we do send out a real Comcast tech not a contractor.

    Hope this helps clear some things up for you.

  63. gtennille says:

    A big part of the problem is the way Comcast compensates its subcontractors.

    According to the last Comcast tech who had to come out to my house to fix something that a sub had screwed up, Comcast pays subs a flat-rate per installation visit. Obviously, this motivates the subs to complete as many installs as possible during a work day. The natural result of this motivation is that the subs will take any shortcut they can to complete an install quickly.

    They can’t get paid until they turn in the completed work order with your signature, though, so if you’re not satisfied, don’t sign.

    The only thing that will ever cause Comcast, or any of the other cable companies to improve their customer service, lower their rates and deliver a better product is real competition.

    Grant Tennille
    http://www.stopthecableripoff.com

  64. DrTweeker says:

    I’d like to thank the consumerist, and happily report that Comcast has resolved the matter completely. As I just posted the resolution, including before/after photos, on http://www.ComcastFixMyProblem.com – it was settled today after they dropped off a check. The physical repairs were finished earlier this week as well. Were it not for the Consumerist, this problem may not have ever received the attention it did, nor reached the level it did at Comcast. I would like to note – and not that it matters, but does seem odd – that during the entire process, not a single individual from the corporate office would reply, respond, or return a communication. It got the attention of someone at the nashville office, but no one in corporate ever blinked an eye at the matter. At any rate – the matter is finally over with – you can view all the gory details at the blog about the incident, above. Thank you everyone.!

  65. viper1 says:

    well to make a point, some customers just feel that they can run cabling they get at homedepot or radio shack and use those junky gold splitters and expect that that will be good enough to make their services work. Well it stuff like this that causes us to increase prices, because when a tech has to replace lines and splitters and trouble shoot your busted tv or virus/ spyware infected computer you immediatly go and redo what we did to fix the situation. some techs generally care about doing the job right the first time, but again there is only so much some of us can do.At times there are things that just seem to pose a question as to why is the service not working right, when everything is correct in the system and meets spec., some things just seem to go unanswerable.
    Hey tell me why someone unplugging a computer or hard drive device would cause it to “crash” so to speak, sound to me that if there were a power outage, that that would also cause the same type of thing, sounds fishy to me.
    DON’T TRY TO WIRE YOUR HOMES WITH RADIO SHACK WIRING OR USE THOSE RADIO SHACK CABLES BEHIND YOUR TV/COMPUTER OR EMTA.STOP PLAYING CABLEMAN.
    me and most of the guys i work with will fix your problems if you don’t go off on us as your personal verbal punching bag. I wouldn’t fix you stuff if you went off on me as soon as i got there or started yelling at me on the phone.

  66. consumer_999 says:

    This is eerily similar to a DSL issue I had with Verizon, minus the on-site nightmare this poor guy went through. To keep it brief: I lost my service due to a billing error on their part, and then the next 27 days were spent arguing with dozens of agents, supervisors, and division leads at corporate (the only people to actually get anything done, and clear the mess up). The trench agents are all incompetent dopes who tell you they can’t help you, and then pass you on to someone else. After being shuffled around by 15 agents on one day, telling my story over and over countless times, I finally found my own way to the supervisors, because I asked one of the agents what number she was calling, and she gave it to me (she wasn’t supposed to – oops?). Alas the supervisors didn’t help either; more “sir, I can’t help you, it’ll take 10-14 business days to set you back up.” This, when I was already set up just a few hours ago, my line was already FCC cleared previously, and it was their error. To top it off, one supervisor who did claim he was going to set it all straight, put in the order for me, and then when it was taking more than a week, I called back to check on it, only to find he set the order up for the WRONG PHONE NUMBER. That’s part of the reason it took a month to clear up. Thanks, Brian!

    Over the course of it all, I sent three letters to the consumer relations/complaints department, directly to named officials even, and never received a call or even a form letter of receipt and acknowledgement.

    Only when I researched corporate contacts on my own and went straight to them – they probably didn’t like hearing from me directly – did the matter get resolved. In the end, I lost probably a few months of my life from the stress, and they gave me about 6 months free service. Not a great tradeoff. Any time I think of ever having to deal with them again, I start twitching, so I pray, beg, and conduct regular sacrifices to keep my DSL running properly.

    And now I see, it’s not just Verizon. Sounds like Comcast is even worse (Verizon was simply inept and stupid – Comcast actually sounds corrupt). I honestly don’t know how the victim above manages to stay so calm in his letter, but I do admire his temperament.

  67. Stryc9 says:

    I get the feeling this ‘internet business’ is either sending spam or ebay sniping/selling. This guy obviously knows shit about computers and his business can’t be making money if 1.) he allowed any downtime at all or 2.) is running it on a residential account.

    I worked at a Canadian ISP and anyone that complained about ‘my business, blah blah blah’ was immediately told that if they are running a business on a residential account then that is their problem and we would not consider it when rebating or whatever. I would say all his business claims are moot.

    The install looks a little crappy, but most cable co’s near me don’t fish through walls either. I get wall jacks, but the cable goes either through the attic or around the outside of the house and through the wall.

  68. shmo says:

    Comcast uses unfair sales practices, by refusing to provide HDTV channels to its customers, other than as a complement to their analog “Expanded Basic” package, which is an additional $51.99/month. This is ridiculous, because if you have an HDTV, you want to watch HD, if you have the HD channel, why would you also want the inferior quality analog channel ? You DO NOT need the same channel in high-def. and analog !
    Additionaly, a $5 charge appeared on my monthly bill for an HD converter box without any notice, which is supposed to be provided with my “Digital Prefered Pkg” service, which they claimed they had sent a letter in regard to.
    Also, I recently added a second (std., non-HD) converter box for a bedroom TV and their price list show this as $3.95/mo, but they are billing me at $5.99/mo. When I phoned, I was told thats the way they do it. Is this not false advertising ?

    The practise of grouping HDTV channels with their analog channel (i.e. a free HD channel when the analog channel is purchased in an Expenseive pkg.) is a pyramid-like, manipulative scheme inflating customers bills. This should NOT be premitted ! Digital channels can be very easily activated one-by-one allowing the cable provider to sell them on an “ala carte” or HDTV package basis !
    Why do they bill customers at rates other than on their price list ?
    Why is there a charge for an HD converter box, which is substantially the same cost to Comcast as the non-Hd converter box ? I believe this is the surcharge they attempted to add once before to provide revenue to increase channel capacity, which is not sufficient in our area, to compete with the fall launch of Verizon FIOS TV service in this area.

    Go FIOS Go !!!! True QAM ! 20 db hot ! :-)

  69. youreanidiot says:

    1. Comcast is an internet provider, not there to set up your network. They connect one computer, multiple is up to you and Best Buy.
    2. You probably had a C.O.D. on your account because you’re a deadbeat who’s known to probably not pay
    3. I’m sure the guy just walked in asking you for cash. They were probably up front with the procedure-which you couldn’t abide by-and cry like a whiny little girl.

  70. @boohoohoo:

    I hate to tell ya, boohoo, this was not a bullshit story. My name’s Steven, Jason’s partner. That was the house I grew up in, and we dealt with that shit for more than just this experience last year. Don’t assume a story is bullshit just because you didn’t experience it. The contractor in this story, and the ones in the future were all just as bad, and we had to have many holes repaired.