Does Comcast Hate Mac And Firefox?

You’d think the country’s largest ISP would embrace customers who use Firefox and Safari. Or maybe you wouldn’t. Tech.Blorge blogger David says they “hate” Mac and Firefox. Strong words!

He bases his claim on Comcast’s install procedure, which he says requires IE5… even on a Mac. Teehee! Here’s the best part:

The web contains other stories — including one from a user group for Apple fans. One Mac owner reports he’d called Comcast to troubleshoot his cable modem. Comcast’s technician told him he knew “nothing about *&@#$ing Macs,”eventually disappearing into his truck. By the time the technican returned, the customer had repaired the cable modem himself with a phone call to Comcast’s support line.

*&@#$ing Macs! *&@#$ing working for a living!

Do we think Comcast hates Macs and Firefox? No. Do we think Comcast considers the customers who use these products to be a statistically insignificant anomaly not worthy of the considerable investment it would take to optimize their products? Yes.

Does Comcast hate Macs? [Tech.Blorge via Slashdot]

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. alhypo says:

    What is playgames.comcast.net? It sounds pretty lame and therefore of no interest to us sophisticated Firefox users.

  2. B says:

    Considering how Comcast seems to hate all their customers, I’d say they don’t really care about Macs/Firefox one way or the other. Also, why did the User call tech support of they were able to fix the problem themselves? I know when I have to rely on Comcast support for my cable modem, I need to unplug my router and pretend I only have one computer.

  3. DeeJayQueue says:

    I had the same experience with RCN. The technician said “I’ve been doing this for years and I’ve never even seen one of these artsy computers. I have no idea how they work”

  4. IC18 says:

    Apparently the technician doesn’t have a clue about his *&@#$ing job, dude needs a McJob. I would think a large number of users use Firefox as I do. I haven’t used IE in years, why because its bloated and sucks.

  5. 7livesleft says:

    Minimum wage tech support. Minimum wage webmaster.

    No wonder they dont support anything other than their system’s native browsers

  6. etinterrapax says:

    Yeah, as B said, I doubt Comcast’s hating is limited to Mac users, and this particular kind of browser limitation is more widespread than just Comcast. I can’t make custom business cards online with either Staples or OfficeMax (though a number of other companies, one of which is getting my business, seem to have no problem with Safari). As far as the connection, fortunately, I never needed any help with it. If the cable connection is working into the modem, both our wired and wireless connections are fine. I never had to install Comcast’s software at all. Getting on a wireless network–any–with a Mac has been a total breeze compared to using Windows.

  7. adamondi says:

    Comcast hates everything that is good and wholesome. Therefore, by default, they hate Macs and Firefox. They hate their customers. They hate puppies and ice cream. They even hate TiVo, or they would have gotten off of their butts and actually put out some sort of product by now that takes advantage of their partnership with TiVo.

  8. thepassenger says:

    @adamondi: Comcast DVRs with TiVo software are coming soon…supposedly. I have a friend who is waiting for one.

  9. Coincidentally, Comcast provides McAfee as the virus/security suite to all of its customers. McAfee requires IE for registration and updates.

    I see a trend.

  10. joopiter says:

    Funny… I used to complain about Cablevision all the time until I started reading Consumerist. Now it doesn’t look so bad in comparison to Comcast and Time Warner… Cablevision has detailed instructions for Mac users (both in print and when you call tech support) and I’ve never had any problems using Firefox with any Optimum Online specific site. But I have run into problems before with companies limiting you to using Internet Explorer 5 on a Windows XP machine. Most recently, I tried to take a survey on ABC’s programming and couldn’t because of that requirement.

  11. itsgene says:

    I take issue with the idea that it would take “considerable investment” to optimize their products for Macs. If they simply used standard web techniques to provide these services, everything would be hunky dory. The problem is that they are either too lazy to do things the right way, or they are locking down their product with so much ridiculous DRM that it is limited to one specific browser and one specific OS.

  12. toddkravos says:

    What about those awesome scripts that can be used w/ Firefox to ‘trick’ the server into thinking your on Windoze + Internet Exploder?

  13. Jon Parker says:

    I had a Comcast phone support tech tell me “I don’t like Macs because they’re too small and don’t have color screens.”

    On the other hand, I can’t see any reason to install Comcast software. My connection works fine without it.

  14. Lordstrom says:

    We’re sorry, but we require a computer susceptible to spam, viruses, trojans, and random OS error messages to use our service. Please go to http://www.microsoft.com to learn more.

  15. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    I read somewhere that the installation software just installs a bunch of toolbars and adware to IE. And Comcast’s web portal contains apps written for IE as well; Probably stuff that uses ActiveX.


    This is just another case of corporate laziness.

  16. Bye says:

    This is the reason we gave up Comcast highspeed (and as a result, our Comcast cable) a few years ago. I understand browser and OS limitations, but if you’re not going to give a customer all of the advantages touted as going along with the service, then a separate, lower rate should be offered for Mac users. They were really unhelpful to the point of being unfriendly with regard to Macs and pretty much dared us to cancel.

    So we did. We went to DSL and satellite and haven’t regretted it since.

  17. Falconfire says:

    there is a lot of talk about how they hate Linux users as well as people who use special hardware and not the standard router.

    I myself experienced both in a double wammy, as we had switched our land-line to Comcasts to save money. In the process of doing the switch they had de-activated our Linksys combo wireless router and modem from their network to put in the one for phone.

    Now you can have both on your network, but when the tech added the other one, they deleted the MAC address of our previous router. The best part? They still had my fathers OLD G3 mac address, and our previous and RETURNED rental modem MAC addresses on file for use, but not the most recent MAC address we had been using for over 2 years now.

    After almost 2 hours of discussion with 3 techs 2 of which where dumber than the shithead high school summer help I work with (who told me either to do one thing thats impossible to do if I dont have a connection, or read me off instructions for hooking up a mac, USING OS9!) I finally got someone who knew EXACTLY what I was talking about, hit a few buttons, and in 5 minutes had everything working again.

  18. Xerloq says:

    @Falconfire: Can’t your router use any MAC address? I cloned the MAC address of the machine I used when I signed up for Comcast years ago. As far as they know I still have the original computer hooked up to the cable modem.

    The thing that sucks the most (whether you use a Mac or a PC) is redoing all the troubleshooting steps when the connection goes down. Even though you know there’s a network outage, they won’t admit it.

  19. calvinneal says:

    Up here in Michigan they are known as COMCRAP! Thank God over half of the suburbs here have a choice between Comcast, Wow and the ATT.

  20. Tombfyre says:

    I wonder how much of it is them hating Firefox and Macs, VS getting paid by Microsoft to make their stuff Internet Explorer only. They wouldn’t be the first company that has been bribed to make such an interaction block.

  21. blueboy77 says:

    My father works for Comcast, and when I initially installed Mozilla/Firefox years ago, he consulted the tech guys at his work about it. They told him that Firefox was virus ridden and a crap browser compared to IE, which is of course the exact opposite of what every tech-savvy person was saying on the TV and internet at the time.

  22. lizzybee says:

    I’m not seeing what the problem is with Comcast. I use Firefox, and everything works just fine. But, then again, I never visit comcast.net. Is that the issue here?

  23. evilrobot says:

    does anyone really use those flash bloated portal pages that ISP’s serve up?

  24. kidtiger says:

    They might really hate Macs (and mac users). In college, back in 1997 (while broadband was not as widespread as it is today), we had free broadband in our dorm rooms.

    My computer (Mac, of course) was not equipped with a browser, nor an ethernet card. The tech seemed very upset and tore open my computer like a young kid opens a present on Christmas, and slams a card in there, and angrily puts the case back together, leaving it so the two sides of the case were not lined up correctly.

    Sounds like an exaggeration, but I kid you not. I still have this power mac at home, in the condition that the guy left it in.

  25. Kurt's Krap says:

    Every day I’m more thankful that I now have Verizon FIOS for my triple-package.

    Their cable TV and internet simply BLOWS Comcast out of the water.

  26. emax4 says:

    I gave my girlfriend a customized Mac a while back. When she signed up for Comcast Hi-Speed, the techs were in awe of the way my Mac looked, but at least those techs new of how secure the Mac is as well. Unfortunately she was having her PC laptop hooked up.

    Even before this she was complaining of the spyware, malware, adware and viruses that her PC contracted, which encouraged her to give her my Mac so she wouldn’t have those problems. Not long after she got hi-speed I told her that I’d hook things up so that her Mac would be the main machine, and her son could get on the internet using her laptop.

    The set up software that she received was in both Mac and PC format, but unfortunately you had to use Internet Explorer to get it started. That was an issue right there because it would progress so far, then just stop. Checking the issue on the internet it seemed that other Mac users had the same exact issue. I called on the night of July 4th for assistance, but no luck. Luckily the next day I went over and turned things on in the right order that I didn’t have to call them, as the Mac had the data set properly to get on the internet. That’s the end of the Comcast issue.

    For those interested to know, her laptop has a wireless card, and the Mac I gave to her has a wireless card. Macs allow internet sharing! The laptop uses the wireless card to connect to the Mac, which in turn is connected to the cable modem using an Ethernet cable. Now the laptop canget on hte internet while the Mac is on the internet at the same time, saving the purchase of a $40 router!

  27. QuirkyRachel says:

    Comcast hates everyone, especially their own customers. grrrr

  28. emax4 says:

    Also, I read somewhere that a Mac user was disgruntled that PC users get all this free protection software whereas Mac users don’t when signing up for Comcast. I don’t think he knows that Macs are more secure than PCs across the board.

    If you bought a shiny new car B only to have the dealer hand you a bunch of tools and say, “you’ll need these if you’re buying this car”, wouldn’t you want to invest in a less troublesome shiny new car A(pple) instead?

  29. theantidote says:

    Verizon (or their DSL side) seems to hate Macs too. I was trying to fix my connection and it turned out that for some reason my login password expired, so I had to connect directly to the modem and change the PPPoE password on it to the new one. The modem is in the basement so i had to use a laptop to connect directly to it, and the only laptop I have is a Macbook. I connected and I went through all of the troubleshooting steps with the technician until he told me to do the ipconfig renew, which is when I slipped out the words “Actually, I’m using a Mac but I think…” and he cuts me off mid-sentence and tells me he can’t help me anymore. I try to tell him that I know the problem is the password and if he could just reset it, I had been on hold for 30 minutes already and I wasn’t getting transferred again!

    He transferred me…I waited 10 minutes to speak to a “Mac Technician” who I then told to reset my password and once he did I hung up.

  30. chatterboxwriting says:

    @B: I thought I was the only one. I’ve got the routine down now. Disconnect my router, hook up my laptop directly to the cable modem, and pretend I’ve got one, not three, computers in my house.

    My favorite Comcast story is when I found out they had been charging my roommate and I $16.95 per month for HD DVR when a) we don’t have an HD TV and b) Comcast doesn’t offer any HD services in my area. When I mentioned it to the tech who came to my house to take the box (I canceled digital cable and DVR as soon as I found out they were overcharging us), he said they were aware of it and the customer service reps had been instructed to only credit those people who call in and complain. When I asked him, “isn’t that fraud?” his response was, “well, yes and no.”

  31. chatterboxwriting says:

    @IC18: Same here. I wasn’t in the know about Firefox and Opera until I dated a graphic design/tech person and he refused to let me use IE on his computer. I got a new laptop and it has IE7 on it – I used it for a week and got so many illegal operations that I downloaded Firefox immediately. I haven’t had one error.

  32. ZekeSulastin says:

    1) there IS Internet Explorer for the Mac. I know. It’s on my mother’s Mac alongside Safari for those times when IE is needed.

    2) Am I the singular user of Windows who does not experience constant errors and infections? By the looks of this site, either everyone here absolutely sucks at basic Windows operation and security or are a bunch of anti-MS extremists/Apple fanboys. Such is the Internet.

    3) To be realistic, it is annoying – the casual games present on the site do come in Mac and Windows versions from the original developer. It isn’t so hard to code a flash portal for Firefox …

  33. @ZekeSulastin:

    You’re right, but IE for the Mac is no longer supported, so you have all the insecurity of a Microsoft product, and MS won’t patch it six months after the vulnerability has been exploited like they would with a supported product.

  34. WV.Hillbilly says:

    Get the User Agent Switcher extension for Firefox.
    You can be any browser you want to be.

  35. I think it’d be awfully funny if every Apple employee in California dropped Comcast at once.

    Y’know. Just as a warning. Losing ~10k customers in a single day from a single metro area might send just the right message.

  36. MudMt says:

    “Mac owner reports he’d called Comcast to troubleshoot his cable modem. Comcast’s technician told him he knew “nothing about *&@#$ing Macs,”eventually disappearing into his truck. By the time the technican returned, the customer had repaired the cable modem himself with a phone call to Comcast’s support line.”

    My experience was quite the opposite when they came into to install a new cable modem. The guy looked at it and said “Damnit… no one told me there was a Mac here” But instead of running off or bitterly complaining about it we put our heads together and fixed it. Turns out he was a nice guy with a lot of the same interests.
    Of course, out here all the support is done by third-party contractors. So this can’t reflect on main Comcast support.

  37. Xenuite says:

    I think I’ll make this my new signature.
    “*&@#$ing Macs! *&@#$ing working for a living!”
    As a note, Macs are a pain in the ass to do anything on, especially if you are a PC tech. Jesus, I know computers pretty well, but show me a mac and I might just stare at it. If it moved I would shoot the damn thing.
    Macs… they’re like the monoliths in 2001. Slap them and then go kill something.

  38. KernelG says:

    Xenuite, try to learn something. The smart people I know are fine with any OS.

    The last Comcast tech who rolled out here to replace some bad cables under the house didn’t even bring up the topic. He sat right down, fired up Safari, and went to dslreports.com to run a speed test. Then again, I guess he actually knew what he was doing.

  39. D-Bo says:

    Meh, I’ve never had issues with Comcast and Firefox, and in the event I did that’s what I have the IE tab extension for. I can’t say I’m surprised by this though, the big boys don’t like to let the little kids in on their game…

  40. Josh R. says:

    Interesting notes on this story…

    * I’m a web designer. My boss requires me — and everyone else in the department — to design for IE because non-IE users are less than 10% of our visitor base, despite the fact that about 30% are using alternate browsers, according to some research I read.

    * My friend Jaime is collecting unemployment in Illinois due to losing her job (obviously). She tried to file online, but because she’s a Mac user, she had to go in. Illinois requires IE to file for unemployment online. ([jaimeee.livejournal.com])

    * It’s very frustrating that IE, probably the buggiest and least secure browser I’ve ever used, is required for several online bill-pay sites. I can’t use Firefox for Bank of America, and I can’t use Opera for Dell.

    * For some reason, I can’t post my Consumerist comment in Opera 9.

  41. Xenuite says:

    @KernelG: Then you don’t know that many smart people. The group of computer folks I know are mixed. About 1/5th are competent with macs, 1/5th can work a mac but don’t do anything special, and the rest just laugh at the guy who bought a mac.

  42. MameDennis says:

    We just had Comcast high speed installed on Tuesday night. The tech asked me, I swear I could not make this up, “Is Safari your Internet Explorer?”

    I said yes, and managed not to giggle. Until he left.

    The support materials in the welcome kit pretty much lie–you supposedly *have* to install the software they provide on CD, or you can’t get online. This is bullpoopy.

  43. “You’d think the country’s largest ISP would embrace customers who use Firefox and Safari.”

    Isn’t this article about Comcast?