Reader Brad forwarded some links to chat transcripts in which he tries to tell Comcast that he can’t make local calls, during which he alternates from incredulity to despair then back to incredulity again. He even sings to the CSR.
Here is a brief excerpt. Theories are proposed, and theories are refuted.
Maryjo Bacolod > May I just ask as to what voice prompt you are getting
whenever trying to dial a 603 number?
Brad_ > “we’re sorry. due to telephone company trouble, your call cannot be completed at
this time. Will you try your call again later?”
Brad_ > Toll calls work fine. I can call my voice mail box in Seattle, but not my neighbor
Maryjo Bacolod > Also, to better look into your concern, can you provide me a specific
number that you have tried to contact using your phone service with us?
Brad_ > (It’s a free, quasipalindromic box… it’s cool).
Brad_ > I tried calling my pharmacy — 437-8100. Tried placing a reorder for insulin and I can’t get through
Brad_ > I fear for my life if we don’t resolve this problem.
Maryjo Bacolod > I really apologize for this.
Maryjo Bacolod > We have already checked here on our end and everything seems
to be working fine with your phone service.
Maryjo Bacolod > There are no current outages.
Brad_ > Then what’s the problem?
Maryjo Bacolod > The problem could be with the phone provider of the recepient you are trying to call
Brad_ > Why can’t I dial locally?
Maryjo Bacolod > But let me also check here on my end. i would need a minute or two for this.
I’ll try to contact the phone number you are trying to access/ call.
Brad_ > I tried calling my parents, my cell phone, my wife’s cell phone, the pizza place, a girl I dated
in high school, and the animal shelter. All within 603. Same bloody telephone company problem
Brad_ > It’s a problem with the telephone company, you. Not the good folks I was trying to call.
Brad_ > I won’t sit idly by while you besmirch the name of the pizza place and the animal shelter, good madam.
Maryjo Bacolod > Let me try to dial it on my end so we can verify.
Brad_ > Please.
Maryjo Bacolod > Would you allow me two minutes for that?
Maryjo Bacolod > Thanks
Brad_ > Take three, they’re small.
Maryjo Bacolod > I will try to make a test call to this number you have provided.
Brad_ > Aaaaaaaand….?
Maryjo Bacolod > Sorry for the long wait.
Maryjo Bacolod > I tried dialing your pharmacy’s phone number and we can access it here on our end.
Brad_ > No problem. I thought you didn’t take your torch and got eaten by a grue.
Brad_ > Cool. So what’s messed up between me and them?
Maryjo Bacolod > When do you get the error message. Is it after dialing all the numbers?
Maryjo Bacolod > Or does it prompt you after 4 numbers dialed.
Maryjo Bacolod > or after dialing 603?
Brad_ > I dial the full seven digits, wait about 10 seconds, and instead of the ring, I hear the faux-British lady telling me the telephone company is screwed up
Brad_ > I’m in 603, I don’t need to dial it for local calls
Brad_ > I don’t think the faux-British lady is even faux-British. Probably Welsh
Maryjo Bacolod > I see. As per advice of my supervisor, the 603 area code has to be included during the dialing process.
Maryjo Bacolod > Can you try doing it on your end?
Maryjo Bacolod > Just to see if it works.
Brad_ > Why would I suddenly have to start dialing 603?
Brad_ > Why wouldn’t I have been notified so I wouldn’t lose close to two hours of my
life on this issue?
Maryjo Bacolod > I apologize for that.
Brad_ > IT didn’t work. I don’t trust you or your supervisor
Eventually the CSR agrees to schedule a technician. This is Brad’s second chat — after he never received a promised follow-up call.
New chat log:
user Brad_ has entered room
Brad>Need to schedule support, I suspect a faulty modem. Can receive inbound calls, can make long distance calls, cannot make local calls.
analyst Michael has entered room
Michael>Hello Brad_, Thank you for contacting Comcast Live Chat Support. My name is Michael. Please give me one moment to review your information.
Michael>I will be happy to assist you with that.
Michael>Since your account protection is a priority to Comcast, I need to verify some information before I am able assist you. May I have the full name,and phone number the account is under. Thank you.
Brad_>Sure, Brad Gagne, number’s [redacted]
Michael>Thank you, One moment please, While I verify that information, and I will be back with you shortly.
Michael>What lights are on the phone modem, Please let me know which are steady and which are flashing.
Brad_>Battery light is blinking green, all others are steady green
Brad_>Thursday night reps Katrina and MaryJo line tested the heck out of our setup, reset the modem remotely, but ended up scratching their heads
Michael>Thank you, One moment Please.
Brad_>And a promised call to schedule service never came
Brad_>*** WARNING *** I’m getting frustrated
Michael>I do understand, testing indecated that I will need tor reset your modem.
Brad_>… and the seventeenth time is any different from the previous 16?
Brad_>Do you have the chatlogs from before?
Michael>I can only hope if it doesn’t work I will schedule a Technician and tell them to bring a new modem.
Brad_>It won’t do a bit of good, but go ahead
Brad_>Work the script
Michael>Thank you for your understanding,
Brad_>IS there any record of the two hours that I’ve already spent on this on your end?
user Brad_ has left room
analyst Michael has left room
Brad_>It’s back up, all green with a blinking battery
Brad_>Seriously… I got dropped again?
Brad_>Good acoustics in here.
Brad_>Just a small town girl… living in a lone-ly worllllld
Brad_>She took a midnight train goin’ an-ny-wherrrrre…
Brad_>Just a city boy… born ‘n raised in South Detroiiiit…
Brad_>He took a midnight train goin’ an-ny-wherrrrre…
Brad_>I power cycled it myself when your reset brought me nothing but pain
Brad_>Can you hear me now? (Sorry, that’s the other guys)
Brad_>[Tap] [Tap] [Tap] Hello?
Brad_>Michael? You there buddy?
Brad_>You still there?
Michael>Analyst has closed chat and left the room
We wonder how many times a day this exact chat is held with Comcast. Hundreds? Thousands? Eventually Brad did get a technician scheduled, but it took yet another chat session. Next time, why not try the services of Comcast’s Twitter team? Tell them the Consumerist sent ya.
UPDATE: Brad got some Comcast technicians out to his house. They diagnosed his problem as a broken “9” button — although there is still some mystery to the issue. None of the numbers Brad was unable to call contained a “9”.