Andrea needs high-speed Internet access to get her work done. Really high speed. Faster than your average DSL or satellite Internet connection; faster than what she gets once everyone in her town gets home from work or school and starts playing Facebook games or downloading torrents or whatever it is they do. She can get the level of service that she pays for and actually needs, but only for a few hours a day.
She has blogged about this saga, and in a final installment seemed to just be out of options.
Fact 1: I am not getting the internet speeds that I pay for, and haven’t been for 13 months now. The infrastructure in the small town where I live is not capable of providing the speeds I pay for. At least not consistently. This has been verified by tech after tech, month after month. Despite some recent equipment upgrades in my area, there are still too many people sharing too little bandwidth. So in the evenings when people get off work and kids are home from school, my connection is unusable for anything more than looking at websites.
Fact 2: Comcast offers multiple levels of service in my area. They are not capable of providing them. I won’t bore you with the technical details, but the system here is not able to provide different levels of speed, nor is Comcast able to throttle the lower-tiered customers. Most people never notice the difference because they are just surfing and playing Facebook games. For me, it’s the difference between being able to work and ending up homeless. Still, I am paying for a service tier that isn’t even possible with the current infrastructure.
Fact 3: Comcast techs are liars. I have been upgraded to “corporate escalation,” which apparently means that I get to talk to someone who pushes paper and has even less of a clue what’s going on than the technicians. I was promised by Ryan on the customer care team (or whatever the hell it’s called) that someone was being sent to my home to find out, once and for all, what’s wrong. You know who I got? [J], the same local guy who has been here 15 times. J., the guy who told me I just needed to move. J. who, after showing up 20 minutes past the 2-hour service window and acknowledging (again) the fact that my problem is caused by downstream contention, TOLD ME THAT HE WAS GOING TO LIE IN HIS NOTES.
He said, “I don’t want them to charge you for the service call, so I’m going to write down that I called and you said your service was fine, so I didn’t come out.”
“But it’s not fine,” I said. “That’s not going to work for me, because I’m supposed to call this Ryan guy back and tell him what happened.”
“Then I’ll tell them that I repaired something outside. I just don’t want you to get charged.”
No, you douche nozzle. You just don’t want to get in trouble for showing up late. And you aren’t willing to tell someone above you about the problem because it’s easier to pretend I’m crazy and my service is fine even though you know better.
Fact 4: My service is not going to get fixed. Ever. The sad truth of this whole thing is that there’s nothing I can do. No matter how many calls I make or BBB complaints I file or how many times my case is escalated, the issue I’m facing is a systemic problem within Comcast’s corporate structure. They don’t care that a small business owner in Kentucky is losing money. They don’t care that I can’t transfer files or do my job. Because if they admitted for a second that there was a problem with this system, they would have to do something to fix it.
Fact 5: I literally have no choice but to continue to pay for service I’m not receiving. There are three options for internet service in my area: Comcast, DSL through AT&T, and satellite through whatever Hughesnet is calling themselves this month. The fastest available DSL speed in my area is only marginally faster than my worst speeds with Comcast, plus DSL is more expensive. Satellite internet would cost about three times what I currently pay for literally 1/5 the bandwidth I typically use. So I have no options other than to remain a bug on Comcast’s windshield.
I have called every number I know to call. I have complained to every entity that deals with internet service in the state of Kentucky (and some that don’t). I have complained to the Better Business Bureau, who just accepts Comcast’s claims that my service is fixed and doesn’t do anything about it. I have emailed a guy who (hilariously) calls himself Comcast Cares on Twitter. I have screamed and stomped and pleaded and replaced equipment and tolerated idiotic Comcast employees in and out of my home for over a year now. And for what? To find out that this is a battle I can’t win.
I’m just a little dot on the map, not even a blip on the Comcast radar. But I swear, someday I’m going to get someone to listen to me. And if nothing else, I want the world to know that Comcast is the most pathetic, useless company in the history of all mankind. And there’s nothing ANY of us can do about it because this is the society we’ve created – one where big businesses rule all and the little people don’t matter.
Comcast: The Suck Continues [So Over This]