Waiting for Comcast Install Screed

You call up the cable company, schedule an appointment, take off time from work and they don’t show up. You’ve heard, or told, the story many a time. In fact, we receive this same complaint several times a month.

There’s gotta be a better method for doing cable installation, internet installation, and phone installation, some kind of futureworld routing system. It may simply be known as “showing up when you say you’re going to.”

Until then, we have Jenna’s Comcast snafu, after the jump.

Jenna writes:

    “This may seem like a minor complaint, but it annoyed me sufficiently that I feel like venting in your general direction.

    We have cable service with Comcast (also Internet and digital voice, so we pay them waaaay more money than we should). A couple of weeks ago, one of our boxes went on the fritz and I called their helpline to schedule a repair. This was a Thursday, and I arranged for someone to come out on the following Saturday. Instead, Thursday evening, a dispatcher called my husband at work and said the techs were at our house and wondered why no one was home. He explained that we’d arranged for a Saturday visit, and she apologized for the error and confirmed that someone would come out on Saturday, between 11 and 2.

    I hung around all morning on Saturday waiting for a tech, and at 2 I called the Comcast helpline. The guy who answered looked up our record and said that we’d instead been scheduled for Friday and the tech had reported that…drum roll…no one was home. I explained that this was the second time in a row their helpdesk had been unable to determine what day “Saturday” is, and I was less than pleased at having wasted a morning waiting for a repairman. He said that he would put me down for a “VIP” call, which meant that I would be put at the top of the repairman’s work list, and he would get to me some time that day. So I waited the rest of the day.

    Around 5 p.m. I received a call from someone at Comcast, asking if we were still having trouble with our cable box. I replied uneasily that we were, and she said that she would go ahead and schedule a repair call. As smoke began trickling out my ears, I explained the situation and informed her that we were supposed to be scheduled for a repair
    that very day. She looked at our record and said that she didn’t see anything about that. I asked to speak with a manager, but she said that there was no one on the floor and asked if I wanted to have one call me back. I certainly did, but no one ever called.

    I e-mailed a complaint about my experience to Comcast, and received a boilerplate apology and an assurance that a manager would call me todiscuss the situation. I never received a call. I have since spoken to someone at Comcast again (a poor girl who called to survey me on my recent repair experience and definitely got an earful) and again asked to speak to a manager. So far, no callbacks. I can understand the occasional scheduling error, but I think that Comcast’s inability to figure out how to schedule an appointment four times in a row moves into the realm of “The Three Stooges Work the Dispatch Desk.”

    :::whew::: Now I feel better. Thanks for letting me rant.



Edit Your Comment

  1. CMPalmer says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever had an installer show up at the right time (or was ever given a more detailed time of arrival than “Thursday, noon to four”).

    However, I would like to compliment my local Comcast office for something. When I upgraded to digital/HD cable and requested a dual-tuner cable box that had just been made available in my area, I called to schedule an install. The CSR said that the earliest they could get someone to my house would be the middle of the next week. But (and this shocked me) she said they just had a adjust a few settings on my account to activate the service and I could come by any time and pick up the box, remote, and cables and do it myself “if I felt comfortable doing it”. I’m a techie guy – I feel waaay more comfortable doing it myself…

  2. Andrew W says:

    Comcast’s biggest cost-saving measure–and biggest problem–is that they use contractors for their installations and repairs. The contractors have no incentive, really, to show up on time, because a) it’s not their name on the line and b) there aren’t enough good contractors for Comcast to want to not use ones who generate complaints.

    I always shudder when I see a pickup truck with a Comcast magnet-sign on the side.

  3. Danilo says:


    I’m incredibly lucky. Here in Central Florida, we have a cable provider called Brighthouse. I’ll never, ever forget my first day of service with them.

    They offered to install on a Sunday afternoon. Which is shocking enough. They quoted a window of 4 PM to 7 PM. I didn’t have much to do that day beyond unpacking my boxes, so I was fine with that. Guess when they show up?

    4:15 PM. It was the most blissfully-easy, satisfying cable experience in history. Ever since then, their support has been excellent and responsive. Hurricane messed up my service for a few weeks? No problem, they said, they’d be happy to refund me their monthly DVR charge, since the poor signal made the box next to useless. They even added 2 mbits to my already fat 5 mbit pipe — for free! I’m so spoiled that I refuse to move anywhere locally that isn’t serviced by these guys. I remember the horrors of Comcast and I feel for the poor, lost souls who are languishing in its vile maw.

  4. yerfatma says:

    Comcast’s other fun trick is to call an hour in advance and if you don’t answer, the installer doesn’t show. Regardless of the fact I might not be home yet or maybe I don’t have a home phone and the number you just called is my wife’s cell because you won’t let us have two phone numbers on the account you oh-so-media-savvy shits. And thanks for trying to charge me for the box both times we moved.

  5. dancemonkey says:

    I have the same experience with comcast as the first poster… they let me pick up my dual-tuner box (which in SF is now all they carry, thank god), and they just tweaked a few settings and I was good to go. I also didn’t pay for computer hookup on my cable internet, but the technician did that anyway at no charge. AND I didn’t suffer this supposed cable slowdown that everyone was talking about a couple weeks back. All in all, I’m digging on Comcast lately (I also don’t see the compression artifacts I was seeing several years ago in their digital cable offerings, which is what made me dump them in the first place).

  6. The Unicorn says:

    The same thing that happened to Jenna has more or less happened to me on a couple occasions. Some of the Comcast technicans just suck. My favorite was the most recent guy who installed our cable & internet at our apartment — he didn’t even show up with any coaxial cable! At all! Fortunately my boyfriend had some, so we were able to have internet access from somewhere other than directly behind the TV.

    Their CSR reps are also terrible about promising return phone calls that never, ever happen — which to me is just stupid and completely baffling.

  7. misskaz says:

    I’ve never had any problems with Comcast repair folks showing up on time. They’ve been much more responsive to problems with their service than SBC (err, AT&T) which is why we switched from DSL to cable internet despite the higher cost.

  8. mschlock says:

    When I moved to my new condo (SF Bay Area) I called a week in advance to see if I could minimize the time I would be TV-less. Comcast gave me a window on the day after I moved, and all was happy.

    Until, of course, the guy didn’t show up. I waited through the entire 5 hour window (luckily the neighbors had an unsecured access point to keep me amused), then finally called, and they said “He knocked, no one was there, so he left a note on the door.” I had been there all day and there was a conspicuous lack of note. Naturally, my new installation window was a week and a half later.

    I suspect what happened is the install guy noticed it was 4:45 on Friday, and decided to pretend he had tried to show up and then give himself an early weekend.

    I missed a solid week and a half of hot TiVo action thanks to that. The horror.

  9. My favorite Comcast memory (or rather, Comcast-contractor memory):

    The cable modem they rent me had basically had a stroke and my 3 mbit connection was woefully underspeed (we’re talking ten, fifteen minutes to do a traceroute or ping Google a few times, when it felt like working at all.) They figured I needed a new modem and promised a techie between noon and four that friday. Guy gets to my house around six o’clock in the afternoon, uses some gizmo to check the connection and, verifying that my line is fine, replaces the modem. Dude leaves his connection-checker thing. I get a call a couple of hours later. Did he leave his thing at my house? Sure did. Okay, am I home now so he can come get it? Nope, I’m out for the evening. He first suggested that I leave the date I was on and come home so I could give him his thing back, and when that was a no-go, asked if I kept a key underneath a rock or something so he could let himself in to my apartment. Right. So finally I told him that I was all booked tomorrow as well, but I might be home sometime between noon and four on Sunday. It took him a week or so to actually get his thingy back.

  10. jparks says:

    Just moved to Va and find that doing business with comcast is never going to happen this side of glory. you think in this world of technollogy you could just call and get service, not so. I was told a survey would have to be done to get my address in their computer???? so on the 15 of Jan I set it up, they called on the 19 and said it would be done on the 22 and I would receive a call and be told of the outcome, well to my surprise they did infact call on the 22 and I was told I was good to go to get connected for internet service, what day would you like I was asked. I picked the next day, she said great we have all times available so we set on between 8am and noon. Well the time came and went no one showed and no one called, so I called them and was told the guy was behind, I asked them to call the guy and give me a time. I was informed they were not able to do it because something about a cable not being there and it would be three weeks, like Jenna, smoke was coming to the surface. I told the young lady that wasn’t good enough and how they called me and told me all system were good to go, the manager got on said sorry for the young lady saying three weeks and it will be done that Thursday and Fri, well I get a call the next day saying it won’t be and maybe next week, MAYBE??? well the middle of next week,31, my husband called them and they said they would be here on the 6 of feb, guess what, yep that’s right another no show, I have decide to file a complaint with BBB and the trade commision and possible with the attorny general. If they can’t handle the business just say so, I despise being lied to, oh I forgot to mention I was told that ther ordered had been cancelled first part of Feb, not by us I told them, they assured me I would get a call from mangment but of course no call. This company has no integrity and should be put out of business