Comcast: The Head Doesn’t Know What The Arms Are Doing

Oh, Comcast! Fingers plunged deep within your ears, singing ‘Row, Row, Row Your Boat!’ at the shrill apex of your lungs… how long can you deny there’s a problem, even as your pedidextrous feet flail outward to fix and probe?

When Abby’s Comcast cable went out, she called them up to see if there was a problem. “No problem on our end!” they claimed. “It must be you!” In typical lightning-quick Comcast style, they agreed to send out a technician within the next five days.

Yet as soon as Abby walked out the front door, she saw a Comcast repairman, fiddling with a local box. He claims there’s an area-wide problem. Yet no matter how many times Abby goes between Comcast and the repairman, Comcast HQ won’t admit the problem is on their end… even well after the problem’s been fixed.

Comcast sings “LA LA LA LA I’M NOT LISTENING” after the jump:

I’m an avid Consumerist reader and have been keeping track of all the Comcast issues, even though I don’t have Comcast. However, this weekend I’m visiting my parents in Colorado, and they rely on Comcast for both internet and cable. (My parents are addicted to the internet – there are 4 networked computers in a house where 2 people live.)

Last night, midway through using google maps to try to figure out how far we can see from the newly remodeled decks, the internet went out. We went to the TV to find that it had gone out too. Dad immediately got on the phone to Comcast. No, we were told, there was no system problem. They had no idea what the problem was. Someone would have to be sent out to the house, 5 days in the future, to figure it out. Dad told them that the problem was almost certainly external, he couldn’t see why they needed to come to the house or why he needed to be there, and wondered if he would be compensated for his time if the problem was indeed external. (That last one flummoxed the phone rep quite a bit.)

Soon after these calls, we leave to go to dinner – and drive past a Comcast truck and a Comcast tech fiddling with a Comcast box. He tells us there’s a problem in the area (which the people on the phone had denied) and that it should be fixed by the time we’re back for dinner.

Of course, when we come back from dinner, the internet and cable are still out. I hijack a neighbor’s wireless network to show dad the Consumerist posts on problems with Comcast repair techs. Dad calls Comcast again, reports the conversation we had with the guy fixing the box – and is again told there is no problem in our area, nobody knows what the problem is, and the only solution is to wait for the scheduled sales call. Incidentally, he is on hold so long he is slumped in his chair with the phone balanced on his shoulder – an uncanny resemblance to the sleepy Comcast tech.

The next morning, on my way to pick up morning coffee, I pass the same Comcast truck and the same Comcast tech fiddling with the same Comcast box. He tells me that they fixed it for some houses last night, but discovered it was wider-spread than they first realized, and now fixing it for the entire affected area.

When I get home, the internet and cable are restored – just in time to watch the final stage of the Tour de France. Dad calls Comcast to cancel the service call – and they again deny any area problems, again deny any knowledge of what caused our problem, and encouraged him to keep the scheduled service call “just in case the problem isn’t really fixed.”

He insisted on cancelling the appointment – and asked to be directed to the customer satisfaction survey, where he registered his lack of satisfaction.

So it seems that if one has a Comcast problem – it’s best to get in your car, drive around the neighrbohood, and find the Comcast guy on the ground, because the central number certainly won’t know anything!