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!


Edit Your Comment

  1. AcilletaM says:

    My biggest complaint about Comcast is the ‘Not our problem, we will send a tech in a week’. Every time somebody new moved into my building and got cable, my cable would go out. I’d call and get the ‘Not our problem…’ blurb. Next day there would be a message on my VM saying ‘We did some work in your area which might have improved your situation’ and lo and behold, my cable worked! Finally I put two and two together and whenever my cable went out around the first of a month, I went and checked the cable box and sure enough, somebody had gotten cable and my connection got f’d with.

  2. Ben Popken says:

    Wyldbll writes:

    “Here’s a tip . . .

    Obviously you guys have it all wrong . . .

    those people in the Comcast truck and uniform , don’t work for Comcast , they’re impostors , trying to damage Comcasts rep . . .

    so the next time you see them , call Comcast to see if there are problems in the area , and of course there aren’t , tell them about the imposters and let them know your calling the police to report the breakin . . .

    oh , the tip , don’t play the horses . . .”

  3. iankasley says:

    Sounds like a place I used to work. I’d be at a site which obviously was experiencing a localized network outage and yet the overpaid windbags downtown would vehemently deny there was a problem of any sort, insisting “It’s up! I can ping it from here!” when in fact all they were doing was pinging the side of the router facing them, while completely ignoring the fact that the side that served the site’s LAN had taken a crap.


  4. mschlock says:

    I feel better and better every day about keeping DSL. At least if the cable dies, I still have the Internet to keep me amused.

    No cable and no Internet makes Homer something something…

  5. Anonymous says:

    Reminds me of the stealth technician and bumbling official repairmen in Brazil.

  6. Jshy22 says:

    Actually as a former Comcast CSR I can easily explain this issue. You see, customer service is told of outages after the system detects them. When your service goes out and you are one of the first to call, you will be scheduled for the first avail. appointment because the issue is most likely only your home. When 3 customers call from the same “node” and report the same issues, the system realizes that it is not just you, but an actual outage. A network tech is then dispatched to correct the issue and after the all clear is called in the system will go in and auto cancel the appts that were scheduled during that time. I know it seems that one hand doesnt talk to the other, but I can assure you that the system works very well.
    As far as the comment on having to be home when you believe that it is outside your home…. the tech has to be able to come and verify it is repaired and you have to sign a workorder. otherwise I am afraid you would run into an issue where you call back and say that your tech didnt show and the CSR would tell you that he did and you would run into a he said she said issue… again I will say the you have to be home solution works very very well. With millions and millions of happy customers Cable is the best choice of all services. Does it have issues You bet!!!! anytime you have man made equip coupled with mother nature you will have some issues… and thats why the service appts are free of charge. Try to get service out of a company that provides satellite and you will quickly see that cable is best.