Comcast Leaves Customer Without Forty-Eight Channels

Comcast has left reader Laura without forty-eight channels since early February. Laura has replaced four cable boxes, and spoken with several technicians. Each one suggests the same diagnosis.

Shockingly, it is not a problem with the line or the box. It is a problem with the coding coming in through the line. The technician tells us that our line is showing both Adelphia codes and Comcast codes coming through it. When both sets of codes hit the box, the box shuts down.

Diagnosing the problem is not the same as fixing the problem. Though aware of the issue, Comcast has not offered a solution. Laura is still without forty-eight channels. Comcast is still billing her for full service.

Laura’s email, inside…


To whom it may concern –

I have had completely unreliable service from your company for over two weeks now. I have given up on calling any of you numerous 800 numbers and have decided to send you a timeline of the incredibly poor service that I have received.

Timeline: 2/10/07 – channels 23 – 70 were not coming through. I called to resolve the issue and after being instructed to re-boot my cable box 5 times, I was told there was a widespread outage throughout all of Massachusetts. I called four more times that night and had varying successes in getting my service somewhat back to normal. In the end, the last person to ‘help’ me ended up crashing my cable box and it was unusable.

2/11/07 – I called again and was told that a service technician would have to come out.

2/13/07 – we had a service call scheduled for the 5PM – 7PM slot. I left work 1.5 hours early to meet this appointment. While I was driving home, the technician called to tell me he was not coming. As I arrived home, I was shocked to find a Comcast van in the driveway of my neighbor’s house. That evening I drove down to my local Comcast office and delivered the broken cable box to them. They gave me a new one. I went home and plugged it in and discovered that I was not receiving over half of the channels that I pay for. I called your 800 number and the ‘helpful’ technician once again sent a signal to my box — it crashed. I was then told that they would set up a service appointment for me on the 16th. I opted to drive back to the local office. I received another new cable box and was told that the problem was the result of Comcast’s botched take-over of Adelphia. The coding that was put in place was incorrect, but no one had bothered to fix it.

02/15/07 – I excitedly sat down to watch my DVR’s recording of Lost only to discover that once again my cable box was dead.

02/17/07 – another service appt. This time, the technician showed up and gave us another new box (keep in mind; this is the 3rd box in less than a week). He told us the same thing we had heard on the 13th about the coding being incorrect.

2/19/07 – Another dead box. My husband took the trip to our local office this time and received our 4th bright, shiny and new cable box.

2/23/07 – Shockingly, another dead cable box. We called to complain and were told that the problem was not the box, but the line coming in. A service appointment was scheduled for 02/26.

02/26/07 – technician arrives. Shockingly, it is not a problem with the line or the box. It is a problem with the coding coming in through the line. The technician tells us that our line is showing both Adelphia codes and Comcast codes coming through it. When both sets of codes hit the box, the box shuts down.

So, here it is 17 full days from the start of our problems with you. I have had 3 service appointments (1 of which was cancelled), 4 new boxes, and I can’t remember how many calls (upwards of 20). At this point, we have a box and we can use the DVR. However we are still not receiving channels 23 – 70 (have not seen those channels since 02/10). I don’t dare call your ‘help’ line for fear that a signal will be sent to my box that will crash it again. I’m hoping that someone on your end will get your act together and finally fix this coding issue. You must have some programmers on staff who can fix this.

I refuse to pay for service for the month of February, and at this point it is looking like March as well.

Please, I just want my normal service that I pay for back. I want to watch channels 23-70 again. I miss the Daily Show and The Colbert Report.

FIX THIS PROBLEM NOW.

Sincerely, Your disgruntled former Happy Adelphia customers

Too many codes in the tubes? Sounds like a job for Senator Stevens. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER