Comcast Installer Also Installs Mud, Body Odor, In your Apartment

How do you tell your Comcast installer that he’s stinky if you can’t stay in the same room with him? Jessica wrote in this morning,

He is actually still here I as I e-mail you — I hate to be mean, but the BO is so bad, I am seriously choking. He left to get some parts out of the truck and the smell is so strong in my apartment I am going to need to open all of my windows for the rest of the afternoon just to get this smell out.

Update: Working together, Jessica and Frank Eliason of Comcast were able to fix the problem.

I wasn’t sure who to e-mail about this, but someone needs to tell Comcast to tell their installation guys to 1). wear deodorant and 2) avoid tracking mud all over my carpet!!

I was given a new modem 1 month ago by Comcast, which has already broken and I am left with no phone or internet (and I resort to stealing wireless). They sent out a guy today (after a whole week of trying to get someone to come out) and they can’t fix it but are still refusing to get me a new modem even though they’ve already told me it’s broken.

He is actually still here I as I e-mail you — I hate to be mean, but the BO is so bad, I am seriously choking. He left to get some parts out of the truck and the smell is so strong in my apartment I am going to need to open all of my windows for the rest of the afternoon just to get this smell out. Secondly, he stomped in with muddy boots and there is literally a TRAIL of muddy boot tracks across my living room carpet!!! Too bad my camera is broken or else i would love to e-mail you guys a picture of these mud tracks.

so… not only am i paying to have them fix a modem that was faulty in the first place, I now have to pay to have my carpet steam cleaned. great.

Jessica, maybe you can tweet Frank Eliason at comcastcares? Surely he knows someone at Comcast who can reach the guy via walkie-talkie and point out that there’s some minimum appearance/cleanliness requirements. After he’s left your apartment and you’ve opened the windows, of course.

(Photo: Zanastardust)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Segador says:

    Is the photo of Captain Duvel Moneycat hissing angrily at the installer? (please say yes)

  2. Radi0logy says:

    I have this same problem with the maintenance guys at my apartment complex, every time they come over its like “oh hey sorry for spraying you with lysol, it was completely an accident!”

    but truth be told, Americans are way too smell sensitive. I don’t know what evolution has in store for us, but I’m betting that we will look quite freakish

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @Radi0logy: There’s sensitive, and then there’s encouraging people to just clean themselves. With soap, not just standing under running water. It’s about personal hygiene! Wash that grime off you, please!!

      /once had a very, very smelly roommate whose side of the room was bombarded with Lysol every single morning and night when she wasn’t there, just so we could cover up the smell a little and actually live in there. Seriously, she was not only personally smelly, she never did laundry the three months she lived in our room until we got her moved. Three months. No laundry.

    • varro says:

      @Radi0logy: I believe people should not smell like anything – well, maybe sweat if they just finished a game or working out.

      That means you, hippies, too. Patchouli smells like an overly-strong car air freshener, not cleanliness.

      • edwardso says:

        Sometimes things that mask odor (i’m talking about you industrial air freshner in the workplace bathroom) are much worse that what they try to cover up.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          @edwardso: Do you have the kind that sprays this noxious jet of “clean flower scent”? THe one in my old workplace broke off its hinge on the wall and I was always so scared it would spray directly on me because it was propped up behind the sink.

    • deep.thought says:

      @Radi0logy: “but I’m betting that we will look quite freakish”

      But you already do, without hesitation willing to relinquish that disgusting, retched toxic chemical lysol garbage in your living space!

      I don’t know about ya’ll, but my body odor is God’s gift to Earth, nothing smells better. Srsly, strangers thank me for letting them smell my natural odor, often even offering me gifts of praise.

  3. GretaDandradeine says:

    Problem:just had the cable guy here the other day to rewire .. (and i can’t stand the smell of stinky cigarettes which this mans’ pores and clothes were reeking of)
    Solution: Opened windows..and Febreezed the entire area!!
    Effectiveness: Priceless..and the house smells even fresher :)

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @GretaDandradeine: I was on the bus yesterday and there were a few open seats around me, including one next to me. I spot a guy coming out of the metro station and he’s smoking like a chimney, and proceeds to stand outside the bus smoking for the next five minutes, so I know he has to reek of smoke by then. And as he gets on the bus, I beg and pray and plead that he wouldn’t pick the seat next to me. He didn’t, but as he walked by, I almost gagged.

    • MyPetFly says:


      YOu should have sprayed the cable guy with Febreeze. Nothing like a subtle hint…

  4. MrBryan says:

    My brother had Comcast over on Sunday, and made the installar take off his boots because they were so filthy. What is with these guys?

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @MrBryan: When I had FiOS installed ages ago the installer wore booties over his shoes so he wouldn’t track in dirt. That was pretty awesome in my book. And he did a good job.

    • EyeHeartPie says:

      @MrBryan: I always request installers who come in to my house to wear booties if they have them and if not i provide a couple of plastic bags that they can tie over their shoes so as not to track mud/dirt/gum/dog doo into my house.

      Seriously, why do these people think it’s ok to walk into a stranger’s house with their shoes covered in mud?

    • Outrun1986 says:

      @MrBryan: When we had a furnace installed the installers brought their own throw down rugs so that they didn’t track dirt all over the place. Its obvious that they had to run back and forth to the truck for parts so they had a good solution for this since they couldn’t remove their shoes.

  5. Saboth says:

    Well, at least it’s an apartment and not your house.

    • NYGal81 says:

      @Saboth: Wow…a little elitist, aren’t we? Are you suggesting that all people who rent live in sloth because “it’s not your house?” I’m not sure how rent v. own matters here. She still has to LIVE in the apartment, and she has every right to be pissed that some disrespectful asshole tracked mud all over her carpet. It doesn’t matter if you rent or own–you can still have pride in keeping a clean dwelling.

      • Saboth says:


        Well, it’s not really her carpet, so she won’t have to worry about replacing it if he ruined it. I’d still be mad but…

      • JamieSueAustin says:

        @NYGal81: If I mucked up the carpet in my apartment I would have to pay for it! Either by loosing my deposit or by being charge above and beyond my deposit for “damages.”

        Apartment dwellers have to take care of their things too, ya know.

  6. Islandkiwi says:

    “I hate to be mean, but the BO is so bad, I am seriously choking.”

    I may well be the only one, but I immediately thought of the Cheetos commercial during the Superbowl. I love a sinister Chester Cheetah.

  7. 51tiggy says:

    Economy and job competition being what it is, you as the consumer have the opportunity to exercise your right to demand appropriate presentation and service in a contractor and to expect follow-up. Speak to his manager.

  8. McNugget911_GitEmSteveDave says:

    JERRY: Boy, do you smell something?

    ELAINE: Do I smell something? What am I, hard of smelling? Of course I smell something.

    JERRY: What is it?

    ELAINE: I think it’s B.O.!

    JERRY: What?

    ELAINE: It’s B.O. The Installer must have had B.O.

    JERRY: It can’t be. Nobody has B.O. like this.

    ELAINE: Jerry. It’s B-O!

    JERRY: But the whole apartment smells.

    ELAINE: So?

    JERRY: So when somebody has B.O., the “O” usually stays with the “B”. Once the “B” leaves, the “O” goes with it.

  9. edwardso says:

    The mud is something that they should talk to the guy about but you can’t force people to wear deodorant

    • NYGal81 says:

      @edwardso: Right, but you can ask people to present themselves in a way that wouldn’t be considered offensive by the “average person’s” standard. BO that lingers in your home is not something that should be considered acceptable. Then again, we ARE talking about Comcast…

      • edwardso says:

        @NYGal81: If someone smells that badly it could be a medical condition.

        • Jack T Ripper says:

          @edwardso: So we should just excuse it? I’m sorry, but some medical conditions should preclude you from working in public jobs that require you to enter homes. His job should be outdoors somewhere if he can’t control his body odor. My guess is that he simply doesn’t shower often enough or practice proper personal hygiene. He represents Comsast when he is doing his job, therefore it is Comcast’s fault that he reeks. If he were to back into your car while he was parking in your drive way, then that too would be Comcast’s fault.

    • conquestofbread says:


      Agreed. They should have to pay to clean the carpet they soiled.

      If the guy smells bad, that sucks, but it’s not Comcast’s fault.

      • RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:

        @conquestofbread: I rather think it is. The installer should be presenting a professional appearance. Horrible body odor is not exactly professional.

        • RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:

          @RecordStoreToughGuy: Caveat: Might not necessarily be their fault, per se, but they would be in a position to tell the guy to pay attention to his hygiene, as he is representing the company.

          • pecan 3.14159265 says:

            @RecordStoreToughGuy: Isn’t that the truth? You smell badly, you take care to shower twice a day or use more soap or alter the type of clothing you’re wearing. If you’re prone to sweating a lot, walking to the office in summer heat isn’t doing you or your coworkers any favors. I knew people who were so concerned with personal hygiene they kept toothbrushes and deodorant with them, just in case.

      • jake7294 says:

        @conquestofbread: Not Comcast’s fault? I disagree. This person is representing their company. Look at the comments here. Don’t we all think a bit less of a company when situations like this arise?

        • Jabberkaty says:

          @jake7294: I know people who don’t wear deodorant – and sometimes you can tell. But this strikes me as a little above and beyond that. Boy, I’m glad technology hasn’t evolved to scratch and sniff levels.

          Reminds me of the time I was a cashire and someone came through my line wreaking of not only body odor but urine. Breathe-through-your-mouth-bad and then he dripped snot on my counter.

          Wow. 10 years later I still get goosebumps of revulsion.

    • Anonymous says:

      @edwardso: @edwardso:

      Oh, you can tell an employee they need to bathe and use deodorant before coming to work. I had that conversation with a clerk at the video store I co-owned. He kept coming in with greasy string hair and BO that could peel paint.

  10. tobedetermined says:

    Possible solutions:

    1. You wear a surgical mask
    2. Offer your female deodorant
    3. Shout “Comcastic”

  11. Mike8813 says:

    Telling someone that they stink is one of the most awkward conversations you can have. I don’t envy the supervisor that has to tell this guy to buy some soap.

    • RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:

      @Mike8813: One of my managers had to have that talk with a coworker at the Record Store. I never noticed it, but apparently customers mention that she smelled bad. It surprised me, because I’m usually pretty sensitive to foul odors.

  12. b.k. says:

    On the other hand, I’m sure there are plenty of non-smelly installers that have to go in to homes that are not-so-fresh.

    • bones11 says:

      @b.k.: ahh so true so true! Some of the living conditions people think are “okay” are truly repulsive. Why would you think 30 bags of garbage piled in your spare bedroom would ever be okay?? I get it your old but you really don’t need to keep your dead cat under the couch either.

  13. ovalseven says:

    I had a similar problem with a Charter contractor. The smell was awful and he dripped persiration on everything. I cringed when he actually laid down on my carpet to access a jack that was near the floor.

    And after he went back outside, he removed his shirt and wrung it out like a wet sponge all over the sidewalk. It left a stain that lasted until the next rainfall.

  14. McNugget911_GitEmSteveDave says:

    We used to have a older gentleman come into the Supermarket I worked at in NJ years ago in who REEKED so bad that people would almost retch as he passed by. Customers would come up to the booth to complain after running into him in the aisles. Even his money smelled after he gave it to you. We would bag it and stick it in our deposit envelope just to get rid of it. I still get stomach stirrings just THINKING about it. But he left a lingering odor as well. Sadly, over two years, and many managers, not one could figure out how to broach the subject. Either that or they didn’t want to be that close to have a quiet convo.

    • trujunglist says:


      Here’s how: “Hello sir, today we’re giving out FREE products, and since I see you here all the time and you’re such a great customer, you’re going to get them! Isn’t that awesome? So, what you’ll be getting today is this 6 pack of irish spring, this 2 pack of degree deodorant, this bottle of white rain shampoo, this 6 pack of Charmin, a toothbrush, toothpaste, and mouthwash! Yes, because you’re a great customer! The thing is, it’s part of this promo thing where they want us (the store) to evaluate these products. So, next time you come back, let me know how you liked them! You might even get more free stuff! No problem sir, it was my pleasure!”
      Store out $10, employee and customer satisfaction up 400%.

  15. TracyHamandEggs says:

    If I can throw in some advise.

    Call the company immediately. Issues like this are best addressed while the contractor/installer is in the home. The CSR you reach can talk to the dispatcher and get someone new out OR can arrange a damage claim.

    Make sure to get your receipt with a tech number for follow up. And follow up if nothing is done to remedy the situation to your liking.

    Go on and file a complaint. Those go directly to a VP level office who makes sure it gets addressed.

    Coming to the web to complain fixes very little. Make sure the company is aware of the problem and give them an opportunity to fix the problem. Comcast (and everyone else) knows how important customer rep is, which is why I think things like the twitter team and their new “guarantee” are being pushed.

    /just finished a period working for research

  16. shibainu33 says:

    This happened to me recently, but with Dish Network. The smell coming from this guy was absolutely awful. Stale cigarette smell with BO! Plus, he had trouble setting things up, so it took more time than usual. I had to open all the windows and light a candle to get the smell out of the house. I sent an email to Dish Network and they did not respond.

    I am wondering how much control Dish Network has if they use third party contractors.

  17. joshuadavis says:

    If his stink actually had to be aired out my guess is he was probably sick, explaining his sub par service (even for Comcast standards).

  18. jake7294 says:

    Where’s that Comcast Bonnie chick with her LOLs and :) and :D and all that crap?

  19. MichaelLC says:

    Don’t know about the B.O., but every time we’ve had a Comcast person over, they’ve put on little booties over their shoes.

  20. vildechaia says:

    We want more Captail Duvel Moneycat!

  21. 2719 says:

    I’m one of those people that sweat a lot. I don’t smell because I shower and use deodorants however I sweat a lot. Even in winter time I still sweat. Nothing I can do about it.

    During summer months just being out without any activity at all I will sweat profusely.

    So when it comes to BO I don’t know if anything can be done, but when it comes to your carpet Comcast will take care of it if their installer made a mess. Cable companies do this all the time so it’s not uncommon to make a request for carpet cleaning.

  22. GageAlcidice says:

    Perhaps I’m a little bit more bold than most on here as most suggestions seem to be on the passive aggressive side of contacting someone else to deal with the problem in front of you. I don’t care if I come across as a jerk this is my home and I have standards. So here’s what recently happened to me. I moved to a new apartment and I moved my old Charter account to my new place. They send the guy out Sunday morning when there was a light drizzle (this is important to the story). The guy shows up 2 hours earlier than the time frame I was giving by Charter but that’s not so bad, better early than late and I was thankfully awake and dressed by 9 AM this Sunday (I like to sleep in like most lazy people). So I open the door and at my apartment complex you should know that the hallway is basically outside, it’s a breezeway. Well, the guy says hello and starts to walk in before I get a hello out. His shoes are muddy too. He is a true South Carolinian, if you know what I mean. He steps in and the smell of stale cigarettes, wet dog are immediate. He was about to step on my carpet when I stopped him and said, “Whoa excuse me, I would appreciate you removing your shoes.” This apartment is brand new and we’re the first tenants so we would like to keep things pristine plus I’m a neat freak, seriously. Asking him to take off his shoes was a mistake. The smell was awful and a mixture of bad cheese. My guess is he probably had a wild Saturday night and just figured he didn’t need to shower for the one job he had to do that day. I decided I didn’t want this guys stinking up the rest of my apartment and broached the conversation as tactfully as I could.

    “I’m sorry I don’t think this is going to work for me today, could you step outside and I can explain why.” He looked at me strange and obliged and I simply told him, “Maybe you have friends or coworkers that are too kind to mention it but you carry a smell with you, sir. Personally, I’m not sure if you’re unaware or just decided showering wasn’t worth it today (some of you might think this was too harsh but the guy was seriously messy looking. As sloppy as a drunk may look with messy pants and an untucked shirt) but you’re coming into my home. I know this may just be a job to you but this is where I live and I don’t want it to smell. I’m not trying to be mean and I’m sorry if this hurts your feelings but perhaps it’s something you can consider in the future.” He didn’t seem upset accepted it and left. Later Charter sent out another guy who was just fine. My wife wasn’t happy I was so forward but perhaps I could get some back up from the other bold here on Consumerist. Or maybe I’m as big a jerk as I fear I am.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @GageAlcidice: I think this is a case in which the guy accepted it, or didn’t care, and left…I wouldn’t do it if it were just me alone at the house, or if I got the feeling this guy would return later with a baseball bat.

    • Hyman Decent says:

      @GageAlcidice: I’m meek, not bold, but I think what you said was fine.

  23. pepelicious says:

    Unfortunately, depending on where you live you can get radically different service from Comcast contractors.

    Comcast will buy out local cable operators and use their employees as Comcast contractors. You can bet one of the last things Comcast cares about is making sure their contractors all adhere to the same standards of appearance and practice.

    Comcast, as life, is like a box of chocolates. You just never really know what you’re gonna get.

  24. Youdont Knowme says:

    What would you prefer? His muddy boots, or the god awful stench that his feet were probably simmering in. ~blech~

    I would take the mud over stench ANY day.

    PS Perhaps you could borrow a friends camera, take photos, rent a steam cleaner, then send Comcast (or the installer) the bill, along with copies of the pictures.

  25. ElizabethD says:

    Light a scented candle. Or two. Or three. In every room.

    My sympathies.