Friday, October 17, 2014

Doing Battle with Comcast

My neighbor has Comcast for internet, TV and telephone.  I always advise my clients to have telephone separate from their internet, so that when one is down, they can use the other to get help. Most of my clients don’t listen to my advice. They just call me when things go wrong.

It was a dark and stormy night (I kid you not) when my neighbor with the Comcast Trifecta called from another neighbor’s.  He lives about 5 blocks from me.  His phone was out. I suggested he call Comcast.  But Comcast was having troubles with their hotline, so they weren’t taking calls.

I knew there was no way I could talk my neighbor through getting on webchat unless he was at his keyboard, so I went on webchat on his behalf from my home on my computer, with my login.

The Comcast rep said she couldn’t send someone to my neighbor’s house unless he got on the chat to ask in person and verified his identity. I couldn’t call him to tell him this. I wasn’t going to walk 5 blocks in the dark and rain to tell him. I asked if I could talk to a supervisor.  The rep insisted this was a Comcast rule for my neighbor’s security.  I tried telling her that my neighbor is an elderly gentleman who lives alone and it was far greater risk to his security that he spend the night without a phone than that somebody from the Comcast repair department knock on his door and ask if it’s okay to come in and fix the problem.

Finally, the Comcast rep agreed to send an email with a webchat link to my neighbor.

He couldn’t log in because he didn’t know his password.  And he couldn’t get a password because he couldn’t call while he was at his computer. And they weren't answering calls anyway.

I had a job the next morning, but that afternoon I went over.  His phone still didn’t work. He had called Comcast from the neighbor’s.  They said they were sending somebody.

Meanwhile, as long as I was there, he wanted me to disconnect his fax machine and his upstairs answering machine that he never uses.  After I had them out, and removed the daisy chain of cables and used a coat hanger to get the true phone line behind the desk so it could reach the wall jack, his phone started working.

My guess is that something in one of them was keeping his phone in a state of off-the-hook. It was now long past time when Comcast’s representative should have arrived.  They hadn’t sent anybody after all.  My client received a phone call asking how he liked Comcast’s service.  5 for very satisfied and 1 for dissatisfied.  He pressed 1.  The Comcast call hung up.

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