Administrivia, or “I Hate Comcast”

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on December 1, 2011

For those wondering–or rejoicing–over the fact that in the past two days, I have put up as many posts, there is an explanation: Comcast is the Anti-Christ.

The night before last, phone and Internet service at my home went kablooey. A call to Comcast was met with an automated voice message stating that there was a general outage, and that Comcast hoped to have said outage resolved by midnight. I was annoyed, but had my smartphone and the wonderful Internet service it provides, and figured that this too would pass.

Except that it hasn’t. Last night, phone and Internet service went kablooey anew. Contacting Comcast, I discovered that there was no automated voice message stating that there was a general outage, leaving me to believe that the problem may have been on my end. A very nice lady working at a Comcast call center in Texas told me that she had no information whatsoever about a general outage, and promised to notate my information in the event that I continued to have trouble. During our call, phone and Internet service was restored, so I hoped that whatever my woes, they had come to an end.

Alas, they didn’t! Service went out again, and this time, it stayed out with all of the stubbornness of a North Korean nuclear weapons negotiator. Another call to Comcast ensued. I was told to take out, and put back in a power cord and a coaxial cable that were plugged into the modem. I did so; nothing changed. The technician asked to put me on hold while he ran a few tests. I consented. While I was on hold, I got switched over–I do not know how–to the Xfinity service center. A nice man took my call, and listened to my explanation–coupled by an increase in the volume of my voice, which denoted intense frustration–and then promised to switch me back, though alas, he could not switch me back to the Comcast technician who probably, as I write this, is still running tests, and wondering how long I will remain on hold. He then switched me to yet another Xfinity person, who listened to my litany of complaints–coupled with an even more significant increase in the volume of my voice, denoting still more frustration–and switched me back to a Comcast person after I explained that all I wanted was to get back phone and Internet service without accidentally triggering a nuclear war, a financial meltdown, or the breaking of Jay Cutler’s left thumb. This last person informed me–wait for it!–that there is a general outage in the Chicagoland area, that it is serious, and that they do not know when it will be resolved. I may periodically get phone and Internet service, but I may lose them again. How it is that the other people I spoke with did not know this is beyond me. Apparently, at Comcast, not only does the right hand not know what the left hand is doing, but the right index finger doesn’t know what the right ring finger is doing, and is also unaware of the fact that the right middle finger is busy flipping off customers.

So, gentle readers, while my patience is not yet being tested in the way God tested Job’s forbearance, I am put in a position where tooth-grinding would be justified, save for the fact that tooth-grinding is not very good for me. And that would explain the paucity of blog posts, along with the fact that I have a million and six things to do each day. Hopefully, things will be restored soon, though I wonder whether the Cubs will win the World Series before all is returned to normal.

  • ComcastMark

    My apologies for the
    troubles we caused. 


    I work for Comcast and
    I’d like to help in getting the problem resolved.  At the same time, I’d
    like to share your experience with my local colleagues so that we can
    address all your concerns. 


    Please feel free to
    contact me, provide your info and a link to this page if you’re interested in
    my help. 






    Customer Operations

    • Pejman Yousefzadeh

      All I want is for phone service to be restored, and Internet service to remain. That will make me happy, and I will write a blog post in praise of Comcast.

    • Unix-Jedi

      Hello, Mark.  

      Sorry if I don’t buy what you’re selling – but I will offer you a suggestion.

      “At the same time, I’d like to share your experience with my local colleagues so that we can address all your concerns.” 

      If you want to fix the problems, have every senior manager take ownership of a problem case, and _call in through the 800 number_, as  a regular person, and try and get it fixed, without “pulling strings”.

      That ‘eating your own dog food’ initiative wouldn’t last long, but if it did, there might be some fixing of the intentional uselessness of the Comcast call centers. 

  • Unix-Jedi

    You’re doing better than I am.

    I’ve been calling for over a month to try and get service.
    I’ve gotten 2 conciencious reps who called me back for a bit, including one who told me he was opening tickets on the SLA violations, and that I was supposed to be hearing from the higher-ups on at least some idea of when I could get answers.

    He’s not returning my calls now, and it takes 15 minutes to try and get directly to someone.  I suspect he’s been reprimanded for taking his customer service training literally and trying to help.

    They actually did dispatch one installer, in a van, who got there, minus the HD equipment we’d ordered – and tried to reschedule because of that.  The “installation” was scheduled 10 days out – and of course, he didn’t have the equipment to install.  

    He told me I’d need to call the local office – but was not allowed to give me their number. He assured me his supervisor would call me – never has.

    Now, I understand that I’m a new construction, and a slightly difficult install.  But there are 7 houses that have connections within a half mile of me.  I would be the 2nd closest, and the closest to the actual fiber termination point that’s _connected_ – they ran to my next door neighbor, who’d given up on them.

    And I can get no answers. This is deliberate on Comcast’s part. The less they actually have to provide service, the better.  

    I knew it was going to be a problem,  Comcast operates as a parasitic monopoly, and their customer service is the worst in the country – and they’re the only company who can run a line to me down the right of way.    But I hoped it would be better, and I tried the system.

    Now to see if the PSC will do anything.

  • Challeron

    This may be a silly question, but, I too am in the Chicago Area (actually, far northern Lake County), and I’ve never had serious, or lasting, trouble with Comcast. However, I see you only mentioned having Phone and Internet service (perhaps only because everyone expects Cable TV from a Cable TV Provider), and it’s been my understanding for some time that Comcast intends to “discourage” excessive use of High-Speed Internet (like using Netflix and Hulu) as ways of avoiding their Cable TV packages. Maybe your problem isn’t all that “technical”….

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