Comcast saga continues. I thought this shit was over, but I was wrong. We haven’t had any issues with their service for months and all of a sudden we are back to square one. Since last Monday the connection has been dropping in the afternoons for 15-20 minutes only to come back again. Today it started around 9 am. The connection dropped, then it got back by itself 15 minutes later, dropped again for about 20 minutes at 10am, dropped half past 10, came back at 11, dropped again at a quater to 12, came back at noon… You can see the pattern.
For some unknown reason we are on a cheap residential account so we get the worst outsourced tech support you can find. I call them up around 11 after I figure that this is not one of their daily hiccups but some major issue. After going through the voice menu I get put on hold for 20 minutes. Finally someone picks up:
WTF? DId I dial the right number? I must have, because I just listened to crappy music and Comcast sales pitch for like half an hour.
Me: Is this Comcast tech support?
Him: Umm… Yeah…
I’m still waiting for the traditional greeting, but I guess it’s not coming. The guy just said “yeah” and got quiet. After making sure I didn’t get disconnected, I explain my problem to him. He asks me for some info, and tells me that he needs 5 minutes to look up my information. 5 minutes? WTF? Is he running a fucking background check on me?
5 minutes pass
10 minutes pass
15 minutes pass
Finally he picks up again:
Comcast High Speed Tech Support, my name is Jeff, how can I help you?
Holly fucking shit! That asshole just punted me to another tech! Jeff is definitely not the guy I talked to before. I breathe deeply and explain my problem again, as calmly as I can. Jeff takes my info, and pulls up my modem information.
Jeff: I can see here that your modem is online, and the signal is strong.
Me: Yes, it came back up while I was on hold. It’s been going up and down all morning.
Jeff: Sorry, but I can’t dispatch a technician if your modem readings don’t show anything wrong. Is there anything else I can help you with?
Ok, at this point I’m pissed. What the fuck? Yes, he can help me with my fucking problem which is not resolved at all! I tell him that if he wants to wait few more minutes the modem will drop connection again. I tell him that I’m not happy and he needs to do something about this problem.
Jeff: Hmmm… Hmm…. Uhmmmm…. Are you using a rooter?
Me: A what?
Jeff: A rooter.
Me: A router? Well, yes. Kinda. The modem connects to a Sonicwall firewall, which connects to a Linksys switch, and we have some wireless AP’s which…
Jeff: Ok, this must be a problem with your rooter. You will need to disconnect it and connect the computer directly to the modem.
I think Jeff is trying to get rid of me at this point. I explain that the “rooter” is fine, because my whole LAN is working. I tell him that the problem is the Internet connection. I can actually see it – normally I have bunch of blinkenlights on my modem, but right now I just have one that is pulsing rhythmically indicating a problem.
He puts me on hold.
hold, hold, hold, punt
“This is Comcast, how can I help you?”
No! This is not even fucking funny anymore. I swear, if this guy bounces me to someone else I’m going to track him down and kill his face. Once again, I explain the problem. I also tell him how displeased I am with their service, and ask him not to just randomly bounce me to another tech. The guy pulls up my modem info, confirms it is still up.
Him: “Hmmm… Did you… It got like 126 times.”
Me: “Excuse me? I didn’t catch that”
Him: “126 times”
Me: “126 time what? I’m sorry…”
Him: “Did you restart the modem 126 times?”
Me: “Um… I don’t know… I haven’t been counting… You mean today, or since we got it? Cause we had it for a whi…”
Him: “Never mind… I think you have a problem with your modem. It keeps restarting itself”
Me: “So… Can you send us a new modem?”
Him: “Sorry, we don’t do that.”
He is making shit up. I got the modem replaced like 3 times last year when they could not fucking figure out what was going on with the connection. I tell him that.
Him: “Yes, but I can’t just send you a modem. I can dispatch a technician who can replace it for you, but your modem is working now”
Me: “But you just said my modem is broken!”
Him: “Yes, but it does not reflect that in the readings. I can’t dispatch a technician if you have good signal.”
Apparently my modem is not broken enough. I ask him if he wants to wait on the line for a little bit and wait till it goes down. He tells me he will speak to a manager. I remind him not to bounce me to another tech like the two guys before me. For some reason he doesn’t. He comes back 5 minutes later:
Him: “This is what you can do. If you take your modem to a Comcast store, we can replace it free of charge”
Me: “What is a Comcast store?”
Him: “It’s the location at which you purchased the modem”
Me: “My modem came with the service. I never went to any store. I called you up, someone came and installed it for me.”
Him: “Oh… Well you can still take it to the store…”
Me: “I don’t even know if we have one around here? What is the closest one in my area?”
Him: “Ok, let me look that up… Hmmm…. Ok, I don’t have that information. You will need to locate one on your own”
Me: “How do I do that?”
Him: “Um… Uh…. I guess you can try yellow pages?”
I seriously think that he is just fucking with me. I tell him that I’m not going to look for a store, and that I want a technician to be sent to replace the modem and that I’m not going to accept any other solution, and that if he doesn’t do anything I to fix my problem, I’m going to cancel their service like tonight. He puts me on hold for 20 minutes to consult with a manager. He finally comes back:
Him: “Ok, my manager says I can dispatch a technician to you. Is Tueaday between 1 and 5 ok for you?”
Me: “But today is Thursday!”
Him: “Yes, we are all booked. The closest appointment I can get you is Tuesday”
Me: “So what am I supposed to do till then?”
If he tells me to go to the fucking imaginary Comcast store I will kill him.
Him: “Well… You could go to the Comcast sto…”
This is the part where I slam the phone, and bang my head against the table for 10 minutes.
Time for a plan B. The guy who rents one of the offices here has the business Comcast account. So I get the number from him and call them up. He also had connection problems but was to busy to call them up. I dial the number and surprisingly someone picks up right after the voice menu.
Greg: “Comcast Corporate Tech Support, this is Greg, how can I help you?”
I explain to him my issue, and what the other guy said about the modem.
Greg: “Ok, give me one second and I will dispatch a technician to you. I think we can get someone there in less than 4 hours.”
Me: “Oh, that’s great!”
Greg: “Hmmm… It says here that your account is handled by the residential department…”
Oh fuck! And it was going so nicely!
Me: “Um… I dunno. I talked to like 4 people before you. They kept bouncing me around, and no one can help me.”
Greg: “Hmm… Well, let me see if I can help you here.”
I tell him about my experiences with the residential people. He says he will try to dispatch someone but he is not sure if it will go through because of the different departments. He then to puts me on hold for few minutes. He finally comes back:
Greg: “Luke, I was unable to dispatch anyone for you but I called residential and I have Maria on the line here. She should be able to help you”.
Maria: “Hi Luke. I talked with Greg and he explained your problem to me. I’m sorry to hear about your experience with our tech support. I think we can expedite this issue and send a technician to you today. Will that be ok?”
Hell yeah! Maria is my new favorite person now. Why the hell didn’t I get her on the phone when I called, and had to deal with the Dumb and Dumber crew. Maybe she is 2nd Tier or something? I don’t know, but I’m happy something is getting resolved.
Maria: “Oh, Luke. We have a block in the system here. I can’t dispatch the technician today”
Oh, for the fucking love of God! I can’t win today!
Maria: “I’m looking up the notes right now. It seems that there is a node outage in your area that affects about 50-60% of our subscribers. We have a crew at the location working on it right now. This was reported yesterday at 6PM. I think this was the cause of your connection problems this week.”
Oh! So it’s not just me. It’s this whole area. This means that the modem is fine, and that I just wasted several hours just because Mr. “126 times” and Mr. “Rooter” are idiots. They could have checked for wide area outages, but they were way to busy pissing off the customer, and not helping. Sigh…
I want to emphasize here that when I called the corporate line, my issue was processed in less than 20 minutes – including Greg’s call to another department, and Maria’s dispatch attempt. On the other hand I must have spent over 2 hours on the phone with the residential people, I had to repeat my problem 3 times to 3 different people and didn’t get any help. Which kinda shows whose business do they really care about. If you are residential customer, you are shit out of luck – when your connection goes down, you end up talking to turd-burglars such as Rooter and 126 Times dude.
I do realize that the corporate support is also a luck of the draw thing. Sometimes you get a ass monkey on the line, and sometimes you get a Greg who goes above and beyond to help you out. The problem is that the residential call center seems to be staffed exclusively by ass monkeys.
So this is my story. I really hope this is the end of it, and tomorrow the connection will be rock solid. Btw, you can read the other parts of Comast saga here:
It is still not fixed as of right now. They have no clue when it will be fixed, but they still have “engineers” working in the area. Sigh… I hate them.
[tags]comcast, tech support, support, isp, connection, dropped connection, modem, comcast store, rooter, 126 times[/tags]