| Aug 09, 2010
I've been a Comcast Cable customer for about 20 years at the same address. In my area that's longer than the cable company has been in business. I am presently a "Triple Play" customer (Internet, Phone, and Cable TV). Comcast renamed Triple Play to Xfinty very recently. What it used to be called I can't remember.
I pay my bill via automatic ETF. Paying my bill online would be impossible for me as would purchasing anything from Comcast online either.
I AM a Customer But I AM NOT
Lucky for me, I only use the snot out of the Internet connection and TIVO some stuff off the cable. You see, I have "bad signal" to my house. Some days when the phone rings I lose signal to my TV or Internet connection. Please, don't call me at home in the evening. I'm trying to get some work done.
This "fact" has been established by service calls at the rate of about once a year for the entire time I have been a cable Internet customer. Every call for any service to the Cable Guy always requires a second follow up "Network" (special) service call. Maybe these special calls happen (I've never seen one occur), but the problem with the signal remains the same year after year. I obviously have a problem that's too expensive for the cable company to fix. I know an inexpensive signal amplifier solves the problem and that's part of the point. No one else on my street uses cable anymore because the service sucks. That's been good for my bandwidth so I alone remain a cable customer.
Maybe one day someone at Comcast will figure out that fixing the root of the problem is worth avoiding more service calls. But I doubt it. On Saturday, I was told once again a follow up fix it service call will be required if I don't want to still use my amplifier (which is "unapproved" for use on thier network). At that time The Cable Guy hooked up a new digital HD box that I have been paying for months without any service while they worked on fixing "my signal problem".
"Refund....Refund Did you say REFUND?"
"This can't be happin', man....this can't be happening!"
Sorry. The old movie thing just takes over sometimes and I can't help myself.
As a person who works on the Internet and in the Cloud for a living, Comcast's online systems look somewhat attractive, but I am forced go elsewhere to even look up the Sunday football games. Accessing Comcast online systems and email has been another recurring NIGHTMARE for me.
Each year I spend a day or so of time hassling with Customer Service Reps regarding a single issue that's been going on for over 10 years. The other day, I spent half an hour in a chat room with one CSR - just for fun. The rep's bandwidth was so bad they couldn't get more than a couple of words out without dropping off - So much for "high-speed" broadband service.
All my CSR requests are because of account lockouts. Somehow I manage to keep straight numerous login accounts and passwords that I use as a daily part of my work, but Comcast CSR staff thinks I'm an Internet forms idiot. I suppose I am. They have undoubtedly flagged my account.
I choose to NOT use any online Comcast services. You see...
They LISTEN and FAIL TO ACT
It's true that I do I have an OLD account "inherited" from a previous cable company. Internet access at home has been a long-term job requirement for me. It is the reason I have a cable connection. Never mind I trained the cable designers in CAD would did the local cable network back in the day. I helped them built their GIS too. Never mind I've personally helped the local cable company and the police track down some illegal cable raiders a couple of times over the years. (Nothing noble there from me - the jerks were wrecking my bandwidth.)
I still can't login
This simple and ancient database account record is probably the root of the problem, but my requests to build me a completely NEW ACCOUNT always get put aside. That requires dealing with ACCOUNTING.
"We'll reset it and you'll be just fine....sir"
"But that NEVER works!"
I have complained numerous times that for reasons unknown their online systems routinely lock me out. Hey, my account name doesn't even conform to your standards! "That doesn't matter sir..." A password reset that is done usually works only once for about 24 hours. Restoring access always requires another call to customer service. You see their online system pages DO check for email name "conformity to their standards".
These days I even have to talk to a state-of-the-art computer FIRST to explain my problem. Oh. Did I mention I now have to have a super SECRET pin code that was mailed to me by snail mail months ago to do ANYTHING online or on the phone. The new number now validates that I AM who I AM.
What happens if I lose that?
Without the NUMBER I AM no one
Each year the number of "security protections" done "on my behalf" increases and the results remain the same - no regular access to a system that I cannot use. Four years ago my Comcast account worked once maybe for an entire week after a raft of calls and hours on the phone - Quite a service record.
At that point I simply moved on and I gave up trying to get either of these issues fixed. Like most of the human race, I have more important things to do than deal with systems that fail endlessly. I chosen to name this ever growing cultural phenomenon
Denial of Service by Pleasantry
As we all find out More and More every day...Companies and government have discovered all they have to do is send you to a well-trained call center where people are ever so polite and ever so helpful, but aren't authorized or able to do anything of substance for you. This is much less expensive than having an office where you call talk to people and wait in line to do the same thing. That costs too much because of the stress it causes the poor people who have to deal with the public face to face. It's More effective too since they can record you "for traning purposes".
Today, I only deal with The Cable Guy when necessary. But at $120 a month maybe someone will have to read this post at least once. I flamed the Comcast VP of Customer Service with this post. That of course got me a call the very next day from another very nice customer service lady.
We can't have unhappy customers. Can we?
Maybe I should call her back once More...