I recently switched from Speakeasy DSL and a Verizon land line to Comcast High-Speed Internet and their Digital Voice® local phone service. The executive summary is that I’m very happy so far.
Everyone at Comcast with whom I’ve dealt has been friendly and helpful. This includes the sales people with whom I spoke when ordering the service, the telephone customer service representatives, and the man who came to install my service. Every time I’ve called on the phone, I’ve been connected to a person quickly rather than waiting on hold for a long time (although I had to navigate an annoying menu hierarchy to get there).
The sales person who took my order scheduled installation for the very next morning. I ended up rescheduling that visit (which was very easy to do over the phone), so I don’t know if it would have actually happened, but the installer showed up on time for the rescheduled visit five days later and successfully installed everything during that visit.
One minor problem: I mentioned to the sales person that I wanted my new phone number to be unpublished, and he added that to my account without informing me that there was an additional charge for an unpublished number.
One gripe: How can any telephone service provider get away with charging extra for an unpublished number? It’s not like it costs them anything extra, nor does it take them any extra time — it’s just a checkbox in the computer. This isn’t much of a strike against Comcast, since all of the companies do it, but it’s still exceedingly annoying.
When I showed the installer my wiring closet and informed him that I was going to wire the cable modem into the house phone jacks myself after he left, he understood what I was saying and left behind the appropriate cable, with a phone jack on one end for me to plug into the modem and bare wires, which he stripped for me, at the other for me to punch into my punch-down block. I was impressed with his speed and competence.
I’m not getting quite the advertised download speed of 6Mbps (well, actually, they advertise up to 6Mbps), but it’s pretty close — the highest speed I’ve seen in my periodic tests is 549kb/s. Upload speed doesn’t fare as well — they highest I’ve seen is 45kb/s. If I continue to see mediocre upload speeds, I’m going to talk to Comcast about it, but as for the download speed, it’s more than three times faster than my Speakeasy DSL connection, and for less money, so I’m extremely pleased.
I’m very impressed so far with the phone service. The sound is clear, even when I’m maxing out my download bandwidth. The voicemail is easy to use and quite accessible online, as is most other significant functionality. However, there are a few features, e.g., call waiting, which should be configurable online but aren’t. The features I like include:
- All of the main calling features (e.g., caller ID, call waiting, voicemail) are included in the price of the service.
- I’m enjoying having caller ID (it wasn’t worth paying Verizon extra for).
- It’s very useful to receive email when new messages arrive, and to be able to listen to the messages online.
- It’s nice to be able to access the voicemail by dialing “*99” instead of my entire phone number, and also nice that it doesn’t require the password when accessing the voicemail from my home phone.
- The voicemail is easy to use.
The biggest complaint I have so far is that www.comcast.net and its associated Web sites are slow and unreliable. Comcast Web pages hung on me many times over the course of the day, as well as returning numerous application errors. At one point today I was not able to contact Comcast using either the “Live chat” feature, which returned an error, or the “Send email” page, which was hanging.
Overall, I am very happy so far with the service.
I have to admit that I am surprised that I am so happy. Comcast isn’t rated terribly well at dslreports.com, and because there are plenty of Comcast horror stories floating around. I was expecting the process of getting service installed and working to be rather painful, and it hasn’t been that way at all.