Comcast: The bloom is off the rose

By | October 9, 2007

I wrote previously about my positive experience switching from Speakeasy DSL and Verizon POTS service to Comcast High-Speed Internet and Digital Voice.

I’m sorry to say that I’ve had a number of rather bad interactions with Comcast since that rosy day. I’m not sure I can remember all of them, but here are some:

  • A Comcast representative told me that they would refund the $4.95 charge for an unpublished number since they had not told me that there was a charge for the service when I asked about it. When my bill showed up, the charge had not been refunded. I have since been told that it would be taken care of, but we’ll see.
  • I contacted Comcast to port my old Verizon number to my Comcast account. A week later nothing had been done about it. On my second call, the agent with whom I spoke said the only explanation she could offer for why the porting order was not placed was “human error.” On the plus side, when I demanded a credit for the extra week I was going to have to pay Verizon for service, she agreed and issued me the credit.
  • The stability of their Web site continues to be a real problem. There have been many occasions when I have been unable to use the “Live Chat” or “Send Us Email” features of their site. Since these are their recommended methods for contacting them for support, it’s particularly unfortunate that they are unavailable so much of the time.
  • Our voicemail simply stopped working recently — we couldn’t access it from home, and people couldn’t leave us messages. When they tried, they got an error message telling them to try again later. The “Live Chat” agent whom I contacted about the problem was incredibly clueless, and although he did somehow manage to fix the problem, he wasn’t able to tell me why it stopped working, why what he did fixed it, or whether I should be worried about the problem recurring.
  • After our Verizon number was ported to Comcast, we were no longer able to access our voicemail by dialing our own phone number. I called 800-COMCAST to talk to an agent about this (since the Web site wasn’t working, as noted above), and the woman with whom I spoke informed me that since we were able to access our voicemail by dialing *99, she was refusing to open a ticket about the issue. I told her that while I understood that *99 was a workaround, I wanted it to work with our own phone number as well; since it had been working just a few days prior and was no longer working, something was clearly broken, and I wanted it fixed. She again refused to open a ticket about the issue. I informed her that this was unacceptable and demanded to speak to her supervisor, and in response she put me on hold for several minutes and then disconnected me.On the plus side, after this occurred, the Web site “Live Chat” feature started working again, and I was able to reach an agent that way who was both more helpful and more competent than the agent with whom I’d spoken on the phone.
  • It turns out that the level of service for which I’m paying is only eligible for 384kbps upload speeds. I saw nothing on the Comcast Web site about this before signing up for service, although there were in fact references on the Web site to upload speeds as fast as 768kbps, so that was what I was expecting to see. It’s ridiculous for a service with a 6000kbps download speed to have only a 384kbps upload speed. That’s the same upload speed as my old DSL service, whose download speed was only 1500kbps!

As a result of these failings, Comcast has squandered just about all the good will they generated with their initially good service. It’s sad.

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9 thoughts on “Comcast: The bloom is off the rose

  1. AJ

    Aggh – I’d prefer you not use my name if you publish this to the site. Initials are fine. Thanks! (told you I don’t know about blogging)

  2. AJ

    If greed is evil, then this ‘rose’ can use whichever name fits but the smell is not sweet.

    I have a current tech problem with my Comcast e-mail and I stumbled on your blog. I won’t bore you with the technical details but nearly a month has elapsed and I’m getting nowhere. (ticket opened 10/17/07).
    My problems with Comcast as a company boil down to frustration over their lack of loyalty to the customer.
    1. Nickel and Dime pricing: we have Comcast cable. We have digital Cable in one room. Do you think you can get digital cable for your whole house? Fuhgeddabout it! That will be $5.95 more per month per TV. On principal, we refuse. Basic cable will do but we keep talking about switching to satellite.
    2. Bait and switch marketing: we receive at least 5 mail offers a month for services we’re ineligible for BECAUSE WE’RE ALREADY CUSTOMERS. I’m torn between chuckling that they’re wasting their marketing spend on me and lamenting the trees wasted by these phony offers. I guess it’s crazy to expect that a company to reward longer (suffering) customers with the same good deals it uses to lure in newbies.

    note: I’m not familiar with blogging. You seem very technical and I’m sure you’d understand my e-mail problem but after spending time going through your blog, I’m thinking beyond the immediate problem.

  3. Pingback: Something better to do » Blog Archive » Comcast lies about the speed of its high-speed internet offering

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  5. jik Post author

    Less expensive, faster, more phone features, and Speakeasy’s service has really gone downhill and no longer justifies the higher cost.

  6. jont

    Out of curiosity, why did you switch from Speakeasy? I left them a year ago in favor of RCN, due to their much higher price.

  7. jik Post author

    There do seem to be quite a few people who hold the “Comcast == evil” position, but I’m not quite that far yet. We’ll just have to wait and see whether they push me there :-).


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