This is not the most professional post I’ve ever written, I know, and it’s full of, erm, colorful language and rants are usually very difficult to read, but I felt that I had to let people know the horrible experience I had with Comcast (Paypal, you’re next). If you have a similar Comcast story, please let me know so I can link to your rant in this post.
If you’ve followed my recent tweets, you’ve seen my griping about my Comcast service, or lack thereof.
I pay extra for HD channels, and since we moved to this house in October I’ve had 8 bit-like HD service. By that I mean the HD channels hiccup, lose audio and pixelate as if they cannot ‘come in’ clearly over this connection. Comcast has come out several times and each time they tell me it’s fixed, only to see the same errors days later. If you’ve ever tried to get a cable guy/gal to visit your home, you understand they *if they show up at all*, they are rarely on time, and you have to take off the entire day of work anyway since their appointments usually span 4 or more hours.
When we moved to this house, Comcast in Oakland made us turn in our equipment so we could get new equipment here in our new hometown. Apparently the local Comcast is a franchise so they own their equipment and it can’t fraternize with real Comcast equipment. This, of course, meant our cable was out for weeks as we attempted to get new equipment and new installs, and then ended with getting billed for equipment that we turned in and our new equipment. We literally got billed twice, by two different Comcast offices, for equipment that they held in their possession. Again, imagine the joy of working that out over the first several months in our new home.
The first good thing they’ve done, other than their internet service, which is unbeatable, is begin giving away Wiis to new TriplePlay customers. You can imagine how angry I was when I learned that there is no way to give an existing customer who upgrades to this service a Wii. So, they are saying, “we appreciate new customers so much that we’ll give them a game console, but if you’ve been paying us $300+ per month for 3 years, then we absolutely could care less about showing you appreciation.” Yeah, that and their, erm, *service*, is really winning me over!
Three weeks ago we decided that we needed a few more cable outlets in our home. I called Comcast, and they upsold me to their TriplePlay (yes, I’m a sucker for the up-sell). I set an appointment and took off work. They never showed up. I got no call that day nor the next day. A few days later, I called to complain and set up another appointment. For my annoyance they gave me a $20 credit. Yes, that makes up for an entire day’s lost work… They couldn’t get to me for the next ten days, so I set up another appointment for two weeks later, on a Tuesday morning. Well, as you can guess, no one showed up on Tuesday. What fun!
The odd part is that on Wednesday, we got a call that they were sitting at our house. They were only a day late… I called back to reschedule for a third time and found out it was going to again take 10 days to see a technician. By this time, I freely admit, I was off my rocker. I pretty much told the agent to, well, I probably shouldn’t say what I told her, but it wasn’t nice.
Cable is still virtually a monopoly. Other than DirecTV, which has crappy internet service and is therefore not an option, Comcast is the only game in town for us. And, remember, we live in the heart of Silicon Valley, so if it’s a virtual monopoly here, imagine what it’s like in the rest of the country. Because of this we are expected to put up with less than adequate service, customer service that’s polite but ineffective and technicians who do what they damn well please.
Today I decided that I’d finally had enough. I went through DirecTV’s site and have almost signed up for service there (sitting on the confirm page in another tab). Yeah, it’s an out-of-pocket expense of $300 because we need 6 receivers (3 were free), but it was such a freeing exercise! I’ve called Comcast, and the lady has all these great plans of wooing me back. She’s getting all of her ducks in a row and is going to call me back in a few minutes to wow me. Needless to say, I fully expect to finalize my DirecTV order in the next half-hour. I’ll, of course, keep internet through Comcast, as there really is no other option (DSL blows), but at least I’ll have some satisfaction in voting with my pocketbook.
Comcast… You Suck!
UPDATE: Comcast lady never called back. What a surprise!