Comcast Woes…I’m Really Sick of Not Being Able to Get Online, Watch TV

For the past six years Comcast has been my internet and cable provider. Things got off to a rocky start, with my web access going down several times per month. I ran into TV signal quality issues right away and service technicians had to come visit several times to sort things out.

Things were never 100% and I logged several hours on the phone with Comcast. Technicians kept coming out and the problems were usually solved temporarily.

About two years, I bought my first HDTV and upgraded my Comcast subscription to include several premium HDTV channels and an HD DVR.

Ever since I’ve upgraded to HD cable, I haven’t been able to reliably watch high definition channels. The picture and sound often stutter. Here’s an example of what HDTV looks like at my house a lot of the time.

Despite technicians installing new equipment, including an amplifier, the stuttering continues. on the bright side, my Internet connection has been relatively reliable with just the occasional outage. Not be able to connect to the Internet, or being able to watch CNN kind of defeats the purpose of paying more than $125 per month to Comcast.

My brother recently had a very poor customer experience with Comcast, including long hold times. before calling the 800 number, I mentioned my problems on Twitter. A Comcast rep replied almost immediately and has been looking into my connection issues over the past day. We have been in sending messages to each other on Twitter over the past couple of days and it’s been a much better experience than calling Comcast and talking to different people every time. She even scheduled a service appointment for tomorrow at 2 PM. She requested that a manager come out to solve my problems once and for all.

Hopefully, they can set things straight. If not I’m going to have to look for alternatives.

7 Comments

  1. fleon

    07/15/2009 at 3:57 pm

    I tend to complain more than the average reader, but it’s because I find that Gottabemobile dovetails quite excellently with my job requirements and expectations. So first, let me say that I completely sympathize with you- I had Comcast, but spotty internet, incompetent customer service, and an inability to get anything fixed moved me to AT&T’s U-verse service. It’s a rip-off, but at least it’s reliable.

    Now, however, I feel compelled to say that Gottabemobile should not be your own personal soapbox. Sure, it’s tempting to use the power of the blog to force companies to respond or face bad PR, but it’s not good journalism. If you want people to take your site seriously, facts and well-considered editorials, not personal rants, are what you need to produce. People like me who are looking for specific, valuable, targeted information just do not need the extra spam. Just my 2 cents worth in the attempt to keep the quality of the site high. Maybe I shouldn’t have gone after that English or Law degree…

    Again, sorry you are having so many issues with Comcast. They truly do suck.

    Reply

  2. Glenn

    07/15/2009 at 5:23 pm

    Xavier,
    I hope that the extreme customer service steps you have had to take bring you proper service on the next visit. Put my name in your article (and remove the reference to twitter) and the story would be about my experience. This is more than a Comcast situation; this is the way most companies work. People need to remember that when the service is paid for the provider is obligated to provide the promised service. GM had a different opinion about service, and many companies have followed their lead.
    If Comcast gets to read any of this they would do very well for themselves to contact you, Xavier, and any of our voices who make them feel uncomfortable. Gottabemobile.com has provided valuable resources of user’s opinions to any manufacturers and service providers who are willing to listen to voices outside of their own offices.
    The reason for this is obvious. These editors, writers, and readers of this medium are more motivated to share in this field then the general public. The base of knowledge of this group is higher and the proficiency with computers, internet, and communications services is top notch when compared to the general public. These points show why this group of consumers is capable and willing to work with service suppliers and manufacturers to pave the potholes on the information super highway.
    If Comcast (and others) want a marketing research shortcut, and if managers want a background resource to help them to see past employee bla-bla, then join here- recruit here. You might even find out how your best informed employee got that way. Why can’t a company get ahead by assigning every employee, from top on down, to a day on customer service? The frequency of the assignments (use wooden chairs) should be set by the work load, bonuses to be set by the lack there of.
    Thanks,
    Glenn

    Reply

  3. Matt

    07/15/2009 at 6:53 pm

    Xavier:

    90% I know what is wrong!

    I had similar problems with Time Warner Cable in Columbus Ohio. Countless truck rolls over a period of years, signal quality continued to degrade, despite installing amps, replacing internal wiring, etc…

    To make a long story short…. After years of fighting, I finally threw such a @#[email protected] fit, TW finally sent a high level tech, that had a $$$$$ cable line analyzer with him.

    He walked straight to the grounding block where the cable entered the house. Verified the ground was good, took out his wrench and disconnected the cable from the house and plugged the feed from the pole into the analyzer. FAIL

    He then got a ladder, went up the pole, and tested the feed at the tap, PASS. Took one look at the F connector on the tap side of the cable that ran from the tap to the house and said, “well there’s your problem!”

    It wasn’t a sealed connector. When the cable was installed, the tech had used a normal indoor F connector. Weather/Moisture had gotten inside and corroded the stinger badly! The corrosion was dropping my signal strength by 10db to 12db depending on frequency!

    He chopped off 3 feet of cable and installed a properly sealed connector and all is well now!

    Total repair time, about 15 minutes.

    __Insist__ that they send someone with a cable line analyzer!

    If the tech does not have the proper tools for the job, then they are just guessing, which is not going to do anyone any good!

    Reply

  4. Glenn

    07/15/2009 at 8:52 pm

    Good call on the hardware, Matt. The installation here is twenty years old. The cable company knows better than any of us that an outside installation is going to give a certain amount of trouble after five years. If all customers knew how and when to complain then the cable companies would figure that regular maintenance is cheaper then repeated service calls and satisfied customers are a more reliable financial base than having the best sales in a high churn market. But it is not like that anywhere is it? Guess who is planning on a disposable future.

    Reply

  5. Travis

    07/15/2009 at 9:51 pm

    Verizon FiOS is supposed to be at my house in late August and I am jumping to it from Comcast.

    Reply

  6. Jeff Jackson

    07/16/2009 at 7:56 am

    Welcome to the world of HD, or as we call it around here, Highly Defective. This is pretty much a universal problem with HD regardless of how you get your signal. It happened all the time with DirecTV when I had that, it happens all the time with over-the-air, which is all I have now, and it happens with most, if not all, cable systems. I miss analog.

    Man, why are you paying $125/month just to watch TV? Are you crazy? Between free over the air, and buying everything else on DVD, I’m paying only a tiny fraction of what I was paying DirecTV. And DVD looks better than any over-compressed HD signal you’ll ever get from a Cable or Satellite.

    Reply

  7. Xavier Lanier

    07/16/2009 at 4:14 pm

    @Jeff, The $125 or so per month is for DVR, TV, Phone and the fastest internet connection they offer. No, I wouldn’t pay that much just for TV.
    For really crisp video I buy or borrow Blu-ray discs from Amazon/Netflix

    Reply

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