March 13, 2009
| by Chuck McKenney
There’s nothing more maddening than intermittent Internet service. After several attempts at rebooting my computer, wireless router and modem yesterday, I decided to call Comcast customer service. Yes - I was desperate.
After just a minute on hold, the polite customer service rep had me rebooting all the components yet again. Still nothing. I had two options: head over to a Comcast office and get a new modem or schedule a service call. In need of immediate Internet access (I happened to be working from home), I grabbed the modem and headed for the car.
“We don’t swap out phone modems,” says Sue, the woman at the Comcast counter. Say what? You mean a phone rep gave me the wrong advice?
I angrily accepted a computer-only modem along with the self-installation software (a signal this would not be as simple as plugging the modem into my router). Before leaving I get a shred of good news, Sue tells me a tech will be at my house in 1-3 hours.
I get home, set-up the new modem and still no Internet. I wave the white flag, turn on the TV and wait for the tech.
He arrives on time and immediately says there’s a problem with the amplifier on the utility pole. Unfortunately, the bucket truck can’t reach this particular amplifier. Say what? How is that possible? He has to schedule another visit for tomorrow.
The tech comes inside and we spend about 90 minutes scouring my home for any and all splitters. It’s our last ditch effort to improve the weak signal coming into my home. He adjusts a few things and whaddya know - I get online. But there’s no guarantee I will stay online, until the guy with the extended bucket truck shows up tomorrow and fixes the amplifier.
On his way out the door, the tech says Comcast will give me a premium channel free for 3 months for my troubles. There’s no catch. After 3 months, I don’t have to call to cancel or face billing. He says it’s a new policy designed to improve customer relations. You mean Comcast actually cares?
I tell him to give me Showtime and say goodbye. I don’t know how long this get-a-premium-channel-free-for-3-months promotion will last, but it’s worth asking for the next time you run into troubles with Comcast.