Sunday evening, playing poker on the laptop, I first noticed the problem. My Internet connection would stop for a few seconds – sometimes 10s of seconds – before resuming. The poker site I play at allows you to check the connection of the others at your table. They were fine, I was not.
Comcast has been very dependable. So, I did nothing, figuring all would be well on Monday morning. Guess again.
Helaine asked me what was going on. Her connection was slow. Steffie later chimed in with the same complaint. “The Internet is sketchy,” she said.
Between the three of us we spend an awful lot of time online and we’re spoiled with reasonably fast connections. This was totally unacceptable.
I decided to call Comcast when I came home from dinner. I worked my way through the phone tree (press 1, press 2, press 1 again). My hold time was somewhere around 10 wasted minutes.
On hold systems have two options:
1) Incessant announcements (which drive you nuts when you start hearing them the fifth, sixth, twentieth time).
2) No announcements, just a little light elevator music. That was Comcast’s choice and it’s really not much better.
While on hold I wondered if I was really in the queue? Maybe I’d be listening to these European studio musicians for the rest of my natural life!
A pleasant sounding woman, from Central Ontario it turned out, answered the call. She made me jump all the usual hoops – reboot, unplug, replug, etc. She could see there was a problem with packet loss and offered to send a service tech, but the system wouldn’t let her schedule one. Could I call back later?
After work, and on whisper mode with Helaine asleep in the next room, I dialed Comcast again. As I was waiting for a live person, I scooted over to DSLreports.com to see if anyone else had reported this trouble. The Comcast Connecticut thread was four pages long! I had plenty of company.
This time a Canadian guy (I didn’t ask if he was Canadian – but I worked in Buffalo, just across the Niagara River from Canada and know their regionalisms, eh) picked up. He started to do his dance and talk about sending a technician to the house, but I stopped him.
The problem isn’t here, in my house. It’s far away at some router. I even know the router’s address: 188.8.131.52. It’s owned by AT&T and probably serves as Comcast’s connection from Connecticut to the Internet in general.
If I know this, why doesn’t Comcast’s tech support guy? Why spend money and send technicians when there’s no problem they’ll fix? Why not tell me loads of others have reported problems, we’re working on it?
If I asked someone high up at Comcast whether they wanted this fixed right away and wanted their customers informed, I’m sure the answer would be yes. They want the best possible result spending the least amount of money. Yet their actions show there’s a disconnect between what would benefit them and their customers and what they’re delivering. And, they might not know this customer service problem even exists.
There is no one served by what went on tonight. Not me. Not Comcast. Their phone people were polite and pleasant but never even brought me one step closer to satisfaction.
I really don’t want to have to call back on this tomorrow.