Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Why Comcast has an unhappy customer on their hands...

As many of you that know me know that I have had what could only be called a secret appreciation for a certain entity called Comcast.  I loved that Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey openly mocked them on 30 Rock and that corporately they winked and smiled along and appreciated being called Kabletown.  I loved that they have a rainbow birdie as their mascot.  And I really appreciated that they provide me with a service at a what really is a fair and reasonable price really for all that I get.  (I add all the extra channels and pay for them... so that is on me).  

BUT.... and I say this with a huge BUT..... 

So here is my big BUT PeeWee....

I have to say... Your rainbow birdie bing bing bongness Comcast... can straight up suck it.

See my time is valuable, my time costs money.  My employers pay me good (NO GREAT) money to do a job and not to have their time hijacked because daylight hours are the best time to reach a customer service "executive" that works on the continent of the United States. Sorry but I do not want to talk to some one in the Phillapenes.. the accent is really difficult.   I get offshoring call centers.  Belive you me Comcast.... I do... but seriously... putting me into a situation where I have to call back more than once because I can't actually understand what the person on the other line is actually asking me is ridonkulous.  

I am now in extra minutes on my cell coverage, I now also am paying for every minute that I use when I call on my cellphone... again... costing me money.  And the $20 service fee gaurantee just plain doesn't cover that.  Not to mention how frustrating it is to have repeat everything and stand in a "good coverage area" just to try and get my service to be deployed in a way that allows me to utilize the fine services I am paying for.

Now... here is the deal.... I have a phone number.  A phone number that is not only important to me, but that everyone that I know has for me.  Every. One.  When I called to arrange the service move I specifically asked if the phone number would be able to go to the new address.  I know all about  "central offices" (which is Qwest's old belabored verbage) and "rate centers" (Comcast's verbage) it's why I asked.  I was assured that there wouldn't be any problems.  Well guess what... there were.  Not only couldn't I move the number, I would find out at a point during this two week ordeal that Comcast would do everything to make it as difficult on me at a corporate level to port the number out to a different service.  

40 years the phone number has been in my life.  I want it for another 40 g-d willing and honestly I wasn't going to let Comcast win. I don't know what their problem was with me but here is the talley of the fuckatude of this service move.

Day One:
Lets break down the 9 plus hours I spent on the "professional installation" of my services: 
1 hour late delay on the "installation" at the new house
5 1/2 hour "installation" process at the new house
2 hour break from the installer being at my house, while I was asked to be on the phone authorizing the new services (wait there are NO new services just a move)
1 1/2 hour return visit to "complete" installation that is not really complete but the technician has other customers so leaves our house.

After that experience I still had no phone and patchy internet.   Cable worked great... small miracles do happen.

Day Two
2 hours on phone with technical service to find out why the service is bad with the "signal booster" on my wire.  They say it's my owned wireless modem and I need to use their leased device.  Which I was on, their equipment that the installer put in.  He said that the owned modem wouldn't work and I needed to lease one, I was ok with this actually so said ok... but the service was bad... I wanted to know why.  This was while I was a work. I should have known. 

Leave the office early.  Come home call technical service again, spend three hours on the phone to find out that out the installer didn't activate the leased modem correctly and the CMAC wasn't coded into the system correctly so internet didn't go to router.  So I put my owned modem on the wall wire/jack and ask them to reauthorized my owned device.  Everything seems to work ok.  I don't want to use their modem / router because I own so if I don't have to I am not going to.  They tell me this won't work because my wireless router isn't authorized with my modem.  What?  Doesn't make any sense.  This isn't supposed to work because I am using my own firewalled wireless router with my own build and they say I have to use their leased device.  Funny three days ago at my previous house, everything was fine, ran well and had no issues on my owned devices.  We "properly install the modem to recognize the router".  Internet works better.  Wireless is fine.  What they said they did makes absolutely no sense to anything I have ever heard of before... no modem needs to authorize to a router... it's got a Cat5 cable running directly into it... there doesn't need to be authorization?  What?

Still no ability to port the number to the new rate center, they flat out refuse to put the number into their pool for 48 hours and reissue it on the new switch.  Fine.  I tell them to leave the number active and NOT disconnect as I am going to port it to my cell.  Comcast tells me that they will not release the number that they own it now and it's theirs.  Huh.  Really.  But they agree to leave the number active until June 20th when my billing cycle is over. 

I  call it a night.  I need to make dinner so I can feed my husband. He deserves to be fed.   

Day three:
I actually take a break from calling Comcast because I want to call my service provider for my cell phone to make sure that in fact they can port the number. They say that they can.  They call the number to see if it's active.  The fine young fellow comes back on the line telling me that the number is disconnected.   I actually want to cry at my desk. But then I realize... hey the number is probably going to be back in the pool in 24 hours... I will call back tomorrow and see if I can have comcast just straight up do the right thing.

Day Four:
Comcast call takes 3 hours.  I talk to the "loyalty department". I am assured that the number is active and is portable and available.  That I can call my service provider for my cell phone and have them switch it and they will release the number from their switch in 3-5 business days. She apologizes after I explain my situation and gives me a $20 dollar credit on my account.  Mighty nice of them at this point.

Day Five:  
My cell phone provider calls me back and tells me the number is "locked and out of service and they can't port it".  I get Comcast and my service on the phone together.  This takes a small miracle, a lot of patience from my coworkers who have now heard me go off the rails in a conference room because now I have been lied to.  Which mama plain doesn't like.  Do not lie to me.  Because I will call you on it  and make you live up to the lie.  After another hour on the phone (we are now on hour four of my bosses time mind you) I am told they will rebuild the number on their switch at the old address and I can port it in the next 42 hours.  42.  Weird number right?  So weird that this guy lied to me too.

 Day Six :
Get a call from Mr. Liar pants telling me it's going to take another 24 hours for them to rebuild the number and he will call me back on Friday.  That gives me a day of reprieve. 

Day Seven:
no call.  Shocker.

So I call.  I talk to a nice young lady who assures me, assures me, that I am talking to the right person. She will help me and communicate with me the entire process.  I give her my information, the address the phone number the whole megillah.  

Day Eight: 
I hook up my owned equipment. Everything works just fine. The internet is faster. The wifi is locked down, passwords are encrypted... the cable picture is better.  We take the leased modem back to the store.  We get a reciept for it. We ask to confirm that they install the proper CMAC address to their system from my owned device to their systems so that by the time we get home it will have authorized and on the account.  I am assured that it is done. We give the serial number to. It really looks like the guy typed the information into the account.  Oh it's set up everything is great. We pick up a little digital box for our basement tv which will allow us to get a signal and we are on our way.

We come home.  nothing works.  They uninstalled the authorization on my device. We call the authorization department. It's in the Phillapenes.  It's interesting because they are nice on the phone.  Say they are grateful you called and it will be at their excitement to assist me.  NOW... I get that it's all scripted and they are trained to say that but it is pretty pleasant.  I gotta admit.  

The dude fixes us up. It takes about 40 minutes but everything is working.  That is supposed to be.  I pick up the phone.  Huh.  The phone line is working.  I call my cell phone.  It's the number I want.  It's the number I am supposed to have.  It's a freak out.  I am thrilled. The number is authorized to my modem and works.  I am tempted to not call and tell them.

I am tempted to just leave it alone.  yeah but... here is the issue... if I did that... and we call 911... they would go to the old address so I have to be honest.  So I wait and decide I will call them on Monday. tell them it is working at the new address but on my owned modem and see if they can just readdress the modem in their system to accept the number as it's still on their switch and active.

Day Nine:
Sunday we watch Season 1 of Orange is the New Black like bosses and catch up so we are prepared for what is going to come up in Season Two.

Oh and we unpack a little bit.

Day Ten: 
The phone number and phone completely stop working.  I don't call... it's the weekend... everyone that I need will call me on my cell phone.  It's not worth the time and I am flat out refusing to let Comcast timesuck my weekend away from me.

We are now well into week two:
Welcome to my nightmare.  

Day Eleven: 
Today was NOT I repeat NOT a good day for Customer Service and me to bond.  I talked to Denny, Will, Toya, Jessica, Beth and George.  Denny disconnected from me after putting me on hold for 41 minutes to which I got Will who had me on hold for 31 minutes at which the call disconnected, to which I got Toya who in 15 minutes said that I am with the wrong department but she will help me and transfers me to the "loyalty department" which was Jessica, who flat out asked me what she could do that would make me happy.... to which I flat out replied fix this. ... to which she put me on hold for 40 minutes, came back and told me she could offer me a twenty buck credit.... then transfered me to Beth, who said she will be able to offer me a discounted package but no phone.  She then said she would change my phone on my account to the number I want and it should take, then she would rebuild my account.  All the while I am on the phone with her... that is two hours... she transfers me to the tier 2 tech she is working with (she says) who is George.  He tells me everything is set.  We are good.  I can port the number.  I ask him to hold on the line while I conference in my cell phone provider.  Assurances all the way around.  The number will be active and ringing on the switch tomorrow morning and the number will be released to port.  After 35 minutes more I feel almost ok.  There is some satisfaction on my end knowing hopefully I go the thing taken care of.  Total time spent with my Comcast team... 2 hours and 39 minutes.  

I get a $278 dollar bill.  Oh the two $20 credits are on there but so is a package I didn't agree to, three phone lines and three installations.  

Wha Wha?

Yeah that doesn't work for me.  I don't know what it's all about but I still need the phone situation taken care of.

I call to find out the status... while I am on the line trying to get through the 75 different prompts to get me to a human being... my cell phone rings. It's my cell provider saying that they can't complete the order as the line is ringing "dead" and basically inactive, completely the opposite of what I was told would happen.  That they looked up the number on Comcast's end and it shows "in the pool now" that they can't get it back now at all.

I call Comcast. Get to something called the IT team, they say that the order was in fact put in to cancel the phone and the note on the account states that there were difficulties.  I joke with him (sorta) and say "yeah that difficulty is me".  He doesn't disagree that this is what the notation says.  I was on the phone with him for 22 minutes while he rebuilt the phone number to the old address and says we should be ok in 72 hours.

I come home.  I have no internet.  So ... after an hour on the phone we again reactivate my equipment.  Seems the order for a disconnect was placed two days before and no reinstatement "would be issued".  Really.  I paid in advance... I am rattling cages to get what I was promised and after 20 years of good payments, never late, always in full.... because I challenge what I was told... you cancel my service. Nice Comcast really nice. 

They reactivate my service.

I get sent to the loyalty department.  They up my internet speed to 50 mg.  Wow geez... that cost you 8 bucks a month... I will take it because it's something.  It's a bone. 

Day Thirteen: 
 I call back to find out about the status of the phone activation.  I am told that I need a modem to activate the line and I have to arrange for a technician to come to the house for an installation that they don't allow self installs anymore.  Oh come on. Seriously?  You are going to lie to me about that now?  Really?  He says he will transfer me to his supervisor... her name is Elvira and she will explain to me why that is happening now for existing customers.  The call disconnects of course.  I call back, talk to another young lady named Beth.  After 22 minutes on hold she confirms... I do need a modem to activate the line.  

She says the line is in the queue to be activated and she will escalate it so when I pick up the modem I don't have any issues. She promises to call me back when it's done.  It supposedly will take an hour.  Of course I never here from her.  

Day Fourteen: 
I went and spent a full on quality hour at the Comcast store / Service Center.  I knew that I had to actually take time off of work, go and sit face to face with some young punk working at a counter to get my shit taken care of. So thankfully to my kind and lovely employers that is EXACTLY what I had to and did do.

I pulled that chair right on up to the counter.  While I was wearing the sassiest of comfortable little pink wedges with stars on them... I didn't want to stand.  If I am going to spend a quality swalth of time with my Comcast guy... I want to be comfortable.

I hit the record on my voice memo thing on my phone because I knew... I didn't want to say anything rude, offensive, bitchy or cuss... if I am recording myself, I actually show restraint.  I explained it to the counter dude.  He looked totally freaked out. Then we went through line by line everything in my account.  It took an hour to get straight.  I got a modem and went on my merry little way.

I got to the condo.  Set up the modem... Lights were lit, called the activation number that they give you and guess what... the one thing that they don't tell you... really wait a 1/2 hour for firmware to download to your modem or it won't work.  Oh you know what else they don't tell you?  That they are going to give you a modem that doesn't actually authorize because someone else's account is still on there and they didn't properly wipe the chip, (that is actually what the authorization team told me....that someone else's account was still showing up on the equipment).  

I went back to the store.  Returned the equipment and another hour and a half later finally got the modem authorized. 

Day Fifteen:
Today I came home and the internet went out again.  Two hours later tonite, after talking with another fine young man in the Phillipenes, I find out that the authorization they gave me yesterday for this modem (which I own) is 24 hours.  The modem wasn't provisioned and showed that my internet was inactivated with out set up.  They don't provision for owned equipment usually and there has to be a special order placed when setting up the move order.  

So in my account it's always shown that I own the modem and I haven't ever been told that. He said it's a new system request in the last six months.  

Huh... interesting.  But I called the home phone line over at the condo... working answering machine picked up. Obviously internet works.  Cable works.  And tonite when Mr. F comes home we can enjoy Episodes 5, 6 and 7 of Orange is the New Black because seriously... that is what is the most important thing here.  

So let me see.... about a total of 30 hours over two weeks.  That is some quality time and cost Comcast.... if I were to calculate that even on the low side of my salary that would be about 700 dollars... that sounds like about 6 months of service gratis for what you put me through.  And that is on the LOW end.  Never going to happen this I know but the MINUTE and I mean MINUTE the number actually is ported to my cell... I am putting in the ask.  

Meanwhile I have unpacking to do.  

**** Update *****
Day Sixteen:
Comcast actually releases my phone number and allows it to be ported to my cell phone service provider.  I got a call at 8:30 this morning from the gal I talked to yesterday morning to put in the order and she said I have to call back to finish up the porting of the number.  I was confused... how could this happen so quickly and efficiently and oh correctly... certainly there would be something that went wrong or that it wasn't going to happen.... AT and T, you have gems on your hands in your porting department... can I call these ladies out?  Yeah Miss B and Miss K rocked the phone number port.  I called yesterday morning at 8 a.m.   and by 9:00 a.m. this morning... pow this was taken care of. THIS IS HOW YOU TREAT CUSTOMERS COMCAST.... Take notes.  

So the countdown ends here.  16 days Comcast.... suck. 

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