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Unsent Letters: Comcast Sucks Edition

Dear Comcast:

I swear, I didn’t mean for things to turn out this way. I wanted to give you a chance to make things better; I really did. But after spending my entire adult life dealing with your shit, it’s time I got a few things off my chest.

The Start of the Problem

The most recent set of issues with my service began the weekend before Christmas 2011. My small town was hit with an internet outage that lasted nearly 2 full days. At a time when my heart should have been filled with joy and good cheer, I was stuck watching reruns of Toddlers and Tiaras and trying not to throttle my son for asking, “Is the internet back NOW?” for the 800th time.

From then on, my internet connection began dropping multiple times per day. And when I say “multiple times,” I mean like 30-40 times. Every. Single. Day. I called 1-800-COMCAST almost weekly, and during those fun chats I received helpful tips like these:

“Can you make sure the power cord to your modem isn’t loose?” Yes, because clearly leprechauns are unplugging it when I’m not looking, then plugging it back in.

“Is the power cord frayed or damaged in any way?” Oh damn, you mean I’m not supposed to let my friends’ babies use it as a teething ring?

“Maybe your power is blinking, causing the modem to reset.” I had no idea my electricity could blink so fast that nothing but the modem was affected. That’s amazing!

I feel like I went above and beyond to try to resolve my connection issues myself. I replaced my modem twice. I got a new router. I even got a new computer (though I won’t give you credit for that one). I tried moving the modem to another room, using it with and without the router, and even toggling my DCHP settings. Finally I decided to have you guys send a technician to my house to find out what was going on.

The Appointment

On the day of my appointment in April, I was expecting a visit between the hours of 1 and 3 PM, with a courtesy call before the tech came to my house. At 4 PM, my dogs began barking furiously and I spotted a Comcast truck in my driveway. I appreciated the advance warning – then again, since my phone doesn’t work when my connection is down, maybe the tech did try to call and (like everyone else) got my voicemail.

After about 30 minutes there was a knock at the door. “We couldn’t find anything wrong outside,” the tech said. “But we did replace some connectors just in case.”

“So what am I supposed to do now?” I asked.

“Just call us if it happens again. We can’t fix it if we don’t know about it.” Gee, you want to stick around for a few minutes?

But wait! That’s not the best part! The next morning (a Saturday no less), my phone rang early.

“This is [name] from Comcast. I’m sorry none of our technicians made it to your house yesterday.”

“Um, then who were the guys in the Comcast truck?”

“Oh, someone did come out? Okay, great. Have a nice day!”

Yeah, that totally happened. Just another example of the excellent customer service you’re providing, Comcast. And as a bonus, when I complained on Twitter and sent an email to the Comcast Cares (LOL) email address, the voicemail I received was so garbled I couldn’t hear the number to return the call. I guess the person was using your phone service, which must be just as reliable as my internet connection. When I emailed again to let “Comcast Cares” know that I was unable to hear the voicemail, I never received a response.

The Month of June

For a week or so after your techs came out, my connection was slightly better, meaning it only dropped maybe 15 times a day. I actually allowed myself to hope that the connectors outside were the problem and I would now be able to use the service for a change. Then this month happened.

Not only did my connection start dropping like crazy again, but we also started having random outages in my area every few days. I tried to call every time to leave a record of the problems with my account, but since my phone doesn’t work without a connection, it was kind of difficult to do so. When I did get through, I was usually assured that my service would be restored soon, and several times I was promised a credit on my bill (which I never saw). Since these outages affected my entire county and not just me, I assumed that something was being done to fix the underlying problem.

Then came the Level 2 outages that lasted for days on end. My internet service was usable, but instead of the “lightning fast speeds” I pay so much for, my download speeds were often less than 2 Mbps. Yes, that’s two. Files that should have taken a few minutes to download were now estimated to complete in days. No one could explain to me what the hell a Level 2 outage was or when it would be fixed.

This is probably a good time to mention that I work from home and depend on my internet connection to make a living. I have missed deadlines and even lost clients because of my connection issues. Because when it comes down to it, no one can believe I have this many problems with my internet service.

Another Outage

This past Wednesday, my connection dropped again, this time during a Skype conversation with a brand new client. Another outage. Yay! I had no way to contact my client to let her know what happened. And thanks to the one bar of cell service that I get without my internet connection, I could only read her emails, which went from concerned to angry over the span of several hours with no response from me. Yeah, I ended up getting fired. Thanks for that.

For 27 hours, I could do nothing but frantically refresh my browser and attempt to call 1-800-COMCAST to see when my service would be back. I couldn’t work. I couldn’t email my clients or  make phone calls. My son (who is autistic and doesn’t deal well with changes in his routine) couldn’t play the internet game that he loves. No one would give me any information about the cause of the outage or when it might be fixed.

Oh, and let me tell you about the customer service gems I received when I managed to get through (please note that this involved standing on my kitchen counter by the window to achieve one bar of cell service):

“Our records show that you’ve only called 3 times in the last 14 days. Your service can’t be that bad.” And this was after I explained that I usually can’t make or receive phone calls when my connection is down.

“Would you like to add cable or phone service?” Oh, two more things that will never work? SIGN ME UP!

“Maybe you should change your business so it doesn’t rely on the internet.” Web design minus the web. What an interesting concept! I’ll just draw the websites on notebook paper instead. That’s the same thing, right?

When my connection finally came back yesterday, I was thrilled. That is, until I needed to download a large backup file for a client last night and saw Estimated time remaining: 8 days at the bottom of my browser window. An internet speed test showed me getting 1.47 Mbps down and just over 2 Mbps up.

Like a good citizen, I called 1-800-COMCAST yet again. (No, I do not want to order UFC 148, and I wish your automated system would stop asking.) After pinging my modem and asking me if my power cord was plugged in all the way, the rep informed me that another tech would have to come to my house. Two weeks from now. Because obviously I won’t need to do any work between now and then.

Comcast, You Suck

I feel I have been extremely patient with the incompetence you’ve shown me, Comcast. This letter only provides a snippet of the bullshit I’ve dealt with as one of your unfortunate customers. And believe me, the SECOND there is another option for broadband in this area, you will never see another dime from me. I already cut off my cable. So did my parents and many of my friends. But because of your monopoly in this county, we’re stuck with your internet service. For now.

There are so many things I don’t understand. Like why your phone support workers are such idiots. And why you pay people to troll Twitter for negative mentions and offer to “help” when you know damn well you aren’t going to do anything about my connection problems. And how you can advertise blazing fast internet speeds when your service never works.

I don’t ask for much. All I want is to receive the internet service that I pay for, so I can earn a living and feed myself and my child. I could understand an occasional outage or temporary loss of connection – those things happen with any provider. But you’re the only company I know who seems determined to suck the most, the hardest, and the longest, with no consideration whatsoever for your customers.

You SUCK, Comcast. Your employees suck and your customer service is piss poor. I would recommend smoke signals before I would recommend your shittastic internet service to my worst enemy. And I long for the day when I can tell you to kiss my ass for good.

Sincerely,

Andrea

About Andrea Whitmer

Andrea is a freelance web designer and single mom trying to maintain a sense of humor in an otherwise chaotic world. She blogs in hopes of helping others avoid the same mistakes she made in the past. Join in the discussion here on So Over This, or connect on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, or Google Plus. You can also subscribe to new posts via RSS so you never miss out!

Comments

  1. Canadianbudgetbinder says:

    The worst thing is a bad internet connection especially if you rely on the internet as a means to pay your bills and put food on the table. I hope you find a better service provider that makes you happy and keeps you on top of your game. I've had my fair share of interesting conversations with our providers call centre agents but in the end I just kept going higher up until I found someone who knew how to answer my concerns.

    Happy Friday Andrea! Mr.CBB

  2. callmewhatyouwantevencheap says:

    Andrea, you are so funny! “Is the power cord frayed or damaged in any way? Oh damn, you mean I’m not supposed to let my friends’ babies use it as a teething ring?"

    I hate bad service!

  3. Yay you did it. Comcast needs to see this… consumerism commentary too!

  4. It also says something when people are on twitter asking why they haven't seen you in hours ;-)

    My parents have issues with Comcast that include service interruptions. The phone system sucks; they have bad eyes so having the caller ID displayed on the tv screen was supposed to be a good thing for the–nope! That feature sucks. Whenever there is a connection issue or power outage, they lose the guide for 24 hours or more, which screws with their DVR settings. And trying to get an appointment is just as difficult as for you, except they live in a large city!

    I second the point–Comcast sucks.

  5. Maybe I am the only person on the planet who doesn't hate Comcast, but they have been more than fair with me. Whenever my service goes out (which is fairly rare) I call and get a credit until it comes back on. I have been able to lower my bill each year and retain all the channels I want.

    Maybe I live in some sort of magical Comcast land, but I don't think they are any worse than DirectTV, Dish Network or ATT (based on the stories I hear from my friends).

  6. Lorraine - Arkansas says:

    I have Comcast as well. My TV service never drops but my internet is a WHOLE DIFFERENT STORY! For a while it would go down sometime after 8am and come back on around 8pm. NOW it has been out for days. However, since I work outside the home, I am never there to call them. I am taking a day of vacation in July so I think I will TRY to schedule them to come out then. I HATE COMCAST. You are right, their customer service absolutely SUCKS!

  7. bogofdebt says:

    I hate when companies can't fix their own problems. I really hope they read this. I really dislike AT&T not for the internet service they have but for the "customer service" I've recieved. I still can't veiw my bill online even though they've fixed it so I should be able to a few thousand times….

  8. What you need is real competition, that may be the only way to cure the problem.

  9. I have to admit that I was excited to read this after I saw your tweet last night, but now I'm kinda sad that you had to deal with all that crap. Like Krant said, the only thing that will fix it is if they get a competitor, because then they HAVE to care unless they want to lose that service. Sorry you have to deal with them Andrea.

  10. We had to go from Brighthouse, a fabulous company in Bham to Comcast in Hburg. We've lost our On Demand TWICE in the last two weeks. The second time a tech came out to fix it we had a power outage and had to make another appointment. I'm really lucky I'm not a single mom or living alone since you have to be there to make sure they are there. Over all, I'm hoping that all of the issues clear up for you soon.

  11. Ugh I'm frustrated on your behalf! I'm currently dealing with a provider at work that is helping us lose customers and have refrained from telling them they remind me of Comcast. Not sure how long that will last.

  12. moneybeagle says:

    Sounds like nothing has changed. About 10 years ago I fired them. Service went out and it took them five days to fix it. It worked for a day then went out again, and they told me it would be another five days before anyone could come get them. I had the competing company install the next day and told Comcast to come get their stuff instead. Never looked back.

  13. our worst experience with comcast was AFTER we cancelled our sh*tty service. it's been 4 months and they still call *at least* 2 times per day (hey, it's down from the 7+ times they started with) asking how our service was, would we like to re-sign up, how were the techs….on and on….oh and they have no concept of time….3 am phone calls for reconnecting? oh yes please! *sarcasm*…maybe they're hoping we sleep-sign-up-for-things (kinda like sleep-walking). never again!

  14. Oh geez! I hope Comcast mans up and does the right thing by you. Now I know why I haven't seen any posts from you in a while.

    You should figure out how to record the phone conversations with Comcast (and tell them you're recording them at the beginning of the call, for customer satisfaction of course) and use those phone calls in court when you take their asses to court for breach of contract! Make sure to include loss of business revenue in your case!

    • I'm confused… I've still been posting every MWF as usual.

      I'd love to record the conversations but it really doesn't seem worth the effort. I just want another ISP to come to my area so I can get rid of them once and for all.

  15. edwardra3 says:

    Yep. Sounds like Comcast. Then again, telecommunications companies seems to make bad customer service a badge of honor. My old boss looses telephone service at his house every time it rains, because water gets into the wiring. By the time Verizon sends a technician to his house, the wiring is dried out and he is told that there is nothing wrong with his service!

    I recently posted about some drama I had with DirecTV. The multi-dwelling unit provider went out of business and took their equipment on Friday while I was at work. I came home and had no tv!

  16. This sounds a lot like what I went through with a different company in January. It was so frustrating. I hope you have another option that can be more reliable for you.

  17. seedebtrun says:

    i had to drop my cable company a few years ago because the internet connection was dropping regularly during the overnight hours when i HAD to be online for work changes… it is one thing to lose your connection in the day, it is another thing when it effects your work..

    since you pretty much work all the time, andrea, i can understand your frustration.

  18. myjampackedlife says:

    Damn! That was N awesome letter. Forward it to comcast cares and make a fuss all over the Internet. Unreal service. We shouldn't have to pay for that. Good luck

  19. adahat1 says:

    Wow Andrea tough times! One thing in your story that I can say you had better than I when it came to your experience with Comcast is that they gave you a 2 hour timeframe(even though they were late). We usually get a 4-8 hour timeframe.

  20. Did you know Comcast has the worst customer service rating of any company in America? I t made #1 of the top 10 despised companies with the most complaints. Can you get another server?

  21. Don't be too hard on them for asking the obvious questions. I'll bet 90% of the calls they receive are fixed by the questions "Is it plugged in?" and "Is it turned on?"

    I'm a rocket scientist (literally), and was having problems with my monitor. After about 10 minutes, the diplay would go bad and I had to reboot. I replaced the video card, which I was sure was bad, and then had the same problem. That's when I discovered that the cord to the back of the monitor was loose.

  22. insomniaclabrat says:

    Ugh. Sounds awful.

    We dumped Comcast when we moved here, after years of terrible service. AT&T hasn't been much better, though. Our service isn't quite as bad as yours sounds, but we regularly lose internet connection for a few minutes. Then, last month, we totally lost service. We tried a new modem/router, but nothing. So I called, and after telling the CSR that no, I didn't put a filter on the line recently (I'm sure a lot of people make the simple mistakes/don't have it plugged all the way in, but…why would I have randomly put filter on the line just now?), they sent someone out. He said he didn't find any problems outside, but then magically we had service again. I have NO idea what happened, but whatever.

    It's pathetic that we can't get decent internet service in one of the most developed countries in the world.

  23. I had bad service from Comcast, but nothing on this level. Holy crap! I am so sorry you lost a client over this! We switched to U-Verse as soon as it was available in our area a few years ago and never looked back. Here is hoping you get other options soon!

  24. Hopefully they realize the power of social media a blog posts and get their act together.

  25. Ouch, man I hope they read this and actually DO something!

  26. adamwilliams803 says:

    have you tried twitter.com/comcastcares for resolution of your problem?

    • Yep! No luck there whatsoever. They always promise to look into it, then nothing happens. <p style=”color: #A0A0A8;”>

  27. Ooooo that sucks. My husband used to do phone tech support for Comcast – he hated that job because even though he tried to provide good service, the onsite techs were unreliable. Good luck. I can't imagine not having any other options!

  28. bluecollarworkman says:

    Listen listen listen, my sister had problems with Comcast. SAme customer service problems. I forget what her issue was, but she said that calling a few times in a coupel weeks wasn't enough to get anythign done. Every time she called they told her something different. SHe tried to talk to managers and stuff, but I guess nothing worked. I told her about the Better Business Bureau. THis is what they're for! She contacted BBB and filed a report. Guess what? She said like the next day Comcast called her and got everything fixed instantly. If you look up comcast on BBB, you can even see that they aren't BBB certified. No sh*t, right? But anyway, file a complaint with the BBB and I swear you'll get your thing solved!

  29. I had this problem years ago with digital TV. I was still living at home and the company (Shaw) was the first one on the market with digital television at the time. We had so many problems it was ridiculous – the guide wasn't working, tv channels were down randomly, the on-demand movie service would cut out…! I was on the phone with them countless times and we received so many credits to our bill because of all the problems. It wasn't until another company with digital TV came into the area that they finally smartened up. Both their customer service and the tv service got much better, but only after 75% of their customers left for the new guy (including us!).

  30. Absolute worst corporation in America to deal with. I've been a customer for 8 years and I can't remember a single positive interaction with Comcast. Hate them.

  31. Hi,

    I am writing in the hope that someone could help me:
    My internet connection does not work for more than a month now. I had 6 appointment now where I heard a comcast guy telling me that they can't do anything and another team has to come, or any other excuse like your internet should work in 24-48hrs. of course it still does not work.
    I don't know what I can do it seems that comcast does not escalate the issue and is fine sending technicians that can't do anything, for weeks.
    if anyone can help me please reply,

    Ben

  32. I work at Comcast says:

    I work there. Get paid 12.50 an hour and micro managed to ask the dreaded questions that you hear each phone call.
    Trust me, it's nothing us reps can do anything about that when ya call in.
    They feel that they can lose 100,000 people and still be filthy rich. Sad but true.
    I'm in college, just working there til I graduate.

    • I feel your pain. Hopefully they'll fix the issue soon (I'm now a "corporate escalation" which seems to mean that different idiots will show up at my house this time) but I'm not holding my breath. But look on the bright side; it's better and pays more than most college jobs, and you'll know when you're being bullshitted by customer service reps in the future. :)

  33. I have the same exact issues with Time warner cable. I feel your pain. The second there is a decent alternative to TWC I'm going to drop their shit faster than a cheetah leaves a salad bar and laugh while the free market buttfucks them into oblivion.

  34. Do you have residential service? My service sucked when it was residential, but since I needed a more reliable service with greater speeds for work, I switched to their business class. They're the only ones with the speed I need in my area. The switch to business class has been a god send. At most a 10 minute hold, techs that can look up an outage, and escalations to supervisors that can send out someone within 24 hours. Plus, they'll repair the node in my area if it doesn't provide the service correctly. The service is also more reliable. Sucks to have to pay more, but its worth it for me.

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