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Comcast: A Resolution

How long does it really take to get customer service and technicians from Comcast to do their work? This lady's story is pretty nuts, but there is finally a resolution.

I never thought this day would come, but I think, almost 13 months to the day since my internet problems started, that everything is finally resolved.

Part of me is afraid to say anything because I might jinx it. Another part of me doesn’t want to imply that Comcast is forgiven, because this situation should have been resolved a long time ago. But I can’t ignore the fact that I’ve had a working connection for a little over 48 hours now. A JANUARY MIRACLE!

How I Finally Got Someone to Listen

Last week I published yet another ranty post about the endless nature of my connection issues. Comcast actually has a team of people who troll Twitter for negative mentions and offer to “help” the angry people, but they stopped responding to me long ago when it became apparent that they couldn’t help me.

But then the Consumerist picked up my story and sent a flood of traffic here to the site. I started getting comments and emails and all kinds of crap from other disgruntled Comcast customers, people who wanted to try to help, a few trolls, and even a couple of Comcast employees acting as private citizens.

In the  midst of all that, @ComcastMelissa was brave enough to try talking to me again on Twitter, even though our previous conversations didn’t go too well. I emailed her the long story of what’s been going on, and a few hours later I got a call from someone who actually knew what he was talking about. Which was a little scary because it’s been so long since I talked to anyone from Comcast who had a clue.

What Was Wrong

On a purely technical level, there were two separate issues that prevented my internet connection from working properly.

The local infrastructure. As I’ve mentioned a million times, the cable system where I live is very outdated. When my problems originally started, that was the cause. Technicians came to my house, found issues outside my home, and shrugged them off. Why? Because a tiny town like mine isn’t exactly earning a lot of revenue for Comcast. The techs knew that the equipment here wasn’t a priority.

In late December, the node in my neighborhood was replaced with a new one. This should have fixed the problem (and I believe it did, on some levels) but my speeds were still unusable during certain parts of the day. Not just slow, but completely unusable. And no one could figure out why. Which brings me to the other problem….

The blasted boot file on my modem. This could only happen to me. So every modem is assigned a configuration boot file by its ISP that tells it how to behave. And OF COURSE mine was set for the super low plan with crappy transfer speeds instead of the higher plan that I’ve been paying for. And in the hundreds of calls, visits, complaints, etc. no one ever bothered to check. Once that file was replaced with the correct one in Comcast’s system, my connection immediately started working properly again.

No one can tell me HOW that file got assigned to my modem, but here’s why we never caught it: Once the node was replaced, Comcast’s “executive care team” scheduled two different techs to come to my house and swap out the modem. But because they had done it so many times before, none of them actually tried it. I guess they just lied and said they did, which doesn’t surprise me. If they had hooked up a different modem, the problem would have been obvious.

So Now What?

Friday night I was able to go to YouTube, click a random video, and watch it. That shouldn’t be an amazing thing, but I literally cried because it’s been so long since I could do it. I was also able to work all weekend (since I’m so far behind I may never catch up, thanks to Comcast) and didn’t have any trouble transferring files.

Now I get to hold my breath and wait for the problems to come back. I hope not, but at this point it’s a reflex.

As I said before, it’s not like my service works and suddenly I love Comcast. I still hate them with a passion and can’t wait for the day that a competitor comes along. Their system is broken, most of their employees don’t know what they’re talking about, and I don’t even trust that my connection will still be working by the time this post publishes on Monday morning.

But right now it’s fine. For the first time in THIRTEEN MONTHS, it’s fine. So if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to accomplish some things before it craps out again. Have a great Monday!


  1. Hurray for the power of social media! I hope you're finally fixed, Andrea – this has been one incredible story to follow!

  2. plantingourpennies says

    Enjoy your connectivity. You've definitely earned it.

  3. It's about damn time. Now someone needs to get them to compensate you for all of the money you spent on a service you weren't receiving, the time you weren't able to work to full capacity and punitive damages!

    Anyone know a good lawyer?!

  4. YAY INTERNET CONNECTION!! Although I didn't have a problem *nearly* that bad, the internet connection at my old apartment was crummy because of Bell (so crummy that *no one* on the street got reliable connection — including Starbucks). Thankfully that only lasted a few months otherwise I would have lost it

  5. Hahaha… I feel like that at my landlords' house… I havent been able to watch a Youtube video since last April. The fact my base-model 4yo Blackberry phone can play videos better than my computer is a bit annoying. Hope it stays working. Glad someone finally paid attention.

  6. YESSSSSSS!!! Enjoy every second of finally be connected. Good luck with getting back on top of your workload–you'll no doubt be there before you know it.

  7. About damn time Andrea! I think large companies forget about the power of social media and the internet alone. Glad to hear your problem "might" be fixed. Here is to fast internet connections!

  8. Yay, that's awesome! Enjoy this sweet victory. 🙂

  9. Anne_UGifter says

    FINALLY! So, next question. Given that clearly the issue was theirs, combined with several instances of employees Not Doing Their Job, what have they offered you as compensation?? Surely something? I hope. I have a 16 month ordeal going with a major retailer in Canada that *might* be resolved by Friday. Once it's done, I'm definitely posting a big, ranty, post about it all.

  10. They should at bare minimum be crediting you the difference in price between the plan you were paying for, and the plan the boot file put you into. I'm glad to hear you have some passable speeds at the moment.

  11. Glad you got it fixed. Our node went out today but luckily they fixed it in a couple hours! I was on hold 1 hour and a half though!

  12. Andrea, how many times have you estimated Comcast to go down a month for the past 13 months? And how long does the lack of internet access last each month?

    I'm having same similar issues w/ my server.


  13. I had a similiar problem with Qwest. Funny thing is, after techs came out several times to my house, proclaiming each time it was something different, when I called to complain I explained my problem to the office assistant person that answered the phone. It was that office assistant person that said "ask them for this xxxxtype of modem/wireless box (whatever that thing is called), the type of modem/box you have was built to go with systems before technology was so updated and quick — that's why it won't work right." Sure enough I did that, got the box she told me to, and haven't had a problem since. Bless that office assistant person!

  14. "Thank God" doesn't begin to express the relief!! As a fellow freelancer, I feel for you, and I don't even need the kind of load and speed you do, since my work as a writer is mostly by e-mail and text. I agree, they should be crediting you the difference in price plans between the time they replaced that node and replacing the modem, since the problem was with their equipment and their incompetent techs.

    Will be praying that connection stays good and your internet surfing catches some awesome curls! (or whatever an appropriate surfing term would be.) 😉


  15. CONGRATULATIONS! I personally would have gone mad if my internet didn't work for 13 months. Really, you are the most patient person ever. Yay!

  16. I think in all gentleness, you should ask for compensation. Hope it's still working now. All the best for rest of the days to come.

  17. I am so glad that you finally got this worked out. It's really terrible that they didn't push to fix this until your case became a big enough story.

    I hope you are able to get compensated for all of the time you weren't able to use the internet that you were paying for!

  18. Frugal Portland says

    I'm so happy you're back online — that's wonderful! I agree, though, if they gave you a super-sucky-slow-speed modem, they should be compensating you for the difference between that and the high speed version.

  19. I hope you get to see this comment with a connection that is still awesome. 🙂 Add me to the list of people that would highly recommend requesting a check for the lack of service that you had the whole time you paid and the boot thing was wrong. Money is nice and getting a refund for the service they obviously sucked at is just the happy ending you need, lol.

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