written Friday 6/20/2008 Updated
My name is James *********. Comcast’s services, both internet and digital cable TV, to me have been broken for over a month now. I have made five attempts to get a service technician to come to the house. Only once has have I seen anyone make it out to look at the situation. I will try to reconstruct the timeline below.
On or about 5/21, I used the online chat feature of the Comcast web site to schedule a service call. The print out I have lists a “chat id” of 0d9aa5d3-f4a0-417b-a86d-0c30c1e40c04. Yolanda, the person on the other end, told me that she had scheduled a service call for Saturday 5/24 between 11 AM and 2PM. This person never arrived at my house. So, I called the 800 number and went through the cable TV side of tech support. The person I spoke with told me that nothing had been scheduled. So, I scheduled another call for Thursday 5/29, between 5PM and 8PM. This was, I believe, work order number 542455.
That technician checked the entire house and couldn’t find the problem. He then went over to my neighbor’s yard to check things out at the “box”. He discovered that the signal coming out of that box seemed to be the problem. Something about the signal coming out of the port there being out of its intended range. He said that he would put in a work order for someone from maintenance to come out and fix it, and that they should be out in 24 to 48 hours.
A week later, 6/5, I was still without service. So, I called again. The person I spoke with informed me that someone had been out, on or around Tuesday 6/2. However, according to her, there was a note that the technician didn’t have the right tools, or some such, but that someone should be out in the next day or two to take care of things.
A week after that, Thursday 6/12, I called again because I still didn’t have service. The person I spoke with scheduled another service call for 6/15 between 11AM and 2PM. The hope being that it would send up a red flag of sorts to maintenance that there was still a problem. This was work order number 682151.
Again, no one showed up. I called at 2PM, and was told that I would get a call from dispatch within the hour. When I hadn’t heard from anyone at 3PM, I called again and was told that a supervisor would call in the next 30 minutes. When I hadn’t heard from anyone at 4PM, I called again and that’s when I was told that the technician had been sent to the wrong address. There are accounts for two addresses under the same phone number, and they had input the wrong one for the service call. So, we tried it yet again. She told me that there was a spot available for between 2PM and 5PM on Wednesday 6/19, and I replied that I would prefer an evening slot. She then said that she had changed it to Thursday 6/20 between 5PM and 8PM. This was work order number 699418.
Around 10 minute before 8M on Thursday 6/20, I called to see if anyone was going to come this time, and was informed that the change from Wednesday afternoon to Thursday evening had not happened. As such, nothing was actually scheduled for that evening. I asked to speak to a supervisor, and was put on hold. The man that I had initially spoken with checked back a couple of times, and then I pushed the wrong button on my cell phone and accidentally hung up. When I called back a woman answered and I explained that I had been on hold for a supervisor, and asked if she could get one for me. Instead, she tried some code thing on her end in case that would fix the TV signal issue. It didn’t. Before I could ask again to speak to a supervisor, she sent me over to the internet side of tech support. I gave the woman that answered a rundown of what I had been through up to that point. She started to give me a bit of grief about not calling earlier until I pointed out that I had been dealing with the TV tech support group, and asked her to pull up the record for this account. Once we got onto the same page, scheduled yet another service call and mentioned that she had made a point of putting the actual address in an area of the work order that would make sure it was on the copy the technician would be handed. This would be work order number 737636. She also gave me a local Houston number, as I had been placing all of my calls to 1-800-comcast.
I called the Houston this morning, Friday 6/21, wanting to talk to a supervisor. My intention being that I wanted to make sure that someone on a local level was aware of all the trouble I have been through. When the phone was answered, I asked for a supervisor and was put on hold. After a moment a woman picked up the call. In the process of this phone call I was informed that, despite the last person’s best efforts, the work was scheduled for the other address yet again. So, we went through the whole thing yet again. She put me on hold a couple of brief times to check things out and make sure she was entering everything correctly. She tells me that I now have service call scheduled for next Thursday 5/26 between 5PM and 8PM, and she has assured me that the proper address. This is work order number 742419 Also, I should be getting a phone call sometime this afternoon. However, I didn’t catch it until after I hung up that she mentioned that part of why she was so sure that everything was entered correctly is that she’d had a supervisor helping her out. I thought I was talking to a supervisor all along. That is, after all, what I asked for. I think that if I don’t get that call this afternoon, I will be trying yet again to get through to a supervisor.
I feel like I am getting the run around on this. It seems like I get told one thing when another is the reality almost every time I call. And that is ridiculous. I have spent more than 2 hours on the phone trying to take care of this, and another 8 to 10 hours sitting around my house waiting for people, most of which never showed up.
Thank you for your time,
James *********UPDATE - 6/23/08
Just before 5PM, Friday 6/21, I sent a message to Frank Eliason by way of his twitter acount. Dight Silverman of the Houston Chronicle had mentioned Mr. Eliason in his Techblog back in April. I wish I had been paying more attention to my Twitter inbox as he had tried twice to reach me and I missed it. Anyway, within 5 minutes I got a response from him asking for the phone number on the account and a contact number. Guess what, I got a call from someone at the Houston office at 8:18AM the very next morning. The woman wanted to double check some info, largely because the account is in my roommate's name. She also told me that a field supervisor would be calling shortly, and she would call in about a half hour to make sure that he had called. About ten minutes later, a field supervisor named Jay called, and told me that he and a technician would be out around 11AM. Another woman called a couple of minutes later and I let her know where things were at that point. The first woman that I had talked to called again around 8:47, and I filled her in. Then, around 10:55AM, the technician called to say that he'd be headed my way in about a half hour. Jay, the supervisor, arrived around 11:30, the technician about 20 minutes later. The tech went over and checked on the box, and they ended up replacing the line from it to the house. This seems to have done the trick. So, as of around 12:50PM on Saturday 6/21, things are working.
As a side note, I think it's a great idea on their part to have Mr. Eliason doing what he does. However, I also think that it's a shame that it is needed.