Friday, October 8, 2010

Another Lost Weekend – Update

Following up on this post

Ah, Comcast… keep trying.

I have had intermittent signal issues with Comcast for a long time, especially on the signal that comes through the converter box. The picture gets pixelated or freezes, the audio drops out, or the screen just goes blank. At first the techs told me that the box needed to be rebooted. When that didn’t help, I was told that there’s a problem outside the house, then that there was a problem up the line and that it’s hitting all of the neighborhood. They promised three months ago that they were “right on it.”

Now the I’ve gone to TiVo, it’s still happening, except TiVo very helpfully tells me that there’s no signal on the channel, including ones that aren’t premium, like Comedy Central or MSNBC. Some come in fine, others are gone. So last night, feeling that emptiness of not having been put on hold by Comcast for a few days, I called it in. (As a result of my previous rant and my follow-up e-mail to Comcast’s “We Care”, I received a call earlier this week saying that some technicians would be out to check the cable on the outside of the house. That may have happened, but it didn’t solve the problem, obviously.) The nice customer service person scheduled an appointment for today (Friday) after 5 because I don’t get home from work until at least then. Ten minutes later I get a call back from their automated service call confirmation service telling that my appointment is all set up for between 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. Oy.

I called back, got put on hold again, and was finally told that the earliest appointment available at the time I wanted was Tuesday, October 12. Oy again. I said that would be fine, but I would like to speak to a supervisor to review the issue in the larger scope, including the screw-up last weekend with the simple delivery and installation of the cable card. (By the way, when I called last night about the signal problem, the agent suggested that maybe I needed a new cable card. I’m sure she was mystified by my maniacal laughter.) I was told the supervisor was “away from the desk” but I would receive a call last night. Guess what.

As I said in the first post, this has to be put in perspective; life doesn’t come to screeching halt because I can’t watch Olbermann or record The Big Bang Theory. But when you’re paying a decent amount of money for a utility from a company that claims they take customer service seriously — and even run ads about it — you begin to wonder if the lies and platitudes you get from the chattering pundits on cable shows aren’t somehow infecting the delivery system itself.