Could Comcast be any worse?

Monday, March 12, 2007

Let me count the ways in which Comcast sucks. First, it took them over a month to recognize that my house had been converted to condos. The guy upstairs spent that whole time fighting with them. Even after they finally acknowledged multiple units and installed his cable, their customer service was unable to schedule an install at my house for a few days because it wasn’t in the computer.

Finally, they came out and installed the cable. They did this while my wife was home, not me, so I was unable to check what the installer did. First, he used a combination modem/wireless router. This probably saves Comcast money, but is really annoying for those of us who have a Linksys wireless router with integrated Vonage phone jacks, and don’t want to use Comcast’s crappy router. Never mind that Comcast assumes that I’m incapable of changing settings on the router, and doesn’t leave me login details. I found the IP in my history, and he had saved the password, but that hardly seems sufficient. Then he set the name of the network to my last name, which is exactly what I want to be broadcast to anyone in range.

Luckily, it wasn’t hard to fix the settings, although if IE ever forgets the password, I’m going to have to figure out how to reset it. I turned off the wireless of the Linksys router, and the phone works, so that’s only a minor annoyance.

Then, after about 24 hours, my computer stopped seeing the Comcast router’s wireless signal. I tried cycling the power, and still nothing. I plugged in with an ethernet cable, which worked, but I was unable to get to the router login to check and make sure it still thought it was broadcasting the signal. So, currently I have what is effectively a wired modem/router, and I’m using the wireless from my Linksys. This would be fine if Comcast had just set me up with a modem and let me provide my own wireless. But since they provided a wireless router (Which, actually, provides a slightly faster connection than the Linksys. Although that may be only because the Linksys has to go through the Comcast router. Anyway.), I would like to be able to use it.

The cable, however, was even worse. I paid for HD, and wanted to switch over once my wife started watching ABC in SD. I found the second ABC channel, which seems to be something in between SD and HD. I’m not sure what it is, but it kind of sucks. It sucked even more because the Comcast installer was running coax to the tv. Can you even send an HD signal over coax? It comes in from outside over coax, but I didn’t think it was an option from the cable box to the tv.

I didn’t think it was possible to nostalgic about my mediocre experience with Cox, but Comcast has not done a single thing right since I started dealing with them. I’m tempted to try to bribe Verizon to bring Fios to our neighborhood.

In any event, I hope to have this resolved this week. Currently everything is working, just not very well. I’m sure you can guess how excited I am at the prospect of sitting on hold with Comcast tech support (Their automated phone service refused to accept my home phone number, and wouldn’t give me a person, so I had to wait ten minutes on hold with customer service to be transferred to wait on hold for tech support).

Posted in: Harvard Street