Monday, October 26, 2015

It's Still the Cable Company--Part 179

            After months of regular and largely uninterrupted cable television service my home Video On Demand access suddenly evaporated.  Research on the regularly appearing error code showed that the problem occurred due to a weak upstream signal to the headend.

            As dealing with Comcast customer service rivals dental work, I tried several self-help options available on the web site, include several reset commands from the headend to my set top box.  No luck.
            Step two involved multiple calls to Comcast to make the case for a premises visit.  Understandably Comcast does not want to authorize a “truck roll” in light of the cost.  So customer service representatives—all of them in the U.S. India and possibly China—forced me to make the case repeatedly.  It got old fast, particularly having to undertake the same steps that did not work previously.

            Step three involved the first premises visit, a most unsatisfying event.  The technician arrived and noticed that I had cord shaved, downgrading my service to basic cable.  According to him, I am not entitled to on demand service, notwithstanding clear evidence to the contrary on the Comcast web page.  The technician left without replacing the set top box, or doing anything constructive. 
            This frustrated my wife and me.  Was this yet another Comcast upsell strategy, or could the technician honest believe I was not entitled to the on demand service?  How am I to order movies and add to me monthly bill?

            Step four involved yet more calls to customer service, various tweets on the 2 Comcast sites and an email nominally sent to the customer care VP of the company.  There seems to be fake, or unhelpful customer service and a real version should you make enough of a stink.

            Several days passed before Comcast agreed to send another technician with instructions to fix the problem.  The solution: removal of a defective and long unnecessary signal splitter installed by the company.
            There is not much good news to report.  Comcast still has deplorable customer service designed to prevent real people from providing a real solution.  The company still farms out customer service to individuals with limited English competency.  Nobody followed up, but a company representative did make good on her promise of a $20 bill credit based on the much touted guarantee for on time service remedies.

            Nothing much has changed and apparently the company still doesn’t really care.

           

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