Sunday, August 7, 2011

Storm - 1 Comcast / Xfinity - 0

We had a bad storm yesterday and it knocked out our electricity. Just ours, no one else in the neighborhood got hit.

The first thing I did was pick up the Xfinity / Comcast phone to call the electric company. No dial tone. The phone said "Searching...." and it kept at it until the phone beeped... and then beeped again a bit later. I finally took the battery out of the phone. The land-line phone we have, the one without any computerized or electrical gadgets, the one that has always worked in the past (pre-Comcast) was dead as the proverbial doornail.

Luckily in our modern world we all had cell phones and I was able to report both the electrical outage and the phone outage. Comcast said the battery failed on the modem and they'd be out next week to fix it. Uh huh.

We switched to Comcast phone last week. We already have cable and Internet. When I compared their latest deal (it included Fox Business News Channel for as long as we have the phone and some movie channel, plus a whole bunch of others) to our current deal with AT&T we saved some money. Not a ton, but in the end, after the two year 'deal' period, we'd still save a few pennies so I decided to give it a try.

My biggest concerns had been losing phone service when we lost cable / Internet and/.or electricity. I asked the guy on the phone AND the service tech when he came out to install. All kinds of assurances flowed... backup battery gave 4 hours of talk time or 8 hours of phone in the event electricity was out... the phone was separate from cable / Internet and would work in the event either or both of those went out.

Four days later, electricity is out and that brand spanking new modem has what they say is a defective battery. They actually had me open the modem to ensure that they put a battery in the thing. Nice people, can't complain on that front. Every experience has been good with the individuals I've encountered at Comcast / Xfinity.

Problems continue to be length of time it takes to get them out here. It's usually three or four days to get into the rotation. Then they cancel and reschedule (have had that happen twice).

Now I'm going to get a new modem or new battery or maybe both. My problem is going to be that I'll have to wait until the electricity goes out to know whether it'll actually work or not. I'm sure they'll have a little tester, but it won't tell me whether the battery holds a charge. It won't tell me if the modem connects correctly with the battery.

Oh, and lest someone suggest that maybe it got hit with lightening, it didn't. The fuse blew at the main pole coming into our house. I watched them replace it and voila, all the lights came back on... and the phone.

Not happy thus far. I do like having Fox Biz though.