Monday, March 26, 2012

Comcast / Xfinity: The Good, the Bad and the Strange

A short time ago I ran into some issues with Comcast / Xfinity. I wrote a blog about the problems (http://ramblingjan.blogspot.com/2012/02/so-long-comcast-sending-xfinity-into.html) and was pleasantly surprised to get a comment from Comcast's National Customer Operations saying they'd like to try and resolve the problems.

I responded --- I'm always willing to give a company that goes that extra mile a second chance (or in this case, a third or fourth chance!).

I received a call from the local office, however, I was out of town. That started a chain of tag phone calls (two for me to every one from them). Finally I got an email from them saying that they hadn't heard from me and if we didn't connect within a certain time frame they would consider the matter resolved. Didn't particularly like that... I sent an email back saying I'd been leaving messages AND once again tried the numbers in the email.

Finally we connected. I won't bore you with the back and forth, but they ultimately came out and switched me from their modem with Wi-Fi to a combination of their modem without Wi_fi and MY Netgear router. Now I can pick up Wi-Fi anywhere in the house, something that did NOT work with their Wi-Fi modem.

The guy who came out to make the switch was great. While here, per the discussion with customer service, he switched out our HD TV modem (if that's what it's called?) for a non-HD modem. However (always a however somewhere, huh?), the modem thingy he had on hand was a silver boxy ugly thing that clashed with the TV, the room and looked like something from the early days of computers.

He was super. He called his office supervisor, explained the issue, and was told it was fine to just leave the HD modem and they would ditch the $10 cost per month. Just as FYI background - we got a package, price was approximately $10 higher than we were told, Comcast customer service said tough and suggested we ditch the HD since we didn't use it, didn't have the option on our TVs.

We were very happy with keeping the old modem minus HD. The switch of computer/phone modem fixed the problem with me IPS address being added to spam blockers, too.

Now for the second "however". I called to get one of the final issues resolved (credit and cancellation of the super-assistance I had to "buy" to fix the problem caused by Comcast) and, after multiple calls, getting discounted a number of times, being shuttled to the wrong area (roughly half a day down the drain) I got the charge reversed HOWEVER I learned that at some point someone at Comcast / Xfinity would do an audit, learn that we had the HD modem and they'd come after us for the $10 a month....

I contacted the lady I'd been working with at Comcast, the local super service lady. She said that was true. Grrrrrr... taking the TV modem switched out would entail a half-hour in one direction drive. She offered to send us the modem AND a prepaid shipping box to return the other. Great.

Third HOWEVER... the modem they shipped to us was the same one we refused. Now we're at a stand still.  I have some posts out on forums trying to find out how we can go about getting a different modem / receiver. The Comcast lady tells me that it's the silver boxy thing or nothing. I have found the sleek black boxes out on eBay but have been told that's an iffy proposition. They could be stolen, Comcast could come after us for using them, etc.

It's a silly thing but dang it, after all the time and effort we've put into this I know that every time I look at that silver box on top of the TV that I'm going to get irritated. Not sure what I want to do at this point. I'm looking at options. I zapped an email to the Comcast lady asking if we could just BUY the black DCT700 (which is what we had before). I'm waiting.