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Monday, June 13, 2011

More Comcastic Customer Service

Just before Memorial Day I got a letter from Comcast saying the modem I've had for some years now "may not be able to handle the increased speed" they're supposedly providing, so they wanted to give me a new modem at no additional cost. I called to have it sent to me, and got it on Thursday. I hooked it up and at first I was unable to connect to the web. Then I finally was directed to a page on their website to activate my service (which really meant to activate the modem). I went through the process and seemed to be going okay, but then it stalled out and I couldn't do anything. I hit the Back button on Firefox and it took me to the very beginning instead of to the previous screen. I tried to start the process again and got an error message.

This would have been a problem as my phone service is VoIP and if I don't have the Internet, I don't have phone service. (It's a very good service, by the way. If you want to try it, send me an email so I can refer you and we both would get a $10 credit.) Since my cell phone signal is just about nonexistent where my computer is located, it would have been a problem calling them from upstairs, running back and forth to follow their instructions (the predictable "unplug it and then plug it in again/reboot the computer" merry-go-round). On a whim I picked up my phone and was surprised to find I had service. I called Comcast and was on hold when I discovered that, while I was still being directed back to that Comcast activation page every time I opened Firefox or tried to go to my home page, I could actually visit other websites. I tried various bookmarked sites with no problem. It was only my home page I couldn't access. So, since I was hungry and tired of waiting on the phone, I hung up and sent them a message through their website:

I installed the new modem I received. I tried activating it and something is screwed up. Every time I open my browser, instead of going to my home page it goes back to the Comcast page to activate my service. I can go to any other websites with no problem, I can get my email, but if I try to go my home page (Yahoo.com), either by clicking the Home icon or typing the URL, it always takes me back to the same Comcast page asking for my account number to start the activation process.

Later that day, when I went online again, I got to Yahoo just fine. Whatever the problem was had been corrected. The next day, however,
I got a reply via email:

"Dear Joseph,

Thank you for contacting Comcast High Speed Internet. My name is Audrey and I appreciate you taking the time to contact us regarding your concern. I am here to make your day better by providing world class customer service.

I understand that you are having issues with your new modem since you have been unable to access the internet or connect to any website. I can certainly understand the importance of having this issue resolved as it gives you the convenience of connecting to the internet efficiently using your new modem. I will be more than willing to provide you with the information of the proper department to have this issue resolved. Rest assured that your concern will be taken care of.

Offering our customers the most effective possible support is a priority at Comcast. We appreciate that you have given us this opportunity to communicate with you and we want to address your concerns as quickly as possible. Although most issues can be addressed from within the email forum, in some cases Live Interaction is necessary. In order to assist you, we ask that you use the link below to open a Chat session with a representative or call us using the information provided...

Note the part I highlighted in bold instead of the rest of the ridiculous message. Can this Audrey person read for comprehension? Did she even read my message in full? For that matter, is there really an Audrey at all? Or is this just an automated message?

By the way, I haven't really noticed a difference in speed yet. Perhaps I should illegally download a movie and see how fast I get it? Then again, since I've never done that before I wouldn't be able to compare speeds anyway.

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