Sunday, December 30, 2007

Comcast chronic internet outage problem resolved

Some people have asked me if I'm still having service problems with Comcast High Speed Internet. The good news is that the outage was resolved to a frayed cable at a pedestal. Once repaired a few weeks ago, I've had no problems.

I did get the $19.95 removed off my bill for that bogus service visit charge. I'm waiting to see if any more of these pop up on my next bill.

My advice, based on experience, if you are having similar intermittent outages that can't be explained:
  • However tedious it may seem, report your outages to the Comcast 1-800 service center. Yeah, they'll tell you to reboot your computer, reset your modem, take in your cable modem for a new one, blah, blah. But doing this will build up a case of your outages. The good news, at least in my area, is that the hold time was nearly zero - I usually got connected to a human right away. They can status your cable modem in real-time so it really helps your case if your service is down or flaky at the particular time you're talking with them.
  • Each time you talk to the Service Center, make a note of the person's name you talked to, and the date/time of day you called. This will help if you need to talk with a supervisor.
  • This one's really important based on the new Comcast policy: If at any time you schedule a field tech visit with the Service Center folks, get the person on the phone to give you all terms of the visit, including how much it will cost you - your fault or theirs. It's crucial here that you have the name of the service rep written down in case you need to challenge a line item added to your bill next month. A written statement would be ideal but this is not realistic.
  • During periods of extreme outages, to the point where you believe your internet connection is not usable, ask for a day's service rebate. Basically this would be your monthly bill divided by the number of days in the current month. Doesn't come out to much, but it will add up if your problem lags on for months and perhaps will eventually get some sqeaky-wheel attention.
  • Your real friends in getting your service operational again is the field service organization within your local market. These are the folks that drive the Comcast vans around your neighborhood. One of Comcast's big problems, in my opinion, is that the local service folks have no visibility into your dealings with the 1-800 Service Center people, and vice-versa. In my case, the Service Center people had actual observations of my problem, watching my cable modem reset itself a few times while I was on the phone with them, but the local field team had no knowledge of this history or data. So, it really helps to get a phone number into your local service office that lets you at least leave voice messages about your status. I ultimately do believe that the local field team are interested in solving your problem.

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