Sunday, January 28, 2007

Comcast's Inferior Service

For the last three years or so I've used Adelphia Cable. As you no doubt know, Adelphia hit some hard times, what with the company's founder's getting arrested for building homes and golf courses with corporate funds. Eventually the company ended up in bankruptcy and was divide up among other cable providers. Aside from not being asked to play golf with John Rigas, I really had no particular complaints about Adelphia's service.

The Adelphia franchises in the DC area--including mine--ended up with Comcast, and boy, does Comcast suck. They're almost as incompetent as the Bush administration. On the other hand, tens of thousands of people have not died because of Comcast's incompetence, so I suppose I should give them some credit.

My first inkling of what was ahead came in late December when I received a postcard saying: "Comcast is pleased to announce the following changes to its High Definition TV level of service on Tuesday, January 16, 2007." The card then went on to tell me that they were dropping--among others--two of my favorite channels: HD Net and HD Net Movies and replacing them with Discovery HD and TNT HD.

Now I have no problem with them adding channels to their lineup. But is it necessary to drop channels and restrict your customers' choices? If nothing else, make those two HD channels part of some premium hi-def package that costs extra. But no, Comcast isn't willing to even do that.

So if I wasn't already pissed enough at losing my high definition versions of Enterprise, Boomtown, and Dead Like Me, Comcast decided to f*ck up my Internet access. When I came home Friday evening, the connection was down. And judging by my Weatherbug feed, which had last updated at 1:58 PM, it had been down a while.

I understand things happen, so I waited a while. Finally around nine I called Comcast. After fighting my way through their stupid voicemail lineup, I ended up listening to bad smooth jazz for 20 minutes before a live human picked up. He checked and finally said, yeah, there's a borderline outage in my area.

Borderline?? But I've been down since almost two o'clock.

Then the guy gives me some line of crap about a "node" that's at 81%, which is borderline bad. If it had been at 80% then it would definitely be bad.

Apparently the fact that some customers are already without service doesn't qualify this node thing as being bad.

My connection was still down yesterday morning so I went off to work thinking that a big company like Comcast would surely already be working on the problem. But when I got home around 6, there was no change. I called Comcast, fought with the voicemail, endured the smooth jazz, and again got a live human. He confirmed that yes, there was an outage throughout most of Virginia. Then he said that the problem was first reported at 3:15 that afternoon.


I told him about my phone call the previous evening and he explained that it wasn't actually an outage then. Something about those damn percentages again. So then I just repeatedly smashed my phone against the wall. That made me feel better. The connection finally came back up sometime overnight. Two years ago Comcast was the target of of numerous complaints in Maryland because of their outages. I hope this weekend's problems aren't an indication of what we're in for here in Virginia.

It's a pretty sad state of affairs when a corrupt, bankrupt company provides a better level of service than a financially viable one. Comcast should be embarassed.

0 thoughtful ramblings: