Smash and Glue Comcast

April 15th, 2009 by Harrumpher Leave a reply »

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Disdain? Gratitude? What do I heap upon Comcast for inexplicably breaking and then expertly fixing my Internet connection?

Many have been the fine rants excoriating the clumsy giant. Probably a great source would be UniveralHub.

Also, as many Bostonians, I am cautious about getting its horrid eye looking at me —  Comcast is our Polyphemus, captor and menace. I have no choice in that Boston has rented a monopoly over my neighborhood among cable providers and Verizon is too stupid and arrogant to run the wires enabling their FIOS. It’s Comcast or the coffee shop (which uses Comcast).

We felt we had gotten a free ride, with cotton candy on a cone, when they showed up on time. I was very familiar with keens of Comcast appearing hours or days or weeks late or not at all.

This seemed like a third-grade-level task. We had two separate Internet cables, because until recently, my wife’s company required a discrete connection for her VPN. When that changed, we could share and wanted to drop the second line and its monthly fees.

We made the call. They said a service person would arrive the next day. We disconnected the cable modem and its short cables, and had them by the front door.

So, the ‘caster came by to pick up the modem and its inside cable, check its provenance, and skip blithely back to panel truck. All of that happened…as expected and again, on time.

Well, Comcast took back the treat and kicked us off the ride. They had their infamous cosmic joke on us, waiting until after we thought we had escaped their tricks.

Shortly after our jolly ‘caster drove off to the Borg, the original, remaining connection blew. I suddenly got a browser-based demand to activate my account. You can imagine how much that delighted me, particularly as I’ve had a connection on that line since Comcast drove AT&T into the sea in capturing Boston, maybe five years ago. Comcast broke me when I wasn’t looking.

Fortunately, we did not have a phone contingent on a Comcast connection. I called and to my surprise had a technician on the phone within five minutes.

This is where the theoretical gratitude comes in. He didn’t take more than a couple of minutes to see that despite having the modem types and serial numbers, as well as the removed modem recorded, Comcast turned off the data to the wrong modem. They made what should have been an extremely simple operation into failure.

The tech had me disconnect my router while he tickled the cable modem remotely. In effect, he said that the account had been cut off and he reauthorized and reactivated it from the Borg ship.

So, this totally unnecessary disaster could have lasted for a day or week or longer. Instead, it was less than an hour (but some considerable anxiety and annoyance) for me.

So, there you have it sports fans. Is Comcast the villain or the hero or both? Do you hate the chef who burns the last daily special that you’d ordered and really wanted, but then produces an off-menu gem to replace it? I could work that metaphor for some time, but shall let it go.

I’m pissed and pleased. Mostly, this has reinforced my original feeling about Comcast. Avoid them.

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