Friday, May 10, 2013

Why I've Been Offline This Week

I haven’t been able to access the internet and blog for several days now – I hope you missed me. Here’s why:

I’ve been keeping a log of my internet service, or the lack thereof, and sending a copy when I pay my monthly Comcast internet/phone bill. After several weeks of futile mis-negotiations, a technician came to the house. Suggested I allow him to install a Comcast router to replace my router. He had a router “in the truck”.

Couple of weeks later I get a letter from Comcast saying their records show that I have recently downgraded my service (false) and that I had equipment attached to my account that was no longer in use. Further, I should arrange to return the equipment within 14 days to avoid penalties.

May 3 I made a trip to the Comcast office. What’s this all about? After scrutinizing her computer screen, which I could not see, the clerk said that what the letter meant was that I needed to exchange my router and modem for new one-piece hardware. “Do you think you can do that, or shall I send out a technician?” she said, implying that any dummy could change the equipment. I said I could probably do it, but I wanted to wait until Monday.

On Monday this week, I carefully made a drawing of all the cords and where they were connected. With finger pressure I dis-connected all the cords except the cable fastened to a wall outlet. T he modem connection was about two inches long and had two hexagonal nuts – which one to turn?

I set out for the Comcast office, told the clerk I was not able to unfasten the cable cord. “You have a wrench, don’t you?” I contemplated for a few seconds the application of a wrench to the task, which gave her time to ask, “In your tool box?” She hadn’t mentioned a tool box when she suggested I could change the equipment.

She couldn’t tell me which nut to disconnect on the modem side, but I decided I could probably use pliers to unfasten the wall side. This time I actually have to get down on the floor, This time I actually have to get down on the floor, easy enough – with one replacement knee, it’s the getting up again that presents a challenge.

Second trip to Comcast office, this time with router, modem, and various dangling cords. The clerk disappeared into the supply area and returned with an eMTA (I learned when I had to sign for it). I have an ominous feeling when I see a single, poorly copied sheet of instructions. At home I manage to find the right connections for all the cords – getting up from the floor again is no easier than the first time. Turn on the computer. I cannot make the screen match what I see on the instruction sheet.

Third trip to Comcast. I want to talk to the same clerk. Foolishly, I think that she reward my honest efforts with an early (priority?) schedule for a technician’s visit. I wait endlessly while a 250-pound woman with four children under seven argues about getting reconnected again. I finally yield to the clerk’s suggestion that I allow the second clerk to handle the matter.

The second clerk is cold-eyed and unsympathetic. A plea for priority only heightens her disdain. No technician is available until Wednesday, when I have commitments. Also on Thursday. Friday 8 to 10 a.m. will be the earliest. She promises that the technician will call before arriving. I ask how the technician can call me since I have also lost my telephone service. “What is your other number?” she asks. I have no other number.

The technician arrived shortly after 9 a.m. He carried an eMTA in his hand. The first thing he said when he looked at the eMTA I had tried to install was, “They gave you the wrong one.”


  1. This sounds like one of those experiences that makes me wish for the good old days when all we had to do was wrap tin foil around the rabbit ears on the television to get better reception on one of the three channels we could get. Glad you are back!

  2. I apologize for the poor experience. If you need more help, please feel free to contact me. I work for Comcast.

    Comcast Corp.
    National Customer Operations