I always thought monopolies were against the law, but everybody who has cable-phone-internet at home knows that’s not true. Well, technically we all have more than one option, but having only ONE option for cable internet is not my idea of having “options.”
Kate and I live in an area where our only options for internet are Comcast or Verizon DSL (if it was FiOS, I would probably be happier). I have never used DSL and I’m not sure if it’s better or worse than cable, but I only need internet and DSL requires you to get a phone line in order to work. Therefore I only have ONE monopolistic option… Comcast.
The Comcast deal for new costumers is not bad – $39.99 for 12 months – which is the plan that we had. The internet was choppy every now and then, but that’s what we have to deal with.
The 12-month period expired this week and our bill went up to around $67. That’s a big increase in price for a crappy service. We are not willing to pay that much for internet so our plan was to try to get the same $39.99 deal for another 12 months.
Let The Phone Calls Begin
Phone Call #1: Kate calls to try to get the same deal as before. The costumer service representative tells her that the offer is not available in our area. After trying to get her to sign up for their $80 plan, they said that the best they can do is $44.95, which will be the same internet speed we had before. No thank you. Kate went ahead and cancelled the service.
It was then my turn to call as a new costumer and try to get the $39.95 deal. I first went online to make sure the deal was available, which it was, but when I entered my address it said it wasn’t available in my area.
Phone Call #2: I call Comcast as a new costumer and the representative tells me that the $39.95 deal is not available in my area! I was very disappointed, but felt like I had no choice but to get the $44.95 option since Kate had already cancelled. When the Comcast representative tried to sign me up, he said I couldn’t because there was service at that address already. I figured I’d wait a few hours for Kate’s cancellation to go through.
Phone Call #3: I call back a few hours later and the Comcast representative tells me my best option is the $80 plan. I said no thank you, all I need is internet and I see that you have a $39.95 plan. The guy said, “Oh you just want basic internet? Okay.” Wait, what? Did I just get the $39.95 plan that “wasn’t available in my area?” Yes I did!
After I hung up, I told Kate we got our old deal and that the guy said we should have internet by the morning. She asked if it was for the same internet speed. Oh boy, in my excitement about getting the deal I forgot to ask for details.
Phone Call #4: A new representative answered so I asked about what plan I had signed up for, she confirmed that it was for the same speed and asked if I wanted to be transferred to Tech Support so they can set up my internet right away. What? The first guy said I had to wait until the morning! Yes, please transfer me to Tech Support so I can get internet right away.
Tech Support tried activating my modem, but said he couldn’t because we owned the modem and it was under a different owner. He said we both needed to go to the store so that the modem could be transferred to me. It is after hours so now we would have to wait until the next day.
I go on my phone to try to set up my online account, since I have nothing better to do, but in order to do so I needed my account number. Crap I don’t have that either.
Phone Call #5: After getting my account number the Comcast rep asks if I want to activate my modem. I might as well try and see if they can do it over the phone. I gave her the MacID and the modem serial number and she put me on hold.
After a few minutes on hold, the call got disconnected. I waited a few minutes hoping she would call me back, but she didn’t.
Phone Call #6: I told the rep that they were setting up my modem but the call disconnected. I got transferred to Tech Support and they told me that my internet should be working. What?! I checked and it wasn’t. He asked if I was connected directly to the modem or through a router. I was using a router so I then connected directly to the modem and I HAD INTERNET!!!
I then restarted my router and everything was working fine.
It took six phone calls to get internet at the old rate, but we got it done. If I didn’t call six times I would have to pay more, had to wait until the next day to get internet, and/or had to go to the store to get the modem transferred to my name.
No wonder Comcast is rated as one of the worst companies for customer service.
I guess the moral of this story is: Don’t give up. Actually no, the moral of the story is: Comcast sucks.
Have you had a similar experience with your TV/internet provider?