Oh, Comcast how I wish I could quit you

By | June 24, 2014

No, really, I wish I could quit you.  Unfortunately, cable service is effectively a monopoly in most places.  You’re the only company that can provide half way decent Internet speeds, and the only company that allows me to use a cable card for my MythTV setup.

Why, oh, why do you make it so painfully frustrating whenever you call in for any sort of issue?  Your customer service people aren’t really trained to handle much more than telling people to reboot their cable boxes.  And don’t even think about asking a question that isn’t answered by the script that they’re reading from.

Our three year old LOVES Transformers: Rescue Bots.  And so do I.  Its a great kids show with excellent morals.  A family of first responders working together with four “rescue bot” transformers, a police car, fire engine, helicopter and tractor.  One family member for each rescue bot, and a younger brother who is the liaison for them on earth.  They have to hide their identity of course, and the island they live on is full of high tech gadgets and inventions.  There is almost no violence in the show, and the rescue bots all have to cooperate and work together to solve the various problems that happen.  The scripts and dialog are well written and there are lots of other sci-fi references to keep parents interested.

We first discovered the first season on Netflix, and then discovered that new episodes air on Saturdays on HUBHD.  I upgraded our cable package to get HUBHD, and setup MythTV to record them.  That is, when Comcast hasn’t dropped the channel.  So far, in the last two months, they’ve dropped it four times.  Its the only channel that I’ve noticed that is missing.  The first time was pretty easy to get resolved.  I got on the Comcast support chat, and a few hours later it was back.  It was similar the second time.  Gave them a call, after talking with the service rep for about 15 minutes, it came back a few hours later.

Then came the third time, two weeks ago.  That was a bit more difficult.  It took almost a half an hour on the phone, convincing them that it wasn’t our cable card or our equipment.  They sent a message to the local office, and a few hours later it was back.

That brings me to the fourth time, which happened this last Saturday.  Combined, my wife and I spent nearly an hour and a half on the phone with them.  I was transferred four times, each time the representative was worse than the previous one.  With the fourth person I spoke with, who said his name was “Matt” (but based on his accent, I’m dubious of that), the conversation went something like this:

Me:  Channel 813, HUBHD is not coming in.  I’ve checked channel 121 and the SD version is coming in fine, as are all of the other HD channels I’ve checked, including channel 811 and 814.
Matt:  (checking his script) Okay, I would be happy to help you with this issue.  I will first need you to do a few things for me.
Me:  Sure.
Matt:  First I will need you to reboot your cable box.
Me:  (almost out of patience by this point) Its not my equipment, and I don’t have a cable box.  I have a Silicon Dust HD Homerun with a cable card.  I’ve already been through this with the last three people I’ve talked to.  The only channel I’m having a problem with is channel 813, HUBHD.  The SD version of HUB is coming through fine, as are all the other HD channels, its just this one channel.
Matt:  Okay, thank you.  What I would like you to do now is check another channel.
Me:  You’re not listening to me.  Other channels are working fine, its just this one channel.
Matt:  Oh.  Okay.  What was the channel you said wasn’t working?  I need to look it up for your area.
Me:  HUBHD.  Channel 813, that’s H U B H D.
Matt: One moment please while I look this up.
Me: Fine.
Matt:  I’m not seeing that channel as one that is available for you.
Me: You have got to be kidding me.
Matt:  Can you tell me the channel number again?
Me: You’re not listening to a single word I say, are you?  I’m done.  Let me speak with a supervisor.
Matt: I’m sorry I was not able to help you.  I will attempt to find my supervisor.  One moment please.

He puts me on hold for several more minutes.

Matt:  I’m sorry, my supervisor is still on a call with another customer, can you give me your phone number and he will call you back within the next 30 minutes.
Me:  Sure.  Its [phone number].
Matt: Thank you for choosing Comcast, I will have my supervisor call you back as soon as possible.  Is there anything else I can assist you with today.
Me:  No.  Thank you.   I’ll be expecting his call (I was lying).

As you can probably guess, no supervisor called.  I expected that, though.   It seems that about half of my calls to Comcast go like this.  As you can imagine, I’m the family’s IT support, so my name appears on several family members accounts and I’m usually the one that calls in for problems or changes.

So, I’m going to drop the package and just start buying the new episodes from Amazon to play on our Roku 3, or from Google to cast to our Chromecast or play on our tablets.  They’re added to Amazon about a week after they air, and added to Google Play a few days after they air.  Its better quality than what Comcast sends out and there are no commercials.  Even if we bought them from Amazon and Google, its cheaper monthly than the upgrade to our service to add HUB HD.

So while I’ll be keeping Comcast, since I really have no viable alternatives, I’ll be reducing our package to the minimums.  I really don’t want to give them any more money than I have to for the less than stellar service we’ve been getting.

Every time I deal with them lately, I’m reminded of Lily Tomlin as the Operator.

2 thoughts on “Oh, Comcast how I wish I could quit you

  1. comcastcares3

    Hello Marc!

    I just wanted to leave a note to apologize for the frustrating experience. I work for Comcast and I’d like to make sure that this incident is looked into. I will also reach out to my local colleagues to look into the channel problem. So that we can assist further, will you please send me the phone number linked to your account, best contact number and a link to this page (as point of reference)?

    Thanks in advance,


    1. Marc Post author

      I sent the info to you via email. I have to admit, though, its a bit alarming to me that the last two posts I’ve made that reference Comcast have been responded to by a Comcast representative in less than two hours each.

      Calling into the customer service line doesn’t even get that fast of a response most of the time.

      I will also say that I’m not sure there will be anything that you can say to change my mind about Comcast’s customer service problems. My online experiences with Comcast CSRs has been pretty good, which is I’m sure because Comcast wants to create a positive public perception.

      Between my own service issues, and Comcast’s stance on issues such as Net Neutrality, throttling services such as Netflix, etc, etc, etc, it is impossible for me to view Comcast in a positive light.

      As I said at the beginning of my post, though, I don’t have too many options available.


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