Comcast: Gets it Right

September 7th, 2006 | Tags:

After all of the problems that we have had getting Comcast service setup in the first place (as alluded to in my previous post, we weren’t surprised when we returned home after a long holiday weekend to find out that our cable had been out since 6:05 Friday evening. So I called the local number and went through the automated system which told me there was an outage in my area. I then held for an operator to find out when service would be restored (since it had been out over three days).

On talking to this operator I found out that the automated system is broken–there wasn’t actually an outage showing in my area. This did not bode well. She saud that she would send an email to the team that did service calls and they would see what they could work in. After a few more instructions, she wished me good night. And I thought, “Yeah, Right”, I’ve been here before. But this time it was different.

  • A representative called the correct phone number the next morning to let my wife know that they would be coming out sometime that day. (Both of the numbers are on the account, but explicit instructions every other time have left me with a voice mail at the end of the day, and her with nary a call.)
  • They called her before they came out. And she said to find her in the backyard.
  • They actually came out that day. And found her in the backyard.
  • And, they fixed the problem. All before I came home from work.
  • And, the biggest shock of all: it wasn’t their fault.

It seems that our new neighbors decided that they wanted cable, but didn’t want to pay for it. So they went out to the pole, spliced into our cable and ran lines into their windows. Three of them. (Our cable had been fuzzy the previous week, apparently from a low signal.) The reason that our cable we out was that they had done a piss poor job trying to reconnect an F-type jack on the cable and the line running to our house had just fallen apart. A smarter/better criminal likely would not have been caught.

So he cut the splitter out of the line. (This brought out the “house sitter” next door who claimed that the house didn’t even have cable, but that they might be interested and wanted to know who they should call to get service installed.) And then repaired the line (even putting a sheathing around the bottom to make further tampering more difficult). So went then end of his visit. But he may be back. As I was standing outside tonight, I could see the neighbors outside looking at the pole and commenting “do you think we can work around this”?

This whole experience has taught me a couple of things (which may be of some use to somebody, somewhere, for some reason):

  • Comcast will not pursue charges the first time that you are caught stealing cable. But they will put a note on the address that it has happened, which may make it more difficult to get service in the future.
  • Comcast uses bright orange coax for all of the work that they do. So if you look out at your pole and see some black wires snaking out of it, something may be amiss. Of course, your mileage may vary.

Someday I may actually recount the reason I have made in excess of 40 calls to customer service, but again, that is for another day.

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