Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Comcast - Xfinity Nightmare

If you're thinking of dealing with Xfinity/Comcast, maybe you should look elsewhere if you have any other options. They have printed at the bottom of an email they sent me “Expect Superior Service.”
If you should fall victim to such expectation you will be bitterly disappointed.

For the past several years I had been using Clear Internet, but the company was bought out and shut down. Xfinity/Comcast is available in my area, so I called them about service. They asked if I currently had cable and I told them I did not.

They said I could get 3mps (or something like that) service for $19.99 per month and a $59.95 installation fee. I called back a week or so later and went through the rigamarole of qualifying. I was given the figure of $87.00 for my first bill.

I was sent an email on December 14, 2015 telling me that the installer would come by between 8:00 and 10:00 A.M. the next day. As it so happened, I got a call about 9:30 saying that the installer couldn't arrive until 5:00 – 7:00 P.M. so I was going to get a $20.00 credit.

Around 6:00 or so the guy showed up and noted that I didn't have a cable. I told him that the company had asked me if I had cable and I told him I didn't. He estimated the approximate distance that they would have to run the cable at ¼ mile and called in to advise that they needed to send the construction crew to run the cable because of the distance. When he got off the phone I asked him how long it would be before the construction crew ran the cable and he said “About a week.”

I didn't see or hear anything else from them so I called on January 5, 2016 and was told that somehow the job had been put on hold, but that they were going to change the deal to 5mps for $9.95 per month for the first year. January 10, 2016 I got another email scheduling the installation for the following day from 5:00 – 7:00 P.M. I got a call that the guy could come early, which was fine, but when he arrived he said something about my not having a cable and I told him that the first guy had already advised them of that. He tried to run the cable, but thought that is was too far, so he called a supervisor who came out and measured the distance which was something like 350 feet, not the ¼ mile that the first guy had estimated and advised the company about. They stayed about 2 hours or so and took pictures or video and did a lot of talking on the phone. The supervisor said they needed to send the construction crew (which I already knew by this time) and that they would advise. Later that day a bucket truck from Comcast showed up, which I assumed had something to do with the construction crew, but when I walked toward him he drove off without saying anything.

I went in and called Xfinty/Comcast and was told that they would send somebody the next day. January 12, 2016. Next day around 2:00 P.M. a guy showed up and couldn't do it because I needed a “tap” which of course the company already knew, but kept wasting my time and the time of its subcontractors. I went back in and called to advise that they needed somebody that knows something about scheduling and coordination so that there is some minimum level of efficiency and competence.
January 14, 2016 a guy came around 10:55 A.M. and measured the distance again and told me it would be $468.00 to run the line.

Around Noon I called and got somebody named Lequan or something like that who could tell me nothing except that he would have the construction people call me. I told him I didn't need them, I wanted somebody who had some decision making power, but all he could do is to say repeatedly that he would have them “give me a call.” My biggest question was why the price went from $50.00 to $468.00 after they already knew the distance (actually the distance was much less than the ¼ the first guy had told them) they would have to run the cable. Why did they keep sending out people who didn't have the capability to do the job? After the first installer came, the company knew what the situation was.

I finally decided to call Clark Howard's help line ( 404-892-8227, M-F, 10am-7pm ET.) and they gave me the number (215 665-1700) of the Comcast Corporate Office. They probably should see if they can get the first three numbers clanged to 666 instead of 665, but that's for them to decide.

I called the office of the president and got somebody named Mariah who said she would assign it to somebody who would call me the next before 12:00 Noon. About 11:30 the next day somebody named Sam called and said she would investigate it and get back the next week, but that she had 60 cases so it might take several days, but to send her the email quoting the price, which I did. She gave me her direct number (615 874-7471) and told me she worked between 11:00 – 8:00 P.M.
Below is my fruitless correspondence with Sam G. with case number etc. omitted.

Sam: Here is the January 5, 2016 email. The first man came on the 15th of December and said he couldn't install it because the connection was about 1/4 mile away. This was sent after that (obviously), but the second man they sent (and the third) all had the same capability as the first. This is in reference to ESL ******. I hope you can read this as this is all typing on one line for some reason

To: Sullivan

Jan 21 at 8:14 PM

Dear Chris Sullivan,
I wanted to follow up with you regarding your request for new service. I had a chance to review the information that you provided regarding the installation charges. The $50 installation charge that was referenced in the letter only referred to the installation of your service inside the home. However, the quote that was provided of the $907 amount involves rebuilding on the outside of your property in order to make your address serviceable. Once that amount has been satisfied then the construction department can begin the process of rebuilding at your property to make it serviceable.
Comcast strives to provide outstanding customer service and I appreciate your bringing this matter to my attention.

Sam G.
Executive Customer Relations
Comcast | Big South Region
Office: 615-874-7471 /615-750-8953
Office Hours: Tue - Sat: 11am -8pm (CT)

To: Sam G.

If this is the case I should have been told that after the first person came in December. Why did they keep sending people who couldn't do the job? Why did they quote a price of $50.00 after the first installer had advised them of the situation?
Comcast has wasted over a month of my time and several hours of its sub-contractor's time. There seems to be an unbelievable level of incompetence in the scheduling and installation departments...
As far as the $907.00 quote, this is the first I've heard of it.

I got no response.

As a post script, I have no complaints about the sub contractors they sent out. All were unaware of the situation and had no way to deal with it. When I mentioned the incompetence of the office people one of the guys looked disgusted and said something like "Yeah, it's the people in the office." 
I had a modem that I had bought at Walmart which I returned. When I mentioned Comcast at the return desk the clerk launched into a diatribe about how they had made a mess of her bill and was charging her for something (a phone, I think) she didn't even have.

1 comment:

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