Back in 2010, I started a business with a couple of friends. This business was going to be a podcast hub and internet production company. As a part of starting the business, I signed up for Comcast Business Class Internet.
The were a couple of reasons for this. If we ever got in to the situation where we needed to host the servers that contained our archive files and Shoutcast server, I would have the bandwidth and stability to handle the demand from our fan base. Second, I was planning on broadcasting a significant amount of time, either over Twitch, or Shoutcast.
What I couldn’t have happen was throttling of my connection. We know Comcast does this, as a means of extorting their customers into using services that other companies do better (e.g. Netflix, Hulu, Twitch, etc.). Heaven forbid Comcast’s customers figure out paying $100 per month for 140 channels with nothing of value on them is a waste of money and “cut the cord” on cable TV.
It was what I did when I acquired business class internet. If I’m getting a clean 31 mbps down at all times, I can watch Netflix, Hulu, Twitch, Crunchy Roll, or whatever without having to worry about the streaming grinding to a halt after 5 PM local time. To go a step further, I can have premium subscriptions to all of these and still save money over having a subscription on TV. Sure, I could bundle, and get TV, Internet, and Alexander Graham Bell (because it is the 18th century) for 100 bucks. However, that deal is only good for a year, and then a customer has to go back to Comcast to beg for a deal that doesn’t suck, or accept the inconvenience of switching providers. Cable internet providers are depending on customers to decide it isn’t worth the inconvenience to dump service when the bundle deals end.
My Experience with Comcast Business
For the first couple of years, Comcast Business was pretty good. I had a special number I could call, but if I forgot and called the normal Comcast number, the automated prompt would recognize my phone number was tied to a business account and would shunt me over the the business side customer service reps.
Dealing with the reps on the business side was good, too. They could schedule appointments as late as 10 PM, and the service techs that showed up knew their stuff and were more than willing to check the full path from the main box of my business gateway. If my gateway was bad, they would replace it on the spot, no questions asked. If you’d ask me from 2010 to mid 2013 what made paying the premium for business class internet access, I could do so without hesitation.
In late September 2013, after a series of sever weather events, I noticed intermittent connection loss in my internet connection. I called business customer service, and I could tell almost immediately something had changed, as the person I’d talked to on the phone said if they couldn’t find the problem, it would cost me 99 dollar service fee to send a technician. I had a moment of pause at that point, but I was also seeing distinct drops, so I told them to send the technician.
The technician came, and after some strong-willed discussions about checking the line outside my place, he finally found the issue. The line to my place was experiencing noise corruption from the unit below mine. We were sharing a connection. The technician called back to Comcast’s offices to arrange a new line drop for me, and the original appointment for the line drop was set for early October 2013.
I took the day off from work the day of the appointment so I could be there in case the crew putting in the new line drop. Only thing is the crew that was supposed to show never did. Apparently, I had a reschedule of the initial appointment for the line drop scheduled for November. I didn’t know about the appointment in November, because no one from Comcast ever bothered to get in touch with me to see if the new appointment time would work with my schedule.
I found out about the appointment in November when I called customer service in December after I started to see the intermittent connection drops again. When I called this time, they said I’d had an appointment in November that had been rescheduled to December, while I would be on vacation in Europe for the holidays. I arranged for a friend of mine to be at my house on the day of the appointment, so at least I was covered. I shouldn’t have worried, however, because no one showed up that day, either.
At this point, I’d pretty much given up that Comcast was going to complete the service they said they were going to. Toward the end of February, I tweeted it had been some months since the original service call. A customer service rep (@ComcastOrlando) tweeted at me to email the customer service email address and explain my problem. So, I did, on March 7, 2014. I never received a response.
I did get an email the day before saying there was yet another appointment to do my line drop on, get this, April 1, 2014. Yep, Comcast went beyond just providing non-existent customer service, they had decided to go on to full taunting. “Oh sure, we’ll come perform the service we said we would 6 months ago. April Fools!”
12 Months Later
As far as I know, when I terminated my service in April, 2015, the line drop still hadn’t been completed. If there was a reason it couldn’t be completed, it was never communicated to me. I suspect it was never done, as the place where the individual units are connected from the main box hasn’t changed since noticeably since September 2013.
The punchline to this joke is an email I received about a week ago. It was Comcast yelling at me for not paying my bill after I cancelled my service. If I charged them 15 dollars per month for every month they didn’t fix the issue with my service (which, I remind you, their service technician recommended and called in originally in September 2013), they would owe me more money than I supposedly owe them.
I know I am not alone. I know there are many more people who’ve paid Comcast a boatload of money, and who have been treated like dirt. Let yourselves be heard. Comcast, you are the worst.