Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Internet Provider Update

Well!  I must say - I am intensely impressed by Comcast!

Remember a few weeks ago I wrote a rant about my attempts to get our internet fixed and how ridiculous the experience with Verizon had been?  The very next morning, I received two emails from Comcast.  They asked if I would be willing to give them one more chance.  I could hardly believe the emails were for real so I called Comcast to make sure the email addresses were valid.  Sure enough, they were.  Apparently Comcast scans the web for mentions about them.  I am impressed.

In the intervening days since then, approximately 10 service technicians have come out to our house to try to make things right.  It has still been a frustrating process, but each one of the techs was extremely nice and friendly and was definitely doing his best to make things right.  Here's what they had to do to get our internet to work:

Our signal was at -11 when we started.  They would be satisfied if it got to -5.
The first technician put an amplifier on the line.  That caused the internet to go out completely.  It took 5 days for them to get back to us to fix that.
The second tech took off the amp and said that had been a mistake.  He didn't do anything else.
I think that's when I called Verizon to change providers and wrote the rant.
Comcast got in touch with us.
Tech #3 said he thought the line to our house was too long for us to get a decent signal - 260'.  He couldn't do anything about it because he worked for Comcast and their own techs aren't allowed to climb up on roofs.
Tech #4 was a contractor and was allowed to climb up on the roof but he didn't perceive that to be the problem so he didn't replace that wire.  He did, however, instead, run a new line from the telephone pole to the house just for the TV so that the larger cable would be used exclusively for the internet, thus hopefully allowing more signal to get through.  (We don't watch TV at all - the only reason we have cable is because the internet is cheaper with cable TV - go figure!)
Tech #5 was called because that didn't make any difference.  We were still losing our signal 10 times/day even though the signal was now at -9.  Some improvement.  Tech #5 was sent mistakenly and didn't know why he was there.
Tech #6 was a mechanical guy, sent to look at the lines and see if repairs were needed further along the line.  He and another tech who came found that a coupler up the line was broken so they fixed that.  One of the gentlemen also fixed up a bunch of stuff that was messed up on the pole closest to our house.  That was supposed to fix everything.
The next day we were still losing the signal 3-4 times/day.  I wrote Comcast right away.  I got a response almost immediately, but didn't get a technician for several days.
Today 2 guys came out and replaced the modem and the router.  Apparently the modem kept trying to deal with the signal even after it was unplugged - like the Energizer Bunny, it just kept going.
When I got on the internet after they left, it went so fast I couldn't even think before the page came up!  I've never had internet like that.  Supposedly the signal is at +3 now!  What a difference!  They gave us an N Router so now my son in the basement can even get internet without its cutting out.  I still feel a bit tentative in my celebration of success, but perhaps - just perhaps - we're finally set!

I want to give complete kudos to Comcast for how hard they've worked to satisfy us.  I've never experienced a company before which was so willing to do so much to get us to stay with them.  I am completely impressed.  They didn't have all the answers, and there sure were a lot of issues, but they stuck with it with kindness and determination and courtesy.  Comcast will keep our business.

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