Hey, I’m not complaining for once!

Out of all the companies I’ve had to deal with, T-Mobile is the only one I’ve never had a problem with. I had an issue this month with a change I made online to one of our plans not going through properly, so I called up customer service a minute ago, didn’t have to wait on hold for more than three seconds, and spoke to a very pleasant lady who fixed the issue without any hassle. WTF, it actually put me in a better mood, unlike, say… Comcast, who just seem 100 times worse than I already thought they were (so, whatever 100 x abysmal is) in comparison. YMMV, but I’m actually so confused and surprised to receive helpful and polite customer service for once, that I had to post about it for posterity… T-Mobile owns our souls for the next two years (at least, I think that’s the max it can jump to every time you switch to another promotional plan), but I don’t think I mind. I’ve dealt with a couple other mobile providers, and um… no thanks (AT&T/Cingular, I’m looking at you).

Guess who’s having trouble with Comcast again…

Our DVR destructed a couple of days ago, so we had a tech come down with a replacement this morning. Everything was working fine while he was here. The menu loaded, the program guide loaded, the channels were working, and the On Demand intro ran just fine. A little bit after the cable guy left, I went back into the bedroom, and the screen was showing me a delightful “this channel should be available shortly” screen, which is absolutely a lie, every time. So now I get to deal with their customer service. Great.

I prefer to use their web chat service for support for several reasons. a) No thick accents to deal with, b) I can easily save a transcript, c) if I get transferred to a second person, they can see my full transcript, so I don’t have to repeat myself, d) I still have to wait on hold, but there’s no elevator music. I already went through this process once, and had a “hit” sent to my box, which did absolutely nothing. The analyst tells me that it could take 15 minutes to work. Which is BS, because I’ve gone through this 77 times. The box resets almost immediately — it’s the loading of the menu and guide that take time. I mention that my box was doing nothing, but get booted from chat anyway, and told to contact them again after those 15 minutes. So now I have to do it all over again. I’m number 34 in the support queue. Kill me.


I’ve had a lot of hits to this entry with search terms that seemed like others were having the same problem. I began to suspect what was wrong immediately, and 5 or 6 chats and phonecalls later, it was finally verified and fixed. The installer hadn’t added the serial number of the new box to my account, so the signal was blocked. No one at Comcast suggested this to me, I had to suggest it as a possibility to them instead, so you might want to ask about this, if your symptoms are similar. A few of the agents I spoke to were able to see that the serial number wasn’t registered, but pretended that they weren’t able to fix it from their end, or that they’d need to send a tech. Not true, they were just clueless. Call back until you get someone who knows what they’re doing (it might take you a while!)

Shorter description of the symptoms of this problem: Upon first connecting the box to your cable outlet, everything will seem to work perfectly. After the box communicates back and forth a bit with Comcast (I was able to get the menu loaded and On Demand running before I had a problem), all channels may begin showing a message reading “Not Authorized” and “For ordering information, press info”. If you unplug the box and plug it back in, all channels will probably show the “This channel should be available shortly” message, because Comcast will not allow a signal to be sent to an unauthorized cable box.

I hope this helps somebody! Good luck!

Fucking almost missed Star Trek

Comcast! Must! Die!

Cable went out today. After checking all the connections in our apartment pointlessly (because this shit is never our fault), I concluded that it must have been some Comcast-related asshattery. It wasn’t that we hadn’t paid them (for once), so I walked over to the laundry room, where the incoming line to our apartment building is split.

Seems that Comcast had been around to physically disconnect one of our neighbours (I helpfully reconnected them), and that in doing so, they’d also unplugged the transformer belonging to the main signal amplifier for every cable line connected in that room. Thanks for that! At least they hadn’t completely removed it.

Infinitely more satisfying than calling Comcast, and getting a tech to come out sometime between tomorrow at 9am and never. Especially since I can pretty much guarantee that tech would say “I don’t know what’s wrong with it, we’ll have to get one of the techs that actually has some training to come take a look at it — in a month”.

Die die die die die.

You’re welcome, neighbours.

To better serve you

I paid my Comcast bill by phone today, because the website is an idiot. To better serve me, they had me punch in my phone number right away, in order to access my account. Then, to better serve me, they had me punch in my phone number after I selected the billing menu, so that my account could be verified. Then, the first thing the agent did when she came on the line was ask me for my phone number, in order to pull up my account. Inefficiency irritates me more than most other things. And most other things irritate me an awful lot.