in Internet

My Comcastic Experience

Comcast and their @comcastcares reps on Twitter have been mentioned as being one of the more progressive at dealing with customer service. Now more and more businesses have embraced social media sites including Twitter. This is a little of my recent Comcastic experience.

Comcast image courtesy of dmuth on Flickr

Comcast image courtesy of dmuth on Flickr

I’ve been a happy Comcast Internet subscriber for some time now, but over the last couple of weeks that faithfulness was challenged. It all started when I suddenly began experiencing extremely slow and unpredictable Internet access. I figured I’d reboot the modem and router to see if that would help and started doing ping tests on my router when it did not. I found that I was experiencing packet loss of up to 70% at the worst times! I was about to dial up Comcast but didn’t have much time to be kept on hold and wanted a quick reaction. I’ve heard of success stories with @comcastcares, so I figured I’d send out a tweet… I quickly heard back from another Comcast associate on Twitter and he only really said that they’d need to send out a tech. I figured this meant they were taking care of it and acknowledged it was an issue on their side since I didn’t hear anything else further and the next day I once again had decent Internet access.

Of course, the better service didn’t last long. I called Comcast and set up a time for a tech to visit. What was interesting here was that when I mentioned that I asked @comcastcares on Twitter, they didn’t seem to know what I was talking about and said my account didn’t have any notes on it. They couldn’t schedule a tech to come out till Tuesday and I agreed. Tuesday came around and everything was working again so I canceled my appointment. Once again, Tuesday night came around and the net was useless.

I did a little more research and found that I should check out my Cable modem’s Status and Signal on my local network at 192.168.100.1. I found that I was getting low signal levels of < 27db at times and that these levels should be at least 30-35db. A more reasonable signal is anything about 35db apparently. Of course I dialed Comcast which led to a brief hold time and my insistence that the problem was not on my side. The representatives I worked with were all very understanding and helpful, but it’s always tough to stay calm when your connection is acting up… I scheduled another visit and a tech was out in another 2 days. He was the best Comcast tech I’ve ever had and was able to verify that the problem was at the tap. He temporarily hooked me up to a slightly better signal line at the tap and scheduled a network technician to come out and fix the issue permanently.

I guess my lesson here was learning about the signal level I should get and just to call Comcast. I was on hold for less than a few minutes and they were all very helpful. @comcastcares may be better for some quick billing inquiries or something — but I found that just calling was a lot faster and easier to have a good back and forth discussion. I still applaud Comcast in their efforts on Twitter, but it doesn’t seem to be a perfect replacement for a good old fashion phone call yet.