Comcast Customer Service: A Horror Tale, Part 2

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For about a year, things were actually fine with my Comcast service. But then I moved apartments, which means I had to transfer my cable to the new pad, which means I had to call Comcast customer service, which means there's a part two of what may become a multi-part epic.

Before all of that, it seemed as if Comcast and I had synced up on a spiritual plane. I was literally packing the last box at the old place when someone from the cable giant called to offer me a special deal on Internet service. Because I was about to move into a place that was cheaper, I could finally afford home Internet instead of bumming a wi-fi connection from my neighbors.

When I gave the green light to the dude on the phone, he said that a technician would first need to transfer the cable service before another technician came out to hook up the Internet.

"Why? Isn't it easier and cheaper to do both at the same time?" I asked.

"No. That is not possible. When you're ready to have someone come out, just call 1-800-COMCAST. I'll mark your account so when you call, an agent will know right away that you're wanting cable and Internet."

A week later, I called.

"It doesn't say that you want Internet. Did you want me to add that to your account?"

"Um, yes. Some guy previously told me that cable and Internet couldn't be installed at that same time. Is that true?"

"No. That is not possible. When you're ready to have someone come out, just call 1-800-COMCAST."

I thought this was a load of poppycock so I explored other options. Turns out that Comcast is the only cable/Internet provider in my area.

I called back."No, man. You can get the old cable service transferred and new Internet service installed at the same time," the Comcast agent told me when I asked him what's up. "You're going to save a lot of money that way." I freaking knew it.

On the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, I scheduled an appointment via the Comcast Web site for the upcoming Friday. But the next day, Memorial Day, while spending the last few hours of my day off in Austin, I got a call from a 713 number.

"Is this Steve? This is Comcast. I'm outside of your apartment."


"Don't you have an appointment with Comcast?"

"Yeah, I do. Five days from now."

A minute later, a woman from Comcast called and said that they must have made a mistake. She proceeded to give me several other rescheduling options.

"I'll take Wednesday morning, then," I said.

"Oh, I only have the calendar in front of me. I can't actually book the appointments."

"Can you transfer me, then?"

"No. That is not possible. When you're ready to have someone come out, just call 1-800-COMCAST."

(This repeated quote may seem like hyperbole, but this actually happened on nearly every occasion that I spoke to someone.)

A week later, after I waited for two hours, the guy wasn't going to show up until much later so I told an agent that I was going to reschedule. That evening, when I called the automated system, the robot woman said that the old appointment was still intact and that the cable guy was going to be there at 11:30 p.m. An obvious switching of "a.m." with "p.m.," but still, what the...?

Six days later, a nice man who's contracted by Comcast showed up for the install. The Internet is working, no problem, but after an hour and a half, the dude determined that the old cable box -- which is nearly filled to capacity with choice DVR recordings that I have yet to watch -- can't be brought online.

Which means I'll have to take the box to a Comcast store if I want to try and recover the data, which means that there might be a penning of "Comcast Customer Service, A Horror Tale, Part 3" very soon.

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