Glenn Kelley on 1 Feb 2009 11:58:17 -0800

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[PLUG] Comcast Extreme 50mbps/10 service Review

Greetings Group:

I have read some of the differing reports here regarding service w/  
FIOS and others - and figured this review might help.

The Short Version:

True 45mbps down and 7mbps up for only $140/mo  DHCP only
Technicians / Contractors / Customer Service Staff deserve no rewards  
on this service however.

Long Version:

*note I used to work for Garden State Cablevision (now Comcast) but  
left in March 2000

Internet via Cable has come a long way since docsis 1.x
Speeds now can give you well over 40mbps, however the customer service  
level will always depend upon your cable provider.
Sadly, in the South Jersey Area, Comcast once again proves their  
inability to not only understand the products they sell but the impact  
to their customer when those products are not placed into their system  

The saga started when Comcast was called to request an upgrade to  
their new Extreme 50/10+mbps service.
While their website offered the service based upon the service address  
in Magnolia NJ, many of the representatives spoken to did not even  
know the product was released.
After 8 phone calls over a period of a few days - we were able to  
confirm with representatives that service was available and a service  
call was scheduled.

Almost immediately after the telephone call - both the Internet and  
telephone service was disconnected from the account.
After numerous calls - and 6+ hours service was reestablished however  
the new service call for the upgrade was terminated.

Now back to the fight yet again to request the upgrade of service....
Time now on the telephone with Comcast roughly 4 hours total.

Upon arrival the contractor hired by Comcast informed that he did not  
have the proper equipment and stated another installation would need  
to be scheduled.
When calling Comcast - Comcast representatives stated that an  
additional service call would cost $25.

After mentioning the magic wording of "Notification to the NJ Board of  
Public Utilities" in regards to the incompetence of Comcast - a second  
technician was dispatched and arrived within 30 minutes.
The technician also did not have the proper docsis 3.0 device and  
left.   The original tech then stated since there was not a Windows  
Computer located in the home - service was not able to be established  
as this was a requirement of service.
They also stated that use of a Firewall is "against the TOS / AUP" and  
suggested the McAfee software be installed.

Failing to see how a simple installation of pfSense (a FreeBSD based  
Free Firewall product) could cause an issue with their network or  
suddenly have the magic of changing a Docsis 2 MTA to Docsis 3 another  
call to the Comcast Support center was in order.

A 3rd technician was dispatched (also an outside contractor) who was  
able to confirm that he also did not have the proper equipment.

Now 5 hours into the telephone queue with Comcast (dial 1 phone number  
1 2 0 to get to an operator quickly) the representative informed us  
that a Comcast Supervisor would return a call in regards to the matter  

Finally a real Comcast employee shows up to complete the installation  
- with a Docsis 3 modem in hand...
Almost there - except.... this modem was from the Philadelphia Market  
and unable to be used...

Alas - after waiting again - a 5th Comcast technician / supervisor  
arrives with the proper equipment and within 5 minutes the  
installation was complete.

Moving over to the cable side of the service - 2 DVR's were swapped  
out and replaced with 2 cable boxes.
Suddenly all HD service had been disconnected and  On Demand no longer  

Another telephone call to Comcast and we are told - I am sorry but I  
think I know what the issue is... could you come in and swap out your  
cable box?
Obliging - the short trek of 3 miles to the center is completed where  
the representative informs the service rate is over $400 monthly for  
what should have been $306 dollars

After painstakingly going over each service item on the account - and  
verifying the rates are correct Comcast informs that in order for all  
services to be completed it may take up to an additional 24 hours.

For a service call scheduled on a Friday between the hours of 2PM -  
4PM. 5 technicians onsite - a trip to the local customer service  
center - the DVR portion of service still does not work , one cable  
box still is without service at all - and the telephone for the house  
is still offline.
It has now been 48hours plus since the original service call and the  
cable service is far from what it should be...

Amazingly enough the Internet Portion is solid - no doubt that is due  
to folks like John Bonner being in charge -
As of Customer Service - if there was an award one could give made out  
of dog-doo - Comcast deserves it.

If you work for Comcast - can you contact me offline to see how this  
could all be corrected?    The certified letter to the NJBPU will be  
mailed first thing on Monday Morning.

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