Another Comcastic Experience.

Hey, a lot of stuff has happened, and I’ll prolly get to that eventually. For now, here’s a fun little something completely different:


The following story is true. Some names and numbers have been changed in the off chance that something is illegal.

A guy, let’s call him “Nor” woke up a few days ago, and noticed that the internet was no longer working. This was annoying, as he had been having problems with Comcast many times in the past few weeks. The browser was showing that “You need to register your account” screen, as it had done a few weeks previous. Last time this happened, Nor had a lovely chat with a Comcast representative that went something like this:

Comcast Dude: Welcome to Comcast Chat, how can I help you?

Nor: Hey, I’m getting that “Register your account” screen. I’ve run the installation disc a few times, and I get the same error “Query Error: #102” at the same point each time. I’ve just had everything installed, and it was working for a day, but then switched off this morning.

Comcast Dude: Okay, You’ll need to run the installation software. Were you given cables and the installation disc when you were hooked up.

Nor: Yes. I’ve run the installation disc a number of times, and tried just downloading it from the site. But I get the same error each time. It’s “Query Error: #102”. I’m pretty sure all I need is to have my Modem’s Mac address added to my account. I have that address here.

Comcast Dude: Okay. You’ll need to run the installation software that came on that CD you were given. Are you at your home computer?

Nor: [thinking:I’m on an internet chat with you right now, complaining that my home Internet doesn’t work. Also, you are not listening to me. You must work for Comcast.]

Nor: Okay, you’re not listening to me. I’ve run that software. It fails at the same point. It’s a Query Issue, but I’m fairly certain all you need is my Modem’s Mac address…

Comcast Dude: If you’d like, we could send a Comcast technician to your house to install the software. There will be an additional charge for this service.

Nor: I’ve already run the software…

This continued for a number of minutes more, until Nor called him a dick, and the Comcast representative disconnected.

Later that evening, (read: midnightish), Nor calls in to Comcast’s 1-800 number. It goes like this:

Comcast Dude: Thanks for calling Comcast, how can I help you.

Nor: Hey, I’m getting that “Register your account” screen. I just got hooked up here at the house, and the installation software keeps failing at the same point. I think all I need is to have my Modem’s Mac Address added to my account.

Comcast Dude: Okay, do you have that and your account number on you?

Nor: Sure. Here it is.

Numbers are given. 2 Minutes, tops.

Comcast Dude: Okay, I’m restarting your modem now, then, and you should be all set.

Nor: Yup, everything is working. Thanks!

Total call time: 5 minutes.

So.. that was something. Anyway, Nor woke up and saw this same screen. There was no way he was trying the chat again, having had yet another bad experience just a few days earlier related to billing. Like to hear it? Here it go:

Nor: Hey, you promised me this deal, and now I’m getting charged more than twice that amount.

Comcast Dude: I don’t see any indication of that deal on your account.

Nor: Um… When I signed up for service, the guy on the phone and I went through a few different options, and this deal was the cheapest option, so that’s what I signed up for, and then they installed the stuff at my house…

Comcast Dude: Only new customers qualify for that discount.

Nor: But I was a new customer. The guy on the phone said that I’d be getting this deal. Who should I be contacting to make sure that information gets added to my account so I’m charged the correct amount?

Comcast Dude: Have a Good day.
[Comcast Guy Disconnects.]

Nor: Oh, WTF!

So Nor wasn’t going to be using Comcast chat anymore. He would have to use the phone. Nor hates using the phone, but such is life.

Start your stopwatches…

Call #1

Comcast Dude #1: Thank you for calling Comcast, how can we help you?

Nor: Hey there. I’m getting the “Register your account” screen. I’ve been signed up for a while, and things had been working fine for the last few weeks, so I’m not sure what the issue is, but the last time we had this, I just needed my modem’s Mac Address added to my account, and everything worked.

Comcast Dude #1: Alright, I can look into that for you. What is your phone number?

Nor: 616-555-4444

Comcast Dude #1: (time passes) I’m not seeing that number in our system. What’s your name?

Nor: My name is Nor, but the account is likely under “Norbert”. He set up the account. [Norbert had originally set up the account at the apartment, and the guy at Comcast had promised it would be cheaper to simply transfer services when we got hooked up at the house, because installation would be free, and we’d qualify for 6 months of less than half-priced Internet. The previous chat showed how well that worked out.]

Comcast Dude #1: (much time passes, and a series of questions finally make the account show up.) Ah, our system has you as 616-551-4444.

Nor: Ah, yeah, that’s not right. It should be 616-555-4444.

Comcast Dude #1: Okay, I’m correcting that right now.

Nor: Thanks!

Comcast Dude #1: (A long list of questions, from the standard “Were you given cables and an installation CD?” to “Have you restarted your computer, and clicked on the ‘Start’ button?”” [Heaven forbid you’re not at a Windows computer.]) There appears to be a billing issue.

Nor: A billing issue? I’ve been signed up to auto-pay for the past 4 years at least. And I’ve been getting regular statements saying that auto-pay is handling my payments. I got one a few days ago.

Comcast Dude #1: Our account indicated that you have a billing issue, so I can transfer you to billing if you’d like.

Nor: Yeah, that’d be good. Thanks.

Transfer’d!

Comcast Dude #2: Thank You for calling Comcast, how can I help you.

Nor: Hey, I was just transfered. I am getting the “Register your Account” screen for my Internet, and I was told there was a billing issue. I was hoping you could help me out.

Comcast Dude #2: Certainly. What is your phone number?

Nor: 616-555-4444

Comcast Dude #2: (Time Passes) I’m not seeing that account in our system.

Nor: Um.. Okay, I was told it was set incorrectly before as 616-551-4444, but the previous person said they took care of it.

Comcast Dude #2: Ah, there it is. Yes, the number is 616-551-4444.

Nor: Okay, yeah, that’s wrong, can you correct it to be 616-555-4444.

Comcast Dude #2: Okay… Yes, it appears there is a billing issue.

Nor: Okay, I’m set up to auto-pay, and it’s been working for the past 4 years, so I’m not certain what the problem is.

Comcast Dude #2: Our records indicate that the previous balance has not been paid.

Nor: Okay, does is say if there was an error with auto-pay or anything?

Comcast Dude #2: It just says that the balance was not paid. You can check under your account on comcast.net to see if there is more information, or you can pay your balance there.

Nor: Okay, but my Internet is disconnected, so I can’t do that.

Comcast Dude #2: Okay, you can also make a payment over the phone.

Nor: Okay, I guess I’ll just do that then. How much is the charge?

Comcast Dude #2: This is Norbert that I am speaking to.

Nor: No, this is Nor. I’m the one that pays the bill. I can still pay even if I’m not the primary person on the account, right?

Comcast Dude #2: Yes, anyone can make a payment for an account.

Nor: Okay, good. I can just pay with a credit card over the phone then? How much is owed?

Comcast Dude #2: Yes, Um. I’m afraid we can’t give out any information about the account to anyone but authorized people on the account.

Nor: Um. Okay. But I can still pay over the phone, right?

Comcast Dude #2: Yes, anyone can make a payment.

Nor: So I can pay off the bill right now?

Comcast Dude #2: Yes.

Nor: How much do I owe?

Comcast Dude #2: I’m afraid I can give out any of that information.

Nor: But I can pay?

Comcast Dude #2: Yes.

Nor: But you can’t tell me how much?

Comcast Dude #2: Correct.

Nor: So can I actually pay, or no?

Comcast Dude #2:(Pause) No.

Nor: Okay. Great. What needs to happen now?

Comcast Dude #2: Well, Norbert needs to call in, and have you added to the account as an authorized person, and then you’ll be able to make the payment… it’s all very quick, It’ll take about 5 minutes.

Nor: Okay, so Norbert just needs to call billing, and have me added to the account?

Comcast Dude #2: Yup, that’s it.

Nor: Alright, thanks.

Call #2

Comcast Dude #3: Thank you for calling Comcast, how can I help you.

Nor: Hi, I’m Norbert, I need to add Nor as an authorized user on my account.

Comcast Dude #3: Okay, what’s your phone number?

Nor: 616-555-4444

Comcast Dude #3: I’m not seeing that number in our system.

Skip ahead 5 more minutes, the number is still set wrong, and Nor requests that they correct it. They say okay.

Comcast Dude #3: Okay, I’ll transfer you to billing.

Transfer’d!

Comcast Dude #4: Thank you for calling Comcast, How can I help you?

Nor: Hi, I’m Norbert, I need to have Nor added to the authorized list for the account.

Comcast Dude #4: Okay, Norbert, what’s your phone number?

Nor: 616-555-4444

Comcast Dude #4: (Long Delay) I’m not seeing that number in our system.

I kid you not…

Nor: (Went through the whole thing again, asked to have it corrected.) Okay, So I just need Nor added to the account, so he can pay the bill.

Comcast Dude #4: Okay, let me look that up…(Long pause).. Wait.. 616? Where are you calling from?

Nor: Um.. Michigan.

Comcast Dude #4: How did you get this number?

Nor: I was transferred.

Comcast Dude #4: Okay.. (Pause). I’m in Sacramento. This isn’t the right number. (She looks up the number I ought to be calling/have been transferred to, and gives it to me.) I can transfer you there if you’d like.

Nor: Yeah, that’d be great. Thanks.

Transfer’d!

Long delay

Comcast Dude #4: Sorry, I can’t transfer you to that number, because I’m in Sacramento, and you’re in Michigan. But you can call that number and they’ll be able to take care of your problem.

Nor: Okay, thanks

Not Transfer’d!

Call #3

Comcast Dude #5: Thank you for calling Comcast, how can I help you?

Nor: My name is Norbert, I need to add Nor as an authorizes person on the account.

Comcast Dude #5: Okay, what’s your phone number?

Nor: 616-555-4444

Comcast Dude #5: I’m not seeing–

Nor: Try 616-551-4444.

Comcast Dude #5: There it is.

Nor: That was supposed to be fixed.

Comcast Dude #5: Okay, Norbert, you just want to add a person to your account?

Nor: Yup.

Comcast Dude #5: Okay, I’ll transfer you to billing, and they should be able to take care of that for you.

Nor: Thanks.

Transfer’d

Comcast Dude #6: Thanks for calling Comcast Billing Services, how can I help you?

Nor: Hi! I’m Norbert, and I was told there was a problem with my auto-pay, or billing wasn’t working, or something. I want to add a person to my account so I can pay the bill. All I really want to do is pay the account so I can get the Internet working.

Comcast Dude #6: (Pauses) Okay, what’s your phone number?

Nor: 616-551-4444

Comcast Dude #6: Ah, here you are.

Nor: That number is wrong, and it was supposed to be fixed. Can you change it so it says 616-555-4444?

Comcast Dude #6: Sure, I can take care of that right now. (Pause). Okay, that’s all set. Now, yes, it appears payments have not been made on the account.

Nor: Okay, that’s weird, because I’ve been signed up for autopay for like, 4 years or so at least, now, and it’s always worked before.

Comcast Dude #6: (Pauses…) Yeah, that’s odd, I don’t see any other information about it..

Nor: Okay, well then I was told I needed to have another authorizes person added to the account so they can pay the account and get it fixed.

Comcast Dude #6: Okay, that’s not a problem. And you are Norbert?

Nor: Yup.

) Comcast Dude #6: And who are you adding to the account?

Nor: Nor.

Comcast Dude #6: Okay, can I have your account number?

Nor: [Gives account number]

Comcast Dude #6: Okay, and to verify, what are the last 4 digits of your social security number?

Nor: [son of a…] (pause) Of my social security number? um.. 1…1..3..8. [a made up number.]

Comcast Dude #6: 1138? Hrm.

Nor: Yeah.

Comcast Dude #6: That’s odd, they have “1492” entered here. I’ll fix that a second as well.

Nor: [WTF!?] Okay, thanks.

Comcast Dude #6: Okay, and you are adding Nor?

Nor: Right.

Comcast Dude #6: Okay. Nor will need to know your account number in order to post payments or get information.

Nor: Okay, that’s not a problem.

Comcast Dude #6: That’s all set. Is there any thing else I can help you with.

Nor: Well, maybe. All I really want to do is make the payment so I can get the Internet working again. Can I make a payment to you right now?

Comcast Dude #6: Sure you can do that.

Nor: Can I use the credit card that we’ve been using for auto-pay?

Comcast Dude #6: Yes, that will be fine.

Nor: Even if it’s a Nor card?

Comcast Dude #6: Oh, no. Nor will need to call in, and then he can make the payment.

Nor: Ah… yeah, that’s what I thought. Then I think that’s it, thanks for you help.

Comcast Dude #6: Sure thing. Enjoy your day.

Nor: You too.

Total Time: > 3 Hours.

With Nor added to the account, Nor then headed out, and while elsewhere, logged on, paid the outstanding balance, and checked the auto-pay setting on the account. According to the information, it was set to use a card with an expiration date of October… 2004. I have no idea.

Story Over!

9 thoughts on “Another Comcastic Experience.

  1. Holy crap man. I’m so glad I’m not using Comcast anymore. I had some pretty bad customer service experiences from them, but nothing even close to that. You need to just get the hang of yelling at strangers so that they actually put you through to someone who knows what’s going on. I can give you a lesson sometime.

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