Weâ€™ve had a Comcast high-speed internet connection for about a year now, and generally speaking, Iâ€™ve been pretty happy with it. Iâ€™ve only called customer service once (twice, if you count this unfortunate experience in Florida last year), and resolving that problem just involved restarting the modem.
Tonight, something more flaky has been going on. Actually, it’s been going on all day. First the connection works, then it doesn’t, then it works, then it doesn’t, then it works but it’s dirt slow, then it doesn’t work at all, etc. So I called Comcast support up and spent the better part of the night getting a non-answer.
I’ll spare the details, but the short version is I either have some kind of problem with my router, I have some kind of problem with Comcastâ€™s modem, Iâ€™m experiencing some unknown and touchy local service outage, or some weird combination of all these things. It may very well be the router, but I think Iâ€™ll wait a while though before assuming that the Comcast customer service knuckleheads are right.
But beyond all that, I learned a valuable lesson tonight: never call Comcast customer service about your internet access because there is virtually nothing they can do to help you. This might be because theyâ€™re just kind of dumb, but besides that, it also appears to me that they have very few options to actually provide customers service.
So, in the interest of a public service to those of you who might experience some sort of Comcast connection problem in the future, hereâ€™s how you should deal with it, more or less in this order:
- Restart your computer. If that doesnâ€™t work (and it probably wonâ€™t),
- Unplug your router and wait a few seconds. If that doesnâ€™t work (and it might),
- Unplug your modem and wait a few seconds.
Some combination of these three things really will solve most problems, and, as far as I can gather, it constitutes the bulk of the advice that Comcast customer service folks are capable (allowed?) to give. If these things donâ€™t work and you have a router,
- Turn off your computer and unplug the cable modem, plug the computer directly into the cable modem (that is, bypass the router), restart your computer and plug the modem back in, and see what happens. If that doesnâ€™t work,
- Youâ€™re screwed. At least as far as customer service goes because thereâ€™s basically nothing else that can go wrong. They literally can not offer any other sorts of advice, suggestions, or remedies. There solution is to start over again by once again restarting the computer, etc.
I suggested to my customer service person that perhaps it was an area service problem because itâ€™s been so spotty all day for me. â€œI donâ€™t think thatâ€™s it,â€? she said.
â€œWhy not?â€? I asked.
â€œBecause itâ€™s not on the board.â€?
â€œThereâ€™s a board here where they post the service problems, and thereâ€™s nothing in your area.â€?
â€œOh,â€? I said. â€œSo, do you think itâ€™s possible that, you know, this is a problem that might need to go on the board and be investigated?â€?
â€œWe donâ€™t put things on the board. They do that someplace else.â€?
I really wanted to ask what this â€œboardâ€? looks like because what Iâ€™m picturing is a bulletin board with pins on a map, or maybe stickies. Or maybe itâ€™s a white board with erasable markings circling different â€œproblemâ€? areas.
But I didnâ€™t get a chance. Instead, my customer service person asked if I had restarted my computer, if I had unplugged and waited ten seconds before plugging my router back in, etc., etc….
Whatâ€™s really irritating about this is that ultimately, the Comcast weenies are probably right, it probably is something to do with the router. This would not be the end of the world since routers are relatively cheap. And yet, right now, as I type this message, things seem to be working just fine. Oh, wait, it got slow again…. oh wait, there it goes…. maybe I should get out and push….