October 8, 2013

I have not updated in some time. A large part of that was dealing with the previous issues while being very sick.  Then I was out of town for some time, and upon returning home it took a few weeks to get back to a normal routine.  Shortly after the previous post, some changes were made, and it solved some but not all of the issues.  Regardless, the issues are far from over.

Pertaining to the previous issues:

The bedroom boxes are no longer resetting from what I can tell.

They have not prompted to select which DVR to use.

Still having network issues anytime there is an upload.

Still having issues getting anyone to agree on what my bills should be.

Now, let’s add more issues, shall we!

In the time since I have updated last, we have had a lot of issues with our X1.  Specifically, the issues stem around DVR functionality.  We would set a show (usually as a series) to record.  We could preview where in the guide the show was set to record.  Only twice did we set a show, and it never said it would record via the guide.  Yet, if you were to go to the recording options for the show, it would be set to record.  Those never recorded.

The shows that did record, well, those were problematic.  The DVR would show that a scheduled recording had started.  We would wait 15-20 minutes into a broadcast so we could fast forward as needed.  When going to the DVR menu, the show that was set to record would be nowhere in the list, despite the indicator light.  We would then have to go to the guide, and see where the show was recording there.  From there, we could change over to the show, and rewind it back to the start.

Alternatively, some times a show would show as recording on the indicator light, but not show up in the list.  It would also not show as being set to record via the guide, despite clearly being set to record.  Those shows would not show up in the list until the following day.

So, now the issues are:

Networking Issues

Billing Issues

DVR Issues

I reached out to Twitter, at this point only wanting to communicate with people in written form so everything would be logged.  About a week ago, I was given yet another Executive Escalation Specialist.  I maintained communication via email, and an appointment was set for this past Saturday, from 10-12.  I had to change some personal plans around, but I wanted to maintain my end of things.  Saturday morning comes, and at 11:52, eight minutes before the end of the window, I get a call saying my tech would be no more than two hours later.  This was due (according to the person on the phone) to one technician calling out today.  I immediately asked to speak to a supervisor, but one was not available.  I asked for one to call me as soon as possible.

An hour passes, and a supervisor calls me.  His agents did not brief him as to why, and I let him know.  Two hours late was just unacceptable considering the issues this account was having.  He sounded genuinely appalled, apologized, and said he would see what he could do to bump me up to the front of the line.  He would call me back to confirm.  No call came.  No technician came.

At 2:05, I began calling the customer service number.  The automated system knew I had a missed appointment, and immediately directed me over.  The person with whom I was speaking was extremely polite and very shocked at the issues I had been having.  She was flabbergasted that this had been ongoing for six months in two different homes.  I asked to reschedule for Sunday, as at this point I no longer wanted to be a prisoner in my own home.  The earliest she could give me was 1:30, and I told her that was not acceptable.  If they could not get someone to my home the very first thing on Sunday, I would be cancelling my service.

It was at that point there was a knock at the door.  The technician had arrived.  I mentioned that to the agent on the phone, and asked that everything I said please stay on file, and we would see how this appointment went.  The call was ended, and I let the technician into my home.  He immediately apologized for being incredibly late.  He went on to tell me that his managers were seriously overbooking their technicians.  Within the 10-12 window where I was scheduled, he had three other appointments scheduled.  Basic math would then allow for no more than 30 minutes per appointment.  Needless to say, the tech and I agreed that was not very realistic, especially in Atlanta.

I updated him on the history of issues on the account, just so he would have all of the information.  As a fellow employee of tech support, I know I appreciate having all the facts, and with that information he immediately had an idea.  He described some serious interference on our line.  He did a test and determined that the upstairs cable line was wrecking the rest of the home.  As each of these cable boxes are basically modems, that made perfect sense.  We never started having the DVR issues until the upstairs was upgraded.

The technician replaced the lines in that room, and also replaced all of the fittings within the main feed in our home.  He said that the fittings were not exactly the best, and could cause additional interference.  From there, he went to the main communications room in our building, and discovered the same problem there.  All of the fittings were loose or in poor quality, and he replaced them.  Afterwards he returned, did another line test on our home, and found the connection to be much more stable.  He also explained that this was something the move in tech should have realized and solved, in addition to every tech who had been on site.  Needless to say, if you have read everything here, you know just how those experiences went.

After that, he wrapped things up, and explained everything he did clearly so I could detail it here.  He was incredibly professional, and honest.  He understood my frustration and did everything he knew he could do to solve it.  He did not know what was causing the network to choke during an upload but he thinks that with all of the interference now being cleaned up, we should see better service across the board.

Now, I am giving things a full week to see if there is improvement.  Maybe two.  I am recording more TV than I ever have on this box between the roommate and myself, so if we are going to have issues, we are going to see them quickly.

As for the billing issue I have, I was told by my Executive Escalation Specialist that he could not assist me with that under after the technician had completed the task.  I understand that, especially considering the technician was not only late beyond the original window scheduled, but also later than the second window.  Also, a really important note here, during this entire experience, I was calling the direct line for my Executive Escalation Specialist.  I was leaving voicemails, and I was emailing him after every call.  Not once did he answer his phone.  Not once did he return a voicemail.  Not once was there a reply.  Considering the Specialist’s hours were from 11:00-8:00 on Saturday, you would think that someone from the Executive department would reach back out, especially since they were assigned to this problematic case.  In my entire history with this company, not one time has an Executive Escalation Specialist returned my call.  I am not even sure what that part of the company does, beyond schedule techs, and a basic level agent can provide that service.

The bottom line in all of this, is that for a communications company, there is zero communication.

I hope to hear back from this Specialist today so we can discuss the bill.  Considering how long my issues have been ongoing, I am really surprised no one on an upper level wants to ensure everything possible is going right with this account.  I really want this blog to land in the hands of some senior member at the company, just so they can see how hellish this is.  We prefer the service that Comcast offers over any other provider.  We just feel like maybe Comcast doesn’t feel the same way about us.

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