Last week I wanted to kill myself. (Twice, as it turns out.) I think it’s best explained in one word: COMCAST. Over the course of Wednesday and Thursday, I was on the phone with my internet and email service provider for a grand total of…..wait for it……6 hours and 26 minutes!No, I’m not crazy and I’m not lying. I’m not even high, although last week I certainly wished I was. Maybe then I’d have handled Comcast’s ineptitude a little better. But a person can only take so much, right? I was polite and tolerant for the first 4 hours and then it just got ridiculous. And this all happened because someone tried to remotely hack into my computer.I’m sure I’m not alone when it comes to issues in dealing with email providers. In the past I’d been relatively lucky that any problem I encountered was easily fixed over the phone. But last week “easily fixed” wasn’t a phrase the staff at Comcast was familiar with.
It started Wednesday morning when my computer displayed a message saying I needed to change my password. Naturally, I thought it was a hoax. As I tried to work, a popup appeared every 15 seconds saying to verify my user name and password. Okay then, maybe there’s something to this. So I placed the first of a dozen calls to the Big C.One thing I’ve learned: it’s true that Comcast outsources their customer service to the Philippines and India. And how do I know this? Because for the first 6 hours of my ordeal, I talked with various nice people with thick accents from these countries.
Now don’t get me wrong; I have absolutely nothing against these folks. It’s a tough job dealing all day long with people and their computer issues. I get it. But when I have trouble deciphering what someone is saying, something simple often becomes complicated.I can’t tell you how many times I asked, “Could you please repeat that?” Or, “I’m sorry I don’t understand what you’re saying.” In addition, each call I’d wait nearly 15 minutes before being connected “due to high traffic calls.” Okay, fair enough. But then it got worse.
The first 4 hours I talked to 7 different people telling me 7 different ways to fix the problem. When nothing worked, they’d transfer me to the next person or department, and so on. Adrian transferred me to Dwight who transferred me to Sean, who said he needed to look into it and would definitely call me back at 9 a.m. on Thursday. The sad part is I believed him.
I called back on Thursday and started getting disconnected. I was put on hold and nobody came back for an eternity until, again, I was disconnected. So I called back. “Hold please.” Then came the same tedious phone prompts, over and over again. And the music they play while on hold? Someone seriously needs to look into that.
For nearly 2 full days, I couldn’t send or receive emails. I talked to more “experts” than I can count. In all, I was given 6 different phone numbers, each of which potentially held the magic answer to fix the problem. Trouble is, when I’d reach an actual person, they’d tell me I called the wrong number. “You need to call such and such.” So I called such and such. Still no help.Finally, I asked to speak to someone actually in the US. I felt like a creep doing that but I was desperate. Anyway, 6 people later, I finally talked to a supervisor in “Signature Support.” I can only assume they save this number for those customers on the brink of madness.So Yolanda walks me through the process to change my password, user name and port settings. And I have to tell you, now that I’ve done it, it’s extremely easy. I’m at a loss to know why nobody other than Yolanda knew how to do something so basic. Maybe it was like that line from the movie, Cool Hand Luke: What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate. (Isn’t that the best line?)
In the end, it took over 6 hours to resolve an issue Yolanda fixed in a matter of minutes. Thank you Yolanda! So I hung up the phone, quickly ran to the bathroom, grabbed some cheese and crackers and headed back to my office to finally get some work done.
And that, my friends, is when my brand new modem stopped working.
PS…here’s an apropos email a friend sent once Yolanda came to my rescue…
Resetting the Password
Sorry that password has expired – you must register a new one.
Did anyone discover that password and hack my computer?
No, but your password has expired – you must get a new one.
Why then do I need a new one as that one seems to be working pretty well?
Well, you must get a new one as they automatically expire every 30 days.
Can I use the old one and just re-register it?
No, you must get a new one.
I don’t want a new one, as that’s one more thing for me to remember.
Sorry, you must get a new one.
Sorry, you must use more letters.
OK, pretty roses.
No good, you must use at least one numerical character.
OK, 1 pretty rose.
Sorry, you cannot use blank spaces.
Sorry, you must use additional characters.
Sorry, you must use at least one capital letter.
Sorry, you cannot use more than one capital letter in a row.
Sorry, you cannot use that password as you must use additional letters.
Sorry, you cannot use that password as it is already being used.
Oh Janet, I feel for you!! That’s way too long to be on the phone. Are you all fixed now?
Yep, all fixed. Alto this a.m. another one of those messages popped up again and made me nervous. So far, so good tho…
LOL! I love your new password. 🙂 Been there, done that with choosing a new password. I especially hate it when I subsequently forget my super, duper unique password with all of the characters, capitol letters and numbers. Half the time, I end up having to choose a new password again and again… which makes me wonder if that was their intention all along; keeping you on your toes.
I cheat and write them all down. No way I could remember all those passwords!
Janet – my apologies for the frustrating experience. I work for Comcast and I’d to make sure that your concerns herein are addressed. Will you kindly send me the phone number or address associated with your account? We need this info so that we can look into this incident on our end. Please include a link to this page as a point of reference.
Thanks for sharing and I appreciate you providing the opportunity to improve our service.
National Customer Operations
I hate comcast. Worst service ever — both in terms of customer service (unhelpful) and crappy internet. I feel your pain. I don’t know how you stuck with it, I’m impressed. I know that I would have lost it and just cancelled my account.
Echo, to their credit, Comcast gave me a free month’s service for my trouble. Not sure all that was worth the $50 I’m getting back but I’ll take what I can get!
Nice! You got lucky!! My parents didn’t have internet service for a whole month and even though they kept calling and calling and having issues and dealing with customer service all they got was a credit for about $2.00 … (grumble)
Echo, you should try contacting Mark from Comcast (see his comment below) and see if your parents can get compensated. They at least deserve a free month’s service, as they didn’t get to use their internet at all! That’s outrageous and totally unacceptable that they only received a $2 refund!