I hope this isn’t @comcast typical…

Dear Comcast,

I was so looking forward to your awesome XFinity Blast Plus service plan.  You reeled me in with 30Mbps downloads and a TV that doesn’t stop working in the rain.  I was really excited. And then….

You put your first foot forward.  And it was a dirty, lazy, rude foot.  In fact, it wasn’t even your foot.  It was a “contracted” foot.

What am I talking about?   I’m talking about getting Comcast service installed at my house today.

So here are some things that went wrong today that I’ll explain in detail….

  • Late technician
  • Rude technician
  • Dirty technician
  • Lazy/Incompetent technician
  • Unprofessional technician

Late Technician

I was expecting an install tech today from 8am – noon.  Yeah, I don’t have a problem with the typical cable guy hours.  But when he shows up at 12:15, I’ve wasted a morning waiting for your tech.   Not only was he late, but the phone call I received at 8am from dispatch said he would call before he arrived.  He did’t.

Rude Technician

From the get-go, you could tell this guy doesn’t want to be at my house.  He didn’t ask a single question.  I had to tell him where the TV’s were and where I wanted the cable outlet installed for the modem.  If I didn’t know the song and dance of utility installation, I’m sure we’d still be at the front door staring at each other waiting for the other person to talk.  I get that it’s raining outside and you don’t want to run cable from the CMTS to my house that’s never been wired for cable.  I would have been fine with a re-schedule on a sunnier, less mud ridden day.  Maybe you have seasonal affective disorder.  But please, don’t be rude when you enter someone’s house.   If you aren’t getting paid enough, that’s between you and your employer, not you and me.  When I want to show my boss I need a raise I’ll go out for a few months and give it 150% and get one.  My customers see the exact OPPOSITE of an unhappy employee.

Dirty Technician

Yes, it’s raining and there will probably be a bit of dirt here and there on my carpets.  This is why the DirectTV guys wore little booties over their work boots and asked if they should take their shoes off.  This guy came in with mud filled boots and ground it in the carpet.  Thanks for that…. I’m leaving it to cement in while I wait for your supervisor to take his own pictures.

Mud on the carpet

Mud, dirt, and insulation

When I notified him of the mud on the carpet, he said that it wasn’t mud, but insulation.  Yes, a lot of that is insulation.  And some it is from mud.  When I asked if he had some booties he could wear while in the house, he said “I’m not furnished with those”.  I asked if he’d use some Kroger bags I could give him while he was going up and down the stairs he said sure, but went in and out of the house at least twice without using them.  So my wife laid down a spare towel to at least soak up some of the wet dirt.

Towel for the dirty man

Towel for the dirty man, next to unused bags for his dirty feet.

Lazy/Incompetent Technician

The first sign of laziness?  The fact that his pants weren’t above his rear end.  If you’re not proactive enough to pull your pants all the way up in the morning, you shouldn’t be the first line of customer contact for a company.

Another example of laziness… A dent in my wall.  I don’t even know HOW it happened, but about a foot above the carpet at the top of the stairs, there’s a dent/scuff.  I’m sure he was carrying something up the stairs lazily and just bumped the wall.  If you’re deliberate with your actions, you won’t make careless lazy mistakes. I do know it wasn’t there the last time I ran up the stairs.

Dent in Wall

Dent in wall

You want yet another example of laziness?  It’s 61 degrees outside and he leaves the front door wide open.  When I see stuff like this, it’s because he doesn’t want to have to go through the extra 3 seconds it takes to open a door when he’s running out to his truck.  It’s laziness.  Plain and simple.  The problem is this: It’s cold outside and I have 3 animals that would like nothing better than to run outside if a door is opened for any extended period of time.  Did he know I had 3 animals?  No, he didn’t ask.  But he was there when I answered the door with a dog trying her hardest to get outside.

I’m not finished either. Put this one under laziness and/or incompetence.  But first let me tell you how you install an outlet.  You “drop” a wire in from the top of the framed studs, then you install the outlet box on the inside of one of the studs that the wire is between. It’s really simple.  I’ve done it several times in this an other houses.  In fact, here’s a super simple 16 step process that anybody with a junior high reading level can accomplish.

So, when I tell this guy where I want the outlet, he looks at me and says, “Are you sure you want it there?”.  “Yes, that’s where all of my servers, computers, and networking equipment is.” I reply.  So, he looks entirely dejected because now his simple “plug a modem in” job now includes a little bit of manual labor.  He once again tries to get me to change my mind by telling me that it will be $50 for a “line fish”.  “That’s fine, I figured as much,” I replied.  So, now he has no way out.  He’s going to have to get in my attic and drop a line from the ceiling to install the outlet (next to the other two outlets already there).

Now that he knows his job, I head downstairs to get back to work…. I guess I should have been supervising this guy.  Because he makes a lot of noise upstairs for a little while, comes down, runs outside and puts a ladder up to the side of the house where my office is.

I’m a little worried at this point, so I head out there and ask him hopefully “Is this the line drop from the road?”.  “No sir, I drilled two holes in your siding to connect one part of your attic to your office”.  To which I reply, “No, that’s not acceptable, I don’t want a wiring hanging on the side of my house.  You’ll have to come in from the top.”

Hole in Siding

A nice big hole in my siding with a cable holder just hanging there. Real classy.

He says that it’s just not possible (which it is, because I ran the DSL and CAT5 lines myself).  So, seeing this laziness at it’s peak I tell him to pack his things, clean up, and leave I don’t want him working on my house anymore. Not 5 minutes later, his truck is gone, and only one of the two holes he drilled into my house have been caulked.

Hole in Attic

A nice big hole for rain, snow, dirt, and bugs to get into my house.

 

I take pride in my wiring.  For an amateur, I can keep wires pretty clean.  So naturally I wired up everything before-hand and left the coax cable laying there so the technician didn’t have to touch any of my equipment.  When he leaves, this is what I see:

Fallen Equipment

Fallen Equipment

My Network

A pretty network

 

In the 30-40 minutes this guy was at my house, he managed to:

  • Immediately turn me off on his personality
  • Immediately turn me off on Comcast as a business
  • Grind dirt into my carpet
  • Lose my cat that ran out my door
  • Drill two holes into my house exposing a heated room to the elements.
  • Disconnect a couple of my servers without notice.

I do want to finish with a couple positives:

  • Willie, the supervisor of the installer was very friendly and understanding.
  • Josh from Comcast customer service was also very understand.


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