Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Seventeen Days in the Desert.

Today is June 29, 2009. It is 8:50AM (Eastern Daylight Saving Time) and I'm beginning my 17th day without the Internet. I've been assured by the powers that be, that today will be the last day of my exile.

You can be sure that it has not been a self imposed exile. It's been brought about, I think, because of the decline of the United States as a top notch nation and the general incompetence of the American worker.

I've made some mention of the fact that Cathy and I recently purchased a house. The house was build in 2002; the first owner had an FHA loan and like so many, was in over her head. The house was valued way too high in 2002 and the woman had a mortgage she could not afford. The house went into foreclosure and was taken over by HUD.

Cathy and I bought the house from HUD at a very good price.

We had a little bit of remodeling to do before we could move in. Once I was certain of the date we'd be moving, I called Comcast (my cable TV and Internet provider) and told the woman to disconnect the service in the apartment on June 15 and start the service at the house on the same day. I was told the tech would arrive at the house between 8 and 11 AM.

He did not show.

What followed with Comcast was almost Kafkaesque.

The woman I spoke with on the phone said there had not been an appointment scheduled and my street address was not in their data base. She said that there would have to be a survey taken to see if service was even available where I live.

Completely pissed off by now, I went to the local Comcast office where I was met with more BS. The house is in an old neighborhood and no one in the office could explain why the house wasn't in the data base or why it shouldn't be in an area of service.

After more phone calls and a complete runaround, I was told that there was no question whatsoever that there was cable service available and the tech would come by on Thursday, June 18.

Much to my surprise, he arrived early that morning. He did not install the cable, however.
He said the house was too far from the nearest pole and cable could not be run directly to the house. He said he wouldn't be allowed to run in underground from the house next door and I would have to call Georgia Power and have a pole put up on my property.

According to an engineer at Georgia Power, Larry the cable guy didn't know what he was talking about. They did not put up poles as the cable guy said. The engineer also said the cable could be run underground over the Georgia Power easement.

Fed up with Comcast, I called ATT. They had a special package, where I could get landline phone (which I didn't need) DSL and satellite TV service (from Direct TV).

OK fine. The tech would be out on Friday, June 26.

The Direct TV guy arrived early that morning. Someone else would be handling the ATT portion, he told me. When no one from ATT arrived while the TV guy was there, I called ATT from my cellphone. There wouldn't be anyone coming by, the ATT rep said. Their work would be done remotely. The DSL modem was due to arrive by UPS that afternoon.

I went inside to check the landline phone and sure enough, it was working.

About an hour after the Direct TV guy left the door bell rang. I was sure it was the guy from UPS.
I was wrong. The guy at the door was from ATT and he said he was there to connect the phone.
That's already been done, I told him. Impossible, he said. He just turned it on. I told him about my conversation with ATT and that I had tried the phone.

Well then, he said; he just turned it off. He went back across the road and turned the service on again. Yes, he said, the DSL modem would arrive via UPS.

I'm sure you know what did not happen next.

When the modem hadn't arrived Friday night, I called ATT Saturday morning.
I was then told that the scheduled arrival for the modem was Monday (today). She even gave me a tracking number.

So, Monday morning has arrived and I sit here like Di Di waiting for Godot.

We'll see.


LarryD said...

I would have to think that your purgatory time has been shortened as a result of this trial.

Theresa Bates said...

Its not the American worker that is stupid - its all the red tape.... too many 'specialist' no more Fix It shops, where you take whatever you have broken..... it have to go to a specialist....... everything is too complicated today..... we need to go back to the simple life, where Floyd the barber cut your hair, Emment fixed whatever was broken and Goober or Gomer pumped your gas.

ComcastCares1 said...

Congrats on your new house and thanks for sharing your experience through this blog.

I work for Comcast and I just wanted to apologize for the experience you had with us. I would like to learn more about your experience so that I can share it with my local contacts for evaluation. Do you mind providing me the phone number or address that was associated with the account?

Thanks in advance,

Mark Casem
Comcast Corp.
National Customer Operations

Robert said...

I sent an email to "Mark Casem" regarding his comment.
We'll see how it develops.