Clueless Comcast

Posted on Thursday 9 August 2012

I’ve been dealing with Comcast, aka Xfinity, for almost 15 years on a fairly regular basis thanks to friends and family, including my brother-in-law and Ellie’s family. I’ve seen some stupid problems and bad installations, but the installation at my friend’s house i fixed last night takes the cake though.

My friend has had Xfinity’s Triple Play for a while and I was surfing the internet after dinner at their house last night. I thought the network was awfully slow, especially for a cable modem connection, so I ran a speedtest. The test reported .47 Mbps down and .18 Mbps upstream which is slower than a bad DSL connection.

I was curious about why it was so slow–even for Comcast, so I asked to see the network setup and found that Comcast had installed two cable modems in parallel. One was setup to provide the voice connection and the other to provide the data connection and I believe the interference of having two active cable modems on their node was causing a huge loss in speed for the data service.

The Comcast morons were either too lazy to run an ethernet cable from the voice-capable cable modem to the router or too stupid to realize having both cable modems running would trash the data service.

So, I disconnected the data only cable modem and ran an ethernet cable back to the voice capable one from the router. We saw the data rates go up by over ten-fold…then Comcast dropped into ‘wall garden’ mode.

I tried to use their online activation, which promptly crashed after saying it was activating the intetnet service. The activation obviously didn’t work.

So I called Comcast’s tech support and sat on hold for 25+ minutes only to get a woman who sounded Indian on the phone. She insisted everything was working properly despite the fact that the only website we could get to was Comcast’s internal activation website. Obviously, we were still in ‘wall garden’ mode.

After arguing with her for 30+ minutes without her being able to understand she was obviously missing something I asked to speak to her supervisor and was put on hold. About 15 minutes later a man came on the line, also with a thick Indian accent, and we spoke. He ran some further diagnostics and was finally able to get the voice cable modem out of ‘wall garden’ mode.

Further testing showed about 18.5 Mbps down and 7.3 Mbps upstream, over a 35-fold improvement in data speeds.

To add insult to injury, Comcast was charging a $7 monthly rental fee for the unnecessary cable modem that was crippling their data service. I’ve told my friends to request a full refund for all of the $7 monthly fees going back to when they originally subscribed to Comcast’s Triple Play service, since this was clearly the fault of the clueless and incompetent installation technicians.

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