Monday morning our Internet went out. We’d seen an Xfinity truck on our street, so figured they were working on the problem and it would be fixed soon. After about four hours, we called to see what we could learn. We learned that they already knew that our service was out, and they were waiting for us to call so that they could schedule an appointment to come out and fix the problem.
We also have phone-service through Comcast/Xfinity, and it was out too, so it’s possible they thought they couldn’t call us. (Although they later proved they knew our cell phone numbers). My husband scheduled the first available appointment; 9:00 am the next morning. But that wasn’t good enough for me. I called them back. At least five times. Here’s what they told me (over the course of those calls):
Boy was I frustrated. This was a real Tech Frustration! As I talked with the string of customer service reps, I tried being understating, persuasive, frustrated, angry, very nice and pleading. Afterward I even Tweeted (tagging Comcast). To their credit, they responded to my husband’s re-Tweet and tried to make amends (without changing the service call time).
I finally gave up trying to get everything (or anything) repaired that day. Our Internet was out. Our phone was out. And for some strange reason, the TV worked but only for one channel; HGTV (the last channel we were watching, I assume). My husband is not thrilled about watching HGTV on a good day, and while I like to watch it, I don’t really want to watch it exclusively. So we decided to “gamble” and risk losing even HGTV by rebooting the set-top box. At that point we lost HGTV too.
It was jarring to realize how many things come to a complete halt without Internet access. Years ago I remember taking a class at work about managing “Millennials”. We were told that the Internet was like air to them; they can’t live without it. I think I’ve joined them! Thankfully we still had working cell phones so we weren’t cut off completely.
In the end, while the friendly technician was inside our house the next day, we learned that the guy in the Xfinity truck we’d seen the day before was responding to a concern they had about “noise on the neighborhood line”. He isolated the “noise” to our house and then shut off our Internet, TV, and phone service. Without telling us. Thankfully he was able to fix the problem pretty quickly.
During my fit of exasperation the day before, I asked my husband what options we have for other providers. He said there is no other company that can provide the Internet speeds we have today via Comcast. How can this be true? Isn’t that a monopoly? Why isn’t fast Internet treated like a utility?
I don’t like how dependent I’ve become on Comcast and don’t know what to do about it.