Review by Chris 313
Good "Comcast Phone and Net don't screw with my TV picture. At last! Upgraded to 55/10 3/26/13, speeds exceed AT&T's fastest speed"
- Location: Houma,Terrebonne,LA
- Cost: $68 per month (6 month contract)
- Install: about 1 days
Bad "My area's current internet speeds are 1-2 years behind compared to other CC areas. Slow to upgrade equipment vs other areas"
Overall "Dumped Comcast TV and phone for U-Verse and Vonage. Comcast Net still works great. Still happy"
|Pre Sales information:|
Value for money:
(ratings above consensus)
(For latest updates, scroll down to the bottom of my review for the newest happenings.)
Back in 2000, I first got on the internet with my first computer and a free year of America Online, provided by Gateway. In mid 2001, the free year expired and my family had to start paying for it. BIG mistake. We had money in the bank to pay the month, but they didn't take it out. Three months later, they took out three months worth all at once and screwed things up. Due to a billing dispute, my internet was canceled and I was off-line for two months.
Two months later, I was sitting in front of my computer and saw the MSN internet icon on my desktop. I clicked on it and began sign-up. Since my family's bank account was tied up, my Aunt graciously agreed to pay for my internet until things were straight.
Just as the billing situation got straight with AOHell, they still had the nerve to send us a notice, saying that we owed 28 and change for a month. They never saw it and never will.
I stayed with MSN dial-up from mid 2001 to January 31, 2004. Thus began my entrance into the broadband world and begins my time with Time Warner Cable's RoadRunner service, which is now Comcast High Speed Internet.
On January 31, 2004, I joined the High speed internet bandwagon with Time Warner Cable's RoadRunner service. At the time it was rated at 3000/384. Over time I was upgraded to 5000/384. A few months after that, I got into on-line gaming and VoIP. On 9/3/04, I upgraded to RoadRunner Premium running at 8000/512, I enjoyed that great service for 8 1/2 months until it degraded on 11/29/04. (Now, I believe it was my old computer hardware, because my new system flies.) Believing I wasn't getting my money's worth, I went back to standard internet at 5000/384, and there I sat until now...
On August 1, 2006, it was said that because of the Time Warner Cable/Comcast buyout of the Adelphia cable systems, my area was being sold off to Comcast. (After reading the Comcast horror stories on BroadBandReports.com, I declared it'd be a cold day in hell before I moved to an area served by Comcast. Instead, Comcast invaded my area. Hell has frozen over; I'll be officially served by Comcast by January 1, 2007 or a bit less. Comcast has moved in operations but it's said that we're still on the RoadRunner network.)
Knowing the horror that is Comcast, my family and relatives went into this prepared to rail at the first problem, and so it came when we tried to get service at a house we're moving to. Three years ago, we fell on hard times and the cable had to go after we owed a huge bill. With the help of a friend, we went and paid it off. Now, Time Warner and Comcast' records show that we still owed the back bill that we paid three years previous. Upon this revelation, we were given two choices: Pay it a second time (they don't keep records for more then a year, but yet they told us we needed to keep ours for ten years) or go without service at our new address. After wincing at the amount of the bill, we put up the money and paid the 151.55 back bill for a second time. (Were definitely keeping the receipts now.) Then, the next shock: Install charges of 188.24 that they wouldnt bill us for; we had to pay up front. (At our last house, Time Warner let us put it on the bill and paid out over several months. Comcast didnt. That still confuses the hell out of us, but we presume that it was because they think were not a good risk cause of that back bill we had to pay TWICE!)
So, to get service in our new house again, we had to pony up a combined amount of 339.79
This was certainly the most expensive cable install my family has ever had.
After we get this out of the way, we setup a disconnect date and transfer of services between our homes. A disconnect of the 5th of September and a transfer and install of service at the new place for the 7th (We were originally supposed to be moved in for September 1st; that still hasnt happened cause the house wasnt finished as of this writing.) We ended up canceling the disconnect entirely and making the install date for three different times. The most current install date was set for the 26th of this month and we were unable to change it in time
This brings us to today. - 09/25/06 - 7:30 A.M.
We get ourselves ready and go over to the house to wait for the installer to show up from 8:00 to 12 noon. After about 8:30, no installer, so we made a comment about Comcast screwing up the order in the system and them not having any record of it ever being put in. Boy, do we hate being right about these things. A friend of ours whips out her cell after our comment, dials Comcast and gets an animated machine saying that they had no record. (Surprise, surprise! Were starting to understand why people on BBR call Comcast, Comcrap, instead.) At our urging, she hangs up, dials again and gets a live person, in Atlanta (How someone in Atlanta can know whats going on here locally is confusing as hell) but he did confirm that they had a record of our install and he was still coming at 8 to 12.
Come 10:05 am, my friends phone rings: Its him calling to say hes on his way. (How nice, a Time Warner Cable/Comcast tech actually calls to confirm were there for the install.) Thirty seconds later, he pulls up and introduces himself as Blair. He came by himself despite the ladder work and crawling he had to do. Poor guy looked like he was having trouble lifting the ladder off the truck and keeping his balance without falling.
A few minutes later, after the ladder work, he comes into the house to look around for line placements. We tell him where we wanted the respective lines (3 in my room, 1 in the living room and an already existing line in my moms room.) As he goes into her room, he sees no line and wont run a new one because its not on the order sheet. (Despite the fact we offered to pay him. He said he might not have time either. Our mom said shes have them come out and run the new line later on. Later on, as he was looking outside, he found the existing line and just fished it through the floor and my mom's room was in business.) Next, he leaves for his truck and brings in three boxes full of bundled cable and wires the living room and my bedroom.
Everything looks ok until we watch him in our room
When ordering, we requested that three SEPARATE lines be ran for our devices and for maximum signal quality. (Our current cable lines are one old line thats probably 10 years old and split and spliced three times. As you can imagine, my TV picture blows.)
The tech is wiring up our room and he said hes not going to run the three lines we requested, but splice one line to use for my modem and computer DVR. Splicing is what gives us the horrible picture quality we have now. So, despite our pleas of no splicing; he spliced and technically, instead of having three lines, we have only two
Blair assured us that despite the splice, our computer will have the strongest signal possible and provide good picture and modem performance.
After were fully moved into our new house, well put this techs words to the test and if we get bad performance as we have here, the tech will return and fix it until were satisfied.
Potential Comcast Customers, be on your guard and watch everything these guys do, they might try and sneak something in like a splice when you request a separate line, explicitly.
Other than that, Comcast is pretty stable and I would recommend them.
Ill update this review as warranted with my future results and testing.
Yesterday, at about 10:30 a.m., I was awakened to find my internet, tv and phone offline. After some thinking, I found out that Comcast shut us off because of our being connected at the new house. Despite our having our equipment here and not there. (When we ordered new service for the house, we said that we wanted to keep the service on at our current place. By this, you can see they screwed up) So today, we went to Comcast and spoke to a woman named Debra, who turned us off cause she wanted to make sure we didn't get double billed. After a short talk with her, we got everything straightened out and have service at both places like we requested, plus a credit for a day's service.
She also said that without the equipment being at the house, the tech who wired the place wasn't supposed to do that. She said Blair (the tech who wired the place) was new. And like Blair said, I would have to have Comcast come out and make sure the equipment matches what they have on file so I can get fully hooked up once in the house.
So, my experience thus far with Comcast has mostly been good, our branch at least, is quick to fix their mistakes. So, as long as it works, I'm happy.
Since I've moved here a few months ago, I've had this funny issue with the emergency broadcast system on the tv and my modem. Every time the message pops up on the tv, my modem loses connection. It only happens if my tv is on, off there is no problem.
Today, I finally get around to calling Comcast after talking to a few people on here who say whatever happens on tv is not supposed to effect the modem. Here it does, so we got a problem.
I call them, wait on hold for like 20 minutes and some dumb-ass has the wrong phone number in the computer (he says he can't change it cause he needs permission from his supervisor. The number and address was changed twice, personally at the main office, so something is wrong somewhere.). In addition to this, an old bill that we've now paid twice (see review) has come back up and might have caused us problems (Damn those suckers! We've saved the receipt for just this purpose, so screw em'! Heh, heh, heh...)
When we request a tech to come out, he says today 1 to 5 (It was already past 3:30. Shows how much this guy was paying attention, huh?) The tech shows up at like 4:30, also called to confirm before hand. (Nice touch, thank you.) When Bubba (also very nice, kudos to him!) gets into the house, we start explaining the problem. He's never heard of our issue, so he gets on the phone and talks, guy number 2 has no idea. Now, with guy number 3, we're getting somewhere. (Third guy was a head end tech who triggered the emergency message, no modem flicker whatever on his end.) With this revelation, we tell Bubba our setup and what the first installer, Blair, did.
As it turns out, I could have had the three lines that I originally requested and that the split might be my problem. (That or my 2 years old and still solid, except for this one problem, SB5100) Bubba is going to get with the head-end tech and do some testing. If they have to swap my modem to get it to work, great, if not, they'll come out and run the third line as I originally requested.
As we were finishing up, I went out to Bubba's van to talk modem swaps. He was impressed that I knew what model he carried. (Motorola SB5120s) All brand new in boxes and plastic wrapped.
He told us that he and the tech will call tomorrow with more info, Bubba said that they might wanna take my modem to the head-end and test it. If it's the modem, they swap. Easily done. If it's not my modem, they're gonna rerun the split line and give me my three lines as I wanted originally.
Today's activity brings up an old saying, Why can't they give the customer what they want? If Blair had originally given me the three lines as requested, I might be completely solid right now. He didn't and now I have problems, however small they are.
Oh, well, if it's the line, they'll have to fix it for free was what Bubba said. If they have to swap modems, that's free too since I rent. Either way, I'm not gonna stop until I get this fixed to my satisfaction.
Kudos to Bubba for his quick response and willingness to help a customer in need. (As I waved him off, he said he had another six installs to do after me. Wow, huh? That's dedications for ya. Great man.)
I'll update this with what I find out from them.
Now, I'm starting to understand all those horror stories about Comcast and their tech department. Yesterday, it was said by Bubba that they were going to call with more info today. I get up to find no call but someone did come by. Instead of knocking and letting us know they came, they stick a yellow hanger on the door! One of those "sorry we missed you" things. When I turned it over, there's a note that says "We will be out on 1-12-07 between 1-5 pm to run added outlet in room, no charge. We will also put a filter on tv line for EMS. - Comcast"
I guess they've diagnosed my problem, but it would've been nice to hear this from them, not to read it later. On the bright side of things, I'm finally getting my three separate lines like I originally requested and at no charge! (Wanna bet that Comcast tries to sneak a charge in anyway or tries to still bring up that old bill that we've now paid twice?) If that happens, we've saved the hanger saying no charge and will fight it.
Overall, I'm happy they've seemingly diagnosed my problem to something the first installer, Blair, did. (Bubba says he was a new guy. I believe he should have been training with a guy like Bubba. Had Bubba did my install, this probably would've not happened.)
I'm also disappointed that they didn't call or knock when they came.
I'll update this on Friday the 12th with news of how it went.
Oh, and another thing, what's this EMS filter?
On the 12th, a tech named Bryce showed up to deal with my modem issue and said that the reason my modem was disconnecting only during the Emergency Broadcast System message was because the signal was too low. To fix this, he installed an amp to raise the signal. Oh boy, and raise it, it did...To too high a level and it screwed with my computer DVR picture to where it was almost unwatchable and had static on every channel. I only noticed it after he left (Stupid me, I didn't check everything)
After about 2 weeks of trying to get Comcast out here, I finally get someone to come out today. A tech named Clark. (Easy to remember since I've been reading up on Superman, aka, Clark Kent.) He comes in, says they can do nothing to fix my modem disconnect during the EMS broadcast because they have the say so to effect any device, including cable modems. I say no because during my time before Comcast took over when I was on Time Warner, the EMS broadcast didn't freeze my modem one bit.
After this, I explain my computer's horrible picture and point out the amp that Bryce installed. After some unhooking and re-hooking it was the amp he put on! Before he put it on, my signal was ok (Clark said he might have been a contractor. A part time one at that! Don't trust people like this, they may screw up!) and that the amp gave me too much signal and was screwing things up (And did nothing to fix my modem's disconnect issue).
After some more explaining, he finds out that I requested 3 lines, and I should have gotten them, not the split that Blair (the installer the first time)did. He goes out to his truck after doing a signal check on my tv, finding out that since it's on it's own line, I've got huge signal, grabs some cable and splits between my tv and modem, leaving the separate line for my computer DVR. (The picture has never been this clear. I love it!) After another signal check, he pronounces it good. Though this is a temporary line, it works great for now, and Clark is going back to the office to make the time for them to come out and run lines so I have my three lines and good signal going to all my devices. He said they'll call with the appointment time too. Great service!
The only bad thing that happened today was that he dropped my modem on the floor while unhooking the lines. I thought it might have broke but it didn't. And if it did, all he'd have to do was get a fresh one from the truck.
After today's activities, I'm pretty satisfied again. After my lines are all up and running, I'll be completely satisfied. They sent me a competent tech this time and I thanked him profusely for his fixing my tv problem. It remains to be seen weather or not my modem disconnect is fixed, but we'll see.
These are the signals I had after Bryce put the amp on my line and messed up my computer's tv picture in the bargain:
Frequency 561000000 Hz Locked
Signal to Noise Ratio 35 dB
Power Level 6 dBmV
The Downstream Power Level reading is a snapshot taken at the time this page was requested. Please Reload/Refresh this Page for a new reading
Channel ID 3
Frequency 31008000 Hz Ranged
Power Level 51 dBmV
These are my signals after Clark finished his work and got my computer's picture clear again: Downstream Value
Frequency 561000000 Hz Locked
Signal to Noise Ratio 35 dB
Power Level -2 dBmV
The Downstream Power Level reading is a snapshot taken at the time this page was requested. Please Reload/Refresh this Page for a new reading
Channel ID 3
Frequency 31008000 Hz Ranged
Power Level 44 dBmV
I'll update this with what I find out about my line install.
This date marks the third year I've had Broadband Cable internet. First I started out with Time Warner Cable's RoadRunner at 3/384. Then, August 2006, Comcast came in and took over. I still have the Motorola SurfBoard 5100 from my original RoadRunner install on January 31, 2004 and it's been great through all of this. Now, I'm still having only this one frustrating problem with my modem disconnecting when the Emergency broadcast system message flashes on my TV. Other than that, it's been 100% solid.
I'll look forward to posting the solution to my problem when it finally gets fixed soon.
Went to Comcast today to see how the appointment made by Clark, the tech from my 1/25 visit, was progressing. Talked to a nice lady named Christine. She looked it up and said he hasn't submitted his paperwork for our request yet...Almost a month later. She said she might talk to him tomorrow and give me a call. Lucky for them, they have my right phone number on file, yet on the work order, they have two numbers that we've not had for years. Efforts to get that little oversight corrected numerous times have failed due to some dumb ass somewhere not inputting the right things.
About a month wait to get lines run is, in my opinion, unacceptable. I don't know if it's the Time Warner to Comcast transition, but billing and setting times to get new wiring or services is horrible at the moment. I REALLY hope this gets better.
The story gets more interesting...
Not 2 hours after I get home, someone from an 800 number, named Michelle, calls my mother inquiring about a 108 bill back from October 31, 2006 for this address. Tell me, would I still have services here if I actually owed a bill from way back then? I know we paid it, but I don't have a receipt in hand. So, while I'm off looking, she's waiting on hold. When I get back to the phone, I hear it beeping...She HUNG up on me!
Poor billing practices abound, this was probably a collection agency of some sort and when I go to Comcast, watch them not have any record of an outstanding bill and me be all paid up. I'll certainly be grabbing a receipt to that effect for future suckers who try to get money on this issue when there is no reason to pay a second time.
My ratings of Comcast tech support and billing just dropped. Let's see how fast they manage to fix this.
Went to Comcast to see about that collection agency woman, Michelle, and tracked it down. It's legit, not bogus like I thought. And I also learned that the back bill of 108.04 from October 31,2006 is not for our current address, we're all paid up here. The bill is actually from the Apartment we moved from. Finally, a straight answer. Though the amount of the bill doesn't really make sense either as the apartment we moved from paid for 75 channels of cable. Another thing to check out when making arrangements to pay this bill.
On the bright side of things, Christine said Clark put in his paperwork, but doesn't remember the circumstances of what I wanted. She went ahead and put in an order for three outlets. What the problem is, is that I already have lines in here that need fixing. This order would've put in 5 1/2 lines in the end. What a screw-up, eh? After getting this squared away, I will have three SEPARATE lines like I originally requested. What a fiasco this has been. My install date is 2-26-07 from 1 to 5 pm and I'll update with what happens.
Wish me luck!
Last night, I finally got the cables unpacked for my digital cable box and hooked them up. Within minutes, I find that after several months of being off, my box was de-authorized. Today, I call Comcast despite it being the weekend and get a nice woman named Jamie. I explain my problem and she sends a refresh signal to my box. While I'm on the phone with her, the time pops up and my box starts working, but I couldn't change channels, so I pulled the power cord and the box rebooted,
Everything works good now on the TV front. Now, I'm waiting on the installers to come Monday to fix my wiring that was documented in my review and last few updates.
I'll definitely be updating for that too.
A Tech 1 contractor named Ryan showed up at 2:25 out of my 1-5 window. I explained to him my situation and he readily agreed to do what I had originally ask: Run 3 SEPARATE lines. I told him what the other tech, Clark, had done. He removed the splitter that I had on my tv line so that line was by itself and then went out to his truck to get the spool of cable. I watched him fish out a HUGE line and thread it through the floor and along the side paneling and to the box. He put a splitter in the box and came in side to do the wiring. After he was done, I had the three lines I've been waiting months for and everything works. He also helped me eliminate a problem I've been having for months. I'll have to do more testing to be sure, but, we know it isn't the lines now.
And something funny. We got to talking about upcoming speed upgrades and I find he's not getting the speed he should for what he pays. So I gave him my settings and DrTCP. He's gonna call me and tell me if that perks him up or not. I bet it will.
I FINALLY got my three lines! About 8 months now and I finally get them! Was that so hard, Comcast? And at no charge either!
I'm fully satisfied with my service for the moment. Let's see how they perform in the future with my next requests.
I got my computer back from the shop yesterday (Not completely fixed either when they said it was ) and have a bit to add to my review. During the time away, we got officially transitioned to Comcast. I've had two down times, one during a really bad storm about 4 or so days ago and another for about 5 hours about 2 days ago (The time of the transition I'd imagine.)
Since the time away from my computer, my modem still lost connection during the Emergency Broadcast System despite my having the three lines, and now I can't stop it since I'm hooked to a digital box. The only way to turn it off would be to actually cut the power, but then I'm at risk to lose possible recordings which I don't want to do. So, I've just dealt with it. Since the transition though, the EBS has played like three times in one day, nothing from my modem at all. Weather this was because I was watching a recording at the time or they've truely fixed the problem isn't known yet. I'll update when I have proof.
Update: 3/23/07, 2:47 PM:
The Emergency Broadcast System just hit. Though it effects my TV, as expected, the problem with it effecting my modem has apparently been solved!
I'll enjoy my Comcast service just a bit more now.
On 4/23/07 I finally got my email transitioned to Comcast. For several weeks I tried that transition page »welcome.comcast.net/Login.do only for it not to accept the user name and password that accessed my email. Finally, it did and I was able to successfully transfer my email to a comcast.net account.
I also have access to Comcast.net now. The free goodies they give you are awesome and expensive if you use each one yourself. I use the radio program they offer which I actually already pay for and can stop now that it's free. I love it.
Since my last tech visit, my computer TV viewing has been crystal and my actual TV has been a bit fuzzy, this has since cleared up and I'm happy.
Now if only Comcast would offer the 8/768 package and a new DVR to replace my malfunctioning one.
For the past several weeks I've been noticing snowy picture on a lot of the channels, but other times it's clear as a bell on some channels. About a week ago, this problem affected my Media Center computer where the channels 2-6 are unwatchable. This is unacceptable for what I pay every month. I'll be talking to Comcast tomorrow and seeing when they can come out and fix this.
Also today, I got a rude call from a collector looking for a past Comcast bill, saying we had owed 80 dollars and change out of 100 and change that I've been paying on at the Comcast office. He was very rude in demanding the money owed and said we were supposed to make arrangements with them to pay, not Comcast as we have been for these past 2 months. When we answered him telling we had the receipts showing we had been making payments, he HUNG UP, just like the previous woman, Michelle.
I'll be checking into that DO NOT CALL LIST to stop these rude phone calls.
Paid the cable bill today. Talked to Debra again and she brought up the back bill, wanting to know if we wanted to put anything on it. At hearing this, we told her about the harrassing phone call we received from that man in my last update. She said that he was in error, and that we're not supposed to pay him, we're supposed to pay them, since we made arrangements with Comcast anyway.
After hearing this, she said that after we finish paying the back bill, she's going to call CMI, (the collector) and get them to ditch the collection fee since we're making an effort to pay off the bill.
My family was amazed at this display of CS since this isn't Comcast's normal MO. This one woman gets serious points in our book.
Also, after several days of getting an "office is closed" message, we were finally able to get to someone at a CS desk in Kansas! Here again, it boggles the mind how someone there could know about what's happening here or even schedule help for me locally. He said the phone lines had been screwed up. We went through the details of telling about our picture problems and got a tech visit set for Monday, 2-5 PM.
If the appointment is kept, I'll update with what happens regardless.
Yesterday, a tech who was here before named Clark, showed up at 3:30 out of a 2-5 window. After explaining, he plays with some cables and gets a slightly better picture on my computer, but it's still very fuzzy. It's very confusing how the picture on here could be clear as a bell one minute and really fuzzed the next. My internet is perfect though.
My actual TV's picture is basically the same, fuzzy sometimes, crystal on others.
In the process of testing, he screws with the box and it triggers an update which he says will take up to an hour. Thinking he couldn't do anymore, he gets in his truck and bolts. 5 minutes later, the box boots up.
That really burns me up that he didn't stick around for at least 5 minutes more to see. Which means I've got to call Comcast, get another tech out here and do this dance again.
No matter how long it takes, I will find a solution to this.
Two days ago, I ordered a new router to replace on that I thought was dying due to me not getting my rated speed, through the router. Since it was just after I moved, I thought something happened to it. I received a Linksys WRT54GL v1.1 and hooked it up, worked like a charm except for one thing: I was still experiencing a cut in speed from 6.60 to a flat 4000. How can I have 2 routers experience the same exact problem? I went through the motions and nothing worked, until I did something I didn't do before: Take my AT&T CallVantage VOIP box out of the picture and just hook up the modem, PC and Router. During this, I discovered I had a bad Cat 5 cable. Easily fixed. After hooking up as mentioned above, I saw instant improvement, including something I've not seen yet: Download PowerBoost up in the 24,000 range!
Pity it doesn't last for more than a minute at most...Though if they crank the speed at 24,000+ a minute usually does it for smaller files.
Now that I've solved this problem, my internet rocks again, but I have to solve the VOIP box problem so I have everything hooked up and have my speed too.
After months of being hounded to collect a back bill as noted above, I've finally paid it off with this month's payment. Also since I hadn't asked the previous 2 months or so, I enquired about the 8/768 package. They FINALLY have it, only problem is they're charging me almost 70 when it should be 52.95 with the package I have. They're still on Time Warner's pricing system. So now, my new bill is gonna be 135 every month. Not bad since I've paid this once before when I had Road Runner Premium back in 2004.
I'll look forward to the switch to national pricing.
I also have cable box issues with a DVR recording some shows but not others. I offered to bring it in, but they insisted on sending a tech out. They don't have any openings until the 17th. I wasn't too happy with that, but if I get a box that works, it's worth it.
When I got home, I speed tested and only got 6.60. So I pulled my modem and router and when I finally got connected, I was redirected to the walled garden for the first time ever. Not a bad looking page... Not wanting to deal with the software and crap, I called up Comcast and got a helpful woman named Blair who said she could easily help me. Calling in my MAC is a first for me too. After about 15 minutes of talking and testing, I was able to get to the regular internet and got 16,000+ and 768+ from speedtest.net. Maybe the start of upload PowerBoost? I hope so.
Now that I finally have the 8/768 package, I max out at a sustained speed of 8.80, more if PB keeps kicking in for some reason.
I am very happy with Comcast HSI and will update this when my TV appointment comes around.
I called Comcast today to confirm my apointment time. The 17th from 8-11.
I'll update this tomorrow with what I find out.
Tech called me at 9 am to confirm the swap of my DVR, (I'm liking this call to confirm thing.) 9:32 pops up and a tech named Cody's walking in the door. After a two minute chat, he agrees the box is screwy, goes to his truck and brings in another one of the same brand and model that's screwy. Wait a minute here, I thought from the view at the Comcast office, (Stacks of new looking Motorola boxes) that they had solved their software screw up. Apparently not. I ask what's the deal and he says software's screwy. After hooking up the box, it takes a bit to get to working and he says he might have a brick on his hands. After a few minutes, it's working and he goes.
I'm satisfied for now, but am disappointed that I had to lose all my recording, only to get the same kind of box that I've had to change out 3 times already, only to have the same problem crop up a few months later. He says maybe it'll last a few years, I hope so and I hope that the boxes before were just a bad batch.
Guess I'll know in a month or so. Hopefully, by that time, Comcast will have some Motorola boxes and I can try one of those.
I have to give Cody credit, though. He was very fast in getting here and did his job competently.
On another note, last night, my internet became real slow and I couldn't get any kind of speed until I reset the modem? Night work on the system maybe? I hope so.
I'll update this as things continue.
Two days ago, I received a paper from Comcast detailing price changes and channel line up, effective August 16, 2007. We're finally on Comcast National Pricing. In some areas this is a good thing, in others...not so much.
My Internet is going down from 69.95 to 52.95 since I have a TV package. My TV is going up 2 dollars and my DVR is going up 2 dollars.
I've read about Comcast's 3.00 modem rental, but it doesn't say anything about the rental fee in the paper except for the e-MTA modem used for Comcast Digital Voice, so maybe I won't get charged for the modem I've had included in the price I've paid for almost 4 years. I'll be watching to see how this comes out.
The paper says I've also got the choice of signing up for a Service Protection Plan for 2.99 a month to eliminate being charged for service call issues.
I don't know if I'll sign up for this or opt-out, but given the past of my ordeal, I think I might sign up and then opt-out later.
As of this writing, I've also received my next bill and it's saying 154.00 instead of the 135 I was quoted. After a bit of research, I find it's right up for the upcoming month, and the month after that's bill will be lower.
The 8/768 package still rules. I have discovered the free Fileplanet subscription that this tier affords me and am having some problems with that, but am working on getting it solved. On sites that can really push these speeds, I get a PowerBoost of up to 23,000 and a sustained speed of 8.80.
I like it.
TV isn't too bad either, but it's still too early to tell if the box will continue working.
I just checked out my Comcast Fileplanet subscription and the problems I was having seems to be fixing themselves. I can now hit at least 3 megs. Given a bit more time, I hope it maxes out my 8.80 connection.
At 1:32 AM tonight my modem died while I was IM'ing a friend. About half an hour later, it sync'd back up and I ran a speed test. I have Upload Powerboost now. I was hoping it'd be the 16/2 Blast! upgrade, but I'll settle for this for now as Blast! can't be too far behind.
Comcast HSI continues to rock and the TV situation appears to be getting better. My DVR is still functioning for every recording made.
I'll update again when things come.
With the help of Dadkins, I tested my Upload Powerboost with a 100 megabyte file and the boost lasts for 15 megs at 1.78 Mbits before fizzing out to 768.
I like it, it helps!
After reading some topics in the Comcast forum, I've decided to use something Rick said and upped my Rwin from 128480 to 200020 and I now get 32 Mbits when bursting. The burst only lasts for about 32 megs, but that 32 megs of a file comes in as fast as I can look from one side of my screen to the other.
Nice going, Comcast!
At 4:52 pm today, my TV and modem died, TV came back up about 30 minutes later, but it wasn't until 2 and 1/2 hours later my modem sync'd back up. I ran a speed test and it was coming up as Blast! 16/2 speeds, but when running a download, I got Powerboost, a bit longer higher, but still, just Powerboost. When running a speedtest, my Upload Powerboost seems to have gotten a kick, I used to get 1.2-1.5, now I get a steady 1.72.
On the 5th at 1:24 AM, I experienced a loss of conectivity that lasted less than an hour. I got back online with no noticible difference, then at 3:55 AM I lost it again and it stayed that way for just about the rest of the night and most of the day. I got connected again at just a little after 11 PM, then was knocked off 10 minutes later. I spent all of today until about 2 PM watching my lights blink. Whatever they're doing problem fixing wise is the longest and most nerve wracking I've experienced yet.
At about 2, I was able to finally sync up and get back online, albeit very slow loading and speeds. I then left to go pay some bills, including going to Comcast to fix a misbilling with my internet. It was billed as 67.95 when I'm supposed to be paying 52.95 + 3.00 for the modem rental. When I arrived, the place was empty, (Very big surprise since it's usually almost always packed) I talked to a girl named Roxanne, very competent and knew me well. She took one look at my bill, noted the correction and even gave me the 1 dollar and change for the downtime I've had, giving me about 15 bucks worth of credit on my next month's bill. (The only thing that bothers me now is now that the bill has been corrected, they'll start charging me the 3.00 for a modem I received from Time Warner almost 4 years ago. Maybe I can do something to get them to take it off.)
Other than being offline, it has been a pleasant day and I'll be checking my bill for the credits next month.
Will update when it happens...
On Friday, I called up Comcast to check into getting Digital Starter with HBO and OnDemand. I got someone in BILLING! I get transfered and the guy tells me the system is down. I call back an hour later, get someone in billing again, system is still down, so I hang up. I decided to actually go in on Monday.
That's when the fun really started...
On Monday, I go to take care of business for the day, first stop, Comcast. Upon arriving, I see the place is packed, so I prepare myself for a wait. After waiting through 5 people with more filing in behind me, (I have no idea why the place has three windows but only one person servicing all of us) I get up there, talk to Roxanne again. I asked about the Digital Started + HBO and On Demand, only to be told that it was for NEW customers and that I already had Digital Starter according to their lineup. If I do have the package, where the hell is the HBO they advertise?
It really pisses me off that they offer all kinds of goodies to NEW customers, but won't even throw a bone to a customer who's been with them for 20 years through three different cable companies. You'd think they'd be happy to give me the upgrade as they'd get 5 dollars more out of me and get me off Analog onto Digital.
I won't let this go easily. I don't know if this woman had her facts straight, being so busy and all, but I'll get to the bottom of this and get what I want one way or another.
To everyone who has Comcast or is thinking about it, get what you want now and enjoy it cause you will never get what you want and at a better price later, not without a huge fight.
This time's recent antics have got me thinking about alternatives such as Dish and DirecTV.
I'll update this with what I find out.
Today, I got the corrected Comcast bill in. My TV is now listed as Digital Starter, is 11 bucks cheaper then what I was paying, including my DVR service. The only thing I don't have is the HBO as listed on the website. Maybe I'm not up for that deal. My bill is cheaper so I'm not complaining. They also got my internet right. It's listed as 52.95 + 3.00 modem rental. I even got a 15 dollar credit due to the mishap.
I pay a total of 107.98 now. I'm happy.
Unfortunately, the good news also came with some bad. Around 2:10 PM today, I got hit with a disconnect as listed above that lasted until 6:50 tonight. I will be going back to Comcast tomorrow and getting credit, even if it's only cents to a dollar, every bit helps.
I'll update with my findings.
Yesterday, I went to Comcast to get credit for the several hours outage I experienced on Thursday. I had to wait through about 10 people and 45 minutes later I finally got to the counter, I dealt with one of the CSRs that's usually so helpful to me. Instead, she stared at me blankly and when I started to talk about the outage, she said she couldn't help me cause they only give out credit for days outages or more. Why couldn't they have told me that on the phone and saved me a trip out there? It'd have been a lot more helpful If I could've actually gotten through, but no, their phone system is screwy.
To make matters worse, she started laughing at my issue. My only solace was that she had to suffer through it too and write everything down on slips of paper then enter it all into the system when it was back online the next day.
Comcast's customer service sucks! They shouldn't be as packed as they are and have only two people working a full house when there's three windows.
I also feel they should issue credits automatically for system downtime. Especially when everyone is out. I can't help but wonder, is business class also treated like this?
On another, happier note, it has been exactly one year since I was wired and hooked up with Comcast service in my new home. So far it has been a hell of a roller coaster ride getting my service the way I wanted and acceptable.
The price has gone down slightly and I'm very happy about that. It should be anytime now that I'm due for the 16/2 Blast! upgrade and they've finally got my bill straight with all the correct package terms and I'm paying even less now then I was before.
When and if my DVR box dies again, I'll update, but for now, I don't think they'll be any more major things to update for, but if they come, I'll be sure to post them here.
It's really been a hell of a year so far...
When I got home today at about 5:30, I had no connectivity and my modem lights were blinking. I was out AGAIN! What is Comcast doing?!
After about 2 hours, I was back, but now my speeds are unstable. Powerboost lasts only seconds now, as is stated by Comcast, instead of the 40MB or so I've been getting for a long time. My speeds are also unstable. Instead of the 8.80 sustained I've been getting, it jumps around from 8.6 to lower.
Unless Blast! is coming and soon, I'm very unsatisfied at the moment.
Will update with what I find.
This morning at 3:05, I wake up to see my modem blinking. I was back online at around 3:19, but needed to reboot to regain connectivity.
Nothing's changed speed wise. I did get a little higher powerboost, but that could be a fluke.
More to follow later...
Went out at 3:07 am and got back online at 4:32 am. Nothing has changed speed wise, TV was unaffected the whole time.
Got knocked off at 9:31 this morning, back online at 10:03. Nothing changed...
On November 11, 2007, I was knocked off at 1:49 in the morning, service wasn't restored until 5:10 am. While this wouldn't bother most people, it bothers the hell out of me since I'm up and using the connection at that time.
This morning it gets even worse...
I'm in bed, sleeping and wake up around 2 am to see my modem blinking, offline. It stayed that way until 10:45 this morning. In my opinion, this is unacceptable, but I can't switch to DSL or even go back to dial-up cause the place isn't wired for it.
Whatever they're doing that causes muti-hour outages during the day, they need to quit it, or in my area, they'll lose a load of customers.
Comcast HSI is worth what I pay for it, but only when it works and the worst part is they won't issue credit since it's not been down a day.
Two days ago, a outage hit at 12:50 PM and lasted several hours. What is Comcast doing that they knock everyone out in the middle of the day!? After I came back on, I didn't see any change in service. Another useless outage.
When will Comcast give us something worth it in one of these outages?
And I was so happy to almost be a month without a disconnect, so much for that, huh?
Since my last update, my connection has pretty much stabilized. No disconnects that I've seen and I've managed to fix the crappy TV picture on my computer. It was the software controlling my tuner card. It's really buggy. The software I'm using now is a bit screwy, but works tons better.
The picture on my actual TV is still screwy, but this whole thing has me wondering if it's been my TV all along? Are the tubes going bad? Time will tell.
Powerboost has also changed. Instead of getting 8.88-32,000Mbits for 40MB of a file like I've been getting for months, it's now limited to 16Mbits but goes at varying degrees for 80MB of a file. Are they testing Blast! ? Time will tell. I'm getting my full 8.88 that I'm paying for though, so I can't complain.
Today also marks the fourth year I've had cable internet since it was first Time Warner Cable's Road Runner service and now Comcast HSI. It's been quite the ride so far and I can't see myself without it now.
At 2:38 this morning, I had a disconnect. At 2:46, I reconnected and did some testing. Powerboost comes in at around 20 megs then fizzles to 8.88. No Blast! yet, but I'll take what I can get.
These are the kind of outages I like. Short and you actually get something out of it.
Yesterday, I went out to Comcast on a whim and found the place just about empty. (Guess those charges Comcrap put in place about paying your bill in person worked.) For a while now, I've been wanting to upgrade my TV package and had the means and the time to, yesterday.
Once I got inside, I found the place nearly empty and only one person working the counter. I go up and talk to the woman, (Didn't get her name, but I've dealt with her before. Nice and pretty competent,) I say, I wanna upgrade my TV package. She says to what? After finding out what she had, I picked one and to my surprise, had not just the one channel, but all of them including movie packs. After asking how much that'll up me to totally, I decided that one was it.
For a grand total of 167 and change, I've now got every channel Comcast offers, minus HD and PPV.
But, there is a problem.
I wanted to get a second box to hook up to my computer so I could have all the channels like my regular TV has now. (I've got a DVR on that TV, but I hardly watch it because I'm at my computer more. I'm also thinking about dumping the DVR box and saving the 12.95 since my computer does a lot of my recording.) But, I find out I can't because the account is in my mom's name and she's not around right now.
I pay the bill and I should be able to do whatever.
So, on a day they aren't packed like yesterday, I'm gonna go in and have everything switched over to an account with my name and then get the second box.
Also, when I got home, I was going through my upgraded cable TV channels and found they were a lot clearer then what I've been having before. But, a lot of the standard channels were still filled with fuzz and static.
Is Comcast degrading standard channels and making their digital ones look crystal clear so they can get you to upgrade and spend more money?
Time will tell. I've decided to keep the package I have now for a month and see how it all works and then go from there when I get the next bill in. If it's not possible to keep it, I'm gonna see about downgrading, but so far I'm hooked.
I'll update my review after I get next month's bill.
Today, I go to check my Comcast bill to see if they charged me the 168 that I was quoted. Instead, the bill is 205.
Someone has screwed up big time, but I can't tell what it is since I haven't gotten the paper bill yet that tells you everything they charge you for. For some reason, the online stuff doesn't have the option to see that.
One of my fellow DSLR'ers says it's probably cause I'm still in transition from Time Warner to Comcast for some things.
I'm definitely going to go to Comcast and bitch about this and if it's all right and the 200 price is permanent, I'll definitely be dropping my package down a peg or two. Sadly, though. Because I love what I've now. Every channel they've got too.
Still, having enough money to take care of everything takes priority.
At least for now.
I'll update this when I find out more.
Today, I went to my local Comcast office. It wasn't packed again. (Yay!) I went to go get my second box and the account bits straight. I talked to a nice woman at the counter named Emmie, who after hearing what I wanted, changed the names on the account from my mother's to mine. After that, I asked for my box. She came back with a Motorola DCT 2000 with the Comcast branding and a new silver, white and red remote control, also Comcast branded. (Damned old box. I had one of these when my area was Time Warner Cable and was just rolling out Digital Cable 8 years ago! Still, it looked brand new and everything worked on it right after plugging it in.)
After getting the box, we chatted for a minute since I'd been wondering when they'd get some Motorola boxes in. She told me that since I was getting the 2nd box, I'd need to trade in my Scientific Atlanta DVR and remote for Motorola ones since they'd be phasing them out in June. So, I'll be taking the weekend to clean out my DVR's HD and taking it in monday for a Motorola DVR.
I'll be sad to see it go. It took me 3 boxes to get one that worked right and has gotten millions of hours of use over the 4 years I've had the DVR service. Oh, well, now I'll get to see just how bad the Motorola DVRs are and if all the complaints I've heard about them are true. If the on screen guide for the regular digital box is any indication, the software needs work. It's kinda slow compared to the software the Scientific Atlanta boxes use.
Still, only time will tell and if I really don't like it or have problems. I'll dump the box and service for a just a regular Digital box like my computer has now and save myself 6 bucks a month.
Just as I was about to leave, I remember about promotions. I asked and she saw one. She could give me internet for 33 a month for 6 months. But, having known about the fine print, I asked her what speed was that for? (I'm on the 8/768 package. I wanna go higher, not lower.) She told me it was for the 6/384 package only. She didn't have anything for the TV promos currently, but I'll check back and ask when I take my DVR in on Monday.
Maybe I'll get a Promo on the Digital Premier and get some cash taken off the bill while I'm at it.
My experience at Comcast today was a very pleasant one. I hope my future dealings with them will as be such.
I got home without much problem and began hooking up the box. Programming it was a real chore. Media Center wouldn't recognize the box and after a little, got it to work, but there was a problem. I needed something that came with my tuner card called an IR Blaster. (I and a friend call it a Jelly bean cause that's what it looked like.) I couldn't get past the setup without it. After searching for it, I found it, still in the box and plugged it in. Still wouldn't recognize it. After talking to a friend, I broke down and restarted.
Bingo! It recognized it on the first try. Box is now working too. But the only problem is that the remotes for both the computer and cable box are not working as they should and I'm having to play musical remotes.
What's more pressing is that even though my computer is recording two shows on different channels, it's only picking up the signal from my cable box, which could be on the wrong channel at the wrong time and thus record the wrong thing on the wrong channel, making any recordings I do with the box useless if I'm not there to monitor it and change the channel to match what my computer is doing.
It also negates me recording two shows at once, this is unacceptable to me when my card can do two at once. So, after some chatting, I've got 2 choices: Either get another box for the second show or split between regular cable on one plug of my card and putting the box on the second. I think that's what I'm gonna do. I could get another box and stack them, but it still wouldn't change the channel automatically, and it would cost me even more money then I'm already paying.
I guess I'll have to call this part of my review UNDER CONSTRUCTION since this stuff with the box is new to me and things aren't working like they should. I'll know more tomorrow after I've tinkered and tested some more, but I really hope it works since I don't wanna give up the box I worked so hard to get.
Worst case senario is I go back to standard cable on my computer and just have a box on my regular TV to catch HBO and the like like I had before getting the box I have one my computer now.
Wish me luck, people! I'll keep this updated with what I find out.
On Monday, March 31, 2008, I went to bring in the box I used for my computer/tuner card experiment and swapped it out. After thinking about things, Ive decided to just go back to using standard cable on my computer until after the DTV transition in February 2009. Ill evaluate my situation then. When I brought the box in, I was also there to switch out my Scientific Atlanta 8300 DVR since Comcast wasnt going to support it much longer (They use Motorola digital cable and DVR boxes, as well as modems. I have a Moto Surfboard 5100 since my original RoadRunner install in January of 2004 and its worked great for almost 5 years)
When I got to the counter, I told them what I wanted and the nice girl I was dealing with, Brandi, got right to work. She took my SA box and remote and came back with a Motorola DCT6412 Phase III DVR box. The only time I had any trouble during this time was when I was asked to show my ID. The card I have just shows my picture since its not really an ID, and doesnt have my name on it. Emmie, the CSR I dealt with on my previous trip was listening in to this and vouched for me as I had the same problem with her. (Give the woman extra points! ^_^) It didnt take two minutes before I was all done and fixing to walk out the door with my new box and cables (The only complaint I had was that the box was scratched up on the top, other then that its worked flawlessly.) as I was going to walk off, she handed me a bunch of free PPV slips for turning in my SA box before the deadline. Yay for me!
I have enough of those coupons to cover PPV movies for a year, but since its already the New Year, Ive to use more then one a month to meet the expiration date of 12/31/08 before those slips are useless. So I think Ill order two a month instead.
Once I got home with the box and hooked it up, I found the Comcast remote I got previously had already been programmed to work with the box and was good to go. The software on the box is a little different, but I adapted to it quickly and learned how to use it. The channel change speed on this box is vastly superior then the software on the DCT 2000 box I was given for my computer experiment, so I was glad about that, considering some of the horror stories Ive heard about the Comcast Motorola DVRs.
The only real gripe I have about the box is that it doesnt support PIP and that the SA box I had did, but that the remote I have now has a PIP button on it. Does that make any sense at all?
Aside from that, Ive discovered something very interesting about the new box. It solved a fuzzy picture problem. I thought it was my TV but it was the SA DVR going bad instead. So, yay!
Its been several months and the box has worked flawlessly. I just wish it had a bigger HD so I wouldnt have to delete stuff as often!
On 6/5/08 at 12:53 am, I was talking to Dadkins and the topic about speed upgrades came up. I had spotted a topic that said Comcast had been upgrading packages from 6000/384 to 6000/1000 and 8000/768 to 8000/2000 and that the work would have been done that night. While I would prefer the 16000/2000 Blast! Upgrade, Ill take what I can for now. Theres a possibility that the Blast! Upgrade is coming real soon, Ill take what I can get for now.
While talking to him, I decided to reboot my modem and after a few minutes, viola! Instead of 8/768, I had 8800/2200. I got back to talking to Dadkins and we did a file transfer of 175MB file to test my upload. It powerboosted to almost 5000 and fizzled out to 2.2Mbps sustained.
I went to the forums and confirmed it here: »8800/2200 upgrade has arrived in Houma, LA
Im happy for now and eagerly await the Blast! Package when it decides to get here.
Ill update when more happens.
Today, I went to my local Comcast office in an effort to lower my bill from 180.64 that Ive been paying for quite a while. Upon going to Comcast, I talked to a CSR that helped me before named Emmie. I asked her about the Triple Play Premier package and what else I wanted. The internet listed under that package is 6/1, I have the 8/2 tier and wanted to get that or higher. She didnt see how to put that, so she went to get a supervisor and she had me going in like 5 minutes with the speed and DVR I wanted. I found that Ill be able to keep the box and hardware I have until the tech comes with the Comcast Digital Voice modem that does internet and phone all in one Then, hes going to switch my trusty 4.5 year old Motorola Surfboard 5100 with the voice modem.
Wish me luck that it works cause if I get an ARRIS Touchstone telephony 502G modem, I heard that they have problems getting a full 2 meg upload and they dont currently get Powerboost on the upload side. If that is the case, Ill just have the voice modem do the phone and my Motorola Surfboard 5100 do the internet as it always has.
At least until ARRIS gets the issue fixed with a software update. If I remember right, people with all in one ARRIS 502Gs got the download Powerboost working with the last firmware update. Maybe theyll get lucky with the next one too.
As she was setting me up, I asked about contracts and she said there was none and that I could cancel anytime within the year I have the package. Not like Im going to, but Yay! I also made sure to ask about speed upgrades during the package deal and she said Id get them still and if I had any problems like that, shed help me get things fixed. Yay again!
I also made sure to ask about if the speed tier (8/2) and DVR service was included in the package, it isnt, but Id only have to pay the extra to get it. She was able to put me with the promo price of 159.99 plus the extras and taxes. She said that any install charges, partial months and taxes will be added onto next months bill. Because of that, that bill will be higher and the next bill after that will be back to the normal promo package price again. (159.99 plus the extras and taxes.)
Next, after getting the main things going, I told her I wanted to keep my number and after she went to put it in, she told me it wouldnt take it. They couldnt port my number. After a moment of thinking, I said Ill just go with a new number. After a bit more typing, she pulls a piece of paper and writes my new number down on it.
What is it with Comcast? Do they have a monopoly on easy to remember numbers?
Then came the next bit, which was kind of disappointing, but she told me the earliest install date they had was the 30th of June from either 11-2 pm or 2-5 pm, I chose 2-5 pm. This presents a problem in that since they couldnt port my number from AT&T CallVantage VOIP service, I have to cancel the service myself and since they cant install in like the next two days, Im going to be charged another 30 bucks for a months service that I wont use much.
Still, once everything normalizes, I think everything will be ok and Ill actually be saving money.
So, all in all, I had a very pleasant and speedy conversation with Emmie and got exactly what I wanted at the price I wanted. She deserves extra points in my book.
Comcast in MY area is not bad at all.
Ill update this with my install details on the 30th.
After talking to Rick, I was convinced to check out some past bills and compare the charges. Today, I went back to Comcast and talked to Emmie. After showing her my past and present bills for comparison, she disappeared for about 5 minutes to ask more about it, came back and told me it was an error in the system and I was due a credit all the way back to March 28, 2008!
That's almost 30 bucks.
While she said she couldn't apply the credit right now as my most current bill with this erroneous charge and my CDV install listed just came out this Saturday. After the install on the 30th, she's going to go credit me, including for the charge on this latest bill since it's not supposed to be there.
Also, I asked about having my upcoming CDV install number unlisted. She said she could do that.
After also talking to Rick, when I go back up there, I'm going to ask if it costs anything and if it does, how much? I value my privacy and don't want just anyone being able to open a book and call me uninvited.
Emmie deserves a bunch of credit for all this. She is one of the best Comcast CSRs I've had the pleasure of dealing with in a long time.
I now have 14 days until my CDV install and I'll probably be updating with all the details by then.
I got Comcast Digital Voice installed today. After a bit of talking, we agreed on what I wanted and I was up and going in 20 minutes. The phone service, quality wise is all it's cracked up to be. I'll know more when I fully set things up and have a power outage or two to test my equipment and how it functions under those conditions.
After the install, I went to Comcast to talk to Emmie, but she was busy and I got a pretty easy going and knowledgeable rep named Roxanne. She pulled up my account and saw that I was already put in for the 6.95 x 5 months Digital AO charge refund that was erroneously charged to my bill. Yay for Emmie and Roxanne for having things in hand.
My total refund was 34.75 and will be applied to my bill that's due on July 5, 2008, not the bill that's going to be due August 5, 2008 like I had originally thought. No matter, I'm happy the 180.64 was knocked down to 145.89 plus a 3.99 PPV that I have a coupon for and can added to the bill as soon as I bring it in.
One of my last questions for Roxanne was that my new CDV number be totally unlisted. Not accessible in the phone book or by Directory Assistance. It is now and there is no charge for this either, much to my surprise.
If Roxanne is wrong about this, I'm going to go talk to Emmie and get a credit for the month I was to pay the number charge and we'll go from there.
For full details on my experience with various phone services up to my getting CDV today, be sure to check my Comcast Digital Voice review: »Review of Comcast Digital Voice by Chris 313
I'll update this as things come in.
Two days ago, I went to Comcast to take care of my CDV issues: My mis-spelled name and still published number. I was hoping to get Emmie, but instead dealt with a CSR named Sheila. She shortened my name as requested and put in to have my number unpublished. Said it'd take about two days. So be it.
As I was going to leave, I asked her about internet speeds. (I've been awaiting Blast! for many months and would jump at the chance to upgrade from my current 8/2 service.) And this is where it gets murky. She didn't have her info right and called the 6/1 standard package 5/384. I filled her in and she nodded. I asked if there was anything faster then what I had, (8/2 for 52.95, the fastest they offer currently.) as I was waiting for her to look this up, she told me I was on the standard speed. Wrong again.
If I was on the standard speed, would I have 8/2 and would I be paying the 52.95 I am?
As she continued looking, she told me about a "Premium" tier of service. Uh, I thought I already had that. She told me the price was 87 a month. I'm thinking Blast! service is available, but at that price, we're getting reamed like Chicago. No thanks!
(I don't think she had her info right when talking about things. I hate uninformed CSRs with a passion after dealing with this woman.)
After a bit more talking, I couldn't convince her to give me the upgrade for free since I already pay the 52.95 most pay for Blast! service. I walked out angry, but hoping everything would get straightened out and I'd get the upgrade yet.
I'm left to think this woman didn't know what she was talking about, or that she was talking about Business Class service which has upgraded to 16/2.
Time will tell and I will update when I have more. See my CDV review for the other news concerning this update.
Tonight at 8:58 to 9:47 pm, I had an internet disconnect with no noticeable effects. I was on Skype with a friend and couldn't get him back, so I called him. Internet was dead, but the phone was still up and clear as ever.
Yay for Comcast!
Today, I was surfing along and all the sudden hit a page load error. Several hours of this pointed to a weird screwup between my internet only modem (Moto SB5100) and my CDV EMTA. (ARRIS 502G) My Moto was giving me page load errors while my ARRIS was taking me to the walled garden setup page like it didn't recognize the modems when they worked just minutes and hours before.
Whatever was up with Comcast's system took hours to fix, but I was soon back online with everything like nothing happened.
Today I came home from evac'ing from Hurricane Gustav to no internet or phone service. TV was on, but very fuzzy and rolling. After several hours, everything came back on, but was out again for the weekend of 12-15. Monday, the 15th, it came back on that afternoon, but went off several times into Tuesday morning. Things came back on again only to go off Wednesday morning, the 17th. After all this, things stabilized completely by the 24th and I've had great service since then.
After the 24th of September, I thought I had stable service again, but today at about 9:15, all 3 of my services went out within seconds of each other and stayed out for about two hours, only to continue to go off until about 1 pm today. They're working on things. On the brightside, because of this work, my signals have improved to almost pre Gustav levels or better.
I'll update things as they come.
Ive been thinking about dumping Comcasts TV service for a while for anything else. (AT&T U-Verse and DirecTV had my eye) Price and features were key. I was getting tired of paying so much for TV that wasnt adding channels fast enough, service being too expensive and the hardware and software was antiquated. (Comcasts DVR in my area was limited to boxes that could only tape 2 shows at once and had a tiny hard drive compared to AT&T U-Verse, which could tape 4 shows at once and had at least a 320GB hard drive in it, if not larger.)
So, with the finding that a friend of mine dumped Comcast TV and Net for AT&Ts U-Verse offering, I went to the Mall and the AT&T store to see about getting U-Verse for TV. After a frustrating pre-start, I walked out with their top package, which had everything Comcasts package offers and more for 30 or more dollars less, a month, then Comcast was charging me for TV.
My install was for 12/10/10, and was completed hours ahead of schedule. Everything was up and running great and thus here I am today, going to take my Comcast DVR back and cancel the TV portion of my Triple Play service. I get there, get right in and start talking to this girl, Brandy. First problem, she complains about my ID. After getting past that, I tell her what I want to do and she goes and starts up. Problem 2, she notices that I have 2 modems on my account. (When I had Comcast Digital Voice installed, they had some problems with my internet being right, so they left the modem I had internet on and set up the ARRIS 502G for phone service only. Been working great like that) She said I would be charged for 2, instead of the one like it now and supposed to be. I explained it to her, but she couldnt or wouldnt do anything. (I get the feeling she doesnt like that I switched TV services and is planning to make it as hard as possible to cancel, so Ill get frustrated and keep everything that Ive got and dont want. If that happens, Ill dump all the services and go with AT&T completely. At least for the moment) So, with the modem issues, she couldnt complete the changes I wanted, so I left with the box and will be back later. (She took the cables and remote, so it wont be a problem to just mention it later. Well see.)
I went home and talked to ComcastSteve, a higher up rep who has got me through some very irritating red tape in the past and came through now. He confirmed that even though I have 2 modems, Im only supposed to be charged for one regardless. So Ill be going back to Comcast tomorrow, giving them the box and downgrading my services to no TV, but keeping my Net and Phone with Comcast for the time being. If they insist on charging me for 2 modems, so be it. ComcastSteve said hed help me out with any erroneous charges and Id be on my way.
So, Ill be updating my reviews when I find out everything.
I went to the Comcast office today, returned the box and was charged for 2 modems (I was told in advance that I could get it corrected afterward), so I let it go through. I was also offered CDV Unlimited for a year at 19.99. I took it and I've completely dumped my Comcast TV service. When I got home, I talked to ComcastSteve, he got me squared away. My current bill will be 62.56 and my bill afterwards will be 80.94 a month.
I'm satisfied with my services now and await the speed upgrades.
On 1/26/11, I noticed that for the first time in 4 years, new speed upgrades were available from Comcast. Blast! 20/4 is available and now I'm just waiting for the upgraded file to hit my modem. I'll be really excited when 50/10 is unveiled. According to things I've read, they're lowering prices on the 50/10 speed. So, time will tell. Though I would be prepared to spend up to 100 for this.
Also on January 31, 2011, I celebrated 7 years with cable internet, not to mention the same modem I've had since the install in 2004. A Motorola Surfboard SB5100. When I finally get the upgrade and I update modems, a SB6120 or an ARRIS 722G, I'll miss the modem that has serviced me so well these past years.
I'll update when I get the upgraded speed.
Today marks the 8th year I've had cable internet. It's been great except for the fact I'm still cruising along at outdated speeds.
Have been having signal problems causing disconnects for several months on and off. Got a tech out here to check things, changed splitters, cleaned up some wiring, signal is great now. I'm using the Arris 502G for both Voice and Internet now and it works pretty good. But one sad thing, when the techs were cleaning things up, they took my Motorola Surfboard 5100 that I had been using since my original install on January 31, 2004 until mid 2010 when I only used it for troubleshooting purposes. Bet they put it right back into service somewhere else.
Hope it found a good home, at least until Comcast completes it's Docsis 3 upgrades here.
Yesterday, I got my current bill in the mail and it had a notice that effective Oct 1, 2012, prices were changing and upgrades were coming. I'll finally have upgraded speeds after waiting for 6 years!
Will update with what I find out on Oct 1 or afterwards.
A little over 60 days ago, I was notified that my area was in Docsis 3 conversion. The speed upgrades were imminent. Alas, after some checking, while my area might have begun upgrades, the CMTS I'm on was not upgraded, so I was left with my standard 16/2 and waiting as usual. This brings me to today. I talked to ComcastSteve and he confirmed that my getting 20-25 speeds over the past days were because my CMTS was finally upgraded! I received a phone call from a CSR named Devonna about getting me squared with a promo and either mailing me the new EMTA or having a tech bring it. The appointment was quicker, so it's set for tomorrow 8-9 am. If things are to be believed, I've also cut my bill by almost 55 bucks for the next 6 months!
I'm super excited and will be updating tomorrow.
So here we are, upgrade day! Fun, or so I thought. I had a set appointment for 8-9 am to swap out my Docsis 2 EMTA for the Docsis 3 version. Simple, right? Not so much. Tech named Brad shows up at the tail end of my appointment, says he's here to install phone. Duh. Shouldn't your order say I only need a modem swap? I explained this to him and the next thing that came out his mouth was a real facepalm moment. He says he only has the Docsis 2 versions of the EMTA in his truck and swapping it out would make no difference over what I had. He's right about that, but that's not what he was here for. So, I told him that if he doesn't have the right equipment for the swap, then to get someone out here who does. At this point, I was flabbergasted and was close to just telling him to leave.
As minutes went on, I was told he had the wrong order at well. That my internet was set for 8/2, not the 16/2 I've had for over a year and certainly not the 25/4 that was recently put out and why I needed the modem swap in the first place. (Aside from it being shown that with the way Comcast has their system set up, anything over 22, you don't get the full speeds with Docsis 2 modems and they recommend you switch to Docsis 3) This is what I told him. News to him. He continued to tell me swapping would make no difference, that I wouldn't see any difference in speeds if I was already seeing them with a D2 modem. While I getting the speeds with the modem I already had, it was struggling to get them and wouldn't stay. Dumbass says that's the way it's supposed to work. He also told me that he's done Extreme 105 installs and they don't get full speed either, 80-90 out of the 105 the line is supposed to get.
I know better and would not accept this, especially if I was paying the 200 a month that they charge for Extreme 105. He even tried to sell me on that "Up to" fine print crap about speeds. I could see right through him. I've always gotten my speeds and then some. I also got the impression he was just here for the check and was trying to squirm his way out of here without even doing anything. As angry as this "tech's" stupidity made me, and my wanting to kick him out of my home, he wasn't getting off that easy.
Brad went out to his truck to make a few phone calls to see what he could do to help me. They supposedly told him to install a Comcast Business Class modem for me. Here I was expecting to have a device like the SMCD3G modem/router you hear about in horror story Comcast Biz Class installs. (Whether those units include phone as well, I'm not sure, nor care. But probably not.) Instead, he hauls in a Arris 722G EMTA that has been used in many residential installs and probably some Biz ones too. When I see this, I'm even angrier. Dumbass was lying to me about what all equipment he had on his truck! If he only had D2 modems on his truck, did he magically pull this D3 EMTA out of his ass? Since he just carried it in, sans battery (though I did find one inside. This might be dead and cause me future issues as the battery test doesn't inspire confidence.) and sans power cable. (He used the power cable from my former 502G to power it up. I really hope that doesn't cause me issues. Cause I will have no problem in telling them that this dumbass was the one who set it up if it ends up fried.)
As he's carrying it in, he tells me that since this is a "Business Class" modem, if my speeds go down, there's nothing he can do to help me. I basically stopped listening at this point, as ComcastSteve in the Direct forum has proven more then capable of untangling problems. A lot more so then this dumbass "tech". I just want him to set it up and get out. Getting the right equipment to get the speed you're supposed to have and pay for, shouldn't be a fight and you shouldn't have to beg and argue like this experience was.
When he goes to get it plugged in, I catch him screwing with my router. I thought techs weren't supposed to mess with customer routers? That it wasn't part of their job, that they're just suppose to hook up the modem to the computer and leave? Knowing this, I hooked the modem up to the computer prior to his arrival to make it easier on him and when he leaves, I'd hook everything up like I had it and get all squared away.
What is this guy thinking? After filling him in, he's like "Oh." like he wasn't expecting it. And gets to work. About 10 minutes later, the new EMTA is online, updated and working. Instead of doing what I told him speed test wise with a file download, he goes to one of those notoriously unreliable speed tests sites and of course, I get even worse speed then what 16/2 previously gave me. But that's ok, I knew I could get it square if anything was messed up. After watching him leave, I go back and run a file download, from a known fast server. LOOK MA, I'm getting the rated speed for 25/4 and then some!
I knew what I was talking about after all. Ain't that something?
While the modem was still cranking up, I noticed I was getting 34 down and still climbing. Gonna have to run more tests at a future time. My router is now the limiting factor at about 32 down. So, when the 50/10 upgrade finally makes it here, I'll have to upgrade my router to something newer. I'll have to do the same with the EMTA since I got something that wasn't the newest model, but I'm good for at least 3 more speed upgrades before then.
All in all, I'm happy, but this was one of the more unpleasant tech experiences I've had. Something that should have taken 10 minutes took about 30. And the way I was treated. I am not Joe customer, do not treat me like I'm an idiot when it comes to these things.
At 11:58 am today, I received a surprise call from Devonna, the CSR who helped me before with setting up the appointment for my D3 swap. She wanted to make sure that I got everything I needed since she saw the tech was supposed to come. Though I have everything I needed now, I told her what Dumbass Brad did to me before I got it. She agreed what happened was wrong. But she was very glad and helpful during our chat.
I wonder if anything will happen to Brad as a result of what he pulled on me?
After I get my current bill in, I'll update this with what I discover about my promo.
Came home at 3:30 in the afternoon to find my modem and phone completely dead. This lasted until at least 8:30 pm. When I got back online, I noticed that my upload channel had changed from Docsis 1.x to Docsis 2.0. Could be a sign of upcoming channel bonding. Another thing that was also spotted was that the download channels changed and are all in order now. Signals seem better all around as well.
Well, here we are again. 9 years ago today, almost to the minute, I got cable internet for the first time. Back then, it was 3/384. Today, I sit at a recently upgraded 25/4, awaiting the 50/10 Blast! upgrade.
It's been a hell of a ride thus far and I've still got 3 more upgrades coming to show for it: Upstream channel bonding, IPv6 deployment to my area and the 50/10 Blast upgrade. All slated for 2013.
Will update when that happens.
Today at 12:24 pm, Devonna, the CSR I dealt with for my D3 install called me to resolve an issue with my being billed 30 bucks for the install that Dumbass Brad did and I had to fight him to get the modem I needed to get the speeds I pay for.
Told her about the battery issues I had and she's she's set a tech appointment for 2/11/13 from 1-3 pm to have it dealt with. I'll post tomorrow with the results and later still after I get my bill in for this month.
Also, I've heard rumors of 2 upgrades coming. One for 35/6 in areas that haven't gotten the full upgrade to do the national rollout of 50/10 yet. Pathetic considering my area supposedly offers 50/10 now, but they can't offer it to us on the Blast! package? I suppose the product page got ahead of themselves again vs my local system being fully upgraded to support it.
Still, if the rumors are correct, it should be ready April or May. Just in time for E3 2013! Joy!
Had a tech appointment set for today, 1-3 pm, but upon checking the online appointment system the night before it was scheduled for 8-9 in the morning, despite what the CSR, Devonna told me. However, she assured me that I would not be charged for this new visit to replace the dead battery in the EMTA.
While checking my appointment, I noticed she put the 30 buck credit in. Whether it actually sticks if I'm charged for the second tech visit remains to be seen.
But the time of the appointment came and a tech named Chris, strangely enough, showed up at 10:03 am. He was dressed in a red Xfinity shirt and was in an out in less then 10 minutes. He also apologized for Brad's behavior and said the install shouldn't have went like that.
Unfortunately, the battery he used to replace the old one has even less time on it then original, but if it were truly dead, it wouldn't have mattered. The bad news is that even after charging, there was no change. The modem still completely dies when unplugged vs the battery kicking over to preserve service. This hints to a potential modem problem, but I still wanna test it during a power outage. And after having the battery replaced, I wondered if it'd even make a difference since for the last few years, the modem signal died whenever house power went out, despite my equipment being on a UPS.
I wish I could confirm all this. I really don't care much anymore as it works 99% of the time. I'll probably end up buying an EMTA when I get the chance and all this won't matter.
I'll update when I either get my bill in or an upgrade in speed, US bonding or IPv6.
Well here we are, Valentine's Day. Seems Comcast has a very weird sense of humor. First, I read that they are charging 41 bucks for customers to get a battery for their EMTAs instead of including one as part of the service, from February 26 onward.
»Comcast to Start Charging For XFINITY Voice Backup Batteries
This really burns me for several reasons. If you have phone service, you should have a battery by default. With them charging 7 a month to rent the modem, they shouldn't charge for the batteries too. Or at least charge as much when they can be had cheaper by looking elsewhere. And the facts that going through all the trouble and expense of getting a battery on your own, it may not even work, as in my area, when I lose house power, I lose signal to my modem despite having it plugged into a UPS and having a battery in the unit itself. It wasn't always like that, but this problem has cropped up in the last few years, indicating a defective modem or a problem outside my home somewhere, that Comcast has just let go.
Then the piece of good news I got today says that the NE speed upgrades that hit last year: »[Speed] Northeast speed changes coming.. are hitting here coming March to May 2013.
»Source: New Comcast Speeds Arrive For Most in March
I will have 50/10 or better soon. The only sad things about it are that I'll have to upgrade my router to get the full 50/10 (though it is 6 years old now and understandable) and the fact that my bill will be 2 dollars higher then the others for the same speeds.
I have choices on what I'll be doing. Haven't made my mind up on exactly what I'll do yet. I can A) Just spend the money and replace my router so I can get the full speeds. B) Do nothing until I absolutely have to and stay where I am, paying for speeds that I don't totally get by then, and upgrade my router when I can. (My router limits me to 36 out of my 50/10 that I would get after the upgrade.) C) Stay with the router I currently have and downgrade my speed. As part of the upgrade, the speeds for Performance, will become what I have now for Blast! (25/4) and if my current router continues working, it'd be good for one to two more speed upgrades, depending on how Comcast ups the Performance speeds over late 2013-2014..
I'll probably just spend the money and break down and get me a new router that does 50/10+ since I'm addicted to speed and want to always go up, not down. Plus, the move would only save me about 10 bucks.
On 3/26/13, I came home to find my internet had been reset during the day and I was getting in the 30s continuously on downloads. Shaper probe also confirmed higher numbers. After 2 days, changing my NIC settings from 100 Full Duplex to Auto and directly connecting to the modem, I'm pulling 35-55. Dunno if they're still tweaking things, but I'm not able to get the 55 I thought I would consistently. Have they really only set we Blast users to 50/10 when Extreme 50 was 40 bucks more and 55/15?
If so, that blows.
But for now, I should focus on upgrading my router and going from there. I've got my eye on an Asus RT-N66U. Time to put my Linksys WRT54GL to rest. It's served me well for 6 1/2 years and I'll be sorry to see it go. *sniff*
Will update later when I get the router or some speed news.
Well, it's been about three days since my last update, speeds were all over the place as before, but I've also noticed it takes a few minutes to crank up to where it hovered from 40-55 down. The tweaking must be getting closer.
I've also noticed during my latest direct connect, that I have IPv6 enabled now. Comcast is getting better with the upgrades. I didn't have that a few weeks ago.
Now if they'd just max out the US channel bonding so my modem could max out it's 4x4 design.
My next update with either be with the results of my next Direct connect and my speed issues or when I get the new router, sometime in hopefully April.
Well, since my last update, I've had some crazy stuff happen. Initially, my 50/10 speeds were bouncing all over the place. As of about 2 weeks ago now, those have stabilized with 55/11 being the norm, all the way to a max 66/11. I see 58-62 regularly. I'm very happy. A Direct forum posting I posted April 31, went unanswered until a few days ago whereby my issue had already solved itself. Whatever ComcastVic did to "fix" my former issue hasn't impacted speeds that I can see, still cruising along, still happy.
Got a new router. An Asus RT-N66U that hasn't even broken a sweat and takes all my line can give it and then some. Bad thing about that was since my speeds have only stabilized about 2 weeks ago, I could've waited until now to buy the router with the various sales going on right now and saved about 20 bucks. Still, it's worth every penny not to have to worry about upgrading my router until a 200 Mbps speed comes out for the Blast package. That's still 3-5 years off given the current rate of upgrades.
In the short term, there are rumors in the forums that within the next 2 years, Blast will be 105/20. I'm drooling over this considering I can max my 50/10 and can't do anything more. In the same rumor, there are rumblings of a 205/xx package that will be coming. This new package will probably be priced 200 and out of my price range, but we'll see.
That would be a scream moment for me since I just got my new router and upgraded to the 200 package, only for it to be maxed out immediately vs a year or 3 wait. Still, if my current router can do 200 or more, I'd actually be very happy with that package.
Things have become very snappy, though. I can stream Netflix Instant Watch and put my computer into the floor and everything runs smoothly. Though, if I try to pile on any more downloads, they either run very slowly or are queued in to wait as I've maxed out my download speed and download manager capacity.
I'm loving this, though I've still gotta be careful not to blow through my cap. Don't need any phone calls or service interruptions getting in the way of my fun.
Well, with this month's bill this will be my last month on the 6 month promo the CSR Devonna set me up with when setting up my D3 EMTA swap. I went back and looked at one of my previous bills and saw that I was paying nearly 60 bucks for Comcast Digital Voice service. Without a promo, that's entirely too much. And with the lack of year long promo deals bothering me, I decided to look into Vonage. And so I did. By the 4th, I way signed up online, for a 3 month deal at 17.54 and 33.54 thereafter for a year's deal.
In talking to some other long time Vonage users online, I found this price won't go up more then the 33.54 I was quoted. I had an issue with payment during sign up, but a quick call to support and the very helpful CSR named Mary got me fixed up. She also told me that my number port to Vonage was in progress and I've had my equipment by Friday the 7th. The 7th came and installation was super easy and my number was there and working. I even got told about a 30 dollar Best Buy gift card I'd get for signing up for Vonage online. That'll be nice when buying my own modem not too long from now to save the 7 dollar a month rental fee.
Other then the 60 dollar price point, I had absolutely no issues with Comcast Digital Voice service and would recommend it to anyone looking to shuck AT&T's landline service.
About 15 minutes ago, my modem disconnected and when it came back up 10 minutes later, I had Upstream bonding with 2 of the 4 available channels! I had a double take when I saw the green light vs the yellow one I've seen since December 21, 2012.
Now if only they'd max out the system with the current 8x4 specs. Guess me getting ready to buy a Motorola SB6141 couldn't have come at a better time.
Bought my own modem yesterday for the first time. A Motorola SurfBoard 6141. Back during my original install I had a rental SB5100 installed that served me well from 2004 to 2010 when I only used it sporadically, having switched to an ARRIS 502G and later still a ARRIS 722G for both phone and internet. Now that I've gotten rid of Comcast voice service, I don't need their modem anymore, so I decided to buy my own and save my 7 dollars and decided to go with the Surfboard series again since they've been insane in reliability and speeds. I expect to use this for the next 3-5 years. At which time, the next Docsis spec will be out and I'll buy a new one of those. But my modem should be good until 250 or more. And I've not even gotten 105/20 yet.
I went to Best Buy after researching. They do price matching and I was immediately able to knock down the 100 price point to 86.99 and then had a 30 dollar gift card. The final price was 46.29. Even less then I projected. So that was great. I was in and out in like 15 minutes. I also have a modem that can do 8 channels if the system I'm on supports then vs just 4.
Got home, unhooked the ARRIS 722G I was given for my former Comcast voice service, (I despise paying 7 bucks for old equipment), I wasn't getting the online activation page, so I called in. Man, that robo menu drives me up the wall I heard it so much. Got a dude after a few minutes, but he couldn't hear me. So that was a bust. Hang up, rinse and repeat. Got a CSR named Heather, who I could actually understand. I gave her the MAC for my Surfboard 6141 and while I was waiting, I got disconnected again, but before I had to rinse and repeat, I took a look at my modem. She must've done something, cause it was going through the boot up process and I was able to get online. I looked at the signal page and it shows I have 8 channels now. My area sure upgraded a lot since I got the D3 upgrade almost a year ago.
Speeds are up as well. I pay for Blast which is supposed to be 50/10. I get 58/11 instead, with boosts of up to 65/11. Definite improvement over the ARRIS 722G I had.
And so now remains the task of returning my rental and making sure they're no charging me for it. I'm also gonna try and get a deal. Even if it's Blast for 6 months. 6 months at like 45 bucks or so is better then the 72.95 I'd pay as full price for net only.
Will update when I find out more.
Well, after a false positive with IPv6 back in March, as of today, according to »www.comcast6.net/ and »test-ipv6.com/ IPv6 has spread to the Cisco 10,000 CMTS systems uses here. My Asus RT-N66U also shows blank fields filled in now in the IPv6 tab. So yay. In the span of less then a year, I've gotten Docsis 3 upgrades after 5 years of waiting back in December 2012, the 50/10 Blast upgrade, reliably 6 months later in May 2013, 8 channels Downstream and at least 2 channel upstream bonding in July 2013. Now today, August 22, 2013, I notice I've got the IPv6 upgrade to the Cisco CMTS that are usually lagging behind upgrades.
Now all I need is for Comcast to announce when the next speed upgrade will be and what it will be *crosses fingers Blast becomes 105/20 or better* and I will be golden.
So far, I'm very satisfied service wise. Just wish it was a little cheaper. Will update when I return my rented modem and update the billing situation with a hopeful deal for at least 6 months.
Went to Comcast today, arrived at 9:40 am. Since I haven't been to the building in a few years, I was unaware of the change in hours from 10am to 6pm. There was already a line, so I waited a bit and got in line with 7 minutes to spare. 10:02 the door opened. Got to Sheila's window at 10:18, returned the rented ARRIS 722G I was given, made sure it was off my account and I got a receipt denoting such. I also confirmed my owned SB6141 was the one on the account, with her reading the numbers right off the box I brought in. So no more rental fees! Yay! I also confirmed a Blast promo at 44.99 a month until December 24, 2013. So we'll see.
I'll update when I get my bill in a few days and go from there. If this is confirmed, it takes a load off my mind.
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