| Review by IowaCowboy |
member for 2.5 years, 1137 visits, last login: a few hours ago
updated 91 days ago
- Indian Orchard,Hampden,MA
- $199 per month
- about 3 days
- "Works Great, When it Works"
- "Tech Support is Less Than Par"
- "Unreliable and only option (at this time)"
|Pre Sales information:|
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)
Here in the Springfield (MA) area, we have a choice of two internet providers which is either Verizon DSL or Comcast High Speed internet. I prefer Comcast High Speed internet because I am biased more in favor of cable modem service over DSL. Verizon does not offer FiOS in Western Massachusetts yet (if it ever makes it here) and their DSL has speeds of up to 3.0 mbps. I have had Comcast for over 5 years and I have had multiple installs. I prefer to self install because I usually do it better than their contractors and in half the time. The staff at the Best Buy connection center helped me get a better deal on TV because I used to have DirecTV for video and Comcast for internet and phone but DirecTV got to be too expensive and I decided to switch to Comcast for the Triple Play when my contract ended. They got me on a bundle that includes internet and phone and TV. I use TiVO Premiere DVRs so I don't use the Comcast receivers. I do rent an Arris TM 722 EMTA which serves internet and phone. I currently subscribe to the Extreme 50 package which is 50 mbps downstream and 10 mb upstream which is a $50.00 upgrade to my $119 triple play HD bundle. I just had the tech install and activate the EMTA and I did the phone wiring myself because I wanted it my way and not the tech's way. I find it difficult to get techs to honor special requests and they usually cut corners. When the underground line had to be replaced they pulled it around the back of the house instead of pulling it through the utility conduit that comes in the front of the house where the old line came in, thus exposing it to the risk of damage from lawn mowers, weed whackers, etc.
Getting to the Comcast internet, it has been a smooth ride up until recently when I have had issues with the internet and phone going offline and it usually occurs in the evening. The lights on the modem stay on but I know the connection is offline when the AT&T microcell goes out. I have had no less than three technicians out for this issue which has been going on for an month and they all said that it was an outside plant issue. When technician # 3 came out, he was approached by two other customers on my street asking if he was here to fix the internet. A day after technician number 3 came, it went out again. I called 1-800-COMCAST and got the complete runaround from the CSR and I asked for the supervisor. I did not get a supervisor and it came online in a few minutes. It seems that Comcast is not willing to fix the issue at this point after 3 techs said they would refer the issue to maintenance so I have filed a complaint with the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (franchising authority) stating they are unwilling to fix the issue after 3 tech visits. The issues are also affecting video service because the TiVO boxes have issues with video tiling (pixelating).
The good things about Comcast is the in home tech are always friendly and they always honor my request to send an in-house tech instead of a contractor (learned that from this forum). I also get my e-mail through comcast(dot)net and I get very little spam with their e-mail servers. Also it is a very fast internet connection. I prefer to load YouTube videos on my Comcast connection at home instead of my Grandma's RoadRunner connection up in Maine, due to their poor upload speeds. I can definitely tell Comcast is better that Time Warner because there is a big difference in speed between the two.
I downgraded my connection to the economy tier due to the fact Comcast is unwilling to fix my issue regarding dropped connections and there is no other options because a local competitor is maxed out on DSL facilities but DSL is available at my address because I've had it before. I also switched my home phone service to Verizon due to the fact that Comcast Digital Voice would cut out alongside the internet connection putting my safety at risk because that means lost E911 capability. I also get the reps blaming my computer and I've ruled that out as an issue.
Update 3-24-2011 I am doing this from my Verizon Wireless MiFi because Comcast HSI is working sporadically and I am not even going to bother calling customer service because doing so will be futile.
Update 9-20-12 With Blast being upgraded from 30/5 to 50/10, it works very fast. I upgraded my iPhone and Mac and the upgrades downloaded pretty quickly. It does cut out now and then.
I went to swap the modem as I was experimenting with rented modems to rule out my purchased equipment as an issue. They gave me a Cisco modem that when I hooked it up and tried to access the diagnostic pages, a screen with strange code popped up so I figured I had either a hacked modem or one containing malware so I put my purchased modem back in. I own an Arris TM722 so I put that in the basement for phone and I put in my own Motorola SB6120 for Internet. Seems to work better with my purchased equipment than with their rented equipment so that will be $7 per month that stays in my bank account. I have also done a lot of troubleshooting myself because of Comcast's inability (or unwillingness) to fix things. I have installed new wiring and new fittings. The golden rule of cable is the problem goes away when the tech arrives and comes back after he/she leaves.