Review by noc007
Good "Connection is relatively reliable"
- Location: Cumming,Forsyth,GA
- Cost: $77 per month (24 month contract)
- Install: about 10 days
Bad "Customer service is terrible, Business Class is twice the price of Residential, SMC D3G"
Overall "For home use, I don't see the value in Business Class over Residential"
|Pre Sales information:|
Value for money:
(ratings below consensus)
I moved into a new house back in September 2011 and would be working from home for half the week. At the time Residential had a cap which I wasn't sure I could keep my usage under the cap. I was informed by a sales rep that Business Class had a different and better Customer Service callcenter and techs with 4 hour resolution SLA; this was a lie.
Even though this review is on their Business internet service, I did want to touch on having this type of account at a Residence with Residential TV service is affected. I ordered the Residential TV service at the same time as I ordered Business Internet. This has caused my address to be flagged as a business address in their system so checking on the Residential Internet service pricing or TV service tiers doesn't work; I am told this can be corrected with a call to Customer Service, but haven't had a need yet. I went to a local Comcast office to start Residential service and pick up a tuner box, which didn't work. A truck roll was ordered for around the same time the Business service was to be installed; the Business installer showed up, but the Residential tech was canceled with no good reason why. I can only assume they canceled it because the Business contractor would be there, but he only had new SMC D3Gs and wouldn't touch any residential equipment.
At the time of ordering the Business service, one could not own their own modem unless they fought with customer service so I had to lease a SMC D3G and there was no choice in the matter. This device is a cable modem with 4 up and down bonded streams, router, and 4 port gigabit switch in one unit. One of these gateways must be used if one is going to have static IPs. Feature set of the gateway is minimal with basic LAN DHCP and port forwarding. There is no option for VLANs, DHCP reservations, IPv6 (supposedly a new firmware will add this in the near future), and cannot be put into bridge mode. Customer Service can put it into bridge mode, but this is unsupported and will probably be taken out of bridge mode during an audit without your foreknowledge.
Overall the unit functioned ok with occasional loss in service. About 10 months of service I started to have random drops. Calling into customer service resulted in the tech not able to find a problem and ordered a truck roll for a few days out. Supposedly that was the best that they could do. When the tech arrived, he immediately found the signals from the node to be messed up. He checked on the other modems in the neighborhood and found they were experiencing the same problem. He informed me that this was something the phone tech should have checked and could have the node looked into instead of sending someone to my house. He attempted to get in touch with his supervisor to see if someone can look at the node the same day, but he was not responding. Because of this and that the next day was a holiday, no one would probably look at it for a couple of days. He gave me his mobile number and asked me to follow up with him in a couple of days; I did try a few times after the holiday, but he never picked up or responded to my voicemails. I can only assume that it has been fixed since the behavior has stopped.
Since starting the service the SB6120 and SB6121 have been approved as customer owned equipment to get rid of the shoddy SMCD3G and it's monthly lease cost. There have been successful reports in the forums and on Amazon where people have used modems that are on the Residential list on a Business account. I have personally gotten a Zoom 5341J because of its better tolerance of messed up signals and used a custom built pfSense firewall; the 5341J was activated via Comcast's walled garden so I didn't get any grief from support. Speeds are remarkably faster since I went with this setup a couple of weeks ago. IPv6 is also working quite well.
I went with Business because it wasn't much more than Residential, supposedly would have better support, and had no caps. Overall support is on par with Residential and I wouldn't be surprised if they're the same people these days.Residential has a number of fantastic promotions in my area and the proposed $10 overages could easily be covered by savings. When my contract is up, I'll be seriously considering moving to Residential service; all of the supposed benefits for the increase in cost just aren't there. The only thing that would prevent me from doing this is if they reintroduce small caps and false-positive CAS alerts get out of control. A reduction in service cost (unlikely) and better customer service would also prevent me from canceling the Business service.
My two year contract is up in September of 2013. Per my contract, I need to provide two months notice to cancel service if I don't want the contract to auto-renew. In June I contacted customer service to discuss what I need to do to cancel service as I have found little value in the price premium of the service. The rep on the phone informed me that I may cancel early, sign the paper work that day, and service would cancel in two months. Done, I awaited my August 18th cutoff; in the interim Comcast announced that it would be bringing caps back to Residential service; one of the big reasons for using Business class was because of no caps and Residential went no caps soon after I signed up; sometimes I wonder if Comcast makes these policy changes based solely on where I have service with them.
A few days before the 18th I added internet service on my Residential account for the much faster 50/10. When the Business servce would be cut, I would then use the walled garden setup and enter in my Residential account number to provision the modem. The 18th came and went and business service continued at the paltry 16/5. A week after no disconnect, I called Business customer service in hopes that they could remove the modem and deprovision service. The rep saw that the deprovision ticket was pending some matter that he didn't know. He gave me the ticket number and said that it would take three days at the latest to complete. Two days out I called int asking for a status and could not be provided one. I called each day thereafter asking each rep if they could just remove the modem from the account and a week later I finally got a competent rep; he knew exactly what to do and within a minute my modem no longer had service. A good power cycle and I was met with the walled garden where I was able to get my service back up and running, but had difficulty getting 50/10 and that's another review.
Business service at a residence is really only worth it if Residential service has caps. If the Residential service does not have caps, it's not worth it. The other possible plus is the Business service is not a part of the Six Strikes anti-piracy program, but the RIAA and MPAA are still free to solicit your account details and file a law suit; granted my account was listed as my first name twice and I may not have been able to be properly subpoenaed (IANAL). Running one's own server on Residential service is against the AUP, however people do this all the time with PogoPlug, LogMeIn, GoToPC, etc. If one was running a service for personal use and generated little traffic, I doubt Comcast would care; I have done this with every ISP and have not been banned or talked to about it.
If one does use Business class at a residence, I encourage your to buy your own modem to avoid the rental fees. They may force one to use their equipment upon setup, but one may provision their own modem via the walled garden and return their equipment. Hold on to the original box and sales receipt of your modem as Comcast has been known to claim them as their own on occasion with little recourse for you; another reason why I chose the modem I did was part of proof that it would be impossible for that modem to be theirs under Business class. When return Comcast's crappy modem/gateway, hold on to the return receipt as well as proof the modem was returned; Comcast has been known to loose their equipment and blame the customer.
It's a real shame that Business class no longer has the great customer service or SLAs that I had head of before. Now it's just a slower, more expensive version of their Residential service with potentially the only benefit being no caps. I have heard that as the introduce caps, they're going to discourage people from signing up for business service at a residence. The is purely a rumor, but if true, tell them you work from home and need better quality service; you may want to negotiate better SLAs and faster speed without increased cost of their advertised service.
member for 12.4 years, 682 visits, last login: 5 days ago
updated 1.1 years ago
Re When I had Comcast residential interwebz when I lived in Detroit, there were several months I blasted over the 250GB "cap". One month I hit 750GB. However, due to Wide Open West and Whatever that god awful wanna-be fiber to the node that AT&Shame peddles being installed in the area just before I moved to Michigan, I was quite amazed at how much better I was treated. It's amazing what competition will do. I can't even think of a time a telecom had actually treated me like a customer and didn't put me through hell over anything they can get a dime out of. In Detroit, their caps are not enforced because they actually have to try to hang on to the business that has graced them. I know their reputation is like Time Warner and BP kind of bad, and I know their treatment of me and provision of a 50/25mbps connection for only $45/month was due 100% to the fact that I could tell them their modems on the porch and have WoW out to install the same thing the next day with no skin off my back.
I miss that connection. I moved back to the land of Time Warner and, despite it costing twice as much, it's six times slower and I have to reset the modem about 10 times a day, as does our entire neighborhood for the last several years with TWC refusing to acknowledge there's an issue. I'm an inch away of notifying the FCC about it, but then I remember it won't help since they too appear to be against us now. Maybe I'll stop paying the FCC taxes on my bill. Put them in an escrow account. God I hate American telecoms. I don't know how you could manage a company so poorly that all day your customers dream of setting you on fire. The good part is, TWC invested like nothing into technology and made their customers despise them so much that once one brick goes, the whole thing will be gone in less than a decade. I welcome the day time Warner implodes. My entire city will dance in the streets, never to reset modems every 20 minutes again. It will be such a relief, the ensuing parade would go on for three days straight. That's not even including all the other festivities that one could only dream about whilst standing above the ruins of one of the top 3 worst, most filthy, borderline criminal companies in American times. It's like Enron, except Enron had recently been degregulated and c'mon... We're not that stupid and are quite sure as long as Comcast, cable vision and time's nasty a** are still oligopoly-ing the place to hell, we need regulators (and shotguns) for protection.
I'm not sure what the competition situation is where you are, but it sounds like Comcast is the only one judging on how they're handling you. I would demand early termination of the contract since they didn't hold up their end with the 4 hour service call. At least threaten not to send the check so you can shake them down for some free HBO or something. Threaten to go back to dished antennas and put pictures of the flintstone aged device hanging off your house, pointed to the sky, with a caption that says 'comcasts service was so bad in the area I had to take drastic measures to communicate with the outside world." And at the very least, ensure they do not charge you for the time they fragged their hooves in fixing it. Lord knows they'll try.