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JimONeill

join:2001-06-13
Santa Maria, CA

[Rant] Well, I *tried* to become a Comcast customer....

This really is nothing but a rant, I admit.

I'm in Santa Maria, California. I've been having problems with my Verizon DSL slowing down in the evenings and Verizon has been unable or unwilling to fix it. Having become very frustrated, I ordered Internet and voice service from Comcast. Installation was scheduled for January 18 between noon and 2 p.m.

I went to work on January 18, planning to leave just before noon to be home when the installer came. Well, at about 8:45 a.m., the installer called, saying he was at my house. After briefly discussing that he was over three hours early, I told him that I could leave work and meet him.

I went right home and met the guy. He was from a contractor called O C Communications. He had a terrible attitude and said that he would not do the installation because of a tree near the utility pole where the tap is located. He said he would not "risk his life."

I thought that the installation might be a little difficult but not impossible, so I called Comcast. They had a supervisor from the same contractor come out. This guy had a better attitude and spent more time than the first and said that they could do the install if I could get him access to one of my neighbor's back yards, as there was better access to the pole from there. He explained that they do not climb poles anymore, but just put a ladder up to the pole in order to reach the tap.

Unfortunately, the neighbor was not home, so the guy told me to call back if I could get access to the neighbor's yard and they'd come back to do the install.

I tracked down the neighbor and got her key to her gate. I called the contractor back and they said they'd be back to do the install about 2:00.

When they hadn't arrived by 3:00, I called Comcast and asked what was happening. They said they couldn't tell me anything and had no way to contact the installer.

So I called the contractor and they said they were no longer doing the install, but that Comcast was now going to do it in-house.

So I called Comcast again and explained this. They said that the tech would be here by 5:00 p.m. I said it would be almost dark by then and they said they couldn't tell me anything else.

The tech finally showed up about 5:15, when it was already getting dark. He said he couldn't do it because (a) it was getting dark and (b) they'd need two techs in order to get the cable through the trees between the tap and my house. He said that his supervisor would call me on Saturday morning to arrange the install for Saturday. He gave me his cell phone number and asked me to call him if I hadn't heard from the supervisor by 11:00 on Saturday.

Saturday morning, 11:00 arrived without having heard from anyone, so I tried calling the tech. No answer at his cell phone so I left a voice mail message. At noon, I tried again and left another message. No calls back.

About 2:30, I called Comcast and explained the situation. They said someone would call me within 30 minutes. Within about ten minutes, a guy named Dami at the dispatch office in Northern California called me. I single him out because he was the only person who even seemed to care about what was going on. He said he'd call me back and he did, about 20 minutes later, to say that someone would be at my house by 4:30.

At about 3:30 the supervisor who was supposed to have called me in the morning showed up. No explanation as to why he hadn't called me as promised. He looked at the tree and said that they could connect the cable and get it run through the trees, but that the trees would rub on the cable and destroy it so that my service would quickly degrade, so he refused to do the install unless I hire a tree surgeon and have the trees trimmed.

I can respect this ultimate decision not to go forward, but I resent that it took so much effort on my part to get there and that I had to miss a day's work on Friday and then sit around my house all day Saturday waiting for people who didn't show up.

It was clear that, with the one exception of the guy at dispatch, mentioned above, no one cared at all about customer service.

Back to Verizon to try get them to fix my DSL.........



Johkal
Cool Cat
Premium,MVM
join:2002-11-13
Happy Valley
kudos:9

If you want to try another avenue for help, post here:

»Comcast Direct

If you just want to rant, your post belongs here:

»Rants, Raves, and Praise
--
In God we trust; all others bring data!


nrobot80

join:2012-12-05
Union City, GA

That sucks, it's a pain and quite dangerous trying to run cable through trees. Are you going to have the trees trimmed then call back?



beerbum
Premium
join:2000-05-06
Reading, PA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to JimONeill

wtf.. in my 8+ years @ Comcast, in-house and contractor, I never heard of that as a reason to not do an install..

I know for me personally, I for sure never let a tree or trees prevent me from running a drop needed for an install. To expand on that I have never heard of a co-worker being unable to complete a drop install due to a tree. In fact, up until reading the OP, I never heard of that particular excuse for not doing a job.

And nobody climbs poles? No hooks, not even pole steps? Wow. What's next, everyone gets a bucket truck? smh



bradyr
Columbia College IT
Premium
join:2008-10-27
Sonora, CA
reply to JimONeill

I think it's kinda crappy you had to bounce through so many techs before someone would just up and say "trim the tree(s) if you want service".

I understand your rant, but it sounds like you can get comcast if you help provide them a path between their tap and your house.

Ultimately, no point in getting pissy with comcast if the problem is your's to resolve, in my opinion.



DataRiker
Premium
join:2002-05-19
00000

2 edits
reply to beerbum

said by beerbum:

wtf.. in my 8+ years @ Comcast, in-house and contractor, I never heard of that as a reason to not do an install..

You've been in this business 8+ years and have never seen a job declined due to trees?

I've seen that happen a few times in the last year alone, when we couldn't get a drop line on the ground either. It happens.

Although not cable, ATT absolutely does not allow climbing trees. I would imagine Comcast has a similar rule. Some tech will risk their job and personal injury to do it.

Anybody that risks their health and job without any due compensation is a cable retard IMHO


Wayne99021
Premium
join:2004-12-28
Mead, WA
kudos:1

1 recommendation

Does Comcast or any cable/DSL company allow span clamps to get a different angle to the customers house and avoid the trees?
I know they have pretty much made all the techs ladder linemen now, but the ladder can have span hooks on them and still be safe, or is that option been made taboo?



DataRiker
Premium
join:2002-05-19
00000

1 edit

ATT uses span clamps, and so does TW in this area. Don't know how official TW's are though, but I see them everywhere.

All of ATT's ladders have hooks.



Wayne99021
Premium
join:2004-12-28
Mead, WA
kudos:1

Thanks, just wondering as that may a way to get it installed.



beerbum
Premium
join:2000-05-06
Reading, PA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to DataRiker

said by DataRiker:

said by beerbum:

wtf.. in my 8+ years @ Comcast, in-house and contractor, I never heard of that as a reason to not do an install..

You've been in this business 8+ years and have never seen a job declined due to trees?

That's what I'm saying. I dunno, our group was funny in some ways, probably because most of us were AT&T Broadband before Comcast came in and bought our system - anyway we used to have some strange philosophy.. you see, if someone called us and wanted cable TV, we got working for them. Same went with a customer who has an outage - we had this thing where we took the time to find the problem, then fix the problem and fix it right the first time.

That attitude lasted throughout the deployment of HSI after Comcast bought out AT&T. Then things slowly started to change and the focus went from getting the job done right to just getting the job done quick as possible - it was considered better sending 5 or 6 techs out each taking 30 minutes than it was having one tech spend an hour to fix it right. People started leaving, the good techs one by one stopped showing up (quit or fired).

Anyway, I still stick to my statement, having worked in-house with AT&T / Comcast, and as a contractor w/ Comcast, Time Warner and Service Electric - at none of them had I heard of not completing an install or trouble call due to a tree or trees being too close. Oh and to avoid any confusion, we too never climbed trees to complete a job, only a fool and a nut would do something like that. The only climbing was on poles using a ladder, spikes, pole steps or if one was lucky with a bucket truck.


DataRiker
Premium
join:2002-05-19
00000

4 edits

That is a very pompous assuming attitude considering other parts of the country are very different from your in both infrastructure and geography.

One example of many:

We have some streets here that serve all customers from one side, and because of some buried utilities and various pipelines we can't bore across the street. So the drop must be above x ft (depending on the street ) thus we don't have much choice of where the drop is going to go. Tree in the way? No service until you clear it, or let an ATT contractor do it.



Anonymous
Premium
join:2004-06-01
IA
kudos:2
reply to JimONeill

Can you post pics of the tree and your yard?
--
I speak for myself, not my employer.


rody_44
Premium
join:2004-02-20
Quakertown, PA
Reviews:
·Comcast

2 edits
reply to DataRiker

Well he mentioned service electric and is from the eastern pa area in the same post. Not a easy area at all. But than he mentioned contractor and i had visions of some of the contractor installs in that area. I will leave it at that and leave you with the visions of drops ran beyond belief and i dont mean well done work when i say that. With service electric as a contractor you could just connect the drop and wrap the tree three times and nothing would be said. They would just send there union guys out to fix it.



DataRiker
Premium
join:2002-05-19
00000

I just can't imagine he has never seen a situation similar to the one I described in 8+ years.

I wouldn't say it is common, but certainly not rare.


rody_44
Premium
join:2004-02-20
Quakertown, PA
Reviews:
·Comcast

Me either especially when you consider there is many taps in that area that are well beyond 28 foot high. His area would consist of areas well into the blue mountains and lots of trees. But with service electric a bucket truck is usually only 15 minutes away. Something that isnt within a comcast contractors arsenal.



fuziwuzi
Not born yesterday
Premium
join:2005-07-01
Atlanta, GA
reply to bradyr

said by bradyr:

Ultimately, no point in getting pissy with comcast if the problem is your's to resolve, in my opinion.

Getting dicked around by Comcast for two days before they weasel out and say it is the customer's problem is a very good reason to get "pissy", I think.
--
Teabaggers: Destroying America is Priority #1

rody_44
Premium
join:2004-02-20
Quakertown, PA

Safety issue. The very first tech out did point this out.



plencnerb
Premium
join:2000-09-25
Carpentersville, IL
kudos:3

said by rody_44:

Safety issue. The very first tech out did point this out.

That is what I'm seeing here too. The first tech out should have been able to see the issues with the tree at that point, and informed the OP of the options right away.

Instead, multiple phone calls and visits were made, over a period of days, before the OP knew that modifications to said tree would be needed before work could be performed.

--Brian
--
============================
--Brian Plencner

E-Mail: CoasterBrian72Cancer@gmail.com
Note: Kill Cancer to Reply via e-mail

JimONeill

join:2001-06-13
Santa Maria, CA
reply to fuziwuzi

I did try to say at the end of my post that I can respect the ultimate decision. What bugged me was the terrible customer service along the way to it and all the effort and waiting I had to go through to get there. That's what made me "pissy."

The initial tech said he couldn't do it because he couldn't get access to the pole. The subsequent techs acknowledged that they could get access to the pole via the neighbor's yard.

The ultimate refusal was based on the line having to run through another tree (where the power and phone lines currently run). They guy claimed that the tree branches could rub on the cable and damage it.


15444104
Premium
join:2012-06-11

The point is that the first contractor to show up should have clearly explained what the customer needed to do in order for the job to be completed.

Why ANY customer should have to be run around half a dozen times to finally get the entire story is just outrageous and unprofessional.



gar187er
I do this for a living

join:2006-06-24
Dover, DE
kudos:4
reply to JimONeill

reason - lazy techs and supervisors.
--
I'm better than you!



DataRiker
Premium
join:2002-05-19
00000

4 edits

said by gar187er:

reason - lazy techs and supervisors.

Or customer is in denial.

When you have a tree issue it is remarkably obvious why, and I am almost certain every tech there brought it up whether the OP says so or not.

No tech should risk injury for what 20 bucks? ( don't know the going rate for drop lines these days )

Power utility workers make big bucks and have very good equipment for these situations (including tree trimming). Calling a tech lazy because he can't or won't do the same thing with just a ladder is kind of foul.


gar187er
I do this for a living

join:2006-06-24
Dover, DE
kudos:4

i pretty much risk my life everyday. each tech has safety gear for a reason. i can call them lazy cause im the guy they call when a lazy tech doesnt want to throw a ladder, or run a drop across a street.
--
I'm better than you!



DataRiker
Premium
join:2002-05-19
00000

1 edit

said by gar187er:

i pretty much risk my life everyday.

Jokes on you then.

Risking your life for a tech job is just foolish. Bragging about it, doubly so.


Tsume
Premium
join:2004-02-23
Johnson City, TN
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to DataRiker

I really want to see the tree that OP mentions. I have a tree and they just ran the cable through it without any problems, and it certainly did not cause any safety problems (they used a bucket truck). The power and phone cables go through the same tree too. It's hard for me to fathom a tree of such magnitude that it would be causing this big of a problem.
--
to whoever anonymously gave me premium membership... thanks!



gar187er
I do this for a living

join:2006-06-24
Dover, DE
kudos:4
reply to DataRiker

said by DataRiker:

said by gar187er:

i pretty much risk my life everyday.

Jokes on you then.

Risking your life for a tech job is just foolish. Bragging about it, doubly so.

i work on the side of highways, out in bad weather, out at night, etc...im not bragging, just saying, that throwing a ladder is not risking your life.
--
I'm better than you!


chip89
Premium
join:2012-07-05
Independence, OH
reply to Wayne99021

Cox does They used the one on my house When I got cable and internet installed.


rody_44
Premium
join:2004-02-20
Quakertown, PA

All cable companies use them. You still need to get to the tap tho.



DataRiker
Premium
join:2002-05-19
00000
reply to Tsume

said by Tsume:

I really want to see the tree that OP mentions. I have a tree and they just ran the cable through it without any problems, and it certainly did not cause any safety problems (they used a bucket truck). The power and phone cables go through the same tree too. It's hard for me to fathom a tree of such magnitude that it would be causing this big of a problem.

Its not that hard to imagine. If the drop line has to bend up under or over a branch in the natural path of the drop we generally don't do it until that branch is removed.

It may or may not present a hazard when you install it, but it does pose a general hazard when it eventually snaps (when they are rubbing on a branch, especially a large one they all fail eventually, especially in windy areas like the midwest )


DataRiker
Premium
join:2002-05-19
00000
reply to gar187er

said by gar187er:

i work on the side of highways, out in bad weather, out at night, etc...im not bragging, just saying, that throwing a ladder is not risking your life.

All of which is routine tech work and not what we are talking about here. (hypothetically anyway )