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IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast

1 recommendation

Comcast is really pushing their gateways

Click for full size
I just got the new rate sheet with my January bill and they no longer seem to be offering a basic data only modem. It is either a Voice/Data modem for $7 per month or a wireless gateway for $9.95 per month. For us triple play subscribers, it'll mean that you'll have to buy your own modem and rent the phone modem. I have separate modems for phone and Internet since the phone comes in through the basement and is fed through an alarm panel and my modem and router are in my bedroom. I refuse to use their gateways because they are inferior quality compared to my Apple AirPort Extreme router. I had to throw a fit at the Comcast office to get a basic modem. My friend in Iowa uses the same Apple AirPort Extreme router and he said Mediacom is pushing gateways as well so it is not just Comcast that is pushing these gateways.

Extide

join:2000-06-11
84129

1 recommendation

That's pretty lame. I use pfSense and will continue to do so until they pull it from my cold dead fingers.



NetFixer
Freedom is NOT free
Premium
join:2004-06-24
The Boro
Reviews:
·Cingular Wireless
·Comcast Business..
·Vonage
·Comcast

2 recommendations

reply to IowaCowboy

From the ISP's point of view, a gateway box that they totally control is an understandable preference. Such a device greatly reduces the training needed for CSRs; they only have to learn about one box, and they can be easily reset to Comcast's default settings to troubleshoot connection problems. And it is not just cable ISPs who are doing this; AT&T and other DSL providers have been exclusively providing gateway "modems" for years.

While probably most members of this site would prefer to keep control of their network in their own hands, the great unwashed masses who are now overrunning the Internet don't have a clue how to setup a router, and letting their ISP do it for them is the only practical way to do it (and the ISP is not going to train their CSRs to support a large number of different modems and routers, and provide free support for them).

It boils down to you either accept what the ISP offers, or you spend money to use what you want (and at least Comcast still allows that option). And if you keep using the service for a year or more, the initial expenditure is recovered by not paying the $7.00+taxes rental fee every month. The cost of my SB6121 will be recovered in 10 months; and while I did recently purchase a D-Link DIR655 because I liked some of its IPv6 support features, I could have just continued to use the free Comcast supplied Netgear WNR1000v2 router (in fact I do still use it for a guest router).
--
A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

When governments fear people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.



IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast

1 recommendation

And you'll still have to pay the $7 per month modem rental if you have their voice offering (I'm a triple play subscriber) but they quit selling them. They briefly sold Arris TM722 modems at Best Buy (mine quit working) so you have to buy phone modems from questionable sources (many times they are stolen Comcast inventory and I don't want to end up in the slammer for receiving stolen property). The only place I'd buy a modem is Best Buy. I have an SB6120 sitting around but why use it when I have their phone and have to pay the fee anyways. Time Warner and Mediacom charge for the phone modem if you use it for HSI in addition to Voice.

Too bad the regulations that apply to landline telephones don't apply to broadband (service provider responsibility ends at the demarc).



not

@comcast.net

And none of this has solved any problems for the carriers in terms of security issues. Had a customer that had a Comcast tech (not contractor) come in to set up the new wireless gateway and configure it for the home. Guy set it up as WEP. Seriously? I guess you just can't cure stupid.

Comcast is wasting a lot of money on improper training and all it does is just cause more problems down the line. You CANNOT take someone who turns a screwdriver and expect them to properly configure your network. I'm sorry, but these techs they train and release need to spend more time learning to do it properly instead of just winging it. This isn't fast food people!



Doobee

@comcast.net

Agreed although, of course it is still $7 a month for a gateway, just an extra $2.95 if you want the "wireless networking support" from their "Signature Support Service" which they push at every opportunity.



tshirt
Premium,MVM
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Comcast

1 recommendation

reply to not

And if people were willing to pay up to a couple hundred dollars for an install so that a tech could do the wiring, plus a certified network "expert" could come do the network setup/education visit then that would be a reasonable expectation.
The advantage of the remotely managed gateway's is a cable tech or even a customer can attach it and the remote network techs can configure it as needed including fixing end user adjustments that don't meet security or usability needs.
Getting people to pay for preventing the attack/outage that didn't happen can be a hard thing to explain, let alone sell them on it.


GSTEXEC1
Premium
join:2004-10-26
Fort Pierce, FL
Reviews:
·AT&T Southeast
·Comcast
·AT&T U-Verse

1 recommendation

reply to IowaCowboy

I Agree no Data only modem but it does show under the Xfinity Internet Heading that you can purchase a Voice/Data Modem DOCSIS 3.0 Kit (For Purchase, One Time Charge) for 99.00.

I guess when Best Buy stopped selling now it is available from Comcast at a cheaper price.


nrobot80

join:2012-12-05
Union City, GA

1 recommendation

reply to tshirt

As a former cable tech I've been on a number of service calls when in fact the cable modem was working but the customers computer or the network they've installed with the router/modem they bought themselves wasn't. You average home has a number of items that need to be connected to a network (computers, video game consoles, tablets, VOIP adapters etc.) Comcast isn't responsible for equipment that isn't theirs so they are offering or pushing the gateways to save on truck rolls. If someone calls into customer or tech support then the rep can remotely access the network and determine if the problem is Comcast's or the customers. This saves on truck rolls which in turn saves money for the company. Plus it generates $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ for the company



tshirt
Premium,MVM
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Comcast

1 recommendation

At $2.95 a month, I doubt it's intended to be a big money maker, at least not directly, but I agree extending Comcast's remote diagnostics into the home will save a fortune on tech visits and (if handled well) create user satisfaction for those that don't know/don't want to know much about computers, they just want/need them to work.



IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast

1 recommendation

reply to nrobot80

And how many times has Comcast played the "blame customer equipment" game. I had a CSR try to blame my computer when in fact there was known problems with the network. I even had a truck roll around that time where my neighbors came out and approached the Comcast technician that was servicing my house saying they were having problems with the Internet so it was clearly a Comcast issue.

As for networking equipment, they should make it clear in bold print that Comcast's responsibility ends at the demarc (customer owned modems) or the modem (Comcast rental modems) and that the customer would be charged an hourly rate for troubleshooting beyond that point.

As for their gateways, the Comcast gateways have inferior processing capabilities and poor Wi-Fi range. It's like comparing public transportation to a Corvette in terms of quality when it comes to CC gateways vs an Apple AirPort Extreme router.



egeek84
Premium
join:2011-07-28
Livermore, CA
Reviews:
·Comcast


Arris TG862G Wireless Gateway
said by IowaCowboy:

As for their gateways, the Comcast gateways have inferior processing capabilities and poor Wi-Fi range. It's like comparing public transportation to a Corvette in terms of quality when it comes to CC gateways vs an Apple AirPort Extreme router.

Amen to that! I have the Arris TG862G and the built in wifi absolutely sucks! It goes from a good signal to low and the speeds flucuate because of it. Once I hooked up my Netgear dual band router, I was seeing full speeds and back in business.

Besides that though, I really like this gateway and it looks sexy to boot

nrobot80

join:2012-12-05
Union City, GA

2 recommendations

reply to IowaCowboy

I agree with you 1000% IowaCowboy, keep in mind if Comcast charged an hourly rate to diagnosis a problem with a customers equipment then that's additional money need to train and certify the techs. When I first started as a tech in training class they showed us how to install/replace NIC cards in desktop computers. They told told us to stop doing that and just install USB drivers if that was the problem because so many techs were opening computers and frying motherboards. This also voided the warranties of most desktop computers. As I stated before most people that called in weren't tech savy. I once went to a home where the customer fried his brand new computer after he spilled water all over it. He said the cupholder (CD-ROM drive) went back into the machine. I swapped modems, billed the customer and was on my way to the next job. In an instance like that the customer should be billed just out of stupidity.



NetFixer
Freedom is NOT free
Premium
join:2004-06-24
The Boro
Reviews:
·Cingular Wireless
·Comcast Business..
·Vonage
·Comcast

2 recommendations

reply to IowaCowboy

said by IowaCowboy:

As for networking equipment, they should make it clear in bold print that Comcast's responsibility ends at the demarc (customer owned modems) or the modem (Comcast rental modems) and that the customer would be charged an hourly rate for troubleshooting beyond that point.

I personally don't see how anyone could reasonably expect an ISP to provide support for customer installed equipment (and/or network wiring) that was neither purchased or rented from that ISP (and certainly not free support).

OTOH, I do know from personal experience that such an attitude is indeed quite common. I can't recount the number of times that I have had people (who were not customers of mine) call or email me expecting me to provide free phone or email support for products and services that they had not obtained from me.
--
A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

When governments fear people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.


Doobee

@comcast.net
reply to egeek84

Guess it all depends on which market area you are in. On my Jan rate sheet, the gateway is still $7 and not lumped together with the "wireless network service" That has a sign up fee of $39 and then $5.95 a month!



Chris 313
Come get some
Premium
join:2004-07-18
Houma, LA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·Vonage
·Comcast
·Comcast Digital ..

1 recommendation

reply to nrobot80

said by nrobot80:

I agree with you 1000% IowaCowboy, keep in mind if Comcast charged an hourly rate to diagnosis a problem with a customers equipment then that's additional money need to train and certify the techs. When I first started as a tech in training class they showed us how to install/replace NIC cards in desktop computers. They told told us to stop doing that and just install USB drivers if that was the problem because so many techs were opening computers and frying motherboards. This also voided the warranties of most desktop computers. As I stated before most people that called in weren't tech savy. I once went to a home where the customer fried his brand new computer after he spilled water all over it. He said the cupholder (CD-ROM drive) went back into the machine. I swapped modems, billed the customer and was on my way to the next job. In an instance like that the customer should be billed just out of stupidity.

I totally agree. There should be a charge for service calls out of pure stupidity. How can anyone be that stupid to use a CD-ROM drive as a cup holder of all things? I've heard of using CDs (especially the AOL variety) as coasters, but come on!

Also reminds me of the time I got cable back in 2004. The rig I had at the time didn't have a NIC card and I was fully prepared to use USB drivers, but the techs they sent installed one for me, professionally and it all worked. Took the whole job about 3 hours from start to finish, but by the time they left, everything worked and I was VERY happy. Techs that well trained are a lost art these days. I got one just a few weeks ago that was lying his ass off and was just here for the check. So poorly trained, I wanted to drop kick him from my home.


NetFixer
Freedom is NOT free
Premium
join:2004-06-24
The Boro
Reviews:
·Cingular Wireless
·Comcast Business..
·Vonage
·Comcast

1 recommendation

said by Chris 313:

Also reminds me of the time I got cable back in 2004. The rig I had at the time didn't have a NIC card and I was fully prepared to use USB drivers, but the techs they sent installed one for me, professionally and it all worked. Took the whole job about 3 hours from start to finish, but by the time they left, everything worked and I was VERY happy. Techs that well trained are a lost art these days. I got one just a few weeks ago that was lying his ass off and was just here for the check. So poorly trained, I wanted to drop kick him from my home.

I have no idea how well trained that last tech was, but he may have simply been restrained by company policy and/or contract terms from providing any kind of service that was not explicitly covered in the work order for that job.

I have done contract work for many different OEMs, VARs, and ISPs (not Comcast, however), and for those jobs I was almost invariably explicitly forbidden to provide any services whatsoever that were not in writing on the work order for that job. I would often feel quite badly at having to leave a customer who was still having problems, but I really had no choice if I expected to ever get work from that particular vendor or service provider again.
--
A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

When governments fear people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.

neufuse

join:2006-12-06
James Creek, PA
Reviews:
·Comcast

2 recommendations

reply to GSTEXEC1

I have that too on the price list, but when I asked about it they told me I had to get it at best buy still... told them best buy doesn't carry them anymore and they told me "they are the only authorized retailer, we do not sell directly to customers ourselves"... then why do you have a price for it?!



Chris 313
Come get some
Premium
join:2004-07-18
Houma, LA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·Vonage
·Comcast
·Comcast Digital ..
reply to NetFixer

said by NetFixer:

said by Chris 313:

Also reminds me of the time I got cable back in 2004. The rig I had at the time didn't have a NIC card and I was fully prepared to use USB drivers, but the techs they sent installed one for me, professionally and it all worked. Took the whole job about 3 hours from start to finish, but by the time they left, everything worked and I was VERY happy. Techs that well trained are a lost art these days. I got one just a few weeks ago that was lying his ass off and was just here for the check. So poorly trained, I wanted to drop kick him from my home.

I have no idea how well trained that last tech was, but he may have simply been restrained by company policy and/or contract terms from providing any kind of service that was not explicitly covered in the work order for that job.

I have done contract work for many different OEMs, VARs, and ISPs (not Comcast, however), and for those jobs I was almost invariably explicitly forbidden to provide any services whatsoever that were not in writing on the work order for that job. I would often feel quite badly at having to leave a customer who was still having problems, but I really had no choice if I expected to ever get work from that particular vendor or service provider again.

Well, he was just here for a modem swap (potentially a gateway model as is being talked about here. Though it turned out just to be a regular EMTA), that wasn't in the order or so he said. Install CDV was what it was, when I had it since Mid 2008. He also had my order wrong or so he said. It was set for 8/2 vs the 16/2 I had for a year then. (Upgraded to 25/4 which was why I was needing the swap. I found out he was lying to me equipment wise (Said he only had D2 installs in his truck and swapping mine out would make no difference. It does when you have the right equipment to get the speed you pay for.)

I had to beg and argue with him to get him to make the call, at which time he just carries in a ARRIS 722G EMTA, no packaging or cables. Where did he get that modem from if all he had was D2 versions? He also called it a Business Class modem, fed me lines about "up to" verbage (When I have the right equipment, I've always gotten mine. 27.5/4.4+ now) Not being able to help me if I got lower speeds (Lies) And the end, he turned around and says if I have any problems, to call in. Huh? What did he say about not being able to help me with lower speeds 10 minutes ago?

One thing that burned me was during the install, if you could call it that, I caught him screwing with my router, which wasn't even hooked up, and for his benefit. I thought that they weren't supposed to do that? Just direct connect modem device and computer, make sure it works and then go?

Now you can see why I wanted to drop kick him from my home. A install that should have taken 10 minutes ended up like 30 or more.

nrobot80

join:2012-12-05
Union City, GA

1 recommendation

reply to neufuse

Training is a two way street. My current job requires me to go through intense training from an instructor who is a contractor, not an actual company employee. He doesn't have much knowledge of the product because the service isn't offered in his area, so he goes by what the book says and forms his own opinion about how to use and install the product, basically he is here to collect a paycheck. I have experience in this field so most of this training is a complete bore for me. On the other hand you have the student/employee who is there to collect a check, gets through class because no one fails. The end result is poor customer service, multiple trucks rolls, and higher prices. You can't stop that snowball once it starts rolling.



Chris 313
Come get some
Premium
join:2004-07-18
Houma, LA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·Vonage
·Comcast
·Comcast Digital ..
reply to neufuse

said by neufuse:

I have that too on the price list, but when I asked about it they told me I had to get it at best buy still... told them best buy doesn't carry them anymore and they told me "they are the only authorized retailer, we do not sell directly to customers ourselves"... then why do you have a price for it?!

I agree. If you can't buy a new one right from Comcast, why would they bother printing it on the list? I got one for Oct 2012 with price changes too and the option to buy both a D2 and D3 kit was there. Why would they still sell D2 *kits*? I've had one for 5 years and wouldn't have just wanted to buy it after all that. What was it that was said, the left hand don't know what the right is doing at Comcast.

Extide

join:2000-06-11
84129

1 recommendation

reply to IowaCowboy

If I ever have a tech over to work on a problem, I just directly plug a laptop into the modem. I do not allow techs to touch any of my equipment, router settings, etc. All I have them do is get it working on that single PC, and then I will handle the rest.

It also helps when "arguing" with tech support whether the issue is with your stuff or not. Just plug a laptop into the modem and say you are directly connected to the modem, no router, nothing. Then there is no room for them to say that your stuff is the problem.


nrobot80

join:2012-12-05
Union City, GA

2 recommendations

PhReE5, it sounds like you are a tech savy person. Most people think because they pay x amount of dollars to an ISP, the ISP is responsible for all the equipment connected to their service. When I was a cable tech, I went to a customers house to install their internet. When I got there the woman of the house asked me how long it would take to fix her computer. She was misinformed by the phone rep that I would fix her computer which had a virus, that's why she signed up for the service. I informed her that we weren't responsible for their broken or malfunctioning equipment. At the time I didn't know she had friends in high places at this ISP (HR). In turn I ended up losing my job, after my lawyer investigated the situation she admitted that she lied to her friend in high places. I was told that I could reapply for my job, when I did the company had a hiring freeze and I ended up moving out of state. The customers need to learn to read the Terms of Service provided by an ISP, they are not responsible for the equipment in the customers home. ISPs are also not responsible for the content that you view and download online. In some cases when people call in it is their equipment that has a problem. Sometimes there is a problem on the ISPs end. Comcast is trying to reduce their amount of truck rolls by having their "tech support" trouble shoot problems over the phone.



Mike Wolf

join:2009-05-24
Beachwood, NJ
kudos:3
reply to IowaCowboy

If Comcast would give me a free router I wouldn't mind playing with it.



NetFixer
Freedom is NOT free
Premium
join:2004-06-24
The Boro
Reviews:
·Cingular Wireless
·Comcast Business..
·Vonage
·Comcast

said by Mike Wolf:

If Comcast would give me a free router I wouldn't mind playing with it.

They used to have such a program, but you had to be renting one of their modems to get the router. However, they terminated that program about a year ago and now issue the gateway boxes instead.

A quirk of that program was that if you were leasing a gateway box (as I used to do on my business class account) but that gateway was not wireless, you still qualified for their free wireless router offer. I am still using the free Netgear WNR1000v2-VC router that Comcast sent me as my isolated guest/test router. I no longer rent the SMC gateway, but Comcast told me that they didn't want the router returned (until/unless I terminate my HSI account) even though I am no longer renting their "modem".
--
A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

When governments fear people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.


Mike Wolf

join:2009-05-24
Beachwood, NJ
kudos:3

I figured as much. Oh well, I guess no new toy for me :/



NetFixer
Freedom is NOT free
Premium
join:2004-06-24
The Boro
Reviews:
·Cingular Wireless
·Comcast Business..
·Vonage
·Comcast

said by Mike Wolf:

I figured as much. Oh well, I guess no new toy for me :/

         
Why do I get the impression that you have more toys than you can find the time to tinker with?
--
A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

When governments fear people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.

Extide

join:2000-06-11
84129
reply to nrobot80

nrobot80, Yeah, I am definitely a tech savvy person, so yeah I know how to handle making sure all of my gear is operating properly.

Man, you sure got the short end of the stick on that job deal. That really sucks. I used to do computer repair at a computer store and people would expect you do do anything and everything for them, they have no respect for boundaries. It can end up with the tech in a really crappy situation, either break rules and do more then they are supposed to, or leave a customer un-satisfied, which may get you into trouble later when they complain.



Mike Wolf

join:2009-05-24
Beachwood, NJ
kudos:3
reply to NetFixer

You would be right. I like to vary my tinkering with various things so I don't get bored...or break something by accident. My newest thing is DVR expanders.


nrobot80

join:2012-12-05
Union City, GA
reply to Extide

That's the situtation I was in. Customer service has gotten to the point of companies promising the customer the sun, moon, stars and everything between just to earn their dollars. The phone rep may have been misinformed or trying to meet their sales quota also. The ISP I work for now is trying to stand above the other MSOs in terms of customer service, so they will send out a contractor (seperate from the installer but for a fee of course) to fix computers, mount TVs on the wall etc. That is an issue in itself because if there is a problem, then all the customer says is the person from xyz company came to my house and did a crappy job. In my opinion customer's broken or malfunctioning equipment is and always will be the customers responsiblity to fix or replace.