Monday, 17 August 2015

Terrible Experience with Comcast

The "terrible experience" posts may well turn into a series...

I've had Comcast since 2011 in TN and MA except for one year. The overall experience is consistently terrible. Here are some reasons for never choosing Comcast as your ISP (or provider for any other service).
  1. 250GB/month data cap for Xfinity internet plans. For my household the data usage is around 1-3TB/month. I had to switch to business class to get rid of the data cap at my old residence back in TN. Luckily this nationwide data cap is suspended in MA. 
  2. Switching service plan is never smooth . Xfinity and Business Class are two independent departments. Even though the service always comes through the same cable lines, I had various issues when switching from one to the other.
  3. Moving is never smooth, either. If you move to another state, be prepared waste days and months for them to get the billing right, as a representative is only able to deal with things within the state, and is unable to manage or transfer your old account in a different state.
  4. It is incredibly difficult to get the refund to which you are entitled from Comcast, especially when it involves your old account in a different state. Representatives are not helpful in locating the old account and checking final bills and balances. Any service centre you visit or rep you reach over the phone will tell you they are unable to do anything, and when they say there will be a follow-up, there won't.
  5. Service reliability has always been an issue, regardless of location and service class. Service can be down for all kinds of reasons, from inclement weather to construction accident to "scheduled" maintenance.
  6. Never any notice for downtime whatsoever. If maintenance is scheduled there is no reason not  to give prior notice to customers in the affected area. If you call the support line, occasionally the automated phone menu will tell you there is an known outage. You could, of course, call customer service to request a reimbursement for the downtime, but the reimbursement amount is only $2 or $3 which is not worth your time.
  7. Cancelling the service? There is a 60-day prior notice policy. If you don't notify Comcast two months earlier, you have to pay for two extra months. This clause is not in the contract you signed, but in a 18-page ToS to which your contract links.

    This is the point where I came to the conclusion that Comcast is total bullshit, because I never had any issue cancelling my service with any utility, phone, or internet company. Even one of the busiest logistics/moving companies in the country scheduled my service in two weeks.
  8. When a business class contract is about to expire, Comcast renews it automatically without ever asking you. If you signed up for Xfinity online and the OK rates lured you in, the rates automatically go up usually by 40% after the first year.
During the one year when I did not have Comcast, I had RCN instead. The service was more reliable, affordable, and speedy. The only problem was RCN's coverage, or in other words, Comcast's monopoly in Boston area. Most cities north to the Charles River have only one ISP that is Comcast. The Boston area is loaded with outdated infrastructure (cough, the T, cough). Lack of municipal-level fibre networks makes perfect soil for monopoly of evil cable companies. The pathetic thing is, we the residents have no other choice but to feed them.

So, support your regional ISP while you can, if they provide decent service and competitive price.
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