Sunday, April 13, 2008

Comcast Sucks

For the past few years, I had Time Warner Cable and all was right in the world. Now, don't get me wrong, I didn't choose Time Warner because I thought they were a fantastic company or because they offered amazing service for a low price. I chose Time Warner because, for whatever reason and no matter where you may live in American, there's only ever one cable company that you are forced to use. I don't understand why that's legal or how it works out, but there you go. But lucky for the Minneapolis - St. Paul area, Time Warner was pretty good.

But they they were bought out (or something) by Comcast and everything changed. To begin with, for a while I was getting two bills a month, one for my old Time Warner account, and one for the new Comcast account. How could that happen when they are actually the came company and I only had one account, let alone only one TV? Don't look at me. It was a question I never got answered, and only got sorted out after about three months. They finally waived the late fees they kept tacking on to my account after those three months of constant complaints and phone calls.

But I told you that story so I could tell you this one:

Earlier this month, my sister and I decided to upgrade to digital cable, with HBO and an HD DVR. It had been a couple months since my trouble with Comcast so I felt confident enough to go ahead and upgrade my service. Ha ha ha. Anyway, my sister called up and ordered all the stuff and set up the appointment. We made sure to ask for the HD DVR, because we were also getting the HD package and wanted to take advantage of those channels.

So maybe a week or so rolls by until the morning of the appointment. Or should I say morning / afternoon since these companies only schedule four hour blocks when you have to be home, though you can be sure they'll be late anyway. This guy wasn't late, but he did arrive in the last ten minutes of that four hour block. But that's technically still on time so I can't complain.

"Hi, I'm here to install a DVR?" he asked as I opened the door to let him in.

I replied in the affirmative and showed him in to my living room.

When he saw my TV he said, "HDTV, huh?"

"Yup," I agreed.

"Ever think about upgrading to an HD DVR?" he asked, which is funny for a few reasons.

I pointed out that that was why he was there. He was supposed to be installing an HD DVR.

Oh no, he told me. Comcast had been out of HD DVRs for weeks. There's no telling when more will be coming in.

"So you don't have the thing you came to install?" I asked, trying to be polite.

He said he did not. Then he said, "I do have a regular HD digital box though. It's exactly like an HD DVR."

"What's the difference?"

"Well, you'll get all the channels. But it doesn't record."

"I see. I really want the DVR though, so why don't you just hook up the regular DVR and I'll upgrade to the HD DVR when one becomes ready."

"I don't have a regular DVR. I just have this digital box."

"You don't have a regular DVR? So why did you ask me... forget it. Just set up whatever you have."

"Ok," he said, and then did. He told me I would have to call to reschedule, which I did as soon as he left. I explained the situation to the man on the phone, letting him know that this guy showed up with no HD DVR and said they were out of stock.

"I have no idea why he said that," the guy on the phone said. "We have plenty." They couldn't send anybody back out until saturday morning. Since this was a monday or tuesday, I was annoyed.

"You can't send anybody out sooner even though this was your mistake?" I asked for no good reason. It's impossible to talk logic with a cable company. No, they couldn't send somebody out sooner.

So as the week draws closer to Saturday, my sister and I decide to just call in and pick one up ourselves. But when we called in to ask about this, they told us they had none in stock and have no estimate when they'll arrive, so not only can we not pick one up, but there's no reason to have somebody come on saturday. So they rescheduled again to have somebody come on the 17th.

That's tomorrow. This was two weeks ago.

Two days ago, I realized that I wouldn't be here on the morning of the 17th, so I called in once again to reschedule. They had nothing later that day, but the 16th was open. Awesome, I thought. I'll get my DVR that much earlier. And, because I had learned my lesson at that point, I made sure that they had some in stock. Of course they did.

So I woke up this morning so I could be ready to let the cable guy in any time between 9 and noon. He finally called at 11 and said he would be late, probably closer to one.

That's fine, I said. I was just happy he was coming at all.

"There is one other thing," he said after we agreed on the time. "I don't have the HD DVR. We are all out of stock. All I have is this HD digital box. It's just like a DVR except..."

So that didn't work out. I let him know that this had already happened, and that the person I talked to on the phone two days ago said they had plenty.

"Oh, they always say that," he said. Thanks.

So I cancelled that appointment and called back to see what was up, and to make sure I wasn't being charged for the DVR service. By some odd twist of fate, I wasn't. Weird. I thought for sure they'd be charging me for three DVRs.

So now instead of having another pointless, standing appointment, they took my name down and will call mw when one becomes available, probably no sooner than March 1st.

So that's my day.

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