Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Comcast is evil ...

... they bugged us for months about "upgrading" our modem (which I pay them a monthly rental fee for, like an idiot) to the latest, greatest, fastest, newest tower model. It includes an integrated wireless router which they promised would deliver greater speed. (I have "TriplePlay" with a home phone, which I didn't even want and tried to get rid of, but they were going to increase my price to remove this "service." But the home phone of course depends on their leased router.)

So I finally relent and they send this me this magnificent new device. I spend hours getting the old one all untangled and unplugged and the new one installed, only to discover:
  1. Now I'm locked into a new (Comcast-provided) network name and password. Apparently I can't change either.
  2. Therefore I have to go through all my devices (Sony set, Blue Ray, 2 Chromecasts, and wireless setups on 2 phones) and update my network settings to the new network SSID and password. Plus I have to tell everyone else who visits our home who depends on our wireless. I spent hours doing this yesterday.
  3. The new wireless signal is EXTREMELY WEAK (5 bars on the old one, 3 on the new) and crawls like a baby. I can no longer access any of my apps or features on the Sony set or Blue Ray (like Netflix), it's simply too slow and times out. On my laptop wireless, internet runs so slow I can no longer effectively use Facebook. (Which as a social media professional, is part of MY JOB.)
  4. The new tower is broadcasting some sort of new public wireless internet access point into our neighborhood (independent of my private home network -- see the linked article for confirmation). This has GOT to be affecting my bandwidth somehow, since it's all feeding through that little coax cable sticking out of my wall. (And the electricity, which I also pay for, is powering all this.)
I've joked before about how Comcast's goal is apparently world domination: to get you completely dependent on all their services so you can never disentangle yourself, and then to ream you with escalating bills from now until the day you die. And possibly longer. And now you can add to that something I never thought possible: they charge you for the privilege of providing wifi access to OTHER customers who are also paying them for it! What's wrong with this picture?

I swear, at this point I'm ready to cut my losses, throw in the towel now, and try to find some podunk internet provider who cares. I shudder to say it ... but Century Link? Any other suggestions?
I'm also considering joining this lawsuit against Comcast ... what do you think?


kc bob said...

I feel your pain Larry. I was so glad to get rid of Time Warner last year when Google Fiber came to my place. Wonder if a cell provider like Verizon or Sprint might be faster for you?

Larry Short said...

Okay, I have a confession to make ... Comcast's social media people got right back to me after I tweeted a link to this blog, and said they wanted to make it right. Which I really appreciate.

And to top it off, I'm thinking now that my problems the day I installed were merely an incidental network outage, not caused by my new device. Ever since that day, it's worked much better, and I heard some chatter later that they'd had an outage that day.

So, perfect storm, I guess.

I apologize to Comcast for striking out in frustration. I was joking with the "evil" headline. However, I am still concerned about the pirate signal, so I am planning on returning the new device and installing my own wholly-owned modem (and I still have my old wireless router which still works great), based on the advice of some of my expert peers.

kc bob said...

Nice follow-up Larry. I appreciated what you said and can relate to those kind of perfect storms.

Larry Short said...

Just a follow-up. I did purchase and installed (with the help of a more technical friend) a new, high-speed modem, and returned Comcast's leased unit to them. (Nice not to have to pay that monthly fee any more!)

When I returned their modem, I lost the ability to use their VOIP for my home phone line, but I was tired of that anyway (I got nothing but spam calls on it) and so I called and had them remove it. It was actually more expensive to remove one of the bundled services, so when I unbundled I also had them ratchet down the level of service on my cable. (I had features i wasn't even using before.)

So now we pay $20 or $30 less per month and are happier. We also have a faster internet signal with the new modem, and without the Comcast wide area network stealing our bandwidth.

Nice to have a happy ending every once in awhile, isn't it?

kc bob said...

Nice update Larry. Glad things worked out.