Comcast Continues to Confuse Me

I recently wrote about how we had switched our home phone to Comcast Digital Voice, we didn’t like the service and we were switching back to Vonage. Switching back is a fairly simple process, we simply contact Vonage and have them start the process to port the number back to Vonage.

While this is going on, we are getting inundated with communications from Comcast telling us that we have to have a digital converter box for every television in our house or we will be unable to watch certain channels. Despite the number of communications, I have yet to find anything that actually explains what change Comcast is making and why it requires me to have digital converter boxes. It’s not a huge deal because they will provide them to me at no additional charge. (I will note that, once I hook up the converter box, my HD TV will no longer be able to pull the HD feeds from the local stations that it currently pulls off the cable connection. Make of that what you will).

Anyway, I call Comcast and order the additional converter boxes that I need. A few days later I receive a call from Comcast. The caller tells me that because I have placed an order to port my telephone number to a different service, they cannot place an order on my account to deliver the additional cable equipment to me. Instead, once my number is ported, I should call back and order the equipment again. WTF?

Unfortunately, I missed the call, so all I have is a message. Thus, I could not ask the person to explain this. Does anyone have any conceivable explanation for how this can be? It makes absolutely no sense to me at all.

My number was ported on Monday. I called that afternoon and ordered the equipment again. However, I am still confused.

Ted Kennedy & FedEx

I noticed that yesterday, while I was complaining about the Comcast installer stealing my cable modem, Adrian at The Nutmeg Lawyer was fondly remembering his encounters with Ted Kennedy. I laughed out loud when I read about Adrian calling Ted Kennedy “Baby.” If you have not read his post, you have to go here and read it.

On a completely unrelated note, I also enjoyed Ken Adams’ post in which he has decided to refer to companies such as FedEx as “nationally recognized express transportation compan[ies]” in future contracts.

Vonage v. Comcast Voice: There is No Contest

We have had Vonage for our home telephone service since November 29, 2003. From then until now, I have loved it.The service has been consistently good, I have never had any problems, and the features are great. Our two favorite features were the silmuring feature, which allows any call to the house to also ring my wife’s cell phone, and the voicemail feature, which automatically emails a wav file of any received voicemail to us.

Recently, in an effort to reduce costs, we opted to switch our phone service to Comcast Digital Voice, as part of their Triple Play bundle. For some reason, I was expecting similar service. I was wrong.

First, although Comcast offers call forwarding, it does not offer simulring. Inquiries with Comcast have revealed that they have no intention of offering simulring in the foreseeable future. Fine, I knew this going in, I just didn’t expect the call forwarding to be as difficult to remember to do as it has become. This has made us realize how simple and easy to use simulring has been. If this were the only problem, however, we would probably stick it out with Comcast.

However, the voicemail system is awful. First, when we receive a voicemail,  we  get a voicemail from Comcast telling us that we have received a voicemail. Unlike with Vonage, we do not get an audio copy of the voicemail. We just get a notification that we have a voicemail. We actually have to go to Comcast’s website to listen to the voicemail. This is a problem for two reasons.

First, getting an email with the voicemail attachment is quite convenient when we are away from the house. We can retrieve the voicemail in our email and listen to it with our smartphone, all with just a couple of clicks. With Comcast, however, we have to go from the email, to Comcast’s website to access the voicemail. This is a convoluted process and there is no reason for it. Second, the link in the Comcast email that is supposed to take us to the voicemail, never does. After we click on the link, we always have to end up manually signing into Comcast’s webpage to find and access the voicemail.

That brings me to the next complaint that I have. The webpage is terrible to try to navigate. When I first set up the service I had to go to multiple pages to set my preferences for my account. There is no easy way to get around and the titles for the various sections don’t really relate to what is going on in that section of the webpage. The one thing Comcast has done with their webpage is ensure that I truly appreciate the simplicity and easy navigation offered by Vonage’s webpage.

If all of this were not bad enough, I suffered a final indignity at the hands of Comcast. When Comcast came and installed our service and one of their cable modems (we have to use a Comcast modem because it also has the telephone ports on it), the installer stole my cable modem. He didn’t even ask if the modem was mine or if I was renting one from Comcast. He just walked off with my cable modem. I am still flabbergasted by this.

In sum, we switched our home phone service to Comcast for less than a month. Despite the savings, we are in the process of switching that service back to Vonage. I know that not everyone is thrilled with Vonage, so your mileage may vary. For me and my house, however, there is no contest.