Comcast Problems

LATEST UPDATE
2/5/08: Comcast now realizes that the whole neighborhood has been having intermittent problems. They think they finally found the source of the problem. There was a loose connection in an outside wiring terminal which was repaired late at night on 1/31/08. I was asked to call in if we have any more problems.  3/15/08 - We haven't experienced any problems since 1/31   - Dick Lambert 800 Brenner Ave

SUMMARY
Many neighbors have had a lot of trouble with Comcast digital phone and internet service since October 2007 which was (coincidentally?) about the time that Comcast started switching people over to their internet based digital phone system. The phone problems, which run for minutes to hours at a time, range from no service at all, to people who can't hear us when we call, to people who report that our voices are so garbled that they can barely understand us. The internet problems, which also run for minutes to hours at a time, range from no service at all to EXTREMELY slow service (like 2 to 3 minutes to get the Google home page to display).  People have reported a few problems with their Comcast cable TV but those problems seem much more sporadic.

ACTION STEP
The techs I've spoken to won't, or can't, tell me how many other neighbors are having problems
That, together with the difficulty in getting through to tech support, and the resulting waste of all our time, suggests another approach - pooling our complaints and submitting them to Comcast management all at one time.   To that end I suggest you 

  1. Keep a brief log that lists the date, time and brief description of your problem
  2. Forward it to me by email as often as you feel necessary
  3. Use "Comcast Report" as the subject
  4. Note whether you had the time to talk with tech support and what they told you
  5. If a tech came to your home state what he or she told you

I will post a running log here that lists all of the complaints I receive and I will forward it as often as it seems useful to a local Comcast VP I've made contact with.

BACKGROUND
Comcast has repeatedly sent out technicians who have found everything to be OK inside our homes. They've admitted that the problem is "upstream." Unfortunately, "upstream" never seems to get fixed.  Admittedly the intermittent nature of the problem makes it difficult to troubleshoot, however, after four months it doesn't seem unreasonable to expect a resolution.  To say we're getting exasperated after this long is putting it mildly.  In an attempt to find out if these problems are widespread, or just confined to our neighborhood, I started a new thread on the Roseville Issues Forum asking people across the city to post their experiences.

Hint: To see what you download and upload speeds are at any time go to www.speakeasy.net/speedtest and click on the nearest server (Chicago).  The site will test how fast your internet connection is in both directions.  Download speed should be at least 4000 kbps (kilobits per second) while upload speeds should be at least 250 kbps.

As I explained in an email to everyone on 1/2/08 I have been advised by one of the tech support people I spoke with (most of whom have been remarkably sympathetic and reasonable by the way) that the best way to get our "upstream" problem solved is to have everybody call in and report each incidence of slow, poor, or nonexistent service.  Here are the Comcast tech support numbers I've been given:

Here are the comments I've received in response to my 1/2/08 email asking if anyone else was having problems.