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Once upon a time there was a company, which was a broadband cable company and it was really great! We were one of their first customers in the area and we used a sub-contractor, who they recommended to run cable wires through the walls and everything went just elegantly.
For a brief period of time we experienced Camelot. A wonderful, mystical experience with a fairly large company – something new to us – so we sang their praises wherever we went and to whoever asked – actually also to many who did not ask.
Over the past several years that has all stopped and Camelot has turned to Hell – Dante’s deepest, hottest hell!
We changed our business telephones to Comcast in 2009 and thought, this must be the new, great, telephone company as well as cable. - since our experience with one of our host families residential telephones changed to Comcast had gone well. That was a HUGE MISTAKE!
When we made the change, Comcast was supposed to send to Verizon our name and telephone number to be listed in the 411 directory. That has never happened. We made several calls, off and on, over those years trying to get that to happen and it did not. Everyone was wonderful, but nothing worked to get those ‘wonderful’ people to take care of business.
I have been in business long enough to know when a business starts to act the way Comcast was and is acting they are in trouble. It may not be showing as yet, but trouble is brewing within the corporation and probably at high levels.
What did we experience? You could call 411, but you could not get our telephone number. Recently, after all of my efforts, you could get our number, but it was our dedicated fax number which is never answered. So people tried to call us and the only thing that happened was the telephone rang and rang and rang with the fax sound buzzing in their ear. Not good for our business.
I finally put everything else aside to solve this problem because attacking it by calling and believing what was told to me was not working.
My time is quite valuable and I spent hours – days – and now weeks trying to solve this simple problem.
I wound up in a conference call with Verizon and Comcast talking about this 411 problem. I was told clearly, that it goes like this – Comcast sends a message to Verizon saying we would like company ABC to be listed with this telephone number and no address. Verizon says ‘thank you’ and that is what happens.
That did not happen. Changes happened. You called and you would get our toll free 800 number if you asked for our regular telephone number. Now instead of our fax number being the first number given out, it was the second number given out – after the toll free number. It should be illegal for 411 to give our company’s toll free number as its regular telephone number. That causes all kinds of multi-level problems for the company to which this is happening – and some very serious ones.
We called many times after that and received one frustration after another. I could not believe a company would be so disorganized and so wrapped up in itself and so bigoted against another company that a very simple problem had now become something ready to be packaged for the law courts.
But first, I called the Executive Offices and asked for the president. I was given an ‘Executive Complaint Assistant’ who said she would take care of the problem. She called me back in a couple hours to say a Ms. Maria Manning had been assigned my complaint because Ms. Manning, according to this Executive Complaint Assistant, had already spoken to me that afternoon.
Shock – Awe – Dismay – Disbelief. I had never heard of Maria Manning and had never spoken to her and here was this person telling me Ms. Manning had spoken to me and was already working on the problem.
I hung up and wondered what would happen next. Really strange!
I received a telephone call from Ms. Manning shortly thereafter. When asked why she had lied about talking to me, she said she was sorry. She had left a message for me on my message machine and that was the conversation she held with me. More Shock – Awe – Dismay – Disbelief. We didn’t have a message machine. Every once in a while we heard people tell us they left messages, but we didn’t know where or how – especially since our Comcast answering system was not working.
So OK! Whether she talked to me or not – although that did leave a really ugly taste in my mouth about Ms. Manning’s ethics – but, maybe she would be the one to come through to solve this really simple problem – which was costing us lots of business. We had not been able to get business from anyone who looked for us through the 411 system since we moved our business telephones to Comcast. And more……
Ms. Manning did call back – to say there was nothing she could do about the problem. It was Verizon’s problem and Verizon’s fault. They had a policy whereby they put the oldest telephone number you have first in their 411 system and the fax number was the oldest telephone number we had so that would be the way it was and the way it would stay.
This was never-never land. Comcast was sinking further into the hottest part of Dante’s hell and that was amazing to me because I didn’t think they could sink any lower.
The oldest telephone number we had was our business telephone number – for some 30 years – and that was the number Comcast was refusing to allow the 411 information system to give out. They were putting everything they could in the way of that happening. The fax number was fairly new, by comparison. When I questioned her and said that didn’t make sense and told her – again – about my conference call with Verizon and Comcast and – again – gave her the names of the people with whom I spoke on that conference call – she named someone else who she claimed I had spoken with (another person unknown to me and unspoken to) and claimed he said the same thing. He was her authority figure. So what was this? The blind and the bigoted leading the blind and the bigoted?
When we talked about this, the fax number had already been removed as the number on 411 and the 800 number was being given out in its place – so Ms. Manning didn’t even have the current accurate account information.
And where are we today? We are still not listed in 411! When you call 411 you have to go to an operator to get our telephone number because the automated system does not have it – yet. And that is after trying since 2009 – calling everyone I could think of in the company to make a seirously needed change – a simple change. Given all of the above and more, we decided to file a complaint with the FCC and will probably do more because there is nothing forthcoming from Comcast. They apparently think we will live with the way they have decided we should be treated and that we will accept our business being negatively affected by Comcast.
There is something very wrong here. This is all counterproductive – not only to me, but to Comcast. A very simple problem has been turned into a nuclear war. Why?
When you put the next part of the Comcast problem into the picture it begins to look a lot more sinister and deliberate.
During all of this – before I realized how horrible Comcast has become – I had my fax number changed from Verizon to Comcast. I haven’t been able to use my fax machine since.
The Comcast technician came out to install the new Comcast line and – and he said, he would have the Verizon line disconnected because the Comcast line would come in over the Verizon line and it would not be usable anyway and that is what they do at Comcast. He said he was saving me a telephone call – all in the line of customer service. So – thank you, Mr. Technician. We appreciate your work.
Well, not quite yet. Since then, we discovered although the technician came out to do this installation – nothing happened. When I called and called and called – the same kind of crazy response happened. Finally, months later, a customer service person said what he saw was stunning. The order had never been put through. He had never seen anything like it. Everything was done, but nothing was working and it had been set up like that. This, in spite of many telephone calls from me to get things working properly.
Now – why have we been chosen for all of this hullabaloo? We left Verizon because a good deal of the time our business telephones did not work. The ultimate was to discover our telephones were ringing, but not where we could hear them. They were “ringing to ground” according to the Verizon technician. And – according to him – that was nothing we should worry about. Awestruck, I wanted to know why we should not worry about customers calling us, the telephone ringing forever, no one answering it, destroying our business?? After much frustration and many telephone calls another technician came out – who didn’t understand why the first technician saw a wire outside unattached, commented on its un-attachment being the reason our telephones were not ringing and didn’t fix it. This was the reason our phones were “ringing to ground.” This new technician fixed the wire quickly, everything worked just fine again and off we went to the next problem – and there have been many.
So what is wrong with this picture?