October 23rd, 2006

TWC aka Comcast Service

Comcast aka TWC was still down most of this weekend. (It's been up and down since October 5th) I'd get occassional connectivity but every morning I would wake up and find that damn modem light blinking, taunting me with it's lack of signal.

Friday I got tired of waiting for the mythical "line tech" to come and work on my problem and called their service department asking for a supervisor. I got "Steven", the dumbest person to take an escalation ever. This guy was useless. He basically told me that they have the following instructions on a 3x5 card.

A) Follow script to reboot all devices in order
B) Check for maintenance in area
C) Blame Router

If these steps do not work, then they send out a service tech. Their version of blowing a whistle I suppose. Sadly, once they send out that service call, they have absolutely no idea what happens afterwards. They can't read notes, they can't call the tech, they can't do shite.

After this lovely call, I asked to be transferred to billing to cancel. Naturally, they can't do that either.

Also, when I tried to call the cancellation department directly that day, the line was down and I should "call back another time". /sigh

So I had time to call back the TWC billing department on Sunday. I got my cancellation taken care of. Let me tell you what, they may not be able to get my line working, but man that cancellation took effect immediately. No sooner had I called than my modem started working and I was able to pull up the "So you want to be a Comcast Customer?" page. (Notably the line was blinking again by the evening and still was this morning, so they can't even get that right)

Verizon FioS has been ordered and should be installed on November 2nd. 5 megabits for $40 a month with no contract. Yee Haw. Now I just have to survive without an internet connection till then.
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Problems with Comcast Cable

Hello. I originally posted the following in my LJ, and was advised to turn to you lot for help and guidance. I live in Chicago, IL, USA, and this is my comcast complaint:

In 2001, I was either living on campus, or else was living with my best friend in her apartment with no lease. Since 2001, I have lived in Elmhurst for 2 years, in Roger's Park for 1 year, and in the grey area between Humboldt Park and Bucktown and Logan Square for a year. I have never had cable in my entire life.

In October, I moved to a new place. I have never lived here before. I have never lived in this area before.

I have never had cable in my name before ever in my entire life, let alone at this address, which I just moved to.

I called Comcast to get cable TV and internet. Dude came out but, due to a lack of communication, we weren't ready for him and he left without hooking anything up. He left a receipt behind.

On it was a past due bill for over $100, dating back to 2001.

I called about this.

I was on the phone for almost an hour, and was told I needed to prove that the account from 2001 wasn't really mine. I was asked repeatedly if someone had opened the account in my name. I should note that Comcast uses Social Security Numbers as account information, and the SSN on the account is different than my SSN. Despite this difference in SSNs, the onus is apparently on ME to prove that I didn't live here in 2001, stop paying my cable bill, change my SSN, and then try to reconnect cable five years later. In order to prove this, I was asked to supply comcast with the following:

1) my lease from 2001
2) a current W2 form (what the heck would that prove?)
3) a current copy of my credit report (again, what would that prove, and why don't they get that themselves?)

I told the woman I spoke to that these demands were unreasonable, and that if the matter wasn't cleared up, I would return my internet business to SBC's DSL division.

Two days later, I got a phone call from a cable installer saying he was running early and was I home.

I figured the matter had been cleared up, left work early, and cable TV and internet were installed. The receipt he left with me was clean and pink and had no past-due charges on it. I assumed (ha! ass u me!) that the matter had been cleared up.

Then I got my bill from comcast.

Stamped across the top of it is, of course, "Past Due Notice." It's got the unpaid balance from "my" account.

I called Comcast AGAIN and spent another forty minutes on the phone, where I was told that comcast never makes mistakes ever and it's totally impossible that anyone could have opened up an old account by mistake and changed the name on it to mine while leaving the SSN alone because it's impossible to change the name field (which makes me wonder how they deal with people who get married or legally change their names for other reasons), and therefore the account must be mine. IT MUST.

I informed the woman that the SSN was different than mine. She responded that no, it wasn't. I asked her for the SSN associated with the account and she... refused to give it to me. Crazy, huh? I rattled off the last four numbers of my SSN and she got all confused because... get this... THE SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS WERE DIFFERENT!!! Obviously I was Up To Something. Once again, she asked if someone had opened an account in my name. Ok, even if someone had, how would I know? In addition, my name is NOT an uncommon one, ESPECIALLY FOR CHICAGO.

I got further with the issue this time than last time, actually getting a ticket number and a promise of a phone call within 48 hours. (UPDATE: I have yet to receive a phone call, well over 48 hours later)

This is such incredible bull.

I realize they are a company that needs to make money to stay in business, but charging a new client for an old account that has a different social security number associated with it? Accusing that new client of theft and delinquency? Being jerks? How is this a good business model?

On the other hand, if my SSN isn't associated with the account at all, I guess I can just not pay the bill and let it pile up on the old account, escaping scot free? *rolls eyes*
lunch money

David's Bridal D:

Last week I went to David's Bridal and found the wedding dress dreams are made of. I'm really excited about it, it fits perfectly, doesn't need to be altered, and it makes me feel like a princess. Since I am not getting married until Feb 2008 I have a while to keep my options open in case I find something else or to see if the price drops a little. All is well, right?

The night I had tried on dresses I checked bad_service and someone posted something about David's Bridal and how they put your number on a calling list. I was a little worried, but when I filled out the form (you fill it out before they let you try on dresses, sneaky!) I checked off that the number was a CELL PHONE. (I do not like landlines, too many telemarketers.)

So I thought, hey, I should be okay. It's a cell phone, I have an invisible shield to protecth my phone as cell phone numbers can not be given out!

Boy was I wrong.

All week in the mornings, I have been getting strange calls from an 818 number (area code) and seeing as I live in the 520 area code, it worried me. Immediately I thought it could be the DOOM of David's Bridal, but I thought I was being paranoid as this person never left messages and I was too lazy to call them back.

(I am never up in the mornings and don't answer as I work evenings.)

Today I finally answered the 818 number. It was After Hours Evening Wear wanting to sell me a great deal on tuxedos for my wedding. After explaining to the guy that my wedding was in 2008, I am not looking for tuxedos quite yet, he goes, "OOOOOOOH."

Annoyed that it was David's Bridal (I asked where he got my number) who sold me out, I called them and had them put me on their DO NOT CALL list this afternoon.

Ten minutes ago...I just got ANOTHER call from After Hours Evening Wear, a different lady, trying to sell me tuxedos-- and I had to explain that this was a cell phone and to please not call me.

My cell phone number is now tainted. D: D: D: I am peeved at David's Bridal for giving my cell phone number out but I really, really want the dress they have. I don't know if I should rebel and buy somewhere else, or see if they actually stop calling me.

(no subject)

So three friends and I moved into a new flat on June 1st. After being given totally wrong information by our landlady (who absolutely sucks, but that's another rant entirely) about who supplied our utilities, we eventually ascertained that it was NPower when they sent us a letter about a week after we moved in. Cool cool. I called, gave them meter reading for the gas and electric, everything was fine. We got a gas bill about a month in, everything was normal, paid it off, no problems. Alas, t'was not to last.

The first electricity bill came a few weeks later. It was for just over £50 which seemed right, only problem was the reading it was based off. They'd used an estimate for the current reading, but the initial reading for when we took over the property was totally wrong. THOUSANDS of units off the reading I called and gave them. So I called, told them about the mistake, gave them an accurate current reading and was told a correct bill would be sent asap. And it was. And it came. And they'd adjusted the current reading, but not their made up one for when we moved in. Result of this? £50 bill went up to £500. For two months supply. Wuuuuh?

So I call again and the guy realizes straight away what happened, apologizes and say's he'll have that rectified asap. Fine fine, a little annoying but whatever. I go on with my life and wait for the new bill. Except it doesn't come, and instead a few days later we get a message on the machine asking for me to call customer services. The real ::headdesk:: begins here.

I call. They answer. I ask what the problem is. They kerfuffle. I eventually manage to extract that as there's such a big discrepancy between what they estimate the meter reading should have been when we moved in, and what it actually was, they have to send someone round to read the meter. I point out that no one has disputed the current reading I've given, and ask how a current reading will tell them what the reading was back in June. I come away none the wiser, except to be informed I'll need to book a time for a meter reader to come round, which won't be for at least ten working days. A little contextual info - we're a student flat and by this point we'd reached mid to late August, meaning that within ten working days we'd all be back at uni and as class sign ups hadn't started yet, none of us knew our schedules, therefore none of us could guarantee what days and what times we would be in to let the meter man in. I explained this and was told to call back when I did know. Siiiigh. Can't be helped I suppose. So we flash forward to a fortnight later. Fine, dandy, appointment for another three flipping weeks into the future.

Does the meter man turn up?

Three guesses.

So today I call and ask whaaats going on, lady taps around and puts me on hold for a while and then explains that the reading department never received their request, despite the fact the system shows it sent fine. Kkk all very well and good but this doesn't really help with, um, anything. Lady says as they technically did everything right (apart from, y'know, get someone out to read the meter) there's nothing she can do by way of lack of service credit, but as a gesture of goodwill is more than happy to credit our account with £20 for phonecalls spent chasing everything up etc. Frankly, I'd expected nothing more than to be fobbed off and have to make another far away appointment and probably be let down again, so that gesture was totally unexpected and more than appreciated. And now there should be a meter reader here tomorrow. If we're really lucky we might even have a bill by the end of the month.

Problem with this?

We moved in June 1st. It's nearly the end of October. The bill when it does arrive will cover a FIVE MONTH period, and we're all penniless students. It's going to hurt.

The very biggest suck of all is the fact that apart from NPower bouncing us around and solving nothing, absolutely everyone I've spoken to (which by now is quite a number) has been absolutely lovely, very apologetic, and the height of professionalism, so I always come away feeling bad about being angry with them.

Sob. I just want a bill and be able to give them my money! Is that really too much to ask? =(