When I started working for Comcast I thought it'd be the job of a life time. I love the internet, computers, and love helping people. I'd like to think I'm a really nice computer guy, but that's not what this place wants.

My hopes have slowly been diminished and crushed as requirements from 'upper management' become more strict, and not on promoting people to work harder but discouraging people from being helpful. The red tape that we drown in over the phone gives us the ability to say "Sorry" and if you talk to a good person they'll actually pray your issue gets fixed as it flows down the rusted, broken down pipe.

Greedy lying manipulative sales people, technicians that blame dispatch and a dispatch that blames technicians, a training department that spends eight weeks on how to setup an account and two weeks on how to fix issues, outsourcing agents (OSRs) that DO read from scripts for out of date billing/repair systems and still manage to mess things up.

The stress from being one of the few in my office that know how to, and actually want to, fix things is over-whelming when it seems there are more rules in place to prevent that than help. I've got a teaspoon to poke at an ocean of problems. Feel free to ask me anything.

EDIT 1: Keep the questions coming. I'm heading home and when I get there if the wife allows I'll answer everything and anything.

EDIT 2: I'm having a lot of trouble keeping up with the flow of posts, but I'm still working on it. Thanks for all the feels, and for some of you, letting me be the best part of the service for you.

EDIT 3: Alright, I am out for the night. If I didn't get to your question I will definitely try tomorrow. Good night, and thanks again for giving me a chance to help out.

Comments: 2609 • Responses: 27  • Date: 

[deleted]934 karma


dlenoxx675 karma

Oh yeah, works quite often. I've got the corporate number memorized. I don't hand it out all the time but if someone was rightly wronged and need that support I'll equip them to help themselves.

Nadtastic415 karma

Why do your cable boxes completely suck? I switched from dish to comcast and here are a few glaring differences

  1. The size of the HD is pathetic. I'm lucky if I can have 30 shows saved at once.

2.the DVR is lightyears behind dish. Its impossible to try to pause an exact moment with comcast.

3.the boxes themselves are garbage. I have exchanged it 3 times already. It freezes all the time (especially when using dvr controls) and eventually it just turns off and will never power up again.

I hate comcast and I hate that cable companies aren't allowed to compete with eachother.

dlenoxx417 karma

Most of the boxes we have are recycled, refurbished, repaired, or restored. To my understanding it's easier to hand out the old boxes that we already own than go out to buy a whole new stock of them.

There are some very, very nice boxes out there but more than likely if you're seeing the old ones your area simply doesn't have any.

Fusorfodder338 karma

I used to work for them for a few years, started in T1 and then internal helpdesk. Amazing benefits for the low end job that it was, and it destroyed my soul in the process.

Anyhow, I found out by accident that you could completely bypass billing department oversight on account credits by adding a service, and then backdating its removal by many months. Sooooo, add the top tier modem service (what is it, almost $200/mo now?) Remove it and backdate it 5 months ago. Bam, $1000 credit on the account. This was in CableData, not sure if you guys are using that.

Also, you better make sure you are being REAL damn anonymous with this post. There is a reasonable chance someone from Comcast is watching it.

Also, I just wanted to say to keep your chin up. I worked there for 4 years between being a T1 tech and then helpdesk/escalations. I promise you, it gets better.

Ok, no it doesn't, I'm lying. You'll eventually find a balance on coping with the magnitude of the suck, or you'll quit. It will not get any better - this is pretty much guaranteed for the position you are in. Get your resume out there and work like hell to find a new job. Your current one will keep making you miserable.

dlenoxx152 karma

Yeah, they've limited us in the new billing systems to three months back dating and, while that is a pretty good idea, any type of 'billing' issues now are suppose to be handled by billing and not us in the tech support side anyway.

SnowRabbit190 karma

Both my parents work for Comcast and I can tell you, they hate their jobs, the only reason they still work there is because they need the money. Although they worked with my mother when she was going through cancer treatments, for that I must thank them. But my father comes home everyday upset at everyone and everything because the system they have in place is complete shit. My father insists that Comcast is a good company but I can tell that its stressful and impossible to get anything done.

dlenoxx111 karma

On a whole, Comcast is a good company. You can be a good person and still be rotted out and hollow.

Tradgety140 karma

Not a question, but a metaphorical hug. I'm glad to know the Comcast is not all assholes who are hell bent on giving me shitty service!

dlenoxx140 karma

I've offered several 'over the phone bro fists' to people.

Yet to have them taken up.

DIEDIN1866111 karma

A few weeks ago I started downloaded something off pirate bay and halfway through I had to reset my router, then it happened again. Am I being watched!?!

dlenoxx206 karma

Every day I get this sort of question. More than likely, yeah you are. Not by us, but there are several entities that are tracking all traffic from Pirate Bay and building a list. Cisco showed its hand when it tried to put it's monitoring software through to it's routers so it could be possible there is some sort of background application. Comcast is starting a 300GB soft cap soon to discourage it because it is only more paper work for us to handle.

Check out /r/cyberlaws for some interesting reads on the whole piracy issues going on. Also, get custom firmware for your router and you'll rarely have to cycle the router/modem again.

thegregbradley47 karma

Kindly describe said custom firmware? Or perhaps just a link to an article describing this? Most interested in this but my techy past is, well, past.

dlenoxx108 karma

Good read, and this is what I use personally.


Rentiak99 karma

Live near DC? I know of a few openings at a university that may interest you.

dlenoxx112 karma

I can be there if the offer is good enough. Great area to my understanding.

captncraig86 karma

I was disappointed today that my latest bill went up in price inexplicably. I called to try the old 'I'm gonna cancel unless you give me a new promotional price' line that I've heard has worked. Everyone I talked to called my bluff and didn't put up much of a fight.

So I cancelled. And I feel great about it. I'm ok paying a lot less for somewhat slower dsl.

Is there a better way to go about getting the best promotions? Did I just get unlucky?

dlenoxx75 karma

I'd say it is a game of luck, but attitude helps a lot too. If someone tries the 'I'm going to cancel if I don't get things cheaper' bit, I'm not going to do much. I know Comcast is expensive, it's obviously expensive, so yeah, it'll cost more.

Now if someone called in and gave me a sob story about their bill? Yeah, I'd fold to that, but typically just being nice and asking what we (as a team) can work out to help out is your best approach.

mrmaddness78 karma

Can you get me a discount?

dlenoxx209 karma

Sure, PM me your address or account number and I'll see what I can do. If it's out of my area my hands are tied but it doesn't cost me anything to hand out free channels and what not.

emtcj173 karma

Prepare for your inbox to be blown up.

With that said...check your inbox.

dlenoxx146 karma

I certainly don't mind doing what I can.

thatguy171767 karma

I've got to tell you that so far, Comcast has been one of the shittiest companies to work with. Just getting cable and internet was a series of problems. Had to wait 4 days to schedule a technician to come out because apparently they've convinced customers they're too stupid to hook up a cable box and modem on their own. After I insisted I can do it myself, the salesman told me I had no choice. The guy comes in, plugs in the cable, plugs in the HDMI, and voila I have cable. Then I get a bill for $78! SEVENTY EIGHT FUCKING DOLLARS for something I told them I could do myself.

Beyond that, I told them I didn't want HBO but wanted RedZone. Low and behold, I don't have RedZone but I do have HBO. The equipment sucks, the picture drops about 2-3 times every day, and there's a lag between the remote and cable box that makes rewinding difficult.

After all that, my question is how can such a shitty company survive?

dlenoxx25 karma

We're big?

That's the only thing I can think of because we do have some of the worst sales reps that are just out to make a buck. Yes, we can mail anyone anything for any kind of hook up (some areas -are- iffy on phone service because they'll need to be setup before hand but mostly it's okay). At the end of the day, they get their commission and the revenue and it's up to tech support to come in and fix it. Sales and OSRs cost Comcast more time than they bring in from nonsense like that and the sad part is that it will never get fixed.

JillianaJones63 karma

This is not specific to Comcast. My partner works for British Telecom in the UK, and after working for corporations in the States, she says working in the UK and trying to get anything done to help the customer is like arguing with a brick wall.

dlenoxx51 karma

It's about the same. If someone in sales messes up your account because they're told how to just check off the priciest box not how to actually work these systems it'll be an email to an unknown office and it may, may not get done.

There are the lucky few who have botched permissions in our billing systems and can fix quite a few of the issues but for the most part when someone calls in they're going to talk to a soulless person who knows more about rocket science than fixing internal issues- and I by no means mean that in a complimentary way.

Dr_Gats43 karma

OP, no questions for you, only condolences. I am in the exact same position working for AT&T. As of today I am now the only person in my department, and I watch other departments do nothing but what I like to call "the blame game", where they try as hard as they can to make problems look like anybody other than themselves are at fault, so therefore they should do no work to help it. Or if they do have to help, it should be considered a life debt to be repayed upon demand.

I am applying for new jobs every day, I am the last of the employees in my office to find solace in another employer, and every day I am here I just want to walk out and never look back.

But then bills.

dlenoxx27 karma

Word, tell me about it bro-sef. I consider everyday just leaving, but life doesn't work like that.

Thanks for the feels.

JordanMcRiddles35 karma

What would the consequences be for actually helping somebody?

dlenoxx96 karma

I'm lucky that this company is mismanaged from head to tail and when I put in for a shift change I lost my manager, and haven't had one in a long time so I still try to do good work with minimal interference.

But for the average Joe, getting fired for helping people with an issue is very, very shady and an obvious sign of, for lack of a better word, evil. Docking their yearly raise, quarterly bonuses, moving them to the back of the line for promotion considerations and shift openings though? Well- at Comcast we call that not hitting your metrics.

It also wouldn't be the first time I've seen good people pulled into a meeting to talk about how much time they're spending with people. It's one thing to be moronic and wasting a person's time because you don't know anything- but they're telling them they've done too much and to stop it.

imtk29 karma

I work for Comcast too, just got my FLMA approved for the horrible panic attacks I've been having because of the stress of the job. If you want to vent or commiserate I'm hear for you.

dlenoxx11 karma

I appreciate the feels.

whatremix27 karma

Is there anything good about working for Comcast? For the record, I'm a Comcast customer out of necessity since I can't get any other service providers in my area. My experience with customer support is not too bad, although my main gripe is that I feel like I'm being gouged on pricing.

dlenoxx46 karma

We do get free cable. All the services and channels which is tough to argue with. The benefits aren't great, but compared to the contracting work I was doing before it's not bad.

Not to mention the great friends I've made here too. There is a whole group of us that try to help as much as we can but moral is slipping a lot lately.

guest731926 karma

There's a lot of churn at call centers. They generally don't care about the employees because turnover is so high. Moreso than in many other tech jobs. So moral is alway an issue.

Sure, a few folks work their way through the system and get promoted but most move on to other jobs. Your main objective while working in one, should be to make connections not just with your peers but with those in the levels above you as well. Because the turnover is so high, odds are all those folks will move into other jobs which increases the chances you'll get an invite to apply somewhere else.

If you want to get promoted within, you need to find ways to improve service without increasing costs and suggest them (in a way that can be tracked to you) at the appropriate times. That'll get you noticed by the right players and keep you in the game.

dlenoxx23 karma

I was up for a supervisor promotion not too long ago. Didn't get it and they won't tell me why- but the guy who did get it started with me.

He's the kind of guy that would 'fix' your issue by selling you more service. Still didn't work after that? Not his problem and you were disconnected. Moving up here isn't more up as down from what I can tell. I'm just going to keep job hunting until this place just breaks me.

imareddituserhooray23 karma

Do you guys have any good nicknames for Comcast?

dlenoxx110 karma

Cocmast is my favorite.

You get so used to the motion of typing www.comcast.net or .com that you'll trip up and wind up with Cocmast. And our current slogan now is "The future of awesome" the present is terrible.

Vertov_Bakunin17 karma

This is going to sound like a strange question, since I'm not an American.

I live in Canada, and supposedly our internet service is pretty much third world (according to Netflix CEO). I use Telus, and their technicians seem to be independent contractors working out their own vehicles, like a franchise or something. The few times I've had to deal with technicians, they either bitched about telus and tried to help us out, or they silently did their job or left.

The best part is, they left us a card with THEIR contact info on it, so we can talk to the same tech who serviced our place if an issue can up. Does Comcast work in a similar way and do you think that a more decentralized tech system would help things go more smoothly?

dlenoxx14 karma

We actually do use contractors already, and if the system was kept in a way that the contracting companies could be held responsible it would work better.

From how you describe your area it sounds like your internet service handles the service itself and a contracting company handles the actual work. Well here, we want to do both and use contractors to handle excess. But when a job gets marked as complete, and the tech never showed up, he'll get paid because all we know is it was done. If you tell someone at Comcast about it, we have to tell the contracting company to let them handle it.

What could be a day or two resolution now because a few weeks worth of paper work which is typically lost in transition.

mrrx12 karma

I'm confused. How can you get into trouble for helping people ? Are you breaking company rules, to help people ?

dlenoxx31 karma

It's not against the rules to help people, but it is against the rules to do anything more than say, "Modem is online." Even if you can/can't connect, as long as your modem shows green on our side you're officially taking too much time after that point.

And a lot, a whole lot, of the issues we deal with have nothing to do with the modem or its connectivity and more along the lines of minor computer issues that could be addressed with a few extra minutes.

deadly_pixel12 karma

hi, is it normal for the modem to reset itself a few times while downloading a file say, 20GB or more?

dlenoxx25 karma

Yeah, I can see that. Modems are very simple hardware and have some basic checks in place. If a constant stream of data within a certain range stays active, it may reboot just to make sure it's not an error. Some of the older Motorola models do that, but newer ones are more understanding for larger files.

guest731911 karma

Do you work in a call center? If not, where?

What's the most common issue you encounter?

dlenoxx27 karma

I do work in a call center in one of the larger depots in the south.

The most common issue is either "Where is my technician" or "My router isn't working". The router isn't our problem, but we still try to help with the whole unplug this unplug that routine. With how often it happens, and with how it became a nonexistent issue after updating my router's firmware I'm (tin foil hat on) suspicious if it isn't just how they're designed to force you to call their support for a $50 charge and someone to tell you to unplug it.

The technician bit? Ugh... We have no idea, and there is no way for us to find out. They give us a tool to send a sort of text message to the tech for an eta but whether it works or even does anything is honestly questionable. We can email their local dispatch office but more than likely you won't hear back and it wouldn't surprise me in the least if they had someone just clean it out at the end of the day. And the amount of technicians that are rescheduled for what ever reason fits their fancy with absolutely no notice to the customer is deplorable. But on the front lines when you call in? Nothing we can do, and barely anything even a supervisor can do too.

AFlyingToaster10 karma

Who is responsible for hiring your store employees? Now, granted, I have only had contact with employees from two stores, but fucking hell. Always slow, always disinterested.

Story time: When I moved into my own apartment, I went to the Comcast store to buy service. We do the song and dance, complete with the woman blaming the computer for various things, having two people trying to open my account while other people waited. She told me they'd have someone out the next day at 3.

The next day rolls around, 3 comes and goes and I call Comcast. Dispatch tells me the tech will be there soon. No one shows. I call again, a little more mad. Dispatch tells me that the tech called three times to say he was on his way, and, because no one answered, left. I had no missed calls. Dispatch recites the phone number she shows the tech called and it's all sorts of incorrect. We reschedule for two days in the future. NO ONE FUCKING SHOWS UP. AGAIN. I call dispatch and get the same thing. Called, no one answered, recites the SAME incorrect phone number. It took yelling at a supervisor for things to get fixed and they finally showed up a week after I went to the store.

Also, for four months my last name was misspelled, even though I gave the woman at the store my driver license. It took four phone calls before they fixed it.

Who the fuck does your hiring?

dlenoxx9 karma

A body in a chair is worth more to Comcast than taking the time to see if they're competent or even able to breathe without a consistent reminder. I have had to help co-workers right click. Yes, right click. Someone who was hired to help with an internet issue didn't know what right clicking was.

It has cause me just as much head ache as anyone who has ever called in.

amasterplan6 karma

I work for an ISP in tech support as well. Do you also want to jump out the windows on a daily basis?

dlenoxx24 karma

If the building wasn't on the ground floor, I'm pretty sure we'd have another Foxconn on our hands.

Maybe that is a little over the top.

iamakeyboard6 karma

You mentioned a 7 strike rule for copyright infringement for downloads.

Can you go over that a little bit more? Do the accused get any notices (eg. us mail, email, etc) from strike 1 to 7? What happens at strike 2, 3, etc?

I'm learning about this in class and it would be nice to mention what actually happens on the business end instead of hearing what should happen.

dlenoxx9 karma

Yeah, typically we'll notify you of what file we were told you downloaded.

For example, you download Broodwar (real life example here for me, back in the day). We'll get told that IP address such and such downloaded such file and they want to know who that is. They can't file anything against your IP address since it isn't a direct extension of you, so they need your name and information.

We take that into consideration of course, contact you to let you know what is going on. It could be you're on an unprotected wireless network and it isn't you. Of course you'll be held responsible, but that is what the system is for. The notice just let's you know what the file is and who is claiming it was downloaded with some basic information on protecting yourself against wireless hi-jacking.

Now there is a contact number for the company making the claim against you on the notice. If you call and give them your information, even if it is to tell them that someone was on your wi-fi, they will more than likely try to sue you. They don't care. It was downloaded from your connection so for all intents and purposes it was you.

Seven strikes, and seven notices is very generous considering out of a million people that could have pirated a certain piece of information, most of these companies only have the man power to send out a few thousand notices.

imareddituserhooray5 karma

What are your hours like and how much do you get paid?

dlenoxx14 karma

Hours used to be crazy. You'd start anytime between noon or three and work for eight hours. When between then? Who knows! They'd post a schedule three weeks in advanced but it was uncommon for them to change it mid-week while you're working it. Of course if you don't show up on time, despite no notice that the time has change it would count against you. Several people got fired in that dark time.

Now, lately though, our schedules have been locked down. It's much nicer.