I've been restricted in my access to rec.norm lately because the
signal that I'm getting from the folks at Comcast (hereafter referred
to as Scumcast) has been intermittent.
'Bout three weeks ago on a Saturday I called Scumcast to complain
about the intermittent signal. I had my suspicions that this was
caused by an improperly installed underground cable but I held my
tongue about this on the initial call.
Well, they said that a guy would be out on the following day to look
Since the next day was a Sunday I thought that this was pretty
wunnerful service and looked forward in happy expectation to the
'Course, nobody showed up on Sunday. So I called Scumcast when I got
home on Monday evening and was told that the service tech had called
and that no one was home.
I had been home all day. There are four phones in this house. When
the phone is busy or not answered, it is picked up by Verizon
I think somebody was maybe telling a fib.
During the fib phone call I was informed that nobody could come out
until the following Saturday because somebody had to be home, so that
Scumcast could check on the results of their efforts on my behalf.
That's when I informed them of my suspicion that the problem was a
result of Scumcast's imperfect installation of the underground cable
that runs from the pole on the street to the interface on the exterior
of my crib.
I call the installation imperfect because they had run the cable
without sealing the ends of the conduit, so that both ends were open
to the weather, which means that water got into the conduit, which
means that, freeze/thaw cycles being what they are - the freakin'
cable was prolly compromised in some way.
Now, I had dug the trench with my own hands and I had put stone in
the trench with my own hands and I had fit the conduit together with
my own hands and I had backfilled with my own hands and I had capped
off both ends of that conduit with my own hands and I know that the
sumbitch was water tight and buried deep enough to be on spec.
Made no nevermind to the Scumcast lady, She demanded that somebody
That meant that I wouldn't see a guy until the next Saturday.
This young dude came on Saturday and agreed right off that the problem
was probably caused by the imperfect installation of the underground
cable. We agreed that the best solution would be to run a temporary
aerial cable to the house until the Spring thaw and that, at that
point, Scumcast would do a proper underground installation of fresh
The young Scumcast dude had me sign a waiver so that the Scumcast
peoples could work at my house without me being there and said that
another tech would be out on Thursday to install the temporary aerial
Came home Thursday night and saw no evidence that Scumcast had been
Called the ever helpful service lady and asked, "Wassup?"
The EHSL said that the call had been completed.
An hour later another (different) young Scumcast dude called to say
that he was sorry that he couldn't make it that day but would schedule
a guy for Friday.
Came home Friday night and saw no evidence of Scumcast having been
Called the EHSL and she said that the call had been completed.
By now I'm starting to get a little loud.
I wound up telling the EHSL that I would check on things in the
daylight and get back to her.
This morning I looked at the pole and saw that someone had indeed been
there and had cut off the connectors (leaving the waste piece of wire
lying in the road) and put new connectors on with a pretty fancy
weathercap to cover them. No aerial cable. No change in signal
I called the EHSL and said that the tech had not completed the agreed
upon installation of the temporary aerial line and had simply cut the
coax and put new connectors on.
The EHSL told me that a new service call could not be scheduled until
the next day that someone could be home - a week later.
That's when I started to get really loud.
Now, I spent a large portion of my professional life running
construction projects and getting subcontractors to perform to some
minimal level of competence - I had learned how to be loud.
I asked to speak to the person who managed and scheduled the service
techs (as I had every intention of cutting him a new one and wanted it
to be personal like).
"I'm sorry but the dispatch branch is not available for direct
interaction with customers.", said the EHSL.
I told her that I knew damned well where they hid out and that I was
on my way over there as soon as I hung up the phone.
"Let me get back to you, Sir."
A person who identified themselves as a Service Supervisor called to
say that they would me to sign a waiver to allow them to work on the
property while I wasn't there. I told the SS that I had already
signed such a waiver with the first young dude that had come out on
the previous Saturday.
"I'm sorry, Sir but we have no record of that."
"Let me explain to you how this is going to go." says I, while trying
not to hyperventilate.
"If this line is not run by Monday morning at 6:00am, I'm going to
call my electrical contractor and have him correct the problem. He
will do this in a short amount of time but he will charge a lot of
money for it and I will backcharge Scumcast for his services, as well
as adding a hefty fee for my own time in managing the problem on
Scumcast's behalf. When I submit our bill, it will be on the
letterhead of my attorney."
"Let me get back to you, Sir."
Fifteen minutes went by.
"A service representative will be out to assist you today, Sir." came
the voice of the EHSL in a following call.
Comes 7:30pm ('bout half an hour ago) and another (different from the
first two) young dude calls to say that he's sorry that he couldn't
make it today - would anyone be home tomorrow?
Will the Niceman Cometh?
I never did care for construction management.
It's the agita.
Thomas J. Watson-Cabinetmaker (ret)
Real Email is: tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet