My Experience with Comcast – Part 2


My internet connection has been going in and out over the last few days and now it’s completely out. I called tech support tonight (well, technically my wife called them) and they said my modem was “outdated.”

This explanation seems less likely to be accurate and more likely to be a lazy excuse on Comcast’s part to not look any further into the issue. Why would the modem suddenly become outdated? Isn’t it more likely that something suddenly happened with the service?

Also, my modem is an ARRIS/Motorola SB6121 SURFboard DOCSIS 3.0. I’m no modem expert but I think that’s a pretty popular and well-regarded modem. If it’s outdated for some reason, I think a lot of people would be making a stink about it.

AND … Comcast has tried to blame my modem in the past and of course they were dead wrong (as I documented in my earlier post about Comcast).

I posted most of the above to the Comcast Help & Support Forums. Other posts seem to get pretty well-informed responses. Maybe I’ll get lucky.


After two days without internet I figured I had to do something. So I went into my local Comcast store and “rented” a modem. It’s $10/month, but I have a strong feeling I will be returning it soon because the problem is with the line, not the modem.

I took the modem home and hooked it up, then called Comcast as instructed to finish the installation. After losing a half hour of my life in the fruitless effort to get a proper connection to the new modem, I scheduled a tech support visit for Sunday (three days from now). This means I will have had no internet service for five days thanks to Comcast misdiagnosing my issue, but it looks like that’s the best I can do.

Comcast is really terrible.


My Experience with Comcast – So Far


Signed up online for Performance with Blast. It costs $44.99/mo for the first 12 months. There is no contract. I had already purchased a refurbished modem on, so I did not need to rent on of their modems for $8/mo. They will set up my line 12/7/14, five days from now.


Comcast technician was supposed to be here between 12-2pm. He did not show up during this time period. When I called support, I was informed he would arrive around 3:30pm. If I had not called support I imagine I would never have been alerted to this fact.

Technician finally showed up and got everything working.

It’s worth noting that everything is working and I am currently using my modem. Not a Comcast-supplied modem.

12/10/14 (Need to confirm date)

Connection has become intermittent. Either slow or not working at all. A technician will arrive on 12/16/14 to fix it.


Technician is supposed to arrive between 8-10am. I scheduled this time window so I could get to work at a reasonable hour. He is late.

Technician determined there was something wrong with my modem, so he installed a Comcast modem. The new modem works, though it will cost me $8 per month.

Technician offers to clean up a second line (verify it’s working, put a protective housing on it) but because it will take an hour or so and I’m already late for work, I postpone it.

Internet connection is now working great on the primary line.


Just got back from vacation. Internet is not working. Called Comcast and based on their efforts over the phone, they have determined there is something wrong with the modem. That is, there is something wrong with the new modem provided by Comcast.

They will send a technician out on 1/3/15. That means I will be without an internet connection for five days. I have no choice but to accept it.

I call tech Arris support for my modem. They walk me through some steps that clearly indicate there is something wrong with the connection, not either of the modems.

I call Comcast back with this information, but their remote tests still indicate nothing wrong with the line


The internet connection has suddenly come online again. AND, I am using my modem! I am getting 44mbps download speeds. The technician is coming out tomorrow, and because these technician visits are so hard to come by, I am not going to cancel it.


Technician arrives on time. Technician determines the line connected to the modem is bad. Technician activates the other line and it now has a better signal than the other line did.

There is nothing wrong with my modem, as the phone technician had previously diagnosed.

I now I have to take the time go to the Comcast store in person to return my Comcast modem. The modem I never needed to begin with.

Update 1:

Received a call from Comcast on 2/15/15 (not 100% sure about that date, but it’s close at least). I hadn’t payed for any of my services since I first signed up. I thought I had signed up for auto payment, but I guess not. Ok, let’s pay what I owe.

The amount comes to $229.15. Wait, what? I am paying about $45/mo for Xfinity internet only. That should be maybe $130 plus taxes, fees, etc. And I should have $40 in credit for two late technician visits. Not even close to $230.

It turns out Comcast has charged me $70 for one of the tech visits, and $50 for another. I didn’t mention it in my original recap, but before each tech visit, a Comcast phone operator assured me that there would be no charge for the visit. On at least one of the visits, the technician repeated this promise (although a phone operator later told me they are not authorized to say this).

My head nearly exploded. My Comcast story was becoming even worse. Hard to believe but true.

I was ready to cancel on the spot but the download speeds are so good (for the US, I mean)! I had to be practical. I calmed down enough and was able to get them to knock the $70 charge of my bill. That left the bogus $50 charge remaining, but I decided to cut my losses for the time being, and told the guy I would pay my bill later.

Update 2:

I still hadn’t payed my bill, and I was worried Comcast was throttling my connection, so I called them today (3/13/15). This time I was armed with my invoices and this blog entry with a record of all my interactions. I waded through the byzantine invoices with the operator and I think because I just kept asking questions he finally relented and took the $50 charge off my bill!

I guess I should be happy it all worked out, but look how much of my life I have wasted on this garbage.

Update 3:

Agh … I thought everything was settled and I could simply pay my bill from here on out. But no. Today I noticed that they charged me a $5.99 “convenience fee” on 3/14/15 – the day after my previous update. I am tempted to just let it go but that must be what they want me to do right? They must just put miscellaneous charges on peoples’ bills and hope they just pay them without questioning.

On the other hand, I really don’t want to call them again. I’ll try emailing them.

Update 4:

I finally mustered up the energy to contact Comcast about the $5.99 charge, although I didn’t take care of it until a month later. On 4/14/15 I chatted with a Comcast customer service agent via their Web site. The operator informed me the charge was “a one time charge for the payment on live chat or in the phone assisted by a professional agent.”

I wasn’t sure if that meant the charge was for chatting with an agent or “convenience” of having an agent take my payment. Turns out it was the latter. I can assure you that the agent never informed me there would be a $5.99 fee for him to take my payment by phone.

That’s three separate charges they’ve made without informing me. One might be inclined to think this is a pattern: Charge the customer without telling them, then hope the customer either doesn’t notice or can’t be bothered to complain.

Update 5:

More connection problems. Looks like round 2 has begun. 🙁 See my new post for details.


  • 12/7/14 – Technician late. Internet connection working after visit
  • 12/10/14 – Internet connection failing
  • 12/16/14 – Technician late. Internet connection working after visit, but Comcast modem is now supposedly required.
  • 12/30/14 – Internet connection not working. Just back from vacation, so I’m not sure how long it’s been out. Phone support says it’s the modem. The Comcast modem.
  • 1/2/15 – Internet connection spontaneously starts working. AND it’s working via my modem – the modem that supposedly was the cause of an earlier failure.
  • 1/3/15 – Technician diagnoses a problem with the first line, so he sets up a different line. All working now, including my modem. But, I need to return the Comcast modem in person.
  • 2/15/15 – Phone operator informs me I have been charged $70 and $50 for two of the (mostly ineffectual) technician visits. I am refunded the $70 charge.
  • 3/13/15 – I plead my case to another Comcast phone operator and they reverse the remaining $50 charge.
  • 3/14/15 – Mystery $5.99 “convenience fee” shows up on my bill.
  • 4/14/15 – Chat operator informs me $5.99 fee was for operator taking my payment by phone on 3/13. Of course they didn’t tell me about this charge at the time. Chat operator credits me for the charge.