Please send back-up and kibble

By Mir
December 14, 2006

Continuing in their fine tradition of tackling my internet problems with alacrity, today TWO cable repair trucks showed up in my driveway. I was thrilled! I mean, I’m not really clear on why Comcast would be utilizing the buddy system (unless it’s a safety issue, what with people beating the crap out of useless repairmen who show up a week after the problem occurred), but I figured two trucks had to be good news. Right?


Two burly repairmen came inside and messed around with my computer and reported that my cable modem is fine. Which it was, at that particular moment. I recounted my litany of outages and they half-listened and nodded and said, “Well, we may have to send someone out during an outage to take a look. But I’m thinking someone should have a look outside.”

There was a pause. I believe I heard a cricket chirp.

“Ummmm… ‘someone’ should look outside? Isn’t that why you’re here?” I looked back and forth between their faces as they STARTED TO LAUGH.

“Oh, no. Not us. We’re inside guys.” (I wanted to ask if that meant they’d been declawed.) And they went to leave, assuring me that they’d tell Comcast to send someone out to have a look around outside. I peered out the window at their TWO TRUCKS.

One of the two trucks was a bucket truck. In case the customer had positioned their cable modem at the top of a cathedral ceiling, I guess.

I suddenly have a much clearer understanding of why my cable service costs so damn much. Imagine what it costs to send out two guys in two trucks just to turn my modem on and off and declare that they have no idea what’s wrong. If only they were outside guys! But alas, had they dared to have a look at the street pole, they might have been hit by a car or devoured by fisher cats.

So now I sit and wait for the next outage.

Also I am considering getting a job at the cable company, because they don’t seem to have to work very hard, and they get to drive those cool trucks.


  1. Marvo

    At least you didn’t see burly cable repairmen ass crack while they were at your place. Or did you? And now you’re repressing those images. Let it go, Mir. Let. It. Go.

  2. Jenn

    Two weeks ago, something broke on our satellite dish and we didn’t have TV for a week while we waited for the repairman to show up. I was annoyed enough that I looked into cable (Comcast in this area) and then I remembered that we had Comcast for 3 months before we moved into this house and their customer service totally sucked. Never again will Comcast darken my door with their crummy customer service and cable outages!

  3. Muirnait

    Oh.My.Word. What a couple of shmucks. Hope you get it sorted out soon!

  4. Karen Rani

    “I wanted to ask if that meant they’d been declawed.”
    I just woke up the dog with a HUGE snort.

  5. Kym

    Yeah…but was it a Comcastic experience?

  6. Cele

    Oh Mir it’s too much to bear that we should expect calls for help to be answered in a timely, affordable, and repaired manner. And yet, just try being late with your payment. That’s it, demand a deduction off your bill, to reflect time lost by their incompetancy. Just sayin’.

  7. David

    Yes, and just think how much fun Monkey could have with the lift bucket if you got to bring the company vehicle home with you.

  8. Sara

    I am totally using that excuse from now on! “Honey, I’d mow, but I’m an inside gal. Oh sure, I’d go get the mail, but I’m an inside gal. Shovel the snow? Can’t. I’m the inside girl. You want to go for a run? Well sur–Oops! I forgot, I’m the inside girl. Nothin’ doin’!” Now if I can get that excuse to fly? THAT would be Comcastic!

  9. Dee Dee

    Did you call ComCrap to ask why they sent two guys to do nothing?

  10. Michael

    Welcome to the incredibly wonderful world of Unionized Monopoly. In the UM world we don’t need to care about you. Were else would you go, back to dial-up ? Oh sure, we PRETEND to care about you, see we sent TWO highly trained and competent information technology professionals to address your needs { I know I forgot to mention they are lazy, besides by contract we can’t tell them to actually DO any work because it is in their union contract }. Free Enterprise ? Never heard of the concept; does it really exist ?

    Good Luck, you’re going to need it.

  11. Christina

    I’m totally an inside girl from now on – who knew that was a valid excuse?

  12. Katie

    Oh I totally forgot that they pulled that same crap on me! We were having issues with the very expensive HD cable service (as in those channels didn’t work) and after replacing the box “inside” twice, I had to wait another week for the “outside” guy to show and change out one measly wire and connector. Good luck! (Dial-up sounds like the better deal at the moment…)

  13. Cheryl

    I used to get a whole parade of people through my living room who would turn on the television or computer (which ever was wonky at the time)and say things like, “Huh. Never seen anything like this before.” It builds such confidence in the service.

    When I worked at “Big Monopoly” we were all assigned strike duty when contracts were coming up. Inside repair people were told to make sure the device was plugged in and then call in for more help. I can only hope the regular people got a little bit more training.

  14. chris

    I have Comcrap too. Unfortunately there aren’t many other choices in my area so I am sort of stuck with them. you know unless I want dial-up which some days I think might be faster.

  15. Delton

    This post totally cracked me up. I read it this morning and could barely contain myself. Then, I was sitting at a restaurant having lunch today when I saw a Comcast bucket truck drive by. I immediately started laughing again.

    My fun with Comcast is that we have to “reset” the cable modem 4-5 times a week. This is loads of fun as it requires unplugging the router, diconnecting the in and out ethernet cables from the router, sticking a pin into a small hole on the back of the modem, waiting 30 seconds for it to reset, plugging the in ethernet cable back into the router, turning it back on, waiting 30 seconds for it to reset, and finally plugging the out ethernets back into the router.

    I finally resorted to writing all the steps on a cheat sheet for my wife so she wouldn’t have to call me at work to remember what to do. Of course, with Comcast’s fine service, about once a week, after completing the entire reset process, the crap still doesn’t work. Strangely, just waiting a few hours always fixes it. Unfortunately, I’m too hooked on high speed to go back.

  16. Susan

    You are WAAAAAY too smart to work at the cable company. Then again, so is my four-year-old, and he can’t spell his own name correctly half the time.

    Hmm . . . maybe he should get a job at the cable company . . .

  17. Sheila

    Did you offer them both a nice, refreshing glass of water?

  18. InterstellarLass

    I hate Comcast. We have them for cable. But only while their special continues. Then we’re switching back to DirecTV.

  19. Elleoz

    MIR, you are way too nice. I would have asked them what they do with that big bucket then since they are “inside guys” and then proceeded to write down their names for complaining sake. Of course, I am also an impatient biyotch too :) Hope you get it all fixed soon.

  20. Kestralyn

    Ditto Elleoz! Why do you need a bucket truck if you are just an inside guy? And that, BTW, is the lamest excuse I think I’ve ever heard!

  21. Daisy

    Declawed cable guys? Snort. Cappucino through the nose again. Oh, Mir, we had troubles with the SBC guys, too, when lightning hit our backyard last August. But they didn’t make me laugh the way you do!
    Maybe I should leave teaching and join the cable and internet companies.

  22. Melanie

    You always have to worry about reaching those cathedral ceilings. You know, when a customer allows you to drive a truck inside their house. Wowee, I wish I worked for Comcast because that seems like a sweet job. As long as I don’t have to get declawed, or work outside for fear of the fisher cats. I’m still laughing a little at this post here.

  23. Em

    I want a job as an ‘inside guy’! No bad weather to ever worry about! LOL

  24. Jenifer

    This post was great! Loves it! I think it is so true of all cable guys….. they never know what’s wrong, and they certainly never fix anything! I also thought the “inside guy” driving a bucket truck was priceless…. I would have loved it if you had asked him what he used it for before he left!!!

  25. Susan

    I *so* would’ve asked them if they’d been declawed. Sometimes those things just slip out of my mouth.

  26. Lisa C.

    The inside/outside tech is standard for cable and phone service providers. They train groups of techs on specific pieces of equipment so the inside techs and the outside techs really don’t know each others’ business. Which is utterly stupid, because they get one guy to come and install the service in the first place, which requires both inside and outside knowledge. However, installations are usually done by contract copmanies who make it their business to learn all the aspects of the job so they keep getting contracts.

    Anyway, they should be able to determine the issue with your outside equipment REMOTELY. Call and ask them to set up a monitor to the network interface unit at your house. If it is throwing slow errors that could be hosing up your modem they’ll be able to find it remotely. They won’t be able to determine that in a one or two minute test (standard procedure for testing NIUs – they loop them up for a minute or two and then test clean, and assume that the unit is working properly, which is not always the case).

    Unfortunately they’ve already dinged you for an indoor visit, and those are expensive. If they test clean to your NIU, try to get them to send an inside and outside tech and have them test with each other. If that still doesn’t work, piss and moan until the change your modem and your NIU.

    If after you’ve replaced everything at your house (inside and outside) the problem continues, that means something’s hosed up in the network, and those problems are a beast to fix.

    Make sure you make note of the person you spoke with, the time and date of the call, and what they said, every time you speak with Comcast. I guarantee they’ll give you the run-around if you don’t.

    Feel free to email me with what they’ve said if you like. I do this stuff for a living and I’m pretty good at it!

  27. Latte Man

    For the longest time, my parents did not have even basic cable. My father insisted that it could be nothing but a fad. His reasoning… as a long time employee of Ma Bell, he noted that the phone company pays better and has better benefits that the cable companies, and that the only people that work for the cable companies are people that could not get a job with a telephone company. Meaning of course that the very best the cable companies had to offer was worse than the worst employee that the phone companies had.

    Sounds like from your dilemma… he was right.

  28. Michelle

    This just became my new “Favorite Blog”……. (Found you on the Blogger’s Choice Award site.)

    Yesterday we had no internet, but the cable tv was working fine. I called Comcast and after 1/2 hour they ended up saying I needed a house visit….. which couldn’t happen until Tuesday. I can’t wait that long!?!?!? So I grumpily agreed……

    Two hours later? My internet was back on. Guess it wasn’t the modem like the lady thought…….. grrr.

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