Comcast Cable Modem Install Hassle

Comcast installed a cable modem at my house today, kind of.

At work, I received the usual call from the wife whenever a serviceman is at our house, “The cable guy can’t find a cable or can’t connect something,” cable guy directs her in background, I can’t make it out, “Just talk to him.”

Comcast: “Hey, how you doing? Do you have a ethernet cable?”

Me: “Why do you need an ethernet cable?”

Comcast: “No, card, do you have an ethernet card?”

Me: “What?”

Comcast: “I can only find usb ports and they’re all full.”

Me: “I think you’re looking at my monitor. Look on the back of the computer, it’s a Mac Mini, under the monitor, it has an ethernet port.”

Comcast: “Oh, I guess that is an ethernet spot.”

Me: “Can I just do the final installation of the modem myself?”

Comcast: “Yeah, I guess, that’ll save you $20 on the Premium install anyway. What can I unplug from your powerstrip, so I can plug in the modem?”

Me: “It’s full? You can’t plug it in somewhere else? I have no idea how to describe what you can unplug.”

Comcast: “Just tell me the device and I’ll trace the power cord.”

Me: “Uh, I don’t know…”

Comcast: “Wait I guess I can just plug it in to the wall over here. I need to check that you’re getting a signal.”

Me: “Okay, I’ll just finish the install tonight.”

We hang up.

I signed up for 6 months of Comcast Internet for $19.99 with no set-up fees. So far, the rep that scheduled the install mentioned a $29.95 price, I called to confirm my lower price and was told they couldn’t verify anything until after the install; I should make my installer note the lower price, though he has no authority either. I hope Comcast agrees to the price promised before my patience runs out.

My wife called later detailing the rest of the install. Comcast had to run a new cable from my house to the neighborhood hub. They’ll be back next week to bury it. I have to be really careful mowing the lawn this weekend.

My wife tricked our daughter into a longer nap during the install. Toddler_o_Geek woke up crying and my wife rocked her for awhile. She then placed our daughter back into her crib and told her, “I’ll be right back.” But she didn’t come back and Toddler_o_Geek fell back asleep. A naptime first.

I’ll arrive home soon. I want to be surprised at how the install went smoothly and its changes invisible. I fear I will come home to: RG6 scraps (good for baby chew toys) all over my yard, cable hanging loosely from my exposed utility room’s ceiling, my office couch pulled away from the wall and an inactive modem sitting next to my computer armoire.

When I arrived home, the cable modem was plugged into a wall outlet halfway across the room and an ethernet cord was strung from the modem to the Mac Mini crossing in front of my keyboard tray. I haven’t checked the yard for the cable run. The install program was left open on my screen. I stepped through the wizard until I hit a dead end. My account wouldn’t activate.

I called Comcast and after trying to run me through some Windows troubleshooting (though I mentioned my Mac) they pushed the activation to the modem. I then convinced the rep to drop my premium activation fee because of the hassle and also tried to resolve the $29 monthly charge. Screwed by fine print, the $19 offer is only applicable to cable TV subscribers. Nuts.

I’ve now rearranged all the patch cable and ac adapters back into the armoire and am back online.

For fun I checked my speed through Speakeasy. Depending on the geographic location the cable modem hit between 6–10 MBs. That speed boost over 1.5 MB DSL makes it all worth it.

Now the internet can seem fast again for a few days before my brain adjusts and it slows down.

2 thoughts on “Comcast Cable Modem Install Hassle

  • May 11, 2006 at 11:07 am

    It seems to be an umbrella/rain thing — whenever I have the cable guy hook up the computer, it all goes so simply and easily I think “no problem.” — whenever I say “just hook up the modem and I’ll hook up the computer later,” problems galore and usually a follow-up visit from the cable-guy again (which is no where as easy for me, since I have no stay-at-home wife).

  • March 13, 2008 at 3:39 pm

    OMG! What is wrong with these cable companies. They don’t even get things done quickly and smoothly. They always try to make faulty mistakes out of your system. What the heck! I’d rather do the installation myself. For a head cooler, here’s a review of the latest widgets and gadgets available on the market, you might find it handy


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