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Help - No working phone jacks?

Posted by

Message 1 of 3

I moved into an apartment with a total of 9 phone jacks. Couldn't get my Comcast phone service working. I had plugged a phone line into Phone 1 on the modem, and the other end into a wall jack. Then I tried the phone direct to the modem. Neither worked, so I had to call. They said my phone service would have to be reactivated at the new address, and then it should work. Then it worked when directly connected to the modem, but still none of the wall jacks worked. I called back. They told me my wall jacks would have to be configured and I had to schedule another service call. The tech came out, used a meter to check the jacks, said one jack was still in use for AT&T.  Went outside to where the AT&T lines come in, did something. Came back, said the jack did not work. He then tried other jacks in other rooms. Said none of them worked. NINE wall jacks and somehow none of them work??? He said the people before me must not have had phone service. Then why was one jack still in use by AT&T? Something does not compute. He also said he could not fix the jacks as that was another department. He said I need to schedule for all new jacks mounted on the baseboard, with phone lines running all through the apartment. Or I could just buy a cordless phone base with multiple handsets. I need an actual jack for a piece of medical equipment, so that isn't going to work.


So I called Comcast and they told me it's $19.95 each to configure the existing jacks. I said what about the tech saying they were no good? They can't tell me that, but if the jacks can't be fixed, I do need to have new ones put in and get the landlord's permission or else have phone wires running all over my floor. So it will be at least one more week, and maybe longer, before thsi gets resolved.


Does this make sense? I lived upstairs in this building and moved from AT&T to Comcast, and nobody ever charged to configure any jacks. We moved phones around all the time. I just keep thinking there's something they need to do to make it all work like it used to. It's very hard to believe that not ONE of these wall jacks would work.


Anybody have knowledge on this?

Posted by
Frequent Visitor

Message 2 of 3

Basically the same runaround when I moved into the house I'm now renting.  Misinformation abounds when dealing with this company.


After my Xfinity Triple Play was installed I found that none of the other 6 jacks worked.  I was told on the phone that the technicialn "must not have configured the other jacks when the install for TV, voice (telephone), and internet was done.  I asked "why????" and was told that the order had not been written up correctly so he just didn't do it.


I was told that some customers don't get all three packages so even though he plugged the moden into the nearest jack he did not go out to where the phone lines converge and do a "feedback" to the others.  I was told that it would cost me an ADDITIONAL $50 SERVICE FEE for another (different) tech to come back to complete the setup.  Again, asked why, since it was not my fault the order was not written up correctly.  I was told that I should have made sure the feedback was done before the original tech left.


I responded that it was not my responsibility to know what actions were required to get the services I had requested and been promised.  The very sympathetic phone person said there was nothing he could do since the system was programmed to charge the fee.  I responded then that after he and I finished talking and arranging scheduling another service call that I wanted to be transferred to a manager or supervisor so that I could discuss the unwarranted extra service fee.


He said he would be more than happy to transfer me but forwarned that I would be told the same information and therefore it was very unlikely I would be able to avoid the fee.  I said very politely that  there was definitely something I COULD do about it.  He curiously asked what I thought I could do????


I calmly told him that if Comcast would not waive the fee I would immediately cancel my order (which I was told early on that I could do within 30 days) and that I would take my business to DishNetwork or Frontier and Comcast would most assuredly get $0 of the initial $375 first month's bill and the remaining $200+ monthly fees down the road.


As soon as the supervisor came onto the line at the conclusion of the reschedule I was assured almost immediately that even though the charge would show up on the 1st month's bill, she had already authorized a credit, in the same amount, that would show up on the same bill and therefore cancel out the charge.


The bottom line is that in order for all jacks to function properly the phone service must come into the home over the cable and into the modem.  Then a phone cord is plugged into the moden to feed the voice portion (telephone) out to a corded phone or into the base for a cordless phone set.


To enable all jacks the phone line must go from the modem to a nearby wall jack.  The tech then has to find where all the jacks converge (either outside the house, or at a panel inside), use a device to locate the wires from that single jack and then feed the phone service "back" to the wires servicing the remaining jacks so that they all have dial tone.


(Also I was given the same spiel that if a usable jack was not near the modem they would have to run wires outside the house to the wall where the modem was.  The second tech told me that that would probably void the warranty on the siding of the one year old house, and that they could not do it under any circumstances without written consent from the rental agency.  My radical solution to avoid running wires was to disconnect the modem from its current location and just move the it across the room to where there was existing cable and telephone jacks coming out of the same wall 2 inches apart.)


After all the jacks are provisioned with phone service you can plug corded phones or cordless bases into any jack and be able to make and receive calls.


That, for me, was just one of a number of botched install issues I encountered with Comcast.  Some of the others were caller id issues, remote control operation, missing DVR not included in the order, malfunctioning DVR, channel guide issues, false claims about the package, and a couple of others that slip my mind right now. 


My install was done on 10/06/12 and I still have minor issues that I want to address with customer service.


But to Comcast's credit the people that I have communicated with have been polite and tried to be helpful within the scope of their authority.  I also have some new/different features I did not get when a Dish Network subscriber.  Still I have a slew (as in a large number) of changes I would like to see the company make to better serve the customers.


As a previously long-term Dish customer I can't help but compare where each company needs to improve and/or immulate the other.  I hope this helps you.


Posted by

Message 3 of 3

Thanks for your very interesting and informative reply. I also got the "order wasn't written up correctly" excuse. Considering they have a specific page for people who are moving and keeping their service, plus I spent quite a while on the phone arranging for the transfer, you would think the technician would come prepared with equipment AND accurate information about how to get my service runnign the way it was before. In my case, the tech did go outside and presumably did something, but when he came back in, the situation was even worse than before. I went from having a couple of "live" jacks one of which was provisioned to AT&T, to having no usable jacks.The guy didn't even hold out the possibility of backfeeding the main jack. He simply said none of them were any good and my option was a cordless arrangement or getting new jacks that would be mounted to the baseboards and have phone lines running through the interior of the apartment. I'm glad to have your info on what needs to be done so I know what to ask the next tech. At least they aren't charging me for the additional service call.