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Required Desktop Software-CAPTIVE

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Message 1 of 8
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Comcast has recently “upgraded” it’s network to include the appropriately named “Captive” portal.  As a customer of over 5 years, I was shocked to see what they have done, but also at how poor the technical support is regarding this matter.

 

Last night, for the first time ever, the browsers on each computer in the house came up with a Comcast message saying I needed to login.  Login to what?... the captive.comcast portal.   This resembles a NAC screen you might see if you connect to a network in a hotel, where they present your browser with an intercept screen saying you must pay for service, ask for your room number, etc.   In this case, Comcast wants my account number and my phone number.  Don’t they already have this, and have the MAC addresses of each of my computers etc?  I proceeded to enter the information requested, only to be presented with another screen saying I must install Comcast desktop software.   Indeed I am now a captive, so hats off to the guys in the marketing department who came up with the name.

 

As I do not have admin rights (work computer) on all computers, it is physically impossible to install any software, even if I wanted to.  I called tech support…3 times.  Eahc time, I got a different answer by people who clearly had not been trained on how to deal with calls like mine, despite there having been a major “upgrade” doen to the network, no more than I had been notified of any upgrade.  Sure Comcast told me if I didn’t have a digitial receiver, some channels in the 400’s would not work, and some other bits about TV, but not a word about the internet. 

 

So, the first call I made was around 5pm, and the guy I spoke to said he was aware of the issue, was sorry there was nothing that could be done, because I MUST install the software, and if I was dissatisfied he sympathized and recommend that I cancel service.  I asked for a supervisor, was placed on hold for 45 mins, after which I hung up after being tired of waiting.  Also, after pressing “1” at the beginning of the call to get an automated survey back, there was no call back, so if you hang up, you don’t get to do the survey. 

 

Around 10pm I called again, and got a more helpful person, who asked for the modem (DOCSIS) MAC address, had me delete cookies on all the computers (a non-value added service), and several other things, none of which worked, despite 30 minutes of effort.  I asked her if I was the only one with this issue that could not be corrected, she said no.  I asked for a supervisor, was subjected to a 30 minute hold, and then I hung up.  This time, 15 minutes into the call, the survey service called me asking about my experience, but I was still in the middle of this call, so what was I to do? 

 

I tried to call again around 11:30 but the cue said the wait time was over 1 hour, so I waited until this morning at 7 AM.  I got an obviously offshored and outsourced guy who had me read him all kinds of account info (what’s the point of keying in your account number if the ACD (Automated Call Distribution) doesn’t hand that data off and I have to repeat it?) He then told me they were aware of the issue, were very sorry, but he would have “a senior tech support” call me back within 24 hours.  I seriously doubt this will happen, I’ll bet there isn’t even a record of any of my calls.   I asked him about my previous two calls and he said there was nothing in the system. 

 

Here's a summary of what's broken:

-Poor communication plan to customers about change/required software for internet access

-Poor training for service desk staff, 3 different calls, 3 different answers, none was a fix. 

-Survey system is poorly designed and implemented, will not capture upset customers, those who hang up, or those who require lengthy support calls. 

-SLA for supervisor escalation either not implemented or poorly implemented.  Clearly the ticketing system is not integrated (CTI) to ensure customers who are placed on hold do not wait for long periods of time.  The tier 1 people know this and abuse it, they stick you on hold and probably have a laugh about it. 

-Multiple service desks seem to not be integrated and have minimal functionality such as integrated case history, etc.

-Comcast is likely not aware of how dis-satisfied the customers are as a result.  It’s impossible to think with analysts being able to delete calls, no SLAs, and surveys being broken that they do. 

 

I wanted to post this to A) see if anyone has a workaround yet for this new “Captive” NAC system they are running, and give Comcast my feedback of what has happened. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 REPLIES
Posted by
Cable Expert

Message 2 of 8
2,558 Views

Nah, it's not a captive portal. Your modem for whatever reason is not recognized in the system. It needs nothing but a simple re-provisioning.

 

You can call in again and ask them to reprovision the modem and fix the account. My advice would be to contact ComcastSteve and ask him to fix it for you.

 






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Posted by
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Message 3 of 8
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Thanks for the quick reply Iam! 

 

From looking at how many posts you have made, I'm inclined to take your suggestion as gospel, and it certainly makes sense. 

 

Except that they already did this and they (all 3 of the people I spoke to) said it was a known concern.   I suppose given the lack of know-how at tier-1, perhaps the one theing they do know is that by saying it's a known issue to a customer, that legitimizes their inability to work the problem, as it is a larger issue beyond their purview.  i.e. it's now a known-issue, btu they say it is to get you off the phone.  Funny how they never ask if the issue you are calling in about is a repeat/same issue as your last call...clearly a sign of disinterest in customer sat. 

 

I'm going to cell them and ask them to re-prov and see what's up. 

 

Anyone else has any ideas, please feel free to chime in and well.

 

Thanks!

 

Posted by
Connection Expert

Message 4 of 8
2,537 Views

I agree with nerdburg. This sounds like a back end database issue. If you get no joy, as nerd states pehaps it would be best to shoot ComcastSteve a private message. He has helped many with this type of issue.




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Posted by
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Message 5 of 8
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Stayed on for 30 minutes, tech repeatedly tried various fixes and re-provs, still same issue.  They also indicated its a known concern.  Scheduled service call.

 

4 different Tier-1 techs have now said it's a known issue, regarding a recent 'upgrade'.

 

Any other ideas?

 

 

Posted by
Cable Expert

Message 6 of 8
2,465 Views

You can contact Steve Teow (AKA ComcastSteve) via twitter or you can send him a private message via these forums. The dude rocks.




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Posted by
Connection Expert

Message 7 of 8
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How many times must we suggest getting a hold of Steve ?  Smiley Wink




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Posted by
Networking Expert

Message 8 of 8
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Poor Steve... :-(




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