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Truckfighters
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Fri, Aug 7, 2020 7:00 PM

Deceptive Marketing Regarding Customer Modems

Kind of a long winded story but I'm super irritated with this being my first Comcast experience and looking for some feedback on the modem issue. 

 

Let me preface this by saying I'm technical polyglot.  I'm sales engineer by trade however I often times need to install, setup, program and test equipment for our customers.  That being said I'm quite proficient in troubleshooting and networking.  

 

So I decided, after a long and mostly positive relationship with ATT, finally try out Comcast for internet and phone service at my residence.  I've heard nothing but complaints about the customer service and horrendous billing practices, however I've been told that if you can get the services up and running that they are more or less reliable and fast, so I rolled the dice and signed up for gigabit and voice.  I decided to purchase my own modem instead of renting/leasing one, and made sure that the unit I purchased was on their approved hardware list for gigabit services and voice, in my case a Netgear CM1150V.  that was a few days ago.

 

Fast forward to today, figured I'd spend my lunch break setting up my modem and getting ready for the home network cut over.  Well as the saying goes, what can go wrong...I got the modem connected, flipped on the power and waited until it boot.  I connected my PC and went to the Admin webpage of the modem and changed the Admin password, as you should, to something a bit more complicated than "password".  Then I waited some more but it would not connect.  I jumped into the admin menu and it said to check the RF connection.  So for posterity I disconnected power waited 15 seconds and reapplied power.  No I didn't flip the power switch I physically disconnected the wall wart from the outlet, waiting 15 seconds and then plugged it back in.  Waited for it to boot and again no connection.  I thought well lets make sure its not the coax/splitters/couplers in the house.  I took the modem and my laptop outside to the back yard and plugged the coax run to my house directly into the modem.  Fired it up, waited for it to boot...again nothing.  I double checked again on the admin webpage.  All RF at 0...Again check RF connection.  So at this point I know the issue is not in my house which means its either the outside line from my house to Comcast's utility box or its my brand new modem...Knowing the latter is extremely unlikely.   So I decided to call customer service, thinking hey this should be super simple to sort out.  they will probably need to roll a truck but I can wait a day not a problem...boy was I mistaken.  

 

Instead I spent the next 8 hours on and off the phone, first with the tech support robot that dumped me into this infinite loop of despair "please restart your modem and call back in 10 min good bye" again the problem wont be fixed with a restart.  Then with 3 separate tech support people that except for the last one were as helpful as the phone robot of despair.  Might I also mention that each one of them added my equipment to their system.  How is this possible? 

 

I did finally get some useful information from the last tech.  The issue...The problem is that the house i'm in has never had Comcast service, so the line attached to my house is not active street side.  Thats not something I can fix its something Comcast needs to connect at their utility box.  Here's the kicker after those words flew out of his mouth he follow up with "If the problem is inside your house though you'll be charged $39.99".  Wait what?  We just established that my line is disconnected street side, how is that a problem in my house?

 

Anyway the next nugget of news is what really bothered me and I think the main purpose of this rant.  The technician says "oh you have your own personal modem.  you know that you wont get average speeds anywhere nears what your plan says using your equipment?  If you want to get closer to gigabit speeds you will need to rent/lease a modem from Comcast, didn't they tell you that?"  Um no nobody told me that and that is complete nonsense.    So either what he is saying is just incorrect and based on his experience dealing with average users, or what he is saying is correct and Comcast is purpose throttling bandwidth to users that refuse to pay additional monthly fees for devices they dont need.  

 

That being said how has the community's experiences been on this issue?  is there any merit to what I was told today?  If someone @Comcast is listening please speak up.  I was never made aware of this prior to signing up.  If its true this is a complete bait and switch tactic.  So far I'm not impressed with the service I'm getting and if it doesn't improve within the next week I'm going back to ATT.  

Responses

Official Employee

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839 Messages

8 m ago

They are absolutely incorrect and I'm sorry they are uninformed/misinformed. the Netgear CM1150V is DOCSIS 3.1, it supports gigabit and your speeds when hardlined (note you'll obviously lose 20-50% of your speeds by virtue of using WiFi, but you can run our https://speedtest.xfinity.com/ to learn more about what your device's wifi speed limits are too. If you're hardlined and nothing else is connected, you should be able to get the speed tier you signed up for, as we also overprovision the speeds by 10-20%. 

 

With any equipment there's always potentially quality issues (google any cable modem online) however this specific model is overwhelmingly reliable. A rental XB7 (our WiFi 6 with the 2.5Gbps ethernet port) is the best in class. The Netgear equivalent - the AX6000 will cost you nearly $500 so some people prefer the rental cost, plus the advanced security that's bundled with it. Again, to each their own on their choices of what they need and prefer. 

 

If you have access to the cable box outside your home or inside your own apartment, you could take a look and see what may be disconnected - it happens because past homeowners/ISP techs (eg. ATT/Dish/etc) but seeing as how you have a tech coming to your place, they'll check the wiring for you. It's normal for it to not work the first time or across any of the coax outlets you may have tried.

 

My recommendation if you're into tech and knowing how things work is to understand the coax layout of your home/apartment, which coax outlets trace back to which cables in the cable box, it typically requires a coax tracer.

 

Again, all stuff your tech will take care of for you tomorrow, but if you were to sign up for another ISP service, it'd be the same home wiring hiccup.

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