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Dropping Xfinity Connect texting March 2020

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Regular Visitor

Text messaging

I also am a 29 year customer with comcast very displease that they have taken text messages away I was very happy with text messaging service along with my landline phone
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Contributor

Re: Text messaging

UPDATE: Comcast did indeed pull the plug on the texting feature on Mar 24 during the national emergency pandemic despite Comcast supposedly agreeing to the FCC Keep Americans Connected Pledge.

I have filed a complaint with the FCC about this and would like to share it with all here:

[you can file one too at: 
https://consumercomplaints.fcc.gov/hc/en-us/requests/new?ticket_form_id=39744
note: select Availability under the Phone Issues dropdown list]

My complaint:
Comcast called me on Mar 25 regarding my FCC complaint and read me its boiler-plate statement regarding this issue of disconnecting the text feature on its residential VoIP phone service affecting millions of customers:

 

"As we continue to evaluate our product offerings, we decided to end text messaging via the Xfinity Connect Text website and app as of March 24, 2020, due to declining feature usage, as more mobile providers offer unlimited text." [Note this is the only way one can access the text feature.]

 

She tried to suggest I try Google Hangouts instead. That was it. Really?

 

I expressed concern that it was not fair to send customers away like this from an already existing feature as an integrated part of the home phone service since the beginning, and that less-tech-savvy and senior citizens are put at a huge disadvantage during this crisis to try to scramble to set up some alternative.

 

I expressed my disappointment they would do this in middle of a national emergency with more and more people needing to work at home and could obviously benefit from the text feature, and that this was a very bad business decision in contradiction to Comcast's agreeing to the FCC Keep Americans Connected Pledge.

 

The clerk said she was sympathetic but could do nothing about it and would pass my concern along. I said I intended to pursue my complaint with the FCC.

 

 

Some additional thoughts I have on this issue that I would like the FCC to consider:

 

Comcast has arbitrarily discontinued texting service for all its home VoIP phone customers effective Mar 24. This affects millions of people and was a very bad business decision and contradicts the FCC Keep Americans Connected Pledge that Comcast has supposedly agreed to during this national emergency pandemic.

 

This is not just an 'inconvenience' but denial of service at a dire time. Their boiler plate statement about why this was done is beside the point and makes a lot of assumptions [strangely] that everybody has options with unlimited text with [other?] mobile carriers. Does Comcast really want customers to quit their [now truncated] phone service and go elsewhere? The only reason we agreed to bundle Comcast phone service was because of the text feature which we did not have elsewhere (and please don't tell me to go to Google Hangouts or wherever--we want to keep texting as an integrated part of our home phone number that we are paying for).

 

I also question Comcast's motives for discontinuing the text feature in the first place. Is it a subtle nudge to instead signup for their new Xfinity Mobile product to, ironically, then get unlimited texting?

 

The residential VoIP phone service is probably not a big money-maker for them anyway since it is routed over the Internet and has a fixed price to customers, so perhaps they want to get rid of it altogether in favor of something more lucrative. Ironically in recent years Comcast has pushed customers to bundle the home phone service with cable TV and Internet (marketed as Triple Play) to presumably increase their market share (this was before their launch into Xfinity Mobile) and *one of the selling points they listed was that you get unlimited texting.* Now they have truncated the phone service (with no reduction in price) which makes no sense to me unless they want customers to quit or switch to their new mobile product. I can't imagine it costs them much to keep an already existing structure such as texting in place for our home phones. So why would they do this?

 

Furthermore, the way this was done by Comcast was also very rushed and clumsy and, dare I say, 'tone deaf'. We were advised around Jan 24 by an email that the texting feature was going away Mar 24 with no explanation given why (I had to search the web and ask @ComcastCares repeatedly before they offered their boiler plate explanation). To my knowledge there was no consultation whatever with their customers beforehand, so this was a shocking surprise. Hence, my assertion it was arbitrary. Not a very thoughtful way to treat its customers. I thought they would at least delay this action because of the pandemic and agreeing to so-called Keep Americans Connected Pledge, but no such luck-- they pulled the plug on Mar 24.

 

*So, speaking not just for myself but all home phone customers, I'm respectfully asking the FCC to intervene (or if they cannot legally, to at least request) that Comcast abide by the Pledge, do the right thing, and rescind this ill-advised action immediately as we need all communications tools available during this time when more and more people are working at home and need to be in touch with family, business associates, get urgent and emergency text notifications, etc.*

 

Otherwise our only recourse is to quit the phone service and go elsewhere. We would quit Comcast completely but they have a monopoly in our area (Belmont, CA) for cable TV and Internet (ATT does not provide broadband in our neighborhood, only turtle-speed DSL).

 

Thank you for your attention to this matter. We hope we have a sympathetic ear at the FCC in how hard it is to fight, especially for senior citizens like ourselves, against a monopolistic mega-corporation.

[end]


 

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Contributor

Re: Xfinity text messaging feature is going away 03/24/2020

@TerriB 
Yes, the only way to text is using their web site or app, which they now have disconnected. Xfinity Voice home phone is a VoIP service routed over the Internet.

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Contributor

Re: Text messaging

@kge1 Bravo to you.  All your points well taken.  Thank you for writing this insightful criticism.

 

I hesitate to use the Google Voice feature -- it's bulky, inconvenient, and dare I say, even more intrusive that Comcast could ever dream possible.

 

I have experienced ATT -- service is shoddy on a good day.  Everyone in my area was told BY ATT to use the Comcast internet service since the ATT hub is so far away (from us).  ATT internet service is terrible and totally unreliable, particularly if you WFH.  

 

Been with Comcast 35+ years -- bundled Internet & Digital Voice as soon as they became available.

Never ceases to amaze me how management ignores their customers VOICES.

And yet, in my experience, the techs & CS staff are stellar.

 

@ComcastJesse Reading this??  Totally worth your while to comprehend this situation and make an attempt at forwarding the @kge1  message -- indeed, ALL these messages -- to the upper echelon.

 

 

 

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Most Valued Poster

Re: Xfinity text messaging feature is going away 03/24/2020


@kge1 wrote:

@TerriB 
Yes, the only way to text is using their web site or app, which they now have disconnected. Xfinity Voice home phone is a VoIP service routed over the Internet.


I used the texting feature from my desktop a lot. It was nice to not have to turn on cell phone everytime I wanted to send a short text since I don't leave my phone on at home and I am home most of the time...retired.  When I got Xfinity Digital Voice landline I was told it was no longer VoIP but broadband digital over my existing cable connection. ..oh well...it works seamlessly and clear as a bell. Have had it for years.  

When I went to explore what Google Voice was all about  I found that I already had it as part of my  android Google services. I just had to pick a phone number and do a few things....I am impressed so far and of course I can use it on my android tablet too.

Comcast did customers a great dis-service especially during a pandemic when they were committed to keeping people connected. Shame on them in so many ways for something that probably cost them nothing.

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Contributor

Re: Xfinity text messaging feature is going away 03/24/2020

@TerriB 
Strange they want to send customers elswhere, isn't it? Please read my recent FCC complaint post regarding all this.

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Re: Xfinity text messaging feature is going away 03/24/2020


@kge1 wrote:

@TerriB 
Strange they want to send customers elsewhere, isn't it? Please read my recent FCC complaint post regarding all this.


 I read your FCC complaint as soon as I got notification that it was posted. It was so well done. I am headed to do the same thing . They get so much but if enough of us do a complaint maybe it will get some attention. I still can't believe that Comcast didn't at least defer the 'ax' until the pandemic was over.

 

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Re: Xfinity text messaging feature is going away 03/24/2020

@TerriB 
Thanks for joining in. I was surprised how quickly the FCC responded and forwarded my complaint to Comcast which *requires* them to respond within 30 days--that's why I got the phone call from Comcast the next day! (not that it did any good).

But you can add rebuttals to your complaint by replying to the FCC email that gives you a complaint ticket #. Good luck.

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Contributor

Re: Text messaging

@Bumkitty 

Yes, we are 20 year comcast customers (senority, or being a senior either, apparently doesn't count for anything). Comcast has always been difficult to deal with (but the field techs are personable and excellent!). This is the problem with mega-corpaorations that have monopolies. I'm sure you are aware they also own NBC Universal (movies, TV network, cable channels, production studios, etc).

Most Valued Poster

Re: Text messaging


@kge1 wrote:

@Bumkitty 

Yes, we are 20 year comcast customers (seniority, or being a senior either, apparently doesn't count for anything). Comcast has always been difficult to deal with (but the field techs are personable and excellent!). This is the problem with mega-corporations that have monopolies. I'm sure you are aware they also own NBC Universal (movies, TV network, cable channels, production studios, etc).


--

 

We are senior citizens and have been their customers even before it was called Comcast....over 35 yrs.  We were on a waiting list to get service  as they extended their access as we don't live in a development and had to have our very own drop.  We only have one other choice....FIOS.  I have been happy with Comcast service with rare outages and I mean rare but losing features that were so useful is really becoming a sore point for the $200 we pay every month. They increase programming for certain segments of the population, remove premium channels we love and don't lower the bill, take away  beloved cable channels. On the X1 platform they removed many well loved and well used features and no matter how we complained or to whom....nothing ever happened.  Even when features break  with updates to the system and it has happened more than once they don't seem to have any desire to fix it in a timely manner. We can't even get the Comcast employee reps to acknowledge our issues or reach out  on the forums in our behalf anymore.

I have a real bone to pick that goes nowhere. I have not been able to see my blocked number list in 6 months. It was escalated by a Comcast Rep but I can't even get that person to respond to my PMs any more...crickets. No one wants to fix what should be  simple. It happened twice before and took weeks to fix at Tier 3. I can't manage my blocked numbers without being able to see them. They told me on Tier one to do on the phone one at a time...OMG...REALLY?  Its so very frustrating.

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Contributor

Re: Text messaging

@TerriB 

We are paying over $300/month (including prem channels + netflix)! Again, appears to give you no weight as a customer.
If this text issue does not get resolved we will be dropping phone service and going elsewhere--why pay for a truncated service?

Regarding blocking numbers, do you use free nomorobo.com ? We've always gotten tons of spam calls from the beggining but nomorobo reallys works to block most of them.

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Re: Text messaging


@kge1 wrote:

@TerriB 

We are paying over $300/month (including prem channels + netflix)! Again, appears to give you no weight as a customer.
If this text issue does not get resolved we will be dropping phone service and going elsewhere--why pay for a truncated service?

Regarding blocking numbers, do you use free nomorobo.com ? We've always gotten tons of spam calls from the beggining but nomorobo reallys works to block most of them.

----

We have top tier triple play and are under a 2 yr promotion for $200 with all the premiums except the ones they took away like Showtime (GRRR!) and of course we  get Netflix for free like you do. It expires soon so we will be in the $300 range with you!

 

Nomorerobo didn't work well for us actually. I forget why but something we didn't like about it.  There is absolutely zero reason why I should not be able to see my  blocked list for over 6 months and be completely ignored by the Comcast rep that was helping me and kept telling to hang in there. I have PM'd several times  to the  thread we started but no response. That is just plain rude.


 

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New Poster

Re: Dropping Xfinity Connect texting March 2020

The Text option on the Xfinity Connect website is no longer available to be able to download my text messages.  Where can I obtain these from an archive? @ComcastJessie 

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Re: Dropping Xfinity Connect texting March 2020

NV52........This has been discussed on the forums and here is the official link describing how to download BUT I just checked mine and the text menu  tab is gone and so are my old text messages so looks like you are out of luck. Guessing the download had to be done before they removed the feature. Sorry!

https://www.xfinity.com/support/articles/xfinity-voice-text-messaging-feature-retirement

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Frequent Visitor

Re: Xfinity text messaging feature is going away 03/24/2020

All alternatives require giving out two numbers, one for voice and one for SMS via a cellphone service. And the phone service is likely to charge per message. And you run into all kinds of problems when you are traveling outside the US.
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Frequent Visitor

Re: Texting being eliminated

I am ready to drop Xfinity VoIP tel service because SMS was very useful to me (outside of cellphone service.) Up until now it came bundled with my internet service which I had to get from Comcast because no one else offers widband service in my area.  But now that 5G is here, I have alternatives.  I can cut my bill down to 1/2 of what Comcast charges me and get everything I need plus infinite portability.

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Re: Texting being eliminated


@Don_M1 wrote:
I am ready to drop Verizon VoIP tel service. There are alternatives, especially on 5G.

I don't understand......this is a Comcast forum and Comcast has its own digital voice . Not trying to be snippy but what does Verizon VoIP have to do with Comcast?

 

 

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Frequent Visitor

Re: Texting being eliminated

 Xfinity VoIP... Dropping it because they withdrew SMS service and to add insult to injury, in the same month they raised my bill by some $25. Ridiculous!  I was stuck with Xfinity VoIP because it was bundled with my Internet service --for which I had no alternatives in my area.  But with 5G Internet service on the way, I can get out of Xfinity entirely.


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Re: Texting being eliminated


@Don_M1 wrote:
Sorry. I mistyped. Of course, I didn't mean Verizon. I meant Xfinity VoIP... Ready to drop it because you withdrew SMS service, and to add insult yo injury, in thr same month you raised my bill by some $25. Ridiculous!



Thanks for clarifying!  When we added Xfinity digital voice to our premium tier bundle years ago and disconnected the Verizon land line we saved a lot of money. Verizon was almost $70 a  month and adding voice to our Xfinity bundle was hardly noticeable.  As a retired AT&T network engineer I find Xfinity voice to be superior to a traditional telcom landline in so many ways. 

 

I do miss being able to text from my computer but am getting  used to it already as there is nothing I can do about it. I do have a  big issue that every time Comcast removes a feature/channels they do not give us a break on the bill and every year they want to raise the bottom line cost. I fight them like crazy to get a promotional discount. Its not easy but with perseverance its doable....SO FAR....lol. 

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New Poster

Re: Xfinity text messaging feature is going away 03/24/2020

Agreed, this was a very useful feature including 2-Factor ID. Please bring it back. I use it as much if not more than phone.

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Re: Xfinity text messaging feature is going away 03/24/2020

Just when I was looking to use Text Messaging from my computer, Comcast takes it away!  Nice job Comcast! NOT.

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Re: Xfinity text messaging feature is going away 03/24/2020

I use texting more than e-mail also.

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New Poster

Re: Xfinity text messaging feature is going away 03/24/2020

It stinks

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Regular Visitor

Re: Dropping Xfinity Connect texting March 2020

Now even after months of the sunset of this text messaging feature I'm still dealing with the fallouts from this Xfinity decision. I have xfinity voice, internet, cable for many years and the use it for business. The ability to text to my xfinity is posted on my website and I am having a difficult time having it removed (since I can no longer receive text messages to my business) due to unforeseen complicated situation which I won't go into other than to say the site was set up and coded by someone who is no longer on earth and web designers who have looked into it have stated it will be difficult to make changes to any of the web pages where it shows the text messaging number because of how it was coded.

 

Bottom line, I won't discuss my feelings about why this feature was deleted as that is neither here nor there at this point, my main point of dissatisfaction and dissapointment is how it was done with absolutely no care or consideration to those of us this feature was very important for.

 

How difficult would've been (or maybe still possible?) to have deleted the feature but added some ability to have the messaging forwarded to another number such as my mobile number? I doubt that would have been too much trouble or expense for Xfinity? I've searched endlessly for a solution (google voice, paying a third party etc..) but none have been the answer for one reason or another. I called an Xfinity representative to get their possible alternative solutions and they had none.

 

Can you not, even at this point, add in a feature to have the text messages forwarded to another number?

 

Having potential customers text a number shown on my website and it just disappearing into thin air without their knowledge and losing business until I figure out a solution is adding undue stress. Please consider offering us an alternative solution other than just saying no soup for you.

 

Thanks

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Re: Dropping Xfinity Connect texting March 2020


@Atlbro wrote:

Now even after months of the sunset of this text messaging feature I'm still dealing with the fallouts from this Xfinity decision. I have xfinity voice, internet, cable for many years and the use it for business. The ability to text to my xfinity is posted on my website and I am having a difficult time having it removed (since I can no longer receive text messages to my business) due to unforeseen complicated situation which I won't go into other than to say the site was set up and coded by someone who is no longer on earth and web designers who have looked into it have stated it will be difficult to make changes to any of the web pages where it shows the text messaging number because of how it was coded.

 

Bottom line, I won't discuss my feelings about why this feature was deleted as that is neither here nor there at this point, my main point of dissatisfaction and dissapointment is how it was done with absolutely no care or consideration to those of us this feature was very important for.

 

How difficult would've been (or maybe still possible?) to have deleted the feature but added some ability to have the messaging forwarded to another number such as my mobile number? I doubt that would have been too much trouble or expense for Xfinity? I've searched endlessly for a solution (google voice, paying a third party etc..) but none have been the answer for one reason or another. I called an Xfinity representative to get their possible alternative solutions and they had none.

 

Can you not, even at this point, add in a feature to have the text messages forwarded to another number?

 

Having potential customers text a number shown on my website and it just disappearing into thin air without their knowledge and losing business until I figure out a solution is adding undue stress. Please consider offering us an alternative solution other than just saying no soup for you.

 

Thanks

===

If you get a response on here from Comcast I will be stunned.  What did they offer when we rebeled against the change in the first place. Crickets!

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Frequent Visitor

Re: Dropping Xfinity Connect texting March 2020

Fit to be tied. Had thnumber on my business cards. Had to print new ones. But what am I to do with all those cards already in the hands of my customers? This is no way to conduct business!
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Contributor

Re: Dropping Xfinity Connect texting March 2020

You know, it might be worth starting all over again with a brand new thread with a new subject line.

Repeat all of what you just said -- maybe there are some fresh eyes out there.