I came home this evening to non-working @centurylink DSL. I spent the next several hours on the phone with their tech support and the tech support for the NetGear modem. The CentryLink support insisted that my line tested fine and modem must have gone bad while I was at work. I thought this unlikely since this modem was only 3 months old, but NetGear support wasn’t much help either. They opened an RMA for me.
I finally got off the phone at 8:30pm, hustled over to Best Buy before they closed at 9pm and bought a new modem. Got home, hooked it up, same damn story: wouldn’t make a connection. I’d tried with three different phone cables, so by this time I was pretty sure there wasn’t anything else I could do. I called CenturyLink back to set up repair service and after a 15 minute song and dance they finally came back to tell me how much the service call would cost. That was when I decided to cancel my DSL and get cable modem service instead.
I’d been considering switching to cable for a few months. Our DSL has been a bit flakey for a while and I’ve gone through 4 or 5 modems in the last few years. Enough is enough.
So I hooked up my phone as a hotspot and got on the Comcast website to order service. I put in my order and was transfered to a chat window to “schedule my installation”. Once I had re-confirmed everything I’d just entered, the fun started:
Vikas Singh: Please allow me one moment to check the serviceability of your address.
Vikas Singh: I just want to ask if you have just moved in?
Vikas Singh: Please acknowledge.
Vikas Singh: Please acknowledge if you are still at your computer? As I am not receiving any response from you, in that case I am afraid to inform you that I may have to close this conversation to assist another customer.
Alex: no, have lived here since 2004
Vikas Singh: Alex, I have double checked our system, I am unable to find a match for you address.It could be that the address never had our services and has not been registered with us yet.
Alex: your chat window doesn’t scroll so I didn’t know you’d said anything (The chat had just exceeded the height of the “window” and the lack of visual scrollbars combined with the lack of any visual indicator that a new message had been received, I had no idea a message had been received. If you’re implementing chat in a browser, a “scroll to bottom after new message is received” feature should be at the top of your list.)
Alex: house was built in 1999
Vikas Singh: I am sorry for the inconvenience.
Vikas Singh: No need to worry though, I’ll tell you what you should do for you to get what you want. It’s very easy, actually.
Vikas Singh: I am making a request to register your service address in Comcast database . So, you will get call from Comcast with in 24 to 48 hours.
Alex: I can’t schedule this?
Vikas Singh: Alex, your address is not registered with us, we need to send a technician at your address to check for the serviceability, the serviceability check is for free.
Vikas Singh: In that way, the phone agent can immediately send a request to our technician and after that, they will finalize your order by providing you with the order confirmation number and account number. You may also ask earlier appointment for the installation.
So here I am with a thoroughly wasted evening and without high-speed internet at home for the first time in maybe a dozen years. I’m going to try getting away with the phone hotspot connection until I head to WordCamp Albuquerque this weekend (and hope that I can get Comcast installation by early next week at the latest).