Comcast stole my modem and won’t give it back

That pretty much sums it up. I’ve had a Comcast cable tv and internet account continuously since around 2003 (used satellite a little bit, but kept the cable internet the whole time). All that time I’ve been using this Motorola 5100 (?) modem. It’s a pretty nice unit, never failed me at all. You could log into it and check status and connection quality, but that was rarely needed because it just didn’t have problems.

So when Kari and I moved from the suburbs to Chicago back in August, we brought the trusty modem with us. I hooked it up to the cable line, and it worked right away. Apparently the previous resident still had an active account. So we used that for a week or two while we waited for the Comcast appointment. It worked great. Quick speeds, no interruptions.

Then the stupid cable guy showed up. I’ve dealt with quite a few satellite and cable installers, and most have been really cool. Some of them really know their stuff and will make things as easy as possible for you. However, this one couldn’t figure out how to get the internet working. I’m serious. I had the internet working immediately using a modem I unplugged in Bolingbrook and plugged into the line while someone else’s account was active. And this idiot couldn’t get it to work. (He couldn’t get the cable tv working either, which is why I feel safe calling him an idiot. Installing these two services was seriously like a 20-minute job, no wiring, and he was here for three hours.)

Part of the problem was that I wasn’t here. Thinking that since everything was already working the guy wouldn’t need my help, I went to mow the grass in the suburbs or whatever, and Kari stayed to let him in. So I couldn’t really see his ineptitude firsthand. However, he did two stupid things just before he left.

Number 1, he swapped digital cable boxes at the last minute because he couldn’t get one working. When he did that, he neglected to reregister the second box instead of the first. So all the channels were screwed up when I got home, and it took me a couple of hours to figure out that the box he left was still programmed for another region of the city. I called tech support and suggested that they make sure the number on this box matched the number the idiot registered — it didn’t. Stupid waste of my time.

Number 2, he stole my cable modem. That’s right, the Comcast installer took my property, my cable modem. This modem I’d bought years ago that had served me well, and that I had working already for the past week, this moron couldn’t register it on the Comcast system or something. So he took my nice, quality modem and left me a cheap Comcast one. It seems to be more unreliable — either that or they screwed up the system in this area recently. It goes down all the time, just for a minute or so. MY MODEM never did that.

About a month later the internet went down for like three days in a row. I called to check on that, and while I was on the line I asked about my modem. Not only did I now have this piece of junk modem instead of my nice one, COMCAST IS CHARGING ME TO RENT THIS MODEM. Yes, Comcast will steal your modem, then charge you to rent the one that they graciously leave in its place.

So I filed a customer service ticket requesting they sort this out, refund my money and give me my fricking modem back. I heard nothing for a few weeks. Then yesterday I called to take advantage of a cable tv deal, and I asked about my ticket. Nothing had been done, so the person handling my call escalated it. That got them to call me back at least. Today I got a voicemail telling me I needed to provide proof of purchase for a modem I purchased years ago.

Now I’m not a fricking genius, but I have years of invoices from Comcast themselves showing me that I was subscribing to cable internet but wasn’t renting a modem. Therefore, they knew I owned a modem. Also, these modems are supposedly registered in their system before they work, so they also know the numbers that identify that specific modem that I was NOT RENTING.

Anyway, I’m going to call them back and see what I can do, then I’ll post more. Also, I should probably start publicizing this — that always seems to work with big, stupid, brainless corporations. So spread it around.

Country mice

Jim and Melissa, my brother and youngest sister, finally made their way down from Minnesota to visit us last weekend. Jim has been down here a few times this summer, but Lissa has always been busy with one or more of the following: 1) Acting in plays/musicals, 2) Playing volleyball, or 3) Reading cheesy Christian historical fiction books. Just kidding about the last one; I think she outgrew that.

Anyway, here’s a picture of them on the footbridge over LSD on our way to the beach:

We were on our way to the Chicago Historical Society, but we never made it. Instead, we walked out on this breakwater:

That’s my knee — it was really bright and I couldn’t see the screen on the camera. Out there, Jim decided to jump off the thing, which freaked out the people sitting at the end. He went up to them and asked, “Do you know how deep is it here?” The guy said, “No, sorry.” So Jim was like “Okay” and just jumped off. He swam around and treaded water to show off his mad SEAL skills. He’ll be down at GLNTC next month to start his formal killing-for-hire career training.

(This Blogger picture uploading thing sucks.)

After the great cold-water adventure, we walked to Michigan Avenue to see all the fancy-ass rich people on their shopping expeditions. Also, we stopped at a bookstore, which is a bad thing. I started this book-buying spree, and now I have too many to read. The next day we went to an awesome used bookstore in Bucktown/Wicker Park. Then my Amazon order showed up (we buy everything with this credit card that gives us free Amazon gift certificates — it rocks). So I have to read all of these now:

– Seeing Voices, Oliver Sacks (1/4-way done)
– The Secret History, Donna Tartt
– The Island of the Colour-blind and Cycad Island, Sacks again
– The Varieties of Religious Experience, William James
– Running With Scissors, Augusten Burroughs
– The Plan of Chicago, Carl Smith (1/2-way done)
– Essential Writings, Thomas Paine
– The Age of Reason, Thomas Paine (almost done, great book)
– Stranger and Friend, Hortense Powdermaker (read this a few years ago, but great book)
– Getting Stoned with Savages, J. Maarten Troost
– The Sex Lives of Cannibals, Troost again (I’m a few pages into this one)

Plus I’m 100 pages into Catch-22, and I was just about to finish re-reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. I do this once a year or so — start too many books, then take months to catch up. It’s a problem, but I can’t pass up buying a book that looks good, and I can’t buy it and just let it sit on a shelf without at least starting it to see if it’s good.

Anyway, I was trying to leave you with a stitched-together view of the Chicago skyline from the breakwater, but this picture-uploading thing doesn’t work, sorry. Well, here’s a link to it: Click here .