Comcast FTW!

27 12 2006

I’m generally not a big booster of Large Horrific Corporations, but it sure feels somewhere along the line, The Man figured out that customers are happier, when they get good service. Monopolies are stronger when their customers aren’t grouchy all the time.
So it is with mixed feelings that I cast my blessings upon Comcast, who seems to have finally gotten the ‘support the client’ thing down pretty well.
The setting – I needed a cable tuner box. My MythTV project had hit a snag with the de-stabilization of deathstar. I wanted to be able to actually watch TV, but without a functional PVR, I was sort of hosed. Ah well, time to ask Comcast for a tuner.
With trepedation, I went to their website, was pleasantly surprised to note it was uncluttered and easy to navigate, moved to ‘contact us’, and found, huh! “Start a live chat with a service representative”. Okay, I really dislike talking to support on the phone, lets give it a try.
Sure enough, within a minute I was in a java-driven chat applet with a rep, who happily upgraded my cable service, and scheduled a time for the comcast guy to come out and install the new cable box.
But that’s not what I’m hear to talk to you about.
I’m hear to talk to you about two nights ago, when the cable stopped working. Got the guide, no picture. Time for another chat! As I’m describing the problem to the rep, he asks that I check the cabling. While I’m walking over to the TV, VOILA! Instant image and picture and sound. I hadn’t touched -anything-. It just came on.
*typetype* “Okay, did you do that?” rep: “Do what?” “The TV just came on, and I’m getting video and sound fine.” rep: “Ah, yes, I sent a reset signal to your cable box and told it to re-initialize.” “It worked.” “Great!”
Surreal, yet oddly satisfying. I have other issues with Comcast (for instance they have deliberately blocked the firewire port on the tuner box so MythTV cannot record digitally. Grr.) But for now, things seem to be working. Next step will be most likely upgrading the settop box to support 16:9 off the wire (at the moment it’s stretching things to 4:3). But that may wait a while.

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