I got up at ten in the morning on the fifth of July. I honestly do not remember the last time I slept in that late. I also do not remember sleeping, dreaming, or even how I got to bed.
I had three goals in mind for the day. First fix our internet access, second buy a new coffee maker and third go to bed early.
It’s Saturday morning on a holiday weekend. My expectations were pretty low when I called Comcast. After wading through the phone tree I reached a customer service person. A real live human being, from Colorado, on the phone.
I was amazed. Also a bit flummoxed, I was expecting to leave a message not talk to a person.
Comcast- “Hello this is Jason can I help you?”
This called for a witty and well thought reply
Then I carefully explained the situation and answered some questions, we worked together over the phone and tried some things, resetting and restarting. All the same things that I tried before, but hey at least Jason was trying.
Comcast- “It looks like you have a bad cable modem”
Me- “How can I be sure? If I go out and buy a new modem and it doesn’t work because the problem is some place else then what can I do?”
Comcast- “We could send a tech out with a new modem to test your system”
Me- “How much will that cost?” Thinking of hundreds of dollars and days and days of waiting
Comcast- “If you had a service plan it would cost nothing at all, unless you wanted to rent a modem”
Me- “Well how much is the service plan”? I know its too late, but I felt compelled to ask.
Comcast- “It’s a dollar a month extra on your bill. And I can sign you up right now”
Me- “Well its too late now, isn’t it?”
Comcast- “No, we can sign you up right now and send a tech out to test your modem and it won’t cost anything”
Me- “What’s the catch?” Somehow I feel a lack of trust for our cable provider due to the content of the cable TV. I know I shouldn’t shoot the messenger.
Comcast- “No catch, just a dollar a month. When will you be available for a tech to come over?”
Me- “As soon as possible, it’s getting ugly around here with out high speed internet” (the walls are showing signs of wear.)
Comcast- “How about between 1:00 and 3:00.”?
Me- “You mean …… today”? Don’t play with me man, it’s Saturday and my kids are thinking of using a phone modem and getting an AOL account.
It is that serious.
Comcast- “Yea, if that’s ok.”
My heart actually feels like a small little weight was lifted off of it. I may yet avoid the “Failed father of the week award”
Me- “Ah, uh, ok.” I am not sure what else to say. It’s like getting money from the homeless, or a politician telling the truth. I just didn’t know what to say.
I get a call at 1:01pm, from a Comcast tech. He says he is just up the street and will be over in a minute.
One minute later a van pulls up.
I am not kidding.
This is like the twilight zone, I am not sure what is going on, in all my years of dealing with tech support and nothing like this has ever happened to me. I keep waiting for Agent Smith to come around the corner in his sunglasses and black suit. There is no spoon.
The tech comes in and dinks around with my Cable modem, router and computer for a few minutes and determines that not only is the cable modem bad but the router is toast. He has seen this before (Lightning) and recommended that I get a surge protector. (I have one and every piece of computer equipment I own is connected to it except the modem and the router. Duh.
I thank the tech and ask if he has any customer comment cards or something. He says I will get one in the mail shortly. I will enjoy filling out the card, hope it gets the kid a raise.
The shopping list is getting longer and starts to sound like a list for system administrators from thinkgeek.com.
Cable modem, coffee maker, router, surge protector, coffee…..
I also had to get some local news papers to see how people liked the fireworks shows. Its always cool to get in the newspaper.
About $150.00 and four hours later I am home with the new toys. I immediately get to work, on the coffee maker. My son is like totally appalled.
He takes the modem and router and heads down stairs to the computer room (Library) He is done installing the router and modem about the same time I finish setting the clock on the coffee maker.
He goes into his room and I do not see him again until Sunday afternoon.
I am glad my son is off the wall again.