Friday, October 18, 2013

Comcast Website Puts Customers in Infinite Loops: Videos to Prove it

Comcast tries, I think.  I posted a complaint about my frustrations with their service in a blog post a couple of weeks ago, and someone from Comcast actually commented on it and gave me an email to contact.  After writing to that email address, I actually got a call from a nice, helpful, professional person in Comcast’s escalated customer service department.  She had a technician in their “Tech Central” department call me.  Fortunately, I actually answered the phone when he called, something I seldom do since I get few phone calls and I generally screens calls rather than answer the phone. 

So a suggestion – Comcast – most people are like me and don’t answer the phone – we screen calls.  Please let your customers call your technicians back.  If you don’t do this, then you make life much, much harder for everyone because of the phone tag. 

Here’s their email:

I obtained a Cablecard today from Comcast’s local office, so that I could use my Windows 7 laptop with Windows Media Center as a DVR once again (see my earlier blog post for more). 

This blog post contains videos that I recorded to show just how bad Comcast’s websites and phone activation lines are. 

Ever heard of an infinite loop?  That’s when you code and are not good at coding, and make a mistake.  Your program repeats itself endlessly.  Comcast seems to be particularly good at putting its customers into infinite loops on their websites. 

Here’s the video.  I am using my Firefox browser and trying to activate my new Cablecard.  I’ve already tried the phone twice and been disconnected (more details on that experience below).  Here’s what’s going on in this video.  I’ve gone to the Comcast activation site, entered my account number and phone number (BTW, Comcast, most of us have more than one phone number and so if you always ask us for the phone number associated with our account, that can be extremely frustrating, ESPECIALLY if we don’t keep rigorous track of what phone number we gave to you.   Even worse is if we have two different homes and mistakenly give you our cell phone for one house, and you use that phone to go and change the account at our other home unknowing to us). 

Anyway, I am on the Comcast activation page.  I see that they have too many set top boxes on the page.  The new Cablecard is the one at the top, and I’ve clicked it to activate now.  I’ve deselected all the other boxes either because they are already activated and working or I don’t have them plugged in (Comcast shipped me six rather than three DTA boxes for some reason). 

Because I only want to activate ONE item, the dialog comes up asking me if I want to bookmark this page and continue.  I click that box.  It just shunts me back to the activation page.  Over and over and over again.  If I click the other answer, which is “RETURN TO ACTIVATION” then, well, I go back to the activation page.  Over and over again.  Infinite loop. 

I then tried this in the Chrome browser.  I was actually able to get out of this loop using the Chrome browser.  I have noticed that with Comcast, you often are not able to get their websites to do what you want until you try different browsers.  Same with the government.  But here’s the thing – just about every website (other than Comcast's) works with Firefox. 

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