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2015.11.26 Comcast Doesn't Know My Name

posted Nov 26, 2015, 4:32 PM by Troy Cheek   [ updated Nov 26, 2015, 4:32 PM ]
Now, I'm not implying that Comcast (or, as I like to call them Cardassian Cable), the company that supplies me with cable TV and internet service (and is continually trying to convince me to let them supply me phone service) is run by idiots, but knowing the names of your customers when you email them might be a good thing.  I've only been a customer for about 15 years and I took over the account from my father who had it for about 10 years before that, so we're talking a quarter century of service.  I recently discovered that my official Comcast email account was automagically forwarding messages to a personal email account I no longer use.  That would be my fault.  I set that up years ago myself and forgot to change it when I closed that account.  What isn't my fault is the first email I got when I redirected the forwarding to my gmail account.
For those who don't know me, my name is Troy Howard Cheek.  My Comcast email is set up for Troy.  In some places, the bill and online, Comcast knows me as Howard, either because I accidentally set it up that way a long time ago or they're confusing me with my father who used to get service at this address.  At no point at any time did I ever tell them my name was SAMUEL.  But that's not the funny part.
I thought that maybe it was just a glitch that my email mentioned SAMUEL.  I clicked the link to see my actual video bill.  I didn't see my actual video bill.  I saw one for someone named Daniel.  Again, Comcast might have legitimate confusion about whether I prefer to go by Troy or Howard, but at no time did anyone ever tell them my name was Daniel.  To make matters worse, I now know exactly which services Daniel gets from Comcast and exactly how much he's paying for them.

As I mentioned before, Comcast is trying to convince me to drop my current phone service, which I've only had for about half a century, and use their Xfinity phone.  My response is always that based on their TV and Internet services, I can't use their phone because I need a phone that works all the time.  Xfinity TV goes out on whatever channel I'm watching about once a week and goes out completely about once a month, sometimes for just a few minutes, sometimes for a few hours, sometimes for a few days.  Xfinity Internet varies.  Their response to that is to try to convince me that the phone service is completely independent of the other services and just because they stop working all the time doesn't mean that the phone will stop working all the time.  This may be true, but my understanding is that Xfinity phone service uses VOIP or Voice Over Internet Protocol, so if my cable modem can't get a Internet connection, the phone service by definition can't work.  How often does my Internet connection go up and down?  There are yoyos who don't go up and down as much as my Xfinity Internet.
I wrote a little program that pings every 10 minutes and prints how long it takes to get a return or "Internet down!" if it gets an error message.  See how often it gets an error message.  Technically, just because my computer can't ping doesn't necessarily mean that the Internet is down.  But if you can't contact Google, what use is your Internet anyway?