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Cable TV Performance

Why Comcast Sucks
Monopoly Consequences


by Vaughn Aubuchon

They got me again -
Comcast Really Sucks
.

-

Over time, Comcast has become more expensive, while the service has gotten worse and worse. I am about to get rid of them, and seek other options, no matter how painful.

The problem stems from the fact that there is JUST one cable running down the street, and Comcast OWNS it. There is no competition, which enables Comcast to provide CRAPPY service, charge exorbitant fees, and get away with it.
.

MENU

Comcast CABLE TV Problems
OLD BOX was WAY Better
New Dolby Box SUCKS

--- Sound Issues
       --- No sound sync
       --- Fading sound volume
       --- Disappearing sound
--- Channel change time
--- Frequent periodic dropouts
--- Program Guide errors
--- Customer Service - NOT
--- Insulting Messages
.

New Infinity Cable Box
--- No channel readout
----- Remote required to see channel

--- Remote Control
FAR WORSE
--- Symmetrical, which end is up?
Magnification Feature GONE
--- Old remote had 2 options

--- Multiple "exits" now required
------ Old, one exit got you out
------ New, 2 or even 3 clicks required
--- "Last" button screwed up
----- Old remote could switch between 2 channels - NOW, you must pick one of NINE channels - A royal PITA

.

Comcast INTERNET Problems
My current Modem is JUST FINE
--- Unexplained outages
--- Comcast TAKES OVER your browser
--- Forced Surveys
.

Old Bill vs. New Bill - Up 40%
.

100

140



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Comcast CABLE TV Problems

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OLD BOX was WAY Better
1. My old box had an AC OUTLET on the back, into which I could plug my TV. This means that they (box and TV) NEVER got out of sync. I never had to get up and physically turn off my TV, to get them "synced".

With my new box, the remote will sometimes turn on the Box, but NOT the TV. OR VICE VERSA. All successive attempts to "sync up" using the remote are FUTILE. Because when you turn one on, you turn the other OFF. The ONLY solution is to get up, and physically turn off the TV, before you can resume using the remote.
.
This is a monstrous pisser. Paying more for reduced functions.

2. My old box had a READOUT on the front. I could ALWAYS see what channel I was on just by looking at the box. With the NEW box. it is required to use the remote control to see what channel I am on.

This is a monstrous pisser. Paying more for reduced functions.
THIS SUCKS.
.

No SOUND Sync
Loss of sound sync has migrated to EVERY channel, some worse than others. The sound comes out, and 1/2 second later, the lips move. This is totally unacceptable. In the worst case, I counted FIVE FULL seconds. You gotta be kidding me.

In 1929, when sound first came out, they had better sound sync than Comcast has TODAY! The technology has gotten so complex, that it does NOT work well, and CANNOT perform the basic functions intended.
THIS SUCKS.
.

Fading SOUND Volume
When watching TCM, which has a wide dynamic sound range, the sound level drops to UNHEARABLE levels, when the movie sound level goes down. So, you have to RIDE the VOLUME CONTROL, and turn the level up to 100 to hear ANYTHING.

Then, shortly thereafter, you are BLASTED out of your chair, when the sound level in the movie suddenly increases.
THIS SUCKS.

I am an ex sound engineer. Sound COMPRESSION is the ideal way to process sound, but the Dolby box is aggressively using sound QUIETING, which results in quiet sounds going SILENT! NORMAL Sound Compression (non-Dolby) lowers loud sounds, and RAISES quiet sounds.
.

Disappearing SOUND
Bad cable box. Every few days, the sound would DISAPPEAR. The only fix was to unplug the box, wait 10 seconds, plug it back in, and wait 30 seconds.

NEVER use the "Dolby Box". Dolby is SUPPOSED to be the end-all of sophisticated sound. Except for one problem. Their box has become SO COMPLEX, that it works like CR@p. Even THEY don't know how to fix it.
THIS SUCKS.
.

Time Required to Change Channels
Comcast KILLS Channel Surfing
Back when we had analog TV, changing channels was INSTANTANEOUS. Now, with my Comcast advanced Dolby Set Top Box, its takes FOUR SECONDS minimum.

Also, every day or two, it jumps into SLOW MODE, and takes 6 - 7 seconds to change a channel, until you unplug it, wait 10 seconds, plug it back in again, and wait 25 seconds.
THIS SUCKS.
.

Periodic dropouts
Signal Integrity

Back in the days of analog TV, a slight interruption in the signal was usually unnoticeable. Now, with digital cable, the SLIGHTEST INTERRUPTION in the signal results in a FROZEN picture with NO SOUND, for at least 3 seconds.

This happens VERY frequently using Comcast cable.
THIS SUCKS.

This is a characteristic of CABLE TV, in general. It is ALWAYS in need of physical maintenance. I live many miles from the signal source, and maintenance people are working on the connection from the central office to me, DAILY. Hence, the hiccups.
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Program Guide
   --- Becomes more inaccurate by the day
         --- Nobody's job to fix it
         --- Provides LESS detail over time
         --- When power is lost, it takes HOURS to be updated, as many as 12. Why? Why isn't there an automatic back-up system, that senses the problem, and corrects it immediately? My guess? The marriage of monopoly and incompetence.
They don't care.
THIS SUCKS.
.

Customer Service
   --- G0d help you if you ever call for help
I did. Once. Never again.
All I wanted was a user password. It was a nightmare.
If you would like, I will send you the ENTIRE transcript, because it is so unbelievable - a true indictment of what "offshore customer support" (Philippines) has become.

I NEVER want to try and deal with a Philippina girl, in the Philippines, who has had 2 English classes. I suspected it would be bad, so I made a record of every word. It took 1/2 an hour. At one point, I was so incredulous that I asked, "Are you a human."

Not to mention that I was required to give information that I was VERY UNCOMFORTABLE giving. Lots of it.

I will never do this again. I will walk into the Comcast store and scream my head off. We are no longer customers - we are just PREY. You MUST DEMAND satisfaction from Comcast, or you will never get it.
THIS SUCKS.
.

Useless, Insulting Messages
   "ONE MOMENT PLEASE"
"This channel should be available shortly."

Do they consider 3 DAYS A MOMENT?
Their announcement only refers to easily fixable problems. They DO NOT ADDRESS OR ACKNOWLEDGE catastrophic failures. For 2 full days now, 10-TON PGE trucks have been driving over their cable which is laying across the road.

When I am looking at their cable laying in the road, and they tell me "ONE MOMENT PLEASE", I want to PUNCH THEM IN THE MOUTH. Disingenuous b@stards with BAD ATTITUDES.

You would think that they would offer you a discount for the time during which their service was unavailable. I am NOT a d@mned act-of-God, who must PAY ANYWAY. I am a CUSTOMER. They just don't get it.

THEY ARE THE ONES WHO SHOULD PAY FOR THEIR INABILITY TO PROVIDE SERVICE.

When your POWER goes out, does the power company make you pay for this time. NO. Because you didn't get anything. Cable service is JUST A UTILITY, just like power, and should be treated as such. FINE the B@STARDS for failure to perform.
THIS SUCKS.
.

120 - 450

100




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New INFINITY Box Problems

Free Upgrade
Constantly trying to jam it down my throat, because it benefits THEM, NOT ME.
I resist, because every UPGRADE has ALWAYS worse than its predecessor.
I have tried it out at a friend's, and it SUCKS.
Here is WHY --->
.

New Infinity Cable Box
- No channel readout
--- Remote required to see channel
------ The font of the "current channel" is microscopic, and buried in OTHER text.

--- Movie run time is GONE. On TCM, you can no longer determine that EXTRA programs are there, that are NOT IN THE GUIDE.

--- The Star ratings of the movies are GONE. WTH is THAT an improvement? Lazy monopoly screw-up.

--- If you leave the info function on the guide, you are switched over to freaking "lilies in a field", or some-such nonsense. ANOTHER superfluous exit required.
.

New Infinity Remote Control
FAR WORSE
--- Symmetrical, which end is up? In low light conditions, you MUST pick it up, to find which end is up. A PITA.

Magnification BUTTON GONE
--- Old remote had 2 options
----- To blow up detail

Exit Button
--- Multiple "exits" now required
------ Old box, one exit got you out
------ New, 2 or even 3 clicks required

"Last" button screwed up
--- Old remote could switch between 2 channels - NOW, you must screw around, and pick one of NINE channels - A royal PITA. Defeats the WHOLE DAMNED PURPOSE of a "BACK" button. The new "Last" button does NOT MEAN LAST - it means we will give you a list of NINE channels that you watched at one time, and you must CYCLE through the damned list, to pick a channel.

Channel Change PITA
--- Old remote, just type in channel
---- New, 2-step process
---- First, type in number
---- Then, must hit enter

User Testing and Feedback
It is ASBSOLUTELY apparent to me, that Comcast does ZERO user interface testing. Loony engineers dream up the wacky functionality, and you are STUCK with it.
The arrogance of a monopoly. THEY DON'T CARE.
.

120 - 450

100



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Comcast INTERNET Problems

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Demand I REPLACE My Modem
My Internet Modem is working better than it ever has. Yet, Comcast is bugging me to replace it with the far more complicated "gateway".

There is NO DOUBT in my mind, that I will be frustrated with the added complexity. I anticipate worse performance. Just like I got when I replaced my Set-top Box (see above).

THIS CASE is the poster child for, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
IT WORKS PERFECTLY (when the signal is there!).
I have ZERO doubt that THE ONLY REASON they want to replace it, is to enable them to extract MORE MONEY from me.
.

Unexplained OUTAGES
Usually daily - they don't usually last very long, but they are annoying. Of course, there is NEVER any acknowledgment by Comcast that these outages occur.

Comcast will never tattle on themselves. They will never admit to their outages, intermittence or hiccups. They compensate you for this by CHARGING MORE!
THIS SUCKS.
.

Comcast TAKES OVER
and jams itself into your Internet experience, which they have NO BUSINESS doing. If you mistakenly enter a bogus URL, Comcast will USURP your connection, and inject THEIR OWN DAMNED page into your face, requiring you to interact with them, when you have NO INTENTION of doing so.
This is mega-annoying.
According to the doctrine of Internet Neutrality, this IS ILLEGAL. They WILL be sued for this.
THIS SUCKS ROYALLY.
.

Forced SURVEYS
MORE than once a month. EVERY few days now. VERY intrusive, with no option to dismiss it. "I do not wish to participate." is NOT an option. Since they cram them down my throat, I check every negative box, and leave a nasty comment.

I am paying for service, NOT to be harassed at Comcast whim.
THIS SUCKS.
.

120 - 450

100




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Comcast
CABLE TV Bill

Price Increases
From $ 135.58 in 2010,
--- to $ 189.70 now in 2016.

From

2016
Bill
From

2010
Bill
Royal
Screw
Job
Subtotal
Subtotal

"XFINITY SERVICES"

XFINITY TV
- Digital Starter - - - - $ 70.99
- Digital Preferred - - $ 18.00
- Additional outlet - - $   1.99
HD Technology Fee - $ 10.00

$ 100.98

$ 70.99
$ 18.00
$   1.99
$ 10.00

$ 100.98

$ 56.99
$ 16.95
$ 0.00
$ 7.00

$ 80.94

$20
up
25 %


XFINITY INTERNET
- Modem Rental - - - -$ 10.00
- Perform. Inter. - - - - $ 53.95

$ 63.95

$ 10.00
$ 53.95

$ 63.95

$ 5.00
$ 42.95

$ 47.95

$16
up
33 %

Total "Xfinity Services"

$ 164.93

$ 128.89

$36
up
28 %

Other Charges and Credits
- Service Protect. Plan - $ 5.99
- Broadcast TV Fee -- - $ 5.00
- Regional Sports Fee - $ 3.00

$ 13.99

$ 5.99
$ 5.00
$ 3.00

$ 13.99

$ 1.45
$ 0.00
$ 0.00

$ 1.45

$12

up
800 %

Taxes and Fees
- Franchise Fee - - - - - $ 6.45
- PEG Acc. Support - - $ 3.05
- Possessory Interest -- $ 0.09
- FCC User Fee -- - - - $ 0.08
- State Sales Tax - - - - $ 1.11

$ 10.78

$ 6.45
$ 3.05
$ 0.09
$ 0.08
$ 1.11

$ 10.78

T. & F.
$ 4.52
$ 0.00
$ 0.00
$ 0.08
$ 0.10

$ 5.24

$6

up
105
%

TOTAL Comcast Bill

$ 189.70

$ 135.58

$54

up
40
%

Notes: I have rearranged the Comcast bill into standard accounting format, so that it can be understood. Comcast presents the figures in a confusing way, on purpose.

And the REWARD for INCREASING FEES is -
1. Reduced functionality
2. Increased service interruptions
3. Increased intrusive behavior
.

240 - 450

80

80

40



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Vaughn's Other
COMCAST Related Pages

* Comcast DTA Boxes

*
Comcast Missing DTA Channels

*
Comcast Rate Increases

*
TV Channels - By NAME

*
TV Channels - By NUMBER

*
TV Channels - By PROGRAM

*
TV Channels - By SUBJECT

*
Why Comcast Sucks

*
Comcast Really Sucks

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NON-Comcast

* DTV Converter Boxes




Disclaimer
This page summarizes my last 8 years with Comcast. They used to be pretty good, but recently have rocketed downhill in functionality and reliability.
Next, I will be trying satellite TV, either
ATT TV,   Dish  or  DirecTV.

The bad part about these, is the autopay requirement. If you sign up, and the TV works poorly, they charge you for 24 MONTHS, even though you only had it for 1 week. There is no "trial period." Were it not for this, I would have switched MANY YEARS AGO.
I did autopay with Verizon years ago. There was NO WAY to get them to cancel one of my accounts, except by cancelling my credit card. I will NEVER sign up for autopay, ever again. It is a license to STEAL YOUR MONEY, based upon whatever pretense they can come up with.

Although the author makes every effort to verify the information on this page, no information on this page is guaranteed to be correct, and any data contained herein may be erroneous.

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This Vaughns Why Comcast Sucks
page was last updated on 2018-08-09.