I recently changed my phone service from the " traditional " phone company to Comcast. I have had Comcast for broadband internet and Basic cable TV and for the most part it has been reliable and OK. A few years ago their broadband internet at times would slow down to be slower than Dial-Up until they increased their capacity on the local nodes. It has been just fine the past few years since then.
The primary dis-satisfaction I have had with the Phone Company ( the one that has always been here since the days of the Bell System ) is that I am paying as much in Taxes as I am for the cost of telephone service. This is Not a fault of the phone company as they are mandated to collect these taxes by local, state and federal agencies. Sure, there have been service problems at times with " the phone company " here too such as trees falling on wires in the streets, lightning strikes , cars toppling phone poles etc. I can't blame them for much of that either. It was primarily the 50% tax on my phone bill.
I had inquired about Comcast Phone service a few times in the past and was told their service was 39.95 / month. This was more than I was paying my phone company so I didn't bother with Comcasts phone service. I recently found out Comcast offers a " Local " phone service for 24.95 a month which sounded rather appealing to me so I placed the order for it.
The primary stipulation I had was that I would be able to retain the same phone number that I had with " the phone company " for several decades and they assured me this would be done.
I geve them a 3 week lead time for installation, the installer showed up on the appointed day and timeframe. The installer seemed knowledgeable and did a good job. I used to do installation work myself so I have had experience in this type of work. When it came time for the installer to have my phone number put onto my Comcast phone service it did not work. The installer called his office and informed them of this and I was told it would take a couple of days or possibly more for the numebr to be " ported " to my comcast phone. I was given a different number for the intrim period which was really useless for me but at least I thought I would be able to make outgoing calls.
Not long after the installer left I began getting baraged with calls from telephone solicitor call centers. ( my original number has been on the national Do Not Call list ever since that list began ). To avoid the constant hassles of calls from solicitors, I unplugged the phone and left it that way unless I wanted to make an outgoing call.
Two days later my original phone number was active on my Comcast phone service, I thought everything would be ok after that. 24 hours later when I checked again, my original phone number was Gone from my Comcast phone and I was back on a Comcast Assigned phone number.
Another call to Comcast Customer Service, going thru all the prompts, waiting on infinity hold for who knows how long and finally speaking to a Comcast rep. This was the first of over 15 more additional hours I would spend on the phone with Comcast.
When Comcast finally got my number back on my Comcast Phone, ( about 10 days after original installation ) I did some further testing of this phone service.
I had my neighbor call me on their landline phone 10 times within a half hour. Out of those 10 calls, my Comcast phone service only rang 6 times. Four of those calls failed to ring on my Comcast Phone service.
Additionally I tried calling my Comcast Phone service myself from my PC using Skype and Yahoo outgoing internet phone services. One out of 4 calls to my phone service, my phone never rang, and I am using a known to be working telephone plugged directly into the back of the Comcast Supplied Modem. In antoher set of tests I tried a second known to be working Western Electric model 2500 series with known to be working interconnecting cable plugged right into the back of the Comcast supplied modem and the next set of incomming call tests were about the same 1 or 2 calls out of four and the phone never rang. There were 6 tests ( in groups of 4 calls ) performed. On the calling end, the test caller heard the ringing in their handset but it did not ring on my phone.
A few hours later I tried to make a local call. Instead of a completed call I got a recorded announcement something to the effect of " All circuits are busy right now please try your call again later ". This was a local call in the same telephone exchange I am in !
More calls to Comcast, more time on infinity hold waiting for a rep to speak with. They said they would reset the modem. I was starting to wonder if this is going to be a regular thing now with Comcast Phone Service, having to call them all the time to reset my modem so I could use my telephone. Never had to do this with a traditional phone company !
Later that day I tried to go on the Internet and no matter what I tried to do My internet screen kept telling me that I would have to " set up my Comcast Internet Account ". What the heck is this ? I never had this happen before in the many years I have enjoyed good service on my Comcast Internet Service.
Another Call to Comcast with the usual prompts, infinity hold etc to speak to someone. I was told I would have to Delete my cookies, sites visited, temp internet files etc. etc.
That was the last straw, I told the comcast rep I had on the phone I wanted to speak with someone there to un-subscribe from my newly installed Comcast Telephone service as I want to go back to my former phone service provider. This Comcast Phone and especially that it caused disruption to my internet was just too much. I don't need a heart attack from this !
Naturally they put me on with someone who desparately tried to convince me to keep my Comcast Phone service and during that conversation, the comcast reps voice just faded out and a few moments later my call was disconnected !
Another call to Comcast, you all know the rest of that routine.
I called my former phone service provider ( A Real Phone Company ) and asked what I would have to do to get my phone service back to them and to keep my original phone number. They advised me they would begin the process and also for me to call Comcast back again to inform them.
Another call to Comcast..............
I have told Comcast that their phone service is just not working out for me. I'll keep their cable TV and Broadband internet since I am well satisfied with that but I want my Phone Service to go back to my traditional telephone service provider.
This transistion back to the " Real " phone company is now in progress. I just want my real phone service back. Maybe " copper " phone lines are not state of the art but for me they have always been reliable, no modems to have to be reset, no battery in a modem to depend on for use of my phone, In case of difficulty I can troubleshoot the system to the point of knowing if it is an in house problem or that of the phone company and at times if I do hear a little static or inbalance hum during a heavy rain storm at least it works relaiably for me. I never missed any incomming calls to my phone with a " Real " phone company and they never misplaced my phone number on me and gave me a substitute one.
And what about all of those taxes I tried to get away from by switching away from my traditional ( real ) phone company to Comcast ? Well, next time I pay the bill for my traditional ( real ) telephone service I'll just smile and remind myself that at least I have " real " phone service from a " real " phone company and be satisfied with that.
This has all taken place within a two week period and I decided to change back to my traditional phone company before the last billing period with them concludes and they close my account. From now on, no more imitation phone service for me.
Product or Service Mentioned: Comcast Installation.