Monthly Archives: August 2010

The Comcast Zone

I am thinking about going into the cable television repairman business. I am pretty sure that I can get certified.

Comcast in our area pushed a button 2 weeks ago. They are calling it the  “All Digital Transition”. In one minute, everyone that did not have a Comcast Box of some type between the wall outlet and the TV set was reduced to just 20 or so channels. If you were paying for what they call “ Digital Starter “ which includes over 100 channels, you could only see 20 of them. It did not matter if your TV was 20 years old or right out of the box, you could only see 20 channels unless you had picked up or been mailed a Comcast provided BOX and installed it between the wall outlet and your TV set. They have 3 or 4 different kinds of these boxes and today I know all I could ever want to know about all of them. Thats because every time one of my/our tenants called and told me that their kids could not see The Disney Channel or that the Phillies Game was not on their set anymore, I had to drive over to Avalon to the Comcast office and pick up one of these devilish little boxes and go install it. You can only install the box they give you at that office at  the address that they assigned to THAT BOX  at the office you picked it up at. No switching boxes from this house to that house. The level of control was Big Brother like. I mean, how do they know which box is which when your calling them in the middle of America and your sitting in a house in Sea Isle City, NJ.

I have installed every kind of box in the Comcast line and you know what. None of them takes five minutes. Every time you install one you have to call Comcast to get it activated. Every time. It’s not enough to install it and turn it on anymore. You have to call Comcast and wait through the same recorded pitches and questions, again and again before someone picks up the phone so that they can ask you 5 questions so that they can transfer you to another person that can ask you the same 5 questions so that they can then push some sort of button and make their Little Black Box perform it’d magic. I have been on the phone with Comcast at least 100 times since they flipped their little switch and that is not an inflated number. Either my son or I have been in line over at the Avalon office on a daily basis every day for the last two weeks. We had to have installed over 50 of these boxes in the units that our customers were staying. I am almost ready to start READING again in an act of protest.

But seriously, you can no longer get your TV to work without a Comcast Box unless you are willing to just have what they call basic cable and if you are the owner of a property that is attempting to create rental income of any consistency on a year in and year out basis, then there is not a bigger mistake you can make than just providing 20 basic cable channels. I know that a lot of owners think that their customers don’t need anything more than 20 channels, but I have met your customers in person with their kids staring at me in a very menacing type of way and I can state with great conviction that they disagree with you. The cost of a lost customer is not worth saving a couple hundred bucks a year on Cable Service and thats if you only lose one. So bite down hard on something that won’t chip your teeth and call Big Brother. Tell him you have seen the light and want to cross over to the Comcast Zone. If you need any help, don’t call me. I’ll be reading a book.