Not-Food


It’s January 10, 2015 and I’m coming back home and looking at a Comcast bill that is giving us nothing of what we were promised in December.

We called Comcast in December 2015. We called because:

1. We were being billed for a Arris cable modem we owned (see my previous Comcast article).
2. We wanted to get a cheaper plan (Bundle) than the one we currently had.

After some conversations with the billing agents, we had them check for how long we had been billed for our cable modem. It had been a year. We were promised a $115 rebate on our misbilling on our next bill.

Our next bill has arrived. No such rebate in sight.

The fellow who “fixed” our cable modem issue then set us up with a lady who promised a bundle that would have been about $20-$30 cheaper than the bundle we had at the time.

But looking at the bill, the plan we are on now is actually $30 more expensive.

This kind of incompetence has been “par for the course” over the last few days. The same lady who gave us a ‘cheaper plan’ set us up with a new DVR. But when calling about the DVR, Comcast said we had 5 devices in our house. No, we have 3. One in an upstairs bedroom, one in a living room, and one in a basement. If Comcast can’t keep straight what devices are in my house, how can they properly bill us?

This is going to be living hell. It will take many man hours to straighten out. If we don’t get the rebate we deserve and were promised, I’m thinking small claims court. Maybe if we sue the company, we can get part of the money they’ve taken from us without cause.

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There was an Urbanspoon get together at Chai Pani recently, and Grant Goggans of Marie Let’s Eat started teasing me that he’s 500 views from passing me on the Urbanspoon rankings. If he does, more power to him. I’m at a point where between either having a very high stress job situation or no job at all (my present circumstance), I haven’t had the time to eat as I once did. That I’ll get passed is inevitable.

I’ve never wanted to be the conversation around food in this town. I’ve been quite happy just being a part of it. If I can still be a part of that conversation, that’s enough. If I’ve held the ranking for some time, it’s a tribute to the difficulties of the Atlanta commute. I ate in part to deal with the time it took to commute back and forth from work.

~~~

Ok, I’ve been between jobs – still are actually – and I had a job offer last week. In celebration, I decided to do something about those costly cable bills, as my wife had a tech say we could cut the bills. One approach was Comcast Triple play, which would allow us to eliminate phone service bills and the long distance bill. We decided to go that route. So I headed to Grayson kast Saturday, and got a deal, which went something like this:

1. About a $60 reduction in cost once the new service was added. New price good for a year.
2. All my old shows plus HBO.
3. Twice the Internet speed.
4. A service tech to come out this Wednesday to install the phone.
5. I was going to purchase my own cable modem to support, which would be installed this Monday.

So it’s Monday. The modem has arrived, an Arris TM822G. I don’t need more modem, because I have a wifi router behind it. I only need a phone jack for a base set, and we have receivers all around the house.

It’s not easy getting in. I call, find the right spot in the queue, and they offer a call back service, to call me back within “eight to twelve minutes”. Saying yes at this point was my first mistake. After waiting half an hour without any callback whatsoever, I call again and stay on the line, and finally get a tech. So we begin the process of adding the new modem, which in general should be seamless and take about five minutes.

Except of course, she can’t add the modem to the system. She can’t add the modem to the system..

because without informing me, my order was cancelled on Sunday, the day after I made it.

She can’t add my order back because she can’t port my phone number, so I get transferred to Sales. supposedly. The transfer goes on for about 5 minutes and then disconnects. This sets the tone for about two more hours of hell. I call in and get disconnected. I call in and get someone like my first lady, they encounter the same issues, and they transfer me to Sales, and I get disconnected. This goes on and on and on, totalling five disconnections in all.

Finally I call upgrades directly. I get another lady who goes through the same process. At this point, my five minute modem swap has cost me two and a half hours, almost all of it in queue. Then she asks, “did they start the port of the phone number on Saturday?”

“Yes, they did.”

I then go on to say I was called on Sunday to validate that I really wanted my phone number switched.

“Then that’s the problem. We use a third party verification service, and they take 24 to 72 hours to get the confirmation back to us. We’re not going to be able to proceed until that is done.”

Ok, so that’s why the order was cancelled. The phone number transfer wasn’t validated. But it also means I’m in limbo. My new job starts in December. And if this runaround continues, Comcast won’t be able to put in the new phone number until I’m just starting my new job. And out where I live, there is a fair chance that the tech won’t even show, a 100% chance if you schedule them in the evenings.

But the take home for me is that the provisioning system for Comcast is hopelessly broken. The modem add, which should have taken five minutes (and note, while I was on the phone and the new modem connected, my daughter started watching Netflix over our Internet. The modem was working just fine), ended up taking a couple hours and we had to swap back to the old one because the new one couldn’t be added to the system. A software flaw cost me at least two hours.

No one informed me my service order had been cancelled. What if I had taken leave on Wednesday in anticipation of a tech showing up?

Now I’ve lost the appointment I was going to have. The new one? I suspect I’ll get this all set up in December, something that will cost me work time on a brand new job, and if the past is any indication, it will take 2-3 attempts for the tech to even show. As the change nets me $60 a month, this sheer incompetence on Comcast’s part makes them money.

I live tweeted all this. DISH was making offers via twitter as this happened. If I had a satellite view at home, I might have gone that route.

It  has just started, and this is what my front porch looks like tonight:

 

Since my tweeting this would only be seen by  a few people, grats to Jimmy of Eat It Atlanta on his recent engagement. May this lead to many decades of happiness.

 

My phone was getting old, perhaps 5 years old, so I had it replaced – replaced all the phones in my family. My daughter noted we hadn’t replaced phones in 5 years. We got her one with a touch screen and all. No web, but unlimited text, and my new phone, a Samsung Smiley, is quite a deft messaging phone. It was hard to miss that BuHi has been eating near where I work and tweeting about it. That and Chloe’s use of text was enough to want to move into the texting realm and dare stick my nose on Twitter. So I’m out there, fumbling along, as FoodNSnellville.

My blog volume is very different this December than last. Last year because of all the San Francisco posts, I was picked up by an aggregation site and they drove some daily volumes to record highs. This season it’s rather been mediocre. Maybe its the exceptional cold, the season, families preparing to head home. I can’t blame anyone really.

To note, a new blog on the side bar, Tim the Cheese Man, who hails out of Star Provisions. Terrific read. His tastes are different from mine, but mine surely are more ad hoc than his. In the world of cheese, I’m largely an autodidact.

If I don’t post my thoughts, OU for U is quite good. Excellent breads. Hopefully I will get out a post tomorrow. And maybe one of the blogging folks will be thinking about lunch roughly in the Dunwoodies some Thursday (fingers crossed).

FnS.

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Christmas is upon us and it isn’t even Halloween yet. Don’t believe me? Walk into any Best Buy and look at how the GPS devices are positioned and priced, how the televisions are  positioned and priced. Not that this is anything new. Back when I was young enough to be a stock boy at a dollar store, we would start preparing for Christmas sales in August.

My family has been talking about traveling Arabia Mountain Trail for some time, but until the pollen counts grew low enough that my wife could comfortably ride, we’ve been patiently waiting. But this weekend, the weather was cool enough and the poillen mild enough for the whole family to get outside and enjoy the ride. Arabia Mountain Trail has paths that circle the north end of Stonecrest Mall, so it was at Stonecrest that we joined the trail, and traveled about 6-7 miles down it and back.

There is a lot of stopping and starting, waiting at corners of roads in the beginning,  but then it begins to open up and the views can be impressive, especially the bridges.

There are farmhouses and barns along the way as well, and portions of the  trail so quiet and wild I could reach out and almost touch the deer alongside the trail.

Next time we’ll bring food and water with us. The trail has a lot of shallow dips and rises, but after a few miles of this, it’s wearying for people like us, just starting out any kind of organized riding. But the sights, the quiet, the possibility of seeing others enjoying the path is pretty refreshing for a pleasant September day. I suspect we’ll be back, and I’ll be wearing a backpack with supplies next time.

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