Many of you have heard me ranting about this in the chat, this is only the most recent story of my internet woes, there have been many here. Sorry this is so long, but this has been going on for a while. The worst part is that this is not the most horrible experience I’ve had with Comcast while living here.
First some background, I live in a university housing aparment complex, all apartments recieve “free” (I’ll explain those quotation marks later) wireless internet. Each apartment has a router installed that provides wireless internet to the apartment’s four occupants. Comcast is the company responsible for maintaining internet access.
Over a month ago our internet became very erratic, going out every hour or three. Unplugging the router and then plugging it back in would temporarily fix the problem, but this was obviously very frustrating. After about a week of this I called up Comcast’s tech support, and after half a dozen transfers I was helped by a young man who clearly did not know what he was doing. I’m not speaking out of tech snobbery here, this guy CLEARLY had no idea at all. He instructed me to fiddle with some software settings and that was the end of that. Lo and behold several days later the problem is still there. Not only that, but this was my first experience with what I began to call “fading”. The internet would cut out and need to have the router unplugged and plugged back in, but after a few hours this would happen again, and again, and again, each time becoming more and more frequent until it completely died.
Fake edit: When the internet faded out like this, it was often still possible to use mIRC or play an online game, but not use IE until the router had been reset.
I called Comcast and told them to get a tech out here (Previous experience with them has taught me the phone service is largely worthless), the tech came out the next day, fiddled with the router, and apparently got our interweb back on. After one or two days the internet faded again. The tech was nice enough to give me his number in case something happened so I wouldn’t need to deal with the hellish phone support, so I called him and he came back out. This time he told me there was a problem with the hardware outside that he would need to call another tech in to fix it, but he could fix up the service so that it would run erratically until that problem was fixed. The next day the internet faded again. The techs came out and did their thing which seemed to have no effect whatsoever, I called the tech out for a third visit, assuming this would be the last one to turn on the internet after the problem was fixed, but alas, it faded the next day. I called the tech yet again who told me to call back in a few days after he had talked to his supervisor. I did so and was given the number of his supervisor who only has voicemail and has not returned my calls.
Fake Edit: During these periods when the network could not be reached, one of my roomates was able to get inernet by plugging his laptop directly into the router.
At this point I decided to try my luck again with Comcast’s lovely technical support. After explaining my situation several times and getting shuffled around in the phone representative dance I reached someone who seemed able to help me. Now in this apartment complex, every apartment has it’s own network (Apartment 120, 119, 127 and so forth) our apartment’s network had not been showing up in the list of available networks, only those belonging to other apartments, the central school network, and one called customer ID. The guy I was talking to told me to use the customer ID network and to simply enter in 26 "0"s as my WEP key. This seemed wrong to me, but I am not trained in the wild world of wireless internet, so I went along with it. Since then my internet has been even more erratic, it seems different then it was when the tech temporarily repaired things however, it flickers out for short periods of time. I also no longer seem to be connecting through my router, I can access the customer ID network with my router unplugged. I have also recieved one or two notices that my IP conflicts with another on this network. It has not yet faded though.
I am at this point, at a loss for what to do, Comcast seems incapable of fixing the problem, and after dealing with them for months over other problems, I don’t really have the desire to spend hours on the phone for weeks with them anymore. My school housing is completely unwilling to take any responsibility for anything internet related, and I can’t afford to get another service without a refund. Normally I would have cancelled my service long ago, but I am strongarmed into using Comcast. The cost for internet is mysteriously calculated into rent and then paid by my school’s housing department. I contacted them about cancelling my service, but was basically told it was up to Comcast whether or not they would give me any money. I am also only living here until mid-march and don’t want to bother getting a new provider unless absolutely neccesary. I don’t know what I should do, help me.