Hatin' On The Cable Company

I have to admit I had to take a half hour or so to calm down before sitting down and writing this screed as I spent more than an hour trying to work my way through phone tree hell as I tried to get some technical support from one our local cable companies. (We have two cable companies to hate in our little town – Atlantic Broadband and Comcast.)

In this case I was dealing with Atlantic Broadband, trying to get some technical support for an issue I’ve been having with my cable modem, specifically shutting down the built-in WiFi because 1.) I don’t use it and 2.) I have other WiFi routers I use and have full control over and 3.) I can’t access the built-in WiFi as the security access passwords don’t work and never have. As such, the cable modem WiFi is eating up spectrum better used by other WiFi routers. (In my neighborhood I can see 40+ wireless access points on the 2.4GHz band at present, and 4 access points on 5.8GHz, of which three are located in my home – the two wireless routers I mentioned earlier and the aforementioned cable modem.)

Normally I could handle this myself, but I do not have the administrator password that would allow me to take care of this myself. (The FAQ tells me the password is on the bottom of the cable modem, but ‘Assembled in Taiwan’ didn’t work.) I was trying to get Tech Support to either access the modem remotely (which they can do) in order to shut off the WiFi transceivers, or to set a password so I can take care of it. Instead, I got the phone tree from hell which sent me in circles.

Do you think I could talk to an actual human being? Nope. Neither yesterday (Friday) or today. The phone tree would keep pointing me to the Support web page which included not one bit of information I could use. There was no opportunity to speak to an actual human being as a means of resolving my problem.

This was not an issue prior to Atlantic Broadband acquiring the local cable company. Back then an actual human being answered the Tech Support line. If they were swamped they would take my number and call me back. But now that ABB is running the show, that level of service doesn’t seem to exist.

It’s not like I’m asking for the moon, for crying out loud. I’m asking for help to shut off the WiFi transceivers in the cable modem and that’s it.

There is a second issue I do need to address as I’ve been having a problem with my e-mail, that problem being that about a third of the e-mails sent to my e-mail address bounce. (I haven’t been able to successfully send an e-mail from my work e-mail to my home e-mail for a couple of months now. Some friends have also told me they’ve had e-mails they’ve sent to me bounce, with messages that the e-mail domain wasn’t valid.)

I have to wonder just how long it will take to resolve that problem.