Goodbye Comcast, hello Metronet!

I was getting really tired of Comcast’s billing games: service was priced high but you can call in every 6-12 months to get on a new promotion.  And it seems like every time we got on a new promotion something broke like losing the NFL Network or other channels.

I have to say that Comcast’s services are great at least where we live.  We rarely had service outages and while the Internet service did slow down at night it wasn’t too noticeable.  We were on the 50Mbps plan but I routinely only got about 25-30Mbps on average.  Imagine my surprise when Comcast suddenly raised it to 105Mbps and didn’t increase our price.  What could be the reason for that generous increase?

A company out of Evansville, IN named Metronet started rolling out fiber service in our area.  We had somebody stop by the house late last year and asked us if we were interested in switching.  We said “yes!  of course!” but had to wait a couple of months before it was available in our neighborhood.

Installers were on-time and professional.  They did a great job setting up all equipment and running the necessary lines inside the house.  Interestingly we got the “whole house dvr”.  The main dvr box is connected via Ethernet and the boxes for the rest of the televisions are connected wirelessly.

We are saving around $50/month and getting the same level of service as we did with Comcast.  Our internet access is actually much better though; we have the 200Mbps plan but I routinely can hit 350Mbps downloading games from Steam or operating system ISOs.

All in all we are very happy with Metronet.

Good customer service: Comcast

Like other people, I sometimes have issues with Comcast, mainly due to their antiquated billing system — making any change on your account seems to break something else.  On several occasions, making a simple change to our service (like adding HBO, etc) dropped NFL Network and the Sports package.  But when they deliver a good product or service they deserve to get a compliment.

We called them in January to inquire about Xfinity Home Security; our existing security system used copper phone wires for all connectivity and our phone company was driving me crazy with overbilling and blatant lies from their customer support.  I wanted to dump our landline but that would break our existing security system.

During the discussion with Comcast, they discovered that we could move up to the Triple Play and still save us about $15 from our current bill (HD-DRV rentals are expensive!)  So we had our service upgraded in February.  And other than a couple of quickly-resolved network issues, the new services have been very stable and problem-free.

Part of the triple play included moving us to Blast Internet.  With their recent speed increase, we are supposed to be getting up to 50 Mbps download.  Yesterday I started having problems with my Skyrim game so I decided to delete the local content and re-download the game from Steam.  During the download I consistently received data at 57 Mbps; the entire 12GB download took less than half-an-hour, which is amazing considering the Summer Sale is going on now.  🙂

Keep up the good work Comcast!  And if you feel the need to lower prices in the near future, I’d be interested!  🙂

Well, I had to try.  *laughs!*

Merry Christmas from Comcast, part 2

I discovered that Comcast will be giving us the MLB Network (on channel 516), so I made the decision to add a third converter box to our setup. This has been one of the best customer service calls I have had with Comcast, ‘though it was not without its problems.

I’ll be the first to say that I’ve not been a fan of Comcast. I really loved Insight, but it switched to Comcast last year and the transition was not painless. We were fortunate that we didn’t have nearly the problems as other people, but it was annoying to have several rate increases before getting additional services/channels/etc.

I really got steamed every time I heard the “we have more high def that satellite” commercials (and we heard them quite frequently!) Up until a few weeks ago, we had a measly 13 HD channels, compared to my mothers 90+ on DirectTV. As we still can’t get our local/Indy channels on DirectTV, we were stuck with Comcast. So I did not expect the additional box changes to go smoothly or happen without gouging us with more fees.

I couldn’t justify getting a third DVR (at another $15/month) so I decided to stick with the standard digital box (at $7/month). I called Comcast and was told that they would charge an additional $40 for the service call/installation or they could mail me the box for $2. I asked if I could simply go pick the box up at the local office and was surprised to hear “yes” — I had previously been told we couldn’t do that anymore since the main office moved to Kokomo after the transition.

We went to the Lafayette office and picked up the standard box; ironically, she initially tried to give me the HD/DVR by mistake. I took the standard digital box home to set it up and then realized that it didn’t have an HDMI or Component Outputs, so that put a major crimp in my plans.

I called Comcast again to activate the box and talked to the nicest lady I’d ever have fortune to talk to — she looked at our bill and said “you are paying way too much money, let me see what I can do.” Long story short, she dropped our monthly bill $38, making it comparable with DirectTV and that includes the cable modem service. With that lower monthly amount, I could afford the HD/DVR box and solve all of my problems! 😉

We went back to our local office to exchange the boxes; after a decent wait (they were very busy today) we were able to swap the boxes out. They also sold me a decent HDMI cable for $11 — try getting it for that price at Best Buy! Even Walmart sells it for $19, so this was a bargain.

So I now have MLB Network in my office/mancave, along with our HD channels! Woot!

Comcast actually gave us more high-def

Comcast finally gave us more high-def channels; we’re now up to 42! Still have a way to go before we catch up to Mom’s 90+ on DirectTV.

Unfortunately, the rep I talked to said we won’t be getting the MLB Network anytime soon; why am I not surprised? UPDATED: We are getting MLB Network; in fact, it’s already on our system. Sweet!

We can’t switch to DirectTV because we still don’t get local channels; every county around us can get the Indy channels, but our local CBS affiliate is somehow blocking all locals in our county. I’ve written to my state Congress reps; a single station should not be able to block all locals. If we could receive the Indy channels, we’d switch today — I was concerned about losing WHMB, but LeSea does have a channel on DirectTV, so that would be fine. Now the only thing keeping us with Comcast is the local channels issue.

As much as I really dislike Comcast, I’ve got to admit that I love their “Bill won’t change” commercial — I don’t know why, but I find that really funny. 🙂