Comcast Onboarding Experience and Issues from a new customer. I apologize posting this publicly but your site makes it very difficult to submit a complaint.
Please note this is not just complaint letter as we actually provide constructive criticism at the end.
Prior to the launch date on 11-22-13 there has been no documentation or support for onboarding and preparation in what was necessary to get our email server switched to Comcast. We assumed the technician would be able to supply us with any information.
Start date of service.
11-22-13 – Scheduled Time Period was 8-noon in the morning.
We anticipated some down time this day and by the time the actual Comcast internet service was install approximately 4pm MT we were left to install our phone system on a Friday evening and we were there until nearly 9 pm MT getting the phone lines running. Because of this delay the switchover in our email service was not even started.
We intentionally wanted our email switch to be conducted on a Friday or long weekend to ensure ample time to avoid issues and work through them prior to the start of the work week.
11-27-13 Preparation for the delayed Friday 11-29-13 Email Switchover date.
Call Comcast and spent nearly 2 hours communicating with them. Very indecisive and we were specifically instructed from a tier 1 account rep to proceed with creating all of our users in the system with an existing email address. This took approximately 2 hours- 2.5 hours total in preparation for Friday.
11-29-13 Went in to the office at 6am (due to wifes complimentary schedule) and spent the first 2 hours in 3 separate phone calls. We switched over our MX records at this point with the configurations supplied in the online business dashboard. This turned out to be only part of the equation. After 3 separate phone calls and 2 hours of tier 1 and tier 2 support that led to nowhere we were finally transferred to Comcast Web Services at Approximately 9:30am MT. We were instructed to add both of the following CNAME Records
After we made the switch immediately around 10am MT that same day I stepped out of the office while the cnames and MX records propagated. Which was going to be anywhere from 1-4 hours.
I returned to the office at 4:15 pm Friday afternoon. After seeing the domain name now in our Comcast system I was encouraged to finish up the project only to be just getting started.
The advice to go ahead and add all the users in the system with existing email addresses proved to be a detrimental piece of advice. With those users in the system already I could not assign an exchange account to them. I called Comcast again. After a 30 minutes on the phone with tier 1 with no resolution. I was told I needed to be escalated to tier 2. I was now running out of time to finish the project on the intended day but had a buffer of sat. and sun. to resolve the issues. Tier 2 was explicitly told to call me or notify me when the purge of the existing email accounts were deleted so I could proceed in constructing the mail box. I never received a phone call and at 7pm on Friday night I called again and was told they were still working on it. I left the office for the day at 7pm MT with a full day now passed and no email setup.
11-30-13 – I woke up to spend nearly an hour on the phone with Comcast tier 1 support evidently the “emails were purged” and the problem was resolved. 8-9am Saturday morning. I proceeded to attempt to create the mailboxes now in the appropriate fashion getting an error every time I attempted to create an inbox with the message to call Comcast support, I did. Spent another 30 minutes on the phone with a hold of over 10 minutes at one point. As I was holding I clicked cancel from the error page only to my surprise a few of the mailboxes had been created through the error page. I continued creating approximately 5 email boxes receiving errors the whole time but at least I was getting somewhere, By the time I had the 5th email box created they all disappeared (I was on the phone the whole time during this with “support”) I logged out and logged back in per the service rep only to a big error upon logging in and could get to anything, I did it again and finally got in to see my users. To my despair the system was all messed up and switched peoples names around and users were appearing then disappearing it simply had a mind of its own. After calling back in around 10:30am MT on Saturday I had to escalate a tier 2 ticket again and gave them my cell phone to call me back as soon as it was resolved. I never received a call. I called back in around 4 hours-5 hours later and was acknowledge that tier 2 touched the ticket at around 9;45am and not since. Had I not called it would have never been fixed. In my return call to Comcast I as adamant I needed to speak to tier 2 support and this had to be resolved as I was not going to go into Monday morning with no email for my office after already 2 full days without email.
The Tier 2 support took down all of the info for every user I needed created and told me she would get them all added and the issues resolved.
At 4:30-5pm Saturday night I received a call from Tier 2 saying that the issues with the online system were resolved and I could proceed to create the rest of the email boxes (leaving the work to me after she said she would create them) She also stated that she made a typo on the email firstname.lastname@example.org account and that email address would not be able to be created until Monday morning when tier 3 opened up. I simply stated this was unacceptable! And at this point I was extremely distraught as that was 3+ full days the owner of REAL Trends and President would be completely inoperable. I asked to speak to a manager and upon speaking with her I was informed there was absolutely nothing anyone at Comcast could do at this point for that email account it had to wait until Monday morning at 8am when tier 3 arrived.
That night I setup the remaining inboxes for REAL Trends that were not created by the tech support earlier that day. Finished around 7pm.
12-1-13 I arrived at the office at 8:30 am to continue the email challenges and get everyone’s computers synced up to the newly created email boxes. After unsuccessfully setting my mac up with the supplied address mail.w14a.comcast.net (for the exchange server) I called customer support again. Only to be misdirected and escalated to tier 2 for support. After I hung up I decided to call webservices and was told to try webmail.w14a.comcast.net and was given a few settings for ports. This worked and I had the email fully functioning on my mac for email@example.com. Around 10am.
After following the exact instructions on your website numerous times on several different computers to get Microsoft outlook up and running I was unsuccessful and called Comcast Support again. After going through unsuccessfully with tier 1 for about 30 minutes I was transferred to tier 2. We tried several resolutions and nothing worked. I was extremely frustrated and it was now noon on Sunday a full two and a half days after this started and I still could not get all the email accounts working and support was not aiding at all.
The last straw was tier 2 support told me that nobody there could assist with outlook at this moment and it had to be escalated to tier 3. I called webservices on a last ditch effort to see if they could help and they apologized that they didn’t deal with outlook settings and I needed to call back Monday morning for tier 3 support.
I left for the day.
12-2-13 3 full days for our company without functioning email luckily on a weekend . at 7 am MT on Monday I called tier 3 directly and Jeff Gawe was extremely helpful. The first issue of the firstname.lastname@example.org being purged was resolved at around 7:45 am MT. The outlook syncing was discovered (after numerous times from web hosting services telling me my settings were correct) were actually incomplete and I need one more cname record which was sent to me by Jeff
So the previous CNAME Records were supplied incomplete as I received those as is from Comcast support (email documentation to back all of this up.)
After the correct auto discover was propagated and I thanked Jeff for his help the first successful outlook sync happened at around 8:30am MT on Monday. The rest we quickly finished up.
I nearly had to cancel an important work trip that morning as I flew out at 12:50pm MT and needed to drive to DIA at around 10-10:30 am. The added stress and misguidance really since Wednesday 11-27-13 was completely unacceptable.
In total I called Tier 1,2,3 and webhosting services approximately 15 times. With several of those misguided. Twice I was told I would get called back and never did and two separate instances for separate issues where I was told nothing could be done until Monday morning.
Also in total I personally spent 19 hours from a holiday weekend between wed. 11-22-2013 to 12-2-2013. Of which I am sure will be disregarded by Comcast.
Please note that nowhere in this process was there any fault on REAL Trends’ part I would gladly take any blame that was due our way but that is not the case.
That is the end of that matter.
DROPPED CALLS WITH NEW PHONE SERVICE
As of 12-2-2013 we have had 5 documented instances of dropped calls completely losing our service and lines in the process. I called a tech to come back out on Tuesday 11-26-2013 to review the issue. We are using the exact model of equipment recommended to us from Comcast bought directly (NEW) from the manufacturer AT&T. This matter has still not been resolved and we were told from the tech everything was functioning properly on their end and they can’t see any dropped calls. We only have 6 phones tied into the system so it is not an elaborate setup. The fact that the service is not functioning properly is a mystery yet no assistance was provided to elaborate further as the equipment was not Comcast’s. Yet we were instructed this exact equipment would work for our office and user count, The fact of the matter is it is not working and we are left to diagnose on our own with no support from Comcast probably incurring additional costs unpredicted.
We are doing this currently and trying to conduct our regular business with adverse effects.
SUGGESTED RESOLUTIONS AND PRECAUTIONS FOR COMCAST
1) Have a more thorough onboarding process. If a client is to have an exchange account with you upon new service. Thorough documentation and support with a pre-launch packet should be sent. The fact we went with absolutely no guidance on where to even start was a big issue.
2) We suggest when a client calls in that has already been escalated to Tier 2 or Tier 3 Support that the first thing the phone rep does after verifying the account in subsequent calls is to transfer them to the appropriate tier for support. I spent far too much time rehearsing the same issues over and over only to not be able to be fixed and escalated to the same tier I was at. If a client has an open tier 2 or 3 ticket immediately send them to the appropriate place.
3) We suggest that tier 1 and tier 2 have the tools necessary or at least their supervisors to remedy some of these basic issues. When I spoke with tier 3 they said they should know how to do what we did yet everybody at Comcast on Saturday and Sunday explicitly told me they couldn’t.
4) Have a few tier 3 technicians on call for the weekends just like many hospitals and other industries do. The fact that my issue that already was delayed over several business days and spilled into the weekend when I couldn’t get appropriate support was not my/our fault. Being told that we had to wait until Monday and perhaps jeopardize part of that business day was unacceptable.
5) Better communication across tiers and knowing who needs to contact the customer and at what number. Without my proactive stance in two situations my ticket may have sat even longer.
6) Lastly we could really use a high level knowledgeable technician that knows Comcast equipment and how it communicates with Comcast recommended equipment be sent to our location to figure out these dropped calls.
Welcome tsaxton9. Thank you sharing your on boarding experience and for the recommendations for improvement. We will share your recommendations with our Service Center. Please continue to utilize the Forum to share your experiences and as a resource for Comcast Support and Services.
We have engaged the Regional Support Center for assistance with the issue of dropped calls.