Comcast Phone Service

When the contract with Comcast expires, I’m going to look for something else.  I’ve had Comcast telephone service for almost a year now and have had regular problems with it.  Every time I call, I have to go through multiple levels of phone tree and other automated crap before I can talk to a human being, and then I’ve got about a 50-50% chance of getting a hold of someone who can comprehend the nature of the problem I’m having.

Tonight, I tried to call a local Pizza place to order a pizza.  When they answered, I could hear them fine but, when I spoke, my own voice came back to me delayed by about five seconds making it pretty much impossible to have a conversation.

When I called other numbers, the call was okay, and when other people called the Pizza place, they were okay as well, so clearly something in the network, something probably in inter-office trunking.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with telephone terminology, the circuit that connects your phone to the local telephone switch is called the “loop”, and the circuit that connects switches to each other is called a “trunk”.

If it has been a loop problem, on either end, that end would have gotten the echo all the time, but that wasn’t the case, only when I called from here to a number served out of the Emerson central office.

But the person I got at Comcast kept insisting on dispatching someone to my home, and if they didn’t find a problem (which they wouldn’t because it isn’t a loop problem), they would bill me for the dispatch (not to mention NOT fixing the problem).

And this is consistent with the type of service I’ve been getting from Comcast which is why I’ll be looking for another telephone provider when my contract with them expires.

Now, the poor service isn’t the only thing that bothered me about this.  Another issue is the long delay of the echo, almost five seconds.  I can’t think of any legitimate reason they would need to buffer five seconds worth of audio, and that leads me to wonder if this isn’t some NSA tap gone bad, or some amateurish tap gone bad.

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