Comcast Hall of Shame

Last Update: Tue Jan 28 11:44 EST 2014
This is an early draft. It will take better shape as I find time. I'd rather be watching HBO GO on my Apple TV!

The first entry on this web site, the corporation that moved me to create it because of what I see as incompetent service is Comcast (Xfinity). And their inablity to solve a simple problem. Comcast (Xfinity)


On January 16, 2014 I bought an Apple TV. What a wonderful device! I began connecting it to iTunes, Netflix, PBS, and HBO GO.

For the first ten days I was unable to use it with HBO GO, a service I am paying for through Comcast (Xfinity). The device must be connected (electronically) to my Comcast (Xfinity) user account. Comcast (Xfinity) stood in the way of opening this account even though I am being charged for the service of having one. I considered lodging financial claims against Comcast (Xfinity) for refunds of services that I am paying for and they were not providing. And notifying the FCC, State Attorney General Offices, the BBB, etc.

Comcast (Xfinity) could have made all of my public and private protests go away almost immediately if they had just solved the trivial problem. The fact that it is not trivial for them speaks volumes about the level and depth and committment of their Customer Service!

Just for comparitive reference on the set up of other services on my Apple TV: I had to sign up for a pay Netflix, account and then connect it. I think it took me about 90 seconds. I had to sign up for a free PBS account and then connect it. I think it took me about 90 seconds. I had to sign up for a Comcast (Xfinity) account and then connect it. Opening the account fails on the Comcast (Xfinity) web site here being guided from the HBO GO sign up site.

IT FAILS EVERY TIME! I tried it more than a dozen times, at different times of the day, using the two different modes of identifying my account. No go! No HBO GO!

So I opened a customer service chat by clicking on "Any questions? Start an online chat with a customer representative" on that web page.

[The following sequence of chat persons may have a few minor errors in it, I wasn't aware at first that I needed to document all of this].

The first day I got Gizelle. She took my information but kept telling me I should do the equivalent of turning the TV on. The responses and questions I got indicated to me that she misunderstood what it was that I needed, so she was useless, and I was busy, so I just disconnected.

The next day I got Aastha. She took all my information and tried creating the account. If failed for her as well. She did have the intelligence to route me to someone else named Joe. Joe took my information all over again and verified that for whatever reason the web page would not create an account for me. He opened a trouble ticket and informed me that it may take many days to over a week to hear back!!! I pondered this for a while and started Googling about Comcast (Xfinity) customer service. I feel that I would be remiss if I did not post these facts and my opinion.

I found Tom Karinshak's page and began complaining there. I get lip service only, no solutions, no phone call back. (they never tell you when they will call, and I have my life to live).

I did get one email promise that it was fixed along this saga somewhere. But, of course, when I went to create the account it failed just as it has all along.

Tom Karinshak eventually assigned an escalation ticket number on January 24, 2014. The email said I would hear within 24 hours by telephone. (I kept telling them I prefer email). I have not heard. Was that 24 working day hours? They didn't specify.

On January 26, 2014, in the afternoon, I got a call from Joy from Comcast (Xfinity). She refused to give me her last name. I wonder why! Why she even called is unclear. She was apparently management and unable to solve the problem, nor see that it got solved, but needed to tell me that she couldn't solve the problem, I had to still wait on someone else to do so. I asked her why a person that COULD SOLVE the problem directly didn't call me and I got no real answer. In fact, she now wants to take it to US Mail. Wow! Talk about poor customer service. I explained again that they (via the early chats, again with people who had no authorization to actually solve the problem) had verified that opening an account for me fails, and that I need not be further involved until they either open the account for me and let me reset the password, or they fix their software so that I can open the account. I told her I would try that night to open the account again. I expected it would fail. And I was right, It did fail, see the section The Technological Failure below. I also told her that what a waste of time and money this was even for Comcast (Xfinity). How many (ineffectual) managers have now been involved, how many low level chat support people, all to NOT SOLVE a simple problem. If it is a data problem, they have all my information. They seem to know how to successfully bill me a hefty charge every month. I've never seen that fail! I firmly stated my position and opinions to her and she eventually hung up on me. I take that as getting my point across! (other than a few "damns" I refrained from profanity. And I was only mildly annoyed. Angry is a whole other level).

On January 27. 2014 I decided to make a QuickTime movie of the screen as I attempted to open the Comcast (Xfinity) account for evidence. Much to my surprise it told me I already had an account and showed me the name, asking me to log in. I immediately recognized that they had taken my advice that I gave to one of the earliest chat support people. That is, just create the account with my information and I'll reset the password. I clicked on the reset password link and it prompted me for the answer to my secret question. But it was not the question I asked for, so I was just about to complain when my telephone rang. It was someone in Comcast (Xfinity) support. I didn't get the person's name, but I told him I was probably ahead of him and told him I already saw that they had opened my account and all I needed was the answer to the secret question. He gave it to me and waited while I reset the password, got logged in, and the account was shown to be active and operational. I told him that it was too bad they didn't do this last week. It would have then been considered good service. But, I said, that is all now history.

I then got my Apple TV connected to HBO GO. Finally!

After over a week of asking them to fix things or open the account for me.

Note that here is NO REASON that I had to be involved in the solution of Comcast's (Infinity's) problem. They can fix their web page and/or data base internally so my next try will work. They are obviously so far too incompetent to do that. (which is not what they ended up doing, see the next section).

The next best option that I have asked for repeatedly (they have in the logs all the information they need, the name of the account I want, my last 4 SSN digits, my ticket numbers, etc. etc., WHY DON'T THEY JUST OPEN THE ACCOUNT FOR ME AND TELL ME WHAT ITS NAME IS? They can either force a password change at first login, or let me initiate a "forgotten password" link that will email me (they have my email address in the logs; I've given them ALL of this information in the chat logs at least half a dozen times!!) a link to change the password. (this IS what they eventually did. See above).

But, in their INCOMPETENCE, and die hard desire to make things as difficult or impossible for the customer as they can, it took 10 days for them to do that. When will they evolve from how customer service was in the 1960s to the new century? (evolve from corporate centric to customer centric).


Tales of disservice.

An open letter to Tom Karinshak.

If you have Comcast (Xfinity) complaints, please lodge them here.

If you have links (and only links) to relevant Comcast (Xfinity) stories, please send them to me here. I will add thse links to this page to keep America easily informed.

Comcast's (Xfinity's) leadership is here.

My Personal Technical Analysis

I have a strong background in computers, programming, service, and management. Here is my analysis of Comcast's (Xfinity's) failures.

  1. The Technological Failure.
    Here I present some facts of what happened when I used the web site to open an account here. Some of what I saw leads to guesses about the underlying technology issues, but they are educated ones. What I saw versus what I guess was going on is clear here.
  2. The Support Failure.
  3. The Management Failure.

So I rate Comcast (Xfinity) as a corporate failure across the board.


In summary, repeating myself once again, the solution does not need me to be involved. If it is a data problem they have taken that in problem reports over half a dozen times. If it is a software problem, they can fix it and let me know when to try again. Or if they can't do either of those things in a timely manner, they should just open my account, and email me (they know what account name I'd like and it is available, or at least was, and they know my email address half a dozen times over). Then I can request a password reset on the "forgotten password" site link on the login page, and we are done. None of these solutions should involve a real time telephone conversation with a person that will not give me a contact number, only that they will call me... sometime. This is customer service as it was in the 1960s, not in this century. By good companies, anyway.

Analysis of Cable TV service vs. Fiber Optic Delivery (Verizon FiOS)

FiOS is technologically superior to cable. (add more references, but this one is good for now).

I want Verizon FiOS and am very unhappy with Verizon that they stopped rolling it out. Eventually I want all my TV delivered by the Internet, and without contracts to Comcast (Xfinity). And no contracts to Verizon either. And I want A la carte channel selection, not bundles.

In my discussions with lots of people, I have found virtually no one that likes any aspect of Comcast (Xfinity), they pretty much hate it across the board. But those lucky enough to have Verizon FiOS pretty much love it across the board.

  • No Other Corporation Even Comes Close to Deserving A Place on this Page so far!. When and if that changes, it will appear here.

    As a public service I here offer (this is an early start, stay tuned):
    Tips on How to Cut the TV Cable tips on how to cut the cable.

    More about the Apple TV and here Apple TV. And Apple AirPlay and here Apple AirPlay.

    Amazon to start Internet TV Service.

    And what surprises will we be in for from Google?

    Unbundling Cable. In the meantime, be sure to lobby for unbundling cable channels. What we have today I consider a major rip-off. See:

    My thanks go to Tom Karinshak Senior Vice President of Customer Experience at Comcast (Xfinity) without whom I never would have had such a bad customer experience that gave me the inspiration and motivation to develop this web site. (my guess is that this is an alias and such a person does not really exist).

    Keywords for the Google Search Engine: Comcast, Xfinity, sucks, worst service, service disaster, management failure, dinosaur technology, management failure, poor customer service, worst customer service ever.