My roommate needed to fax an official document. It couldn’t be emailed. Not being a techy person, she asked me to help…And there goes 2 hours out of my life…
First, I hook the fax machine up to the phone line – simple, right? Everything worked fine from the point of view of the fax machine but nothing actually got sent. I checked the phone line – it had a dial tone. I called the fax number – got the modem screech. Called my phone number – “This number is not accepting calls at this time…” WTF?
Now, I’m using a Comcast number included in my service. I haven’t used the line in two years. And because I *hate* dealing with Comcast’s voice tree, I figured I’d try Comcast’s “Online Chat”. And this is where things got really stupid.
First thing Comcast Online Chat asks: “What is the issue you are having?” I type, “My Issue: Unable to receive calls. Unable to send Faxes.” A couple of moments later, I’m joined in the chat room: “analyst May Ann Lucelle has entered room…” Here is the edited transcript of that online chat.
May Ann Lucelle: I understand that you’re having issue with your Comcast phone. Is that correct?
May Ann Lucelle: I apologize for the inconvenience. However, aside from that, are you able to receive calls/faxes?
May Ann Lucelle: Or you don’t have dial tone at all?
Shawn: That’s the issue as I said from the beginning….”My Issue: Unable to receive calls. Unable to send Faxes.”
Shawn: I have dial tone.
May Ann Lucelle: I understand that. I’d just like to confirm the problem first. So you do have dial tone, but absolutely no phone service, correct?
May Ann Lucelle: And so far, I don’t see anything wrong with your fax of not being able to send message. No worries, we’ll troubleshoot it. Can you please do hard reset on your modem by pushing and holding the reset button for 20 seconds?
(In the privacy of my own home, I say….out loud…WTF!? To her, I continue…)
Shawn: No…that would interrupt all internet services….including this chat conversation….
May Ann Lucelle: Yes, that’s right. No worries, I’ll standby.
Shawn: There’s nothing wrong with my cable modem. Internet services are working fine. Television services are working fine…But you still want me to pointlessly reset my Cable modem, is that correct?
May Ann Lucelle: If deemed the troubleshooting step not necessary, then we may not be able to isolate the issue.
Shawn: Oh for crying out loud….OK…resetting modem….
May Ann Lucelle: Let me run my tools here to give your modem a refresher and check if your fax works.
The chat session has been closed
analyst May Ann Lucelle has left room
May Ann Lucelle: Shawn, I mean the phone modem, your device that gives you the phone service. Would it be okay to reset that one?
user Shawn has left room
May Ann Lucelle: Analyst has closed chat and left the room
And of course, now that my internet services have been (pointlessly) reset, I can’t get back into the Comcast Oline Chat Room to continue the conversation. And Comcast wonders why so many people hate dealing with them. I’ve contacted Comcast (unfortunately) dozens of times over the years and not once has the interaction ever gone smoothly.