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David Maldow
Worked at Telepresence Evangelist
Attended Tulane University Law School
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David Maldow

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I have been having intermittent Comcast issues for over 6 months. So I have decided to use this to start tracking outages and as an easy way to share the info with Comcast so I don't have to keep repeating my story.

Normally, I get 50mb down and 10mb up. When the issue pops up, it suddenly drops to as low as 0.25 down, and 0.01 up. 

http://stage.results.speedtest.comcast.net/result/283725542.png

Sometimes this goes on for an hour, sometimes for days. As a tech journalist covering the videoconferencing industry, I make several video calls a day, so I need steady bandwidth.

When I call to complain, they schedule a tech to come by a few days later. Several times, the tech simply failed to show up without calling or rescheduling. When I call to ask why, they have no explanation for failing to reschedule.

At one point they told me that if they came out, and the problem was on my end, they would charge me for the visit. So I purchased a new router/modem and splitter at my own expense, which did not fix the problem.

Of course, when the tech does arrive, my bandwidth is fine. I am told he is unable to diagnose it unless it is happening while he is here. Then I am told that since it seems to be working now, I should be happy and we are done. When it goes down again a few days or weeks later, I start over from scratch. They have no records from the previous techs and act as if it is a brand new problem. That includes 30-45 min of troubleshooting at my end (reboot modem, reboot computer, check connections, etc.). I have been through this process far too many times. When each new tech arrives (I have had about 5 different techs here at this point), he starts from scratch, and makes guesses about the possible cause which conflict with what the previous techs have said. Finally the tech leaves without any resolution.

This puts me in a position where they won't come out to diagnose as the issue happens, and they can't diagnose it when it is not happening. Catch 22. I finally managed to get escalated to their "Make it Right" department. They are very professional and responsive, but have been unable to get the local techs to fix the problem after yet another month.

I probably should have been tracking this all along, but I really thought it would be fixed by now. I will try to keep updating as outages occur. 

All times are approximate, I don't catch every outage, and I am not tracking duration, which ranges from 30 min, to several hours. 

7/19
7:00pm
http://stage.results.speedtest.comcast.net/result/282363982.png

11:00pm (decided to run several tests for more initial data)
http://stage.results.speedtest.comcast.net/result/282443392.png
http://stage.results.speedtest.comcast.net/result/282445182.png
http://stage.results.speedtest.comcast.net/result/282445892.png
http://stage.results.speedtest.comcast.net/result/282446582.png
http://stage.results.speedtest.comcast.net/result/282446612.png
http://stage.results.speedtest.comcast.net/result/282447252.png
http://stage.results.speedtest.comcast.net/result/282448422.png
http://stage.results.speedtest.comcast.net/result/282448622.png
http://stage.results.speedtest.comcast.net/result/282454172.png

7/20
5:00am
Bad but didn't run a speed test

10:30am
Too bad to even connect to speedtest for a while before I got the following.
http://stage.results.speedtest.comcast.net/result/282568992.png

6:00pm
http://stage.results.speedtest.comcast.net/result/282769762.png
http://stage.results.speedtest.comcast.net/result/282768852.png  
http://stage.results.speedtest.comcast.net/result/282777122.png

12:00pm
http://stage.results.speedtest.comcast.net/result/282907232.png  
http://stage.results.speedtest.comcast.net/result/282916672.png

7/21
1pm
http://stage.results.speedtest.comcast.net/result/283030232.png

6:45pm 
Bad for about 30 min but didn't run a speed test

7/22
12:45am
Bad for about 30 min but didn't run a speed test

7/23
1:00am
http://stage.results.speedtest.comcast.net/result/283725542.png
http://stage.results.speedtest.comcast.net/result/283725992.png
http://stage.results.speedtest.comcast.net/result/283729082.png

4:00am
Bad but didn't run a speed test

1:15pm
http://stage.results.speedtest.comcast.net/result/283869392.png
http://stage.results.speedtest.comcast.net/result/283877462.png

7:15pm
http://stage.results.speedtest.comcast.net/result/284074962.png
http://stage.results.speedtest.comcast.net/result/284058222.png
http://stage.results.speedtest.comcast.net/result/284064672.png

9:00pm
Completely disconnecting every few minutes.
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Comcast Mark's profile photoDavid Maldow's profile photo
4 comments
 
Update for Comcast Mark

Short Version: 
I have seen some signs that we may be on the right track, but I can't be sure without better communication. For example, I have had issues tonight for the last few hours, and I am not sure if it was a result of new work being done to resolve my problems, or if it is something Comcast isn't aware of, and I should be letting the tech crew know about.

Longer Version: 
Soon after I started this thread, and I assume as a result of your intervention, a maintenance crew started working on the infrastructure in my area each night. I was not informed of this, and neither was the Comcast tech support team for my area. Maintenance and tech support appear to be different divisions within Comcast that do not coordinate on these issues. So tech support sent out another tech early this week, who again went through the process of verifying that the problem is not with my equipment inside my location, and again told me that Comcast cannot identify and fix the problem unless it is happening while tech support is at my location. The best he could suggest was passing it on to his supervisor as it may be "a problem with my account." I asked him to please have his supervisor contact me to discuss how to resolve this. He left me his supervisor's number. I called and left a message but he never called back.

That night, it went out again. At this point I didn't know what to do, so I took a walk to cool off and saw Comcast trucks outside. I found Comcast employees working at a podium at a building near mine. As I approached and asked them what was going on they looked up and asked if I was the journalist and explained to me that they were the maintenance crew and this was their second night working to fix my issue.

While I am thrilled that these guys are on the job, I can't understand why the tech support from earlier in the day wasn't made aware. It could have saved Comcast the cost of the tech's visit, and saved me some frustration. Why not let me know that maintenance on the case? Obviously it would be preferable to let me know in advance what was going on so I can anticipate the nightly outages, and know they are due to the infrastructure upgrades. I thought I was just having more problems.

The maintenance team was very professional and helpful. They confirmed that they were there to fix my issue, and reassured me that they had immediately found specific problems which could be causing my outages, and would be able to take care of them. I got a sense that they didn't have much trouble finding things that weren't right. Since that night, my bandwidth has been much better during the day, but goes out a few times each evening. This is ideal if it is a result of continued maintenance. I much prefer they work in the evenings if it may cause outages.

But the last few nights I couldn't see any trucks within close walking distance. Are they still doing nightly infrastructure work, but just out of my immediate neighborhood? Or do I still have issues? A little communication would really clear this up. If I should expect this for the next week, two weeks, or whatever it may be, it would just be nice to know.

Final note, and this may just sound like venting, but I think it is important. The biggest problem here is that tech support never, at any point, referred my problem to this maintenance team. After the first or second tech, however many months ago, confirmed that the problem wasn't with my equipment, I knew it had to be with Comcast infrastructure in my area, but I just couldn't get Comcast to acknowledge this plain fact. And all it took was for maintenance to come out and look at the nearby podiums to confirm it.

But instead of referring it to maintenance, each and every support tech said the same exact thing, which turned out to not be true. They all said that Comcast cannot determine what is causing the problem unless someone is out at my location while the problem is happening. That same, untrue, story was told by at least 6 techs, over at least 6 months. I don't think they are lying, I think they are ill informed. The fact is, maintenance was perfectly capable of finding the cause of my problem regardless of whether or not it was happening when they were here.

The maintenance crew made it sound like the problems were very obvious to them, as soon as they took a look. Any one of those support techs could have, and should have, sent out the maintenance crew. Instead, they just kept sending more support techs, and if it wasn't for this thread and the help of Comcast Mark, I would still be sitting here hoping that a support tech will come by during an outage.

I understand that project based, inter-department, communications can be very difficult to implement in an organization the size of Comcast. But I think that Comcast should attempt to increase communications between maintenance and tech support. It could result in much higher customer satisfaction, while cutting your costs by reducing superfluous support calls.

Thanks for the help, and any information regarding what is being done, and what I should expect, would be great.
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David Maldow

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How the heck...
 
Shake Your head and You will see...
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Peter Musgrave's profile photoDavid Maldow's profile photo
2 comments
 
I think I've seen that. Gotta love Feynman.
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David Maldow

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Should we call it The 2012 iPad?

The new iPad has no name. They are just calling it the new iPad. Not the iPad 3 or the iPad HD, just the new iPad.

Well we clearly can't call it "The new iPad" forever. What happens when its old? Maybe Apple wants to get away from the numbering thing and just have one name regardless of updates. Like how they name cars. You don't get a Honda Civic5 or a Ford Explorer7, you just get a Honda Civic or a Ford Explorer. If people want more information you give the year.

Unless Apple comes up with a name for the new iPad, I think calling it the 2012 iPad works fine.
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David Maldow

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Ok Internet, you win. I have hit cuteness overload.
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David Maldow's profile photoThos Cochrane's profile photo
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David Maldow

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I am studying "Wills, Trusts, and Estates" this morning. So depressing. In almost every hypo, someone dies and everyone else acts terrible (terribly?).

Florida's "Homestead" law is very cool though.
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David Maldow

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Where My Head Is At

Over the last few months this has been gradually taking over my life. It is now at the point where I am considering waterproofing the outlines so I can study while I am in the shower.

Whether you are an old friend, or just someone who randomly found me on Google+, please wish me luck and excuse me if my posts make less and less sense over the next few days (I need sleep!).
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Adam Heimlich's profile photoLifesize, a division of Logitech's profile photoSteven Weinstein's profile photoDavid Maldow's profile photo
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Thanks! Today wasn't too bad and tomorrow is all multiple choice so I am feeling good. Really can't wait to get back to work.
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David Maldow

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Call Your Parents / Grandparents!

Hey, just got some inside information that I thought I should share.

I am reviewing Florida law on wills, trusts, and estates (not planning on knocking off my parents, just taking the bar), and you wouldn't believe how many people get disinherited for not calling or writing. I am not joking. For some reason, this comes up a lot in Florida.

Forget about the actual inheritance, don't call for the money. The point is that your folks aren't kidding when they say they really love it when you call.

Besides, grandparents are fun. Get them on video and enjoy (see how I tied it all into VC? Nice, right?).
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Have him in circles
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David Maldow

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Gamification of Business

I just wrote an article on the AvayaLive Engage solution. It is like World of Warcraft for Business. Very cool.

Side Note: I have been neglecting G+ and feel like a bit of a hypocrite. I complain that G+ isn't giving me the value I want, but I haven't been interacting here, or even posting links to my own content. I just use it for the Hangouts. I want to give G+ another shot, let's see how it goes. :)
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Peter Musgrave's profile photoDavid Maldow's profile photo
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I like that tag line "The Segway Effect" - you should write a column about that!
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David Maldow

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Florida Bar results are in. I passed. (Happy!) That makes three. I am ready for the inevitable convergence of VC and Legal issues.
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Vidyo, Inc's profile photoHoward Wallace's profile photo
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Congrats, David!
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David Maldow

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Osmosis

In high school, one of my friends convinced me that if I slept with my textbook under my pillow the night before a test, some of the info would seep into my head. I knew he was messing with me, but there were a few times where I was nervous enough to give it a try.

Tomorrow I am driving up to Tampa to set up camp for the bar (Tues and Weds). So I thought I would give the old high school osmosis trick a try...
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David Maldow

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Totally Disappointing

I was so excited when I saw this. About time they improved on the old single purpose spoon.
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People
Have him in circles
339 people
sco sno's profile photo
Brett Wilson's profile photo
Ami Barzelay's profile photo
Work
Occupation
Founder & CEO: Let's Do Video
Employment
  • Telepresence Evangelist
    2014
  • Telepresence Options
    Associate Editor, 2011
  • Human Productivity Lab
    Analyst, 2011
  • Wainhouse Research
    Junior Analyst, 2006 - 2011
  • Self Employed
    Environmental Attorney, 1997 - 2006
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Relationship
Married
Story
Introduction
I have an interest in all things tech with a focus on Visual Collaboration.

You may want to put me in circles like...
  • Technology
  • Journalism
  • Videoconferencing
  • Telepresence
  • Videogames
Bragging rights
Passed the bar in three states (NY, LA, FL).
Education
  • Tulane University Law School
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Marlboro High School
Contact Information
Work
Email