Comcast DNS issues

In the past, I have written very positively about my experience with Comcast. Great customer service, awsome up-times (as in never going down), and so on.

Well there has been a recent trend and it hasn’t been pretty, although there are some positive signs…

One night about a month ago, we lost all cable/internet for the night. Since it was the first problem ever we had with Comcast, Katie and I pretty much just shrugged it off. We took the realistic view that just like with the power company, one night of no cable or internet would harm us.

Then there was a billing problem. Magically, my bill payment disappeared somewhere in Comcast land and was never posted to my account, despite clearing with the bank. Imagine my shock at a $180 bill arrived in the mail. After a month of haggling with the bank and Comcast, it turns out that Comcast had changed my account # with them when we moved to our apartment in October and never told us of the change, so the check was posted to the old account number. Nevermind the fact that they happily cashed and noted I paid my bills between October and January just fine without issues, only to decide in February that it wouldn’t work anymore. I still am scratching my head on this one…why change the account number when I move across town? I can understand changing the account number when I move across the country, but not across a town! Anyways, the problem was resolved, if not in a belated way.

Then this past week…it has simply been a nightmare. Three nights in the past six days, Comcast has had nationwide outages due to a DNS server problem. Don’t get me started on the stupidity of having every subscriber nationwide use the same two DNS servers. Instead of limiting the damage to regionally if they had regional DNS servers, they basically had their entire nationwide network shut down.

So three times in the past week, we had no internet all evening. I finally found out that we could switch DNS servers manually (should have realized this in the first place), so I programmed my wireless router to use three DNS servers from an awsome list on BroadbandReports.com. Instantly back online. Makes you wonder why they couldn’t do the same on a nationwide level and get everyone back on.

The silver lining in this…Comcast would be crazy to let another nationwide outage happen, especially with the in-roads that DSL is making since it is sometimes cheaper then cable. I would in fact look at Verizon DSL (cheaper and now nearly as fast), except it has an awful reputation in Manchester, NH.

I must thank the person at Comcast Customer Service who was willing to credit me $10.72 for the past week on my account due to the outages. That was very kind and hopefully a sign that things will be getting better.

Note: Just as I was about to post everything, it looks like there is another outage tonight…thank you alternate DNS numbers…

National

General Outage

(Connection to the Internet is currently unavailable. Our technicians are aware of the situation and are working to resolve the issue. This outage was logged at : 4/14/2005 8:22:00 PM EDT.)

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