I'm from Comcast; I'm here to help
Situation. We have a standard Xfinity modem, top of their line, recently installed, with two internal routers, to which is connected a private router connected in turn to a small computer with a big disk that we use for (private stuff like sharing family photos and graphics). Before the Xfinity router was installed, everyting was fine, and we took the small computer off line for an upgrade.

We want to access that computer over the Internet, so we need "port forwarding," which lets the router connect to the attached device for users outside the building (all nicely secured, thank you; don't bother trying). When we set out to reinstall the small computer we could not reestablish port forwarding, because Comcast had added a hurdle in its wisdom, apparently to protect us from ourselves.

Xcomcast: Hello.... followed by the men and 8:34 before answer.

We: Trying to enable port forwarding. We've been trying for over an hour using the swell Xfinity Portal on our computer.

None of the links or buttons seem to respond when clicked.

(We open a three-way conversation over the phone with the third party, in a different location, participating over VOIP.)

Xcomcast: (after several more exchanges) there must be something wrong with your computer.

We: (admittedly in in ever less friendly demeanor). That's nonsense; we are doing the same thing with two different computers using different operating. And BTW, we have a combined 70 years of computing experience. Your website just isn't working!

Xcomcast: That's not possible, our app and our portal are synchronized, and I use them all the time.

We: I'm clicking exactly where you say on the home page, but the choices are not as you describe, AND they don't do anything when clicked.

Xcomcast: We: Xfinity: We:... for several minutes, he said, we said.

Xcomcast: Do you have our app? You can control your service from your phone!

(We agree to download it, and do so, on two phones in two different cities. My associate opens the app while mine is downloading and logs in. )

Xcomcast: Now click (label) on the bottom of the app.

Associate: There is no such label. (Xfinity and we are no longer speaking gently.)

Xcomcast: I'm looking at the app and there it is.

(My download finishes. I sign in and my view is the same as Associate's.)

We: The app we just downloaded is different from what you describe.

Xcomcast: That's not possible. Hold on a minute. (Puts us on hold.)

(Associate and I tunnel into the app and find what we had been looking for. We make the setting adjustment and test the function we had been trying to achieve. The port forwarding responds according to normal standards. For practical purposes the problem has been resolved by ourselves. At the same time, we refresh the Xfinity website and click on the links that had previously been dysfunctional. They work.)

We wait. Xfinity: comes back on line.

We report our results.

Xcomcast: (sheepishly) It appears that we have updated the app. I just downloaded the new version; you're right, the control links have been moved. And you also right about the website, the options from the home page have changed. (He can't quite get "I apologize" to clear his tongue.

(Not only moved and changed, but the hierarchy of functions has moved around within the two systems, meaning that the user manual and help files we had been reading from the start were wildly out of date. It appears that Xcomast changed the system during his shift and told no one.)

We concluded that Comcast (I refuse to call them Xfinity, and I still call Verizon GTE and always write their checks—which they deposit—to the former name; it makes them really mad) has a left hand that does not tell the right hand what it is doing.

We part on friendly terms. Agent says he will report the problem to others in the system.

I ask the agent to put a note in our file to the effect that if we call again, we probably know what we're talking about. Agent asks whether we really want him to do that; I reply in the affirmative. My Associate laughs.

I go to the kitchen and take my hypertension meds three hours early.

Elapsed time: 1:03 plus about two hours trying to do it ourselves.

We believe we saved Comcast 1000s of man hours by bringing their MISTAKE to their attention. We will be waiting with bated breath for their rebate on lost services, payment for our time or a simple thank-you. We'll let you know.

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