Adventures with Comcast

Saturday afternoon I was working on my MacBook (paying a bill) and adding the XFinity IPAD app to my IPAD. This was about 5:20 pm

I downloaded the App and it asked me to authenticate my account. I entered my Comcast user ID and password and did the submit.

NOTHING happened .... or did it

Kathee was at the dining room table working on a review on her company HP laptop (Windows 7). She was uploading a saved file. My MacBook lost Interet connectivity as well. And the IPAD basically froze up! Fun stuff.

My son had just arrived for dinner so we took a dinner break. I ate quickly and left the table before the others. I called Comcast tech support.

Comcast denies that there is a link between their IPAD app and the resulting problem but this is my hypothesis and I believe that the evidence is strong.

I turned out working with Comcast tech support from 6 until 9 and then from 10:30 until 11 when I gave up from exhaustion. During that time:
  • I talked to (I lost track but I estimate 5-8) different reps. James, Grechen, Vernon and Chuck come to mind.
  • All were kind and generally helpful except for Chuck who blamed the problem on my NetGear Router
  • Finally after multiple resets of the Motorola Comcast provided cable modem; system reboots (2 MacBooks, 1 Linux), and the NetGear we were at the point that I had internet connectivity directly connected to the Motorola cable modem.
  • Comcast had sent two cookies (we could see this as we examined the cookies on Kathees' MacBook) that forced the browser homepage to go to an Xfinity authentication page. I don't have a screen shot of this as we were busy doing other things. Entering an account # and phone # and then a submit lead to a page that said that connectivity could not be established
  • If we deleted the cookie ... and rebooted the MacBook and opened the brower ... the cookie was again implanted! And we could not access the Internet again. Back to the Xfinity authentication page
  • Interestingly I could on-line chat with a Comcast tech person.
  • I gave up at 11:00 ... my mind and body were exhausted. A Saturday night of family time was wasted and I was ready for bed.
  • In the night I talked in my sleep about the Comcast router. Kathee did not record it or transcribe it but obvously it was on my mind
  • On "joke" in this was Chuck's contention that it was my wireless router's problem and that the issue was mine and not there's. Also a denial of the obvious link between the IPAD authentication step and the cookie being passed down to our systems.
Image above. My very nice NetGear wireless router.
  • Kathee had to work the final Wachovia / Wells Fargo conversion event this weekend and so was downtown until 12:30 on Sunday
  • I had a lot of time to think the whole issue over:
    • I had one wired working Internet connection directly connected to the Comcast modem.
    • But wireless did not work and even connecting the NetGear up did not work. The cookie was again being passed and we were in that authentication loop again.
    • Where was that cookie coming from?
    • I seriously thought (my son suggested this) dumping Comcast and going with Century Link.
    • I also thought that perhaps this mess fried my NetGear.
    • Then I had an idea that is simple and proved to be the solution
  • Kathee straightened out a paper clip and used the end to reset the NetGreat router. (It had been powered off for hours ... but the reset returns it to factory settings)
  • My hypothesis is that there is a PROM in the Router that was retaining the cookies
  • Well when we did the hard-reset everything cleared up and we were back in business!
Below is an image of the back of the NetGear wireless router with the reset button circled.
Kathee suggested that I call Comcast tech support to inform them of this but frankly I was on the phone enough with them. But my advice ... avoid the XFinity IPAD app .... like the plague! Alien chest burster comes to mind! (Image below)

1 comment:

  1. you can get a huge technical support online where the experts’ technicians will solve your issues over the phone or chat or email instantly. So call Now Comcast email support via comcast customer service number.


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