"Your incabulator is leaking, sir, and we need to realign it."
September 14, 2012 3:10 PM   Subscribe

Comcast just called me and says that something in my house is feeding noise back into their system, and that I need to schedule someone to come out and look around at everything. Is this legit?

We have Comcast for internet, cable and phone service. Nothing has touched the wiring since the day the stuff was installed, but I just got a call from them saying that a service tech driving around detected leakage that was 'feeding back' into their system, and that "it could continue building up until it caused problems elsewhere. "

Nothing has changed in our cable setup inside since it was installed, and we've not noticed any change in any of our services, but they want me to commit to a service window for someone to show up and look around. It smells a little weird to me. I'm a little irritated at having to now set aside time for a problem which may or may not really exist.

Has anyone else dealt with one of these? A service manager is supposed to call me back to explain it a little better. This first guy was just the dispatcher/appointment-setter.
posted by jquinby to Computers & Internet (13 answers total)
I have never personally heard of this happening. I would call Comcast's customer service and ask them to confirm.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 3:13 PM on September 14, 2012

Being the suspicious sort, I'd look up Comcast contact info (NOT whatever callback number this caller might have given you!) and call them to check --- it's possible this is legit, but there have been too many scams/robberies that start like this.....
posted by easily confused at 3:14 PM on September 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Google their call-back number, too, if you haven't.
posted by small_ruminant at 3:15 PM on September 14, 2012

I had this happen last year, with Comcast. I called the regular line, and they verified this and scheduled my appointment for me the next day. It had seemed really sketchy to me, but apparently it's a real thing. They actually shut off our cable for a day, much to my chagrin. The tech came out (because this was so weird we verified everything way more than usual), did something or other, and they turned out cable back on.
posted by Nimmie Amee at 3:17 PM on September 14, 2012

RF leakage is a real thing and they will happily shut off your cable service for it. Here's a forum post about it that is pretty informative.
posted by Sternmeyer at 3:18 PM on September 14, 2012

Someone describes something related here, though it's not very helpful. They don't provide any closure or conclusion, but the writer is suspicious. I am, too. I'd call Comcast and ask about it, and then I'd probably ignore it anyway.
posted by juliplease at 3:19 PM on September 14, 2012

Just Googled the number, and it does indeed match their local office. That forum post is good information, too. Just seems a bit out of the blue, and I tend to be a bit on the cynical side w/r/t these sorts of things. Allrighty then...if/when he calls back, I guess we'll schedule it.

posted by jquinby at 3:23 PM on September 14, 2012

I work part time as a Comcast customer service rep and yes this type of thing can happen. If the feedback is bad enough and/or disrupting other customers, you could lose service till we can get a tech there to fix it. Call 1 800 COMCAST, get to tech support and they will be able to verify this for you.
posted by googlebombed at 4:14 PM on September 14, 2012

So, Comcast called back and explained that this issue could be caused by something as simple as a loose connection up to a bad cable run. Whichever the cause, they're on the hook to fix it within a certain period of time per the FCC. Someone will be by tomorrow morning.

Thanks, everyone.
posted by jquinby at 5:10 PM on September 14, 2012

Happened to me last year. Completely legit, especially that the number matches up.
posted by dave*p at 5:11 PM on September 14, 2012

Yeah, I had this happen a few years ago. Except they (Cox) didn't call, they just shut off our service at the box and waited for us to call them. They came out and replaced all the ends on our cables, and all the splitters too. It was a three hour job (!!) but we never had any more problems and it improved our signal quality so there was an upside!
posted by everybody polka at 5:14 PM on September 14, 2012

It was a three hour job (!!) but we never had any more problems and it improved our signal quality so there was an upside!

The upside to these kind of problems. We had them come out a couple of years ago and they replaced all the cabling from the street and our service has been amazing since.
posted by bongo_x at 7:52 PM on September 14, 2012

So Comcast just left - there was a bad run of cable in the house somewhere. That strand, however, doesn't appear to actually connect to anything else in the house, though it was still connected outside. The previous owners had run cable to every room; we only have one TV.

He disconnected the noisy strand, problem solved. Here and gone in less than 5 minutes.
posted by jquinby at 6:20 AM on September 15, 2012

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