I want to start by apologizing to those of you who came down to our Mount Vernon store to watch the Sounders open up their season this last Wednesday. Anyone who did come down was greeted by a “not authorized” message on our televisions when we tried to turn on the game. Right away Casey called me at home to tell me that they were in fact not receiving the Fox Soccer Channel which was followed by a two day exchange with Comcast’s customer service which I will detail for you all.
Comcast Service Rep. #1: Immediately after receiving that call from Casey I got on the phone Comcast to find out why we weren’t getting the Fox Soccer Channel. I know for a fact that we are suppose to get the Fox Soccer Channel and had watched it previously when we installed the TV’s.
So I get the first rep on the phone and she tells me that the reason we aren’t receiving the FSC is because our bill is past due so some channels had been turned off. Now we did have a billing error that we were waiting for Comcast to correct, but that was a couple of weeks ago and I was fairly certain we were now current. Regardless she insisted we were past due. Rather than argue I ask her if I just pay over the phone with a credit card, can we get our channels turned back on so we could watch the game. She says yes and that is what I do. She tells me that she would send a reset signal to all our boxes and our channels should work soon, but sometimes it takes a little while. I tell her “fine just do it” and pay our “past due” bill on my credit card.
Fast forward to Thursday morning, I get into the office and of course the first thing I find out is that the FSC never did end up coming on and we are currently still getting the “not authorized” message on that channel. We then dug out our bill and of course we were current. The amount due that Rep. #1 insisted I needed to pay was in fact not due till the following Monday.
Comcast Service Rep. #2: Back to the phone we went. We get a hold of Comcast again and explained everything that happened. We spend the next 45 minutes of playing a fun game called check the channel. Basically my dad was on the phone with Comcast, and I was on the phone with Casey at the restaurant. The Comcast guy would keep spouting off channel numbers and asking us if that channel was working for us or not. Casey would then run to the TV, check the channel and report back. After this entirely pointless exercise rep. #2 still can’t figure out why we aren’t getting FSC and tells us he’s going to have to send a tech out.
Comcast Tech Guy: So now Comcast sends a guy to our store to check whats going on. Once he arrives he immediately calls us at the office and tells us “well my records here show that you are only suppose to get channels 1-99.” We explain to him that is simply false. It should be obvious that isn’t true since all of our boxes are HD boxes and we are getting all the HD channels (except FSC of course). We argue back and forth about which channels we should and should not be receiving but come to the conclusion that it isn’t a technical issue that is preventing us from getting the FSC.
Mark, our sale rep: So next we get on the phone with Mark. He is basically a contractor who isn’t employed by Comcast, but contracts for them to work with commercial accounts. We talk to him, and remind him when we signed our contract one of things we wanted to make sure was included was the FSC. He confirms that we should be getting all the HD channels and our sports package should include FSC. Since he doesn’t work directly for Comcast he suggest we get back on the phone with them.
Comcast Service Rep. #3: Back to the phones, again. Keep in mind it’s well into the afternoon now and we have been dealing with this problem most of the day. We get yet another rep who we explain everything that has happened to this point. She starts punching some stuff and then says “Oh, I see the problem. We lost the rights to broadcast the Fox Soccer Channel to commercial outlets.”
Yup, that’s right. Several hours of our time and 5 different reps later we finally found out that sometime between the time we signed up for Comcast and the start of soccer season Comcast lost the rights to the FSC for commercial outlets. That means any bar or restaurant that has Comcast for service won’t have the FSC.
So the bad news is that until Comcast and Fox resolve this issue we won’t have the Fox Soccer Channel. The good news for Sounders fans is that most of the Sounders games are on King/Kong, NBCSN or ESPN. As far as I can tell it’s just the Champions League games that are on FSC. So we won’t have the return leg of the Sounders vs. Santos Laguna this Wednesday (3/14) but we should have the MLS season opener next Saturday (3/17).
Now how much you want to bet the next Comcast bill I get includes a $100 charge for that tech visit…