Comcast Prowler?

Based on the information I received from 911 dispatch, it would seem Comcast is trying to get some of their contractors killed.

Just after three o’clock this morning my dogs started going crazy, barking and banging against their crates. Normally, they only do this when someone is at the front door. I get out of bed to see what’s going on and notice a light moving across my lawn. Cracking the blinds, I see someone with a flashlight crouched over the green utility box at the edge of my yard. There’s not a vehicle in sight. This, to me, seems a little suspicious. Thinking it would be better to be safe than sorry, I pick up the phone to call 911. There’s no dial tone. Needless to say, I’m more than a little nervous at this point.

I leave the lights off and walk to the room where we keep the dogs, letting them out of their crates. They run downstairs and stand at the front door barking like mad. I follow then and check the phone downstairs it now has a dialtone, so I dial 911. The operator answers, “911 Can I help you?” I explain what’s going on, he confirms my name, address, and telephone number then says they’ll be sending someone to check it out. The whole conversation seems oddly informal. I look out the window again and now see the guy with the flashlight walking quickly down the street away from the utility pole.

I pick up my cell phone and call 911 again, the operator answers, “Gwinnett County 911 Dispatch.” I explain that I had just placed a call and wanted to confirm that a police officer was on the way. “What did you report?” I explained what I had told the other operator.

“When did you report it?”

“Just a few minutes ago.”

“Is there a vehicle around?”

“No, there’s just some guy in my yard with a flashlight.”

“It’s probably just Comcast, they’ve been doing work in your area for the last couple of months.”

“There’s not a Comcast truck”, (or any other vehicles around), “would you mind sending someone to confirm this?”

After confirming all of my information, she tells me “An officer has been dispatched.” I thank her and hang up.

While I was on the phone the second time, the mysterious man walked down the street and wasn’t visible from any of the windows in the house. We put the dogs back up thinking that maybe he’d disappeared for good. A while later, however, he walks back up the street and starts messing with the utility box in my neighbor’s yard across the street. My wife and I are both watching to see what’s going on, and a station wagon, with its trunk open, pulls up. It stops briefly next to the guy we’ve been watching, then heads down into the cul-de-sac.

The first guy walks back down to the box in our yard. Still not sure what he is up to, we let the dogs back out. They run downstairs and start barking like crazy again. The man with the flashlight quickly starts to gather some stuff from the sidewalk. The station wagon swings back around and stops in front of our house. The first guy throws his stuff in the back and gets in the car. Driving away without bothering to close the trunk.

It all seemed quite suspicious to me, but with the guy and his getaway driver gone, my level of concern dropped, and I was able to go back to bed. If the police ever showed up they didn’t bother to let us know.

My wife called Comcast this morning, and they gave us plenty of reasons why they might have people out working at that hour. However, none of the reasons they gave were backed by records of technicians performing maintenance in our neighborhood.

If this was Comcast, then they ought to take precautions to protect their contractors. Having them working at 3:00 am, without any outward indication that they were anything other than prowlers is an invitation for disaster. If I had let my rottweilers loose or one of my neighbors had confronted this guy with a gun, somebody could have been seriously hurt. If they aren’t going to let us know about maintenance in advance, then at the very least, they need to make sure they are working in very close proximity to a well lighted vehicle with the company name clearly displayed.

The puppies (as we affectionately refer to our 100+ lb. dogs) got some extra treats and head scratches.

6 thoughts on “Comcast Prowler?

  1. Pingback: Comcast News » Blog Archive » Comcast Prowler?

  2. Laura

    I would just like to add the total freakiness and initial panic that this experience evoked, not to mention the loss of at least 2 hours sleep (which is highly unwelcome by us pregnant people). I tried to explain my feelings to Comcast, and they said they’d note it on my account. So somewhere on our account, it probably says something like “Client feels that technicians on her lawn at 3am is less than customer friendly.”
    That’s putting it mildly.

  3. Michael

    This morning I noticed the same type of activity when I left my subdivision at 5:45am. Definatly not a safe situation.

  4. Duncan Connor

    It’s odd. I also live in Gwinnett County, and I think that north atlanta must have the worst comcast customer service in the US – I’d love to see stats on that.
    The local office has contractors that genuinely seem to not give a tiny little crap about service, and customer service folks who seem to not give a crap that they have incompetent field agents. Actually, field agents who are not just barely competent and semi-literate, but also rude and argumentative.
    I don’t know of any organization that treats its customers as badly, and if I hear “the increased bandwidth with digital means we can broadcast mre channels to you” I swear I will want to damage someone. Increased bandwidth should mean more interactive services (for a good model, see BSKYB (Sky) in the UK) instead of great channels like “The Fox Reality TV Channel” and yet more shopping channels.

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