In this area, our choices for television providers are Mediacom cable or satellite (Dish, Direct TV).  And we’ve always been Mediacom customers just because we’ve been reluctant to mount a dish on the house.  After every interaction with Mediacom, though, I think we’re stupid for letting that keep us from trying something different … and last week was no exception.

Since we are getting ready to have the house painted soon and we are planning to clean up the crazy mess of phone and cable wires running on the outside of our house at the same time, we figured we’d better get everything ready so that the vast majority of the cables could be taken off when the house is being prepped for paint.

Just to give you an idea, here is one of several areas where the exterior phone/cable wiring has gotten a little out of hand. Yuck.

Uck.  An abundance of "exterior wiring" for phone and cable.

Anyway, we’ve actually done a lot over the last year or so to fish new phone, ethernet, and coax wires in the house (more on that later), so most of the wires on the outside (including all of them in the picture above) are no longer in use and can just be removed.  The exception to that was the coax running to the television in our sunroom and also to the television in our bedroom.  Since both of these rooms were long ago converted from porches to living space and there’s no basement, etc., fishing wires inside the house is pretty much impossible.  So, we decided we would make an exception for these two locations and very neatly install two new, short runs from the basement (where cable enters the house) to those rooms.  No splitters outside, we’d paint the cables to match the house, they’d be tucked behind gutters and along roof lines … you get the idea.

This was totally a project we could have (should have) done ourselves, but we needed to focus on other things this weekend and we were trying to get everything wrapped up before yesterday (when the painters started) so we wouldn’t be holding them up.  So, we called Mediacom to run the new cable on the outside of the house, thinking it would be nice to not have to worry about this part of the project.

On Friday, two guys came out and worked on running 2 new cables (for the sunroom and master bedroom).  They were here for 2 1/2 hours.  In those 2 1/2 hours, they:

1) Pulled new cable through an existing hole into the master bedroom closet.  (There was already cable coming in here that had been previously disconnected from a splitter outside, so they just connected the new wire to the old one and pulled it through.)

Pile of new cable in master closet.

2) Connected another new length of cable to the existing one going in to the sunroom TV (not sure what was going on with the extra slack there).

New cable connections for sunroom & master bedroom.

3) Piled the other ends of both cables outside, near the location in the foundation where we had asked them to drill a hole and run the wire into the basement so that it could be connected to the 8-way splitter that we are using for the entire house.  They left us a huge amount of cable – way more than we would ever need.  (The pile of cable is behind that bush, next to the step.  Sorry for the crappy picture!)

Piles of cable left outside.

4) Loosely tacked the wires to the house in a couple of spots.

A couple of tacks on the new cable.

At this point, I agreed to all of their excuses for why they couldn’t complete the work (leaving two cable connections that worked when they got there in a non-functioning status) just so they would leave.  In case anyone is interested, their complaints/excuses for not finishing included:

  • Not being sure if they had a masonry bit to drill through the foundation (I told them they could go through the siding just above the foundation).
  • Not wanting to drill into the basement because there is some electrical nearby and they might take our power out while drilling the hole.  (Yes, there are some power wires in the vicinity, but, no, not something that would be a concern for most people operating a drill.)
  • Wanting to install a splitter on the outside of the house (rather than running the cables to the basement) to avoid causing signal degradation (although they couldn’t explain how adding a splitter outside would be better).
  • Wanting to install a splitter on the outside of the house (rather than running the cables to the basement) to avoid causing problems with our internet service (but they couldn’t explain why having the cables come from the basement would cause problems with our cable internet – especially since the connection to the cable modem wasn’t changing with any of this).
  • Wishing that my husband was home so they could explain to him why a splitter outside would be better.  (Notice a theme?)
  • Commenting that my husband must be in IT (actually, we both are) since only IT guys would make a request to run the cable inside rather than use a splitter on the side of the house.  (Really?)

Anyway, after 2 1/2 hours of fielding complaints/excuses about every 15 minutes and re-explaining what we wanted, the goal of the project, and why we did not need a splitter outside about 5 times, they finally wore me out and I agreed it was fine for them to leave the work incomplete and just go.

So, this Saturday, when we had hoped to not be dealing with this, Chad drilled holes into the foundation, cut the cables to a proper length and put ends on them, routed them to the panel in the basement, and plugged them in.  He also cleaned up and secured all of the cabling Mediacom ran on the outside of the house and finished running the cable through the closet to the bedroom TV.

The two new cables leave the house just above that first row of siding.  A lot of the remaining cables will get cleaned up when the service entrance is buried in a few weeks.

The two new cables leave the house just above that first row of siding.

The new cables are connected to the coax splitter in the bottom of the panel.

The new cables are connected to the coax splitter in the bottom of the panel.

The mess of wires outside the sunroom is all cleaned up.

The mess of wires outside the sunroom is all cleaned up.

In the end, everything is done the way we wanted it, but we also had to do most of it ourselves.  The part Mediacom did seriously should have taken one person no more than 30 minutes, including the time to dig out and put away the ladder and tools.  It was a totally frustrating experience on so many levels  and definitely another lesson in doing the work ourselves if we want it done right – even for simple jobs like this one.  I’d like to say this is the first experience we’ve had like this with Mediacom, but it’s really not – we had so many troubles with them the time a tree fell on the line and we needed it raised back up to the pole a few years back.  It was all the same kind of crap then too – so many excuses and so much inefficiency.

We aren’t sure yet what the charge will be for their visit (or if we will even be charged) – the guys at our house last week said some customers are charged and some aren’t (what?).  If we get a bill for their work, though, I’m planning to give customer service a call to see if we can negotiate a discount for a job not even half done.

My major concern now, though, is that we will be calling their maintenance crew again soon to switch our house from overhead to underground service when we bury the electrical, phone, and cable service in just a couple of weeks.  If this last visit is any indication of how that request will go, something tells me we will be working with them on this for the rest of the summer, at least.  Stay tuned – here’s hoping I’m wrong!

9 thoughts on “Our Most Recent Experience with Mediacom.

  1. MediacomChris says:

    Hello Sarah,

    The experience you had with us at Mediacom is not what you should expect and I hate that you had to go through these issues. I would love to help make this right for you and work to make a better impression of us as a company. Feel free to reach out to me and my team directly at socialmediateam@mediacomcc.com or on our support forums https://support.mediacomcable.com/forum and we would be glad to work with you on any issue going forward and to make sure nothing like this happens again. We would also love for a chance to chat and make things right for these issues you have already had.

    Thanks,
    Chris

    1. Sarah says:

      Hi Chris,

      Great – thanks for the response. I’ll drop you an email. Looking forward to seeing what we can do to fix this.

      Thanks,
      -Sarah

  2. Jan says:

    This is why my husband and I just do everything ourselves. We’ve found that it eliminates a lot of frustration.

    Our house was wrapped on wires. There was a security system at one time that used phones and they were every where. Then there was the old fashion TV antenna wires and then cable where they went to each room from the outside instead of running it from the basement.

    We haven’t decided yet whether we will drop Comcast or go with satellite. Everyone says the way to go is bundle but who knows. I do know that my bill started out at 93 for cable and net and now it is 143 and I don’t know how it got there. Dollar her dollar there and before you know it, your bill is huge.

    Happy to hear that they are willing to work with you on your issues.
    Jan recently posted…Finished the grey paint

    1. Sarah says:

      Gosh – sounds like you are dealing with a lot of the same stuff we are. I swear cables grow on the outside of our house!

      Our cable/internet bill is in the same boat as yours. I remember we paid between $95 and $100 a month for both about 10 years ago and our bill now is $139 a month … and, like you, I’m not sure how it got there. It just creeps up. I just get frustrated when I know the cost of service is going up like crazy and then the maintenance crew that comes out is so wasteful with their time – and also the amount of unnecessary cable they left. Ug.

      Anyway, I sent an email last night. Fingers crossed they’ll be able to help us get it squared away … and help us figure out how to avoid a repeat when we bury our cable service in a couple of weeks!

  3. MediacomChris says:

    Hi Sarah,

    I just got word back from the field supervisor who let me know they spoke to you and will work to make sure everything is done properly and will go smoothly moving forward. If you have any concerns or problems feel free to reach out to me anything!

    Chris

    1. MediacomChris says:

      If you have any concerns or problems feel free to reach out to me for anything!*

    2. Sarah says:

      Thanks, Chris! I did talk to the field supervisor and he actually stopped out this afternoon to talk with my husband about both the work that was done on Friday and also our upcoming project for switching to underground service. We have his contact information and will work with him directly for the remaining work that is needed in order for the service to our house to be buried. We’re feeling much better about the situation after meeting with him.

      Also, as you mentioned in your email earlier, we really appreciate you making sure that we will not be charged for Friday’s service call.

      I really hate to be the “squeaky wheel” … thanks so much for helping us work through this!

    3. Sarah says:

      A quick follow-up on our project to switch from overhead to underground cable service – we worked with the local field supervisor who scheduled a time last week for 3 technicians to come out and move the aerial wire from the old pole to the new one, hook up to the already-buried wire for the run from the pole to the house, and then install an exterior service panel to make up the connection to the interior wiring. And we are super happy with how smoothly that transition went – they were efficient and did quality work … couldn’t ask for more. Thanks, Chris, for putting us in touch with the right people locally to make that change go so smoothly!

  4. Sherri Wyman says:

    I am in a similar situation where Mediacom has the monopoly over cable where I live. Recently their crew came out to replace the dock and cable at my house. The workers unplugged our RV which had just been stocked for an up coming trip. They didn’t bother to tell us it had been unplugged. With it unplugged it didn’t take long for the freezer to thaw and make a huge mess, plus we lost over $100 in perishable items. The response I got from their manager was “you should take better care of your things”.

    So the lesson is, if you have to have workers from Mediacom come out, make sure you supervise them 100% of the time. If you don’t they will cause damage to your property and blam you for it. FYI the cable quality is still terrible and I had to pay for their trip out in damages. Be wary of their field workers!

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