If you’re a Comcast customer and come home to find yourself without Internet, you’re not alone. Quite a few customers have learned that they have Comcast Internet down on this lovely day. According to the Comcast  statements, an inventory audit was recently performed which resulted in some customers’ equipment being deleted from their databases.  Since Comcast secures their networks in part by assigning a device (one very specific cable modem) to a port (a very specific address), if yours isn’t on file you can’t connect – even though all the lights on your cable modem, wireless access points and other equipment are happily steady or blinking as they should be.

The best indicator that you’re a victim of this particular mishap is that any time you try to go to a web site (Google, Facebook, anywhere) you get redirected instead to a Comcast page about EOL (that’s End Of Life) equipment.

I helped a longtime customer in Camp Hill with this very issue today, and armed with the right information to provide to your tech support person, you can get through it with a minimum of pain.

Before you call:

1. Power down the cable modem. This will have a few lights on front, some blinking and some solid. On the back, there will be a thick cable (coax cable) and a smaller cable that looks like a large phone cord (Ethernet patch cable). If there’s no power button, just gently pull the power plug.

2. Power down your wireless access points. Most people only have one – it’s at the other end of that Ethernet patch cable from step one.

3. Power down your PCs, laptops, gaming systems, whatever devices are using your Internet connection.

4. Give power back to the cable modem.

5. Wait about two minutes. Now give power back to the wireless access point(s).

6. Wait about two minutes. Now give power back to the devices that use the Internet.

If you can reach the Internet normally at this point, you’re good to go: you’ve gone from Comcast Internet down to up!  If you cannot, and instead get redirected to that frustrating EOL page, it’s time to get a bit more information.  Go look at your cable modem (the friendly little box from step one above).  Somewhere on there, usually the bottom, will be some information you need.  Write it down exactly, take a picture, whatever you need to do in order to contact Comcast and be able to accurately provide the information.  You need the following:

1. Model number.

2. Serial number.

3. MAC address, or just MAC.

Now it’s time to call Comcast.  The key thing to keep in mind when you’re talking to technical support is that they’re people, just like you.  They work long days, just like you.  And guess what?  Lately, they’ve been handling a lot of calls of this nature.  What they’ve been hearing, all day, is “Comcast Internet down”.

Copping an attitude with these people is about as good an idea as copping an attitude with your chef before you’ve eaten or the police officer who just pulled you over for doing fifty-two in a thirty-five.

1. Introduce yourself by name and ask how his or her day is going before you start foaming at the mouth about how your Internet is down and your life is over and his or hers will be too if it’s not back up two minutes ago. Remember, these are people.  That now-rare quality ‘common courtesy’ will go a long way.

2. Explain that everything was working fine until recently.  Tell him or her that when you try to go to any web site, you get redirected to the Comcast EOL page at eol.comcast.com.

3. Don’t talk over your tech support representative, but do let him/her know at an appropriate time that you’ve powered down everything and brought it all back online and the problem remains.

4. Let the representative know that you have the model number, serial number and MAC of the equipment and are happy to provide said information.

5. Your rep might – and in fact should – attempt to verify that you are who you claim to be.  S/he might ask the address of the service, the phone number associated with it, the primary name on the account and even the last four digits of the Social Security Number of the primary name on the account.  This is for your own protection.  Again, your tech support rep doesn’t need your attitude about providing this information and giving attitude won’t get you anywhere fast (except maybe an ‘accidental disconnect’).

6. At this point, a good representative will read back the information you provided to be sure that nothing was lost in translation.  If s/he does not do this or offer to do this, politely request this happen before proceeding.

7. Your rep will update the Comcast database to reflect this information.  Your former problem (Comcast Internet down, in case I’ve rambled so long you’ve forgotten) might be no more.  If it’s still not resolved, you’re on to the next step.

8. Your rep might ask you do to a few things involving your networking equipment.  We’ve already done these if you’re faithfully following this guide, but do them again.  Remember, s/he is trying to help you.

9. Now you should be all set: you’ve moved from a state of Comcast Internet down to Comcast Internet working!  Huzzah!  If not, it’s probably not this specific problem affecting you.  You might want to consider contacting Molnar Home Computing to schedule in-home service.

10. Everything should be wrapping up now.  Say thank you.  Honestly.  You had no Internet, now you have Internet: Internet access is kind of important in this day and age. If your rep went above and beyond the call of duty, was professional and courteous and warm, ask to leave a voice mail for his/her supervisor.  That kind of thing can really make someone’s day.