Roy Streete, a Comcast repairman, finished working at my house in Midlothian, Va., at 11:10 p.m. last Sunday. (That's the moon rising behind Roy's van.)Cable repairmen have a bad rap.
Think about Jim Carrey as the lonely and slightly disturbed cable installer in the 1996 movie “The Cable Guy.”
Then, there is the 2006 YouTube video featuring a Comcast repairman in Washington, D.C., who instead of fixing a router fell asleep on a customer’s couch. The homeowner’s video generated negative buzz and media coverage, including in The New York Times and on MSNBC.
With these stories swirling in my head last Sunday, I hoped for a pain-free installation of Comcast’s new X1 TV service and two new phone lines.
Unfortunately, things didn’t start out well. My 2:30-4:30 p.m. appointment window passed without a call, text or email. Frustrated, I called Comcast.
Within 10 minutes, a Comcast repairman called saying, “I’m Roy Streete, and I’ll be at your place in about 20 minutes.”
When Roy arrived about 5:30 p.m., he removed his boots in my foyer as I briefed him on the repairs. He smiled and got to work. He quickly installed a new Comcast router despite a complicated mess of Ethernet and phone cables in a box high on the wall in my garage. That was only part of Roy’s work order.
He patiently conducted troubleshooting for the whole-house DVR and three cable boxes. Roy ensured our high-definition signal was picture perfect.
By now it was 9 p.m. I offered Roy a water bottle and a snack as he darted between my garage and his minivan. He’d been working since 8 a.m., and his fiancée had the flu. Clearly, he wasn’t having the best day, but he never let it show.
Roy remained positive, smiled, focused and even joked a little as he answered my questions. Most importantly, he kept me in the loop with good communication.
As we talked, I couldn’t help but think Roy shouldn’t be installing Comcast services, but instead should be teaching customer service to everyone at Comcast.
For the next two hours, Roy kept tinkering with multi-colored phone wires in my garage. He was determined to find a solution to keep me connected. Unfortunately, he didn’t get the new phone lines entirely working, but I was able to do so two days later thanks to the electronics company that installed the wiring in my home.
Just as he was going to say good night, Roy said, “I need to check your attic TV one more time. I was thinking something might not be quite right.” Sure enough, the TV wasn’t playing audio. Roy tried a new HDMI cable and it worked. I was impressed with his attention to detail at this late hour.
Finally, at 11:11 p.m. Roy called it a day, leaving behind a happy Comcast customer.
Jonathan Rhudy has a hyper-connected home once again thanks to the caring and customer-focused service of Roy Streete.
The small business owner and father of three rarely has time to watch TV, but when he does, he’s usually streaming Netflix.