Why cable installation contractors suck

  • joebert
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Post 3+ Months Ago

My cable/internet went out for an hour or two today. After 15 minutes or so I went to see if there was a utility truck in the area working on the lines or something.

I didn't see any trucks in the area, but I did see this where my line traces back to from the appartment.

Attachments:
rats-nest.jpg

What a mess.



That whole nest appears to be cable lines.
Note the hanging disconnected lines, there's more of them off to the left comming from the other building.
It looks like the contractors have just been jury rigging the connections to this place for quite awhile now.

I'll be sending this and a few more photos to my cable company, not that I expect them to do anything considering I'm probably the only one who ever pays their cable bill around here, but damn, what a mess. :|
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • spork
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Post 3+ Months Ago

...wow.
  • jflynn
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Post 3+ Months Ago

that is really sad.

when I was in the Army the conection outside our barracks looked like that. the trick was to figure out which unhooked wire was for your own room and then hook it up....not that I would ever do that :P
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Thats.....not cool. You would think that with that crappy of a job it would have failed sooner and they would be getting constant calls for lousy service. It kind of reminds me of old pictures of the old DC electrical transmission lines back over a hundred years ago when Tesla and Edison were both trying to light up major cities for the first time ever, those were rats nests of wires also.

Here is a big huge picture of something similar to Thomas Edison's power lines. Thats a dead short waiting to happen.
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

My first thought would be a serious case of cable theft. Splitter after splitter? C'mon.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Here's a close up. (be sure to click for fullsize)

Those are commercial splitters, the ones the cable company uses. The only thing cable thieves will ever do at the pole is hook everyone up so it can't be traced back to them. This is definately the work of contractors jury rigging things.

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rats-nest2.jpg

Fullsize is [2200 X 1700]

  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

That's just plain sad.
  • righteous_trespasser
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Post 3+ Months Ago

wow ... that's crazy ...
  • joebert
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Post 3+ Months Ago

A year later the lines still look exactly like that, but now I'm starting to get service interruptions after an "autit" in my neighborhood.

Brighthouse Networks is more concerned with having techs talk you into upgrading your subscription than they are about making sure your existing subscription works properly.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

So I went out to the buildings box since I'm the only person connected to have cable in my half of the building and looked around.

I'm on the wrong OS to upload the photos from my camera at the moment, but I made sure to take photos of the lines, connectors, and other cable related trash they left laying on the ground when they did the audit.

I also took pictures of the rats nest of a box where the lines from the pole split out into the apartments.

I traced my problem to a line I had to run through the living room of my house when they disconnected my second line about a year ago. for some reason this long line will work for the TV and digital cable box, but not the internet. It was working just fine until a few days ago when they started screwing around at this building to do an audit and switch my service to digital.

So, I decided since I'm the ONLY person connected to my buildings box I would reconnect my second line. My initial line goes into the living room, the second line goes into my computer room. Brighthouse is the one who hooked both of them up to begin with, but I wasn't here when one of the techs responded to an issue and disconnected the one that goes to the Internet so I couldn't bring up the obvious issue of how am I supposed to get the Internet im paying for if there's no line going in there.

There's supposed to be a tech coming out here tomarow, and even though I fixed it and have my services up and running again I'm going to let them come out anyways just so they can see how it's supposed to look when it's done RIGHT. :)

I really hope they give my guff about tampering with the line, I'm dying to hear their answers to why placing the splitter between the pole and two lines outside my place is any different than placing the splitter inside my walls, I didn't bypass the grounding carrage or anything, it's all done right. I hope they spit out the usual "you can't have a splitter on your line" garbage, how else am I supposed to get the cable and internet I PAY for if I can't run the line to both things ?
  • joebert
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I figured it out.

If I fix my own problem myself, Brighthouse will call me and ask if my service is working an hour before the tech is supposed to come out when my signal shows up on their system.

When they call, I tell them my service is running now, but I went outside and messed around with the jury rigged mess their techs left in their box in order to make it work and they should probably come out and make sure I did it right.

When the tech gets here, I walk outside with them and point out what lines go where, the extra parts the last techs left behind, and tell them exactly what I did, including the coaxial end piece I had to refit after twisting the line off to deal with the anti-tampering end piece covers.

Not only will they clip my bum end piece off and crimp a new one on there, but they'll also clean up the box and close it up so I don't have to do that again.

It seems that if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself, then tell them about it so they can come out and out-do you. Or something like that. I'm just happy I don't have a line running through my living room for me to trip over anymore.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Our guy that installed out satellite tv was great, the dish was mounted to the garage nice and sturdy, he replaced the grass pretty well where he dug the trench to burry the cable, where the cable came up to the house and went into a splitter he mounted a nice water proof box, the cables are all nice and straight and nailed to the wall cleanly, he even put little rubber seals on the walls where he drilled through to bring the cable inside. I was really impressed with this guy.
  • joebert
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Post 3+ Months Ago

It's always smooth on the initial installation. I think it's when the contractors get a chance to cut corners, which is after there's existing lines/etc there where things start to go down hill.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

lol im a cable contractor and have been one for 6 years. the main prob with most cable contractors is that the the company they are contracting for does not have there own techs do installs. for instance i have worked for comcast/infinity. for 6 years and have recently switched companies to now charter communications. contractors handle 95% of ALL INSTALLS. then to make it worse they get payed by the jobs cause that is the only way the cable company will sign a contract there is no such thing as a hourly payed cable contractor.

why do they not pay by the hour??? next time you are out late at night look for a cable contract truck. i am more than sure you will find one at times out there till 10pm or later. the hours we do is sad. just yesterday i worked 15 hours and the day before 13 and so on. and it is a every day repeat. the work and performance you will receive will depend on the tech. it does not matter if you are a contractor or a in house tech employed directly by the main cable company. as a matter of fact you want a contractor. sad as it is to say. the in house techs are over payed and there quality is poorer.

for instance in house techs in charter communications are not required to run drops at least not in the areas ii work in. drops are the main feed wire from the pole to your house. so if they are at your house to do a install by some miracle of god. but they are getting bad signal readings from the grounding block and good signal readings at the pole then that means they will have to run a drop. but guess what?? they are not required too. they will install your equipment and hit the road. and wait for you to call for service probs. then when a contractor comes out and sees the prob or if the inhouse techs sends out a SRO they will send a contractor to replace the drop.

there is no good point to bad point to getting contractors over inhouse techs. contractors are over worked and get payed by the hour so they are forced to cut corners to finish the job quickly to then get on to the next job so they can finish that one and keep in mind contractors get an average of 12 jobs per day. that is 12 different installs 12 different houses 12 different issues to try and solve.

or you will get a over payed in house tech that is lazy and does not want to do the work period and will send in a SRO for the big stuff to burden down the contractors even more. dont be fulled either by the in house tech being payed by the hour and think "well if he getting payed by the hour wont he take the time to do it right??"

the answer to that is NO!!! in house techs get payed by the hour. but they get payed a minimum for every job. so for example if they go to a house and it says on there work order will pay for four hours. if they finish the job in 10 minutes they STILL GET PAYED 4 FOUR HOURS!!! so why would they want to take the time to do it right they get payed the four hours whether they are there or not for that four hours. and if anything goes wrong after the install they will send a contractor to fix the prob. keep in mind that cable companies do not make money off of the installs contractors do. which is why they take on so much work cause the more installs they have there contractors do. the more they get payed. but at the same time that is why the cable companies dont want there techs taking time to do a install right they rather have there techs out doing line work at the poles.

and by line work i mean the actual line wire not the cable lines that go to your house those are different. so cable companies dont care about the quality of there in house techs on a install. cause that is what they are paying the contractors for.

i am not making excuses for the quality of contractor work and to be honest i dont see to many polls as nasty as the one you posted in your picture. im just saying try to understand how things are. the entire system is messed up.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Had another experience with cable a few months ago. A contractor came out to do the install months earlier and ended up running a new line from the pole to the house because he didn't like the way the old one was grounded.

Well, a few months ago we had a storm and that new lines ground/support snapped at the point the contractor was worried about, but it was his new line that snapped. Not only did it snap the support, but it ripped the soffit off the building on it's way down.

I called the cable company and they tried to give me the usualy run around about oh we'll have someone out in a few days. I mentioned multiple times that the line was hanging across my driveway but it made no difference until I said "Well, it's hanging across MY F***ING driveway, if someone isn't out here soon I'm going to have to go out and cut the line".

They had someone out to fix the line before I got home from work the next day.

When it comes to dealing with cable company support people, I've found that they don't give a damn about anything but their network. If I have a problem with my service, I don't threaten, but I let them know I'm going to fix it myself, and they get scared, and fix it before I get a chance to screw something up. :)
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Post 3+ Months Ago

how it is even possible to become so...
you are to turn to your internet provider and show it to him.
  • Smokenjoe
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Post 3+ Months Ago

This whole thread is loads of wonderful information.

I am currently 2 months deep into my own "dealings" with my cable company (see my threads in Windows forum, its been a nightmare), and I am going to try the "fix it or Ill find your box and fix it my damn self" approach. I am tired of paying for somthing I am not recieving.

Bravo.

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