05-17-2012 01:23 PM
Has anyone else had this EXTREMELY annoying condition? I'll be watching something when a weather alert is issued. A little black bar appears near the top of the screen and something like "An EAS participant has issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning.....(details)" scrolls thru the bar. That I can live with.
What I can't live with is that whenever such an alert is issued, the channel I was watching is automatically changed to WGN and channel selection is disabled. So, I have to watch the alert scroll thru the screen several times before I get my original channel back. This has happened several times. Each time, I've gotton on the online chat to complain and I get the standard "I'm sorry, we'll fix it" kind of response, but it never gets fixed.
I live in Florida where there are a lot of severe weather alerts. If this isn't fixed, I'm going to DirecTV.
05-17-2012 04:37 PM
So the idea is to switch me away from something I'm interested in watching and bring up something I'm not interested in watching and keep me frozen there for several minutes so I'll pay attention to the weather alert??
That's not acceptable. Put the weather alert on over what I'm watching and you've got no trouble, but change my channel and freeze me there for several minutes and I'm dropping Comcast for DirecTV.
05-17-2012 06:15 PM
This is a user to user forum, I am a customer like you. no matter where you go it will be the same thing. If we were under attack from a foreign country would you not want to know about that. That is what this is for its an emergency alert system, that alerts you to emergencies the idea is to make you have to see it and to alert you to these emergencies, they are not run by comcast but by the govt. If you don't like how they operate please call your local elected officials.
05-17-2012 09:20 PM
You're missing the point. I don't object to receiving the alert, or even having it stay on the screen to be sure I notice it. What I object to is having the channel I'm watching changed and not being able to change it back to what I was originally watching until the alert has scrolled thru several times. That's not the government's doing. That's under Comcast's control and they need to change it if they want to keep me as a customer.
05-17-2012 11:02 PM
I live in Sumter County and have a NOAA weather alert system. Tonight, there were at least 5 EAS alerts for Brevard & Velosia counties. (Because my NOAA is programmed for Sumter/Lake counties it was quiet)
I agree the flip to WGN is extremely annoying and should be corrected. There is no need to switch to WGN when providing severe weather alerts such as thunderstorms. Most EAS alerts in other parts of the country will tell you the alert on the station you are tuned to with info to switch to local news/weather station for more information.
Just prior to moving to FL last fall, my area Comcast updated channel lineups. In the process the EAS alert band was altered so alerts were coming for a region nearly 200 miles away....duh!! After several calls the changed it to a local band.....
Comcast can and should correct this problem!!!
05-17-2012 11:11 PM
Ok, so in your area if you think that the channel your watching should be switched to a different channel or stay on what your watching please email here as it seems the emergency situation is not as important as the show you watch. I hope you never get a tornado and you have to evacuate and your watching tv.
To get help, you can drop a note to Comcast corporate customer service (firstname.lastname@example.org).
For the quickest response, please include:
Your full name;
Phone number & an alternate number if possible;
A link to your post.
05-18-2012 06:54 AM
Here is Comcast's "non" response as to why the EAS crawl switches the channel. Note that they were not asked how to "disable" the EAS feature.
Thank you for contacting Comcast, home of the Customer Guarantee. My
name is Rezyl and you have reached Xfinity TV Email Support. I
appreciate the time you took to email us regarding your cable box issue.
I will do my best to assist you with your concern.
John, I understand that you would like to know of you can disable the
EAS message from appearing to your cable box. I completely know the
importance of being able to use the available features of your cable
equipment for your viewing pleasure. I will be happy to provide you
information about EAS message. Rest assured that I will bring you closer
to the resolution of your concern.
Please be advised that as of the moment, you can not disable the EAS
The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is a national public warning system
that requires broadcasters, cable television systems, wireless cable
systems, satellite digital audio radio service (SDARS) providers and,
direct broadcast satellite (DBS) service providers to provide the
communications capability to the President to address the American
public during a National emergency. The system also may be used by state
and local authorities to deliver important emergency information such as
AMBER alerts and whether information targeted to a specific area.
DBS providers must comply with this section by monitoring a state or
local primary source to participate in testing. Tests should be
performed on 10% of all channels monthly. Testing will vary from month
to month, so that over the course of a given year, 100% of all channels
Tests in odd numbered months shall occur between 8:30 a.m. and local
sunset. Tests in even numbered months shall occur between local sunset
and 8:30 a.m. They will originate from Local or State Primary sources.
These monthly tests must be transmitted within 60 minutes of receipt by
EAS Participants in an EAS Local Area or State.
05-18-2012 08:24 AM
We all understand the importance of the Emergency Alert System and we don't want to disable the EAS message. What we don't understand is why the TV channel we are watching is changed to some channel which we do not want to watch. I suspect Comcast is broadcasting the alert over just one channel because it is easier to switch everyone to that channel than it is to broadcast the alert over all channels. Nevertheless, this is extremely frustrating! Especially here in Florida where we get these alerts several times every summertime afternoon. In fact, just as the redgreen43 indicated, frustrating enough to cause a change to a different provider if Comcast can not, or will not, correct the issue.
05-18-2012 08:40 AM
This is not a case of "I think the show I'm watching is more important than receiving potentially life saving information". It's a case of "I've got the information already, but now I'm stuck on a channel I don't want to watch while the alert repeats itself several times".
Again, I'm not asking for the EAS alerts to be disabled--just the part that switches the channel to WGN and keeps it there long after I've seen the alert (which is usually for another county anyway).
Come on Comcast. Take care of this.
05-18-2012 09:22 AM
comcast sets an eas alert channel and scrollls there alert on that channel. Before it used to say the message on the screen then say tune to such and such channel for more details. Unfortunately half the time the channel they had you switch to was qvc or another channel like qvc that wouldn't have more information.
Here it just shows a black screen until the scroll is over.
As for alerts comcast has to do all of the alerts in your area as required by the state and federal governments. I remember a few years ago there were tornado warnings 100 miles south of me but comcast had to offer them to the whole area because it was mandated by the state ema.
05-18-2012 09:36 AM
This started about 2-3 weeks ago. It is completely unacceptible. There is no reason that we should be alerted to bad weather that is happening 50-100 miles away, plus have whatever we are watching AND recording, be hijacked. Comcast needs to fix this. A banner across the channel we are currently watching should be sufficient. If they don't change it, I will be looking into other tv and internet options.
05-18-2012 09:40 AM
Wow, what a surprise. Once again the government is intruding into our lives at their whimsy. This is completely wrong. There is no reason why they MUST control our tv viewing to this degree.
05-18-2012 10:49 AM
There's no way this is an elected officials' problem. Government can mandate that there be an emergency alert system. I've got no problem with that. That's a good thing.
However, there's no way my county commission, state legislature or even the Federal government is telling Comcast "You must switch everyone to WGN and hold them prisoner there while you scroll your EAS alerts".
As a Comcast customer, I'm asking them to display the alerts over the channel I'm watching. If they are unwilling to do that, then I as a consumer have the right to take my business elsewhere.
Anybody from Comcast want to chime in here?
05-18-2012 12:30 PM
I don't believe we will ever get a rational explanation from the clearly automated email response system (a Comcast computer looks for keywords in the original email and cobbles together a reply).
Here was my follow up email: "Comcast's response to inquiry 10069597 was non-responsive.
The question is: Why does the EAS crawl switch channels? Why not show the crawl on the same channel as the customer is already tuned to?"
And here was the reply (referencing eventually a test of EAS done last year): Thank you for choosing Comcast, home of Customer Guarantee. You have
reached XFINITY TV support. My name is Jacklyn and I value the time you
spent to contact us today. I am more than happy to assist you with your
I understand that you have issues with the Emergency Alert System (EAS)
and you want to know why the EAS switch channels instead of appearing on
the channel you are watching. I know the importance of having limited
EAS and view it on the same channel you are tuned in to view the full
length of your favorite programs. I will do my best to assist you with
your concern. Rest assured that all the necessary information you need
will be provided, John.
I sincerely apologize for any unpleasant experience you had recently
with your cable service and thank you for bringing this matter to our
We need to hear about any unsatisfactory situations in order to correct
them and to enhance our level of customer service. We appreciate that
you took the time to help us keep our commitment to quality customer
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in coordination with the
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will conduct the country's
nationwide Emergency Alert System (EAS) test. At the conclusion of the
test, customers will return to their regularly scheduled programming.
We have been working diligently to minimize the impact to our customers
by informing and preparing them for the test through multiple channels.
Customer's will experience the following during the test:
* All programming will be interrupted and channels will force tune to
the EAS messaging channel (the front of their box will read EAS).
* DVR recordings scheduled during the time of test will be interrupted
and may be lost.
* Video On Demand will be interrupted during the test, but customers
will be able to continue viewing where they left off following the test.
They can return to their program in the Guide under Saved Programs and
click resume PLAY.
* While we do not anticipate any interruption outside of the test, in
rare cases, customers' may need to use their remote control to channel
up and then channel down or simply power-cycle the set top box to fully
05-18-2012 01:40 PM
Agreed. Dealing with the automated e-mail or chat system is a grand waste of time. That's why I raised this issue here where hopefully a real, live, knowledgable Comcast person could fully understand what the problem is and see why we the customers are ticked off at this.
I refuse to believe that it's technically impossible to show EAS alerts over all channels at once. I'm just hoping that there are enough of us willing to switch providers over this to get Comcast's attention. Otherwise, I guess we'll just have to quietly go somewhere else.
05-18-2012 06:01 PM
I can't believe all the "feel good" padding they put in these things:
... I value the time you spent to contact us today. I am more than happy to assist you with your concern. ...
... I will do my best to assist you with your concern. Rest assured that all the necessary information you need will be provided ...
... I sincerely apologize for any unpleasant experience you had recently with your cable service and thank you for bringing this matter to our attention.
We need to hear about any unsatisfactory situations in order to correct them and to enhance our level of customer service. We appreciate that you took the time to help us keep our commitment to quality customer care.
Does anyone actually appreciate this "fluff"?
05-20-2012 03:47 PM
I can't believe all the "feel good" padding they put in these things:
Does anyone actually appreciate this "fluff"?
Of course not, but they can't just say "Sorry, that's the way it is, please go away."
05-20-2012 08:56 PM
I have also had this situation and live in Florida and it should be fixed. I had to change channels after the alert was posted. Couldn't change anything with the remote. Will you fixe this?
05-21-2012 12:30 PM
For what it's worth, I sent an e-mail to the address that rog286713 suggested. I just got a call back saying that EAS alerts are NOT supposed to change the channel and that my problem is resolved. Obviously I can't verify that until the next EAS alert, but it's nice to know that Comcast did listen, they acknowledged that what was happening to me wasn't right and supposedly they've fixed it.
06-01-2012 12:29 PM
Just had the first EAS alert since the "fix". It seems like the "solution" is now for the alert to take the whole screen. Before, the alert scrolled thru a horizontal black box with most of the channel video still visible. Now the whole screen is black while the alert scrolls thru several times. Also, when the alert went off, it was still on WGN for half a second before switching back to the channel I was watching.
So, you've really gained nothing in terms of letting me get back to watching my channel of choice. There's a small decrease in the aggravation factor since it no longer looks like I'm being switched to a channel I don't want, but you've still locked me out of watching what I want long after I've gotten the alert message. Not good.
Now here'e the really strange part. I've discovered this only happens on the TV hooked to the HD box. The regular TV's still hooked directly to the cable out of the wall jack don't get the alerts. So it looks like the best solution is just to go in the other room.....
06-01-2012 05:32 PM
I am EXTREMELY upset about this as well.. for an entirely different reason. When there is an emergency in my area it does the hole Beep beep thing and all my tv's switch to a non local station and I can't change them back.. That seems real save!!!
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