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  • Writer Login


    everyone has a story

    Get rid of Comcast for $5

    by | 11 | Oct 9, 2015

    Comcast_caresWalk into any bar and begin telling a Comcast story. Within minutes it will escalate to violence. Each person topping the next with customer disservice and their loathing of one of our least favorite monopolies.

    Everyone has a story. Most have more than one.

    Mine began when I naively thought I could move my “service” with just a phone call. The Comcast phone representative said I had, but there is no evidence anywhere that what Comcast says on the phone has anything to do with fact. Taking their box to my new home was easy. Installation occurred when I surprised their installer by out-waiting him. The first bill was prepaid along with the installation fee. The second bill arrived showing that I had a two month credit on my old account and owed two months, plus late fees on my new account. I called and after several long waits and one unexplained hangup, I was reassured it was fixed and all would was fine. Just to make sure, I wrote a letter complete with a diagram showing how to take the money from the credit and apply it with the enclosed check to the new service account. All was quiet. A month later I owed three months and three late fees, but also had three months of credit. I repeated the process of calling, writing and paying. Days passed. On the one hundredth day we hosted a dinner party. It was a lovely evening in the fall. The windows were open to cool breezes. The cocktails were flowing. Many of our best friends were there. It was perfect. Until… it was interrupted by an unrelenting thumb on my doorbell and loud banging on my front door. The music stopped as I opened the door to seemingly perfect silence. The man-boy in the Comcast costume informed me and my guests that he was cutting off the cable. When I asked why, he replied with all the drama and volume he could muster, “because you are a deadbeat and haven’t paid your bill in three months.”

    No, the story doesn’t end there. I called Directv and in less than two minutes arranged new service and installation the next day. I placed all the Comcast equipment in a box and drove to the Comcast office. Back then, they only had one in Atlanta. A tiny little place across from the Post Office on West Peachtree. The place was packed. The line snaked back and forth in the queue for the only person at the counter. Everyone was angry. I suppose we were all fortunate that Georgia’s idiotic open carry laws were not yet on the books or there would have been bloodshed. When it was finally my turn, I calmly asked to speak to the manager. Surprised, the agent said it wasn’t possible and she could help. I repeated my request a few times until she pointed to the corner and said that I’d have to just wait. Wait I did. A half an hour so had passed when the manager walked out to me and asked what he could do. I didn’t realize that my blood pressure has spiked such that my voice built from almost normal to a gutteral scream while throwing the box to him, “bend over and stick this cable box up your ass.” Yes, the place exploded in applause as I left. Yes, I know you have better stories, please share them in your comments.

    Many of you know that I have been attempting to make a career change. The economy has been particularly unkind to those over 45. Or without a particular compunction for greed. Or not independently wealthy. Or if you’d ever work for a small business. Or had been self-employed. Or experienced. Or could actually do things. I’m damned on all charges. I have been looking for a “job in my vertical” – HR vernacular for almost any job that doesn’t involve being a trainee selling insurance. Since the odds of me even being interviewed, much less hired are less than the mythical college-educated single woman over 40 getting married,* I have also invested (wasted is likely more accurate) a good deal of time imagining new businesses, inventions and products the world is desperately lacking or that next new killer app. Each ideation with its own outlined business plan inevitably concluding a high risk of failure due to inadequate capital.

    Last week I read about AirPaper (yes, I read it on Geek.com). A start up out of San Francisco that will cancel your Comcast service for five dollars. Brilliant. I should have thought of that.

     

    ###

    * In the June 2, 1986 edition of Newsweek titled “Too Late for Prince Charming?” covering the study “The Marriage Crunch,” in which they concluded that a 40-year old single woman was more likely to be killed by a terrorist than marry – a 2.6% chance – 20 years later Newsweek apologized.

    ###
    • Image: That is a logo for Comcast's Community Service program. When you consider how poor Comcast's customer services and juxtapose their corporate community program, I just thought it was funny. I considered many different images. Many used the f word or suggested violence. Watching television just isn't that important. Please come soon, Google fiber.
    Lee Leslie

    Lee Leslie

    I’m just a plateaued-out plain person with too much time on his hands fighting the never ending lingual battle with windmills for truth, justice and the American way or something like that. Here are some reader comments on my writing: “Enough with the cynicism. One doesn’t have to be Pollyanna to reject the sky is falling fatalism of Lee Leslie’s posts.” “You moron.” “Again, another example of your simple-minded, scare-mongering, label-baiting method of argumentation that supports the angry left’s position.” “Ah, Lee, you traffic in the most predictable, hackneyed leftist rhetoric that brought us to the current state of political leadership.” “You negative SOB! You destroyed all my hope, aspiration, desperation, even.” “Don’t you LIBERALS realize what this COMMIE is talking about is SOCIALISM?!?!?!” “Thank you for wonderful nasty artful toxic antidote to this stupidity in the name of individual rights.” “I trust you meant “bastard” in the truest father-less sense of the word.” “That’s the first time I ran out of breath just from reading!” “You helped me hold my head a little higher today.” “Makes me cry every time I read it.” “Thanks for the article. I needed something to make me laugh this mourning.” “If it weren’t so sad I would laugh.” "... the man who for fun and personal growth (not to mention rage assuagion) can skin a whale of bullshit and rack all the meat (and rot) in the larder replete with charts and graphs and a kindness..."“Amen, brother.”

     

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    • Will Cantrell

      Lee: I desperately want to say funny story but I KNOW it’s a story that is sad and true. Normally, I’d be very sympathetic about your Comcast problems but as you say, ‘EVERYONE has a Comcast story’. I’ll save mine as fodder for an article at a later date. Rest assured though from my own experience I am absolutely convinced that Comcast should be given a trophy for being the worst customer service company in America —even worse than AT&T and/or any random cell phone provider one might name. Thing is, I ‘m also convinced —CONVINCED, dammit — that Comcast works at being bad. Practices it-- with role plays. Bad customer service must also be a part of their Mission Statement. Must be. Will

      • Thanks, Will. It isn’t so sad. Comcast is a much better company than they used to be. With the acquisitions, they are so much closer to their goal of being among the last few monopolies that will ultimately will absorb all countries on the earth before they begin colonizing other planets. That, and they have many more locations where you can go to wait in line until you finally hand your junk to a caring employee who heaves it behind them into the giant stack of cable crap. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Eileen

      Terrific article, Lee. I feel your pain and consider your behavior mild in the circumstances. But oh dear, I recently canceled Verizon’s package because since May I had been losing internet connection almost daily and their ‘high speed’ service was actually dial-up; repeated telephone requests to replace the router were ignored. They refused to send a technician unless I paid $120 call out fee. I said their equipment was faulty and charging me to change it was outrageous. I even went to their office to speak to a real human and was told “We are wireless. We don’t do wi-fi, call Comcast,” and gave me the number. Comcast were happy to take over the entire contract so I canceled Verizon, who immediately offered to send a new router and a technician to install it free of charge, but it was too late. The box they sent to return their equipment via the post office is too small to accommodate their old box. After reading your article I’ve got the vapors and I’m uncertain whether to have a stiff drink or take pills.

      • I have no pain. It was their loss and I learned in the process, but I will say, even with lousy customer service, one of most expensive internet subscription cost in the world, we are still ranked 17th (behind Luxembourg and Uruquay) for internet speed. We really aren’t very good at managing what should be public utilities.

    • Tom Poland

      Time Warner is almost as bad. Idiots abound in the customer service department.

      • Will Cantrell

        Tom, when it comes to ANY cable company/provider, I am reminded of the old joke that begs the question: “What is a group of 300 lawyers on the bottom of the ocean?” Answer: A good start! Same is true of ALL the cable providers (and customer service almost anywhere is tragically, a lost art.)

    • Robert Lamb

      Your column makes it unanimous. I’ve never heard anybody say a good word for Comcast. And Tom Poland is right: Time Warner is nearly as bad, but, alas, no worse than nearly all the rest. I maintain that we could end unemployment and spark the economy by simply re-installing GOOD customer service nationwide. It is absolutely awful.

    • Robert Lamb

      See below.

    • larry

      Remember Fantasy Funerals !

    • Wonderful to know you do. Miss you guys

    • JL Strickland

      Show me a person without a cable TV horror story, and I’ll show you a person who has never had cable TV.

      Once I called the local cable office, inquiring as to why the Sundance Channel had suddenly disappeared from my TV’s lineup. (This was back when Sundance actually had interesting programs to watch.)

      The young woman who answered the call, brusquely informed me that Sundance was now offered only in a new music “package,” which offered Sundance and other Hip Hop channels as a group. She added that I would have to subscribe to the new package if I wanted Sundance on my lineup.

      Confused to the point of total disbelief, I asked what in the world Sundance was doing in a hip hop music package? Why was the two lumped together?

      I could almost hear the young lady’s eyes rolling in exasperation over the phone. Finally, she took a deep breath, and said sarcastically, really drawing out the word, “Siiiirrrr — don’t you understand — music and dancing go together?”

      While she didn’t actually add, “Duh,” Duh was certainly implied.

      When I asked if there were anybody in that office who didn’t ride the short bus to school that I could speak to, this young female politely slammed down the phone on me. Really hard.

      Kids.

      A few minutes later, my phone rang and, to my surprise, the cable office manager, had called to apologize for her “associate’s” rudeness.

      (Apparently, the ubiquitous warning that calls are monitored for various forms of shitassery is true.)

      This older lady supervisor apologized for the young woman’s total lack of couth, and asked what Charter could do to earn my forgiveness.

      I quickly suggested that somebody should drag the hateful-talking girl out into the parking lot, viciously beat the crap out of her and tape it for Charter commercials.

      She didn’t want to do that, but she did end up offering me year of cable TV, including Sundance, for half price. And greedy-gut that I am, and also forgetting how quickly a year passes by, I quickly took the deal.

      That was a several years ago now. I don’t know what happened to the lady office manager, or the young anti-people person who dissed me like a Jehovah’s Witness who had woken her up early on Sunday morning.

      And I still don’t know what the Sundance Channel had to do with hip-hop music. Don’t really care now. It doesn’t seem as important as it did there for a few heated minutes.

      .

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