Thursday, July 26, 2012

Boob Tube

I usually try to write about light hearted things.  Some self deprecating humor or some recent news event that just ticks me off which I attempt to twist into a laughable article. 

This time, I here to bitch and moan and rat out a HUGE corporation..... I'M TAKING ON THE BIG GUYS! Feeling like Norma Rae or Erin Brokovitch.    COMCAST CABLE, I'm on your ass!!!

I like to think that I'm at least average in intelligence.  I never failed a class, got a lot of C's but a good share of A's and B's.  Heck, in college I even made the Dean's List.  Of course that was the semester that I had "Officiating" and "Deviant Behavior" in my curriculum...but that's irrelevant.  I got the scores.   When it comes to figuring out a cable bill or even dealing with speaking with someone about my account, my brain just not function at full capacity.  I understand their logic is to confuse the hell out of you just so you eventually throw in the towel and sign up for all of their services or pay the full bill they are charging whether it's legitimate or not.   Kind of like a car salesman.   You sit there for hours, as though you are being interrogated.  Finally, you're so torn down and desperate to give up that you just buy the damn car for thousands more than you should have or wanted to spend.  That's how they get ya!

Anyway, this post isn't really about my bill.  It's about the unethical practice I just encountered with Comcast Cablevision.  It's IMPOSSIBLE to reach someone there to tattle.  I have tried. I'm sure it was easier for the U.S. Military to track down Sadam Hussain than it is to air a grievance to a human at Comcast.  I hope this post goes friggin viral (hint hint) so that everyone who has Comcast cancels their service and that every potential customer reads this and decides to use a competitor instead.  Go ahead, Comcast, just try and sue me for liable.   Uh, you can't because everything I am about to write is true.  Also, you can't get blood from a stone, if you know what I'm saying.  Maybe they will serve me least then I'll have a valid contact number. 

So, we are moving into a new home.  One of our tasks was to sign up for cable for phone, tv and internet.  Three essential household items, that quite frankly if I had to live without I think I would actually survive.  One day when we were doing some work to the house, prior to moving in, a salesman rang the bell.  Let me tell you, it was friggin HOT out that day!  If I were a salesman, I might have taken the day off, or tried to sell inside a mall where it's air conditioned.   The guy was working hard!  He said that he was canvasing the neighborhood and ringing the bells of homes of people that currently were not Comcast customers.  He asked if we could spare a few minutes of our time.  "Sure!" we answered.   It was something we had to do anyway and it would save us several hours of being on hold or listening to a customer service representative on the phone.   Mr. Baxter ended up giving us a great deal.   No deposit required, free movie channels, 1 free DVR, no contract, a bunch of crap I didn't need for free, and more.  The price was very reasonable but not so unreasonable that it would be a scam.  He gave us a phone number too.   Perfect!  I had to enroll my children in school and I could give them my phone number!    We explained that we were not actually going to move into the home until August, so we set up an August installation date (it was beginning of July or end of June, I can't remember.)  He obliged.  Perfect.   He left, leaving his business card with his cell phone number.  Hooray!  No more customer service.  I would be harassing, if need be, Mr. Baxter from now on.     We set the time for afternoon installation, and then we got an invitation for a surprise party.  We decided to switch it to a morning appointment.

Well, a couple of weeks later I get a call from "Fassir" at Comcast Cable.  He wanted to know why we canceled our installation and if there was anything he could do to win us back.  I was confused, thinking that maybe darling husband already called to switch the time, and I replied "Oh no.  We don't want to cancel, just move up the installation time."  The guy then ignores my comment and goes on to give me a list of channels and internet speed times and a bunch of nonsense for a low price of xxx.  I was very confused as to why he was doing this when I already signed up for my service and channels.  I said to him, "I'm at work, I will need to call you back."  Which was the truth, I did not have the time to deal with bullshit at that moment.  I got his number and actually did bring it home with me to call him back.   Before I could even call him back, around dinner time my cell rings.  It's Joe Shmoe from Comcast and apparently Fassir told him to call me.  Oh boy.  Let the games begin.   I went on to explain that no, my service was not canceled and I just want to move the appointment from the afternoon to the morning.  That's all.   Then HE goes on with "the great deal he can give me."  I told him that Mr. Baxter gave me price of $89.00 a month and that included (I listed the services.)  Mr. Shmoe answers that he can give me the same crap plus throw in Showtime for $79.00 a month.   Then a light bulb went off...Hey!  He's trying to steal the business from Mr. Baxter!  WHAT A FUCKING DOUCHEBAG.   Mr. Baxter is the one that walked around the neighborhood.  Mr. Baxter is the one who took the initiative to make the sale.  Don't steal his commission, you bastard.  I put my husband on the phone who scolds him, calls him a name and hangs up.  Keep in mind, my husband is a salesman.  And even if he wasn't, it's just not the right thing to do to steal someone else's sale.   It's unethical and even worse, just mean and obnoxious.  Everyone deserves the opportunity to make money, especially the ones that go out and make an effort to get the sale.

I immediately go to call Mr. Baxter but of course, I can't find his business card.   I Google him.  I find him on LinkedIn.  I send him a message to contact me. I want to tell him what his colleagues are up to.  He does not respond.   Oh well, I tried.

So, as moving day approached, I call Comcast to confirm my appointment and make sure the time was moved to the morning.   The first battle was actually finding a phone number!   Damn, did I throw out Mr. Baxter's card?  I could really use it about now.  There is a Comcast in the same town, one of those walk in customer service places.   This place has bulletproof glass between the representative and the customer.  The reps are properly protected.  Now I know why.  After the conversation and frustration I had, I really wanted to go there just to choke somebody.   Well, when I checked information, there was no number for this location.   After an exhausting search, I finally found a number and got through. 

I explain that I want to confirm my installation and the woman on the other end tells me that it has been cancelled.  WHAT????  Those jerk heads!!  Not only that, but the phone number that was assigned to me is no longer available.  Crap!  I already gave it out to school officials and other VIP's.  So even if I go forth with Cablevision again, I would have a different number.  I go through the whole story about dumb and dumber calling me to change my service and after the rep is done pretending to listen to me, she starts giving me her spiel of what offer she can give me.   OH MY GOD, I feel the aneurysm growing in my head.  All these products, internet speed, crap I don't care about all over again.   All for the wonderful price of DOUBLE WHAT MR. BAXTER GAVE ME PLUS A $200 DEPOSIT!  What the fuck?  I ask her, why in the world would I sign up for that service when it's way more money?  She explains that the telemarketers get much better deals than the in-house reps. So I said forget it, that I would just wait for another telemarketer to contact me.   Then she sings another song and decides she can waive the deposit and throw in other useless movie channels included in the same price.  Great, so more stations to thumb through and bypass during my channel surfing.   Fortunately, I was really at work and my phone was ringing.  I explained I had to go and she said she would call me back.  Of course I ignored her calls. 

I then decided that Comcast is in the business of Bait and Switch.  Remember that from Marketing 101?  I do!  They lure you in with an advertisement of one price, and then when you inquire, that product or price is no longer available..but they DO have this product at a higher price.  So even if I pay more per month signing up with another provider, it's the principal of the matter.  NO THANK YOU COMCRAP, I mean Comcast.  I'll go with Verizon. 

Comcast, go screw yourself.  If I were Amish and I was trying to convert, my selling point would be "hey, no electricity.  You never have to deal with cable companies again...and you get an automatic entry into heaven."  Sounds win win to me.