Thursday, October 18, 2007

Comcast, How Do I hate thee...let me count the ways

Thursday Thirteen is below this post.

I don't usually do two entries on Thursdays, because TT takes a lot of my energy but today is a special day. A special kind of Comcast Hell day. I'm also not in the habit of calling out companies by name when I trash them, but OH COMCAST, how you've raised my blood pressure in the last 3 weeks!!!

Let me tell you a tale of a corporate giant and an abused customer.

It all started one bright sunny Saturday back in September of 2007. Candid Karina was minding her own business, going about cleaning her home when her telephone rang (oh Verizon, how I miss thee...) On the telephone was a representative from the Castle of Comcast, offering our heroine a deal she could not refuse. You see, Comcast had already sucked her in with the magic of digital cable and broadband internet, and now, they wanted her to sign on for the advent of digital telephone as well. And all it would cost her would be an additional 60 cents per month. This, combined with the fact that she'd no longer have to pay Verizon the $45 per month she was paying, was just too good a deal to pass up.

So a date was set. The Comcast Prince (aka technician) would be out to her house on the last Saturday in September. Candid Karina would stay home that day, and await his arrival between the hours of 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Saturday arrived and Karina awaited her prince. At 12:54 p.m.,when he still had not arrived, Karina telephoned the castle (1-800-Comcast) to determine where on his route he was, and when she could expect the pleasure of his company. She was informed at that time that he had just begun a job a few streets away at 12:25 and she would be his next stop. He should be arriving within the hour. Well, as you can guess, the hour came and went, and at 2 p.m. Karina called again to be informed that the prince had reported back to the castle that he had in fact been at her door at 12:35 and nobody was home. As this was a blatant lie, Karina got quite worked up as she informed the representative that this was unacceptable behavior from the prince and his court and she would not stand for it. She had in fact, not only been home, but had her window open (as the weather was lovely outside), and not only had she not seen the prince's carriage drive up her driveway, but her telephone HAD NOT rung to inform her he was out there, nor had her doorbell. After much discussion, and Karina making it clear that a wasted Saturday, along with a blatant lie, were not things she took lightly, a new date was set for the following Saturday, and Karina's account was credited $25 for her troubles. (yeah, Karina works with lawyers, she can pretty much finagle a credit out of anyone who pisses her off).

SO, the following Saturday arrives, and her prince shows up as promissed. A few hours later than she would have preferred, but still within the time frame she was given. Telephone service is established, and one would think we could now close the fairy tale with a happily ever after.

BUT OF COURSE, one would be wrong.

Fast forward if you will to a week later in the kingdom. It is now the second Friday in October, and the weather has turned chilly. The leaves on the trees have phased into varying tones of reds and oranges, and a sweater is required in the early evenings. It is getting close to 10 p.m. and Candid Karina is in for the evening. She is watching some form of entertainment on her television when Shakira begins her "Tortura". It is Karina's mother calling her on her cell phone. But why her cell phone when her home phone is sitting right next to her on the couch, you ask? Well, it turns out that Candid Momma has been trying to reach her daughter for quite a few hours now, but her telephone just rings and rings and rings and nobody picks up. In fact, Candid Momma was beginning to worry that her daughter had fallen down and hit her head. Then Candid Momma decided to call the cell phone, on the off chance that Karina had forgotten to shut it off. Thank goodness, she had, or Candid Momma and Candid Daddy would have been driving over to Karina's home that very Friday evening.

After some expirementing, it is assessed that Karina's telephone can make outgoing phone calls, but no incoming calls are making their way through. Strange. So, Karina calls the Castle again. (1-800-Comcast). She speaks with a representative who assures her that the problem will be fixed within 48 to 72 hours. Karina feels this is a bit of a long stretch of time, but she has a cell phone, and it is the weekend after all, during which she is rarely home, so she accepts her fate.

By Monday evening, 72 hours have elapsed, and her telephone is still not functioning properly. Karina decides to be patient and wait to call back the next morning if the problem is still not fixed. As you can guess, Tuesday morning, still no phone. Karina calls the Castle, and is informed that her trouble ticket has been open way too long, and they will have someone working on her problem within the hour, and it should be fixed in a few hours.

Tuesday evening...still no phone. Another phone call, during which Karina bites a few people's heads off (quite nicely, I might add), and a week's phone service is credited to her account. She is also assured that the problem will be fixed in less than 24 hours. You can see where this is going, right?

24 hours later, it is now Wednesday night, and sure enough, we still have a heroine with NO PHONE SERVICE. Another call is placed to the Castle. This time, after informing the poor representative that she will NOT get off the phone until she receives an explanation for the delay, Karina is finally told the root of the problem. It seems that Verizon has taken back her telephone number, and Comcast is awaiting it's release so they can activate it. Simple enough, no? Perhaps if the kingdom of Comcast had bothered to provide this explanation the first...second...third...fourth time Karina had called, then Karina wouldn't be nearly as upset, and her ulcer wouldn't be acting up. (Okay, I don't really have an ulcer, but after this episode....well, I might). Karina is informed that her telephone number will be released on October 18th (the next day) and she will then have her service resumed. Karina tells the representative that she does not for one minute believe this to be the case, but she appreciates that someone at least finally got to the root of the issue for her.

And so we have arrived, my friends, at the current time. It is now 4:06 p.m. on the 18th of October. As this tale is being told to you, Karina's telephone service has yet to be restored. A call to the Castle was placed about two hours ago, for an update, and one was provided that was unsatisfactory, to say the least. Basically, she was told that there was no "time" listed as to "when" on the 18th service would resume, and so they assumed that meant by the close of business day. 5:00 P.M.?? Karina then informed the poor representative (because Karina realizes it is not the individual's fault, simply the corporate giant that is Comcast's), that if she arrived at home this evening to find she still did not have phone service, her next phone call would be one to cancel her service. As Karina now believes Comcast is the 7th circle of hell, she will begin shopping around for alternate cable and internet service as well.

Not all fairy tales end in Happily Ever After...this one may have quite a different ending. If we can avoid bloodshed, or a trip to the emergency room for Karina due to her elevated blood pressure, we can consider it a happy ending.

Stay tuned...


Unknown said...

Did you see the lady who drove to Comcast with her hammer and smashed a keyboard and telephone? I immediately thought of you. :)

qualcosa di bello said...

this from the phone company that kept billing me for months after my momma & daddy had died (only a week apart), in spite of my repeated phone calls to explain & payment of the final bill.

the final phone call netted me a very stooopid tech asking where he could ultimately forward the bill to them (not me, them!)...& I, after banging my phone on the desk a la "ya ya sisterhood" fame, told mr. customer non-service rep the address of the cemetery where they are buried.

yeah, i'm not surprised in the least!