Saturday, January 21, 2012


It's been a full year since I've felt the need to rant, but this one needs to be aired.

I'm not a (totally) unreasonable person. I generally do a little homework and exhaust all online options and get really frustrated before I'll bother to open a Live Chat window with a company. I canceled cable a few years ago since I only watched the Food Network, and once they also started hosting reality shows, I stopped watching TV all together. Lately I've heard about several shows that might interest me, so I looked into the current price of cable.

I used to pay $60+/mo for cable without any premium channels. That $60 got me local plus the general "cable" stations like Food Network, History Channel, etc.  I was looking for something low-end this time just to see if I'd even watch it enough to keep it.

I saw an online-purchase-only plan for $39.95/mo for 12 months, followed by $60/mo for the next 12 months, with a 2-year contract. Huh? I have to sign a contract to get TV? So I opened a chat window to ask.  BIG MISTAKE. It went something like this:

"Chris": Welcome to Comcast. How may I help you?
Me: I have a question about a low-end plan for Cable.
Chris: Please wait while we establish a secure connection.
[Huh? Then why did he ask how he could help me?]
Me: When did you start a 2-year contract?
Chris: May I have your address so I can see if you are in our service area?
Me: I am, I've had cable before, I just want to start it up again.
Chris: May I have your address?
Me: Can you answer the contract question without my address?
Chris: May I please have your address?
Me: {address}
Chris: {opens a Move Window button in the chat window}
Me: NOW can you answer my question about the contract?
Chris: Please move the chat window so you can see our site.
Me: I can see your site. Could you please answer my question about the contract?
Chris: Please move the chat window so you can see our site.
Me: I CAN SEE YOUR FREAKIN SITE! Now, could you please answer my question about the contract?
Chris: Please move the chat window so you can see our site.
Me: Maybe I don't need cable after all. May I please speak with your supervisor?
Chris: Please move the chat window so you can see our site.
Me: Okay, then. You have now lost a customer forever. Thanks for nothing.

So, I guess I won't be getting cable any time soon. WHY is it so freaking difficult to answer a simple question? My money is on India and a script. But geeeeeez, why do I need to move a stinkin' chat window to see the web page when I've already read the web page and that's what generated my question in the first place? Why can't the guy (or was it a girl - who really knows?) just answer my question without having to use the site to do it?

Okay, yes, my fuse was a little short, but I didn't get the feeling he was even reading my questions. He was in auto-pilot, checking my address to see if I was in the coverage area, looking to see which services were available, etc. I already told him I was in their coverage area, having had cable in the past. Oh, but he wasn't reading that part. Sorry, I forgot. Ya know, he didn't even respond to my request to speak with a supervisor.

One of these days these companies are going to figure out that outsourcing their customer disservice departments was a BAD idea. Fortunately for me, I haven't watched TV in so long, I won't miss it if I never get it back. For other people, though, they are stuck with bad service and no options. When some other option comes along, I'll look into it. For now, Comcast is dead to me.


amystic said...

oh, man!this reminds me of when i called directtv to just inquire how much it would cost to gift my daughter for one year. Long story short: i ended up hanging up on her. She kept insisting that if I didn't sign up right then and there, that I couldn't come back for the same deal. She just wouldn't give up.

tera said...

Sometimes Comcast ticks me off, too, but more often than not they are okay. Just okay. I don't do the internet chat though because that would annoy the crap outta me. What really gets me is trying to deal with cell phone companies. We cancelled with at&t after they pissed me off several times in a row.
I think it's a shame companies seem to no longer care about the service they provide. it's all about the all mighty dollar.

Carol L said...

I could rant about Comcast all day long, as I've had an ongoing issue with dropped signals since the beginning of December. They give wonderful lip service over the phone, send out tech after tech after tech (who all agree it's a maintenance problem with the outside box) and then they leave me hanging again and again. The only alternative I have is Verizon, and I left them to go with Comcast, so I'm faced with having to pay TV, Phone and internet separately......and I doubt I can afford that! Comcast frustrates me on a daily basis! GRRRR! Monopolies like them could care less about their customers!! Competition is what they need to snap them back into reality!!