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Dante's "Divine Comedy" describes 9 circles of hell.  But he can easily be forgiven his inability to anticipate the Cable industry, which currently bundles virtually all of your home digital services into one huge bill.  

But his original admonition still stands:

"Abondon all hope, ye who enter here."

I spent over two hours this morning interacting with my cable provider.  It's Comcast.  We have the whole shebang bundled, and my wife has an iPad which, up until a few days ago, worked just fine.  She told me two days ago that she had lost her WiFi connection.

My heart instantly shrank.  Not only did my heart shrink...but my testacles receded deep, deep inside of me.  I knew what was in store.  I was going to have to call customer service.

If you have never dealt with Cable Customer Service, consider yourself blessed.  Seriously.  You have never been jerked around by anyone, any entity...you've never been truly sodomized until you have to deal with your cable service provider.  If there were an Olympic  Sports event devoted to fucking your customers...There would be Comcast, Time-Warner, Century-Link...and who knows the others.  They are all the same.

To know one is to despise one.

I'm actually a very patient man.  As opposed to my wife.  She can go from pleasant to shouting obscenities within about 8 minutes.  That's why I try to wrestle the phone from her.  8 minutes, in today's economy, is nothing.  You haven't truly entered the Twilight Zone until you reach the 45 minute mark.  And my wife doesn't have the patience for that.  Unfortunately for me...I try.  The only other option is to watch my wife burn off every customer service agent in the Western Hemisphere.

They don't deserve her vitriol.  But you know what?  We don't deserve their inability to
solve our problems.  And worse.  We don't deserve there disdain.

I always start out pleasant...really, I do.  I'm from the Midwest.  I start out with these interactions with the mindset that if you treat them with respect, they will treat you with respect.  But it rarely pans out that way.  The cable companies always find a way to send you back to ground zero, no matter how long you have been interacting with them.  You get to a tech guy...who seems to be able, but not quite, to fix your problem...and he says to you..."you know what....I'm going to transfer you to a specialist."  And, lo and behold, you find yourself at the very beginning of the decision tree...having to input all of your account info yet again, and answer all of the same old tired questions yet again.

This is like wash, rinse and repeat..........over and over again.

I really think the cable industry takes especial pride in their ability to thwart those customers who need some assistance.  

But perhaps I am wrong.

But I have to ask you......if you found yourself at the helm of an evil cable enterprise, who would you hire as Vice President of Customer Service...in order to insure that each and every experience was soul sucking, enraging, demeaning, heart explodingly horrible?

Take your choices from some historical figures:

Poll

who would make the Best Cable Customer Service VP?

5%5 votes
3%3 votes
8%8 votes
6%6 votes
11%11 votes
2%2 votes
11%11 votes
37%36 votes
4%4 votes
7%7 votes
3%3 votes
1%1 votes

| 97 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Early Last Winter iTunes Crashed on my XP Desk (12+ / 0-)

    while updating.

    About 4 times I've put in 2 hours or so with tech support. It won't run, won't update, can't delete or uninstall. Evidently they don't have a utility that can wipe itunes out of registry, do a forced uninstall or a forced install.

    And of course like all support, the workers have 1 decision tree they may work from, and it doesn't matter what's happened before or afterward, or how much you may know about your situation that could help them.

    It's been a couple months; now that we're done moving house, I may go get a box of wine and some snacks, and put in another evening.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 05:17:58 PM PDT

  •  I just switched from TW to ATT because of CBS (14+ / 0-)

    ATT seems fine so far.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 05:21:25 PM PDT

    •  why does customer service need to be (12+ / 0-)

      this bad?????

      I don't get it.

      Through early morning fog I see visions of the things to be the pains that are withheld for me I realize and I can see...

      by Keith930 on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 05:38:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Tell you the truth (7+ / 0-)

        I'm with BrightHouse.

        Love 'em. Their customer service has been excellent. Last year, I had trouble with my signal. Mostly on that ex-channel, Current, but sometimes on others, too.

        They did everything but send someone to live with me to get it fixed. Way above and beyond.

        Plus, I was on Twitter once, talking about my cable woes, and happened to tell someone which company I was with. BrightHouse tweeted me and asked how they could help, and now I'm able to dm them anytime I have a problem and they're right on it.

        Wouldn't switch for anything. :)

        "We have only the moral ground we actually inhabit, not the moral ground we claim." - It Really Is That Important

        by Diogenes2008 on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 06:00:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  It is not their fault... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Aunt Pat, PeterHug, suesue, MadMs

        "The System" is in control and they have no control over "The System".  Nobody knows from where it comes, or to where it goes.  It's "The System" man!

        "If Jesus had a gun he'd still be alive today." Homer Simpson, 2013

        by quiet in NC on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 06:25:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Because they are just taking our money (4+ / 0-)

        and they do not care if we like their product.

        I switched to Comcast from DirecTV because our internet was terrible. Boy do I regret it.

        First the installers know nothing. NOTHING. I asked for our modem to be in the middle of the house because the wifi is weak in my bedroom. No problem. Then when we had internet problems the new guys who came out said it can't be in the middle of the house. After hours on the phone where they charged me $100 for wifi even though I had a bundle and shouldn't have had to pay the still couldn't fix the problem, moved my modem back to the den on the opposite side of the house. I ended up calling some local geek on call who came over, reset my modem and fixed the problem.

        WE got a great internet bundle deal. Not so fast. The VISA card that we were supposed to get? Never showed up. the price isn't what was promised and they just suck so much on the phone you pay whatever to be able to stop talking to them.

        I cannot wait to go back to DirecTV.

        "Pulling together is the aim of despotism and tyranny. Free men pull in all kinds of directions.” --Lord Vetinari

        by voracious on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 07:22:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Installers: (5+ / 0-)

          the biggest problem is that Comcast farms out these jobs to sub-contractors who know jack about jack.  What you need to do is to insist that they send an "in-house" installer.  Your chances of having it done correctly are far greater.  At least that is my experience.

          It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

          by Radiowalla on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 07:30:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm readynto flag down the Comcast installer (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Radiowalla, voracious

            who lives down the street and ask him if he moonlights.  As in....if I have a problem, can I just call you and pay you under the table...

            Cause If I pay him $20 for 15 minutes of his time, that's better than losing 5 years off of your life just by calling Xfinity's customer service number.   And if it only costs you 5 years of life, consider yourself lucky.

            Through early morning fog I see visions of the things to be the pains that are withheld for me I realize and I can see...

            by Keith930 on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 08:03:03 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Because they can. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BlackSheep1

        Any jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a good carpenter to build one.--Sam Rayburn

        by Ice Blue on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 07:51:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Charter isn't any better. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MadMs

      Any jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a good carpenter to build one.--Sam Rayburn

      by Ice Blue on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 07:51:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I found the secret to dealing with Comcast. (9+ / 0-)

      If you don't get success after two phone calls (which means I've been transferred five times, had three calls dropped and been on hold for a total of two hours), I tell them to transfer me to the account cancellation department.

      That transfers me to someone who will try hard to keep my account.

      No, I insist. I want to cancel the account. Right now.

      So they transfer me to a real live person. Who. Has. A. Brain. In. The United States.

      Usually that person is a supervisor.

      She (or he) has a phone number she will give you with a direct extension. She will talk to people and get your problem resolved. And she will call you back by a certain time.

      If she doesn't call you back, she tells you, give her a call, she probably has gotten distracted.  

      And if you call, she will answer her phone and tell you what is being done.

      So, your problem is resolved.  I've had techs show up to my house within 3 hours because the supervisor sent them out after going around and around with "customer service" for weeks. That's when I realized that dealing with customer service was a waste of time.

      In the old days, we used to just call this customer service: a real human, a brain, a phone number you could call directly, accountability, responsiveness.

      Now, you have to seriously threaten to cancel. You have to mean it. You have to swear on your pootie's life that you will cancel.

      Only then will Comcast put you through to a person who can fix your problem.

      It's ridiculous.

      There is no company on earth less responsive than Comcast -- other than maybe the companies that were spamming here the last few weeks. But I hear they sell really nice fake fur coats.

      :)

      © grover


      So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

      by grover on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 08:22:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I am too beaten down by Comcast to detail my (23+ / 0-)

    sagas with them.  Here's just one...

    Last summer i moved.  Comcast re-installed my equipment but couldn't get the phone to work.  After well over 50 hours on the phone with them I gave up & chose to just pay them, for a phone that didn't work at all, just to keep my phone number and to reclaim my life from the endless hours with Customer Service.

    Then I moved again last month & assumed they'd fix it at the new location.  The then told me they'd given the phone number I was protecting 6 months ago, while continuing to charge me for it.  I was told I had to pay Verizon (who now had the number) to turn on phone service, then call Comcast to get it turned back on with them (don't ask why, too complicated).  This I did and now my phone works.  

    I have similar stories for TV and internet, but I'll spare you and me the telling.

    The most hated corporation in America: Comcast.

  •  why is it like this? (8+ / 0-)

    Through early morning fog I see visions of the things to be the pains that are withheld for me I realize and I can see...

    by Keith930 on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 05:41:10 PM PDT

    •  They Figure It's Not Worth Better Service, Clearly (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aunt Pat, kyril, Keith930

      I imagine the support problems are analyzed for frequency, and they ensure decent support for common and easily solved issues.

      Between market concentration among small numbers of providers, and need for all businesses to be hyper profitable, if they can't fix your problem easily screw you, they'll lose more money helping you than they'll save by keeping you as a customer.

      Go ask your neighbor 99%'er.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 06:27:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Monopolies. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Keith930

      There are only 1-2 games in town for most decent internet and tv service and they all have equally terrible customer service.

      So they pare customer service (which only costs them money) down to bare bones. What are you going to do? Deal with the migraine of switching to the equally horrible competitor?

      © grover


      So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

      by grover on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 08:26:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I wish I could introduce you to my wife (0+ / 0-)

        she has switched back and forth 4 times in the last 6 years...always when I'm not around.  It's never her migraine...it's ultimately mine.

        One would think that they would recognize a serial switcher, like my wife, and just hang up.  But they don't.

        Through early morning fog I see visions of the things to be the pains that are withheld for me I realize and I can see...

        by Keith930 on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 08:36:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  My favorite is (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      207wickedgood, Margd, tommymet

      "we are currently experiencing unusually heavy call volumes".

      Er, no. You're not. You're not currently experiencing anything. I am the one who is having the experience - of a long wait on hold listening to the same obnoxious messages hundreds of times, because you have chosen to understaff your call center.

      There's nothing unusual about your call volume. Nor do you value me as a customer. Quit lying to me. It's insult to injury.

  •  i have an antenna atop the house (20+ / 0-)

    works just fine and customer service is my house mate.

    hope springs eternal and DAMN is she getting tired!

    by alguien on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 05:42:33 PM PDT

  •  Time Warner customer here. I called them this (16+ / 0-)

    Evening to ask why they were hiking the rate on our Internet service by $6 per month. I was on hold for 23 minutes and never spoke to anyone so I hung up. I freaking hate the bastards.
    I received a flyer in the mail for AT&T for $14.95. BS. $100 for the modem, $50 for activation and if I want a speed comparable to what I have it will be $30 a month..Still less than what I have but I despise deceptive advertising.

  •  I wish I could rec this (23+ / 0-)

    a million times.
    Of course, it is not only the cable industry, it is also the cell phone industry and almost every service provider out there.
    I am currently in a fight with Cablevision  who talked me into bundling my home phone, internet, wifi and cable services for an attractive $170.00/mth and now it has miraculously gone up to $220.00/mth even while I see them offering introductory prices of $84.00/mth for the same services.
    In a fight with Sprint to whom I paid a whopping $275.00 last month and the current month is some $225.00. Have been with Sprint for over 10 years and have a family plan with them - a phone for me and one each for two children.
    Three lines and I called them the other day to discontinue service on one line as it is just madness to be paying that amount for cell phone service.
    They told me that to drop one line I'd be charged $160.00. I asked whether they could waive that fee as I've been with them for such a long time. No, because I signed a contract. But doesn't someone there have discretionary powers? No, because I signed a contract so I have to wait out the two year period which ends in Jan, 2014. Ok, any other option.
    Yes, I could pay them 10.00 monthly for up to 6 months for them to freeze the a/c.
    These are highway robbers getting away with jacking up consumers so that they can pad their CEO's salaries.

    Maya Angelou: "Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

    by JoanMar on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 05:44:41 PM PDT

    •  Every time I see one of those "special offers" (4+ / 0-)

      go by I check them out.  Invariably it's one of those deals with so many restrictions and caps -- all conveniently set forth in 3 point, light grey type -- that by the time you'd get your monthly bill you'd be worse off than whatever your current plan is.

      I too have a second cell phone which I got years ago to act as a "home" number when I killed my hard line. It's part of a "family" plan which shares minutes and whatnot with my smartphone, but it's more like a "junk" number at this point.

      Yet, I keep it lit for much the same reason as you: if I kill the line it would probably trigger a big enough change that Verizon would force me to renew my contract -- and right now I still have an actual, unlimited, flat-rate data plan which VZW no longer offers to us mere consumers.

      I'm not under any termination-penalty contract right now so I could switch carriers at any time, but what's the use? They all operate in essentially the same manner -- it's just that one gets you coming and the other gets you going (and a couple get you both ways).

      This is your "Free Market", America.  Smell the glove.

      If the NSA has all this magical power, why can't they stop phone scammers?

      by here4tehbeer on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 06:33:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My sister has (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        here4tehbeer

        Metro PCS and pays 50/mth.
        Have friends in Florida who have Boost Mobile and seem to be very happy with the service.
        Problem for me is, nobody likes those two companies here in CT. I am getting to the point where I don't care about their negative rep. After 10 yrs I've had enough of Sprint and their bs.

        Maya Angelou: "Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

        by JoanMar on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 06:58:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I feel for you, Joan (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JoanMar

      it doesn't feel good.  And it's not meant to.

      Through early morning fog I see visions of the things to be the pains that are withheld for me I realize and I can see...

      by Keith930 on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 07:13:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you, Keith. (0+ / 0-)

        I can so empathize with your wife.
        It is just about the hardest thing to hold on to your temper when you talk to those human robots. Ugh!

        Maya Angelou: "Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

        by JoanMar on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 07:18:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Comcast has a blog—and you can comment. (8+ / 0-)

    http://corporate.comcast.com/...

    As a customer, I'm sure they'd be delighted to get your feedback.

    "The human eye is a wonderful device. With a little effort, it can fail to see even the most glaring injustice." Richard K. Morgan

    by sceptical observer on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 05:49:32 PM PDT

  •  I love you, babe... (6+ / 0-)

    I hope you are okay with that, and if you aren't, I don't know what to say.  You are always on the right side of just about everything.

    Through early morning fog I see visions of the things to be the pains that are withheld for me I realize and I can see...

    by Keith930 on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 05:50:00 PM PDT

  •  LinkedIn (6+ / 0-)

    No way to contact anyone. Period.

    It doesn't compare to the cable and phone Cthulhus, but it's unbelievably stupid.

    Thump! Bang. Whack-boing. It's dub!

    by dadadata on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 05:50:02 PM PDT

  •  Ha! So true. (12+ / 0-)

    I read the other day that of the 50 lowest rated companies in terms of customer service, 3 of the bottom 5 are cable companies.

    I also read that cable companies make 97 cents on the dollar on internet service.  And that they could readily offer much greater bandwidth than they currently are.  

    Some Americans pay hundreds of dollars a month for their Internet and cable service, and are clearly being gouged by the cable companies, whose offerings are obscenely overpriced.

    On the other hand, I don't have much sympathy for people who readily fork over that much for 750+ channels, including dozens of variations of the premium channels, the vast majority of which go unwatched.

    Public parks and fresh air are free....more Americans should cut the cord and avail themselves of them. When enough do so, the cable companies prices will quickly fall to something this side of sanity.

    Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

    by Pi Li on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 05:50:33 PM PDT

  •  I am a prior comcast customer (8+ / 0-)

    We now have another cable company since we now has a choice.  But at one time, they were the only cable provider so it was either Comcast or nothing.

    At one point, I got so frustrated with Comcast that I told them that they could just take it out my house.    And we lived without it for a few months, that is, until my husband grew tired of no cable and we wound up with it back again.

    Good luck with Comcast.  You are going to need it.  

    •  Our choice for cable is (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Margd

      Comcast or nothing.

      Our choice for high speed internet is Comcast or nothing.

      We're in a funky little pocket that no one else serves.  Two blocks away, AT&T services.  About 1/2 mile the other way,  a local internet company offers what I've heard is pretty good service.

      Us? We're stuck.

      It sucks. I've actually sent email to competitors to see if they're willing to expand service. I get "we're always looking for new business opportunities" responses.

      If I move, before falling in love with the kitchen or dreaming about the dogs playing in the big lush yard, first thing I'm going to check is what cable and internet service is available.

      © grover


      So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

      by grover on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 08:36:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hopefully someone else will come in your area at (0+ / 0-)

        some point.  

        We were previously in the same situation as you.  

        When I had my final problem with Comcast, I knew that Verizon was coming to my area soon.  I called them to find out when it would be available on my street so that I could call them back.  Fortunately, I found out that it had just become available.  I told them to sign me up.  A week later we got the marketing mailer from Verizon announcing that it was now available in my neighborhood.  

        •  they're all the same, in the end (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          grover

          but enjoy the honeymoon.

          Through early morning fog I see visions of the things to be the pains that are withheld for me I realize and I can see...

          by Keith930 on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 09:03:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  By the way, I chose the Boston Strangler (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Keith930, barkingcat, 207wickedgood

            in the poll.

            It's slow agonizing death where you gasp for air that simply isn't there, but you keep gasping even as you the end is near; even more horrifying is knowing that they're doing this to others all across your community.

            © grover


            So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

            by grover on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 09:24:56 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  My dear Mother, when dealing with (13+ / 0-)

    utilities: "Let me tell you what MY policy is...."

    God love Ma.

    I resent that. I demand snark, and overly so -- Markos Moulitsas.

    by commonmass on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 05:58:34 PM PDT

    •  I swear to you Bill (12+ / 0-)

      I pride myself on my Midwest civility and general friendliness.

      But I got to a point where I was ready to fucking explode.   I told the agent in no uncertain terms...."Don't you dare transfer me to anyone else...cause I've been transferred ten times now.

      And you are going to have to listen to my rant, because I've been listening to your muzak and your bullshit about how much my call is important to you, when clearly it isn't.

      And I just unloaded.  I would like to say that I feel badly about that...but I don't. And I know the person I unloaded upon didn't deserve it.  But somebody did...and that person was there.  And unload I did.

      I know he wasn't Concast.  But I spent 2 1/2 hours trying to get hold of Comcast, and he was who I got.  And unload on him I did.  Point Blanck.

      I don't envy him his job.

      Through early morning fog I see visions of the things to be the pains that are withheld for me I realize and I can see...

      by Keith930 on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 06:16:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Take some time to wind down, Keith. n/t (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MBNYC, Keith930, Aunt Pat, 207wickedgood

        I resent that. I demand snark, and overly so -- Markos Moulitsas.

        by commonmass on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 06:20:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I did...but let me tell you, Bill... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          commonmass, Aunt Pat

          it took three gin and tonics.

          Through early morning fog I see visions of the things to be the pains that are withheld for me I realize and I can see...

          by Keith930 on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 06:28:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I gave up drinking after Terun died. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Aunt Pat

            It started to be a problem. It had to stop. I do dream about gin sometimes though. That was my drink.

            I resent that. I demand snark, and overly so -- Markos Moulitsas.

            by commonmass on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 06:30:33 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You should taste my Ramos Gin Fizz (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              commonmass, Aunt Pat

              it's sinfully good.  And once you've had one, you'll never think of breakfast the same.

              Through early morning fog I see visions of the things to be the pains that are withheld for me I realize and I can see...

              by Keith930 on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 06:35:18 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  hey...I love you, bro (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              commonmass, Aunt Pat

              you are, absolutely, one of my favorites here, and you have been for a long time.  You are just honest, and unabashed.

              I am so sorry for your loss...I know it's late in the day to say that...but I know how I would feel if my wife passed.  We aren't even married any more...been divorced now for 5 months, but we still live together.  We need each other.  She needs me, and I need her.  And we both recognize that.

              If she were to pass away, I would feel such a loss...it would be hard to describe.  I try my best to make sure that won't happen.  Don't ask me why...it is what it is.

              Through early morning fog I see visions of the things to be the pains that are withheld for me I realize and I can see...

              by Keith930 on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 06:50:31 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  We'll meet some day. Go take care of your (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Aunt Pat

        husband who insists that he's younger than I am but I doubt it. ;) Huge hugs.

        I resent that. I demand snark, and overly so -- Markos Moulitsas.

        by commonmass on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 06:27:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Lol - whenever I have customer service (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nisi Prius

      telling me they may record the call, I tell them OK, as I may be recording it too.

      Boy does that freak them out.

  •  Agreed (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MBNYC, Aunt Pat, grover

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 05:58:58 PM PDT

  •  You guys, dump them & go Dish Network! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LinSea, Redfire, Aunt Pat

    We made the switch at least ten years ago. Believe me, I've dealt with the sucky cable provider, the incredibly long waits to get anyone on the phone. Once I had a cable supervisor tell me that they absolutely had enough phone reps, even though I'd been on hold for more than an hour!

    We were shocked by how easy it was to deal with Dish, how pleasant they are if you ever have a problem, how great the picture on our TV is. We will never go back. Never.

    They try to scare you by saying every time it rains, you won't be able to watch TV, which is bullshit. We have torrential rains here at times, thunder crashing overhead, and yes, every now and then, we lose a few minutes. But it takes a serious storm to do that. And it's nothing compared to what it was like when the cable went out or went on the blink.

    Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

    by teresahill on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 06:01:35 PM PDT

    •  Duh, didn't say internet. Dish does that now by (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aunt Pat

      satellite. Same deal as TV. Every now and then, you'll be off-line, but never for long, during horrendous storm.

      We had AT&T internet before, and I don't see Dish internet down anymore than AT&T. It got so slow during really big storms that everything timed out before loading.

      Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

      by teresahill on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 06:07:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I had the same experience (0+ / 0-)

      I did try to switch from Dish once, but it was an immediate nightmare.

      I'm really happy with them.

    •  Too bad Dish internet sucks if you are planning (0+ / 0-)

      on doing any kind of gaming or streaming video.  The latency (ping times) are horrible and you only get 15GB of data per month.

      You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

      by Throw The Bums Out on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 10:06:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, it is a satellite internet connection (0+ / 0-)

        It is going to have terrible ping times and bandwidth caps because you're having to route to/from a satellite in geosynchronous orbit.

        My fiancee's parents have DSL but use Dish for TV and got an offer to sign up for WildBlue last year (and I don't know for sure if it was from Dish or the NRTC but I was told government incentives were involved somehow) and got the dish installed. They used it for a couple weeks before we went down there for a visit and didn't like it. I hooked the laptop up to the satellite connection, tested it, hooked the laptop up to the DSL connection, tested it, and quickly decided that the satellite was a terrible option. The DSL isn't the fastest (I think it's maybe 2 Mbits per second) but the ping was good and it is a reliable, consistent connection. The satellite was more expensive, appeared to be slower, and the bandwidth caps were terrible. They didn't want to do much more with this than check email, browse eBay, and occasionally watch Netflix and the DSL was fine for all of that.

        So they unsubscribed from satellite, stuck with the DSL, and have been happy ever since.

  •  I just went through that but finally found someone (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat

    at Verizon who knew what they were doing.  It was a simple fix.  I did not have the router connected correctly and had not activated my account.  It took 3 days and 5 phone calls but I am back on line and much less cranky.  Now if only I had my TV's hooked up but the representative also scheduled a service call.  There are some good one's, you just have to find them.

  •  They all have regional monopolies (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Redfire, Aunt Pat

    That's why the service is so bad. They know you can't go to anyone else.

    I've heard that Google is great in the few places where they are putting in Google fiber. If ever comes to my town, I'll be signing up with them on the first day.

  •  Ugh. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Redfire, Aunt Pat, BachFan, tommymet

    I was with Time warner Cable until earlier this year. Always spotty service, me and the boyfriend joked about the regularly scheduled daily network outage, but survivable.

    We had internet all through hurricane Sandy, very pleasant.

    Two or three weeks after that, the outages started to increase. From minutes into hours and then days. Literally.

    So the technician comes out, a week after the phone call demanding service. A week without internet, one might add.

    He told me we were both wasting our time exchanging a modem or whatever – because TWC doesn't have the network capacity it sells. The stories they were telling me and everyone else about hurricane damage? Flat-out lies.

    It's fraud, plain and simple.

    I took my Destroy-TimeWarner Cable campaign to social media. That got some results, mainly bitching from their SocMed team at how rude people are.

    Another week gone, still no internet. The entire building.

    So I pulled rank, and got on the phone with corporate. All the way to the top, the CEO's office. His assistant was lovely, incredibly helpful, but still no luck.

    I called her to thank her the day we got FIOS, not out of spite, but because nice people like her shouldn't be working for the malevolence incarnate of these price-gouging, un-American monopolies.

    Fuck me, it's a leprechaun.

    by MBNYC on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 06:19:28 PM PDT

  •  So what exactly happened? (9+ / 0-)

    I've got my own cable horror stories. When I left Seattle last summer I handed in my remaining piece of equipment, a CableCard, to one of Comcast's affiliate walk-in locations, making sure to get a receipt. Several weeks later they start calling me constantly claiming that I never turned it in and they'd have to charge me $200 if I didn't return it. Despite telling them repeatedly that I returned it and had the receipt to prove it, they refused to believe me and kept threatening me. Plus, they suddenly discovered that I apparently hadn't also returned a bunch of other devices, including a set top box and modem, some of which I'd returned YEARS before.

    Thankfully, I keep excellent records and had copies of all my return receipts. I faxed them to Comcast, and they finally stopped harassing me, a dozen calls later. What assholes. I'm sure that they do this intentionally, hoping to shake down hapless customers who are stupid enough to give them the benefit of the doubt. Some hotshot rising star junior executive shitbag probably came up with this scheme, giving it some Orwellian corporatespeak name like "Revenue Maximization Program". He probably has a huge corner office now.

    I'm running into similar problems here in NYC with Time Warner, with them refusing to give me credits I'm due for improper charges and denying service outages in order to avoid having to credit me for them. Where there is no meaningful competition and lax oversight and regulation, this is GUARANTEED to happen. I keep meaning to cancel my cable because of this and because I don't watch much TV beyond CSPAN, MSNBC and broadcast channels, but I need internet and my cable/internet bundle's a bargain at $80, and streaming only is not a viable option given my viewing preferences.

    •  TW sent me to collections (6+ / 0-)

      They were billing me for unpaid service months. The only problem? They were charging me for three months that I didn't have their service. In fact, I didn't even live in that house. On top of it, I didn't even live in a state that they serviced for those months. It literally took three years to work through that.

      No, you can't fix stupid. You OUTNUMBER stupid. -Wildthumb, 1/10/2013

      by newinfluence on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 06:35:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Time Warner, from what I've read (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kovie, OooSillyMe

      (and I've never been a customer) ...but there are several articles out there suggestintg that Time Warner quite possibly has the worst customer service in the world.

      Google it.

      Through early morning fog I see visions of the things to be the pains that are withheld for me I realize and I can see...

      by Keith930 on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 07:17:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Basically (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        grover, OooSillyMe, BachFan

        Any company that has an effective monopoly and no incentive to not do so will cut customer service and quality to the bone. This is as true of cable as it is of computer hardware and software companies. I haven't called one in decades because I know what awaits me. It's why I try to do everything DIY if I can. The free market does not self-regulate and only a moron thinks otherwise.

        •  Ma Bell was never like that (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          grover, Keith930, BachFan, tommymet

          before they were broken up. They were almost as trustworthy as the US Postal Service. You needed something, you dialed zero. An operator was there to help.

          Any jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a good carpenter to build one.--Sam Rayburn

          by Ice Blue on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 08:08:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You are so right about that (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ice Blue, BachFan

            They charged you up the ass for every call you made...but I'll tell you what...if you needed service, they were Johnnie on the Spot.

            Through early morning fog I see visions of the things to be the pains that are withheld for me I realize and I can see...

            by Keith930 on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 08:41:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  It was a different era then (0+ / 0-)

            Companies were far more regulated, unions were stronger, and people had a higher expectation of quality and service. Obvious exceptions notwithstanding, the social contract was better respected back then. The need for solid phone service was understood as essential for the proper functioning of the country, too. No one really NEEDS cable (sorry, Rachel, but you know it's true).

  •  We've got COX (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Redfire, Aunt Pat, BachFan

    When last I called them (our cable/telephone modem died) I thought it would be this big hassle - it wasn't at all.  A little bit of wait time with bad hold music, but I got actual people and they fixed it all the first time - 2 hours later than they said they were coming out, but we were home - and we have better service than before.

    And that's been my experience with COX no matter where or when I've been with them.  Crap hold music and some longish hold times, never on time call outs - but good service.

    •  The only thing we have Cox for (0+ / 0-)

      is the High Speed Internet - all of the TV stuff is through DirecTV.  I've been with them (DirectTV) for about 6 years, and I'll never use anyone else.

      :)

      "There is nothing more exhilarating than to be shot at without result." - Winston Churchill

      by Dingodude on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 09:25:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Just updated our boxes on Monday (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, BachFan

    I've spent at least an hour and as many as four on the phone with them every day since with five (so far) different "open tickets" that have been escalated.

    So, yeah, I'm right with you.

    No, you can't fix stupid. You OUTNUMBER stupid. -Wildthumb, 1/10/2013

    by newinfluence on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 06:31:11 PM PDT

  •  Heh! Daily Kos Just Did It To Me. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat

    I got logged out after making a couple comments in this very diary, such that my 3rd wasn't accepted. Took me jumping several diaries before I spotted the "log in" message up top.

    So I pulled up my pw file but 2 attempts DK wouldn't accept.

    So I clicked the "forgot password" link and was sent an email with a link to reset the password.

    Unfortunately, between my Eudora client and Firefox browser, the password reset only sent me to the DK front page. It didn't pass the rest of the link to the browser. Eudora doesn't have any way to extract an embedded link, but at least it does display it on the border of the window if the mouse is hovered over the link.

    So I got some paper and wrote down the lengthy link, and got it to work.

    I'd hate to think of phoning dKos Customer Support deep in the heart of Communist Kenya.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 06:36:31 PM PDT

  •  Yakuza all the way (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat

    they would probably even be polite and apologetic while they cut your throat (perhaps even literally)

  •  When the hell is Baron or Freiherr or what ever (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat

    he is and you going to get on the Bolt Bus and come up to Maine? That invitation is old, but still standing. I'm very fond of your husband, and can't wait to meet you.

    I resent that. I demand snark, and overly so -- Markos Moulitsas.

    by commonmass on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 06:39:51 PM PDT

  •  RCN (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, BachFan

    I was with RCN when the country went digital.

    It was in February when I got home from work (6:45pm) and opened a letter from RCN that they would be providing the digital boxes the day before and that day in the parking lot behind Rayan's Liquor Store until 8pm.

    I walked over to wait. (I asked the guys in the store and they didn't know anything about this.) Other people were there. We waited. After a while, someone called and was told by RCN that the guy was there (he wasn't.) A little after 8 a store owner from across the street walked over and asked why we were there. We told him. He said he was an authorized RCN dealer; he could have given out the boxes.

    The RCN guy showed up around 8:30. He said he had had to use the washroom.

    I got my box and went home to watch Countdown rerun.

    I've got rabbit ears now.

  •  Or Factory Farms :( (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat
  •  I was going to write a diary about my Comcast (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, grover, Nisi Prius, BachFan

    experience when I moved six months ago, but I was so effing angry at the time I didn't want to write something I would regret.

    Some of the lowlights of that period besides the multiple phone calls over a period of 5 days, repeating information, the interminable waits, reams of notes:

    *conflicting directions from one "customer service" rep to another
    *they made a service call appointment for me without my knowledge - then they did not show up
    *they charged me for a service call they never made (I hooked up my own equipment)
    *they outright lied
    *they would fix one problem, then turn around and turned off my service without notice and for no fault of mine
    *they billed me $1000 for set top boxes that I was still using
    and more

    The LA Times ran a good article recently, that was noted on DK, about the monopolistic cable industry in the US and how we pay more for less.  Sounds like health insurance, yes?  

    Every time I see Comcast's commercials about how "easy" it is to take your account with you when you move, I have to mute it - I get an automatic gag reflex.

    Living in an apartment, facing the wrong direction for satellite, I am left with no options if I want to keep internet and tv although I am looking into Hulu along with my Netflix account to cut back.  The bills are insane.

    Free market enterprise?

    Meh

  •  My Comcast hell (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat

    I had a problem with Comcast that required them to dispatch a technician....in two weeks...the earliest they could make it.  They told me they would come between 8 and 12 and would call before they arrive.  At 1, I really needed a quick bio break and of course they called at that moment.  I ran to phone to grab it as it rolled to voice mail.  I clicked return call and they said since I didn't answer the would have to reschedule...in a week or more.  So, bring your phone into the restroom when waiting on Comcast or the whole process repeats itself.

  •  heartfelt empathy to you and you family (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, blueoasis, OooSillyMe

    this past week we lost TWC service Twice!! The second time we were told it was a system outage twice before they finally admitted it must be our location. took a full day to just get them out to the service box in the back lot. Total of 6 calls which translates to like 30 different computer connections.  oh and the weather here had been absolutely beautiful for a week.
      Man thanks for this opportunity to vent!!!
      Blessed Be

  •  I just switched to CenturyLink and... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat

    ...was getting an intermittent wireless signal. I did what I could on my end, to no avail and finally called customer service - expecting the worst. Turned out not to be that bad this time around. Customer service tried one thing and offered to call me back in an hour to see if it had worked. It didn't, but the customer service rep called me back an hour later and the second fix DID work. 15 minutes or so on the phone in total between the two calls.

    Now Comcast, I've got the all too typical horror story about them that I won't go into because the story is too similar to all the stories already told. :(

  •  If you rag on them often enough (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Keith930, barkingcat

    they stick you on Recording Roulette in hopes you'll give up and go away. Keep saying, "Customer service" and you'll get a warm body eventually.

    Any jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a good carpenter to build one.--Sam Rayburn

    by Ice Blue on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 07:31:40 PM PDT

    •  I was on "recording roulette" for two hours (1+ / 0-)

      and I kid you not...it took another two hours just to calm down.  I have a live tech coming out tomorrow, and I plan on bribing his ass shamelessly to provide tech services under the table, cash on the barrellhead, when and as we need them.  

      I would gladly pay somebody cash, if reasonable, if I can just call them up and say'''"Hey...I have an issue...When are you free to come by?"

      I'll bet I can get a local tech guy who moonlights to respond to one single call, and be here in 12 hours.  For less money than those calls to customer service take off of the end of your life.

      Through early morning fog I see visions of the things to be the pains that are withheld for me I realize and I can see...

      by Keith930 on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 08:20:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Do. Not. Fall. For. It. (0+ / 0-)

        Ever.

        Don't let them waste your time by making you listen to all their ridiculous choices. You don't have to wait for the end of recording. Keep saying "customer service." You'll get a warm body within minutes instead of hours.

        Any jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a good carpenter to build one.--Sam Rayburn

        by Ice Blue on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 09:06:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Atlantic Broadband: different? (0+ / 0-)

    I come from the hellscape of Comcast universal domination, so I know what you're talking about. But it happens that this week I'm in Florida visiting family, and I reluctantly agreed to help [close kin's name redacted] by calling their cable service about a deal that their condo association had worked out. Extra digital channels and a free DVR, whatever that means to you normal teeveewatching peoples.

    Based on Comcast, I dreaded making the call. Expected to be on the line for hours and then to be told that they might be able to send out a truck sometime next month.

    Not at all. Within a minute I was talking with an actual, nice, human being, and within five minutes had scheduled to have the cable guy come out the very next morning. (The usual 8 to 12 "window," but still.) Next morning, in he came, very professional, and in less than half an hour he had everything up and running and was back out the door.

    I have no idea how typical this is of Atlantic Broadband, or even what Atlantic Broadband is or where it operates outside of Dade County. I just know that if I had a chance, I'd switch in a heartbeat.

  •  If you have Comcast business service (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    grover, barkingcat, tommymet

    you can only cancel within 30 days before your "service anniversary". It does not matter how long you've been with them, or if you've fulfilled the terms of your original contract, you must cancel within that window or be stuck for another year. I hope that somewhere the Comcast exec or lawyer that hatched this evil policy is stuck in a very bad marriage and those terms are included in his pre-nup.

    You can put your shoes in the oven, but it won't make them biscuits.

    by quetzalmom on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 08:55:45 PM PDT

  •  I like to suggest that you add "comcast" as a tag. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Keith930

    This way your diary actually comes up on a google search of the corporate name.

    © grover


    So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

    by grover on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 09:09:19 PM PDT

    •  I just did it...but you could have, too (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      grover

      a couple of tags have already been added to this diary that I didn't provide from the get go.  I don't mind at all.

      Through early morning fog I see visions of the things to be the pains that are withheld for me I realize and I can see...

      by Keith930 on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 09:14:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've written better diaries but I'm really fond of (0+ / 0-)

    the poll I posted in this one.   And the fact that the votes are so evenly spread says to me that I picked a good ballot of miscreants tha are hard to choose from.

    Through early morning fog I see visions of the things to be the pains that are withheld for me I realize and I can see...

    by Keith930 on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 09:43:25 PM PDT

    •  I'm surprised Andrew Dice Clay did as well as he (0+ / 0-)

      did...Clearly there are some GenXers here.  I didn't vote in my own poll, but I would have voted for Russian Baby Seal Clubbers.

      Through early morning fog I see visions of the things to be the pains that are withheld for me I realize and I can see...

      by Keith930 on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 09:48:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have had (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Keith930

    good luck with AT&T Uverse, for what it's worth. Our land line has crappy reception, so that is the big negative. But you get through to customer service pretty much right away every time I've called and they have solved it all quickly.

    Maybe give them a try?

    •  I don't think they are an option here in the PNW (1+ / 0-)

      and the whole bundling thing creates an economic force of its own.  You have to ride herd over it, at watch the bill, and be willing to call and be polite but persistent in negotiating it down from time to time.  I'm good at that, but my wife pays the bills, and sometimes she just snaps when the bill creeps up and she opens the bill when I'm not there.

      She is impulsive, and has switched back in forth a couple of times when, if I had been there to calm her down instead, I could have called the bundler...worked some down-home charm, been a little patient, asked to speak to someone higher up the food chain, and renegotiated the rate back down.  My wife doesn't have that sort of forebearance in her DNA.  She see's a high bill and goes for the jugular.

      She doesn't know how to play one off against the other, or lacks the  patience to do so.  It has caused us some service grief, I must say.

      There's something to be said for biting one's tongue....but I think I know when it's time to stop biting it.  My wife has never bitten hers once.  It's a major difference between the two of us.

      Through early morning fog I see visions of the things to be the pains that are withheld for me I realize and I can see...

      by Keith930 on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 10:30:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My internet provider (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alexandra Lynch

    is a local company whose office is half a mile away from me.

    That must be why I've never had any trouble. They know that it would be easy for me to shoot up their office.

    The thing about quotes on the internet is you cannot confirm their validity. ~Abraham Lincoln

    by raboof on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 03:49:50 AM PDT

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