Monday, October 11, 2010


Boy howdy, it’s an exciting Monday indeed! Besides the obviousness of the awesome Monday Night Football game on tonight between the Jets and the Moss-infused Vikings (you’ll pay for the whole seat, but you’ll only need the edge of it!) I’ve also officially sent out my birthday invites on Facebook! I apologize if you didn’t receive it, but trust that all who are interested are invited. On top of all that, I got to write a scathing letter of disappointment to the fine (read: horrible) people at Comcast. I’m pretty good at scathing letters, though I reserve my abilities for those who truly warrant it. In this case, Comcast, you have fallen into the pits of Those Who Truly Warrant It. (It’s an ugly place populated by the likes of the eBay seller who failed me, census takers, Federated Insurance, and whoever is responsible for those horrible Quiznos commercials. Not everyone gets a scary letter, but they all deserve one.)

So here's the sitch. Up until a few months ago, my three roommates and I had been blissfully unaware of our sky-rocketing cable/internet bill. We have long since lost the privileges of the “introduction fees” that sucked us in in the first place. So for years, we just kind of paid it, because we were happy. Then comes the dreaded scrolling messages on all our TVs. We are being told that, in order to maintain the same service, for which we’ve been paying the obscene full price, for over 3 years, we have to buy some converter boxes. And lest we lose over half our channels, we’d better high-tail to the cable place and scoop up the 4 that we need a.s.a.p.

So, that makes us take a look at our bills. We sort of re-remember how much we’ve been paying, and are now hell-bent on remedying the situation, especially because each box costs about $3 extra a month. Not a ton of money, but it’s the PRINCIPLE of it, people. Alas, there is little to be done. Don't you just love a monopoly? So we get the dumb boxes. But then the internet doesn’t work all of a sudden. I get to spend a good 7-10 minutes on hold with their “superior customer service” peeps, then Geo spends another good 30 minutes trying to get the internet back online. Finally: Success.

Or so I thought. We hook up the ridiculous boxes to each of our TVs, call up Comcast (again!) and they push some, like, giant red GO button or something. Our main TV and 2 others appear as though nothing has changed. I guess it worked? (I can't be sure, because it's exactly what we had before.) But it’s a different story for the TVs upstairs. Most importantly, MY TV.

All of a sudden half my channels don’t work and the ones that DO “work” are interrupted every single 40 seconds – yes, I counted – with some screen from Comcast saying “Thanks for your patience while we do something really stupid which won’t affect you at all except for right now, and every 40 seconds after this. You’ll thank us later.” Uh. Whaaaa? I’ll thank you later? No, I’ll thank you very much when you give me back my sanity.

Enter: Scathing Letter. Let’s just say I may or may not have used the phrases “Highway Robbery” and “Egomaniacal Marketing Department with No Knowledge of the Technicalities of Your Product”. After I hit “Send” I felt better. Then I get a message back from them. In short, they say “Welp, sounds like a technical problem (duh). You’ll have to schedule a time for one of our cable guys to come into your home.” No apology, no “Wow, thank you for drawing our attention to this obvious lack of quality”, no nothing. Just another step I need to take to, that’s right, GET THE EXACT SAME THING WE HAD BEFORE.

Well, as of now, I’m stuck with the problem (and a second remote to use my own TV, which totally bites). The good thing about this is that our main TV works just fine, and that’s where the Vikings game will be on. Phew! And our internet is back on track, so I’ll be able to obsessively check how many people are coming to my party. And those really are the most important things, right?


Grandmaman said...

Good Grief! Same thing happened to me with my week-old Direct TV service! MY TV kinda froze, but the 2 others were fine! I called and they said they would send out a technician but noone came. Ted called (adifferent number) and a Tech fixed it right over the phone. It too was fixed by a hidden magic red button!

cindi said...

lol...great synopsis of the dreaded cable nightmare that haunts us all..............good job !!!!!