An Open Letter to Comcast
The following post was from my original blog on ronincyberpunk.com, it is archived here for posterity purposes
The below letter contains many expletives and may cause nausea and vomiting for those with weak stomachs. And this isn't normally the way I write, please do not judge me by this letter. It was written out of anger and frustration. But I mean everything in it.
How are you? I hope this letter finds you well, because when I am finished with you you will be bleeding from every orifice in your body. We are now in our eighth month of a relationship, having started off beautifully when I first signed up for your television and cable internet combo. And now... and now we are in our third month of 'rockiness.'
Let me refresh your memory.
It was November of 2004, only a stones throw in the past, when I suddenly was informed that apparently someone in my house was ordering Video-on-demand, it was around $50 worth and as we had not put a protection code on the box, I accepted it as a possibility that no roommate would step forward and take credit for it. So we paid it with minor upset, mostly talking to support finding out if it is possible that there is a mistake. That maybe we hadn't actually ordered this, but when we were assured that it could not be a mistake and that it was someone in our house, we let it be and found out how to protect it.
Or so we thought.
On that first period of rough road, I had been told about setting a number or password to prevent anyone unauthorized from calling and ordering anything.
Or so I thought.
It seems you failed to make it clear that this phone number would not thwart any attempts to order on the cable box.
Now I am sure your corporate entity believes I am just a member of a house of college guys hellbent on ordering bad porn for over priced amounts and then skipping out on the bill. Since we all know college students, much less engineering students who are well acquainted with the Internet, would actually order porn off the tv. Absolutely.
And so the month changed and we entered December. Our house emptied and we all went to our respective homes to be with family and enjoy the break between semesters. While the house was locked and we were all snuggled at homes, as far reaching as Kenya (that's in Africa in case you didn't know), we apparently had a thief break into our house and order more porn!
No electronics were snatched, no valuables gone missing, but I'll be damned if this thief didn't order us a bill of over $150 in late night porn.
And yes, one of your employees actually suggested that as a possibility.
And it was at this point I was informed that the phone code was not all encompassing, instead I needed to also set a code on the box. Which I did, while I was still the only one home, so no one in this house knows the code except me. No one. Are you with me so far?
So after five calls to your various off shore offices I finally got ahold of a woman who saw a glimmer that maybe I was serious and this was faulty, so after having been assured multiple times that there was no way that this could be a mistake, she forwarded our problem to the technical services department and promised I would hear from them within a week.
I let ten days pass and then I called back, to talk to a barely english speaking employee who told me that my account would be credited for all invalid orders. Apparently it wasn't a thief in the house, apparently it was my cable box ordering porn on its own.
And at this moment my heart swelled, angels sung, and I hoped that our rough times were over and we could enter a period of happiness and tranquility. And yet... it was not to be so.
Here we are today, January 26th, I've received the latest bill in my mail and upon opening it I am rather dismayed at what I see. Sure enough you did keep your word and credit me for last months 'troubles' but what do my despairing eyes behold?
$112.90 in Video on Demand porn orders.
I sit down at my desk, anger rising in me like bile preparing to be spit into the toilet before I flush the turd that is Comcast down the toilet.
I dial the local offices and after several minutes I get a hold of a "service agent" or whatever your catchy title for them is. It doesn't really matter, I've got a new name for them, "Masons." Why? Because you have them trained to the T to brickwall any upset customer.
"I'm sorry sir I'll take this information and forward it to our technical services department."
So let me lay it all out for you Comcast. Unless you get your fucking act together I'm going big with this, I'm going to find anyone else having this problem and I'm going to build a coalition. I'll call news channels, I'll write to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. This is bullshit, and I'm done with it. And unless you call me back in two days with a solution and promises that it will never happen again, on top of paying the outstanding bill, you've lost this customer, and whoever else I can convince to turn away.
You think just because you have a monopoly on local cable tv you can pull this kind of shit?
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