Thursday, November 19, 2009

Comcast is stupid, Part II

Ok, so I just tried again with the LiveChat, and again, they asked for my SSN and said it was to comply with some FTC rule. But when I said, "I've been assured by a Comcast rep that an SSN is not necessary", they said, "oh, well ok then, how about a driver's license number?" So I said, ok, let's do that. Great to know that if I hadn't objected or known, I'd still be made to feel that it was necessary to give it.

So then, we're setting up the appointment, and I distinctly remember a screen telling me there would be a $23 installation fee as I clicked through the order.

She then tells me that installation will be $123 dollars! Turns out it is only $23 for the television, and, get this....$99 for the internet. $99!!! That is anal rape.
  1. I do not need ANYTHING special for this. I've got a freakin PhD in Computer Science, I can handle my networking stuff. So I did not ask for any sort of professional installation in terms of setting up a router, installing software on my computer, or anything like that.
  2. I don't need anythign wired at the place, the place is fully wired.
  3. I LITERALLY need them to remove a trap and configure me. I can't believe people pay $99 for that. That is just the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard!
She also tells me that because I have been so nice (I have, I am generally always nice to service people because they are people too), she can get me to just under $50 for the install. This STILL seems crazy to me. People will come install satellite dishes for $0. SATELLITE DISHES. It is much more complicated than removing a trap from a house that is already totally wired.

So, I think...well, there's a coffee shop nearby, work is not far...Maybe I won't get internet...maybe it's not REALLY necessary. That's how against paying this fee I am, because it just completely offends my sense of what things should cost. So I ask the person, "What if I just got TV, then?"

You know what happens?

She ignores me. I sit at my computer for minutes, thinking maybe she is checking with a supervisor or something...but no, I am literally hanging for minutes. I am much more patient than your average person here, so finally, I just typed, "hello?" and waited a minute or two more. Finally, I realized that somehow, asking a legitimate question had pushed the wrong buttons, and I was being frozen out.

So, I wrote, "Ok then. Thank you for your time," waited about 30 more seconds, and logged out. I wish in hindsight that I had timed the difference in time between my messages, but then, I didn't think that I was going to get ignored. But I think I probably waited a total of 7-8 minutes or a LIVE CHAT.

Goodness gracious. I would have been willing to pay around $25 or so, but instead I didn't sign up. Again. Sigh. It shouldn't be this hard.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Comcast is stupid

Comcast wants my social security number in order to get service.

I googled it and apparently they've had this policy for a while, but it's the first time since I last signed up. I'm like, whaaa? Yeah right! You've gotta be fucking kidding me, I don't trust my number with them (or anyone for that matter - I am very stingy with that number). With all the brouhaha today about being careful with your SSN, you think I'm just going to type it over the internet to some person? You think I'm going to give it to a cable company? Please!

What the hell is that about? I want TV and internet, but I do NOT want to give them my SSN. Even their customer service czar has twittered that they don't require it, but that doesn't stop their representatives from trying to get it from you. That's the biggest rub. When exposed, the Comcast customer service czar twittered that their policy was not to require SSN. This happened in 2008. And yet, reps are still trying to tell you that you have to give it to them (that's what happened to me today). So they are either hugely ineffective at getting training to their reps, or they are purposefully trying to get people to give SSNs because they assume people will eventually just give it to them. Well, I pushed back, and I said no. They said, you have to, there is no other way. I said thanks and hung up on the chat.

The worst part is that the rep tried to tell me that the reason they needed the number was to make sure I qualified for the best service and deals, and to see if I needed to put in a deposit for service. I told them I had an account that I canceled several months prior before I moved and couldn't they just look that up to see that it was in good standing...and the answer was No. If you need it to make sure I'm not going to stiff you, can't you just see that I've been a good paying customer for years?

There's a reason why Comcast was runner up to AIG in this years Consumerist Worst Company in America contest. I've always used them because I've never had another choice. This is not the first time they have pissed me off. I think this time I'm going to try to find something else though. I'm going to try hard, because I really, REALLY don't think I should have to give them my social.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Word Loss

I recently read a book that used the word "carrion."

I was thinking about this today as I brushed my teeth, and I fifty years, will people use or know the word "carrion"? I was the first time I'd come across that word in....oh, I don't know, 10 years? Maybe not since my college days, where I had more time to read books. And now that I am done with grad school, I have time once again.

But I get the sense that people don't read anymore, not like they used to. So...isn't it entirely possible that we are losing words constantly, as they fall out of favor and it gets to the point that most of the population don't know what they mean?

Somehow, this made me sad. I wonder how many 15 year olds these days know what "carrion" means.