Mean mistreater

 

$20 in one month? Just because you think you can? We don't think so.

$20 in one month? Just because you think you can? We don’t think so.

Oh-oh-oh Comcast. You did us wrong; you raised our rates and then held on and on and on and on and o-oh-on. 

At least you tried. But your Mean Mistreater business model doesn’t work for the Hardys anymore. Our love has died.

Actually, we never loved Comcast. We’d both long deplored Comcast’s tactic of sending bills with barely enough turn-around time to get them paid without incurring late fees (as well as the $5 “convenience” charge for paying over the phone the times we’d been out of the country when the bills came).

(Maybe it’s tilting at windmills, but in hopes of helping to keep the U.S. Post Office alive, I try to pay most of our bills by snail mail.)

But Uverse’s inability to play nicely with Macs a few years ago drove us to the corporate giant. 

At first our relationship was pretty good, but then they started raising rates – yet TV was hit and miss, often going out for no apparent reason. Not that we watched enough to justify the plan we had anyway.

Finally, I got John to call with the intention of dropping TV down to basic – or nothing except Wifi. Netflix would do. But after clawing his way through the dreaded computerized phone system, a sweet-talking “retention” agent suckered him in with promises of SPORTS! and free HBO for a year.

Oh, and they’d stop charging us $8 a month modem rental since the modem we bought, at Comcast’s recommendation, wouldn’t work with Comcast after all. Then our Internet service started going out multiple times daily, though, to give credit where it’s due, the last few months that had stopped.

But oh, you corporate devil. Our abusive relationship resumed sooner than we’d imagined, with the “free” HBO quickly turning to paid – and no one having a record of the verbal retention agreement. Then the modem charge came back. Then another “waived” charge, for the non-DVR receiver in the bedroom. 

You cheater, you.

I’d been begging John to break up with Comcast for quite some time (he might call it nagging) – they never liked to talk to me, since his name is on the account, so he had to do it. 

But he couldn’t bear the ordeal of fighting to get free and deciding to whom to turn until our most recent bill came with a $20 increase. No justification, just $20 more. 

That got the hubster to take action.

You can see the note-taking my law-school trained husband did through the Comcast divorce – though he never pulled the "I'm an attorney line" in his dealings with the behemoth.

You can see the note-taking my law-school trained husband did through the Comcast divorce – though he never pulled the “I’m an attorney line” in his dealings with the behemoth.

We’d been hearing Uverse was better on the Internet front and we’d really liked the TV service, so, once he got in fighting mode, John had our installation scheduled within a day. As soon as the at&t installer left, John called Comcast.

Of course he got a computer; after talking to it long enough, he chose “5” to “remove some or all Comcast services.” Suddenly a real person answered and asked what he wanted to do. When he told her he wanted to cancel, she said she wanted to give him a “great deal.” He said no thanks, but she insisted.

He said, “Lady, Uverse just left. I want to cancel.” She said, “Oh, I can’t do that.” After making him give her the reasons he wanted to cancel, she finally gave John the number to call someone else.

The number yielded the same computer menu (after re-entering his phone and account numbers); he had to press “5” again – and finally got someone who sounded just like the woman he spoke to before. They had the same conversation, she said she was “so sorry” to hear he wanted to cancel and wanted him to list his reasons.

Finally, my soft-spoken husband told her, “STOP! I just want to cancel effective immediately.”

But, no – that wouldn’t do! She told him he’d have to take our equipment to the service center 15 miles away. She couldn’t possibly cancel our service over the phone that day! To do that, he’d have to call another number (and still deliver the damn equipment).

He declined the number and said he’d just deliver the equipment the next morning – but she couldn’t possibly tell him what time the place opened, nor was it posted online. When he tried to call the local number to find out the hours, he got – maybe you guessed it – the same computer menu.

Since we were receiving two of the three grandkids we’d be keeping for a few days the next morning and I had to go to work, John hightailed it to the Comcast office by 8:30 –  an office that opened at 10. Home he came, and after I got home from work, he hauled it back the 15 miles to get there just in time to get us canceled.

Comcast managed to get another day’s pay out of us by refusing to cancel over the phone – typical of their in-your-face-we’re-a-corporation, dammit! model. 

Analytical John wonders how much income Comcast generates by such a model – delaying cancelation by a day or two times all the subscribers trying to quit. We’re guessing quite a bit.

When he got to the center, the woman who helped him was great, he stresses. And when he told her he hated Comcast, she told him she understood.

 

 

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