Wednesday, November 25, 2009

How Does Comcast Stay In Business?

This entry may seem to start out in left field, okay, it does start in out left field. BUT it finally gets to the question of the day: Comcast -- WTF?

[FYI: If this type looks smaller than the rest of the type in this entry, it is. Nothing I did would fix it. Blogger is getting kind of sucky, lately.]

But first, before Comcast, let's talk about ME.

Last week, after taking a half day off work, I drove forty-five miles to my hip doc's medical center for the three month check up that follows the six week check up. Most people who get hips are retired. They spend their days following hip surgery counting the moments until they can return to their doctors to talk and talk about how they're doing.

I'm not retired. My lotto ticket hasn't come in yet. After my second surgery, I recovered quickly enough to drive myself home from rehab and go back to work. In fact I was doing assignments during re-hab. No lying around eating bon-bons for me. Since time flies when you're having that much fun, I lost track of the weeks, so this was actually a four month check up, but who's counting?

When I signed in at the medical center, I discovered that, like most of my life lately, there was a problem. The appointment wasn't at the medical center where my doctor's stable of good-looking third year residents provide an interesting diversion. No, it was scheduled at his suburban office, twenty miles in a completely different direction. Rats. Gotta reschedule another forty-five mile trip for another day. The good news [?] -- I got back to work earlier.

Naturally, being over fifty, I am programmed to assume I made a mental mistake about the appointment, until I checked my email and the officious, sorry, well meaning young nurse who does the schedule had made her own farking mistake. Boy that felt good. Wait till you're sixty-six. You'll live to catch screw ups by patronizing young twits. "I bet you just had a senior moment, Mrs. Linklater."  You can take your senior moment, Missy, and stick it in your ear.

The next day, Friday, I took off another half day for my car. I had made an appointment on Tuesday, three days ahead of time, for a new back window windshield wiper motor. Say that ten times. I wanted the alarm system disconnected, too. Lately, after it rains, the alarm has a bad habit of going off for no apparent reason. When I open the door, for instance. Then I have to stand there until I press the exact right spot on the button attached to my keys, while pointing it simultaneously at the sensor in the car, to halt the honking. So just disconnect the damn thing. Anyone who wants a 17 year old Jeep and several empty bottles of Nestea on the passenger seat can have it.

The mechanic had my car from 9:00 AM, only to call around 4:00 PM and say that the replacement motor sent out was the wrong one. And, when he disconnected the alarm system, the car wouldn't start. He doesn't know this already? The guy owns three Jeeps himself. One of them is identical to mine. After nine hours, nothing had been done.

Today, I took yet another day off work to take in the car again. I only live a mile from this mechanic, so I also scheduled Comcast and the electrician to come by the house.  Comcast -- to hook up the cable and wireless internet. The electrician -- to replace a light fixture and fix the doorbell. Here's me, multi-tasking.

Comcast actually came out a little early!!! to set up the wireless internet, replace the old cable wires with new ones, and install the black box that makes HBO work.

Before getting started, the pleasant cable guy announced that OOOPS he didn't have an order to set up wireless internet, only the regular internet. We were off to a good start. The good news was that he had a wireless router on the truck. Oh, there was also a one time set up charge of $175. And there would also be a $5.00 monthly fee for a wireless router, plus $2 for something else. I told him I had been quoted $75 for the installation. And nothing was mentioned about an extra $5.00 per month [which turns out to be $5.99] for the router. Or the other two bucks.

He called the dispatcher about the $175. But the dispatcher could only lower the price to $150 since he didn't have access to the promotion codes. So I called the sales guy to tell him my problem. He talked to the installer and then made several more calls. He got me the $75 price, which I will believe when I see the bill.

This is on top of the sales people telling me I could have cable and wireless for $59.95 on the day, a week earlier, when I talked to them, as they were going door to door in my neighborhood drumming up business.

Only it turns out the real price was suddenly $79.95, plus an extra $5.00 for the second cable box when they came back so I could sign the order.  That's because $59.95 was only for internet and phone [voice], not for internet and cable.  Somewhere in there they tried to work out a $69.95 deal, but that internet speed would be a whole lot slower than the $79.95 speed. Oh wait, that offer is only for six months. Except maybe that's not true either.  What's true is that there is NO internet/cable only deal.

Can you say BAIT AND SWITCH?  Except that Comcast's promotions are so convoluted and confusing that anybody could screw them up. Not to mention I heard that Comcast just fired a bunch of well-trained people who were making too much money, hired newbies and threw them out there with very little training. These folks don't know what they're offering when they're making the offer. Apparently Comcast has spent all their money paying Shaq and Ben Stein.

So what I thought was a great monthly price at $59.95 for cable and wireless with two tvs and two computers and a one time installation charge of $75, is almost twice that much, what with "neglecting" to inform me of five bucks here, five bucks there and oh, we made a mistake, that should have been. . .

Here's the best part.  This "deal" is only good for twelve months. Then you can add $20 per month for a second year.  After that I think the cost almost doubles. I smell a plug being pulled.

Meanwhile, the electrician came by and left because he couldn't fix what needed fixing without another electrician along. But the mechanic got the new windshield wiper motor installed. Only without a windshield wiper because he lost it somewhere. And then he broke the wiper on his Jeep, trying to take it off and use it on my car.

Plus, I still can't lock the car unless I want to set off the alarm when I open the door.


Anne said...

Boy, that one wore me out........can't imagine how you did it! Anne oh and Happy Thanksgiving.

Chris said...

"You can take your senior moment, Missy, and stick it in your ear."

I think you are mellowing. Years ago, you wouldn't have graciously given her the ear option!

PS: Comcast sucks donkey poop.