Itís 1:30 in the morning and Iím waiting for a phone call from a Comcast technician. You may think thatís peculiar and youíre entitled to your opinion. Iím just trying to read my damned mail.
I do realize that Comcast is probably no worse than the other Ďservicesí out there. They hook you up and sell you shit and then fail all the time. We value you as a customer. Please stay on the line. Is there anything else we can help you with?
The reason I canít access my mail is that I am periodically denied the privilege by Comcast because it does not recognize my password. My password is incorrect, it turns out, although my password is identical to the password these clowns issued me in the first place. Hereís your password: just kidding.
Previously, Iíve just shut down my computer, closed internet connection, and then reopened. Usually that works. Sometimes it works the next day but at least it works. But tonight I finally just blew a gasket. Wrong password? Fuck you! Howís that for a password? Got your password right here, suckers.
I went to the Comcast online Ďchatí help where allegedly live Ďanalystsí fix your problem. The first person ran me through the usual stuff, user name, motherís favorite ice cream, who plays shortstop for the Phillies, and then agreed to assist me in selecting a new password.
I asked, may I select my own this time? Sure. Okay, here it is. Nope, weíve selected one for you. The one they picked was the presumably typical combination of four letter words. The person on the other end, if it was a person, said he or she ĖĖ the name was ĎSurenderí, which should have been a clue ĖĖ said I could now use the new one and he/she would remain on the line while I tried it out. Guess what? The next message was that he/she would exit the room ĖĖ thatís how they talk ĖĖ shortly, so hurry up.
The new password didnít work and ĎSurenderí was gone. I wrote a note to Comcast telling them my opinion of their service, their corporation, and their parentage. I filled in the questionnaire by checking the blanks which rated them as disgusting. Then I tried again.
This time I didnít get ĎSurenderí, which was momentarily reassuring. I got someone with a human name. Elisa. Of course, she may have been connecting from Tierra del Fuego, but at least she was conversant in English. I explained. We are so sorry, Elisa said. Weíll fix it right away. Can you tell me your fatherís maiden name and the birthdate of Lyndon Johnsonís Springer spaniel?
Then I couldnít find my Comcast account number. I made the mistake of paying my bill earlier in the month and havenít been hit with the new one. I donít keep the bills because I havenít figured out how to deduct this rip-off from my taxes. Elisa said, can I call you?
I thought this was a little forward, but under the circumstances, hell yes. Then she reported that it might be a while because ďwe are having an issue now and canít view the account details. I do apologize for the inconvenience but no worries, we now have our technician who are (uh oh) working to have the system up and running.Ē She assured me that as soon as the system was working she would telephone me. Would that be okay?
Well, what exactly were my options? As near as I can tell, the earlier helpful Ďanalystí had voided my old password and failed to make the new one operational. I had no choice. In the meantime, Elisa wrote, Comcast also offers great FAQ and Help forums.
Elisa then exited the room. She has not returned. She has not called. That was half an hour ago. Comcastís army of technician are now working like little beavers to fix the system and she will telephone me the instant itís available, even if itís four in the morning, even if she has left work and has started a long weekend. Even if sheís gone on vacation with a boyfriend from Bangladesh.
In my little note to Comcast, I promised to write a column about all this and here it is. If you have a palatable alternative to Comcast, I urge you to use it. If I knew what I was doing, Iíd figure out how to change to some less horseshit cable company, if there is one, but I sort of doubt it.
Your call is very important to us. Please blow me and Iíll get to you as soon as you have given up all hope.