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A Glitch in an Otherwise Smooth Move

Over the years, Crabby Old Lady has listened to friends complain about their dealings with Comcast, the telecom that provides their internet and cable television connections. But Crabby is understating.

They don't just mutter about dim customer service reps or tardy technicians. Oh, no. Their tirades are of operatic proportions - they spit and screech and turn red in the face.

Now, it turns out, Crabby's friends have a lot of company. Last month, Comcast beat out runner-up Ticketmaster by a voting margin of 59 to 41 percent to win The Consumerist's annual Worst Company in America Award - The Golden Poo. (Imagine for yourself what the statuette is.)

According to the Washington Post, Comcast spokesperson, Jenni Moyer, upon being told of the award, issued this statement:

“We're working everyday to improve our customers' experiences with us, including offering a Customer Guarantee that's backed by significant operational changes...”

and blah, blah, blah - more corporate crap.

So Crabby Old Lady was wary last week when she telephoned Comcast to arrange cable and internet installation at her new home in Oregon and she was not disappointed. First, she could not have the discount package offered on their website, said the representative, because she had telephoned. When she tried a live chat online, a different rep said she could not have the discount and refused to give a reason, saying only that Crabby is ineligible.

Crabby gave up for the time being and moved on to the next item on her list.

She phoned PGE in Oregon to arrange for her electric service. The customer service guy was smart, efficient and friendly and the account was set up in five minutes. Then he asked if there was anything else he could do to help Crabby with her move. Laughing ruefully, she asked if perhaps he has an in with Comcast.

Crabby was blown away when he said that, as a matter of fact, he does. PGE partners with another company, Allconnect, to arrange other services. That representative – as smart, efficient and friendly as the PGE person - took Crabby's Comcast order, made the appointment for setup and gave Crabby an even bigger discount than the one offered online. Whoopee. Easy and less expensive. What more could a Crabby Old Lady ask for?

She checked both items – electric and cable - off her to-do list.

Until Saturday.

Returning a missed a call from Comcast, she got a recording and left her phone number. You already know this was not a “welcome to Comcast call,” right? Six hours later, a Comcast person returned the call and asked what she could do for Crabby.

Crabby explained she was returning Comcast's call and after some confusion (what else?), the woman said Crabby's appointment had been canceled because the current owners had not requested cancellation of their account. Crabby explained she would be moved in by her installation date, but the Comcast woman read her script and would not budge.

Crabby admits she got testy, noting colorfully that the electric company, bank, insurance agent and U.S. Postal Service have all set up Crabby's new accounts so that her services will not be delayed and what's wrong with Comcast that it can't?

Of course, Crabby got nowhere and there is now a big, gaping hole in her otherwise complete “Oregon Move Checklist.”

But wait. There's more. A flurry of emails between Crabby and her Oregon real estate agent revealed that the current owners have requested cancellation and a transfer of their account to their new address but they, too, have been caught in Comcast's ghastly limbo unable to get the worst company in America to move forward.

Sometime today, Crabby will talk to the wonderful people at Allconnect and see if they can pull off their magic again. Crabby is told that fiber optic will be available in her part of Oregon within six to 12 months. Guess who will be first in line.


At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Ellen Younkins: Old Age


Comments

gosh, i am again impressed that crabby has gotten this many services set up from long distance. i think crabby's move will be pretty smooth, smoother than suki could arrange for herself. most likely that lovely service in Oregon will get even comcast lined up and marching. best of luck.

OK, Ronni, you get the cigar! This is the best ever snafu story I've heard & I've heard some duzie's! You also get the prize........hands down, for the most organized person in the USA! Dee

Customer "service" reps read from a script, and you have to ask for a supervisor, and don't accept the bit about putting you on hold so they can check with a supervisor, because they don't. They just let you think they are. Part of the script. You have to speak to the supervisor yourself.

So sorry that you have this glitch. I have heard many others complain about that company.

I changed to Cox Cable after using another ISP that had very poor tech support. So far everything has gone well with Cox with the exception of not getting the full discount I was promised. The cable was already installed before I got my first bill and realized I had been 'had' again by another big corporation. I complained (for all the good it did me). Their explanation was so convoluted that they lost me.

My daughter tried to straighten out the billing problem to no avail. She got the same deliberately confusing answer as to why I didn't get the discount.

Of course, by this time I just gave up as they knew I would.

I was upset with poor service from a waitress yesterday and asked the waitress behind the cash register to speak to the manager. She said she would pass on what I wanted to say. I said is the manager here? No the Owner is here and he's too busy to see anyone right now. I replied, I have a problem with his business and he is too busy to talk to one of his customers? Yes, she replied you can tell me. I said I have a complaint on the service and I don't see any point in telling you since I think this is an issue for the manager. She replied well if you don't want to tell me, I don't care about your complaint and walked off. Needless to say I won't be back and so far in one day I've managed to tell 5 people about the horrible service I've received. I will keep telling everyone that wanders into my life. I've made it a mission. I received the same service at Target and Michaels. Evidently customer service is as you said...blah, blah, blah corporate speak.

All cable companies have been hatched from the same evil egg. Maine, Oregon, Minnesota and most likely Antartica - the results are the same. Fie on them all.

I'm with Nan. You MUST ask to talk to a manger in these situations...and while you are waiting, you can draft up something to post on line [keep a template, too, for the next incident]. Give the manager a list of the on line complaint posting sites: complaint.com, ripoffreport.com, complaintsboard.com, consumer report, etc. available to you and calmly let them know that all will be cc'd to the company CEO. Ask them their name to hold them accountable. Of course, they can lie but he point is made.

The internet empowers us. We need to use it to "sway" unfair business tactics. Communication and Media companies seem to be the slowest utility to clean up their act. Bravo to PG&E.

Comcast is the worst! Just be sure you save all your paperwork/receipts, etc. for several months, even after you end your service with them. And record the names of the customer service people with whom you speak. This company is famous for a reason.
(Google Comcast complaints.) Wish we had a little more choice when it comes to our internet communications companies.

ConCast: They don't care. They don't have to.

Oh yes, Comcast earned the dishonor.

My story with them is that I wanted to change the account to my name from my wife's name. It is in my wife's name because she had the time when we moved to make the arrangements as she does not work.

Now she has early onset Alzheimer's and we thought it should be in my name. I emailed Comcast the request with an explanation. To keep it short, the only way it can be done is to cancel the account, return the equipment, cancel the auto pay, and start from scratch in my name.

I made the same request to the gas and electric company. Their reply?
"The changes have been made to your account..."

How come no one is interested in satelitte tv? Direct TV has excellent programming & reception....?

Isn't there anybody else available but comcast. Wow.....REading on.....

...and while you are doing all of the above on a neat template, ask the person you are talking to not only their name, but their employee number. Often employees use a made up name, but they don't use a made up employee number. Now ask to talk to their supervisor. :)

Haha just got off the phone with my own Comcast Catch 22. Always the worst.

Gee reading this we must be the only people in the USA who really have never had a problem with Comcast. We have been with them since their inception - I think 1984 and they are always there for us unless of course there is a storm or major malfunction of the system. They even credited our account when I had to use cell phone minutes when the house phone was out. I wish the services would cost less - it is expensive but has become a real necessity for us "old farts."

I get as frustrated and angry as you ... but I go right to the heart of the problem. I send a letter outlining the problems to the President and/or CEO at their corporated headquarters and a copy of the letter (printed and mailed by USPS) to all the chief executives at the corporate headquarters, as well as the members of their Board of Directors, and the CEO of the offending division and his minions!
Am sending you all this information under separate cover to your Email address, which you can use or delete as you want.
This type of on-going nonsense by a large corporation cannot be allowed to pass unnoticed by their board of directors, in my opinion.
And, believe me, I have found this simple method to be MOST effective.
So take a moment to write a letter based on your terrific blog above, and spend some postage stamps on this.
You may be pleasantly surprised at the responses you'll get! '-)

Residents in my city were unhappy with Comcast and Time Warner bought it several years ago. Comcast usually has a monopoly on services and claims they're "fixing" or "upgrading services" as though this justified their poor service. They are one reason why I never signed up for cable.


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