If you watch television at all, you have probably seen the recent commercials boasting that Comcast, now known as Xfinity, has changed into a kinder, gentler company. However recent negative customer interactions appear to demonstrate that Comcast is the same corrupt company that it has always been.
Comcast is the biggest mass media and communications company in the world. In the past there have been many concerns regarding the ethics of this company, including some of the lowest customer service reviews as well as charges of violations against net neutrality.
Comcas/Xfinity is the largest provider of cable television and internet services, and the third largest provider for phone services. Comcast acquired NBC Universal in 2011, allowing them to control yet another major media source. Now, Comcast has now merged with Time Warner, so don’t expect any objective views from that company any time soon.
If you’ve ever called their customer service line, you probably have seen the worst side of yourself emerge. Whether you had the rare experience of talking to an American who has been sucked into working for a truly evil company, or, more likely, you spoke with one of their many outsourced workers in India, you may have heard yourself talk and wondered when you became the curmudgeon on the block. So it might be a relief to find out that this is not a true reflection of your character, it’s the result of being put on hold for an extremely long time, then talking to someone who is trying to commit larceny over the phone. According to a recent article in the Washington Post, an advertising technology company called Marchex did a study comparing over 1.2 million customer call recordings, and found that customers who were on the phone with their cable company were more likely to swear than during any other customer service call. For more information, see the following link-
Just today, this writer advocated on behalf of a widow who was tricked by one of this mega-conglomerate’s flimflam hoaxes. This customer had formerly entrusted the cable bill to her husband. After his death, she had called Comcast with the honest intention of making sure that the most recent debit card payment had been processed, and one of their con-artist customer service representatives tricked her into signing up for the most expensive plan they have to offer. She said that this representative had told her that she had called on a special day when they were having a one-time offer guaranteeing that she would just pay two payments of $99.00, and she would have full cable service for the year. Since the customer was previously paying over $83.00 every month, this sounded like a stellar deal, so she agreed to the contract. After this she received three automated calls saying that she needed to provide Comcast with a third-party payer agreement. She didn’t understand what information Comcast was requesting, so she asked this author to call on her behalf and get more information about “the deal.”
At the beginning of the call, an agreement was made so that Comcast could call later to get a review of the customer service interaction. After navigating through a labyrinth of a phone tree, the caller finally reached a Comcast employee who said that indeed the customer had signed up for a new contract, one where she would make only two low payments of $99.00, in addition to her new monthly payments which would be $177. 00, (plus applicable taxes and fees of course.) When this author attempted to re-establish the old service plan for the widow, she was told that it was impossible, since Comcast did not have any computer records of the previous billing information. After a minute of ranting and raving on this end, the operator gave in and said that she could switch the plan back to the previous agreement. After the yelling stopped and the widow’s plan was returned to the previous agreement, this caller waited for the scheduled call to review the customer service interaction, but it never came. Gee, wonder why.
If you’re not feeling like angry after a call with the monopoly known as Comcast/Xfinity/Time Warner/NBC, you’re likely feeling stupid. After all, it’s just a cable bill, right? It shouldn’t be that complicated. But apparently even the smarties are frustrated with this monster corporation. Perhaps actor Patrick Stewart summed it up best in a recent Twitter feed when he said, “All I wanted to do was set up a new cable account, but 36 hours later I've lost the will to live.”
While it is generally accepted that one can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, a short conversation with these pilferers could sway a pacifist into thinking that maybe sometimes violence IS the answer. Be thankful that Mahatma Gandhi, Alfred Nobel, Mother Theresa and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King did not have cable television, because if anything could have brought out their dark-side, it would have been an interaction with this company. As for the Dalai Llama, I believe he has antenna TV.
For more information about this maddening monopoly and its merger, search the internet for “Comcast, Time Warner and Evil.” You’ll have days of reading ahead. Or, see the following links-
If you found this article to be of interest, please click on “Subscribe” underneath the title of the article to receive free automatic email updates when this author writes again.