Thursday, December 27, 2007

How Ironic. The Lie Has Become True.

For years and years, cable has told Congress and the FCC not to regulate it as a monopoly, because it is really in heavy competition with satellite.

Between that whopper and the vast political payoffs it makes to maintain friends in the administration and Congress, it has managed to fend off federal scrutiny while behaving exactly as a monopoly in the marketpace: ever-increasing prices, ever-worse customer service.

But now, lo and behold, the Big Lie has become the Expensive Truth. Cable now is indeed facing competition -- a bit from satellite but mainly from telecoms. Hence Comcast's "Triple Play," the voice/data/TV bundle the company is so incapable of installing and supporting. It is a naked gambit to a) grab market share in the broadband/voice free-for-all, and b) boost new-customer "units." In this growth metric closely followed by the industry, every Triple Play subscriber counts as three. Alas, the metric doesn't measure the real effects of churn -- when large numbers of subscribers flee Comcast the moment their promotional pricing expires. It is very expensive to keep unit growth up in the face of inevitable subscriber defection, and Wall Street knows it. In a year, when the first Triple Play customers run for their lives, Comcast will face a Comcatastrophe.

Meanwhile, just as real competition is rearing its head, the FCC has decided that Comcast is on the very cusp of the critical mass deemed to trigger federal broadcast regulation. This means that the company is effectively stymied from growth via acquisition. If it gets any bigger, the federal regulatory hammer comes down.

That's why the stock price was $30 a year ago and $18.50 now. The company has lost 38% of its value because Wall Street thinks it is in trouble. Which it is. because, on top of everything else, the cable TV business will eventually disappear from the equation altogether. The cable (or fiber) coming into your home will be a broadband pipe for internet TV. Cable channels, per se, are an endangered species -- which means, within 10 or 15 years, Comcast will have lost its biggest revenue source.

So there's the irony for you. If, over the past 10 years as it has grown huge crying "Competition! Competition!" Comcast had actually behaved as if there were competetion -- you know, by treating its customers like human beings -- it would not be in the position it's in now. Arrogance and deceit, one could argue, has cost it $25 billion in 2007 alone.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Mea Culpa?

The following article appeared Monday's Advertising Age, in response to my blog posts and long essay chronicling my Comcast Must Die jihad. I have taken the liberty of italicizing the passages in which Comcast admits chronic ineptitude. I've also boldfaced the parts where the company equivocates and deflects blame.

Just to make a point that should be obvious to everyone, Comcast included: when you are getting it wrong millions of times a year, nobody gives a rat's ass how often you're getting it right. You can't win in court telling the judge how many 7-Elevens you didn't rob.

As for the details of all Comcast is doing to improve its customer service, well, bravo. We applaud them. But it is not enough. What we need from Comcast is a public vow to do the following:

1) empower frontline service employees with the tools and authority to solve problems on the first call.

2) give a CS employees direct communications with techs in the field

3) get rid of incentives for CS reps and techs in the field to value handling more calls versus getting each call handled right

4) embrace consumers by integrating Mr. Germano's listening tour into an ongoing process -- online and off -- so that the customer has a genuine voice in the company's operations across the board. That means, among other things, hosting a corporate website or blog that takes on the role now performed by

By Rick Germano

There has been a great deal written by Bob Garfield in Ad Age over the past couple of months about Comcast. I want to make clear that his experience is certainly not the experience we aim to provide, nor is it the general rule.

Without question, Mr. Garfield did not have a good customer service experience with Comcast. His columns and blog posts make that point emphatically. But as Mr. Garfield and others have vividly recounted, sometimes we get it right and sometimes we don’t. We have personal interactions with about 1 million customers every day, which adds up to 365 million interactions each year, the vast majority of which are positive.

We’re well aware that some customers find it frustrating to deal with us and we are trying to address that. Our customers have let us know loud and clear that while they love our products, they don’t always love having to do business with us. As the new head of Customer Service at Comcast, I recently began a cross-country listening tour to meet with customers and employees and to listen to what they have to say about Comcast.

I have already met with customers in Philadelphia and Baltimore/Washington D.C., and will go to Miami, Atlanta, Houston, San Francisco and Chicago within the next few months. In separate meetings with customers and employees, I’m getting plenty of straight talk about our need to do a better job. I am also hearing about the many times our customers have received terrific customer service. This reality of good customer service that we provide is often overshadowed by the loud voices of online posts.

What we have heard from our customers is they don’t want to be put on hold for long periods, and they don’t want to have to contact us several times to fix a simple problem. When they need to find critical information, or a person to talk to, they don’t want to get lost on our websites. Most of all, they want us to show up when we say we will and get the job done right the first time.

We get that. Our goal is to provide a consistent level of superior service with each customer interaction. This is our highest priority.

That’s an easy promise to make. Keeping it is more difficult – especially as real world developments – even positive ones – can keep a company from meeting all the standards it sets for itself. For instance, in just the last five years, we’ve gone from being the fourth largest cable provider with eight million customers to the largest with more than 24 million customers. Comcast is also the largest residential provider of high-speed Internet with 12.9 million customers, and the fourth largest phone service provider with more than three million customers.

We’re addressing our service issues head on by investing a tremendous amount of resources into making it easier and more convenient to do business with Comcast. For example:

Our technicians work Saturday and Sunday, early mornings and late evenings so customers can schedule appointments when it’s convenient for them

We’re offering shorter appointment windows and have more two- and three-hour appointments available because we recognize how valuable our customers’ time is

We’ve hired 12,000 new customer service agents and technicians in the past two years alone
We opened six new call centers this year, with two more set to open next year, and added customer service agents to the 11 call centers we already had

We continue to improve our training and development programs

We are giving technicians laptops and handheld devices to improve on-time reliability

We are providing more self-help options for customers over the phone or via the Web

And we are exploring a host of ways to make it easier and more seamless for consumers to provide us with all forms of feedback.

Importantly, we have spent the last two years making investments knowing they’re part of a multi-year commitment to improve customer service for every customer every time. It will take time, but we intend to meet that goal for all our customers.

We have 90,000 employees who work hard every day to reach this goal. They install new services, work overnight in our call centers to answer questions 24 hours a day, and learn new technologies daily so they can provide better service. We may not always get it right but we certainly are trying hard to do better.

Mr. Germano is Comcast’s senior vice president for customer operations.

Podcast Will Be Up Thursday Afternoon (Minus the Disastrous Call-in Element)

The studio was in New Mexico, in a blizzard. I was in Maryland, on a cordless phone. Most callers got a busy signal. And the few that got through were greeted by an apparently addled blabbomaniac. Namely: me.

No, the call-in portions of the live comcastmuustdiecast were not pretty.

We could have retooled the webcast with calls recorded later (we eventually found lots of voicemails and emails from listeners trying to get through) but that seemed a bit sleazy. So we'll chalk this one up to experience and post a 34-minute version of the program that still includes my interviews with Ralph Nader, Jeff Jarvis, Mona Shaw and Harry Shearer in their entirety.

Apologies to those who had trouble streaming on Windows Media Player. As far as we can tell, most listeners had no problem. Of course, that's what Comcast always says, isn't it? On the other hand, our show was done by two volunteers digging into our own pockets for bandwidth, website development, etc. And you'll get no bill from us, screwed up or otherwise.

I hope you enjoy the podcast.

Podcast 911

Tuesday''s live webcast is being edited as I type and will be posted for podcast download or stream within a day or two. It was an interesting exercise. My favorite part was a call from a guy who was puzzled why anyone would take the trouble to rally against Comcast because he personally never had any problems with the company.

This is approximately like saying gun violence isn't a problem because you personally have never been shot to death. The real question is, why call Comcastmustdie: the Podcast to say you have no complaint? That's like phoning 911 to say "Everything's fine here."

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Podcast or Bust

Anonymous said...
what a bust. YOUR PODCAST DOESN'T WORK Mr Perfect.
December 11, 2007 6:55 PM

We got a number of emails along the same lines. But, in fact, the live webcast did work -- at least, it fed properly and was received properly by people with Windows Media Player installed. The event chewed up plenty of bandwidth, so we know the success was not limited to Voyager360's webcast facility in New Mexico or my computer in greater Washington, DC.

There was, however, some audio distortion. Also, alas, a certain shortfall in the amount of live call-in activity, which a) was disappointing, and b) led to some live vamping of the Most Embarrassing Kind.

But the rest sounded pretty damn good, in our opinion. So we shall press on. We are not perfect, but are are very, very persistent.

Here's Where to Email Your Podcast Questions

The Comcastmustdie show begins at 9 pm EST. Listen in and call or post a question here.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Things for Comcast to Think About

Are your installers incented to do the maximum number of jobs, versus getting an installation right?

Are your phone reps capable of communicating with techs in the field?

Are they incented to fix your problem, versus getting you off the phone and handling the maximum number of calls?

Do they even have the authority, in most cases, to resolve issues?

If the answer to ANY of these questions is no (and, as it happens, the answer to ALL of them is no) then anything you say about your commitment is customer service is irrelevant.

Don't Feel Bad. Hugo Chavez Lost, Too

This just in from The Consumerist. The site was polling consumers about their preferences: Comcast or Verizon's FIOS. So Comcast emailed its employees, provided the link, and urged them to "share" their opinion.

Tellingly, Verizon still won.

Monday, December 3, 2007

The "Tiny Percentage" of Dissatisfied Customers Turns Out to be 44%

This just in from the American Customer Satisfaction Index:

-- cable and satellite TV service drops 2% to 62, the lowest level of customer satisfaction among all industries covered by ACSI.

-- Comcast down 7% to 56 (67 in phone service)

Comcast is one of the lowest scoring companies in ACSI. As its customer satisfaction eroded by 7% over the past year, revenue increased by 12%.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Comcast Must Die: The Podcast!

Next Tuesday, Dec. 11, marks a historic moment in consumer e-activism: a one-hour call-in podcast.

Guests Jeff Jarvis of, Mona "The Hammer Lady" Shaw, Ralph Nader and comic Harry Shearer will talk about consumerism, net roots action and the frustrations of dealing with soulless corporate giants.

My co-host Bart Wilson and I will take your calls, and emails, and together we will present Comcast with an alternate view of the universe -- one in which consumers are not simply a cash drawer and a nuisance, but a priceless resource to cultivate and exploit. Just not in the way we've been exploited -- i.e., pissed on -- for decades.

Visit (the new, improved version, coming this week) Dec. 11 at 9 p.m. EST with your ideas and your rage. You know, that is, if your broadband is working.

Friday, November 30, 2007

"Absolutely Ridiculous"

Jenni Moyer said...
To be absolutely clear, in no way was there any intentional blocking of ABC or its Good Morning America show on October 19. Some Comcast customers in several states, including Virginia, might have experienced intermittent issues with their video, phone and/or Internet services that morning due to technical issues with a previously scheduled early morning software upgrade. Any suggestion or speculation that we would intentionally block ABC is absolutely ridiculous.
Jenni Moyer
November 30, 2007 12:19 PM

Thanks for your reply. Having read 1100-some comments on this site -- including the consumer-gripe Hit Parade but also those about file-share throttling, Big Ten football and the NFL network -- we have developed an extremely high threshhold of ridiculousness. We'd sure be interested in seeing some documentation.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

If True, It's Stalinistic!

I found this hidden among the 1100-plus comments we've received to date. It's anonymous, and must be evaluated accordingly, but it also happens to be the third mention to me of a mysterious episode that's said to have occurred on Oct. 19 when Mona Shaw -- the Comcast "Hammer Lady" -- was featured on Good Morning America.

Anonymous said...
I happen to live in the same county as Mona. Talk around town is that last week when Good Morning America was running their piece on Mona, the ABC channel on Comcast mysteriously went dark. I have a long-standing hatred of Comcast, but I must admit that even I didn't think that they would stoop to that level.
October 26, 2007 1:04 PM

One of my other sources on this was Mona Shaw herself, who says she's heard complaints from church friends who told her they'd tried to see the ABC segment but found their screens suddenly going blank. I have had some difficulty running this one down, so I'll simply address the question to Comcast: Did any Northern Virginia subscribers suddenly lose service in the middle of that broadcast?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Here at Comcast, The Stupid Customer Comes First

This excerpt came in today from an employee fed up with the bashing Comcast is taking on this site:

We honestly do go out of our way to make things better for you and the main thing we are taught is that Customer comes first. So what if you had an installation that didn't go well? So what if you came across a rep who's miserable? You'll find that anywhere you go. Hell, you probably act the same way at work…
God forbid someone forget to leave notes in the account, no ones perfect, but usually we do have everything documented and we'll still give you the benefit of the doubt. You don't know how many times a day I deal with, "if you don't do this or if you don't do that" (as if what we have given you isn't enough) "I'm going somewhere else" Well good, you know what, go and when that company does the same thing I hope you feel stupid when you come running back to use. You all should be ashamed of your selfs.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

An Open Invitation to Comcast Executives

As you know, on December 11 we will be hosting a global podcast. It will feature guests and call-ins on the subjects of customer dissatisfaction -- especially with your company -- and consumer empowerment. We invite you to be our guest of honor.

Your very own Rick Germano expressed disappointment that he is unavailable on that date to respond to consumers live, but no doubt someone else at the world's largest cable company is up to the task. All you have to do is answer caller questions and e-mails from the comfort of your own telephone.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Very sincerely,

Sunday, November 25, 2007

A Single Jingle?

Since we put out the call for a 60- 90-second theme song titled "Comcast Must Die," we have gotten exactly one mp3 submitted. Hey, man, what gives?

When our new site goes up this week, we'll post one fabulous hip-hoppy track, but surely there must be jillions of other Comcast-loathing artists out there. Once again, here are a few recommended couplets:

"Please why oh why? Comcast Must Die!"
"And I just sigh 'Comcast Must Die."
"'Cause they just lie, Comcast Must Die."
"'Goddamn!' cussed I. 'Comcast Must Die!'"

They're hardly mandatory. Use your imagination. Or reality -- such as the sleeping Comcast tech and Mona "The Hammer Lady" Shaw.

Our global podcast is Dec. 11. Get busy.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

You Have Been Misinformated

The following, from a reader named Lisa, is the verbatim transcript of an online chat with Qualmcast customer service. It is hilarious, in a perverse Kafka-esque sort of way. Lisa is, in more ways than one, a cool customer. Anyway, her encounter with Vanessa the Qualmcast Automaton tells you everything about this organization you need to know:

Hello Lisa_, Thank you for contacting Comcast Live Chat Support. My name is Vanessa. Please give me one moment to review your information.

Vanessa>Hello, I am Vanessa and I'll be very glad to assist you during our interaction. I hope that you are having a very nice day. So please, tell me what can I do for you.

Lisa_>The last time I spoke with anyone at Comcast, I talked to Gene (ext 4162) about the problems with my service. He indicated that there would be a credit on my account, due to service outage of my cable television. However, when I received my statement, there is no credit.Vanessa>Sometimes the credits could take two billing cycles in appear at your bill, let me check if I can get an updated view Lisa.

Vanessa>Please give me a moment to check that for you.

Vanessa>In order to find your account information and provide you a better service, would you please give me your telephone number including area code or your complete address.

Lisa_>540-XXX-XXXX and 35 XXXX Drive, Stafford VA

Vanessa>Thank you, would you mind holding a little longer? Just a minute or two?

Lisa_>Not at all. Especially not if you can fix this for me

Vanessa>Ok, thanks. Vanessa>Lisa. Do you have your account number with you at this moment?

Lisa_>Yep. Its 15010776621-02-5

Vanessa>Thank you, I was having a hard time with it.

Vanessa>I´m checking the system, do you mind holding a little longer?

Lisa_>Nope. Take your time.

Vanessa>Thank you for waiting Lisa, I´m making the adjustment at your bill in this moment. Please hold on a moment.

Vanessa>I appreciate, could you please tell me how longer this issue affected you?

Lisa_>I don't remember exactly. That should be in my file, along with the amount of the credit. I believe the credit was in the $45 range. I'm sorry that I don't remember the exact amount.


Lisa_>Yes, approximately.Vanessa>Sorry, but I will need more information to process your request about the trouble call Lisa.

Lisa_>You know what Vanessa; I don't need you to process a request for a trouble call. Instead, I need you to look in my file and determine why the refund promised to me by Gene (tel # 703-730-2225 x 4162) was not credited on my latest billing statement.

Vanessa>I understand your frustration Lisa, Unforurtunatelly in order to made the adjustment I need some proximately days to know how to apply this for you.

Lisa_>Do you have access to my file?

Vanessa>Yes Lisa.

Lisa_>What are the last 2 days that I called about issues with my cable?

Vanessa>I´m still checking for the time this was affecting you.

Lisa_>Checking with whom? Seriously, is it my responsibility to remember exact dates and times that I have issues? I call and report the problems. I wait at home for the repairmen that NEVER show up. I call back. I wait again. NO ONE show up. I call and complain. Someone shows up. In the meantime, someone promises me a refund for the trouble I've had and the service that I am paying for and not receiving. Now, not only do you not know HOW MUCH I'M SUPPOSED TO BE REFUNDED, but you want ME to tell YOU how much to refund me? Unbelievable.

Vanessa>Could you please confirm to me if this situation affected you the 24/10 and 25/10?

Lisa_>I've already told you that I don't have the dates. THAT IS WHY I CALLED WHEN I HAD THE PROBLEM. Jesus Christ. This is like "Who’s on First". Don't you have a consolidated system that tells you WHEN I CALLED, WHAT THE PROBLEM WAS, WHAT THE DATES OF SERVICE WERE, and WHEN IT WAS FIXED?!?!?!?!

Vanessa>Lisa, I´m really sorry for this, I´m working on the credit for this situation, I´m just trying to understand why my system have no notes about this credit.

Lisa_>You could always call the last rep I talked to, who promised me the credit. Like I said before, his name is "Gene" and his number is 1-703-730-2225 ext. 4162.

Vanessa>Unfourtunately we have no access to phone calls in this area. But I´ll let a note at the system in order you don't have to pass through all this again.

Lisa_>Does that mean that you can, or cannot, take care of my credit?

Vanessa>Yes, I can.

Lisa_>So, what now?

Vanessa>Please give me a moment.

Vanessa>Lisa, this same issue occurs in your High Speed Internet?

Lisa_>The high speed internet is another issue altogether. I've had horrible service, multiple repairmen telling me multiple stories, etc.


Vanessa>I´m still here,

Vanessa>Sorry for the delay

Lisa_>Ok, like you've figured out how much my credit was supposed to be, and you'll let me know???

Vanessa>The amount of credit for this two days is for $8.05, I´m trying to check why the rep offers you an amount of $45.00

Vanessa>That´s the reason this is taking so long.

Vanessa>I could apply the credit for this two days.

Lisa_>UN-FREAKING-BELIEVEABLE. You don't seriously mean that you're going to credit me $8? Do you know what the issue was? Do you know whether it was more than 2 days (I have to assume it was, since I called about it, someone tried to fix it via the phone unsuccessfully, then scheduled an appt, then the technician never showed up, then I called back and talked to Gene, who scheduled yet ANOTHER appt, the technician showed up and had to swap my cable box out, because the one I had no longer worked). I AM *NOT*, I repeat, *NOT* okay with a simple 2 day credit. Shit, I've spent more than 2 full days on the phone with the incompetent service reps at Comcast over the last 6months!!! I want the credit that was promised me. The issue that you don't have the information in your system, not my problem. The issue that you have no phone access, again, not my problem. I suggest you elevate this issue up the chain to someone who has telephone privileges, and can actually FIX THIS SITUATION!!!!

Vanessa>I´m really sorry for the inconvenience Lisa, and I understand your feeling, I really apologize.

Lisa_>I don't need you to apologize; I need an ADEQUATE CREDIT, AS PROMISED, on my bill!!!-- Approximately 5 minutes goes by with no response ---

Lisa_>I hope that your silence is an indicator that you are actually taking care of this issue.

Vanessa>I´m still working on this. Please hold on a moment.

Vanessa>Ms, sorry for the delay, could you please confirm to me that you made a trouble call for the HSI October the 10th?

Lisa_>Seriously. I don't keep track of the dates I call. In hindsight though, I suppose I should since it is apparent that Comcast expects its customers to PROVE that they have issues (apparently, calling to report problems isn't sufficient proof of service problems.)In hindsight, I promise to do your job for you, and document EVERY instance of EVERY problem that I have, including who I talk to, when I talk to them, how long I talk to them... oh, and should I record the calls... "just to be safe"?

Lisa_>BTW, would it make it easier on you if I just said "YES" that I *did* call on the 10th of October? You have the files. You know when I called. But, if it makes it easier for you for me just to agree, I can do that.

Vanessa>Ms, I understand the frustration and the inconvenient this is causing to you. And once more I apologize for this situation, this is just in order to verify the information.

Lisa_>Are you suggesting that in order to receive any credits promised by any service representatives via the telephone, that I should document exactly when I called, the dates of service problems, who I spoke to, and what was promised so that I can "VERIFY" the information to a different rep at a later date when I don't receive what was promised?

Vanessa>No Ms certainly not necessary.

Lisa_>If it's not necessary, then why do you keep asking me to "Verify" calls or trouble/outages with my service?

Vanessa>unfortunately, ma'am what happens here is that I don't have the notes Lisa was supposed to place in your account to valid the credit, that's why I'm asking you to wait for me and verify what happened

Lisa_>Who's "Lisa"? Do you mean ME "Lisa"? Or do you actually mean "Gene" the rep that I last spoke to?

Vanessa>oh, sorry, I meant Gene

Vanessa>she didn't left me any notes to work with in the account

Lisa_>Um, just FYI, Gene was a man.

Vanessa>that's why I have to verify and unfortunately we only have the system and the notes the other representives provide in order to make requests

Lisa_>So, where does that leave me? Without the promised credit? Do I somehow have to PROVE that Gene promised me the credit? Would it be easier if I hired someone to go find Gene, and get him to put adequate notes in the system?

Vanessa>no, of course not, what we are trying to do here is verify that the period when the issue happened is the time that you had no service . I'm going to go a little bit back on the trouble call order to understand each other, ok?

Lisa_>Sure. Whatever you have to do.

Vanessa>I'm going to review the trouble calls that were placed since October, is that ok with you?


Vanessa>thank you

Vanessa>ok, the first trouble call we got on october was on the 15th and it was for internet service

Vanessa>the next day, October 16th, the order wasn't completed as you said

Vanessa>after that, we didn't got any other contact to inform us that the service was not working until October the 23rd

Vanessa>and, when we got notice of the service malfunction it was for cable only

Lisa_>My issue wasn't about the high speed internet. It was about my cable television service.

Vanessa>ok, perfect

Vanessa>the report of no cable was made on 10/23

Lisa_>Seriously though, perhaps the credit that Gene was referring to considered BOTH the cable television AND the High Speed Internet (or, as we like to call it, the Outernet, since service doesn't work as often as it does work!)

Vanessa>ok, at this time is your service (cable-internet) is currently working?

Lisa_>Both are currently working.

Vanessa>perfect, I'm glad to hear it

Vanessa>lets finish the review of the trouble calls to clear any doubt of why the credit is not what Gene said, if we request a credit that we cannot show proof of the credit system is going to reject it

Vanessa>going on with the last trouble call on October 23rd, it didn't complete until Ocotber the 25th

Lisa_>Wrong. It didn't complete until that Saturday. I had an appt scheduled for the 24th. No one showed up. I called again on the 25th. Someone finally showed up on Saturday. So I guess it was completed on the 27th. But, remember, the issue started on the 22nd. Also, like the notes should say, there is a pre-recorded message when I call COMCAST to report problems with my service that says that there is a known outage in the area, and therefore no reason to speak to a representative. It's taken me a while, but I've finally realized that the pre-recorded message is simply there to keep people from reporting outages in time to get credit for their interruption in service -- since there is never actually an outage in my area when I finally get in touch with a representative.

Vanessa>ok, thank you for filling the blanks for me to better understand what is going on. Now, did the service started to working on the 27th?

Lisa_>Yes, on that Saturday, a technician fixed my Cable Television service.

Vanessa>perfect, and the internet was fixed that same day or it didn't show up any issue?

Vanessa>Ms. Lisa are you with me?

Lisa_>The internet was out most of last month. I lost TONS of productivity time (we own a home based business). I spent LOTS of time on the phone with Comcast, and have 3+ different technicians come to 'fix' our service. Your records should show all of the issues that I had with the high speed internet service.

Vanessa>the incongruency is that for the internet service repair we only got one call on Oct 15th, and after that nothing else was mention about the internet issue

Vanessa>that's why, by going through the trouble calls dates we can give credit for $21.07 Dls after reviewing this

Vanessa>and I know you don't want me to apologize for this whole situation but I really understand how frustrating is to be unable to fill in a load of work, my dad used to have a store

Lisa_>Wait a minute. First $8 for 2 days, now that we've agreed that my service was out for 6 days, its $21? Somebody's math is off.

Lisa_>Also, I don't want to hear when something was or wasn't in your system. I don't have access to your notes, therefore I cannot ensure that adequate annotations are made every time I call. That's absurd to assume. If the employee's of COMCAST are not appropriate trained to ensure that they annotate the files for each customer call/complaint, are you insinuating that it is fair that the customer then be held accountable for the lack of training/annotation on the company's part? Because that is what is happening.

Vanessa>what happen is that for the cable service, and that's for the plan, you pay $100.70 dls each month, if you were to pay daily for the service, you'd be paying $3.35 dls each day and if we already agreed that you didn't had cable service from 10/23 to 10/27 it give me a total of $16.78 + $4.29 of no internet 2 days (from 10/15 to 10/16)

Lisa_>Actually, the service went out on the 22nd. I called COMCAST. There was a pre-recorded message of service trouble in my area, and no need to speak to a representative. The next day, the service was not fixed. That's when I called. That should all be in your notes.

Lisa_>Also, I need you to explain to me why the previous representative I spoke with had a far larger credit amount than what you are offering.

Lisa_>Actually, there was no outage in my area. When I called on the 23rd, the recording said the same thing. The representative told me that there was no outage in my area.

Lisa_>Besides, an outage in my area wasn't the final issue. The issue was that the digital cable boxes that I had were outdated and stopped working. THAT would have NOTHING to do with an outage in my area.

Vanessa>I agree with you on that aspect, but with all do respect there are no more trouble calls or calls to report issues after the last note I have here is for Oct 25th. Now, going back to your question of why the previous representative offered you a different credit adjustment (that he didn't even did) I cannot know what did he use to support his information

Vanessa>but, after reviewing the dates from the trouble calls, I can assure you that a credit of $21.07 Dls can be issued to your account

Vanessa>without the system rejecting it

Lisa_>Then, should I tell you other dates that my service was out (I can make them up if you prefer). I was told that I'd receive a credit in the approximate amount of $45. You're offering me less than half of that.

Vanessa>I offer you what my system shows me, I work with that information. I strongly recommend you that since you have Gene number and extension you talk to him about the credit he offered you; or you can go to a Comcast service center with the technician's work order to dispute the time-frame

Lisa_>What Work Order?? When the technician comes, he leaves nothing behind (never has). I again am left trying to PROVE that I deserve what I was promised. This is ridiculous. I cannot believe that I've wasted 2 HOURS in this chat with you, only to find that COMCAST EXPECTS ITS CUSTOMERS TO PROVE THAT THEY ARE ENTITLED TO WHAT COMCAST INDICATES IT WILL DELIVER. www.comcastmustdie will *love* this thread!!

Vanessa>the work order is a paper you sign when the technician finish his order, and he leaves a copy to you (either yellow or pink). I do not deny that you deserve a credit, but the credit must be consistent with what we have

Lisa_>Again, I'll tell you that NO TECHNICIAN HAS EVER LEFT A WORK ORDER upon completion of a job at my house. I guess I'll have to PROVE that too!Oh, and with regard to Gene's telephone number, I cannot get past the automated system to input his extension number, so I cannot get to talk to him. Beleive me. I tried that first.

Vanessa>I see, I do agree with you that you deserve the credit. Unfortunately the maximum credit amount according to the dates I reviewed with you goes from 10/15 to 10/16 and from 10/23 to 10/27 is for $21.07 Dls.

Lisa_>This is a total waste of time.

Vanessa>I do feel sorry that you have had such a horrible experience, and that you are still going through it. The way I can help you, without lying to you, is give you the $21.07 Dls credit in which I can base my proof on

Lisa_>I have no choice but to accept the credit that you offer, since although you purport that Comcast does NOT make it's customers PROVE service outages/issues, without further proof (which you don't have due to your incompetent, untrained staff who neglect to properly annotate files - and which I did not keep track of, incorrectly assuming that COMCAST could keep track of its promises to it's customers), I've wasted more than 2 hours with you. You have the same files you had at the beginning of our chat, wherein you offered me $8. Now it's $21. If I had the stamina to keep this going, I suppose I could eventually get to the ~$45 that I was promised. But I'm tired of this. You win.

Vanessa>I feel as frustrated as you, Ms. Lisa. I have applied a credit to your account in the amount of $21.07 Dls. You will see this credit on your billing statement within one or two billing cycles. Is there anything else I can assist you with?Is there anything else I can help you with?

Lisa_>Are you serious? Anything else you can assist me with? Yes, of course there is. You can 'find' the rest of the refund that I was promised and you can credit that to my account as well. After all, that's why I initiated this chat in the first place.

Vanessa>I do apologize that you have been misinformated, Ms. Lisa. I do apologize I can only offer you so little

Lisa_>Yep, that about sums it up. Minsinformated. So, it seems that I've been misinformated. That too, must be my fault.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Has Comcast Gotten Back to You?

Employee Confessions

Billing Fiascos

Customer Disservice

Note to Newbies

Since its inception less than two months ago, this blog has been inundated with user comments.

But because the Blogger platform isn't especially robust, the most relevant categories for reader response -- namely Billing Fiascos, Customer Disservice and Employee Confessions -- have been pushed down and out of view.

So, listed above, I am starting new threads. DO NOT FORGET TO INCLUDE YOUR COMCAST CUSTOMER NUMBER WITH YOUR COMPLAINT. As far as I've been able to determine, there is no risk. A Comcast employee will phone you, making direct reference to your comment on (How delicious is that?)

Feel free to vent, but watch the abusive language. Various (cowardly anonymous) commenters, in fulminating about Comcast and others, have mainly just made asses of themselves. And let's keep the union organizing to a bare minimum, shall we?

Yours in righteous indignation,

A Response to Comcast's Rick Germano

Dear Rick:

Lost in the deluge of comments to this site, well over a thousand in a few weeks, was your note of Oct. 24 (listed in the Top 10 Comments immediately below.).

Of course you should feel free to monitor this site and weigh in as you see fit; that's more or less the point of -- that and putting so much pressure on you and your employer that you cease making tiny, incremental "improvements" in your customer service but instead a wholesale change in business philosophy. For starters, it is a disgrace that this third-party site is performing an outreach function that Comcast should, at a bare minimum, long since established itself.

But, as I say, the time for the minimum is over. Yes, you are battling an e-insurrection. And, yes, it will cost your company dearly -- with customers (see Verizon FIOS), with chartering municipalities, with federal regulators, with Congress and with investors.

That said, better late than never. So if you'd like to offer a modest gesture of understanding, you are hereby invited to be my on-air guest during an upcoming one-hour podcast titled, coincidentally enough, "Comcast Must Die: The Podcast." This is most likely to take place December 11, details to follow.

Hoping to see you then. Meantime, thanks for your comment.


Look What The Comcast Drug In!: Top 10 Comments, Updated

1) Anonymous said...Comcastinistas, Unite! October 18, 2007 3:24 PM

2) Anonymous said... Yo Mona, sign the hammer and sell it on ebay! You won't have any problems paying your fine.
October 20, 2007 6:20 AM

3) Anonymous said...This is the worst job I have ever had. All they care about is money. I work in a department that is very incorrectly named "Tier 2 Tech support".
Basically I get yelled at by you guys all day because Comcast sucks. I get paid a measly 13.50 an hour with my Bachelors in computer science and a few other straight out of highschool kids here are making the same. All they care about is money.
When you call in swearing and yelling at us they dock us points if we dont try to see to you. No matter how mad they are they still expect us to sell. When you call and we put in a "ticket" and say we will call you back its because they wont give me access to the tools that I know how to use that I could fix your problem right then and there with.
They would rater have a seperate department that we need to have look at it you you have to spend a little more time paying for service that you can't use. Comcast sucks. October 18, 2007 12:30 PM

4) Rick Germano said... Bob, These are good suggestions and ones I have been thinking about as well. I am focused on how Comcast can get better at making our customers happy. I have just taken over Customer Care at Comcast, and I do believe it’s important to listen to customers….it’s good business.
I am actually going out to meet with groups of our customers throughout the U.S. as part of my new role. I believe we have to continue listen to them and take their suggestions to heart. Also, I have received lots of comments in response to my letter that was linked to your blog and posted on your Web site. We are contacting those customers to resolve their concerns. I am committed to letting our customers know we are doing many things to improve the quality of our service.
Change will take some time. I hope you will allow me to reach out and update you periodically.

October 24, 2007 12:47 PM

5) Anonymous said... Bob, What are you, 12?
October 26, 2007 11:43 AM

6) Anonymous said...Update on my October 12 posting at 9:49AM...This site is fantastic. Quickly after making my post I received 3 phone calls from Comcast:
(1) a fellow named Mark called from corporate, left his number and told me I would be contacted by someone from my local office,
(2) a call from Gwen who was at the local office letting me know who specifically would be handling my case, and finally
(3) Rebecca who was handling my case. After some phone tag (due to my schedule - not Comcast's fault), I was able to connect with Rebecca today who had gone through my bill, corrected all of the charges and let me know my new monthly balance. She also made sure that I was creditted for past charges and called to let me know how much my new statement amount was so that I wouldn't overpay.
All in all, I must say that Comcast is trying and I am now much more pleased with the Customer service provided by them. I hope that Comcast does everything they can to hire and retain more "Rebeccas!"
October 17, 2007 11:55 AM

7) Anonymous said...This is in response to this post:"This site is fantastic. Quickly after making my post I received 3 phone calls from Comcast:...I hope that Comcast does everything they can to hire and retain more "Rebeccas!""Does it have to come to this?
A company with 25 million paying customers would have to be goaded into good customer service only after a negative publicity? Other customers had to involve the BBB and the state's attorney generals. Does this show good corporate citizenship? In my opinion, no. Comcast should do much better, and competition will force it to do so.
October 18, 2007 3:14 AM

8) Anonymous said... I mistook a cable installer for a BIG BEAR in the woods in my backyard,he said he was taking a shit..brilliant eh?
November 12, 2007 10:49 AM

9) Anonymous said... I can't stand it when people hide behind anonymity.
November 7, 2007 3:46 PM

10) Anonymous said...

comcast must die.
so many reasons why.
they're aggravating,
they keep me waiting,
they're slaying me,
triple playing me
makes me so nervous,
such poor service
I am not stable,
strung out on cable
they've told their last lie,
eye for an eye

Friday, November 9, 2007

Search Me

If you Google "Comcast Must Die," you will see an ad to the right of the results page. It's from Comcast -- to tell you how deeply, deeply they care about you.

We are constantly working to serve you better.
Dear Comcast Customer:
We want to let you know that customer service is our highest priority. Your feedback is very important to us, and we use it to improve the way we deliver service. We are writing this letter to update you on the steps we have taken to provide better service to you. We are putting a tremendous amount of resources into making it easier and more convenient for you to do business with us. This is part of a company-wide effort to improve service that will continue for several years....

Blah, blah, blah. I was turned on to this fact by a felllow also named Bob, proprietor of a Comcast hate site, who finds the same ad come up in a Google search of his URL. And he makes an interesting point:

Instead of doling out corporate propaganda, he wonders, why aren't they directing Comcast haters to a company site where their problems can be dealt with? "They spend more time trying to defend what they’re doing," Bob observes, "than doing the right thing to begin wiith."

He's right, of course. It simply boggles the mind.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Off the Radar?

This comment came in today:

"I work for Comcast. Sorry Bob you are pretty much off the radar now. It could have been something good that helped bring some issues to light but you've turned it into a mockery."

I don't doubt he/she is right. The novelty of, Mona Shaw and a lot of mainstream publicity converged briefly to force Comcast to take notice. That critical mass may well be disintegrating. Or not. This is a deep vein of consumer rage we've tapped, and Comcast continues to behave with monopolistic arrogance. If it regards this project as a blip on the radar now to be safely ignored, that is in and of itself proof that they don't understand the new world the live in -- which is pretty ironic, since they're the ones that wired it.

But we are not surrendering. In the coming weeks, we will be attempting something extraordinary once again to shine light into the dark crevices of corporate misfeasance. But as to the charge that I'm turning this site into a mockery, that's not true.

It was always a mockery. That's the point.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Something Qualmcastic!

Why a theme song? It's not just a stunt. It will figure into something I am planning, something I hope to announce in the next week or so. But if, as one of the commenters asserts, Comcast isn't paying attention anymore, well... will. If your cable connection is working, stay tuned.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Theme Song Details

Please send it, in an MP3 format, to I'll figure out a way to post the best ones on the homepage.

As for those lyrics, they're obviously mine. Consider them suggestions. Please note they include no profanity or vulgarity, but otherwise ignore them if you wish. I want the best minds to do their best work, even don't use my rhymes.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Theme Song Needed

90 seconds or less. Must include instrumentals, vocals and these lyrics:

"Please why oh why? Comcast Must Die!"
"And I just sigh 'Comcast Must Die."
"'Cause they just lie, Comcast Must Die."
"'Goddamn!' cussed I. 'Comcast Must Die!'"

The winner will debut on a special national podcast in the coming weeks. Get busy.

Friday, October 26, 2007


From MediaPost:

Comcast 3Q Earnings Drop Staggering 54%
by Wayne Friedman, Friday, Oct 26, 2007 7:45 AM ET

ALL OF A SUDDEN, COMCAST Corp.'s TV picture has started to darken.
Just as other cable operators have done, Comcast now blames a competitive environment and a weak economy for its earning results. The finger pointing is at the new telco IPTV video services from AT&T's U-Verse and Verizon's FiOS services.

"We're seeing increasing competition and a softer economy, and as a result a slightly slower growth rate," Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said during an earnings call on Thursday.
That's not what investors wanted to hear. That news sent Comcast shares tumbling in mid-day trading, down 11% to $21.17. This came after Comcast announced a drop of a whopping 54% in earnings in its third-quarter results to $560 million.

Bad as the numbers were, those results were measured against some strong numbers a year ago--when the company added many cable systems in the wake of the Adelphia Communications acquisition, boosting Comcast earnings by nearly $700 million. Without that deal, Comcast earnings were up 2% to $560 million.

Even with that consideration, investors reacted to the weakness in Comcast's core businesses.
The growth in Comcast's newer and higher monthly fee business--digital video subscribers--was down 12%. It added 489,000 new customers, for a total of 14.7 million. Basic subscribers--those generally lower-paying customers--decreased by 65,000 to 24.1 million, versus a gain of 11,000 a year ago.

Better news came from Comcast's cable networks--E!, Style, Golf Channel, Versus and G4--which gained nearly 30% in revenue to $330 million because of a strong national TV advertising market, which has delivered double-digit price increases in programming.

Comcast said its local cable system advertising sales revenue increased 7% to $407 million. Most of that was the result of an additional week being included in the current quarter, which helped to offset declines in political advertising.

The company's quarterly revenue rose by 21% to $7.78 billion, from $6.43 billion a year ago.

Please Look Left

Along the rail over there is a list of previous posts. Note the ones dedicated to Billing Fiascos, Employee Confessions, etc. Please leave your comment attached to the appropriate post. That will make my life much easier as I collate your comments, in order to bring the monster to its knees.


The Cutest, Saddest Thing

A Comcast employee is saddened by the trashing her company is taking here and elsewhere, so she's decided to fight back.

Ms. Parks (Her first name isn't on her profile) has started Here's her first post, bless her heart.

I have created this blog because I like Comcast. There are other blogs where everyone bitch about this company and it's employees. And it's time for a change. I want everyone to not talk about it but be about it. With everyone just blogging there issues there is no way for us to fix them. And yes the company has some issues but what company doesn't.?

Believe it or not Comcast is aware of the issues and is working to improve customer service. The only thing is that good changes doesn't just happen over night.I understand that cable TV service is costly but it is also a luxury. And we all know luxuries are not cheap. If you want it unfortunately it will cost you. If there is a problem with your service then call. Customer service is open 24hr a day 365 days a year.

Yes there may be someone on the other end of the phone line that may be unhappy. And if that is the case then report that rep. We all know that isn't not right for you to be treated in a disrespectful manner especially when you are spending money.If you feel as though you are not getting your monies worth then cancel your service. Comcast is not AOL, yes you will be asked why you want to cancel but that's it. Life is so short and we have to realize that there are more important things for all of us to be working on. Comcast is a corporation that is bigger and more powerful than most of us. So why try to take it down and or bash there employees. There are other options we may not like then but they do exist.And for all of the employees that hate your job:QUIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It's because of you that makes the jobs for the reps that want to be there harder. Comcast didn't just pick your name out of the hat you applied for the job. You were given a job offer letter that stated you hourly or yearly pay rate and yet you took the job. I'm confused as to why...Please join the club of the underpaid. The club is always looking for new members. I am not only a member but Im the president. If not get a new job please. Why haven't you do so yet? Is it because the job market if FUCKED UP everywhere just like all the other types of markets?? How about we all make the best of the situation we are in??

I think we all have a lot to be thankful for when it comes to Comcast. Because of this company many of us are able to provide for our families and selves. Because of this company most us has some sort of entertainment to watch on tv. Because of this company we can call our friends and family all over the U.S, Canada, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands for free whenever we want. Because of this company most of us are surfing the net at speeds 2-3 times faster than DSL.So with that said please feel free to post any comments or concerns you may have about the company and or it's service.

Posted by Let's love not hate!!!!!!!!!

Her site has been up for five days. She has received two comments. One is more or less on her side. The other one pretty much disses Comcast.

Comcast: War (On Terror) Profiteer

What is the price of spying on fellow Americans?

1) $1000 per wiretap, payable to Comcast
2) Our liberty

The only question is, when the wiretap doesn't work right, how long does the FBI wait on hold?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Death to Tyrants... (or this free offer)

Someone out there in the Bobosphere makes a living selling software and flesh-and-bloodware services to big companies enabling them to maintain a dialogue with consumers. (See Non-Negotiable Demand #2, below).

It's an intriguing offer from Turner DeVaughn Network. Even for an oafish giant, free is an excellent price. In fact, it's Comcastic.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Send this to Congress

The Hon. Daniel K. Inouye, Chairman

Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation

The Hon. John D. Dingell, Chairman

House Energy and Commerce Committee

Dear Mr. Chairman:

Yes, this email is "astroturf," but please understand how you came to receive it. I visited a website called, because I am at my wit's end. I am like Mona Shaw, so frustrated with Comcast's arrogance, impenetrability, incompetence and abusive treatment that she took a hammer to vent her rage. This email, sir, is my hammer. Comcast calls me one of a tiny percentage of dissatisfied customers, but if you would visit, you would see that there are a lot of us, and we have horror stories that would peel the enamel off your teeth. We pay ever-increasing monthly fees to be be ever-more abused by a so-called "customer service" apparatus that serves only the company's bottom line. Please intervene to protect us. Call hearings. Call this company to account.


Friday, October 19, 2007

What Part of "We Hate You" Don't You Understand?


Mona Shaw is the Hammer. is the anvil. And Comcast is getting pounded.

But it still doesn't understand why. It doesn't understand that the world has changed, that its customers are no longer passive victims of the corporate agenda. We are stakeholders. We not only wish to have a say in how things are done, we not only demand a say in how things are done, we have the power to get our way.

Here's a post from the company's P.R. department. It speaks volumes:

Jennifer Khoury said...

We are committed to improving our customers’ experiences with us and we’d like customers reading this post to know that we are undergoing a company-wide effort to improve customer service. More information about this effort and how to contact Comcast online can be found at

Jennifer Khoury, Comcast

October 19, 2007 1:44 PM

The company is working on customer service, she says. And no doubt it's true. Comcast is investing in new equipment and new personnel. What is implicit, though, is that the company is doing so based on management's view about how to go about it, and management's view alone. Sorry, Jennifer, but that will not do. You have lost your privilege to act unilaterally. Partly because you have behaved so arrogantly till now, and partly because the world has changed around you, you now must answer to a Greater Power.


And we have demands:

1) You will recruit a standing panel of customers to consult, brainstorm, complain and advise you every step of the way -- from your customer-service practices, to your billing, to your programming content. This process, within the confines of protecting proprietary information, will be transparent.

2) You will host a website soliciting customer feedback of every kind. In other words, there will be the customer-delegate panel, and a mega-panel online. Don't sweat the flaming you will take. You will also get a) countless great ideas, b) a mechanism for locating and attending to hardcore customer-service issues, c) a vast increase in customer loyalty and goodwill, and d) a vast advantage in impressing potential customers. If you're smart, you will also cultivate a social network of TV watchers of all stripes who credit you for your hospitality.

3) Most importantly of all, you must recognize that none of this is PR move you have to make through gritted teeth in extremis. It is a golden opportunity to exploit the unprecedented potential of a connected world. How ironic. You've been stringing co-ax for decades, yet you don't even realize what you've wrought. Yes, that's right, you have created the very conditions for all of us to band together against you. At the moment it must seem like Frankenstein's monster, but take our word for it:

It's Comcastic!

"Tiny Percentage" My Sorry Ass: A Challenge to Qualmcast

Dear Qualmcast,

It seems that many of the 25 million satisfied customers you crow about are pretty dissatisfied. In fact, they hate your guts. I challenge you to announce publicly a radical shift in how you approach customer service, including your OWN website where you listen quietly while your customers dish it out.

The public is onto you. The regulators, no doubt, will be knocking on your door. Wall Street is next.
Change your ways. Do so transparently. Or else.


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Top 10 Comments

It's been an interesting two weeks. I feel something like a father confessor and something like Miss Lonelyhearts, the advice-to-the-lovelorn columnist in Nathaniel West's novel who could not separate himself from the tragic lives of his correspondents.

I wouldn't suggest entering a Comcast facility and smashing everything in sight with a hammer, but I understand the impulse.

Here are my favorite 10 comments so far:

Johanna said...
Customer #: 8495741016863916Yes!! I posted my comment on Oct. 12 and I had a message from someone that weekend! I am pleasantly surprised. She offered to remove the $37 upgrade fee or service fee - some kind of fee - when they came out to upgrade my service. I will check my next statement to see if they stick to their word. Thank you "comcastmustdie" and thank you ComCast for making it right. :^)
October 18, 2007 11:28

Anonymous said...
i wish mona was my grandma
October 18, 2007 11:24 AM

Anonymous said...
Comcastinistas, Unite!
October 18, 2007 3:24 PM

Anonymous said...
http://www.cablerant.comIf you think some of these confessions are bad, check out the Employee Rants at www.cablerant.comThese employees are pissed off.I would be too if I worked for one of these companies.
October 18, 2007 8:56 AM

Anonymous said...
This is the worst job I have ever had. All they care about is money. I work in a department that is very incorrectly named "Tier 2 Tech support". Basically I get yelled at by you guys all day because Comcast sucks. I get paid a measly 13.50 an hour with my Bachelors in computer science and a few other straight out of highschool kids here are making the same. All they care about is money.

When you call in swearing and yelling at us they dock us points if we dont try to see to you. No matter how mad they are they still expect us to sell. When you call and we put in a "ticket" and say we will call you back its because they wont give me access to the tools that I know how to use that I could fix your problem right then and there with. They would rater have a seperate department that we need to have look at it you you have to spend a little more time paying for service that you can't use. Comcast sucks.
October 18, 2007 12:30 PM

Anonymous said...
Update on my October 12 posting at 9:49AM...This site is fantastic. Quickly after making my post I received 3 phone calls from Comcast:
(1) a fellow named Mark called from corporate, left his number and told me I would be contacted by someone from my local office,
(2) a call from Gwen who was at the local office letting me know who specifically would be handling my case, and finally
(3) Rebecca who was handling my case. After some phone tag (due to my schedule - not Comcast's fault), I was able to connect with Rebecca today who had gone through my bill, corrected all of the charges and let me know my new monthly balance. She also made sure that I was creditted for past charges and called to let me know how much my new statement amount was so that I wouldn't overpay.

All in all, I must say that Comcast is trying and I am now much more pleased with the Customer service provided by them. I hope that Comcast does everything they can to hire and retain more "Rebeccas!"
October 17, 2007 11:55 AM

Anonymous said...
This is in response to this post:"This site is fantastic. Quickly after making my post I received 3 phone calls from Comcast:...I hope that Comcast does everything they can to hire and retain more "Rebeccas!""Does it have to come to this?

A company with 25 million paying customers would have to be goaded into good customer service only after a negative publicity? Other customers had to involve the BBB and the state's attorney generals. Does this show good corporate citizenship? In my opinion, no. Comcast should do much better, and competition will force it to do so.
October 18, 2007 3:14 AM

Glenn Fishbine said...
We looked out the window one day to see Comcast digging a massive hole in our front yard. When asked, they said, "we're improving your service." Nice, but the hole is down-stream from our access point. When finished, we asked, "will you replace the lawn." They left. Called customer support.

A few days later, some guy came out, sprinkled grass seed on the lawn and plowed it under with his shoe.Then a few weeks later, a NEW hole had to be dug in our yard. More grass seed, more shoe plowing.Comcast has destroyed our yard.

Shopping for SAT TV now.
October 18, 2007 8:06 AM

Victor Yuschenko said...
Here is a letter I sent to David Cohen, executive VP of Comcast, this summer. I am amazed at how similar my experience is to others on this board.-----------I am writing to tell you about the Single Worst Customer Experience of My Life, courtesy of the fine men and women of Comcast.

This story has it all – shocking lack of competence, outright lies, and a customer service system that can best be described as Soviet in its hopeless ineptitude and ability to drain time and destroy souls. Mr. Cohen, I write to you because you are a man whom I respect, and who has tackled the Philadelphia city budget, which may be the only structure west of the Iraqi parliament which is more brazenly dysfunctional than the Comcast customer service system.

Mr. Dougherty, I write to you because you apparently have the unenviable task of herding the motley collection of dispatchers and technicians in the Wilmington, DE area.Let’s cut to the highlights, shall we?I have had no digital voice service for 4 ½ weeks. More important to me, except for maybe 1-2 days of isolated connection, I have also had no Internet service. Given that my girlfriend and I both work from home upon occasion, this lack of service directly affects our ability to earn a living.

To say that I have made an effort to have you resolve these issues would be like saying that Jeffrey Dahmer has a few minor personality issues. To be more specific, I have spoken to Comcast twenty times. Two-zero. That’s not puffery – that number was confirmed by Brian (ID #9FN) in your (Kafka- or Orwell-esque) “retention” department. But here’s the really infuriating part. Over the past week, Comcast technicians have failed to show up for four scheduled appointments. No call, no rescheduling – just flat-out didn’t show. A quick recap of your efforts from the week of June 18, 2007 looks like this:

• Thursday, June 21 – I’m scheduled for first block of appointments in the morning. The technician was supposed to call my cell phone 30 minutes prior to arriving. The technician never called and never showed. When I called back the evening of the 21st, I was told that there was never any appointment in the system. I rescheduled for the following day, June 22.
• Friday, June 22 – Scheduled for first block of appointments (again). Tech never showed (again). I called that afternoon, and was told that a technician could come out between 5:30 and 7:30. The technician shows up at 8, does some work, and tells me the problem is fixed.
• Saturday, June 23 – Internet and phone are out again. I call customer service and am placed on hold for almost 40 minutes. A representative tells me he’ll send someone out tomorrow (Sunday) between 5:30 and 7:30. I give them my cell phone number so they can call 30 minutes in advance.
• Sunday, June 24 – At 5:45, I call customer service to confirm the appointment. I’m told the appointment has been cancelled… because the technician tried to call me and no one was home. The problem? He called the (broken) home phone line! I say fine, send him out now, since I still have plenty of time in my designated 5:30-to-7:30 “window.” I’m placed on hold for 20 minutes while the representative talks with his supervisor (or surfs for porn on the Internet, or whatever it is he does). At about the 21-minute mark, I’m disconnected.
• Sunday, June 24 (continued) – I call back and talk to a nice young man named Amir. He sincerely apologizes, but all the technicians have been sent home for the day. Amir informs me that he spoke to the dispatcher in my area, and that dispatcher claimed he tried to call both my home and cell phone numbers. This is a blatant untruth. The best he can do, Amir says, is to set me up for a new appointment tomorrow, between 10:30 and 12:30. I give him my cell phone number, and make him read it back to me. The tech is supposed to call 30 minutes in advance on my cell phone before showing up.
• Monday, June 25 – Given past history, I call customer service at 10:45 a.m. to confirm my “window” of 10:30-12:30 and that the dispatcher has my cell phone number. Their response? “That appointment was for yesterday. We don’t have anything today.” Jesus weeps.
• Monday, June 25 (continued) – I receive a callback from the local dispatcher, who informs me that the technician will “probably try to be there by 1:00,” but he can’t make any guarantees. I inform the dispatcher that my time frame was 10:30-12:30; he responds that that is the best he can do. To his credit, the dispatcher does show up around 12:45. The problem is fixed … for now.I have spoken to Michelle in your office and informed her of this twisted chronology. She was kind enough to credit my account for my difficulties. However, even by the distressingly low standards of today’s customer service systems, this entire episode stands out as being truly exceptional – exceptionally bad. Indeed, once-in-a-lifetime bad. I sincerely hope your company is able to improve its customer service and dispatch systems. If not, you’ll lose a lot of customers – myself included.Sincerely,[name redacted]
October 18, 2007 8:56 AM

J.D. said...
Mona Shaw is a menace who needs to be locked up. She got off lightly because she's old, female, and white. I'm young, male, and black, and if I'd done what she did, no worries about jail, the Manassas police would have just shot me dead.Yeah, Comcast sucks and blows at the same time, but go after them with a lawyer, NOT a hammer. Oh, one more thing, if you're seriously contributing to her legal defense fund, you need to just send me all your money, because you're obviously not competent enough to be trusted with it.
October 18, 2007 8:22 AM

Has Qualmcast Gotten Back to You?

If you've left your customer number with your complaint on this site, did the company follow up? And how satisfactory was that experience? Do tell.

Shoot if You Must This Old Gray Head...

"... but fix my fuckin' phone!" she said.

Apologies to John Greenleaf Whittier, but Mona Shaw is becoming the Barbara Fritchie of consumerism. The Washington Post did a feature on her today, and I expect her to be on Jay Leno very, very soon. Why? Because she's old 'n' cute 'n' violent, and because we feel her rage.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Comcast CEO Goes Crawling to Wall Street? explain why his stock price is performing 22% below the S&P.

This is one of the more fascinating details of Diane Mermigas's latest MediaPost column. An excerpt:

The campaign coincides with recent reports from industry analysts that highlight the schism between Comcast’s stellar financial performances this year and its languishing stock price. Some take a decidedly negative turn from what generally is positive, supportive coverage, such as Goldman Sachs analyst Anthony Noto, who examines Comcast’s “new extreme downsides.” Noto has reduced his target price for Comcast to $29 a share from $34 a share. That’s based on revised estimates for a 10% loss in basic subscribers by year-end 2010, with minimal rate increases and an incremental 6% reduction in annual broadband net additions.

Gee, and what would be causing an exodus of subscribers? Hmmm....

Monday, October 15, 2007

Welcome to Denialworld

This is from a comment posted by an anonymous (draw your own conclusions) Qualmcast employee: "My next point is that incidents such as these are EXTREMELY isolated, and you will find a handful of individuals with such incidents in any company with 26+ million customers."

This is from an Ad Age editorial today: "And no, no one believes the comany's claims that outrageous service is 'an isolated incident.'"

And here's an outright Qualmcast lie from an Ad Age article about cable/telecom customer service in this week's issue: "We treat every interaction the same, independent of Bob's blog or anybody else's blog," said Jennifer Khoury, a Comcast spokeswoman. "Bob didn't want to be treated any differently, and he hasn't."

The truth is, when my blog item was published, Qualmcast - having repeatedly lied to me, failed to appear for appointments, walked out in the middle of a failed installation and stubbornly refused to connect me with a supervisor -- suddenly put on a full-court press to attend to my complaints. This was not customer service. It was PR.

And do they need better PR? Yeah, I think so. This is from Norman Chad's column in today's Washington Post. It's a complete digression from his ostensible subject, but he felt moved to throw it in, anyway: "By the way, Maryland plays its games at Comcast Center; coincidentally, between 1997 and 2000, Comcast had a "zero percent response rate" to its customer's cable problems. "

Denial may be a natural defense to the painful truth. But it gets you nowhere.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


...go here.


...go here.


It's heartening, indeed, to see how Comcastmustdie has already become an outlet for so much deepseated rage. I hope we can keep the blogtharsis flowing and keep the hammer assaults down to a bare minimum.
I'm also amused to see the post from a Qualmcast employee observing that the company is made of of people. Yeah, well so is MS-13. So was the People's Temple.
So was Soylent Green.
People, when caught up in venal, soul-less bureacracies, can be powerless to effect change. But I digress. While the comments here are fascinating, they are also quite varied. I may soon switch to a more robust blog template. Meantime, let's try to segregate posts by subject. This thread, for instance, should be for CUSTOMER SERVICE NIGHTMARES. Please don't forget to include your Comcast account number. As far as I can tell, there is no risk to doing so, and Comcast can follow up and try to help you. I'm delighted to report that they've have done so already.
Thanks again for taking the laws of economics into your own hands.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

...of NATURAL Causes.

Not violence.

Nobody knows better than me what kind of rage Qualmcastic customer disservice can generate, but please: no lethal weapons, no vandalism, no disorderly conduct. I thought that probably went without saying, but that before Mona Shaw got fed up.

The 75-year-old heart patient from Bristow, Va., stormed into a Comcast payment center and starting smashing things with a hammer. She was arrested, although she'd be smart to opt for a trial. When she tells her Triple Play horror story, I doubt there's a jury that would convict her.

According to the Potomac News:

Shaw's problems began when she and her husband, Don, waited all day Aug. 13 for a Comcast worker to come to their house to install its much-publicized Triple Play service, which includes digital cable, digital voice and high-speed Internet service. The Shaws were Comcast customers already but wanted to upgrade.
No one came Aug. 13 but two days later, a representative arrived.
According to Shaw, the Comcast worker didn't finish the job, told her that he needed a third party to finish it and left his equipment there.
Before leaving, the cable guy gave her the option of changing her phone number, but Shaw said she didn't want to change a number that she has had for 34 years.
The next day the Shaws couldn't receive calls but were eventually able to make calls.
That Friday, Shaw spent the morning on the phone with Comcast and made a frustrating trip to its Manassas office that resulted in no assistance from a company manager, she said.
When the Shaws returned home, they discovered they had no phone service at all.
A cell phone call to Comcast resulted in their receiving a new number and a promise that someone from the company would call on Monday. In the meantime, the Shaws figured out on their own how to plug their phone directly into the equipment the worker left.
That weekend, Shaw called the State Corporation Commission, the regulatory agency with authority over Virginia businesses. She says she spoke with the SCC's Larry Kubrock and was promised that someone from his agency would contact Comcast.
The Shaws waited Monday for a call. Finally, around 4:30 p.m., Mona Shaw put a hammer in her purse and returned to the Manassas Comcast office.
"I smashed a keyboard, knocked over a monitor ... and I went to hit the telephone," Mona said. "I figured, 'Hey my telephone is screwed up, so is yours.' "

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Welcome to the Revolution

Welcome to Comcast Must Die. My name is on this site. I didn't build it, however. It was a gift from the Bobosphere. A fellow named Bart Wilson, of Voyager360 in Santa Fe -- himself a Comcast victim -- did all the heavy lifting. Many thanks, Bart. The domain was registered and paid for by a shadowy figure who calls himself D.B. Cooper. He was a stranger to me, but I appreciate his generosity.
I invite others to employ their special skills -- and networks -- for the same noble cause. If the consumer is really in control, it is our duty to seize control. We must cease being victims. We must take up our keyboards and spread the word. Comcast (at least as we know it) Must Die!

How To Use This Blog

Actually, I have no deathwish for Comcast or any other gigantic, blundering, greedy, arrogant corporate monstrosity, What I do have is the earnest desire for such companies to change their ways. This site offers an opportunity -- for you to vent your grievances (civilly, please) and for Comcast to pay close attention.

I advise you to include your customer number in your post; this will give Comcast the chance to contact you and work on your problem. If it does so, I encourage you to post an update, giving credit where credit is due. Meantime, be aware you may be the target of online fishers trying to get personal information from you. DO NOT REPLY TO EMAILS CLAIMING TO BE FROM COMCAST. Deal with them only by phone.

Congratulations. You are no longer just an angry, mistreated customer. Nor, I hope, are you just part of an e-mob. But you are a revolutionary, wresting control from the oligarchs, and claiming it for the consumer. Your power is enormous. Use it wisely.

-- Bob Garfield