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 comcastrocks.blogspot.com. 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 comcastmustdie.com, 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 comcastmustdie.com, 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. Comcastmustdie.com 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 www.comcast.com/customerservice.

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?

...to 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