First, read Bill’s excellent post from earlier today. He makes a lot of interesting and valid points. The sharing of our quotidian existences across social networks inevitably finds us navigating treacherous waters. How do we know that what we tweeted last night when we were struggling with insomnia (or this morning before we had our coffee) will be representative of what we’re feeling or thinking at a more discerning time of day?
Now, I’d like to think that my drama queen days are over, but occasionally I engage in public paroxysms — it’s just that they’re more likely to happen online than, say, in the grocery store. Still, the incident that Bill referenced — in which I took a Comcast “customer service” rep to task for his company’s despicable record — does not, in my opinion, qualify as a proper outburst.
Sure, I was fierce. And I had every right to be. I’m not gonna give you the full litany of infractions Comcast has committed against my mental health and wallet, but I will say that these stories about the company’s negligence pure evil ring true.
We’ve gotten rid of our cable TV (we enjoy premium channels and the concept of on-demand viewing, but these services rarely worked) and telephone (also handy, provided it works and the company doesn’t randomly change your number), but are stuck using Comcast for internet service because THEY HAVE AN EXCLUSIVE CONTRACT WITH OUR CONDO BUILDING. That’s right — we can’t go with another cable provider, and Fios (and even DSL!) isn’t available in our area. May I remind you that I live in Metro Washington, DC?
Oh, and Comcast’s internet service sucks, too.
What really irritates me is that apparently the only way to get these fuckers’ attention is to have a blog or complain about them on Twitter. Calling customer service certainly doesn’t work. Nor does having your problem “escalated” through their multi-layered supervisory platforms. Oh, they’ll promise to “get right on it,” but there will be no resolution or follow-up. I know this from more than two years of service nightmares at two separate locations. After you’ve wasted your seventh vacation day and countless hours on hold, you’ll start to realize that something is truly and utterly fucked with this corporation, to the point that you start poking around for class action lawsuits to join. The fact that they can continue to operate in the marketplace without regulatory censure beggars the imagination.
Of course, all of this would be a different story if the American broadband market weren’t a duopoly. But I digress. My new web buddy, Frank Eliason, was kind enough to give me the link to the Twitter archive of our exchange. Honestly, I feel bad that he works for this company — he seems like a decent enough guy. But I’m sure some Nazi rank and file were nice if you knew them socially. (Godwin’s Law alert!)
Eliason has also offered to look into my situation, provided I DM him my Comcast customer number. Forgive me for thinking this is ridiculous. We’ve already talked to dozens of people in the organization, all of whom made various promises, none of which were kept. But I suppose I’ll give this a shot. I need the internet, after all, and if Comcast’s Twitter Man can make it so the connection doesn’t drop five times a day, that would be swell.
But back to Bill’s post. I have no compunction about letting this very real human being know about my very real hatred for the utterly contemptible company for which he works. Maybe I’ve got social networking Asperger’s. Or maybe I just know a PR sham when I see it.