“First,” says the Comcast customer support technician, “You dangle the chicken over the cablecard by that coax and then cut its throat with the wire strippers. Make sure it’s over the pentagram, okay?”
Okay. At this point I’m willing to try anything, and frankly the ritual chicken, um, ritual I just got from Tier 2 support is the most constructive suggestion I’ve received in the last four hours of being in Comcast’s support pinball machine. The gigantic cable monopoly (let’s call Comcast what it really is, okay?) apparently believes that “support” means “string customers up by their thumbs until they agree to an upsell,” and while I realize I’m still in the bush leagues compared to the true veterans of the Comcast support treatment, the ones that have racked up 20 or 30 hours and who are on a first-name basis with half the staff, that doesn’t make it feel any better. It would be nice if this was a battle against Good and Evil, or Black Spy versus White Spy, or even chocalate versus vanilla, but this is really just a war against the burning stupid and it sucks. I’m mad as hell and Comcast doesn’t give a flying crap.
The staff studies to be like this:
“Try turning it off and then turning it on again.”
Oh-ho. Way ahead of you. Done that. But if you insist, we can power cycle the Tivo and wait ten minutes while it boots. Maybe I can hum some of your damned devil-spawn-of-Girl-from-Ipanema hold music back at you. Hey, I’ve been waiting on hold for you all day, and I hear that music causes cancer in lawyers.
“I yam sorreeee sir, but your account needs to be (garbled). Call this number, please. 1-800-…”
Oh no no no. I called that number already. In fact, that’s how I reached *you*. If your precious efficiency rating is going down because you’re in peril of accidentally helping a customer, then you have no idea how happy that thought makes me. Let’s talk about the weather while you frob uselessly at your Fisher Price support terminal and look frantically over your shoulder for your boss. Do you like baseball? Cricket? Flicking boogers at photos of your corporate VPs? I thought so.
“Good day, sir. I can assure you that you have reached the correct department and that we will be able to resolve your issue.”
Facepalm. “We’ll be able to fix this, and this will be your last call to us on this issue” is what the last five people I talked to said. And they either hung up on me, or transferred me to another department, even transferred me to another fucking company, or told me they were closed, or tried to arrange for a service call two weeks from now from a guy who will miss the service window three times in a row. I no longer believe you possess a shred of humanity or free will, and that you are in fact the very zombie apocalypse we have been expecting to arrive, only you’re eating our brains over the phone. I have to admit, that’s pretty god damned clever.
Seriously, fuck these people. Hard. With a stick sharpened by the folks at the Public Utilities Commission (to whom I am writing feedback) and whoever down at City Hall I can get to listen (in this election season) about the responsibilities of a monopoly.
Dear Comcast. You suck.
After further research of people who have been dealing with Comcast and cablecards over the past few years, I now realize that I am totally screwed.
(Why their support is not asking for information like “Tell us what the QAM and signal lock settings are on the channels that don’t work?” is beyond me. Well, no. Actually I know why they’re not asking — they’re just not capable).