Tuesday, September 1, 2009


I haven't indulged in a good old fashioned rant here in The Burrow for quite some time. Are you ready????????

Once again, Comcast pixilated and froze and fast-forwarded itself through the last 2 minutes of a show. We were just sitting there on Douglas, minding our own business, not touching the remote, not un-screwing the cables from the back of the box, just watching the movie when suddenly we had a Mondrian on our wall instead of a flat screen tv. Now, G'ma and I really enjoyed seeing Broadway Boogie Woogie at MOMA back in 2008, but Comcast's lame attempt at replicating it was really lacking.... in style, grace, color clarity and most important of all it was mis-hung - that's supposed to be our TV !!!! Not blobs of color representing reality (sorry Piet) but a real black and white movie on our big, flat screen television set.

Naughty words were spoken, I will admit. Groans and frustrated foot stomping behaviors were seen in the area. Angry looks were exchanged, with caveats of "It's not YOU it's COMCAST" following close behind. And we didn't think that we were over-reacting. After all, we'd invested time and energy (ok, so maybe not that much energy...) in the silly movie and now we'll never know what happened. It was one of those late 1930-early 1940's films that you just can't catch on Hulu and I don't want to waste a Netflix queue spot on something I'll fast forward through 99% of just to see how it turns out and there was no one to call because I bet none of you reading this can tell me how Adventure in Manhattan with Joel McCrea and Jean Arthur ends and we were annoyed. Seriously annoyed.

The next day, watching The Barclays and feeling smug that we weren't living in New Jersey, it did the same thing just as Tiger was approaching his putt. Groan. Stomp. Grimace. And then, the piece de resistance -- when the picture unfroze, the announcers were saying "......you don't see that very often."

Okay. Deep breath. No, we can't rewind because there's nothing in the buffer to be seen. Exhale. Pick up the phone and call Comcast. Listen to exactly 1 minute of self-promotional babble (and I don't care that it was Shaq's voice selling me something) before I even got to The Main Menu.

Now, I really hate hearing that I'm getting the main menu because that means that there will be several sub-menus to navigate before I can talk to a person and attempt to get the problem resolved. I'm never quite sure under which category my issue should fall - both the tv and the internet were disrupted, my picture had problems and my equipment wasn't functioning properly. I pushed 2, heard no options I liked, and then..... nothing. I was not offered the alternative of returning to the Main Menu. No one told me what to do if I wanted to speak to an attendant. All I heard was silence. Not even Muzak. Total silence.

Except, of course, from me. With a roar that started somewhere on Long Island and ended up over the Pacific I began furiously stabbing my poor, mis-shapen, arthritic finger on the Operator key. Over and over. Pause. Push the button again. Pause. Feel the scream beginning again, somewhere down near my flip-flops, when suddenly a pleasant, adult voice asked if she could help me.

She didn't want to verify my phone number. She didn't ask if I was having cable or internet trouble. She didn't ask for my account number. She didn't want me to hold for just one moment. She didn't welcome me to Comcast or thank me for calling or tell me her employee number or that the call would be monitored for quality assurance purposes. All she said was "How can I help you?"

It's really hard to stay angry at someone who says the right thing.

Somewhat flummoxed, I asked for an appointment as soon as possible with a technician who carried the advanced equipment which had been proven to be necessary on prior trips. She didn't tell me to turn off the tv and cable box. She didn't ask me to shut down the surge protectors and wait a few minutes. No coaxing to tighten cables or check other channels. "Is it on both televisions?" was her only question.

The appointment is set up for this afternoon, and she's crediting my account for the whole month's cable and internet bill since her records indicated that I'd called in earlier this month with the same problem. I thanked her, but I still feel unresolved. I don't mind paying for something that works, but what I've got here is 500 channels with One Moment Please playing on a blue screen and I'm annoyed.

Ranting has its virtues, but I'd rather just watch tv....... if I could count on being able to watch tv, that is...........

1 comment:

  1. Hiya!

    Sorry for the trouble you've been experiencing. Please let us know how the service call goes. We'll get our contacts in your area involved if need be. Email us. We're here if and when you need us.

    Kind Regards,
    Melissa Mendoza
    Comcast Customer Connect
    National Customer Operations


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