Fed Up To Here!

June 11. 2014

Mr. Brian L. Roberts
Chairman and President
Comcast Corporation
One Comcast Center
1701 John F. Kennedy Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA  19103-2838

Subject: Customer service at Comcast

Dear Mr. Roberts,

Over the years I have encountered a number of issues with Comcast’s service and with your customer service and now I am compelled to report the shoddy manner in which your customers are treated.

Sunday, June 8, 2014, I logged on to the Comcast website to research prices and to upgrade my television package. Twice, I connected with a representative and was several minutes into the chat session when, each time, I was disconnected. Immediately following the chat disconnections I called Comcast at 904-374-8000 and, again, I was disconnected. I tried yet once more and was on the phone for 40 minutes with a representative. During that call I was given the runaround about how I couldn’t upgrade my television package because they weren’t offering any discounts at the time.  I countered that I simply wanted to know what the price would be to get the service I wanted. Eventually, I was offered a plan which upgraded my television package while maintaining my internet speed. The price offered was $85 per month, plus the cost for my existing equipment. I authorized the agent to upgrade my service at that time, approximately 1:20 pm EST. The representative told me that she would be mailing my “HD” box to me at which time I made it clear that I did not want HD service, nor had I requested it. I was assured that my existing equipment would work as well. At the end of the 40 minute call, I was told that the service would be connected within 24 hours.

Monday, June 9, I contacted Comcast once again as my upgraded service had not yet been connected. I spoke with a representative who told me that he was in the “repair” department. He informed me that there was no order in the system for an upgrade to my service. I was very irritated but allowed him to walk me through the series of “can’t do this, can’t do thats” that the prior representative had listed. Eventually, he offered me a package for $99 plus equipment cost for a total of $171 per month. I declined, firmly declined, the offer. He prodded me, trying to get me to take the service for a spin, telling me that I could always “call back later to disconnect”. I informed him, with perfect clarity, that I did not want the service and that I was absolutely not interested in wasting any more time trying to have it disconnected later.

Tuesday, Jun 10, I received a confirmation email stating that I had been upgraded to HD service at the $171 per month total which I had adamantly rejected during my conversation on Monday, June 9.

Wednesday, Jun 11, I called Comcast once more. I asked to speak with a manager but was told that I would need to provide some basic information in order to pull up my file. I provided my account information and then insisted upon speaking to a manager or supervisor. I was told that there wasn’t a supervisor available at the moment but that I was welcome to hold. Over the course of the next 1+ hour that I held, I spoke with Theresa. I asked Theresa whether the confirmation email I had received was a result of the order I placed on the 8th, for which I still had not received the actual upgrade in service, or from the 9th, when I had adamantly refused the higher-priced service. I was informed that the order was dated the 9th. She took the upgrade off my account and reverted my account back to the prior plan. She then attempted to upsell me and I refused the offerings. At 1 hour and 9 minutes into the call I was informed that a supervisor was available.

For the next several minutes I spoke with Okechukwu, a supervisor. I informed him that I would like to file a complaint and then recited the events as described in this letter. He informed me that the representative who had ordered the upgrade to my account had set it to take place later within the month.

I was stunned.

I clarified with him that, had the service would have been upgraded, I wouldn’t have known until I received a bill for service which I had neither ordered nor used. He stated that such was the reason for sending confirmation letters so that misunderstandings could be cleared up quickly. For all of his stated concern, the phone twice went quiet as I was placed on hold while speaking. The second time, I kept repeating, “Are you there? Did you hang up on me?!” and received no reply. After a few more seconds, he returned to the line and attempted to wrap up the call as if he had not heard anything I had said during the last couple of minutes of our conversation. I asked him, directly, “Did you place me on hold while I was speaking with you?” He claimed he had not. I challenged him, “How many times did I ask whether you were still on the line or if you had hung up on me?” He responded that he hadn’t heard any of that part of the conversation.

To summarize, I was disconnected a number of times whilst communicating with customer service. I have spent more than 150 minutes on the phone. I never received the upgrade I ordered, but was involuntary signed up for a higher-priced plan which I had declined. AND, I was placed on hold, mid-sentence, while speaking to a supervisor… in the midst of filing my complaint.

The fact that Comcast is permitted to operate as a monopoly seemingly allows you to treat your customers in such a careless and disrespectful manner. Were you offering a variety of candy, or toys, or other such consumer goods, one would have the option of shopping elsewhere. However, when the primary service provider of news, weather, and emergency alert information treats citizens so poorly, it bears an accounting for their actions.

I am far from the only customer to have been so frustrated and so inconvenienced by Comcast’s utter lack of regard and it is my hope that you will take these concerns seriously.

If you doubt this claim, I would encourage you to seek out customer feedback.

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter.



Congressman Ander Crenshaw
Robert D. Marcus, Time-Warner Cable
Federal Trade Commission

By The Light Of Day…

I’m not going to get into this too much because most of what can be said about Bergdahl  and The Obama Five has already been said. I would, however, like to state my take on what some, including Charles Krauthammer, are asserting, which is this:

Bergdahl tried to escape several times and was recaptured and placed into a metal cage. That doesn’t support the claims of those who say he deserted to join the Taliban.


That’s the best analysis a doctor of psychology can muster? I get that the average Joe Blow might not dig deeper but, heck, that doesn’t even scratch the surface. The logical argument they put forth is so juvenile as to be laughable.

I expect better from the venerable Dr. Krauthammer.

Watch this and think about it for a moment.

The Midnight Manifesto

See. We all have a romantic buried somewhere deep inside us. Even the burliest, bad-asses among us quietly dream of the breeze blowing through their hair. We play out in our minds just how we’ll sound and how we’ll look if ever we should meet “the one” or, the ex-“the one”. For some on the left, such as Obama, it is, as the post at Ace’s place conveys, the internalized image of oneself as king holding court that occupies the dream-space between their ears. For other, less ambitious liberals, it is the dream of saving the planet. Of course, it’s not at all as lofty as that. What they mean, of course, is that they are going to purchase lots and lots of crap with a “green” footprint and then promptly discard it in six months when something newer comes along. Still, others, the true believers, dream of nothing less than saving the planet/the whales/the seals/the trees/the whatchamacallits by erasing greedy consumers, you and me, from the planet.

This is where Bergdahl comes in.

Bergdahl, if the accounts are true, insinuated himself into the lives of local Afghanis. He saw himself more enlightened than his compadres and above the parochial thinking that leads one to war: Oil, greed, power, FREEDOM. He had deemed America and Americans as undeserving of his loyalty. He romanticized the Afghan people and, by extension, the Taliban. Maybe he had watched Lawrence of Arabia one-too-many times, and imagined himself riding across the desert on a camel, his garbs flowing behind him.

Who the hell knows where his particular train left the tracks.

What we do know is that whilst his mates were getting to know the others in the platoon, bonding with their fellow soldiers, he was off bonding with the townsfolk. And, on the night that he walked off, he no doubt had visions of being accepted with open arms into their world. HE would be the good American. HE could teach them so much. HE could bridge the differences between our nations. Or, perhaps, that HE could be their secret weapon.

Now, back to Krauthammer and the infantile assertion that an attempted escape suggests that Bergdahl did not seek out the Taliban.

At times, each of us has lain awake in bed, dreaming the big dream. We have the greatest clarity and we can solve the world’s problems. We will take action! We will write that manifesto! Then we fall into a slumber and wake, thanking God that we fell asleep before we did anything so foolish. By the light of day our brilliant ideas don’t seem so brilliant or we are embarrassed by how grandiose our thoughts had been.

Bergdahl may have awoken that morning all those years ago and realized, like Jerry Maguire, that the reality seldom lives up to the perfect dream we have created for ourselves. Perhaps Bergdahl wrote a midnight manifesto that, in the harsh light of day, looked like that one-night-stand from which men would eagerly chew off their own arm to escape.

The fact that he tried to escape and was subsequently placed in a metal cage only means that he found himself in a circumstance from which he desperately wanted to extract himself. If does not mean, necessarily, that he accidentally stumbled into that situation.

We know too much of Bowe Bergdahl to accept a claim of innocence with the same ease with which Charles Krauthammer accepts it.

We could all be wrong, and Bergdahl’s supporters may be be right, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

Glass Half Full/Glass Half Empty

I am now midway through my 8-week contract and, as I said last week over at the HQ, I am Blessedly, gloriously exhausted.

It feels soooo good to work again.

Just as I always have, I spend my free moments at work looking for opportunities to make a greater contribution, which usually goes to process-improvement or communications. I’ve yet to come to think of myself as a “contractor” with no particular promises for future employment. Instead, I see myself as an employee who can contribute, and thus I do, yet…

In my short time with the company I’ve completed all of my tasks ahead of time and have taken it upon myself to identify incongruities in the data that will pose a problem when they bring on their new TMS software. When a co-worker was asked to forward an information packet to me, he sent the wrong packet, so I made the best of the situation by reviewing the entire document, making numerous corrections in grammar and flow and, in the end, created an SOP suitable to the entire division. This past week I have begun to review their communications capabilities and have found it seriously lacking in every conceivable way:

Dreadfully-written collateral pieces

A frighteningly out-of-date website wherein 4-year old accomplishments are touted

No method for mass communications with customers

Little to no knowledge within the company ranks of the company’s own products

I’ve been feeding my findings, bit by bit, to my boss, the department head. Today, however, I created an outline based upon my findings and submitted samples of their existing copy, along with editorial notes, and a fully revised version that flows (and sells!) much more effectively. I created a folder, inserted the outline, the web edits, and several pieces of current collateral (with edits) and put them on his desk. Yet, I am beginning to wise up.

I will identify the issues and offer my services to resolve them, but I am a fool no more. No job… no contract… no freebies.

Now I wait.

I am at the hump-day of my contract and I need a job, but what I really want is the right job, and I just might be on the verge of getting it. I’ll keep praying that God’s will be done and accept the outcome.

In the meantime, I’m having a blast, and I’m trying not to focus on the empty half of the glass.


It’s Memorial Day… again

Don’t get me wrong, that “again” isn’t the result of a tiresome sigh, it’s the recognition that, despite all that will ever come ahead for us, the history of this great nation does not change. Sure, the left and their conspirators in the media can try and hush it up. They can try and shove the truth into a corner, but it will always break free. The age of social media guarantees it.

That sigh is in recognition of the million who have fallen since the inception of this great nation, in defense of her freedom, and of ours.

That sigh is in recognition of the fact that war and death are an inevitable part of living.  We may fancy ourselves civilized creatures but every classification follows a bell-curve and, for every delusional lefty elitist who envisions a pristine world where we all live in harmony, there’s a power-hungry or crazy or just plain mean bastard out there ready to do them in.

You can’t hug your children with nuclear arms! You’re right. You also can’t hug them with the stubs left behind after some Islam-loving jihadi whacks them off with a machete’. Too harsh a rendering for you, cupcake? Too damned bad. That’s life as we know it today and, if you folks on the left keep trying to hug the hate out of those who want us dead, well, you will find yourselves the easiest of the targets among us.

Whether the gang-bangers in your neighborhood, the Japanese who bombed Pearl Harbor, or a radical religion bent on world domination, each requires a swift, sometimes brutal response. They require the same level of brute force which would be targeted against any enemy invading your home. I promise you that when a stranger climbs through your window in the middle of the night, and your children lay in bed in the next room, filling the attacker with your love will be the last thing on your mind, And, if that day comes, you might just wish you had a way to protect yourself.

America is our home. Our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines , and Guardsmen are that necessary force which seeks to repel the enemy. They fight to protect our home while we lay sleeping. They lend the most gentle of hands to those in need, cradling babies following a vicious attack by the enemy or by providing a bite of food and a pat on the head to a stray dog in a war zone. They do a job that most of us could not do and they do it well. They deserve our respect and not to have the job they do belittled and, when they die in the pursuit of our protection, well… one weekend a year hardly seems enough to pay tribute to their sacrifice and to the sacrifices of all who loved them.

The million who have been lost will not be the last so, each night, when you say your prayers, ask God to hold close those who stand guard over us as we sleep.

In my mind, a prayer is the very best, and the very least, we have to offer.


God Bless them all.

Here We Go Again

I’ve tried this blogging thing before. Back around 2004/2005 a commenter at Velociman’s place, in a not-so-low pressure attempt to persuade me to blog, set up a site and handed it over to me. That blog was Devine Innerbitchin’ and, for a while, I enjoyed posting there. And, for a while, I stayed with it. Then…. I discovered that when you put yourself out there for the world to see, at least a couple of folks will come to believe that they have some sort of personal attachment to you. They forget where the boundaries lie and, in one instance, whilst chatting on the phone with someone I had come to consider a friend, was informed oh-so-delicately that he had been jacking off the entire time. In another, a commenter assumed a familiarity and became ever more forward and, when I did not choose to play his game, became hostile towards me.

That was then.

This is now.

I’m not so naive now and I will cut you off at the knees if you try that crap here. All are welcome, but not all behaviors are welcome, and if you cross the line… well, I won’t hesitate to block your ass.

Perhaps this seems a bit harsh for a welcoming post but, there it is. The ground rules are laid out for all to see, right from the get-go.

Now, let’s have some fun, do a bit of bitching and moaning, and generally get what’s on our minds, off our chests.

Welcome to Divine Innerbitchin’.