On Comcast: How Do I Hate Thee…

Hmm, let me count the ways.

Right now, I’m kind of feeling like Mona “The Hammer” Shaw, the senior citizen who was driven to the brink of violence a year and a half ago by the monopolistic arrogance of cable TV, Internet, and now phone service provider Comcast.  Instead of taking a hammer to one of their office keyboards, however, I am simply going to vent.  We have no other choice around here.

There is no other cable TV service available to us in this area.  So, of course, they keep raising their rates.  In addition to raising their rates, they have been systematically eliminating the most favored channels from their more basic packages, forcing people to upgrade to more expensive cable packages or to do without channels and programs people have grown to love.  My mom told me just this week that she was switching over to the Dish.  On her fixed income, she couldn’t really afford the next rate increase, and they have already taken away several of her favorite stations.

We are locked into Comcast until about August of this year because of the Triple Play promotion I signed up for last year.  The Triple Play promotions are actually not a bad deal.  They give you a break on the usual rates if you newly sign up to have all three (cable, internet, and phone) services through Comcast.  They even throw in a few freebies, like premium channels, free HD, and DVR.  They don’t do this to be nice.  They’re just trying to knock out the little competition they have (eg. Verizon phone) and at the same time get you hooked on their services so that when the contract is up, you’ll keep these services at their very expensive regular rates.

A few things always ticked me off about le Comcast.  First of all, they charge you for the month ahead, but if you happen to pay late, they charge you a “late” fee.  I could never figure out how you could be late paying for services you have not yet received.

This month, during the AFC Championship game between the Pittsburgh Steelers (our team in these parts) and the Ravens, Comcast’s digital TV service went out during one of the most exciting quarters of the game.  Many people were not happy about this, especially the ones in local sports bars.  Good move, Comcast.

This Thursday, I lost a good half-hour of my life with Comcast tech support to try to figure out why I could not access any of my e-mail accounts.  I had no problem with the technician.  He was very patient and helpful.  But I have a BIG problem with the new Comcast “Smartzone” mail service they now have.  It is not smart at all.  It is more like Dumbzone.  Or Suckzone.  They think by calling it smart and telling us how great it is and how much capacity it has, that they can trick us into liking it.  Wrong, Comcast.

I even asked the technician, “Why did they change it?  I hate it.  It’s all squished together and you have to double click everything now in order to read it.”  And…the reason I was having problems was that he had to reset something.  And I use the Mozilla Firefox browser instead of Internet Explorer.  I was informed that if I now wanted to be able to read my Comcast e-mail, I had to open it with Internet Explorer, which I hate and which is infinitely inferior to Firefox.  They’re supposedly working on the incompabilty.  Yeah, I believe ya, Comcast.

I know the reason why they changed their e-mail, and why it looks all squished.  It was not to make things better.  It was to rake in even more money.  If you have Comcast mail, you will see all the ads now that were not there before.  So they’ve actually downsized the reading area of our mail so they can collect more ad revenue.  But don’t think they’re going to downsize your bill.  Like all good monopolies, their rates will go up while their service declines.

17 Responses to “On Comcast: How Do I Hate Thee…”

  1. 1 So Much More Than A Mom January 24, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    I hate the Smart Zone too. You have to go through 3 screens just to get to your inbox and then it is a squished pain in the butt, like you said. I hadn’t noticed the extra ads. Corporate jerks.

  2. 2 paulascott60482 January 25, 2009 at 1:35 am

    I couldn’t agree more! My friend just recently told ComCast that she was going to cancel if they didn’t lower her rate. We do have other options here though. They said sure and lowered it 40 dollars a month. For me they would probably say…So long!!! LOL But, I’m going to try it on Monday, I’ll let you know if it works.

    • 3 mamaneeds2rant January 25, 2009 at 10:26 am

      Wow. Lucky you, Paula. They would just laugh in my face around here if I tried that. We’re hoping Verizon will get on the ball and expand their FIOS to my neighborhood. Then maybe we’ll have some options.

  3. 4 Paula January 25, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    Okay, I have a question…Why are you not on Face Book Blogs? Or are you and I just can’t find you. I’m finding it convenient to just do one stop shop blog reading now lol. It’s a shame, I know. I do enjoy reading your blog, and will bookmark you if I have too. LOL I found you while reading somuchmorethanamom.wordpress.com web site. She’s such a connector.. If you are not on FB…JOIN! Send a shout out when you do! recipeforchaos.wordpress.com

  4. 5 Paula January 25, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    Too funny, I pushed you over the edge..what a visual. I thought the same thing. I had to join for college..(as an adult) and found a lot of my old HS classmates were on as well as a million relatives..It’s not for kids anymore, and you can make your wall private. I am friends with 2 of my kids ages 24 and 19..I find it helps me keep up with their lives! I love it. Then you can join Biblio Crush a site that somuchmorethanamon and I are admins of!

  5. 7 robinaltman January 25, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    I hate them all – Comcast, AT&T, Sprint. I’m an equal opportunity hater. Once AT&T had us on some weird electronic call list, and they called us at all hours of the night, urging us to pick a password. Huh? It wouldn’t stop no matter how many calls I made. Finally, I just canceled them.

  6. 9 Comcastcares1 January 26, 2009 at 11:53 am

    Thanks for the feedback. Please know we are still making enhancements on our Smartzone and the rest of our products. I will make sure that your valuable feedback is passed on to the appropriate department for evaluation. Hopefully you see the improvements soon.

    Best Regards,

    Mark Casem
    Comcast Corp.
    National Customer Operations

  7. 10 Kathleen January 26, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    Funny Les – Now you’re blog is being “stalked” by a Comcast representative. I will actually click on the We_Can_Help@cable.comcast.com and see if they really mean it and then I’ll get back to you.

    We have Comcast out here in New Jersey – they are the only game in town – and the Internet service is horrible. They try to blame it on everything except their signal.

  8. 11 mamaneeds2rant January 26, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    If they really mean it, I’m impressed. But now Big Daddy’s afraid that our cable will definitely go out for the Super Bowl since I’m on their radar. We’ll see…

  9. 12 John and Perla January 30, 2009 at 8:13 am

    OK that comcast guy showing up is truly beyond weird. I have extra email accounts if you need one. It works very well and if you use Outlook like i do, it’s great.

  10. 13 rook2430 January 30, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    Like you, Comcast is ‘it’ around here. ‘Charter’ and ‘Frontier’ are slowly working thier way to our community but that doesn’t help now. I STRONGLY agree with the ‘billing’ arrangement. Our cable goes out (or the internet does not work) and if you call and ask, (beg) for an adjustment they tell you “Comcast signal is fine. It must be your equipment. You will have to call them.” Save your time, they will just tell you it’s Comcast. And it is. It usally comes back in an hour or two)
    What they dont advertise about the ‘Free Any Room’ service is you still have to pay monthly for the ‘box’ AND what about that ‘picture in a picture’? They told us we had to sign up for another cable account in order to recieve it!! Crooks? You bet!

  11. 14 mamaneeds2rant January 30, 2009 at 10:43 pm

    Yes, rook. I would love a refund for all the times my cable went out.

  12. 15 bill deni April 26, 2009 at 12:14 am

    smartzone e-mail stinks,right now no mail what so ever,it is down,wow isnt this great NO MAIL for three days so far 24 25 26 april..smart my a$$

  13. 17 Finkelstein Thompson LLP May 6, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    Attorney Advertisement

    Finkelstein Thompson LLP is a law firm that represents consumers who have been harmed by large corporations’ unfair business practices. We are currently investigating cell phone, Internet, cable, satellite, and bundled service providers who charge late fees, reactivation fees, and early termination fees. If a service provider charged you any of these fees and you wish to discuss your rights, please contact us at our toll-free number 877-800-1450 or by email at contact@finkelsteinthompson.com. Responding to this advertisement does not, by itself, create an attorney-client relationship between you and Finkelstein Thompson LLP.

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