So, I’ve had a rough three hours dealing with Comcast. Two dropped calls before getting someone who knew what the fu . . . er . . . what the reproductive act was going on. Thank you Tyler, you restored my calm.
You see, I got an automated call saying I needed to upgrade my internet modem to avoid issues related to new features they were rolling out. They specifically said my modem was outdated. I called to find out what’s going on.
I got a very nice lady that explained my modem is out of date and needs upgrading or I would start having internet errors. She explained that it would be free. OK, I said, go for it, and she placed the order. And then she says I need to send back the old modem.
‘Wait a second,” said I, “I own my internet modem. I’m not sending it to Comcast.”
“You have a modem for your phone service through us. That’s the one you replace and send back.”
“Uh,” said I, “that’s the voice modem; upgrading it would not do anything for the internet.”
“Oh, sorry,” she said “you need to upgrade your internet modem.”
“OK, but I’m not sending it back. I want to be clear on that,” said I.
“Let me put you on hold.”
Hmm . . . I opened up Lightroom and started to play around with the Robber Fly photos.
You see, I wanted the photos to reflect the life and death drama unfolding in
“Hello, sir? Are you still there?”
“Yes, I’m here.”
“Thank you for holding. Normally we send a Digital Internet and Voice modem, but we’ll be sending you an Internet modem.”
“Fine, but I won’t have a modem to return.” I was beginning to get an idea how this was going to play out.
“You return your voice modem.”
“How does replacing the voice modem help my internet? And what do I use for a voice modem?”
“It’s a dual modem. It is an internet modem, and it has a separate lead for the phone service.”
“OK . . . I’m going to explain this as best I can; The voice modem is in the basement, and is hooked up to both the phone access panel and my house alarm service.”
“You have a house alarm?”
. . .
“Hello? . . . Hello? Anyone there?”
So, I’m a little frustrated. I get up, make a small pot of coffee, grab a snack, look at the flowers outside, and then pick up the phone and hit redial. Attempting to navigate the automated system, I end up in a loop I cannot escape. I hang up and redial.
I have a dislike for automated systems. The theory is they save time by gathering all the information before you get with an agent, but invariably the agent will ask me the same information the automated system just asked.
Here’s the royalties-free system I use when dealing with voices asking me what I want to do.
“How may we help you today?”
“I understand you want to talk to a representative. Before connecting you, please explain why the hell you are calling Comcast. We’re busy making money here! However, acting like we give liquid excrement about you, please state the nature of your call. You can say things like ‘I have a complaint you’ll ignore’ or ‘I wish to bang my head against the figurative wall that is Comcast.’ Go ahead; try it.”
“I did not understand that request. Please explain why the hell you are calling Comcast. You can say things like ‘I have a desire to shorten my life’ or ‘I wish to get pissed off and feel like Comcast does not give a crap about me.’ Go ahead; try it.”
“I will connect you to a representative. This call may be recorded to make sure we can train the majority of our agent in the fine art of seeming helpful while being anything but.”
“Hello; my name is (redacted so I don’t get sued); how may I help you?”
I went through the whole thing again, explaining about the two modems, the fact one is mine, and not wanting to returning it.
“I understand. Let me pretend to help you. May I have all sorts of information so I can be sure that the unique phone number you are calling from, the one I can see, is actually correct?”
(gives name, address, phone number, last 4 of SSN, shoe size, current life expectancy – prior to this call – and estimated weight)
“I have your information right here. Yes . . . yes . . . OK; you will need to replace the voice modem with the one we are sending you, and then return the old modem.”
“Great! I can do that.” I should have stopped there . . .
“So you guys are upgrading the voice system?”
“No sir; we are upgrading your internet, allowing faster connection speeds.”
“Uh . . . the voice modem is not connected to my computer.”
“This model has both. Once you hook it up, you can get the Internet through it.”
I’m rubbing my head, and eyeing the machete (must . . . look . . . away).
“OK; as I explained to the other lady and to you just a few seconds ago, the voice modem is in the basement, and is hooked up to the alarm. It’s on a different floor from where my computer is, and about fifty feet away. I don’t have a good way to run a line to it.”
“The modem has integrated Wi-Fi; you can connect through the wireless system.”
(deep breath . . . deep breath)
“You can connect via the wireless signal from the modem. There are instructions on how to . . .”
“Excuse me, I already have a wireless system for the two laptops, the phones, the two readers, the two Roku devices, and that’s fine, but I don’t want to run my PC via a wireless connection.”
“That’s how you would be able to connect.”
“You are telling me that replacing my hardwired PC connection with a wireless connection 50 feet away and on a different floor will get me better internet connection? Besides, I’m not comfortable with the inherent security issues of wireless systems.”
. . .
“Hello? . . . Hello?”
I get up, make a larger pot of coffee. I then grab one of the hammers from the garage, and walk outside to the decorative rocks flanking my drive. I pick one out.
I proceed to pulverize the hapless rock with methodical and determined blows. Neighbors shut their windows and close their doors after yelling for their children and dogs to come in, quick!
I stand, take a deep breath, and look up at the sky . . . better.
I walk back in, grab a coffee, grab a snack, and sit in front of my PC as I hit redial.
I don’t pray, but if I did, Tyler would be the answer to my prayers.
I explain to him the whole sordid tale. I interject humor, I keep my voice neutral.
. . . and I only have to do it once.
He checks my account. He confirms the model of the modem I use to connect to the Internet. He checks the modem I’m using for voice.
“Well,” tyler says, “you are already meeting the requirements for anything we’re likely to roll out in the next year. You don’t have to upgrade either modem. Let me cancel that order; please hold.”
ANNOYING MUSIC (but more optimistic)
“OK. Sorry to keep you on hold. I cancelled the order for a new modem, and you should be all set. Is there anything else I can help you with?”
“Well, I was thinking of dropping cable and phone service, and just have the internet, but I should probably chat with another department.”
“Let me check that for you . . . . hmm . . . ah, yes. I checked if there is a current offer that would benefit you, but you already have our best package. However, dropping cable and the voice services would only save you $40 a month before taxes and fees.”
“Let me get this straight . . . I have the enhanced internet speed, I have phone service, I have a premium cable package plus HBO and Starz, I rent a voice modem and a DVR from you, and if I drop all that and just keep the internet service my bill drops by about $40/month?”
“OK, thanks. I think I’m all done. It’s been a pleasure conversing with you, and I wish you a nice day.”
“Thank you sir. You have a nice day, too.”
$40/month sounds like a lot to save. Let me do the math for people so challenged – that’s $480 a year. HOWEVER, regular phone service is around $50 a month, if not more. Deleting services would actually cost me money.
Anyway, that was three hours of my life. The good thing? . . . it done got me some practice in post-processing my photos . . .
Edited to Add: I’ve added the larger versions to these originals to the gallery HERE.
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. . . my FP ward . . . chieken shit.