Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Comcast Chronicles — The Surrender

This will probably be the last dispatch in my nearly three-month quest to get decent service from Comcast since the installation of a cable card in my TiVo. Many phone calls and visits from service techs later (previous episodes in the saga are here), I’m pretty much back where I was on October 3.

But it’s apparent that it’s pointless to continue this pursuit. Herein is my instrument of surrender, e-mailed to Comcast customer service this morning:

Dear [Comcast]:

I’m following up on my service call of two weeks ago to tell you that although I’m no longer getting the drop-outs of the channels since the cable card was replaced, I’m still getting the loss of sound and tiling on random occasions.

But at this point, it’s clear that there is nothing Comcast can do or cares to do about it. So I give up. You win. I will just have to get used to having spotty service for a premium price and, like the rest of your customers, have to take it because that’s the best I can expect.

But know this: I will continue to tell anyone who listens to me, both in person and on the internet, that Comcast and their assurance of customer satisfaction is just another corporate promise laced with fine print such as “your mileage may vary,” “other items shown sold separately,” “batteries not included,” and “some assembly required.” With every magical pony, there’s always a pile of manure.

I will say that all of the technicians and the people I spoke with through the Comcast customer service were always polite and gave me every impression that they sincerely cared about my problem. But that didn’t fix the problem.

By the way, I contacted TiVo twice to discuss this issue. Their customer service was not only sympathetic to the problem, they made every attempt to make sure that if it was a problem with their product, they would do everything to remedy it. Even though the problem was clearly at Comcast’s end, TiVo gave me a refund of two months of service for the trouble I endured even though it was not their responsibility.

Comcast did give me some credit on my bills for the trouble, but to quote Benjamin Franklin again, it’s like calling an ox a bull; he’s grateful for the compliment but would much rather have restored what is rightfully his.