I am writing this blog while sitting on hold with Comcast for the ninth day in a row. I still do not have Internet or TV service. I have spoken to at least a dozen Comcast representatives. I have sworn a lot, gotten angry, and basicly lost my nut. I have also apologized to innocent people who were on the receiving end of my phone calls. I have been fed a lot of bullshit and put on hold. Promises have been made. Promises have been broken.
I called a week before I moved, to request a transfer of service from my old address to the new one. Two days in a row I was told by a recorded voice, this department is experiencing technical difficulties, please call back later. On the third day, I got through to a human being. The previous tenants had not requested a discontinuation of service. The Comcast rep gave me a service request number and told me to check back later.
The day before my move, I reached a young woman who was friendly and seemed to be on top of her shit. She called the current tenants. They gave her permission to stop service the following day. She sold me phone service which I do not need or want. We use our cell phones, but somehow ordering phone service reduced my monthly bill by twelve dollars and provided me with more channels, including the sports package I needed to watch the Patriots football games. This is called bundling. This sounds a lot like insurance companies. Let’s not even go there.The Comcast rep was also a Patriots fan and loves Tom Brady. She told me I would have uninterrupted service. The cable connection would be working on Friday at both locations. This all turned out to be bullshit.
After a long day of filling the U-Haul, packing and unpacking, and numerous trips back and forth through the traffic and red lights of South Florida, we cracked open some beers in our new, much improved apartment. Hubby got situated in his beloved recliner with the scratches left by our magical cat, Jennie. Feet up, seat back, beer in one hand, remote in the other, he turned the TV on. Your Explorer setup is not authorized for use appeared on the screen. This began a series of phone calls over a period of six days. I still do not have service and I am not sure when, if ever, you will be reading this blog.
Okay, so there’s the moving and the Comcast part of the blog. I’m sure you must be wondering what Teddy Roosevelt has to do with all of this. Teddy Roosevelt was a trust buster. He hated monopolies, criticized the wealthy, and believed Wall Street was acting foolishly. Sounds like a guy we could use right about now, right? Under his presidency, in 1890, the Congress passed the Sherman Anti-Trust Act declaring illegal all combinations in restraint of trade, i.e. monopolies. This was back when the Congress actually did worthwhile things. They actually got things done.
Comcast is a monopoly. In most areas of the country, they have no real competition. I’m sure you’re asking, if the Sherman Anti-Trust Act protects against this kind of thing, how did this happen? I can answer that. Remember, I’m the history teacher’s daughter. The answer is Ronald Reagan and deregulation. For me, Ronald Reagan was living history. I was in my twenties when he was president. I never did vote for him, but if you are a regular follower of my blogs, I’m sure you already figured that out. He deregulated a lot things, including the cable industry in 1984.
Teddy Roosevelt was a Republican. A lot of changes have happened since he was president. Fox News. Rush Limbaugh. What would TR think of Ted Cruz reading Dr. Seuss? John Boehner? Mitch McConnell? Sarah Palin, who could have been one heart beat away from the presidency? The Tea Party, who think Obama is a socialist and demanded to see his birth certificate? My guess is he’d be as angry as I am. He’d started fighting. I would even vote for him.
Right now, I am still on hold. My phone shows I have been on this call for thirty-three minutes. I yelled at the poor representative with the Indian accent when he told me I was scheduled for service at the pole on October 8th. I am writing this on the 2nd, I first called on September 24th. This is the way monopolies work.
Comcast asks if you would like to take a survey after your call is complete. “Your satisfaction matters to us,” they tell you. That is also bullshit. When you’re a monopoly, your customers can’t go anywhere else. Comcast couldn’t give a shit about your satisfaction.
History is important. Politics invades your life every day. Who is in office and how they view the world, and the bills they vote for or against matters. It touches your life every day, whether you are trying to send an email or showing up at an emergency room without health insurance. The only power you have is your vote. It is the loudest voice in a democracy. Right now, the government is shut down.
I’m not following the news as closely as I normally do because????
I don’t have Internet access!!!!
I do know one thing. We have three branches of government in America. The legislative branch, the executive branch and the judicial branch. The Affordable Healthcare Act was first passed by the legislative branch. After much theatrics and propaganda about death panels killing off your grandmother both the Senate and the House voted on and passed the bill. Barack Obama ran on the passage of this bill, his signature accomplishment during his first term in the executive office. He won re-election by a decent margin, when We the People returned him to the executive branch. No hanging chads or voter fraud to question the legitimacy of his re-election. T
he Republicans were still miffed about Obamacare, they brought their case to the Supreme Court. The bill was deemed constitutionally legal, it passed through the judiciary branch. This is how democracy works. Most bills don’t even get challenged at the judical level. Obamacare is now legally and constitutionally the law of the land.
The Republicans don’t like this. They continue block millions of Americans from getting affordable health insurance. When they’re on the losing side, they don’t like the way democracy works. They’ve taken their toys and gone home, shutting down the government. This has been a long time coming. One party has gone rogue. It is not both sides.Teddy Roosevelt started the national park system. On Tuesday, the national parks closed.
At forty minutes and thirty-three seconds, I lose the call to Comcast. I am not sure where the Indian rep went or if he will call me back or where he really is. Florida or Mumbai? I don’t know. But there is something I do know. This country is broken and I am not very hopeful. In the meantime, I still do have freedom of speech. I am sure I will hear from the people who don’t like what I have to say. But in the meantime, I have a voice and I’m using it. Thanks for listening.
Note: This was uploaded on my blog at the Boynton Beach library on October 3. The young black man sitting across from me is listening to some awesome reggae/rap. He is wearing headphones, but I can hear the music loud and clear. Last night a Comcast van pulled into our apartment complex. We thought they had finally arrived to hook us up, but no, he was on a service call for another unit. He said they don’t hook up at the pole any more. They just push a button in the office. More lies and bullshit. He said they have the second worst record for customer service.
I called Comcast again and the service rep I complained to hung up on me. I can’t say I really blame him, I was on a tirade. Then I called Direct TV and ordered internet and cable service through them for $70 less a month than Comcast. They will be at my apartment on Monday, one day sooner than Comcast had me scheduled for service.
I called Comcast to cancel my service. When the rep heard my story and why I was canceling, she spoke to her supervisor who came on the line and said she could turn my service on right then and there. Flip the switch. I said, “Too little to late. I’m flipping the switch on you. I’m turning you off.” Then I hung up.