Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Saturday, September 26, 2009


About 56 hours until the first P!nk concert for us.  I'm so excited that I'm nearly wishing away the weekend, but not quite.

We have 2 tickets available for the Fairfax concert Monday night, if anyone is interested.

Friday, September 11, 2009


Farmville is addictive and should be avoided. Anita and I are dreaming of harvesting crops. I've gotten up early two days this week because my tomatoes/pumpkins were in. Perhaps I'm actually growing poppies. I don't know.

Sorry Cathy. Sorry Joy. Sorry Marilou. Sorry Anita. Gary, you're not really my fault.

However, I was growing bored with it last weekend and then the worst thing happened. I thought of something new I could do on it. Leave messages. Not little signs you can't see without clicking.

Here's yesterday's appropriate message.

I especially liked how it looked like a digital billboard as the crops matured.

Yes, I already told you the message was appropriate.
And thanks for all the signs that had some variation of "there's not enough help in all of Farmville".

Today's message is "Some Pig" with an advertisement by Charlotte offering a billboard for rent.

Tomorrow's? Join Farmville on Facebook, become my neighbor and find out.

But, you were warned AND I even showed you a helpful diagram of how bad this addiction is.

The Saga Continues

One other thing Mark the Comcast Dude said on Tuesday was that a customer service rep would call us on Wednesday to discuss/confirm the confirmation. Friday around 2ish, I email Mark. I get an OOO message. OK, I can wait until Monday. But Monday isn't good enough for Mark. He emails me back within the hour, tells me that I'll be getting a credit for the service and both late fees and that a local rep "tried" to call us and is there another number she can use.

I finally get a voicemail from the rep. I then get her voicemail and give her my work number. Guess what, she doesn't call back today.

Is there a lesson here? Not really - we already knew there were a precious few outstanding Comcast employees. But Mark IS one of them. I have no doubt that he'll at least give me my money back and that has to be enough. My local rep, not outstanding, but with Big Brother watching, it'll get done.

FYI, we have another cable box apparently going bad. hysTERical. But it is a few years old and it doesn't take much to trade it in for a new one....

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Comcast as Big Brother

We have a new reader, Comcast National Customer Support.  Welcome to the program!

Anita & I both spoke with Mark today and we look forward to at least a full credit on late fees and the service call that did not fix our problem that turned out to be the cable box (FYI, this in the "Comcast Guarantee" on their website).

He's apologized repeatedly and will be reviewing the service we received by phone and online chat and will be discussing the problems with our regional office - Sheila, baby, this means you.

We'll see if the expected compensation materializes.

Oh, and the next blog will definitely use the phrase Carnival Cruise ship Holiday is lame repeatedly.  Wait, I already did that.  So much for compensation from Carnival for a pretty bad shipboard experience.  They're just lucky I had some of my peeps with me to make it fun among the lameness.  Words to live by:  never travel without some peeps, marshmallow or otherwise.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Comcast, Key to My Heart

OK, I may be calm enough to post a tribute to Comcast.  Perhaps not quite a tribute, but a definite homage.  Alright, maybe not an homage, maybe more of a rant.  Rant or diatribe.  OK, why are you making me categorize this?  You people really annoy me.  :-)

On July 28th, after Anita complained to our beloved cable company that the signal on one of our TV's was breaking up, they sent a technician to the house.  Said technician jimmied with this, jiggled with that, replace a whatzit here and a doojobbie there and Anita thought the signal had improved, so fine.  We found out later that evening that no, it didn't help at all, but the signal breakup didn't really start until we'd been watching TV for 15 minutes.

So, we decided it wasn't the cable signal.  I switched out the Tivo box for another one.  No improvement.  We bypassed the Tivo, no improvement, hmmm, uh oh, flat screen TV for the bedroom, here we come.  This all took several days to move around as we never did get started on the "project" until we were ready for bed.

On August 10, we got our monthly invoice for cable, which included a $28.90 charge for the service call.   We were surprised as we had never been charged for service before, but, well, they did come into the house to jack around with stuff, so perhaps, well, whatever.

We decided to switch out the cable box.  Anita brought the old one in and got a new one (nice and shiny and new and about 1/3 the size of the monster we had.  Problem solved.  I gotta say that getting the service, getting the bill and switching out the cable box to solve the problem happened far enough apart that it has only just occurred to me that Comcast now owes us $28.90 as the jerkwad that "fixed" our cable didn't fix it and it was Comcast's problem.  I was OK with him not fixing it if it was something that belonged to us.  Oh, great, another call to Comcast.  Fuckmuffins.

Well, back to the original rant, though I seem to have a whole nother one to go off on (or soon will anyway).

When we got the new cable box, not all the channels we get were programmed, even though they said they would be.  Bastards.  So, we called our friendly, neighborhood cable company at 11pm.  Oddly, the first recorded message we heard was that we had a large, past due amount.  We didn't think much of it, our payments are electronically transferred on a fixed date every month, so clearly their accounting department was a little behind or something.  The technician was able to get our box reprogrammed after only about 30 minutes of hold time and unplugging and replugging the damn thing.

On September 1st, we were watching TV and realized all of our premium channels were gone, on all our TV's.  Anita called the cable company and because of our large past due bill, we were sent to the credit & collections department.  WHAT????  We've been Comcast customers for 15 years (OK, they've gone through name changes, but I met the cable guy the day we moved into this house greater than 15 years ago, leaving Anita with the movers at the apartment).  Anita gets a real person in credit who says that the only way to get our cable back on tonight was to pay our bill by phone (for a 4.95 charge or via their website for a 2.95 charge).  WHAT!!??  Anita read our bill to them:  "Previous Balance XXX.XX, Payment 8/5 for same, "thank you" etc.  At the top it says "UNPAID BALANCE $0.00 - DUE NOW".  "New Charges $xxx.xx - DUE 9/6/09".  How do we have an unpaid balance?

Evidently, Comcast billed us late for the service call.  Somehow, because the service occurred in July, we should have paid for that service on August 5.  But they didn't bill us until the 9th and we didn't get the bill until the 10th.  No matter to them, our entire invoice is past due.  Well, we'd be willing to pay the service call now, but not the whole bill.  Nope.  Whole thing is due.  Nothing comcast credit & collections dude can do for us except Visa, AMEX, etc.

Anita says fine, thanks for nothing and hangs up to tell me what happened.  We call back to try to talk to someone in customer service.  Nope, back to credit & collections.  I talk for 10 minutes about what has transpired and that our bill said it's due on 9/6, the day of the month it's been due on for 15 years. "I'm in credit & collections and there's nothing I can do to change that."  I remained calm and yes, I know, but can you transfer me to someone who can help?  Well, I could put you on with my supervisor who could transfer me to customer service, but she can't make the transfer herself.  OK, please do that.  I hear a click and I think OMG, bitch cut me off, I am going to cut someone and then I hear a ring and think whew, that was close and then I hear a recorded message "the supervisor queue can not handle your call right now. Please call back later."  Click.  And scene.

FUCK! FUCK! Fuck.  Assholes.  Greedy sonofabitchin' assholes.

I call back (what's the definition of insanity again).  I get another woman, fine, who will absolutely not let me finish a sentence but manages to make it sound like I'm the one interrupting her. Yes, I have her name - Sheila, I'm coming for your job, bitch.  Anywho, she asks if I've called the 800 customer service line.  I say no, I've called the number my freaking invoice says to call.  Evidently, my invoice is lacking in many social graces.  She politely gives me the 800 #.  I hang up with a little violence.  I hate cordless phones.  It's much harder to make a statement hitting the off button with violence than slamming the phone in it's cradle.  Yes, I'm a classic lady.

I call back.  Do ya feel me?  Guess what?  The 800 customer service line directs us right back to credit and collections.  This happens to be the number Anita first called, but I didn't realize that.  FUCK.  Oh, but wait.  It is now 9pm and customer service closes at 9.  Please try again tomorrow.  Bitch Sheila probably knew the 800 number would send me right back here to her closed department and I would no longer be her problem.  Really?  I'm not going to be her problem any longer?  Really, you think that?

All this time (about 1.5 hours), I've been on the internet (thank God, we have Verizon FIOS internet, not that I'm advocating for them, but at least it also didn't get cut off), researching Verizon cable services.  I now go to the Comcast website and find they have a customer service online chat.  Sweet.  24 hours.  Sweet.  I log on.  "We are currently experiencing an outage in your area and a very high volume of calls.  Calls will be worked in the order they come in."

Start at 14.  OK, not so bad, quickly go to 12, 11, 9, then back to 14.  What the holy fuck.  But it's OK, I can work on my blog.  Farm on Farmville.  Rant on Facebook.

12, 9, 6, 12.  Goddammittt.  No, wait, I'm cool.  I can wait....about an hour!

I go through the whole thing again.  She writes that my invoice is overdue and has the audacity to quote the invoice I'm staring at.  I asked if she can get an email scan or fax.  She suddenly asks if we can pay the invoice by the 6th.  YEEESSSSS, the freaking electronic payment is actually already scheduled for the 5th and has been since the day we got the invoice.  OK, she can turn on my cable.  Is it working now?  Uh no.  About 5 times for that with bitch continuing to ask if it's working like 5 times while I go in the other room to check.  She didn't get that I wasn't in front of the TV chatting - not everyone has a laptop & a wireless network (I do, but wanted my MAC desktop).  5 minutes later, we were all set.  I then asked for the interest and one days service to be credited.  And she seems to have done it - won't know until the bill comes next week.

SO, I am TRIUMPHANT!  Jumping & dancing around the house, even though we have about 4 hours of Tivo'd blackness saved (and in high def, thank you very much), I still conquered the evil forces bent to destroy me.  And oh yes, upon closer inspection of our invoice, under the heading "News from Comcast" After it says "As of 8-9-09, we haven't received payment in full from last month's bill."  Hysterical.  Who reads Comcast news and how exactly were we supposed to prepay a charge we didn't know we were going to get?

I hate F*ing Comcast.  Say it with me now.