Rant on Comcast/Xfinity Wednesday, May 24 2017 

I’m cool as a cucumber, calm as a gentle stream. I don’t get road rage—I’m the most patient driver on the road. I rarely get rattled caring for my husband with Alzheimer’s or rambunctious grandchildren. I really am typically easy-going.

Until I had to deal with Comcast/Xfinity.

Working with them after my recent move turned me into an angry person I didn’t recognize. One day, I even lost my temper and was nasty with reps. My blood pressure rises just thinking about them.

There were problems with the cable. A second TV didn’t work, and I was repeatedly told there was something wrong with my equipment. All of it magically failed overnight while moving. Actually, after a visit, the technician said the error was on their end.

Most frustrating were all the phone issues.

  • Comcast said I’d have the same phone number I’ve had for 30 plus years. It was originally issued by Illinois Bell, so that tells you how long I’ve had it. After several HOURS on the phone with Comcast, and a week later, I was told the temporary number they issued me will be my permanent one. It happens, they say. Even moving only 2-3 miles from my last home. Had I been told of the possibility from the beginning, I wouldn’t have wasted so many hours dealing with reps who repeatedly told me it would be another 24-48 hours. I would have waited to print “Just Moved” postcards to include my new phone number.
  • It took ten days and multiple calls to get a rep to update my online info so that I could see my account online.
  • I had no voice mail for 16 days. The prompt said my number was unavailable.
  • Caller ID continues to identify me by someone else’s name. Yesterday Comcast said they aren’t responsible for that. It is the slow processing of the providers of those I call, such as AT&T.

No doubt, all this rambling and ranting sounds familiar to many of you as you’ve had the same experience with carriers. They aren’t life-threatening problems but still, intensely irritating, particularly because of the waste of time. I lost countless hours that cost me work and pay.

And it’s been unnecessarily stressful. All reps were pleasant as they read their scripts but few could reason beyond their prescribed steps. It took multiple contacts before anything was resolved.

I guess it is the sign of the times. I moved 8 times with my previous number with AT&T and it was as simple as lifting up the phone in my new home to find it all working. But today we deal with too much technology, too little employee training, and the fact that these providers are so much in demand they needn’t care how the consumer feels.

I apologize for the rant. As you know, I strive to write positive posts, so perhaps I can assist you with your next move by warning you. Perhaps if I’d known all of this was likely, I would have taken it more in stride.

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Who’s Your Friend? Tuesday, May 27 2014 

Here’s a little test to determine who you are closest to, who your go-to person, your best friend really is:

  • Who do you go to throughout the day with all your little questions?
  • In your downtime, who do you play with?
  • Who helps you manage your calendar, remind you of your appointments?
  • Who do you share your music with?
  • Who knows all the numbers and addresses of your friends and family?
  • Who coaches you toward your destination?
  • Who helps you broadcast your every thought and action on social media?
  • Who acts as a middle-man between you and the friends you “talk” to?

Most likely, the answer to all these questions is your phone. We rely on and relate to our phone more than any other human being. This inanimate object owns our full attention, often in the presence of real people.

We should seriously consider if we are replacing our humanity, human interaction, with a device without a conscious, soul, or heart. Is our go-to person not a person at all?

None of us want to go backwards. We love the convenience and versatility we hold in our hands. But maybe, even for a brief moment, we might want to look up and lean into the people around us. Make a point each day throughout the day to look away from the phone and into the eyes of another human being. What will happen to us if we do not?

©2014, Mary K. Doyle

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