That’s alright, Comcast — I trashed your August 14th email after barely a glance. No apology necessary.
To tell you the truth, I don’t like phone, cable and Internet service providers. With that confession, I join the elite club of a several million across the globe who share the same sentiment.
I doubt if you could come across any person who is not an employee at AT&T, Verizon or Comcast and actually likes the company. (That’s not to say the employees actually like the place, of course). Think about it — when was the last time you heard anyone say nice things about these guys? At worst, you hear “I hate those f!@#$%”…at best you hear…“Meh, they’re okay.”
I guess the main problem with these behemoths is that they don’t really care what people think. Look at their billing policies. Anytime you deviate from the usual course of making phone calls and paying your bills (or using the Internet and paying your bills) they will charge you for it in every way possible, and they will also try not to tell you about it. For instance, when I bought an iPhone from an AT&T store, they tacked on an “$18 upgrade fee” that they didn’t bother to tell me about. I found out about it when my last bill shot up, and I dug into the details to find out why. The “upgrade” in the “$18 upgrade fee” is questionable — I bought the phone and paid for it, I got a brand new contract with them and I subscribed to their data plan: they should be thanking me rather than charging me. But even that is besides the point — charging customers ridiculously is greed, but not telling them about it beforehand is pure indifference borne out of the knowledge that they can get away with it.
If that example didn’t convince you, then I’ll add that Comcast just increased the Internet rates — without bothering to tell me of course. Again, I found out by noticing that the bill amount had increased, after which I discovered the little box on the bill explaining that I would have to pay more. Nice.
In some ways, I think the culture of “your bill is $$$ + taxes + tips” has something to do with this state of affairs. That “+ taxes + tips” can be a real bitch, and everyone is used to not knowing how much they’re paying for stuff. I would rather go back to the good ol’ MRP (Maximum Retail Price) system present in the land of my forefathers.
At the risk of having spoken too soon, I would like to say that my Internet connection now seems to be back to normal. As the ancient Chinese adage goes, “a stable Internet connection after two weeks is like fresh air to a drowning man.”
Internet connectivity to my server seems to be intermittent and somewhat erratic. When will Comcast fix my connection? When will modems start behaving themselves? Who is John Galt?