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Paint It . . . Black. - Sauce1977 [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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Paint It . . . Black. [Mar. 23rd, 2004|02:00 am]
[In the Moment |black]
[Special Music |The Rolling Stones Hot Rocks Album]


I see people turn their heads and quickly look away.

Like a newborn baby, it just happens every day.


I picked up a serious head cold yesterday. Most of the time, my nose runs, and I want to attach a bottle. Maybe I can sell it at a curio shop.

Doubts pass over an allergy, considering the fever and the last morning's feature presentation of achy joints.

Yesterday, the stuffiness had an aggressive foothold of surprise. Today, I've grown used to it, and the resistence begins with constant too-late fortifications of Vitamin-C-laced foods and garlic.

My great-grandmother, my mom's dad's mom, used to eat garlic-heavy foods daily, from what I'm told. She rarely, if ever, fell sick.

My suspicions of vampirism have also fallen with the massive amounts of garlic powder in all of my foods.

Surprisingly, I smoke regularly through illness. I used to cut out tobacco when ill. When I realized the recovery time increased only by a couple of days on average without cessation of smoking, I decided it was a better option to continue playing with fire.

The monkey has no sympathy.

Sympathy rests in the dicitionary between syphilis and shit, as my father has reminded me on occasion.

The world never waits.

I had to call Comcast today, with days of great reservation giving way to necessity.

Every day this month, we lose cable internet access anywhere from four to eight hours a day, starting around 9 AM to sometimes 6 or 8 PM.

Before this, in February, this happened every once in a while.

We called out a technician in late January, after the first few days of quick service began to give way into the first appearance of access difficulty.

The first time we tried to resolve the outages, the technician arrived 5 minutes late of the time frame. He arrived in the evening, when the access is usually restored. He poked around my terminal, looking at the connected modem, checked the levels, pronounced nothing wrong, and left.

My friend Brad warned me about Comcast Cable Internet and their service representatives in Los Angeles. Over Christmas break, he lost cable access at his home. The technicians had cut service to the building because of power surges in the area, and they forgot to turn back the juice after the outside problem was resolved. After many arguments, someone came around and finally fixed the problem, days later after his first communication.

One of the managers of the apartment also warned me. "Oh no," she said, when I mentioned the cable internet shut-downs. "You might have to get DSL."

Well, hell.

I called again today. I had to put them under my thumb.

I didn't want to be mean. I warned the service representative that I was angry, and I explained the situation succinctly:

"We have had our cable internet access cut off completely, anywhere from 4 to 8 hours or more every day of March."

It didn't seem promising when the service rep responded, "You're losing power to the internet from 4 to 8 . . . is that during the day?"

I explained in greater detail, but I don't think she understood much of what I said. Her first solution was the standard solution given by cable internet reps over the phone each time I've ever called about a problem . . . "Unplug the power to your cable modem."

I can theorize that in a power surge, the inner circuits of a cable modem may become frazzled by the surge, and therefore a power plug unplugging may remedy this as a reset.

Yet, I told her that 22 days of frequent internet difficulty had persisted, and I first warned her that I wasn't angry at her, but at Comcast.

Angry, and 22 days of problems are key words to note.

However, this time, the rep told me to unplug my router and my modem from the outlet.

I told her I had done so. She then responded, "I didn't tell you to unplug your router power."

My ears may be a little plugged up from illness, but in this state, they generally do not add words to a conversation.

My heart soon turned to stone.

Her standard solution provided a segway to nothing. Since her solution, asked repeatedly by her for good measure, went nowhere, I started on my next demand, 3 more months at introductory rates.

I listed this as part of my satisfactory resolution, since the service for these first three months had been horrible. That was mentioned with your incorrect customer service answer, "No, we . . . "

She then tells me, "I can send out a technician for a charge of 49 dollars to fix the problem."

Excuse me?

After the great detail I gave her, after my due dilligence to follow her directions, after her failure to understand my specifically spoken words, after my implications of a problem with Comcast's property as the failure source, after all of this, she argued that she cannot do anything at this time for me.

Here it went. Now, I wasn't listening to her any further than she did.

I wanted a manager on the phone, and I demanded one, right as the argument started. She saw a red door, but I painted it black.


Maybe then I'll fade away and I'll have to face the facts.

It's not easy facing up when your whole world is black.


Now I knew I was dealing with a winning loser. After 2 minutes on hold, she returned with the response, "I'm sorry, there are no supervisors available at this time . . . "

"Bullshit," I said. "Get a manager on the line now."

"But . . "

"Get a manager on the line now. GET A MANAGER ON THE LINE NOW." (ignored words from customer service rep underneath the command)

"Please hold, okay?"

"I'll hold."

By the time I was first put on hold, I fell into the throes of my 19th nervous breakdown.

I don't like to be mean. Sometimes I have to be mean, however, and this was one of those times. So I stopped, while on hold, and instead of getting overly upset, I listened to the generic hold music, and I waited.

After all, Comcast Customer Service had now completed the textbook mistake of becoming part of the problem.

5 minutes later, I got James the manager.

James took the dissociative stance that all managers are trained. "We don't know what the problem is, from here."

With every attempt to distance Comcast's failure from the issue, I volleyed back another complaint or demand.

That's what you have to do as a neglected customer. You cannot let up on the bastards, as they want nothing more than to resolve the situation that has not been resolved.

In other words, they want their way, so you have to continue with your quest to get yours.

I demonstrated my knowledge of how cable internet works. It is a way to let the business know that you know about what they do, and it garners power in your court.

More than once in the conversation, I asked James how much he knew about the "tech stuff" of cable internet service.

Not once did James or the service rep acknowlege or understand that since the modem works just fine in the evenings, it cannot seemingly be an error with my equipment, thus pointing to an error on their part.

This much I have learned. In an argument, Comcast Customer Service takes a stance of agreeing to nothing. Dissociation is another commonly-demonstrated poor habit.

James mentioned when I asked for a technician that knows what they're doing, "all of our technicians are qualified."

"James, the last technician that came out here did nothing, and he was qualified. I want an exceptional technician, not a qualified one. Do you understand?"

Finally, after the repetitive dance, after continuous assertion of my demands, James agreed to award the lowered 3 months rate for the next 3 months upon the outcome of the technician's examination pointing to an error in equipment on Comcast's part.

I could not get him to agree to guarantee no 49 dollar fee applied, given the other possible outcome of the technician ruling that my equipment is to blame.

Well, you can't always get what you want.

However, they have another thing coming to them.

No sympathy for the devil, keep that in mind.

Here's possible points of what may happen upon the technician's visit to our apartment.

* We'll get the 3 months' reduced rate, starting when they fix the problem.

* We're not paying for any more service on the cable internet, period, in its current state.

* If nothing is resolved from the visit, we're not signing the work order.

I told James at one point in the conversation that I have no faith in their service quality at this point. They've been warned.

If, for some reason, there is an error with my equipment, and the technician can logically demonstrate to me, a college graduate with a working knowledge of computers, what happened and how it's my fault, I will pay the 49 dollars, and I will drop the conflict, so long as I have a way to correct the errors.

At this point, however, I am convinced they're fucking me, and they're convinced it's not their fault.

Excellent Comcast Customer Service. What's My Name?

[User Picture]From: sm0t
2004-03-23 02:48 am (UTC)
First off: I think I had the same thing you do a few weeks ago. I could have sworn it was allergies at first (even though I've never been allergic to anything before), but as time went on, the evil sickliness revealed itself to be a sinus infection. Just rest and shove a wad of tissues up your nostril (make sure no attractive ladies are around when you do this).

Second: I hate customer service. Currently, I'm having issues with some of my cell phone company's online features. I should be able to send free text messages online, as well as upload pictures from my computer, which I can then text to my phone. Those and several other things just don't work. Fine, those are relatively minor glitches, but still...

I've called the damn company twice, each time being put on hold for 15 minutes or more. The first person is NEVER in the right department to help me, even though I always follow the relevant phone menu options (if you want to be laughed at while we charge you for being on hold for 20 minutes, please press 3). Then I'm put on hold again, only to be told by the next rep that they don't deal with those kinds of issues over the phone. Please go to the customer care section of the website and report the error that way.

I do so, only to receive a generic reply: We appologize, but do to the large volume of online queries, we are unable to respond to your request. Please call the number listed....

FUCK YOU. You think that by playing ping pong with me, you're going to keep my custom? You are seriosuly mistaken my friends. The next customer rep will feel my wrath, even if it is for a piddling matter.
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2004-03-23 02:58 am (UTC)
I anticipated and prepared for the dealing of wrath.

I didn't want to do it, but they left me no choice.

Your words of inadequate customer service, as mine, do not ring in the ears of the reps who work the service.

Generally, most reps are paid 'entry-level' wages, that being a touch above minimum wage. From experience, no college degree is required to operate the phone.

What they are, usually, is a barrier between management and the customer. So that management is not barraged with an overwhelming number of actions, they put forth the reps who have limited knowledge and limited enthusiasm.

The reps have no authority, generally, in any matter. They cannot give credits. That is usually the jurisdiction of a financial-based management department that never speaks directly with the consumer. The rep is the door-person to the rest of the company.

One of the seemingly necessary requirements for a rep position is the ability to listen and understand key points of a conversation. That, however, cannot be bought for 'entry-level' wages.

Years of customer service work has led to expertise.
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2004-03-23 03:12 am (UTC)
I suppose the cell company has you in a contract, one which if you break it, you will be handed severe financial penalties, probably including double-castration.

As for the internet service, there's more companies to choose from . . . however, cable internet may only be provided by Comcast in my zip code.

The other choices, from reading message boards, don't look much more promising.

DSL may be an option, but I have grown accustomed, ah yes, accustomed to internet quick at my fingertips, always-connected.
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[User Picture]From: sm0t
2004-03-23 03:28 am (UTC)
Yeah, it's a contract that I started one month ago and therefore have 11 months left.

I have an ADSL connection coming through a modem / router which gives me an always on connection. I have no complaints about it whatsoever.

I wish I would get cable, but TeleWest doesn't service South London. Go figure.
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2004-03-23 03:33 am (UTC)
You'd figure that in a large large city such as London, all points London and the outskirts would most definitely have every coverage known to man.

On a related note, back home in Detroit, the smaller city market was usually the last to experience upgrades. Wayne county in particular was usually months to years behind the suburban counties and even the boondock outskirts communities.

The reasoning for such, when I worked at Comcast, was that the metro Detroit community featured such a high rate of cable TV theft that it was unprofitable to push new technology in the market.
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[User Picture]From: sm0t
2004-03-23 04:28 am (UTC)
I would have thought all of London would have been cabled as well. My only theory as to why its not is the complexity of installing vast pipelines of cable through such a densely populated city.

How did they do it in NYC and other cities?
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2004-03-23 12:46 pm (UTC)
Most cable lines generally are installed above ground around places I know . . .

I think there's probably some underground work, and in certain cases, that might be necessary . . .

However, even on an island, anywhere there's land, the company gets the feed from Satellite, and then they take it from the main sat and cable it out to other folks . . .

I know in apartments, they have a main area where the entire building has the main on/off plugs. In our building, it's in the trash chute room.
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[User Picture]From: mizcrank
2004-03-23 04:32 am (UTC)
comcast is EVIL
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2004-03-23 12:49 pm (UTC)
They weren't so bad for me back home . . . I lived on a block where physically, on the other side of a block, there was a park, so no homes were there.

On my side of the block, maybe 3-4 people could have possibly wanted or had cable internet. Our block was mostly older non-tech-savvy folks. We didn't have much sharing . . . my connection was fast.

Here, I expect many people to have cable internet, but for whatever reason, they're going to give me reparations for this, as I am typing at a little past noon, and suddenly after I complain, the internet kicks back on early . . . .

No way. No emergency work in my area is going to lead to a 49 dollar tech charge and them telling me it's my fault. That's sneaky.
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[User Picture]From: fruitpunch76
2004-03-23 06:53 am (UTC)

My 2 cents

You should have known I would comment on this one. I will say that 75% of all those in Customer Service are not high quality because of the pay, poor training, and high turnover of the industry. There are a few exceptions to the rule however. Unfortunately, by the time a customer gets to a high quality Customer Service Representative, they are scarred by the number of inadequate low-life reps that are only there to get a paycheck.

I love working in Customer Service. I have a special gifting for it. It is because of that gifting that I am at a decent paying job and earning bonuses for high quality. I have "shocked and amazed" my supervisors in the fact that I was a quality advisor from the get-go, and as soon as I qualified for bonuses for quality, I was earning it. It is unfortunate that people find it so difficult to be high quality. I am not saying this to puff myself up. It's an easy job. If people take the time to be patient and listen to customers, something can be resolved 95% of the time. Granted there are those exceptions where you can bend over backwards and kiss the ass of the cranky customer, and they still will find something to bitch about. But in most cases, you can turn a roaring lion into a purring kitten right in the palm of your hand. A Customer Service Representative has the power to make bad situations good ones. The problem is, most of them don't want to. They want to come in, take the calls, and go home. With that attitude, it's a wonder why companies are losing customers because of poor customer service. Customer Service is what makes or breaks a company. If employers were more on the asses of their reps to do their job, you'd see a huge difference.

My company is big on Customer Service. They have quality standards that they require, and will keep working with areas that aren't making the mark to achieve it. If they do not achieve it, then the pruning is done.

Ok, I'm done plugging for now :o)
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2004-03-23 12:57 pm (UTC)

Re: My 2 cents

It is unfortunate that people find it so difficult to be high quality.

Not too many people hold the power to listen effectively, let alone communicate.

Ok, I'm done plugging for now :o)

I thought you weren't tooting your own horn.

Besides, I know you're a good worker, just like I was. :D

What's strange today . . . the internet's back up early. They're going to give me 3 more months at introductory rates. They are also not going to find anything wrong with my equipment, and I won't sign anything until that happens. I will also call them up more than a few times tomorrow and shout at a few folks there because they've lost my trust.

I can envision them working on the problem right now, then sending that tech tomorrow past noon in the 9 AM - 1 PM time frame, having him poke around, proclaiming nothing's wrong, notifying me we owe an extra 49 dollars, not mentioning they did work in the area, and on top of that, refusal of the 3 more months, and no credence given to the previous problems.

I can also envision about 1 week later . . . the lack of connectivity happening again.

Some tech's going to be unlucky drawing my work order. They're fucked. I've had enough of this bullshit. They have a problem on their hands.

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[User Picture]From: kerrykate
2004-03-23 11:46 am (UTC)
Sounds like the same flu I had last week. Your frightening me with your Comcast info. I got it a month ago and I havent had one problem......yet.. But Ive heard the horror stories. I love your writing by the way. Are you making it a career or plan to?
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2004-03-23 01:27 pm (UTC)

Thank you!

I am planning on a career in writing.

I have to pull off some deus ex machina shizz to have that turn out well . . .

A portfolio would be a good start, I suppose.

Thanks for readin' too.

And, Comcast internet comes on early after kicking out a day after I complain . . . and if it's just fine tomorrow, that's not gonna matter. I'm goin' for the home run here. They will give me 3 more cheaper months, as I'm on to them.

I never had problems with them like this back home.

They just haven't dealt with me yet.

Wait'll they get a load of me.
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[User Picture]From: renazle_dazzle
2004-03-23 04:17 pm (UTC)
Comcast used to be owned by AT&T, I am sure the same bitch ass employees still work in those cubicles. I worked for AT&T and I can tell you from experience THEY DON'T GIVE A FUCK.
I had a LOVEly *rolls eyes* experience with comcast.
I moved to this new apartment last month. And the dumbass that lived here before me didn't disconnect her cable. And they wouldn't transfer mine because of this. I told them we were moving in and they couldn't because "What if we were her enemy?" I was like you have all my information...are you STUPID????????

So I had to drive all the way to the cable company with a copy of my lease. Thats the only way they would transfer my service And I showed hem the lease and I told them " You should have SENT someone to MY apartment INDSTEAD. Well look at this lease,I LIVE HERE, so fix this NOW."
So they sent a dumb ass and he got my cable and internet hooked up.
Well 2 days later my internet quit. I called and this dumbass went through the usual trouble shooting. And she told me to reset my computer to a few days back. And I did and NOthing, she asked if they gave me a registration disk. I said NO. and she said well try to reset it again and call in 24 hours if it won't work.
I hung up. I was annoyed because I am a computer junky, and didn't have my fix.
I call back and it turns out I needed to reregister my computer. And the big oaf that installed it didn't give me a disk like he was supposed to. So I had to do it manually and it took forever.
The moral of this really long story?
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2004-03-23 07:11 pm (UTC)

Taken from Freys.

What Is Your Battle Cry?

Lo! Who is that, rampaging through the mini-mall parking lot! It is Sauce, hands clutching a bladed baseball bat! And with a cruel howl, his voice cometh:

"For the love of beatings, I come like a storm and lay waste like a hurricane!!"

Find out!
Enter username:
Are you a girl, or a guy ?

created by beatings : powered by monkeys

Well, I hope it doesn't come down to something like that.
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2004-03-23 11:48 pm (UTC)
Unfortunately, the entry-level reps are never trained enough to handle difficulties.

My friend Brad made a point . . . most people who call up with problems with their internet know shit about shit. It's a script they have to follow, which is sad, since in order to cut to the chase, I have to put up with some goofy person that didn't understand my communication enough . . .

I expect too much sometimes, I guess. I was good as gold on the phone, when I worked my similar position. I even adapted to a number of communication styles because I was intelligent enough to understand communication patterns in folks.

Not everyone's going to give it the ol' school hard-work ethic.

Not even me, anymore. I don't put out a quick effort on many things. I guess not being rewarded for my previous efforts, I catch on quickly, sometimes too quickly.
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