I just got my HTPC today, and we're thinking about canceling our cable. With over-the-air HD, Hulu, and Netflix, I'm not sure we really need cable. I wanted to see how much our internet would cost if we dropped the cable. I figured Comcast would charge us more if we had only internet. So I went to their live support chat.
user Jonathan_ has entered room (4:16 PM)
Me: What would my high speed internet cost if I cancelled my cable TV?
analyst Ferdinand has entered room
Ferdinand: Hello Jonathan_, Thank you for contacting Comcast Live Chat Support. My name is Ferdinand.38369. Please give me one moment to review your information.
Ferdinand: Hello! How may I help you today?
Me: If I cancel my cable tv, how much would my internet connection cost?
Ferdinand: I understand that you want to know the cost of your internet service if you will cancel your cable service. Is that correct?
Ferdinand: Please be informed that you have reached the Comcast Internet Technical support. I would be happy to transfer your chat to the appropriate department. Is that okay?
Ferdinand: Please wait, while the problem is escalated to another analyst
analyst Ellise has entered room (4:18 PM)
Ellise: Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Let me go ahead and work on this for you.
analyst Ferdinand has left room
Ellise: By the way, how are you doing today?
Me: I'm great, how are you?
Ellise: I am glad to know that.
Ellise: I am doing quite fine today.
Ellise: Thank you for asking.
Ellise: It is kind of you, Mr. Renaut.
Ellise: Please stay online.
Ellise: I will just review the previous chat transcript.
Ellise: Mr. Renaut, will you please verify what package you currently have?
Me: I have digital cable plus high def and high speed internet
Ellise: Is this a triple or a double play package?
Ellise: Thank you very much for that information.
Ellise: For security purposes may I verify the last 4 digits of your social security number please?
Me: XXXX, although I'm not sure why you need that just to tell me what my bill would be
Ellise: For the security of your account, Mr. Renaut.
Ellise: Just a moment, please.
Ellise: Mr. Renaut, if you will cancel your cable service, you will save $80.45.
Ellise: You have the option to call the local office for confirmation.
Ellise: Would you like me to give you the information of our nearest local office to you?
Me: I'm not canceling yet, I was just curious
Me: nope, just wanted the price
Me: thanks very much
Ellise: You are most welcome.
Ellise: I am glad I was able to assist you today.
Ellise: I would appreciate if you will take time answering the online survey right after this chat session. This will help us know how to improve our services.
Ellise: Thank you for contacting Comcast! We appreciate your business with us.
Ellise: If you need assistance in the future, please do not hesitate to contact us through live chat or e-mail (available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week). Comcast also offers excellent FAQ and help forums located at www.comcast.com to help you reach a resolution independently.
Have a great day!
Ellise: Analyst has closed chat and left the room (4:28 PM)
Things to note:
- The whole thing took 12 minutes.
- I told Ferdinand my problem once before I arrived in the chat, once after, and then confirmed his restatement.
- I'm not convinced that either of the two CSRs could pass a Turing test.
- Who knew that everyday pleasantries would be so appreciated?
- There's no chance Comcast doesn't raise the price of our internet if we cancel the cable.
- The price difference she quoted me is digital cable plus the HDTV converter. According to Ellise, if we cancel our cable, we still pay 25 cents a month to rent our remote control.
- It is utterly absurd to charge 25 cents for the remote as a separate line item on my bill. Why not just build it into the price of the cable so I never see it?
- It was not me who chose which chat room I entered - I answered their questions to the best of my ability. If I'm in the wrong chat room, it is Comcast's fault.
- The survey after the chat is worded in such a way that I can't tell them how ridiculous they're being without lying. I answered their questions honestly, and gave them the highest score on every question. But they never asked the really important questions. If your survey is constructed to get high scores, it's not really helpful, is it?
- I really wish that, when she asked if it was a double or triple play, I had answered, "That's what she said!".
In any event, I'm glad I contacted Comcast customer service. I haven't laughed that hard since last night when we watched the episode of The Office that aired after the Super Bowl.
The wife and I had dinner at Rumba Cafe in Adams Morgan last night. It was a 1000 point reservation at Open Table, which puts us almost to a $50 gift certificate to any restaurant that deals with Open Table, which is awesome.
The Rumba Cafe website seems to be under maintenance this morning (I think it should be euthanized, personally (And did you know that "euthanized" isn't in the default Firefox dictionary? Weird)), but no matter.
We sat outside, since it was so nice last night. The service was very good, the beer mediocre, and the food was excellent. I had the steak with a fried egg on top, served with rice and black beans and a fried plantain. Reminded me of Costa Rican "casados", which I love. The wife had some kind of fish, I forget what, but it was good, too.
I highly recommend Adams Morgan when it's not overrun with kids (By kids I mean 23-year-olds). 8PM on a Tuesday it's alive with people (Plenty of kickballers and others just out for dinner or a drink) but doesn't have that "everyone around you is wasted" vibe that it gets on the weekend. It was just a nice spring evening.
First, let me say it is truly a joy to pay a ticket at the DC DMV website. Of all the things the DC government does,
extorting collecting money through the DMV website is something it actually gets right.
I got a speed camera ticket on Michigan Avenue near Catholic University a few weeks ago. There were all of two cars on the road, and I was doing 37 in a 25. It's pretty annoying, because I really don't speed much these days.
It's a $50 fine and no points, so I guess it isn't too terrible in the grand scheme of things. It just bugs me because I'm mostly a law-abiding (though aggressive) driver. Every day, I see people doing things in a car that are unsafe and illegal with no consequences, and I get a ticket for speeding on an empty road. What about the cabbie who zipped around me to run the red light at 15th and Mass NW yesterday? Or the four cars that turned right on H from the middle lane of 18th because they didn't feel like waiting in line?
Anyway, I hope you enjoy my $50, DC. I hope it makes you very happy.