Friday, October 13, 2017

People with back problems, PTSD, or any other issues really should switch from Comcast

The end of writer’s block after twenty-five years had one unfortunate side effect:  shoulder, neck, and arm pain. No one told me rotator cuff tendonitis is an occupational hazard for writers. I was expecting something old fashioned, like alcoholism followed by cirrhosis of the liver.

Having experienced some of the same symptoms a few years ago, I suspected the likely culprit was my jury-rigged home office’s poor ergonomics. Sure enough, this week my doctor sent me back to physical therapy.

I have already written, twice, about Comcast’s dreadful customer service. In my case, Comcast may have the dubious honor of triggering more Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder episodes than anyone other than my incompetent supervisors at the Washington Attorney General’s Office, their hired hacks at Ogden Murphy Wallace PLLC (Seattle’s sleaziest bottom-feeding law firm®”), and the original source of my distress, the Mormon Church. (Shout out to Elder Dallin Oaks, the highest ranking lawyer in the church, for his newest biliously homophobic sermon at the Mormons’ semi-annual General Conference this month.)

Happily, CenturyLink’s monopoly-busting fiber-optic lifeline now reaches to our little corner of the woods. It’s a thrill to finally be able to switch internet providers. Today I joined the happy throng of Comcast customers cutting the cable cord.

Breaking up required a visit to the Orwellian-named “Xfinity Service Center,” the site of my most recent traumatic encounter with Big Brother Peacock. Last time, the problems started when I questioned the need to wait thirty minutes just to drop off an outdated router. Today, as I checked in with the genial concierge, I saw a new typewritten sign on the front counter. Comcast now informs Bellingham customers they can't abandon items, but must wait in the queue with everyone else if they want their account credited for equipment returns. I’m disappointed the notice didn’t mention me by name. Or PTSD. We deserve a plaque from HR or something.

I remembered to bring a soothing book for today's wait, Armistead Maupin’s new memoir Logical Families. Unfortunately, all of the Service Center’s existential chaises lounges were filled with other lost souls. And Comcast's couches have terrible back support anyway. Already sore from physical therapy, I hijacked a knock-off Aeron chair from an unused confessional/upselling booth. Practicing proper posture, I enjoyed my book as I patiently waited for my name to be called.

The customer service representative who officiated at the ceremony was polite and efficient. Our quickie divorce took just two minutes. My shoulder feels better already.

Folks who already get internet from CenturyLink: wait at least a week before sharing your stories about wretched customer service.

Meanwhile, I never did receive any credit from Comcast for my months of double payments….  


This is my fiftieth blog post since I began writing six months ago, with over 65,000 words published here so far. I'll be sharing some traffic statistics and other observations soon. But I wanted to mark the occasion, and thank everyone who has reached out to me with their support and comments.


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