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Preview: Comcast Must Die

Comcast Must Die

Updated: 2018-02-24T01:07:04.539-08:00


Internet Problems HERE


Let's try a new way of organizing Qualmcastic complaints. Don't forget to leave your acount number so Comcast (and only Comcast) can track you down.

Phone Problems HERE


Your TV Problems HERE


Send This to Everyone. EVERYONE.


Here is the YouTube link for the ComcastMustDie public service announcement.

The spot was created by David Fields of FieldsDay Productions in Studio City, CA.

The actress is Olga Rosin.

Please forward this to absolutely everyone, the goal being to generate more and more traffic here, and therefore more and more pressure on Comcast.

Customer Disservice


Leave a comment with your own personal Comcast nightmare. Don't forget to include your account number (but no other personal information.) Comcast has been extremely good at following up on these complaints.

Billing Fiascos


Employee Confessions


Comcast: Send Gina Coleman Her Money


If you click onto the "Live Webcam Boy!" post below, you'll find two harrowing chronologies from a woman named Gina Coleman, who has been abused, degraded and lied to in ways you will find all too familiar.

She is why exists, and why we are not going away until Comcast makes dramatic changes in the way it does business. This post, and hundreds just like it, are why the company's claims of a few bad apples causing problems for a few unlucky customers are p.r. bullshit.

The organization is a disaster and a disgrace.

Live Webcam Boy!


I’m participating in an event called "My ooVoo Day With..." in which you can sign up to video chat with me. During this time, we can talk about some of the latest issues in the media, last week’s Super Bowl ads, what’s wrong with Comcast, or anything you’d like. If you don’t have a webcam, don’t worry – you can be audio-only and still take part.

There are only a limited number of seats – I’m doing eight 15-minute sessions on Feb. 11 from 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM – so sign up now. Head over to to download the software and sign up. I look forward to seeing you online.

Phones Dead Again Here at


Just dead. Spontaneously dead.
Again. Now for the fifth or sixth time since we got fabulous new Triple Play service from Comcast.
Just to recap, that's five or six times more than my phones ever spontaneously went out in my 52 pre-Triple Play years.

Has This Blog Helped You?


If you've had a complaint with Comcast, and gotten it settled via, probably you aren't visiting anymore. Why would you? YOU ARE NO LONGER IN HELL. But if you happen one of my jihad's satisfied customers, ensconced in paradise, please check in here to describe the experience. Also, send me an email:


In the Morning, a 74-year-old Woman in My House Was Taking Nitroglycerine for Angina...

2008-01-20T10:40:31.653-08:00 1:15 p.m., our phones -- our link to 911 service -- went dead. I went to the basement, got on my hands and knees and -- as I've grown accustomed to doing -- reset the modem. The phones remained dead.

I went to my cell phone to dial Comcast customer service. "Due to heavy call volume" they couldn't process my call. Then they hung up on me.

Comcast Must Die.

Send This to Congress


The Hon. Daniel K. Inouye, ChairmanSenate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation c/o

The Hon. John D. Dingell, ChairmanHouse Energy and Commerce Committee

Dear Mr. Chairman:
Yes, this email is "astroturf," but please understand how you came to receive it. I visited a website called, because I am at my wit's end. I am like Mona Shaw, who was so frustrated with Comcast's arrogance, impenetrability, incompetence and abusive treatment that she took a hammer to vent her rage. This email, sir, is my hammer.
Comcast calls me one of a tiny percentage of dissatisfied customers, but if you would visit, you would see that there are a lot of us, and we have horror stories that would peel the enamel off your teeth. We pay ever-increasing monthly fees to be be ever-more abused by a so-called "customer service" apparatus that serves only the company's bottom line. Many of us also depend on them for telephone service -- including 911 -- that is undependable at best.
Please intervene to protect us. Call hearings. Call this company to account.


Bring Me the Head of the Big Bad Wolf


Comcast appreciates my patience. The reason I know this, is because as I write this sentence, I just heard them tell me that 28 times over the past 35 minutes, which is how long I sat on hold to inform them that my Comcast voice phone line is dead.

Finally, in minute 35, a rep named Lisa answered my call. She was caught by surprise, however.

Turns out when you go through the push-button options at Comcast to inform them your telephone service has problems -- including the press 3 for phone trouble option -- and then wait on hold for 35 minutes, you are not connected to someone who can help you. She has to transfer you to a tech.

Three minutes later someone named Marie picked up. I explained my problem.

Then I was disconnected.

One minute later Marie called back to tell me my bad line was working properly. It was still dead on my end, however. She seemed puzzled and said she will reset my modem. Then I heard silence. "What will happen next?" I asked. No response. The next thing I heard was a dial tone.

This time she didn't call me back.

At this point, I went to my basement and fiddled with my modem. Turns out, the problem was there and I got my phones working again. But that is scarcely the point. Many customers are surely ill-equipped for troubleshooting and require the assistance of the people who are supposed to be giving assistance.

Losing cable TV is incovenient. Losing broadband is worse. But losing phone service is potentially catastrophic. Thank God I happen to have a cell phone and another digital landline that works. But some people don't. It is simply inexcusable -- i.e., there is no excuse -- for a phone company to fail repeatedly in the routine servicing of its customers.

How long will it be before someone is killed by an intruder, or dies of a heart attack, or loses a house to a fire, because their phone line is dead and they can't get it fixed and they can't dial 911? Not long. And when it happens, you will not have any difficulty finding who is responsible. Just follow the trail of blood. It will lead to a greedy corporate beast that simply cannot digest what it so ravenously swallows. Comcast admits (see post titled "Mea Culpa?") that due to its rapid growth it cannot adequately service what it sells -- but is working very, very hard to do so.

That will not do. If you cannot reliably maintain phone service, you are morally and ethically responsible to exit the business -- just as you were morally and ethically corrupt for entering it.

Comcast must die, before somebody else does.

Non-negotiable Demands -- Addendum


Please note the ALL-CAPS addition to demand #4 (see post titled "Mea Culpa?" below)

4) embrace consumers by integrating Mr. Germano's listening tour into an ongoing process -- online and off -- so that the customer has a genuine voice in the company's operations across the board. That means, among other things, hosting a HIGHLY VISIBLE corporate website or blog that takes on the role now performed by

Sorry, I've Been Sick


Don't wish to go into it, but I've been way too under the weather to be a good jihadist. Meantime, though, y'all have been commenting like crazy and Qualmcast has evidently been following up -- and the main categories have been pushed farther and farther down the blog page. So, just below, here they are again:

Employee Confessions


Customer Disservice


Billing Fiascos


How Ironic. The Lie Has Become True.


For years and years, cable has told Congress and the FCC not to regulate it as a monopoly, because it is really in heavy competition with satellite.

Between that whopper and the vast political payoffs it makes to maintain friends in the administration and Congress, it has managed to fend off federal scrutiny while behaving exactly as a monopoly in the marketpace: ever-increasing prices, ever-worse customer service.

But now, lo and behold, the Big Lie has become the Expensive Truth. Cable now is indeed facing competition -- a bit from satellite but mainly from telecoms. Hence Comcast's "Triple Play," the voice/data/TV bundle the company is so incapable of installing and supporting. It is a naked gambit to a) grab market share in the broadband/voice free-for-all, and b) boost new-customer "units." In this growth metric closely followed by the industry, every Triple Play subscriber counts as three. Alas, the metric doesn't measure the real effects of churn -- when large numbers of subscribers flee Comcast the moment their promotional pricing expires. It is very expensive to keep unit growth up in the face of inevitable subscriber defection, and Wall Street knows it. In a year, when the first Triple Play customers run for their lives, Comcast will face a Comcatastrophe.

Meanwhile, just as real competition is rearing its head, the FCC has decided that Comcast is on the very cusp of the critical mass deemed to trigger federal broadcast regulation. This means that the company is effectively stymied from growth via acquisition. If it gets any bigger, the federal regulatory hammer comes down.

That's why the stock price was $30 a year ago and $18.50 now. The company has lost 38% of its value because Wall Street thinks it is in trouble. Which it is. because, on top of everything else, the cable TV business will eventually disappear from the equation altogether. The cable (or fiber) coming into your home will be a broadband pipe for internet TV. Cable channels, per se, are an endangered species -- which means, within 10 or 15 years, Comcast will have lost its biggest revenue source.

So there's the irony for you. If, over the past 10 years as it has grown huge crying "Competition! Competition!" Comcast had actually behaved as if there were competetion -- you know, by treating its customers like human beings -- it would not be in the position it's in now. Arrogance and deceit, one could argue, has cost it $25 billion in 2007 alone.

Mea Culpa?


The following article appeared Monday's Advertising Age, in response to my blog posts and long essay chronicling my Comcast Must Die jihad. I have taken the liberty of italicizing the passages in which Comcast admits chronic ineptitude. I've also boldfaced the parts where the company equivocates and deflects blame.Just to make a point that should be obvious to everyone, Comcast included: when you are getting it wrong millions of times a year, nobody gives a rat's ass how often you're getting it right. You can't win in court telling the judge how many 7-Elevens you didn't rob.As for the details of all Comcast is doing to improve its customer service, well, bravo. We applaud them. But it is not enough. What we need from Comcast is a public vow to do the following:1) empower frontline service employees with the tools and authority to solve problems on the first call.2) give a CS employees direct communications with techs in the field3) get rid of incentives for CS reps and techs in the field to value handling more calls versus getting each call handled right4) embrace consumers by integrating Mr. Germano's listening tour into an ongoing process -- online and off -- so that the customer has a genuine voice in the company's operations across the board. That means, among other things, hosting a corporate website or blog that takes on the role now performed by WILL LIVEBy Rick GermanoThere has been a great deal written by Bob Garfield in Ad Age over the past couple of months about Comcast. I want to make clear that his experience is certainly not the experience we aim to provide, nor is it the general rule.Without question, Mr. Garfield did not have a good customer service experience with Comcast. His columns and blog posts make that point emphatically. But as Mr. Garfield and others have vividly recounted, sometimes we get it right and sometimes we don’t. We have personal interactions with about 1 million customers every day, which adds up to 365 million interactions each year, the vast majority of which are positive. We’re well aware that some customers find it frustrating to deal with us and we are trying to address that. Our customers have let us know loud and clear that while they love our products, they don’t always love having to do business with us. As the new head of Customer Service at Comcast, I recently began a cross-country listening tour to meet with customers and employees and to listen to what they have to say about Comcast.I have already met with customers in Philadelphia and Baltimore/Washington D.C., and will go to Miami, Atlanta, Houston, San Francisco and Chicago within the next few months. In separate meetings with customers and employees, I’m getting plenty of straight talk about our need to do a better job. I am also hearing about the many times our customers have received terrific customer service. This reality of good customer service that we provide is often overshadowed by the loud voices of online posts.What we have heard from our customers is they don’t want to be put on hold for long periods, and they don’t want to have to contact us several times to fix a simple problem. When they need to find critical information, or a person to talk to, they don’t want to get lost on our websites. Most of all, they want us to show up when we say we will and get the job done right the first time. We get that. Our goal is to provide a consistent level of superior service with each customer interaction. This is our highest priority.That[...]

Podcast Will Be Up Thursday Afternoon (Minus the Disastrous Call-in Element)


The studio was in New Mexico, in a blizzard. I was in Maryland, on a cordless phone. Most callers got a busy signal. And the few that got through were greeted by an apparently addled blabbomaniac. Namely: me.

No, the call-in portions of the live comcastmuustdiecast were not pretty.

We could have retooled the webcast with calls recorded later (we eventually found lots of voicemails and emails from listeners trying to get through) but that seemed a bit sleazy. So we'll chalk this one up to experience and post a 34-minute version of the program that still includes my interviews with Ralph Nader, Jeff Jarvis, Mona Shaw and Harry Shearer in their entirety.

Apologies to those who had trouble streaming on Windows Media Player. As far as we can tell, most listeners had no problem. Of course, that's what Comcast always says, isn't it? On the other hand, our show was done by two volunteers digging into our own pockets for bandwidth, website development, etc. And you'll get no bill from us, screwed up or otherwise.

I hope you enjoy the podcast.

Podcast 911


Tuesday''s live webcast is being edited as I type and will be posted for podcast download or stream within a day or two. It was an interesting exercise. My favorite part was a call from a guy who was puzzled why anyone would take the trouble to rally against Comcast because he personally never had any problems with the company.

This is approximately like saying gun violence isn't a problem because you personally have never been shot to death. The real question is, why call Comcastmustdie: the Podcast to say you have no complaint? That's like phoning 911 to say "Everything's fine here."

Podcast or Bust


Anonymous said...
what a bust. YOUR PODCAST DOESN'T WORK Mr Perfect.
December 11, 2007 6:55 PM

We got a number of emails along the same lines. But, in fact, the live webcast did work -- at least, it fed properly and was received properly by people with Windows Media Player installed. The event chewed up plenty of bandwidth, so we know the success was not limited to Voyager360's webcast facility in New Mexico or my computer in greater Washington, DC.

There was, however, some audio distortion. Also, alas, a certain shortfall in the amount of live call-in activity, which a) was disappointing, and b) led to some live vamping of the Most Embarrassing Kind.

But the rest sounded pretty damn good, in our opinion. So we shall press on. We are not perfect, but are are very, very persistent.

Here's Where to Email Your Podcast Questions


The Comcastmustdie show begins at 9 pm EST. Listen in and call or post a question here.