I need a lot of service. While this sounds kind of dirty, if you really want to make me swoon, fix my dishwasher. Or screen door. Or take the storm window off and scrape off the insulation foam that’s been stuck to the middle of the dining room window for ten years. Then put the storm window back on. Clean it first.
I’d go broke if someone ever started an Only Fans of people cleaning my lint and air filters.
It’s not that service isn’t available, it’s that it’s so incredibly, indelibly punishing.
Lest you think me overly negative I’m going to start with a success story. My garage door stopped closing all the way last week, so I called the garage door company. A human woman answered. She was nice, and I told her the door wouldn’t close all the way, the key pad needed some love, and I realized I’d have no way to get into the garage if I lost power. She said a guy could come the next day. He did, he poked around, and when I asked him what was wrong with the door he looked at me like I’d just tried to pour water into the wrong end of a glass and said, “It’s broken.” Then he shook his head and walked into the garage.
Oh, I thought. I guess I know more about this stuff than I realized. Besides, I’m sure the invoice will clear things up.
He fixed it, and then left with my clicker. I called the number he’d called me from three times to say he was arriving, but he didn’t answer. I called his office, I told the nice human woman I needed him to bring my door opener back, then he called me and when I answered he said, “Who is this?” I explained that he’d left my house not ten minutes before, and that he had my clicker. He asked what town. Eventually it all came back to him and he left it in my mailbox. The garage door works great. It is now “not broken.”
Comcast leads the pack in self-injurious calls for help, and you must call them, even though, once you’ve been on hold and listened to Satan’s dominatrix cheerily tell you how important you are, offer to sell you something else since you’re on hold anyway, and then lobotomize you with her music, the only option is to agree to an automated modem reset.
I will admit to screaming at her on occasion. Like, on every occasion, because I know she can hear me as she sits there in the center of Xfinity’s Deluxe Level circle of hell, her long, skinny legs crossed as I cry, “Just put a reset button on the fucking modem you controlling, evil bitch!”
I hear the beginning rise of her laughter as she says her icy “Goodbye” and disconnects me, but only after telling me I can call back if the reset doesn’t work.
It often works, but only for things like bad internet service, not for matters having to do with one’s account. For that one must - I actually have no idea what one must do, even though I’ve done it three times recently. All I know is that somehow, after numerous calls and pressing buttons like I’m stuck in an elevator, I’ve occasionally gotten through to a person. This person will try to be helpful. I really believe this.
Granted, I have too many accounts. I’m responsible for my father’s cable and internet accounts, two, now, because he’s moving to a new apartment, and the one at our Cape house, and my own, a business account at my home.
But my father’s Memorial Drive account and our Wellfleet account were being cross-billed somehow, and I was trying to get dad Turner Classic Movies on the Cape, because he’d asked for it, but I couldn’t just add it because the Wellfleet account was somehow both nonexistent and expensive. So I called, and was on hold for forty minutes before a ninety-minute saga that I finally realized might not end well when my customer service representative assured me that she’d of course help me with my Memorial Doctor and my Wellfleet.
But this was not my first Comcast rodeo, and so it didn’t take me more than a few vision-swimmy seconds to understand that Memorial Doctor was Memorial Dr., and that I was utterly screwed, because by then my representative had started asking me about my family, and how many siblings I had. She confided that it was a real pleasure to talk to me, Marjie Alonso, because I wasn’t yelling at her or angry, and could she call me later and again on Monday to see how I was doing? Just to talk? And also that she’d initiated a complete service upgrade as a personal favor, so please don’t hang up so that service wouldn’t be cut off to the Wellfleet. Or to the Memorial Doctor. She would not be able to help me with my business account as that is an entirely different department, she was afraid.
The reason I have business service at my house is that my internet, which my tenants and I depend on for work, was unbelievably bad for years. My house is situated between Harvard, Tufts, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Mark Zuckerberg invented Facebook a mere 25 minute walk from my front door. Walk another 20 minutes and you’ll get to where Apollo’s computers were developed. It seemed like I should be able to access Google reliably.
Calls were placed. Modems were reset. Visits were made - many, many visits, and I even had the direct number for Alan, the area supervisor, because nobody could figure out why I couldn’t get even one day of uninterrupted internet. There were more guys going in and out my front door than on coupon day at Chicken Ranch. I asked for a dedicated business drop - I was at this point cable-speak savvy - but business service wasn’t available in private homes. Only high-speed residential.
Until the day I called Alan to tell him one of his techs had just informed me that my service was bad because of photosynthesis. You see, the vines climbing up the pole leading to the cable wires were creating photosynthesis that was interfering with the cable signal, and there wasn’t anything they could do about that.
And I… asked why my service wasn’t better at night, then. Because at this point I was grasping for the saddle horn on that rodeo bull and falling. Then I called Alan, who said, “Photofuckingsynthesis.” And called some Comcast SWAT team who arrived within a couple of hours and installed a dedicated drop because, he explained, “That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard and I can’t take another minute of this shit.”
My residential service representative started texting me links, none of which connected to their supposed destinations. I’d been on the call for over two hours, and I explained that I was in my sixties and literally couldn't spend any more time on the phone with her because, well, life was simultaneously fleeting and, at the moment, interminable. It took a while to convince her to let me go while leaving my service intact. As I packed my father into the car to go to the nearest convenient Xfinity store location we might reach before his hundredth birthday I got one last text.
Thank you so much Marjie Alonso. I want to assure you that we are here for you 24/7.
For your consideration. I now know I’ve never been lawful in any category.
You made my morning giggles chaotic!!!! :) Gotta love service people/techs/field reps........especially Comcast when they send 3 different techs out to "fix" the same issue and 2 say can't be done and the last one tells me "piece of cake" - - - keep on writing, Marjie!!!! Your stories are FABULOUS!!!
these are all going in a book, right?