May 12, 2008

The cable company

Being the cheap person that I am, I called my cable company to see how I could lower my bill. Turns out that if I get a cable box, and subscribe to their 6-month promotion of HBO and OnDemand, my cable would be cheaper than it is now -- and don't get any of that fancy stuff!

So I'm all in. Sign me up!

They send the cable box. I wake up the next morning (Saturday morning, my day off) and launch into getting this thing plugged into all the right places and all the right stuff plugged into it. I need my DVD player, the VCR, my Nintendo (old school... boo yah!), the TV, the cable Internet box and the wireless router all somehow connected to this one little cable outlet in the wall.

Thank God I had help. It took two of us, and the only technology we had to sacrifice was the VCR (fine, I guess if I haven't used it in 2 years I probably don't need it). I call the cable company to do this "simple" activation -- it's supposed to just magically start working 45 minutes after I call -- and that's where the trouble begins (never mind the last half hour of trouble trying to hook the damn thing up). It's not doing what it's supposed to do. In fact, it's not doing anything.

You're sure the little green light didn't turn off? Yes, ma'am. You're sure it's connected to the right spots? Yes, ma'am. You're sure you plugged it in (Are you serious? Perhaps the fact that the little green light was on could have answered this one). Yes, ma'am. Well let me transfer you to tech. Yay...

Tech: Same questions. Same bullshit with the little green light (ooooh, pretty...), plus he was able to make some error message appear. This is progress?

I give up for the day.

Next day, I find out that to get a new box (to replace the broken one they sent me), I have to either stay home from work to wait the Cable Guy or drive all the way to my "local" Comcast place and trade it in myself. So, wait. You're telling me that you guys sent me something busted, and now I have to go out of my way to fix it? I don't even want this damn box!!! I'm just trying to save 10 bucks (which, by the way, I've already spent in aggravation).

I'll skip to the punchline: I end up leaving work a little early today to drop off my box. They said the place was open till 6:30. It took me 40 minutes to figure out where 1400 W. 16th St. or wherever is because my Internet was down (no Mapquest) and this "local" spot doesn't have a phone (thanks for your help with that one, customer service lady).

Anywhos, I get there at 6:10 p.m. Eastern Standard Time -- and the place is closed. I would have thrown that friggin' cable box right through their window if there hadn't been someone else in the parking lot in my same situation. We bitched about Comcast to each other for a minute, then I drove off, fuming as I dial another (unfortunate) customer service rep.

In the end, I get nothing. In fact, this ballsy woman had the nerve to give me the silent treatment on the phone. Come on, if I yell at you for something you had absolutely nothing to do with, at least fight back a little. This was no fun. So I thanked her rudely for her help and hung up on her silent ass.

And drove home with my busted cable box. I guess I'm saving the $10 whether I plug it in or not, but still, I'm sure there's something lovely I'm missing on HBO right now...

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