A**hole Brown

Last week we had dinner with good friends. Somehow during the conversation Comcast came up. Who has not had a problem with Comcast at some point in their television or internet days? They have a monopoly in most local areas. I know we have had no luck in our area. We either have Frontier (an offshoot of Verizon Fios) and Comcast. Frontier was not any better than Comcast in terms of customer service. If you do not use Frontier or Comcast, you have to go with a television service (like DirectTV) and a different company for high-speed internet.

In any case, my friend shared this hilarious story, about a Comcast customer who received their bill and the name on the bill read: “Asshole Brown.” Crazy! Take a peek at the link for an image of the bill. It makes me laugh because it is what I have wanted to say back to Comcast. While we do online bill pay, I wish I could make the payment to Comcast say: “Asshole Comcast.” We have called every month over the past year because every month our bill is not correct.

If you do an online search for “Comcast customer service issues” you will find over 3 million results. Such as this one where a customer recorded the phone calls he had with Comcast. I wish we would have done the same thing!

At the moment Comcast is trying to purchase Time Warner Cable, which would make the worst cable provider (customer service wise) have that much more control. Hopefully, if the deal goes through, Time Warner has some sort of interest in the customer. In an era where the customer comes first, Comcast has a lot to learn.

Hopefully Comcast figures out how to stop calling their customers assholes. It will not help their already pissed off customers. A few items to note, Comcast, you: 1) need better customer service 2) should not call customer’s assholes 3) should fix their bills, and follow through with what you say you will do. Not too tall of an ask, right?


Is hotel Wi-Fi just air?

I was watching Modern Family a few weeks ago, and Ed O’Neill said something to the effect of, “Wi-FI: you are just paying for air.” It really got me thinking. We were recently staying in a hotel, and they charged a $9.95 fee per night for Wi-Fi. Which is actually a fairly normal amount of money for a hotel to charge, but why? You are already paying enough to stay in the hotel, plus taxes, why not offer hotel Internet Wi-Fi for free?

Think about it. You get free shampoo, conditioner, soap, water, heat, electricity. Okay well it is not free, it is part of the rate you pay for the room, but because it does not show as a charge on your bill you think of it as free. I would almost prefer my Internet Wi-Fi just be part of my room rate, rather than have to pay for it on top of my daily rate. Why? Well, unless I have to do work, I do whatever I can on my iPhone because I am cheap and do not want to pay the same amount for my hotel Internet for four nights of use with that I would for pay for a whole month of Internet at home.

Hotels must make shit-tons of money off their guests through daily Internet charges. Yet, should they? Internet should now be seen in the same way as electricity. We do not even think about whether turning on the lights will cost us more for our stay. If we did, would some of us sit in the dark? Why do we think differently about Internet? Or, does it all have to do with money and how much hotels can make off their guests?

What do you think?

Need for speed

In a meeting one day this week someone made the comment: “Addicted to Speed.” It really made me think. We are so extremely addicted to things that are fast and furious. Think about it for a moment. We get impatient when our smart phone does not sync our email fast enough, or when our internet speed is too slow one day. We may be on the phone with a colleague and they say they sent that document to us via email, and we wait on the phone watching our inbox until it arrives.

We cannot download content fast enough over the Internet, we hate waiting for HTML images to download from our email. If we want to view a photo on Facebook and our phone does not have the best signal we get frustrated. The need for speed. We so badly want to honk the horn when the car in front of us is not driving the speed limit. Yes I am the worst offender and often I am in the passenger seat. Note to all: husbands dislike when we try to use the horn when we are not driving.

We want the pot on the stove to cook faster, either because we are very hungry, or we have other things to do. We dislike automated voice controls because they are slow and frustrating and if we could just talk to a human we could be done with our phone call faster. We want the cashier to go faster, but we miss out on that moment in our day when we can just stand and breathe.

We tend to always want to move to the next best thing, and get their as fast as possible, whether we are competing with ourselves or someone else. Why has the world gotten so fast? What are we missing by going this pace? Will we learn to slow down and just appreciate the moment?