I recently had a moment of weakness. No, I didn’t go back to White Castle and order a 10 sack again (my toilet couldn’t handle the punishment). Nope…after cutting the proverbial cable cord, I had a moment of weakness and decided to get cable again. Thanks to the virtual monopoly Comcast has on over half of the U.S., their cable services were the only one available in my neighborhood. So, I filled out some online questions, and was notified that I would receive a self-install kit in 5 business days. Sounds simple enough, right?
After 7 business days and no delivery or word from Comcast, I decided to call them. I spent over a half hour on hold, to be told that I had an “outstanding bill in collections” that needed to be paid. But how is this possible, I thought? I had not had Comcast service in a couple years, and I had paid my bill off before quitting their service. Well, after going through 5 different CSR’s that had a weaker grasp of English than my infant son does, I was finally told that I had a bill due from when I last lived in the city I moved from.
Here’s the kicker: I moved from that city in 2002! No, that’s not a typo. Yes, that was over 13 years ago. Although Comcast was shady back then, this was before the merger with NBC and Universal, so they were nowhere near as big of a company. They are asking me to pay a double-digit (less than $100) bill from back when Limp Bizkit, Creed, and the Backstreet Boys were the most popular bands in the world. Well Comcast, to quote Fred Durst, I figured you out, and I’m sick of you too.
Needless to say, out of principle I refuse to pay that bill. I was actually surprised and insulted they asked me to pay it, since they’ve probably sold that particular bill several times over to debt collection companies and have probably recouped whatever loss they took on it. If anything, the record-breaking quarterly profits they’ve had over the past couple years should surely make up for it, right?
But that’s not the worst of it. The worst of it is having Comcast leave me three voicemails on different days this week notifying me that “my service may be temporarily interrupted due to workers in my area”, the worst of it is still getting emails from Comcast asking me to get cable, the worst of it is still having an account active enough where I can log in and look at the TV and internet services I supposedly have, along with my account number; and the funniest of it all is looking back at all of the cumulative letters and mailers that I’ve gotten from them advertising their services (some to “resident”, some addressed directly to me) that, when added up, definitely cost more to make than the 13 year old bill they are asking me for.
Dear reader, I try to give you happy endings, and here’s my attempt: this article was written and uploaded on a hacked Comcast wi-fi signal. It’s not hacked in the legal sense, since I have permission from the account holder to use the signal. But it’s a small modicum of revenge that I can take, as an average working-class guy holding my middle finger up to the “system”. Only a company so focused on the short-term dollar would be willing to lose a customer over an allegedly delinquent 13 year old bill. Which is also funny because I’ve had Comcast service several times since then and NEVER HEARD about that bill.
It’s cool though…in the age of torrents and 4G LTE hotspots, I’m not missing out on a thing.