But after the surly Comcast installers left, I remembered the Nintendo DS owed me as part of the promotion Comcast is running for anyone who orders their service online. Though I ordered online, the order never went through because, unbeknowst to me, I had to "chat" with a "fulfillment agent" at the end of the process in order to finalize the order. Though it is true my online ordering process ended in a live chat screen, no agent, or anyone at all, appeared in it to speak with me for many a minute. Staring at a useless chat screen, I figured I'd navigated somewhere in error because I certainly didn't feel the need to speak with anyone at Comcast, and so exited out of the window and began the long wait for the Comcast man to come on July 30th. When, of course, no one showed, I called Comcast. The agent I spoke to apologized and sent someone out the very next day, which was yesterday. So yesterday post-installation and for about 3 hours today I'm on the phone trying like a 13-year old circa 2003 to procure for myself a free Nintendo DS. All of the people I spoke to on the phone are trying their best to get this shrill white man off the phone by saying the only way I can get what I want is to go straight to the website and "chat" with someone who knows what the hell I'm talking about, because no one on the phone did. So after I told my story 4 times to 4 different "service" reps, I decided further talk would be fruitless. I would have to take up the fight once more by chat.
Chat wasn't much better than actual talking. I was bounced around 3 times to 3 different "analysts" in our little chat room. The last one, Toby, "entered the room" and asked what he could do for me. I started typing my story. I was nearly through when Toby informed me he was ending this chat session due to inactivity. Before I could hit "Enter" and show that I was there, that there was no inactivity, that there was in fact, quite a bit of activity, Toby was gone. I admit it; I went a little crazy. There was no steering wheel to pound on, so my laptop and my desk took the brunt of my rage for a second or two. After I calmed, I got back into the "queue" to chat with an analyst again, and this time I got an analyst named Jeff. This is our conversation.
"user brian_ has entered room
Brian(Thu Aug 02 2007 15:57:55 GMT-0400 (Eastern Standard Time))>
nintendo DS online promotion problem
user brian_ has left room
user brian_ has entered room
analyst Jeff has entered room
Jeff(Thu Aug 02 2007 16:01:03 GMT-0400 (Eastern Standard Time))>
Hello brian_, Thank you for contacting Comcast Live
Chat Support. My name is Jeff.
Please give me one moment to review your information.
brian_(Thu Aug 02 2007 16:00:56 GMT-0400 (Eastern Standard Time))>
Jeff(Thu Aug 02 2007 16:01:27 GMT-0400 (Eastern Standard Time))>
I will be happy to assist you, Brian. What exactly is the
issue you are having with the promotion?
brian_(Thu Aug 02 2007 16:01:40 GMT-0400 (Eastern Standard Time))>
I was told that I'm not eligible even though I did order
the bundled service online.
brian_(Thu Aug 02 2007 16:03:06 GMT-0400 (Eastern Standard Time))>
after I chose the three connection windows, I went to a
live chat that no one came into for about five minutes
or so. Since it was unclear why I needed to
chat with someone, I exited out of the window. I was
told later that it was in chat that the order's finalized,
which is not at all clear on the website. When
I called to say that
brian_(Thu Aug 02 2007 16:04:26 GMT-0400 (Eastern Standard Time))>
no technician had come by, the operator apologized and sent
someone out the following day. because the order went through
her desk and not online, customer service reps are telling me
I don't get the DS, and I'm writing to say I believe I
held up my end and shouldn't be denied the promotional item
because of Comcast's mistake
brian_(Thu Aug 02 2007 16:04:34 GMT-0400 (Eastern Standard Time))>
and that's my story
Jeff(Thu Aug 02 2007 16:06:17 GMT-0400 (Eastern Standard Time))>
One moment please.
Jeff(Thu Aug 02 2007 16:09:35 GMT-0400 (Eastern Standard Time))>
I am showing from the website that in order to get the
promotion you would need tosign up through Comcast.com. I am
not able to make any changes to that to give you
that promotion, you may want to check the local Comcast
office to see if they can get that for you, since you did
try to sign up through Comcast.com.
brian_(Thu Aug 02 2007 16:09:24 GMT-0400 (Eastern Standard Time))>
are you still there? I don't want the chat to end sudden;y
because I haven't written anything for awhile
Jeff(Thu Aug 02 2007 16:09:55 GMT-0400 (Eastern Standard Time))>
Yes, I am still here. Sorry for the delay.
brian_(Thu Aug 02 2007 16:11:17 GMT-0400 (Eastern Standard Time))>
I don't want to go to my local Comcast office. Everyone
I've talked to today said to go online and here I am. I
don't want to make a special trip to plead for
Comcast to give me what they promised in their offer. It's
a voucher. Comcast sends it out. Who do you need to contact
to get one of those vouchers out to me?
Jeff(Thu Aug 02 2007 16:13:21 GMT-0400 (Eastern Standard Time))>
I do not have access to send that voucher. That would have
been done only on the Comcast.com site.
brian_(Thu Aug 02 2007 16:14:29 GMT-0400 (Eastern Standard Time))>
Does your manager have access to that voucher? And if not
him, do you know who in the company would? As far as I
know I'm talking to you through the Comcast website, so
it's unclear to me how the voucher people are different
from where you are at.
brian_(Thu Aug 02 2007 16:16:14 GMT-0400 (Eastern Standard Time))>
Jeff, my goal here is not to be a jerk. I feel
badly used by the company so far, and I feel this is
a fairly clear case of bait and switch. I wonder if there is
something more you can do to help a Comcast customer
Jeff(Thu Aug 02 2007 16:17:20 GMT-0400 (Eastern Standard Time))>
I can only assist with existing services but when you
order online on Comcast.com you would reach an order
fulfillment agent who processes orders. Let me check
further if there is something else I can do for you.
brian_(Thu Aug 02 2007 16:17:18 GMT-0400 (Eastern Standard Time))>
Jeff(Thu Aug 02 2007 16:23:52 GMT-0400 (Eastern Standard Time))>
I am told by a order fulfillment agent that the order
would need to be placed at Comcast.com. Then when the
installer comes, they would give you a confirmation
number in order to get the Nintendo DS. But there is
no way for me to get you that confirmation number. You
may want to try at the local office, or cancel the order
and re-order from Comcast.com to chat with the order
Jeff(Thu Aug 02 2007 16:24:24 GMT-0400 (Eastern Standard Time))>
I am very sorry for this inconvenience this has caused,
since the order was not completed online at Comcast.com.
brian_(Thu Aug 02 2007 16:24:21 GMT-0400 (Eastern Standard Time))>
what would it cost me to cancel and re-order?
Jeff(Thu Aug 02 2007 16:25:42 GMT-0400 (Eastern Standard Time))>
There is a 30 day guarantee so you should not need to
pay anything. I suggest trying the local office as well
to see if they have access to give the Nintendo DS voucher.
brian_(Thu Aug 02 2007 16:25:54 GMT-0400 (Eastern Standard Time))>
all right Jeff. Thanks.
Jeff(Thu Aug 02 2007 16:26:51 GMT-0400 (Eastern Standard Time))>
You are welcome, Brian. Sorry again for all the
frustration. Is there anything else I can assist you
with at this time?
brian_(Thu Aug 02 2007 16:27:20 GMT-0400 (Eastern Standard Time))>
A time machine to go back to when I decided to go
with Comcast, but short of that, I think we're all set.
brian_(Thu Aug 02 2007 16:27:28 GMT-0400 (Eastern Standard Time))>
Yeah, I was a smart ass (especially with the dumb time travel joke at the end), but
I was pissed.
So I don't know. On one hand, what am I doing? I don't even really want a DS that
much,I just thought it would be fun to have one for, you know, free. So why keep
on with it? If I start thinking too much about "the principle of the thing" as a
reason to keep on with it, then that's a quick one-way street that takes me right
to Ass-hole Land, isn't it? It is bait and switch though, right? It seems like the
DS's are going to the few brainiacs who were able to psychically intuit what
Comcast wanted them to do with its Blank Chat Screen of Mystery.
So should I keep on with this or let it die? Do they really owe me a DS or is it
really my fault that I didn't know how Comcast wanted to finish the order? I think
Comcast has me beat here. I think a full-on, full-bore quest for the DS will end
with Comcast giving me not a DS, but an asterisk by my name for "Problem Customer".
Anyway, that's my bitchy blog post for the day.