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Peter Rost, M.D., is a former Pfizer Marketing Vice President providing services as a medical device and drug expert witness and pharmaceutical marketing expert. Judge Sanders: "The court agrees with defendants' view that Dr. Rost is a very adept and seasoned expert witness." He is also the author of Emergency Surgery, The Whistleblower and Killer Drug. You can reach him on rostpeter (insert symbol) Please read the terms of use agreement and privacy policy for this blog carefully.

Sweet Revenge

Some of you who have been following my blog know that after I challenged the Huffington Post Troll my hotmail address was attacked by hackers, according to MSN, and that my Comcast internet and phone service went down.

I don't think the Troll had anything to do with this, but the technology gods certainly didn't look favorably upon me.

So the first time Comcast was going to show up, they didn't. Because they said they called and I didn't answer. The reason was simple, my VOIP service was also down. The second time they did show up and fixed the internet, but after they had left I discovered that my Comcast cable television had stopped working.

So another visit had to be scheduled. And as anyone of you may know, it takes 15 minutes just to get to a live person at Comcast, so with all my calling I literally spent hours dealing with Comcast.

Now some subscribers with similar experiences are taking their revenge.

Below is first a video of a Comcast technician who fell asleep (!) while waiting to get through on the phone to Comcast, and second is a simply incredible video of an AOL subscriber who tried to cancel his subscription. Anyone who has ever dealt with these companies will recognize themselves.

Comcast guy asleep:

AOL won't take cancel for an answer:


Anonymous Reaniel said...

I know... it's horrible...
I'm using both Charter Communication's Cable TV and Cable Modem, and the wait time is always long... Not only do they put you through that boring automatic "information collector", where you're asked to disconnect your cable modem and everything (which is, obviously, the first thing ANYONE would do before calling, to reset the modem). After you get a real, live, person to take your call, you'll be asked to do just exactly that...

I mean seriously, why can't you just let me report a possible outage?

Blogger beeta said...

I hate AOL. I have always hated AOL, but one time when I was trying to decide which service to use, I got one those free 3 month AOl tapes in the mail . So I activated it. Well it took over my computer or it felt that way. I know it suppose to be user-friendly but I think it is intrusive. It's like having your Mommy there to be a good kid and do this and do that and "Would you like to ....." and "You need to...". So I called to cancel the free subscription. It was exactley like the Video.... ohhh my God the girl would not take no for an answer and we ended up in a shouting takes a lot to get me that mad. I must have thrown away at least 100 of those CDs they send you in the mail and every time I get one I get mad and yell at the CD before I throw it in the trash.
AOL's apology and their claim to have fired the rep. is a farse. They know what is going on and they approve of it and tell their reps to behave exactly like that.
sorry,I still get mad thinking about it.

Blogger shooter said...

Dr. Rost, thank you for the peek into a slice of today's Americana.
But a lot of us are anxiously waiting for a glimpse of your thinking on the "ROST-POST" issue.

Anonymous Thad said...

The sad part about AOL is that they've actually gotten BETTER. In the old days, they'd install proprietary drivers on your computer and if you uninstalled AOL, you wouldn't be able to connect to the Internet with anybody else's service.

This is them AFTER they shaped up following a series of lawsuits.

Blogger MsMelody said...

I live in the boonies, so connect with a dial-up, and since cable tv is unavailable, I subscribe to DISH Network. Recently my service was substandard, and consequently, I spent the better part of 3 hours trying to re-establish the service; eventually, it was determined that a service call would be necessary. Once effected, I found I was charged for the service call, and the postage to get a new receiver. (This is because of THEIR faulty equipment, and the use of substandard materials at time of initial installation.

I wrote (of course I've heard nothing from them), advising them that after re-reading my Residential Agreement, I had no recourse about the length of time I received substandard or no service. However, I pointed out to them that nowhere in the contract did I commit to "working for Dish Network." While I was performing numerous checks, resets, reboots, etc. for them, I was not taking care of my own small business. Consequently, I feel that since I had no employment contract with them, I was obviously functioning as a contract-technician, and felt entitled to reimbursement at an hourly rate of $50.

You can bet, however, that I am not holding my breath waiting for a paycheck.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's absolutely ridiculous that AOL is still doing this. They've been cited for this over and over again for more than a decade.

Once a decade has passed and the same problems keep being exposed it's no longer an accident, or isolated incident, as AOL attempts to portray, it's a systematic money generating policy. I have no doubt that a thorough internal investigation would unearth a systematic policy of not only ignoring this behavior but actively encouraging it either by enacting policy designed to ignore it, or reward it, or both.

List me among the AOL HATERS and no, that's not too strong a word. I absolutely HATE AOL..

Over a decade ago I had this problem with AOL in which I contacted them based off an 800 number I had to research for cancellation. I had to research it even then because even then they did not make it easy.

I was told, after the same sort of run around, that my account would be cancelled, trusting them I assumed it had been done. Several months later when I paid close attention to my bank statement they were still charging me.

When I called to complain and asked them if they didn't think it odd that I hadn't used the account in several months, after my request for account cancellation, they repeatedly denied the request for cancellation was ever made, and repeatedly said that AOL members frequently don't use their accounts for months at a time.

Yeah RIGHT the one's trying to cancel their accounts!

It took the BBB's intercession during those early days to resolve it with a complete refund. I doubt you could get the same from them now judging from what I'm reading.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"However, I pointed out to them that nowhere in the contract did I commit to "working for Dish Network." While I was performing numerous checks, resets, reboots, etc. for them, I was not taking care of my own small business. Consequently, I feel that since I had no employment contract with them, I was obviously functioning as a contract-technician, and felt entitled to reimbursement at an hourly rate of $50."

That has to be one of the most interesting takes on this phenomenon I've ever read MsMelody!

Especially since I'm generally a more qualified PC support technician than 90+% of the people my ISP saddles me with. I have yet to call in once, just once, and have them admit that the source of the technical difficulty was them. Never once. Though the problem is "ALWAYS" them.

I have never once experienced an Internet connectivity problem that wasn't the fault of my Internet Service Provider (ISP), yet they routinely attempt to portray the opposite.

I would absolutely love to see this line of reasoning argued in court.

I suspect ISP's would much rather settle out of court rather than face the prospect of loosing to this legal argument.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I worked at an AOL call center several years ago, and the department into which cancellation calls were routed was called "Saves". As in saving the account from being cancelled. The people hired for this department often were former telemarketers or other salespeople. Their performance was measured by the rate of accounts saved, in effect penalizing them if they would quickly or easily let a customer cancel an account.


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