Letters – I Write Letters
I know this doesn’t say good things about me as a person, but there’s almost nothing I enjoy better than writing a really inflammatory letter, usually to a large business concern, informing them that I’ll no longer be doing business with them. Sure, I know that The Very Large Corporation of America™ doesn’t really give a shit about my business, but I can’t help but imagine the kick the employee who opens and reads it must get out of it. I wrote a real ass-peeler to Shittybank a few years back, after they nearly burned down the economy and then informed me they were gonna increase my minimum monthly payment (always paid on time, always paid more than minimum) by double. I can’t recall EVERYTHING I said in that letter now, but it was both scathing and funny, and offered them the opportunity to get in line behind other creditors after I declared bankruptcy thanks to their arbitrary decision to squeeze everyone’s nuts on account of their own insane business decisions, which, ironically, had put the entire economy in the shitter and greatly reduced the ability of any of us to repay them; to wit: if you double my monthly payment, you ain’t gonna be getting a payment at all. This accomplished both a backing off on the demand for a higher payment and the lowering of the interest rate on the account to a friendly 1.9%, which made everyone happy.
Another time Skank of America failed to post a payment made on time when they received it, then tried to slap me with some absurd $39 “late fee” on a balance of $120 or so which had been paid in full with the check they failed to post on time. Getting nowhere with their “customer service” representative on the phone, who more or less accused me of being a liar who had failed to pay a lousy $15 on time on an account I’d had for over 10 years and NEVER paid late, I sat down to write a friendly letter, one in which I noted that I would not be able to live with the guilt of knowing I had brought the mighty institution to its knees for want of $15 mailed a couple of weeks earlier, so their employees could have been leisurely in processing it while still not putting the business in danger of collapse, and they could have their crappy $39 but it would be the last cent they’d ever get from me. In this one, I included the two halves of my card. And a couple of weeks later, received back a new card along with an abject apology.
So…I’m pretty good at this sort of thing.
I’ve related my recent troubles with Comcast already; unfortunately for Comcast by the time they finally got around to fixing my service, which had been screwed up for over a month, I had already signed up to switch to AT&T DSL service – they just hadn’t activated the account yet, so I kept the Comcast connected until the AT&T came online. During this period, I was getting beaucoup calls from Comcast verifying that the problem had finally been fixed, and in every one of them I notified the caller that I had signed up for AT&T during the period when the Comcast service wasn’t working and looked as though it would never be fixed; that I would be moving forward with making the change unless Comcast could match the much better price I was getting from AT&T, and that if Comcast would do this, I would consider keeping their service in spite of the nightmares I had experienced with getting it working again. Because, let’s face it – it’s a pain in the ass to have to change your email address and notify everyone. None of the callers responded with an offer of better price from Comcast, so when the activation date for AT&T arrived, I switched over the service, then called Comcast to cancel my account.
First, I was put on a lengthy hold, during which a looped recording of a chirpy woman repeated over and over again, “Did you know that DirecTV sucks donkey?” or a message to that effect. Finally I got a person on the phone, stated my intention to disconnect the service, and he immediately went into the “valued customer” routine. You know the one: “we value you SO MUCH as a customer that we couldn’t be bothered to fix your non-working service for over a month, and we’ve been overcharging you for six years! But now that you’ve had it with us, we’ll offer you the price we would have been offering all along if we truly valued you as a customer.” I more or less stated the same to him, told him that multiple Comcast employees had been informed of my intent to drop the service previously and none had offered fairer pricing, and that it was now a done deal – please disconnect. At that point, he launched into a claim that I had “equipment” that belonged to Comcast that I had to return or I would be charged for it; because I never had any Comcast equipment, I asked him to tell me specifically what it was that I was expected to return. He said there was a “note on the account” but that it didn’t specify what equipment belonging to Comcast I allegedly had. I said, well, you can’t very well expect me to “return” equipment if you can’t even tell me what the equipment is that I supposedly got from you, now can you? He said I would have to talk to someone in “service” regarding the equipment issue, gave me another number to call, and I went through the waiting routine again. Finally, I get a woman in the service department on the phone. She says there’s no note on the account regarding equipment. And also, that the guy I JUST TALKED TO failed to cancel the service as I told him to do and as he said he had done. She said she was taking care of it and at the same time issued a credit for the final bill for the month where the service was only working half of the time.
Fast-forward 10 days, and here’s another bill in the mail from Comcast – dunning me for the last month of service (which I called to cancel halfway through, and for which I was owed a substantial credit), and billing me for the upcoming month.
So I decided it was time to write another letter. And not only to write a letter, but to mail it return receipt, so Comcast couldn’t continue to pretend they hadn’t been notified of my desire to cancel service. I of course deducted the cost of return-receipt service and the postage from the small amount I owed them for my last couple of weeks of service, put the check and the letter in with the payment slip, and mailed it off. I’m not going to post the entire letter, but here is the last part, which was my favorite:
I can’t imagine how you manage to stay in business. This is the WORST COMPANY I have EVER dealt with; please note in your records not to contact me in the future with offers for service because I will NEVER, EVER, EVER do business with you again, not even if you were the ONLY provider for TV or internet in Little Rock, and you are only wasting money by mailing offers to me or calling me. If I had a choice between free Comcast service and $100 per month service from anyone else, I would go with “anyone else.” Some companies inspire disgust with their poor service; you folks inspire out-and-out hatred. It’s as if you DESIGNED your company to provide the worst service possible, as if you have teams working diligently to figure out how you can make more mistakes, deal even more dishonestly with customers, and provide even lousier service. Thank God the cable company is no longer the only game in town – having alternatives might just earn your company the demise it so richly deserves. Good-bye, and good riddance.
I got another call from them yesterday asking if they had “fixed the problem” with my service.
Some folks, they just don’t learn. I suppose next stop will be with the city’s franchise authority; because I can still access my Comcast email accounts, I’m fairly certain they still haven’t cancelled the account. All I can say is, God help them if they turn this thing over to a collection agency or attempt to put a black mark on my credit as a result of this, because at that point I’ll be done playing and it will be jihad time.