I think it’s only fair that I tell you right up front that this post is not going to live up to its title. If naked, wet, and soapy were the words that enticed you to clickety-click, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. There’s a naked, wet, soapy moment, but it’s hardly worth the wait. So sorry if you got the wrong idea.
How do you feel about your cable company? Yeah, same here. They’re better than they used to be, I’ll give them that, but they’re still 947 steps from good. They hire friendly people now (So does the DMV! Maybe the Mayans were onto something.). That’s fairly new. A few years back, if you called Comcast, the rep was completely comfortable to tell you to eff off. “Our next available appointment is three weeks from Thursday, between the hours of 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. You want it or not?”
These days, they give a two-hour window, not thirteen, and unless you need a Saturday (which I always do), they can have a tech at your door within 48 hours. Not bad.
Yet still, they suck.
We recently decided to cut the cable package back to not much more than what you would have gotten a few years ago if you perched a set of rabbit ears or stretched a metal coat hanger atop your set (yes, I remember those, and yes, I know that makes me unspeakably old). The cutback was, to my utter astonishment, my hubby’s idea. The man who, if the house were to burst into flames, might waver for a second were he forced to decide to save either me or the TV, said we should give up the eleventy-hundred channels of nothing good to watch. “Bare bones the thing,” he said, after seeing the bill.
So I did. I called, waited on hold while they repeatedly reminded me that they appreciated my patience, and after sixteen minutes, got a live person. Jackie cheerfully promised to help me choose the package that was right for my family. I told her I wanted the Cheapskate TV Package with a side of Supersonic-Internet. She seemed doubtful that the Cheapskate Package was the best choice. “You’ll lose almost all of your channels,” she said in a voice that told me she worked on some sort of mega-cable-package selling incentive pay plan.
“I don’t watch much TV,” I said. “And the few things I do watch are on the regular networks. The Cheapskate Package is fine.”
Jackie’s voice grew tense. “But your family might miss all those channels. There’s a lot of wonderful programming for kids.”
“My youngest is 28 and he hasn’t lived at home in nine years. It’s just my husband and me now.”
“Does your husband enjoy the extra channels? Discovery? ESPN? The Speed Channel?”
“He adores them all. We’d like the Cheapskate Package, please.”
Jackie sighed and set us up. The tech guy was to come out on Saturday morning between eight and ten. He’d take away the DVR and replace it with a cheapie digital receiver. Jackie said they’d call the night before to remind me.
I knew I’d better not miss that call.
The last time the Comcast folks were scheduled to visit my house, I was strolling through Hobby Lobby when the call came. I dug my phone out of my purse just as it stopped ringing and a few seconds later, I listened to the voice message. Seems that if you miss their call, Comcast cancels your appointment. I called back immediately and was offered a reschedule date three weeks out.
Anyway, Friday night, I kept my phone at my side like I was waiting for a call from the Organ Donor Center and when it rang, I was ready. They made not one, but three confirmation calls that night, but I got ‘em all. On the last one, they said that the tech would call again about twenty minutes before his arrival the following morning and reminded me of our scheduled time.
At 7 a.m. I was in the shower (On a Saturday morning! Crazy shit, that is.) when I heard it. Say Hey (My ringtone. Don't judge.) blasted from the bedroom. Dammit, dammit, dammit. I hoped the hubs would answer it, but I knew that was just magical thinking. I got a new phone some months back and because the procedure for answering it (Just slide your finger downward on the screen, honey.) is slightly different from his phone, he doesn’t touch it. The man is more than a little techno-challenged, but that’s another blog for another day.
By the time I flew down the hall, naked, wet, and soapy (see, I told you you’d be disappointed), the damn thing stopped ringing. I highlighted the number and hit send. I took the phone back to the bathroom so I could drip on the mat, rather than the hardwood floor, and waited through the patience-thanking spiel while I wondered just how much water could get on my fancy, overpriced phone that I’d declined the insurance on before it melted like the Wicked Witch of the West. Finally, Monica picked up.
I explained the situation and Monica assured me that unlike the evening before call (or you know, calls), the morning "We're on our way!" call would be attempted twice before an appointment was cancelled. She asked if I was interested in hearing their available-only-right-this-very-minute specials and I declined, reminding her that I’d hopped out of the shower to take the call that came a good forty minutes before the earliest it was supposed to and that I was still naked, wet and soapy, and now cold, as well. She apologized, but went on to quickly list a few of their top deals. And then, as she’d certainly been trained to do, Monica asked if I’d be willing to take a short survey about my opinions about Comcast and her handling of the call. I exhaled and then in my calmest, freezing, naked, wet, soapy voice, told Monica that I was pretty sure that she didn’t want me taking that survey.
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