Talking tech since 2003

The primary focus of cord cutting — at least, from where I’m sitting — seems to be the financial savings. Cable bills haven’t exactly gotten cheaper over the years, and for those who have anything but the most basic package, TV has become a pretty substantial slice of the budget pie.

But while you can cut the cord, you often can’t escape the cable company completely. If you want high Internet speeds, you’re typically stuck with the cable or fiber providers in your area. And when you don’t have anyplace else to go, you can almost guarantee that customer service will suffer from the lack of competition.

And I don’t want to pick on Comcast specifically, but… well, the company has messed up twice recently, and in spectacular fashion.

For instance, did you hear about the Ryan Block call? Talk about an utter failure in customer service. Ryan, in case you don’t know, was previously an editor-in-chief at Engadget, and is a founder of gdgt. Ryan and his wife Veronica Belmont (also a tech reporter) had issues ending their Comcast service, thanks to a rude and uncooperative agent who badgered them both relentlessly. Ryan recorded the call and released it to the mighty Internets. Unsurprisingly, it blew up.

Comcast later apologized, stating that Ryan’s experience wasn’t one the company wanted to give its customers.

A short time later, it happened again.

No famous people in this story — just everyday guy Tim Davis trying to get his Comcast Internet service to work. After being told on the phone he wouldn’t be charged for a service visit, he learned he had, in fact, been charged.

Fortunately, he’d recorded the initial customer service call, and was able to get the charges dropped after replaying the conversation for another Comcast customer support representative, who admitted that he would’ve had to pay up if it weren’t for the recording.

Comcast’s response, again, was to apologize and say that this experience wasn’t one the company wanted to give its customers.

If you’re seeing a pattern here, you’re not alone.

If you’re cutting the cord in a Comcast-covered area, your alternative broadband options are slim.

And if you’re in a Time Warner Cable-covered area, your cable company could very well become Comcast in the near future.

Let that sink in.

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