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Little Old Lady Hammers Comcast

CowboyNeal posted about 7 years ago | from the after-my-own-heart dept.

Communications 416

WheezyJoe writes "The Washington Post reports that a little old lady took a hammer to Comcast. Apparently fed up with the lousy service she received from a botched Comcast installation of "triple-play", and a completely humiliating experience at a customer service center, 75-year-old Mona "The Hammer" Shaw took her claw hammer back to the customer service center and bludgeoned the office equipment into tiny plastic pieces."

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Comcast Is Deluded (5, Informative)

gbulmash (688770) | about 7 years ago | (#21036015)

If Comcast thinks an "overwhelming majority" of their 25 million customers are very satisfied with their service, they'got their heads in the sand. I'll bet you most of them have gripes enough to be dissatisfied, just not enough to switch to DirecTV or Dish Network.

For example, we've got a 30+ mile per hour windstorm going. My cable's still on. Don't know how a dish would be faring. But that doesn't mean I'm happy with Comcast.

Here in Washington, we had a program guide and DVR powered by Microsoft, a little nod from Comcast to the folks in Redmond. It wasn't in use anywhere else in the country. I found it to be very buggy and annoying. If I told the DVR to tape only new episodes of "Stargate SG-1" only on Sci-Fi, only at 8, besides putting the 8 p.m. Friday showing of new episodes in the "upcoming recordings" list, it would put in that plus every one of the 6 p.m. reruns all week long. On top of that, it loved to become unresponsive while fast forwarding. It would just fast forward along, well past the point where you wanted it to stop, buffering every key press sent by the remote, until it finally decided it was done and executed all those keypresses in quick succession.

When Comcast announced we'd be getting the program guide and DVR control software the rest of the country has, I literally jumped for joy, singing "ding dong, the witch is dead", because I thought ANYTHING had to be better than the Microsoft DVR software. I was soooo wrong. Comcast's is worse. Try to set a series recording for "Top Chef" on Bravo and you get every episode... sort of like the Microsoft DVR, but with one major difference. Microsoft put the recordings in the to do list well in advance so you could remove them. With the new Comcast DVR software, it doesn't add these things until the last minute, so the next time you look at your recorded programs list, there's a bunch of crap you didn't expect and don't want. And better than the fast forward that won't stop, the new software gives me fast forward that advances 10-20 seconds and pauses. If you hit the fast forward again, it jumps up to double-speed fast forward and you overshoot whatever mark you were trying to hit.

I contacted customer service and they just said they were sorry I didn't like it, but tough.

So my options... get a dish. Wait until Verizon rolls out FIOS TV in my neighborhood (they laid the cable this summer, but are dragging their feet on FIOS installs) and see if they're better. Shell out $800 + $12.95 a month for a dual tuner HD TiVO with Cable Card. I'm currently pinning my hopes on the second option. But when Verizon gets off their asses Comcast loses my $1800 a year for cable TV and cable internet.

The only reason Comcast can delude themselves that their customers are happy is because they've been spending millions to lobby the FCC to restrict Verizon's roll-out of TV via fiber and prevent their customers from having a second terrestrial alternative. As TV over fiber rolls out, if the telecoms don't cock it up (and that's a BIG if), you could see people leaving Comcast in *droves*.

Hooray for Mona Shaw. She took civil disobedience a little too far, but God bless her. We're all having a vicarious thrill from her exploit.

Re:Comcast Is Deluded (4, Insightful)

Ark42 (522144) | about 7 years ago | (#21036097)

It's not perfect, but I honestly like the simplicity of the Dish DVRs. They work fairly well for me. I don't have problems recording duplicates of shows or anything like that. Fast forward works. 30-second forward and 10-second backward skip buttons out of the box work just fine. The only annoying thing to me is that if you pause, then press forward to go frame-by-frame, the first jump takes you a second or so backward, then you can precede to press forward 30+ times to get back to where you paused and wanted to actually see things frame by frame. Oh well, nothing is perfect. At least it's only $30/month. Oh, the dish works fine in the 60+ mph winds with 1cm sized hail balls we just got a few hours ago in Michigan too.

Re:Comcast Is Deluded (1)

ivan256 (17499) | about 7 years ago | (#21036099)

For example, we've got a 30+ mile per hour windstorm going. My cable's still on. Don't know how a dish would be faring. But that doesn't mean I'm happy with Comcast.

You're lucky. When I had comcast, a light breeze... moderate rain storm... Just about anything, and the cable and internet service would.. Well, it wouldn't go out. It would just get really unreliable.

I had satellite TV for 5 years though, and the only times it was out were when the dish got buried in snow more than half way.

I still ditched that service too though, since DirecTV got rid of TiVo. You just can't win...

Re:Comcast Is Deluded (5, Funny)

amccaf1 (813772) | about 7 years ago | (#21036165)

f Comcast thinks an "overwhelming majority" of their 25 million customers are very satisfied with their service, they'got their heads in the sand. I'll bet you most of them have gripes enough to be dissatisfied, just not enough to switch to DirecTV or Dish Network.

There's an old joke:

Two guys are out camping... Suddenly they hear the sounds of a tiger outside their tent.

The two guys look at each other.

One man starts putting his running shoes on.

Despite the situation, his friend starts chuckling at him. "What are you thinking? You can't outrun a tiger!"

The man looks back at his friend and says, "I don't have to outrun... the tiger."


Like you say. Comcast doesn't have to be the best. They just have to outrace Direct TV and Dish Network.

Tiger (5, Funny)

Paul_Hindt (1129979) | about 7 years ago | (#21036513)

Sorry Roger, you tiger now.

Re:Comcast Is Deluded (1)

anagama (611277) | about 7 years ago | (#21037159)

It's even worse where I'm at. My choice is comcast or dialup. I've never in my life been a satisfied comcast customer -- I've been a customer because I have no other realistic choice.

Re:Comcast Is Deluded (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21036181)

Before you consider the TiVo box, you should know that Comcast is using TiVo's software for their DVR. Linkage []

Re:Comcast Is Deluded (3, Insightful)

Osty (16825) | about 7 years ago | (#21036873)

Before you consider the TiVo box, you should know that Comcast is using TiVo's software for their DVR.

Not quite. Comcast is planning to have the Tivo interface sometime in the (far, far) future, but for now we're stuck with the PlaySkool OS that can't seem to figure out that when I tell it to record "new episodes of Family Guy", I don't mean "every single episode of Family Guy that Fox airs, which amounts to two a day, every day of the week, and sometimes three". The Microsoft interface never did that (though the Microsoft interface did want to record every rerun of the Sopranos when I told it to only record new). I'm pretty sure this is a tagging issue in Comcast's listing service, where reruns are incorrectly tagged (either tagged as new, or not tagged at all and thus assumed to be new).

For the original poster, you can cancel future recordings by flipping through the "Scheduled Recordings" pages. There's no single "TODO" list anymore, so you have to flip through each day until you run up against the end of the current listing download. Deleting is also more difficult, going through several menus with many annoying pauses. And sometimes it'll record a show even when you told it not to.

If CableCARD wasn't so damn flakey, I'd go ahead and upgrade to the Tivo Series 3. For now, I blame much of the nastiest of the Comcast DVR offerings (Microsoft or PlaySkool) on the shit Motorola hardware. At least they enable the firewire output, though it's unusable as a recording source for a Media Center PC since you still need an analog tuner in order to get the channel guide.

Re:Comcast Is Deluded (4, Informative)

jeaton (44965) | about 7 years ago | (#21036213)

Shell out $800 + $12.95 a month for a dual tuner HD TiVO with Cable Card.
The TiVo HD is $299. The TiVo Series3 HD is currently $599.

Both can be found a bit cheaper if you look around.

Dish in wind storm (1)

baomike (143457) | about 7 years ago | (#21036279)

Likely the same storm we had in the Willamette Valley. two Dish network dishes and 90cm for "other" came thru OK. I expected no less. The trick is to not mount them on top of the house. Dishes do not need to be high like a TV antennae. They need only a clear view of a portion of the sky

Re:Comcast Is Deluded (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21036339)

>> my $1800 a year

Wake the fuck up! You are paying $1800 a year for bread and circuses (and not even getting any bread).

Re:Comcast Is Deluded (4, Interesting)

Steeltalon (734391) | about 7 years ago | (#21036527)

Hahahahaha! Oh, that story is rich! Kudos to her for doing what I never had the balls to do. My personal story is one of absolute horror. Last year, I was a comcast customer. I would frequently have lag spikes that pushed my latency up into the seconds (yes, that is more than 1x1000ms). Every damn time that I called Comcast they'd send out a service tech who might be there at the time of a spike or might not be. It was all very random. So, finally I reached my breaking point and I told them that they'd better not just send me another tech who'd tell me that my signal was fine. I was told that I was getting a "network specialist" and this definitely wasn't just another tech. Well, the guy calls me from the road and didn't seem to know what I was talking about when I said "network specialist". Then he showed up and not only was he a regular tech but he was a regular tech that was completely dismissive of my problem. He acted like I wasn't really having a problem because, at the time, I was running on my wireless router... Nevermind all the logs that I'd taken from a direct connection to the modem. So, after nearly throwing the guy out of my house, I called Comcast and started screaming. This got me somewhere as I finally got escalated to the CEO's office where they had a customer care executive assigned to me. Their network guys looked at my latency and determined that my problem was only happening 2% of the time... Which, regardless of when it was occurring, was acceptable to them so while they could have alleviated the issue by adding another link they wouldn't. We just got FiOS in my current place about a month ago and Comcast called to try to get us back. The guy that called seemed to think that all verizon connections were DirecTV and had no idea what FiOS was. He also threw out that BS number of how many of their customers are satisfied and told me that their service is "much better now". I told him it would take an act of God to get me to go back to Comcast. It was a very cathartic phone call to get. I hope that the recording goes to upper management but I doubt it will.

Re:Comcast Is Deluded (1)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | about 7 years ago | (#21036625)

The new software is infinitely better than the Microsoft software was for the DVR.
  1. It is far more stable. The Microsoft software had a tendency to crash when a recording finished. Mine crashed at least 5 times a week. If another recording was scheduled to follow the one that crashed it, you'd lose at least 5 minutes of the start of that second recording, because it took that long for the box to reboot, and then figure out that it was authorized for DVR. Deleting a recording also could trigger a crash, so whenever you finished watching something, you had to check to make sure you didn't have a recording in progress or coming up soon, unless you wanted to risk disrupting it.
  2. The new software is much much faster. It is quite reasonable to actually use it to plan future viewing, or to ask yourself at 3 to 9 what is starting at 9 that you might want to watch. The Microsoft software was close to useless for this. For all but the most trivial planning, it was faster to get up, go to the computer, and look at Comcast's web-based guide.
  3. The back button on the remote does the right thing on most screens, unlike on the Microsoft software.

Yes, the Top Chef think is annoying. But at least with the software being fast and stable, it is just a minor annoyance, as you can quickly delete those spurious recordings. That's the big difference between the old and new software. The old software's problems were fundamental problems that were hard or impossible to work around, whereas the new software's problems are just annoyances.

The funny thing is, Microsoft knows how to do good DVR software. UlitmateTV for DirecTV was quite good (although it also was slow).

Re:Comcast Is Deluded (1)

absoluteflatness (913952) | about 7 years ago | (#21036781)

Good thing you're looking to go to TiVo, because, at least in my area, FIOS TV uses Motorola recievers with some similar-sounding cruddy Microsoft software on them. I wasn't too happy with some things about my Cox cable boxes, but I'd kill for a Scientific Atlanta box at this point.

Re:Comcast Is Deluded (1)

krotkruton (967718) | about 7 years ago | (#21036975)

I live in Champaign, IL, and go to the University of Illinois. Comcast recently bought out our local cable company... not the cable company that serves our area, just the local branch of it... right before football season started... and now they refuse to offer the Big Ten network which broadcasts our team... but I'm sure that's just a coincidence... right? (that sarcasm is directed at Comcast, not the parent poster)

But before I start to really go off about that bullshit, our box does the same thing that yours does. It's a real pain. We don't have any other options either. I live in an apartment building, so we can't get satellite.

I have a friend who lives in Chicago and has been fed up with Comcast's service, largely because the cable seems to go out during Cubs games. They also continually call him and try to convince him to get a hardwire phone line, even though he has repeatedly told them he only uses his cell phone. Due to a variety of other factors, he's done with Comcast. He's willing to pay an extra $50 a month to get a dish and some other internet provider. With how much people love to consolidate bills these days, you know there's a problem when people are willing to pay more for multiple services that actually cost more than the original. It truly is amazing that Comcast thinks its users are satisfied.

Tivo is cheaper than you think (1)

JeffBean (748415) | about 7 years ago | (#21036985)

Shell out $800 + $12.95 a month for a dual tuner HD TiVO with Cable Card.
The Tivo HD box released this summer costs $300, not $800. The Tivo service fee gets as low as $8.33 a month if you prepay 3 years in advance. Here in Phoenix (Cox cable) the cable card rental is $2 (you only need one if it is a multistream card). So your monthly cost is $10.33. Cox's HD DVR costs $18.00 a month plus a $5.00 "service" fee. So if you amortize it over three years, the Tivo DVR and service costs less than the Cox DVR. And it works very well indeed.

Re:Tivo is cheaper than you think (1)

Lost Engineer (459920) | about 7 years ago | (#21037153)

Cox's HD DVR costs $18.00 a month plus a $5.00 "service" fee. So if you amortize it over three years, the Tivo DVR and service costs less than the Cox DVR.
My Cox DVR is almost free when you purchase HD service. I'm already paying over 100 a month for cable and internet, so I'm not inclined to get TiVo. Except for the fact that the Cox DVR is HORRIBLE. I would settle for any DVR that worked, but half the time it just erases all my scheduled recordings for no reason. And recording Private Practice by name (for instance) can require you to scroll through tens of pages of Programo Pagado, only to find out you're on today's episode so the record button doesn't work. As soon as I get the energy, that thing is going back to Cox. Of course who knows what they charge for CableCards...

Reminds me of a joke (4, Funny)

guardiangod (880192) | about 7 years ago | (#21037091)

here []

Dear Cretins,

I have been an NTL customer since 9th July 2001, when I signed up for your 3-in-one deal for cable TV, cable modem, and telephone. During this three-month period I have encountered inadequacy of service which I had not previously considered possible, as well as ignorance and stupidity of monolithic proportions.

Please allow me to provide specific details, so that you can either pursue your professional prerogative, and seek to rectify these difficulties -- or more likely (I suspect) so that you can have some entertaining reading material as you while away the working day smoking B&H and drinking vendor-coffee on the bog in your office:

My initial installation was cancelled without warning, resulting in my spending an entire Saturday sitting on my fat arse waiting for your technician to arrive. When he did not arrive, I spent a further 57 minutes listening to your infuriating hold music, and the even more annoying Scottish robot woman telling me to look at your helpful website.... HOW? I alleviated the boredom by playing with my testicles for a few minutes - an activity at which you are no-doubt both familiar and highly adept.

The rescheduled installation then took place some two weeks later, although the technician did forget to bring a number of vital tools - such as a drill-bit, and his cerebrum. Two weeks later, my cable modem had still not arrived. After 15 telephone calls over 4 weeks my modem arrived... six weeks after I had requested it, and begun to pay for it. I estimate your internet servers downtime is roughly 35%... hours between about 6pm-midnight, Mon-Fri, and most of the weekend.

I am still waiting for my telephone connection. I have made 9 calls on my mobile to your no-help line, and have been unhelpfully transferred to a variety of disinterested individuals, who are it seems also highly skilled bollock jugglers. I have been informed that a telephone line is available (and someone will call me back); that I will be transferred to someone who knows whether or not a telephone line is available (and then been cut off); that I will be transferred to someone (and then been redirected to an answer machine informing me that your office is closed); that I will be transferred to someone and then been redirected to the irritating Scottish robot woman...and several other variations on this theme.

Doubtless you are no-longer reading this letter, as you have at least a thousand other dissatisfied customers to ignore, and also another one of those crucially important testicle-moments to attend to. Frankly I don't care, it's far more satisfying as a customer to voice my frustrations in print than to shout them at your unending hold music. Forgive me, therefore, if I continue.

I thought BT were shit, that they had attained the holy piss-pot of god-awful customer relations, that no one, anywhere, ever, could be more disinterested, less helpful or more obstructive to delivering service to their customers. That's why I chose NTL, and because, well, there isn't anyone else is there? How surprised I therefore was, when I discovered to my considerable dissatisfaction and disappointment what a useless shower of bastards you truly are. You are sputum-filled pieces of distended rectum -- incompetents of the highest order.

British Telecom -- wankers though they are -- shine like brilliant beacons of success, in the filthy puss-filled mire of your seemingly limitless inadequacy. Suffice to say that I have now given up on my futile and foolhardy quest to receive any kind of service from you. I suggest that you cease any potential future attempts to extort payment from me for the services which you have so pointedly and catastrophically failed to deliver -- any such activity will be greeted initially with hilarity and disbelief -- quickly be replaced by derision, and even perhaps bemused rage.

I enclose two small deposits, selected with great care from my cats litter tray, as an expression of my utter and complete contempt for both you and your pointless company. I sincerely hope that they have not become desiccated during transit -- they were satisfyingly moist at the time of posting, and I would feel considerable disappointment if you did not experience both their rich aroma and delicate texture.

Consider them the very embodiment of my feelings towards NTL, and its worthless employees.

Have a nice day -- may it be the last in your miserable short life, you irritatingly incompetent and infuriatingly unhelpful bunch of twats.

Dear Mona (4, Funny)

binarybum (468664) | about 7 years ago | (#21036045)

Have you considered the washington post as your next victim? I think we'd all appreciate someone sending them a clear message about flagrantly unnecessary pagination.

Re:Dear Mona (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21036821)

Hehe, my thoughts exactly!

"I can't decide whether you shoud live or die..." (5, Funny)

amccaf1 (813772) | about 7 years ago | (#21036061)


I can't figure out whether I want to go out and smash office equipment with a hammer, or I want this woman to come in and smash my office equipment with a hammer.

Which end of this fight is the right end? I CAN'T DECIDE!!

Re:"I can't decide whether you shoud live or die.. (1)

Speedracer1870 (1041248) | about 7 years ago | (#21036353)

I should introduce her to my grandmother. More grandma's should be wielding claw hammers. Bingo would be so much more interesting...

Re:"I can't decide whether you shoud live or die.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21036783)

Two point penalty: inappropriate use of an apostrophe.

Re:"I can't decide whether you shoud live or die.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21036631)

> > (( Little Old Lady Hammers Comcast ))
> > Posted by CowboyNeal on Thursday October 18, @11:29PM
> by amccaf1 (813772) on Thursday October 18, @11:35PM (#21036061)
> I can't figure out whether I want to go out and smash office equipment with a hammer, or I want this woman to come in and smash my office equipment with a hammer.

Zero to Rule 34 in six minutes. Impressive!

The greatest story ever written (4, Funny)

Raineer (1002750) | about 7 years ago | (#21036063)

Please let this woman have a made-for-TV movie made of her life.

Go slashdot (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21036073)

Time of this event hitting EVERY OTHER news outlet: 1 month ago. Way to go, Slashdot.

Re:Go slashdot (1)

timelorde (7880) | about 7 years ago | (#21036673)

Time of this event hitting the Washington Post: today!

I'm entirely happy with Comcast. (2, Informative)

feepness (543479) | about 7 years ago | (#21036077)

Internet + SD cable. No box. I think I get great speed because I'm in the city. Never had an issue.

Re:I'm entirely happy with Comcast. (1)

plover (150551) | about 7 years ago | (#21036199)

I'm mostly happy with Comcast too. Their HD DVR cable box sucks ass, especially compared to my ReplayTV units, but the HD quality is OK and their internet service is quite fast and I have really good uptime.

But I'd never voluntarily get VoIP through them. It's more expensive than POTS, plus since my wife installed Vonage as a temporary stopgap for her home office, th-e d-am-n sig-na-l s-ou-nd-s li-ke c-rap. If that's how they treat voice traffic, it'd be totally useless.

Re:I'm entirely happy with Comcast. (1)

Damarkus13 (1000963) | about 7 years ago | (#21036349)

No that's just how they treat Vonage's voice signal (and I'm not 100% sure its all Comcast's fault) I've had Vonage with Comcast for quite a while now and if you are doing much more than just browsing websites, don't try to make a call. But at $25 a month (cheaper than VoIP thru Comcast, or a traditional land line [with no long distance at all!]) can I really complain? If you go with the lowest bid, you get what you pay for.

I know several people with Comcast's VoIP and they don't seem to have the same problem. Either their VoIP cable modem has better QoS than the horrible linksys router Vonage sent me or Comcast uses a different pipeline for their phone service.

Re:I'm entirely happy with Comcast. (1)

plover (150551) | about 7 years ago | (#21036515)

I look at it as poor quality of service on Comcast's part. If they can't deliver Vonage packets at a reasonable rate, what evidence do I have that they'd deliver their own? None. They won't get me as a customer for that reason alone.

Re:I'm entirely happy with Comcast. (2, Funny)

epp_b (944299) | about 7 years ago | (#21036775)

Internet + SD cable. No box. I think I get great speed because I'm in the city. Never had an issue.
Hey, that's cool! Comcast's only satisfied customer is a Slashdotter!

Re:I'm entirely happy with Comcast. (1)

jlarocco (851450) | about 7 years ago | (#21037019)

Consider yourself fortunate. Since Comcast took over Adelphia I've had a couple of half month long outages and dramatically reduced speed. Not to mention that their tech support staff can only be described as incompetent. And that's being nice.

But of course my only other option is 1/6th the speed for the same price.

I'd like to hammer Washington Post (1)

kd3bj (733314) | about 7 years ago | (#21036079)

I can barely read TFA with all the pop ups and flash pop-overs. Sheesh!

Re:I'd like to hammer Washington Post (1)

ianare (1132971) | about 7 years ago | (#21036223)

try this version []

Re:I'd like to hammer Washington Post (1)

elwin_windleaf (643442) | about 7 years ago | (#21036237)

One benefit of the Slashdot effect is the ad revenues - maybe they're trying to offset their bandwidth costs?

coincidence. (3, Funny)

User 956 (568564) | about 7 years ago | (#21036081)

75-year-old Mona "The Hammer" Shaw took her claw hammer back to the customer service center and bludgeoned the office equipment into tiny plastic pieces.

Funny story, Tom Delay got his nickname [] the same way.

Re:coincidence. (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | about 7 years ago | (#21036445)

Tom "Hammer" Delay - "God, *Mona*, and the Rise of the Republican Congress"

There. Fixed it for you.

Oh hammer... (5, Funny)

jberryman (1175517) | about 7 years ago | (#21036087)

is there no problem you can't solve?

Re:Oh hammer... (4, Funny)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | about 7 years ago | (#21036221)

The Old Handyman's Maxim:

All tools are hammers except chisels which are screwdrivers.

When the only tool you have is a hammer... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21036291)

...every problem looks like a nigger.

Re:Oh hammer... (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 7 years ago | (#21037005)

is there no problem you can't solve?

I'm waiting for a granny to attack with duct-tape and WD-40.

I wish I was a little old lady... (1)

SoapBox17 (1020345) | about 7 years ago | (#21036095)

If only I could get away with taking a hammer to equipment in a corporate office building. But something tells me if I had done exactly the same thing she had, I still would have gone to jail (she got 3 months suspended sentence).

Still, I'm glad she did it. Comcast deserved every minute of it, I'm sure. I never thought it was possible that I would run into the welcoming arms of a telco until the day I got Comcast.

Hammer fund, please (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21036101)

Shall we? I've got $100/10 hammers with its name on it. Let's get the MC to do PR.

Awesome, grandma. There is a new sheriff in town, and her name be Mona "the hammer" Shaw!!!

(hehe, I don't even have cable, and now you know why ;-)

STOP (5, Funny)

Sneakernets (1026296) | about 7 years ago | (#21036141)


(now discussion can continue as normal.)


kn0tw0rk (773805) | about 7 years ago | (#21036711)

Its copyrighted and I fear lawyers from the RIAA

Viva La Revolucion! (0)

Sneakernets (1026296) | about 7 years ago | (#21036113)

Suddenly, Whac-a-Mole has a whole new meaning.

(damn, if this was AT&T I could have made that joke funny in three ways.)

that must've been an awesomely satisfying moment (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21036125)

Unfortunately, when she wakes up tomorrow at 6 a.m. to Sonny and Cher on the clock radio, she'll find that she still has a lousy job in a hick town, and shitty cable TV service.

Yay, violence. (0, Troll)

StDoodle (1041630) | about 7 years ago | (#21036131)

Yes, let's use violence to solve our problems. Maybe we should try that in the Middle East, too.

Re:Yay, violence. (1)

binarybum (468664) | about 7 years ago | (#21036173)

it might work. Even the Iraqi army would be pretty reticent about shooting down an army of grandmas wielding hammers.

Re:Yay, violence. (1)

st0rmshad0w (412661) | about 7 years ago | (#21036227)

Talk until you're out of breath and they still ignore you, maybe its time to switch to a hammer.

Re:Yay, violence. (1)

budgenator (254554) | about 7 years ago | (#21036493)

parking them outside on a bench for hours then telling them that the manager they were waiting for had sneaked out the back door was pretty provocative on Comcast's part, if I were the judge I'd have been itching to get that bitch on a contempt charge.

Re:Yay, violence. (1)

st0rmshad0w (412661) | about 7 years ago | (#21036829)

In the spirit of Star Trek diplomacy, "Words don't always solve problems. Sometimes you just have to punch an alien, er, customer service representative in the face."

Re:Yay, violence. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21036415)

Yes, let's use violence to solve our problems. Maybe we should try that in the Middle East, too.
Shut up and bend over. I have something for you.

Re:Yay, violence. (1)

WheezyJoe (1168567) | about 7 years ago | (#21036659)

Well, let's get real. This lady was mistreated and ignored. Faced with this kind of obstruction and utterly dismissive disrespect, some kind of escalation is not only understandable, but probably inevitable.

Or else you just give up and do nothing. Because Comcast, or whoever it is, doesn't have to pay attention to you.

If you're going to be sanctimonious, save it for someone who does real harm for no good reason, and not a little old lady, with an impeccable standing in her community BTW, who did nothing more than damage some completely obsolete office equipment to make a point about being, well, unconscionably rude.

Well she IS 75 (4, Funny)

causality (777677) | about 7 years ago | (#21036137)

75-year-old Mona "The Hammer" Shaw took her claw hammer back to the customer service center and bludgeoned the office equipment into tiny plastic pieces."

She's rather old, so I guess the office equipment was easier for her to catch than the employees.

She looks like. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21036755)

she could catch your sorry fat ass any day of the week, without any trouble. So, watch your mouth, sonny! --AC

Re:Well she IS 75 (4, Funny)

jamesh (87723) | about 7 years ago | (#21036791)

That was my first thought too... "But officer, you must see that I had no choice but to start hitting the equipment. The employees wouldn't stay still while I got a decent swing".

I for one welcome our hammer wielding little old overladies.

Missing tag for story (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 7 years ago | (#21036159)




Gotta love the older folks, they remember America (5, Interesting)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | about 7 years ago | (#21036229)

... when it was good :) When service matters, when companies gave a dam... when people gave a dam doing their jobs...

I say we arm our elderly and let them take back this country. They stood up in ww2, and they might be feeling up to it again.

Re:Gotta love the older folks, they remember Ameri (1, Offtopic)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 7 years ago | (#21036565)

When you could spell damn out in full without worrying about the blasphemy police....

Re:Gotta love the older folks, they remember Ameri (1)

iminplaya (723125) | about 7 years ago | (#21036853)

I don't know. Imagine one of those old timers holding up an M-60 like Rambo and wildly [] spinning around while firing the thing.

Re:Gotta love the older folks, they remember Ameri (1)

DeathElk (883654) | about 7 years ago | (#21037123)

Good idea. Just, for the love of god, stay off their lawn.

Mona's Old Claw Hammer (5, Funny)

kongit (758125) | about 7 years ago | (#21036241)

Comcast's miserable but completely irresitable
Bringing TV to the home
Late nights all alone with the boob tube

Mona shaw is getting really raw
and calls them on the phone
"can you fix my cable you

But she's getting nowhere
so she takes her hammer there...

Bang, bang, Mona's old claw hammer
Came down upon their stuff
Bang, bang, Mona's old claw hammer
Made their office look real rough

Re:Mona's Old Claw Hammer (1)

drcagn (715012) | about 7 years ago | (#21037087)

Oh man, if only I had mod points.... X-D

Consumer Rights (1)

ChemE (1070458) | about 7 years ago | (#21036255)

Let's here it for Consumers Rights!

Re:Consumer Rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21036717)

Let's here it for Consumers Rights!
After the horrors of they're/there/their and lose/loose, The art of spelling suffers another crippling blow.

Seriously, man. Read a book every once in a while.

Why? (2, Insightful)

false_cause (1013577) | about 7 years ago | (#21036287)

Why is Comcast still the only option for my friends who live in Arlington County? Why is Cox my only option in Fairfax County? I have endless complaints about Cox and my friends in Arlington have their's about Comcast. Wouldn't some competition between the two be likely to press these megacorps to resolve a few of the issues?

Re:Why? (4, Informative)

Steeltalon (734391) | about 7 years ago | (#21036547)

Because municipalities decided that they should only have one cable company in most cases and the courts decided that the cable companies don't need to share their bandwidth despite being granted a state funded monopoly.

Re:Why? (2, Insightful)

false_cause (1013577) | about 7 years ago | (#21036691)

Those decisions don't appear to be benefiting me, the consumer/customer/voter. Shocking, I know.

funny (1)

lecithin (745575) | about 7 years ago | (#21036319)

I was just at the /. party in MN, at Vibrant.

We took a hammer to many pieces of hardware.

It was a good feeling to hit that old E-250.

I'd love to take it to Comcast.

Local Comcast office vs. Post Office (5, Interesting)

jroysdon (201893) | about 7 years ago | (#21036335)

I always wondered why my local Comcast office was behind plexiglass (bullet-proof?). The Post Office down the street has no such physical barriers. I guess Comcast is used to dealing with this sort of response to their customer dis-service. The Post Office is slow and all, but at least you get what they promise. I just wish Comcast could get their programming guide data fixed. I lost a few channels that they block now with their filter. I can still most of one, and a hazy version of another. Comcast's solution? Upgrade my package to digital and pay $40 more a month for the two channels I want. No thanks. OTA looks better and better if there was just another high-speed internet player in the market.

Comcast high-speed internet (without CableTV): $61
Comcast mini-basic CableTV ($15) + high-speed internet: $60

What a racket, eh? It's cheaper to get their mini-basic CableTV and internet than to just get internet solo. Not by much, of course. I wish I could just get high-speed internet for $45 and then that'd be motivation enough to get a nice OTA setup going.

Re:Local Comcast office vs. Post Office (1, Redundant)

WheezyJoe (1168567) | about 7 years ago | (#21036499)

I'm glad someone pointed the bullet-proof glass thing. There are plenty of banks that put no glass between tellers and their customers. But I have known 3 cable outfits, in Pittsburgh, NJ, and D.C., all of whom bullet-proof their offices like they expect all the terrorists in Iraq to storm the gates. For what? A coupla cable boxes? Seriously, this kind of armor costs money. The only reason they'd spend it is because they EXPECT customers to be furious at them. I mean, there are people at Comcast who discussed this, concluding they need to protect themselves from... well... their customers. Uhh, they don't see a problem with this? I gotta hint for you cable companies... if you gotta hide from your subscribers behind bullet-proof glass and steel drawers, the problem is YOU. Of course, maybe Fort Knox security is cheaper than friendly customer service...

Re:Local Comcast office vs. Post Office (1)

budgenator (254554) | about 7 years ago | (#21036537)

That's what I did, then a lightning storm blow out the filter and I'm getting all the chanels that were supposed to be blocked anyway.

Comcast Service (1)

miracle69 (34841) | about 7 years ago | (#21036337)

It's Crapcastic!!!

CrapCast (1)

hottoh (540941) | about 7 years ago | (#21036699)

I have called comcast 'crapcast' for about 2 years, and I was a loyal customer of comcast from 2000 to 2005.

Comcast has too many failings, and several people in my neighborhood switched to u-verse []

I was and am sick of Comcast, and I never intend to go back to them. They were the only game in town in 2000, and now they are not. Now they look like a dinosaur by comparison. I think it is Very sad when nearly all choices look better than comcasts offerings. Hell they lost to the the typical last place finisher, AT&T!

Does she have a fund? (3, Interesting)

Belacgod (1103921) | about 7 years ago | (#21036345)

I'd contribute to paying her fine for her.

That's not all... (5, Funny)

SailorSpork (1080153) | about 7 years ago | (#21036363)

The best part about the article is the end, when the police fine her $345 (likely less than the cost of the equipment she smashed) and gave her the hammer back. Is there a lighter slap-on-the-wrist punishment? The police must be Comcast subscribers too.

Re:That's not all... (1)

butlerm (3112) | about 7 years ago | (#21036771)

I am sure she will be sent a bill for the damage she caused, and if she doesn't pay up she will likely face a civil suit for the same.

Re:That's not all... (5, Interesting)

Aczlan (636310) | about 7 years ago | (#21037129)

she could sell the hammer on eBay... it would probably bring in enough to more than pay for the equipment she destroyed... Aaron Z

She got the hammer back? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21037097)

I wonder how it would go for on ebay. Some enterprising slashdotter should get hold of it and add it to the EFF benefit auction.

Mom? (1)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | about 7 years ago | (#21036403)

Have you seen my hammer?

Actually Comcast has been great in this area. But then again that's because they're being compared against the Verizon.

Damn... (1)

KCStein (1128197) | about 7 years ago | (#21036485)

it feels good to be a gangster.

Because violence solves everything (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21036491)

Hooray for physical violence, it solves everything.

The Elderly (4, Funny)

gaelfx (1111115) | about 7 years ago | (#21036567)

How many times must people be told? Don't mess with the elderly! I mean, these people actually go out and vote. You just watch, one day there will be a curfew and all those under 70 will be in-home, lights-out at 5:30 sharp.

Time for a Paypal fund to pay the fine. (1)

jk379 (734476) | about 7 years ago | (#21036575)

Time for a Paypal fund to pay the fine?

Feeling rebelious (4, Interesting)

GregPK (991973) | about 7 years ago | (#21036599)

Having lived through 3 different cable providers giving me the same service. Started with TCI, then moved to ATT, then moved to Comcast. I'd have to say I'm the least satisfied with Comcast out of all three. I hate thier customer service. Thier CRM setup is a complete joke. Personally, I think the woman is a hero, If she had a paypal posted I'd send a buck for making my day. Comcast should have this happen in every one of thier offices every single day until they get the point. Treat thier customers right.

Maybe someone shoudl sent SWAT team (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21036677)

Soemone break into 911 and sent a SWAT team to some home, maybe they should have sent it to COMCAST headquarter and arrest everyone there instead


Somebody Could Design a Hammer T-Shirt! (1)

WheezyJoe (1168567) | about 7 years ago | (#21036745)

Brave Mrs. Shaw and her hammer of justice could be the poster-lady for a new movement of assertive consumers.

Proceeds go to her legal fees, and whatever else her kind heart desires. Shux! I'd buy two (XL, please) and wear 'em with pride!

Go lady go lady go lady go... (3, Insightful)

flyingfsck (986395) | about 7 years ago | (#21036769)

Its the little old lady from Pasadena...

Only a 75 year old white lady can get away with something like that. If it was a 15 to 25 year old black male, then he would already be in Gitmo...

The Solution is Clear. (1, Interesting)

Death_Aparatus (571087) | about 7 years ago | (#21036855)

Stop watching T.V. I haven't owned a television in almost a decade. Feels great.

Only a hammer? (1)

CBob (722532) | about 7 years ago | (#21036871)

Given that Comcrap managed to brick a 3Com OfficeConnect modem I owned when they attempted to flash it remotely w/their firmware and then told me I had to buy a new modem, I'd say a hammer was a nice start. This was after 2 years of having to tell the phone "support" how to do their jobs every time we lost our ip address when the renew got screwed up. If it weren't for the support crew that was in Canada, I'd have dropped them *much* sooner.

Yes, I bought a new modem...It was one for DSL.

In Korea (1)

name*censored* (884880) | about 7 years ago | (#21036887)

Only old people attack comcast!

(How did anyone not say this yet?)

ComCast alleged customer service (4, Interesting)

meburke (736645) | about 7 years ago | (#21036893)

I have some customers who use ComCast now that they own Houston's RoadRunner customers. (That is not really a typo...) I had occasion to call ComCast the other day asking for technical assistance for a customer replacing their Linksys Wireless cable gateway. Comcast told me they would have to fill out a form with the new MAC address and the account would be updated in 5-7 days. After an hour of being transferred around I finally found someone who updated the account MAC address in 5 minutes. Then I asked for the DNS address of the nameservers. They told me they didn't support DNS. I got transferred to four people who didn't have a CLUE about Windows XP needing a nameserver address (if you have a static IP, even if it's an internal NAT address) before I finally simply hung up, set the workstation to DHCP and derived a DNS address from ipconfig.

There is such an abundance of crappy customer service out there you would think that any company that provides outstanding (or even reasonable) customer service could steal the market.

My biggest advice for companies wanting to reduce the cost of customer service is, "Clean it up upstream." Don't put out crappy products and you will have fewer customer service problems. This means solid design and VERY good documentation, plus some solid troubleshooting tips. Then pay your customer support techs better money, give them a nice place to work, and reward them for SOLVING PROBLEMS instead of just closing tickets or answering calls. (This means the customer support function needs to be "designed" instead of just being an afterthought.) Provide constant and high-quality training and alternative ways for the customer to get support, and for God's sake, ANSWER THE PHONE!

I ask my customers, "On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate our service?" Then I ask, "What would it take to make it a 10?" I have managed to retain some really loyal customers this way, and I have dropped services I can't provide good service for. Noone can please everyone, so I have also dropped customers who are impossible to please. Cleaning it up upstream for me (an integrator) means clarifying the scope of work and the customer expectations before I start the job. I also evaluate the customer's reasons for wanting my services. Many times they are trying to solve a problem by "jumping to solutions", and I have saved customers a lot of money and grief by helping them troubleshoot the whole problem before committing to help. It takes more time, but it prevents hassles downstream.

Re:ComCast alleged customer service (1)

JoeCommodore (567479) | about 7 years ago | (#21037031)

There is such an abundance of crappy customer service out there you would think that any company that provides outstanding (or even reasonable) customer service could steal the market.

Nope. Shoddy companies like that are also not below lying in their ads (or press statements for that matter), spreading FUD about their competition, and lobbying to reduce all those 'regulations' keeping them from doing worse things to citizens, etc. If they can't beat the competition, then make anything else just seem worse.

White Alert (3, Interesting)

Tablizer (95088) | about 7 years ago | (#21036935)

I used to work in IT for a cable company, and whenever a customer went bizerk in the customer service office, a white clicking light would flash in most offices and pre-designated "bouncers", mostly employee volunteers, would walk briskly down the hall toward the service area. The theory was that large quantities of large people would make customers think twice about violence.

customer service (1)

intthis (525681) | about 7 years ago | (#21036967)

my local comcast office is hidden behind a giant strip mall... and surrounded by a barbed wire fence... seems pretty ridiculous for a company with 25 million satisfied customers...

Comcast Triple Play? Refused! Return to sender... (1)

ben2umbc (1090351) | about 7 years ago | (#21037033)

I take my vengeance on Comcast by taking the Triple Play junk mail out of my mailbox, writing "Refused - Return to Sender" in sharpie and dropping it back in the nearby drop box. At a peak I was doing this about 3 times a week. It seems to have slowed recently. - A somewhat more satisfied with FIOS Tv and Net over Comcast user.
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