11 results found for “comcast”

This Is a Very Stupid Survey

While cancelling my PS Vue online streaming television service1, I was given a brief survey, one which included this ridiculous question:

A 0 through 10 survey, offering only three options: 0 through 6, 7 and 8, or 9 and 10

If I weren’t already cancelling, I might cancel the service on principle to protest this crap. That’s an 11-point scale, with 3 options, grouped in a bizarrely uneven fashion. Sarcastic clap, Sony. Sarcastic clap.

Update (February 23rd, 2018): Multiple readers have pointed out that this is how “Net Promoter Score” groups things, which means this is a backend implementation detail leaking through in hideous fashion.


  1. I cut the cord about a year ago, and now I’m switching from Vue to a different streaming service. Being able to jump around services, and never needing to return cable equipment to Comcast, is wonderful. If you have any interest in giving Comcast less money, consider scaling down to just internet access, and using a streaming TV service instead. ↩︎

Another Battle for the Net

If you visited the site today, July 12th, you should have seen a pop-up something like this:

Pro-Net Neutrality Pop-Up

If you’re an American who’s already taken action here, or elsewhere, excellent. If you haven’t yet done so, now’s the time. The FCC is still taking comments about their plan to change rules regulating internet service providers, and your voice matters. In just a few minutes, you can use the EFF’s Dear FCC tool to stand up for Net Neutrality.

If you’re new to this issue, here’s a quick primer on Net Neutrality, from Battle for the Net:

What is Net Neutrality?

Net neutrality is the basic principle that protects our free speech on the Internet. “Title II” of the Communications Act is what provides the legal foundation for net neutrality and prevents Internet Service Providers like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T from slowing down and blocking websites, or charging apps and sites extra fees to reach an audience (which they then pass along to consumers.)

Why is Net Neutrality Important?

The Internet has thrived precisely because of net neutrality. It’s what makes it so vibrant and innovative — a place for creativity, free expression, and exchange of ideas. Without net neutrality, the Internet will become more like cable TV, where the content you see is what your provider puts in front of you.

Net neutrality is something all consumers should get behind, and Title II oversight is the best way to achieve it. Speak up in favor of Title II oversight now. And if this all sounds familiar, it might be because this is hardly the first time we’ve fought this battle. A free and open internet is always worth the fight.

Pay More, Get Less 

If there was any question as to who the Tennessee state legislature really works for, this story seems to make it pretty clear.

“Tennessee will literally be paying AT&T to provide a service 1000 times slower than what Chattanooga could provide without subsidies.”

That’s Not What Free Means

Last week, I wanted to watch the baseball playoffs. A pair of games were on the MLB Network, a station I’d not watched before. I eventually located it in the mammoth and glacial guide full of channels for which I have no use, but when I tuned in, I was confronted with this message:

Free w/ Subscription: This program can be viewed free as part of a subscription package.

What the hell is that? “Free with Subscription” is an entirely content-free statement. They don’t even have the sense to hide the “with subscription” in a footnote. This magazine is free with a paid subscription to this magazine! These three eggs are free with purchase of a dozen eggs. Hell, this car is free with purchase of…this car!

Sooner or later, I’m going to be able to watch the Red Sox without having cable, and I’m going to have decent alternatives for Internet access. When that day finally comes, you can bet I’m going to spend $5 and have Comcast’s cord cut forever.

The Best $5 You’ll Ever Spend 

Comcast is awful. If you’re very lucky, luckier than I, you may be able to cancel your service with them. However, even that can be an exercise in awfulness.

Now, for $5, a company called Airpaper will handle it for you. Amazing. If you hate the drudgery of modern tasks, you’ll be glad to know the company hopes to expand to help solve other problems as well.

A Pretty Good Extortion Scheme 

As Buzz Anderson noted, the new .sucks top-level domain (TLD) seems like a great way to shake companies down for money. Comcast really won’t want anyone else to own http://comcast.sucks, so they’ll have to pay up to $2500 to buy it themselves. Of course, just about all of the new TLDs seem like a garbage cash grab, but this one is particularly egregious.

On a side note, this is hilarious:

they are gonna be so pissed when I register sucksdotsucks.sucks
Be sure to read it aloud for an extra laugh.

Not Exactly Making Philadelphia Proud 

X1 is Comcast’s new cable box platform. While it looks slightly nicer than their old system, it’s still slow and damned crappy overall. It is thus more than a little ridiculous to see Comcast boasting on their remote:

ALT NAME[Photo credit: John Anthony]

Which Do You Prefer: Concast or Comcrap? 

In entirely unsurprising news, Comcast has been hosing its customers in yet another way, turning the modem/routers they rent out into publicly-accessible wireless hotspots. This can have the effect of slowing down the paying customer’s connection, while simultaneously increasing their power bill.

Around the time of Comcast’s initial announcement, Speedify, a company that analyzes Internet connections, tested Comcast’s equipment to determine its electricity consumption compared to standard equipment. “Based on our tests,” the company stated on its website, “we expect that by the time they roll it out to all of their subscribers, Comcast will be pushing tens of millions of dollars per month of the electricity bills needed to run their nationwide public Wi-Fi network onto consumers.” Comcast asked the company to re-do the tests on a newer version of the router and the results, Speedify said, were even worse.1

Also worth noting, Comcast is about to jack the price up 25% for rented cable modems. In a little over five years, that price has shot up from $3 a month to the new price of $10 a month. If you currently rent a cable modem from Comcast, you should definitely consider purchasing your own (like this Motorola SB6121), rather then renting Comcast’s overpriced crap. Within a few months, you’ll have paid it off in the savings alone.


  1. Speaking of things getting worse, Comcast’s new X1 system is perhaps even slower than their old cable boxes. If you haven’t yet upgraded your cable box, don’t get your hopes up. ↩︎

Corporate Communications

Recently, I’ve been amused at the communications from multiple different companies.


First up, while updating my billing info with my local high speed Internet and cable provider, I got this message:

What year is it?

Forty-five days is six and a half weeks. I’m not ordering x-ray specs from an ad in the back of Boys’ Life magazine; I’m just punching in a new a credit card number online. When same-day delivery of physical products ordered from the Internet is becoming a reality, it’s comically anachronistic to need a month and a half to change my auto-pay information.


Then there was this email from a sandwich shop:

Paul, Escape With Authentic, Handcrafted Pastas…

Exactly how depressing do you think my life is, Panera? This email is just insulting. And really, if I wanted an escape, I don’t think I’ll “take a trip to extraordinary” with pasta from a bread company.


It’s not all terrible turnaround times and cruel beliefs about my life, however. As they have before, Lufthansa brought me a bit of incidental joy:

Dear Mister Professor Doctor Kafasis

Amazing. It’s the addition of the “Dear” before the fantastic title which takes it beyond even the address label from 2011.

I Have Always Depended on the Kindness of Major Corporations

The eastern seaboard of the United States is getting battered by Hurricane Sandy, one of the largest storms on record. Yet I do not fear, for my favorite companies and services are here in my hour of need. Witness:

Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo Email

In an oddly-formatted email, Wells Fargo is letting me know that they’re helpfully waiving some fees for three whole days. It beats a kick in the teeth, I suppose, but I can’t say ATM fees were at the top of my list of concerns. Perhaps it would be nice to send this fee waiver after the fact. Still, they’ve got a phone number that’s up 24/7 in case of financial questions which need to be answered.

American Express

American Express email

American Express, meanwhile, has offered a brief note of concern for my well-being, and a vague promise of assistance as needed. If that help is needed, I should just call, visit their website, or tweet at them. I should definitely not, however, email them, as that would obviously be a ridiculous way to communicate. Of course American Express cares about me though. After all, if I die, who the hell is going to pay my credit card bill?


USAA Email

Despite the lousy grammar of the second sentence, I do believe my insurance company USAA wants the best for me, as it’s also the best for their bottom line. Even through that cynical lens, though, their message was earnest and believable, and their tips helpful.


At the other end of the spectrum comes an email from one of the most-hated companies in the country. You can see by the extremely personal opening exactly how much of a damn Comcast gives:

Comcast Email

I’ve always believed I could count on my Internet and cable provider in times of need, but it’s nice to get this written confirmation. It’s clear they’re much more than just the company that gouges me each month; they’re the company that cares about me, and wants me to live a long life so that they can continue gouging me each month. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll just be waiting for my disaster assistance between the hours of 9 AM and 3 PM.