Comcast Reminds Customers Not To Start A Mass Spontaneous Uprising

Comcast PR sent us this statement about the hammer-wielding grammie:

“Ms. Shaw’s actions were certainly not appropriate under any circumstances and we hope that contributors to these online forums would discourage others from taking physical action against customer service employees.”

The last thing they want people to do is start taking up hammers and smashing up Comcast offices across the country. Wouldn’t that be the day, though? Consumers finally get so pissed at getting pushed around and not being listened to that they storm the gates of their least favorite customer service centers? Yes, we may not care about the steady erosion of our civil rights, but we’ll be damned if we have to wait any longer for Weeds!

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  1. faust1200 says:

    Death to tyrants! When the end of worlds is near and we are reduced to nothing more than an angry mob hell-bent on justice, I will be leading the angry swarm (behind Grandma Shaw of course, she gets cranky.)

  2. warf0x0r says:

    The only verdict is vengeance; a vendetta, held as a votive, not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous.

  3. headhot says:

    Maybe Comcast should take actions to discourage others from taking physical violence, by not pissing people off and treating them with a little respect.

  4. quiksilver says:

    @headhot: that would be the day

  5. jeffjohnvol says:

    Actually, I like the whole hammer thing. Next time some old lady is driving 25 MPH down a 40 zone, I can get out of the car at the light and break some glass with my handy hammer. This will be cool. Really now. The whole thing is rediculous.

  6. RokMartian says:

    Gee, based on their reaction, you would think there were some websites out there propping her up as some kind of hero. Oh wait….

  7. moorie679 says:

    Awesome just awesome… I wish they reacted this quickly to consumer complaints and issues this fast. Asking people to pay $40 to connect a cable coming out of a wall to your TV…… then treating them like sh*t? yeah you guys deserve a hammer. I hope everyone engages in this type of civil disobedience considering they (comcast) abuses the system in their favor constantly.

  8. mmcnary says:

    When hammers are outlawed, only outlaws will have hammers…

  9. homerjay says:

    @mmcnary: Hammers don’t bust-up offices, people bust-up offices.

  10. Nemesis_Enforcer says:

    Funny that they have the time to read Consumerist and shoot off a letter..yet not bother to actually I don’t know improve the company!

  11. sleze69 says:

    Amazing how similar these comments sound like those of Muslim extremists in the Middle East.

    So should we all condemn the hammer lady or should we understand the terrorist?

  12. zentec says:

    How ’bout a general consumer strike where only the bare necessities are purchased for an extended period? Maybe that’s what it takes for companies to get the message.

    Although, I’m disheartened when I have to acknowledge that large swaths of our society can’t live without their cable tv, their People magazine and their two-quart weekly fix of ice cream.

  13. bohemian says:

    This is why all telecommunications should be fully regulated. There was a point that electricity was considered an optional luxury, today it is considered mandatory and is regulated for a reason.

    Since broadcast TV never really expanded after cable showed up you can’t make the argument that they could just do without TV or Internet. You could also live by candle light and survive only on your local newspaper. The point is that doing so is considered backwards and not a base standard of living.

    Telecom has become a needed tool for functioning in today’s society, even if the bare minimum is a phone or an internet connection.

    If cable, internet and digital phone were all considered public utilities you would see some better behavior or at least have some recourse other than angry mobs with hammers.

  14. RandomHookup says:

    Thanks, Consumerist. I was so ready to grab a ball-peen and a pair of pliers and take out my frustrations on the nearest Comcast office. I feel so much better now.

  15. JustAGuy2 says:

    @bohemian:

    Yes, because the customer service from the power company and the DMV are that great.

    People also need a car (except in New York City) to get around – should we nationalize the automakers too?

    Since it’d be useless to have internet access without a computer, and you think that we should fully regulate the internet access providers, why not fully regulate Dell? Tell them what configurations they can offer, and at what price.

  16. Trai_Dep says:

    Especially because all of the telecoms became the monopolistic, anti-consumer entities they are ONLY thru granting of public right-of-ways, resources or legislative bias. You owe your livelihood – or your initial, competition-crushing spurt – to government give-aways of public goods, you can’t hide behind free market mantras now. Well, credibly.

  17. @sleze69: Muslim extremists quote V for Vendetta?

  18. Saboth says:

    @warf0x0r:

    God I love that movie.

  19. Saboth says:

    @sleze69:

    Well since you can’t ever eliminate terrorism (despite the nonsense GW spouts about doing so), you should perhaps attempt to understand them.

  20. @headhot: Perhaps they should

  21. axiomatic says:

    Yeah this seems to have Comcasts attention. Now how do we crank it back just enough so its legal?

    How about going to Comcast with a cake shaped like a cable modem and offering the cake to the customer support people……. but then take the cake away and say, “Not until you fix my problem.”

    The cake is a lie! -Portal

  22. JustAGuy2 says:

    @trai_dep:

    Cable companies pay for the right of way (about 5% of revenues), they have no (or extremely limited) monopolies, and there’s lots of consumer choice (satellite has taken 1/3 of the market in about 8 years).

    Their customer service sucks. Don’t like it? Switch. If you don’t, then the rational thing for them to do is keep sucking (or at least not spend money to suck less).

  23. Hawkins says:

    I don’t advocate vandalism as response to bad customer service. [I disagree with the use of the word “violence” in this context, since nobody got hurt, or was even threatened directly with harm.]

    BUT: Comcast really is uniquely evil in many ways. The way that they’re set up, with the CSRs not able to communicate with dispatchers, and the tech work in the field handled primarily by subcontractors who have no reason to give a shit about you or your problems, seems to me to be exceptional.

    And what they did to these old people is just outside the realm of acceptable behavior. You CAN’T FUCKING TREAT PEOPLE LIKE THAT.

    I can’t shake the feeing that if more grannies (who have partial immunity to prosecution because they’re cute) started picking up hammers, things would start to improve for all of us.

  24. sibertater says:

    Screw that. Go kick someone’s ass…”get their attention…”

    Comcast, indeed.

  25. sibertater says:

    @Hawkins:

    AMEN! I’d give my grandma a hammer and drive her around to the utility companies and post her bail.

  26. silvanx says:

    Please don’t take it out on the customer service reps. Policy makers are more appropriate.

  27. RumorsDaily says:

    @JustAGuy2: There’s no competition for me. I only have one option for high speed internet in my area (Comcast) and while I could theoretically get satellite television, my building doesn’t allow it. There’s only one cable company and I’m stuck with them.

    And I’m not happy about it.

  28. RumorsDaily says:

    @silvanx: Customer service reps REPRESENT the company (the rep in your title means something). Until you get executives to answer the phones, there’s nobody else to take it out on. If you, as a customer service rep, can’t solve my problem, you ARE the problem.

  29. Lordstrom says:

    I fully support and encourage the destruction of Comcast offices.

  30. mammalpants says:

    i never agree with violence, but jesus, comcast.
    show some respect to your customers and if you cant do that, at least show some damn respect to your elders.

    you deserved it in the same way that my grandmother used to bring out the belt when i crossed her. a good old fashioned whippin’. you just need it on a global scale led by thousands of customers who have been taking your crap forever.

    this is the best story to make me and other potential customers avoid comcast for life.

    lucky for me, time warner just eats babies.

  31. Luckie says:

    @bohemian: I don’t see how being provided entertainment and some convenience is a necessity or how it should be considered a utility. I have never paid for TV or internet. I have a cell phone and that’s all. Libraries have computers that you can use for free, and TV will rot your brain in the large amounts that Americans guzzle it down. I have internet access at home now only because my sister moved in with me for a short period and had it transferred here. I would rather read a book for hours and go to the library to check email and a few websites right quick. Next, HDTV will be a necessity, and then blue tooth devices for your cell phones, and digital cameras…. the list goes on.

  32. Scuba Steve says:

    I would never recommend a customer go to a Customer Service Center with intent to inflict bodily or structural damage.

    Mainly because it’s a waste of time. Corporate headquarters would make for a more impactful statement to those who can actually effect change in the company.

  33. mac-phisto says:

    now if i were dish, i’d make granny & her hammer an integral part of my 4th qtr ad campaign.

  34. Lin-Z [linguist on duty] says:

    If I had to wait any longer for weeds I would have to bust up a place with a hammer as well! D:

  35. Cary says:

    This is going to sound weird (it does to me too) but what if municipalities took over the “last mile?”

    Wait until AT&T is done laying their fiber (those a-holes deserve it) and then let cities take over the fiber and cable runs. They should then put maintenance of the infrastructure up for bid on an annual basis with a QOS (quality of service) requirement. If a maintainer can’t keep complaints down they will lose eligability to bid on the contract for x years.

    Each resident would be charged $10 or $20 per month for their connection and then could choose their voice, data, and entertainment suppliers, much like you choose a long distance carrier today.

    Aside from W.’s peeps, why are we still acting like it’s 1965? Packets are packets.

    I don’t think anyone would be sorry to see AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, Time Warner, or any other company (sorry, there are no other companies) lose their stranglehold on our bits.

  36. Wasabe says:

    Mona Shaw was interviewed on NPR Yesterday. Link.

  37. overbysara says:

    HAMMERTIME!

  38. realserendipity says:

    For all thier crappy business practices both in thier dealings with other customers and my own personal dealign with them, comcast just lost themselves another customer.

    I dropped off my box today, cancelled all my lines of service with them and am moving to DSL. After four years of some of the worst service Ive ever recieved (and I have Sprint so I can tolerate alot), I simply had enough. Back to DVD boxed sets for my favorite shows,

  39. Squegie says:

    For the last 7 years I have lived without tv service of any kind. I live in town, have my choice of cable, satellite or even “over the air”. I have high speed Internet, I even own a tv to watch movies/tv series on.

    By not having TV service I don’t find myself missing out on really much of anything. I even catch up on Heroes on nbc.com. I find that I know too much about the show “American Idol”. I’ve been at other people’s houses when it was on and instantly disliked it. I own Seasons 1-5 of Smallville on DVD. I think that when you watch tv shows on your own terms (yes, I know about things like Tivo/DVR that give you that power), it becomes so much less important.

    So when I hear about things like this, I just have to shake my head and wonder about the world we live in. Seriously people, disconnect your cable/satellite/antenna for 1 month and try renting some movies or even TV Shows on DVD. After the first two weeks, you’ll be watching those less, and possibly after a month, I bet you’ll not even be conerned about re-connecting your tv service.

  40. cuiusquemodi says:

    @Cary: Compensating them, I should hope, as required under the fifth amendment.

    Or should we just become the Bolivarian Republic of the United States?

  41. JustAGuy2 says:

    @RumorsDaily:

    So you’re angry at Comcast that your building doesn’t allow satellite TV? That makes sense.

    Also, FYI, if you have a balcony or terrace, and a southern exposure (so you can actually get satellite service, and mount the dish on space that belongs to your apartment), your building can’t legally prohibit satellite dishes.

  42. caj11 says:

    The statistics I heard could be wrong, but by some estimates, of all the people who have no cable or satellite television, roughly 60% of them could afford it (including myself), but choose not to have it. I cancelled my Comcast service three years ago and have never looked back. These stories I keep hearing about them have certainly not made me regret my decision. I’ve had few problems with Verizon for my internet service and for my television needs, rabbit ears and a Netflix subscription work just fine. Comcast may have a near monopoly in many markets but unlike the water and power, they are not a necessity (they don’t seem to understand this). And yet, in the short time I had Comcast, I had far more problems with them then my water, power and landline telephone service combined ever since I had to pay my own utility bills.

  43. S-the-K says:

    @Headhot:

    Dittos to you! While smashing a Customer Disservice rep’s computer may be a teeny over the line, Comcast had it coming.

    However, she should have gone “Walking Tall” on them the day they made her wait outside in the heat for TWO HOURS waiting for a manager before telling her the manager went home already. THAT definitely deserved retaliation.

    The Comcast PR person who issued that statement deserves a swift kick in the groin. Maybe one kick per abused customer. That would fix the PR and Customer Disservice problem quick! :-)

  44. vladthepaler says:

    If enough people took action when consistently receiving poor customer service, companies would have to start providing better customer service. Comcast’s statement above amounts to no more than: We would sure hate for that to happen.

  45. brianary says:

    Yeah, that would sure be awful if people started a violent uprising against a company just as they rolled out their plan to extort successful websites.