Sick Of Waiting For An Install, 75-Year-Old Woman Smashes Up Comcast Office With Hammer

“Have I got your attention now?” asked Mona Shaw of the Comcast payment center employees as she smashed their keyboard, monitor and telephone.

The 75-year-old woman was outraged after multiple delays and broken promises surrounding her Comcast Triple Play installation. Her little scene got her arrested for disorderly conduct and an apology from Comcast and assurances that her installation would be taken care of promptly. But Shaw had enough, she’s switching back to Verizon.

“It’s totally not like me to do stuff like this,” said Shaw. “But it is so irresponsible and so disrespectful. I can’t think of any company reacting that way. It’s like they got you in their clutches and they’ll do what they damn well please.”

“What the hell, I’m 75,” she added.

Seeing as the resultant arrest translates to a low cost-to benefit ration, before you get out the hammer and march into your Comcast office, be sure to check out these posts with extra-special high-level Comcast employee contact information.

Taking a hammer to Comcast [PotomacNews] (Thanks to Robert!)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Well, least she didn’t use a Shotgun like that guy at Wal-Mart…

  2. I’m sorry.. thats awesome + bonus points for using a hammer.

  3. darkclawsofchaos says:

    hammer? why, gas for a chainsaw to expensive? at least the walmart guy was able to return his shotgun runds to walmart regardless of how walmart felt

  4. KivaWolf says:

    Hmm.. she must be that “Little Ol’ Lady from Pasadena!”

  5. ascara says:

    I understand frustration, but frankly behavior like this warrants arrest and a psych evaluation. Were this story about a 35 year old male doing the same thing, I am sure we would be hearing how frightened the people observing this action were. Take your business to the competition, use the contacts both inside and outside of the company to make your voice heard, but leave your hammer at home.

  6. tozmervo says:

    This woman is my hero. I would like nothing more than to beat Comcast senseless with a hammer.

  7. @Angrysicilian: those should be double bonus points. =)

    Though I don’t advocate this kind of action against a company, I do find it mildly entertaining. I hope that those high-level Comcast phone #’s work, or else I’m buying stock in hammers.

    Hrm, despite all the verizon problems I have seen, I say she is making the better choice. I have never had a bad experience with Verizon (3mbps DSL). Maybe they happen to be good in my area for some lucky reason.

  8. takotchi says:

    She should plead insanity. Insanity caused by Comcast’s awful CS.

  9. FLConsumer says:

    @ascara: Competition? What competition do people have when it comes to local utilities? I’d gladly dump Time Warner if I had a choice. No view of the satellites here for me to get DirecTV/Dishnetwork, so it’s cable TV or nothing. Not too different from Tampa Electric. It’s either I get electrical service from Tampa Electric or do without. It’d be nice to say I could just install a generator and run the whole house on natural gas, but there’s no gas service here. Even if I did have a genset, Tampa Electric runs the local natural gas & propane services in this area.

  10. Coder4Life says:

    omg that is awesome.. sometimes that is exactly what the company deserves to get a little bit of respect and to get your point across to them.

  11. ascara says:

    @FLConsumer: In the story itself it says she is going back to Verizon. And even if they were the only circus in town, I still would not advocate a hammer as the solution to anything other than a nail. If you are in a situation where a public utility is the cause of your ire, most states provide a public utilities commission for a reason. Take the power into your own hands to talk out a solution and go as far up the chain as you need to for that solution.

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

    Hero of the day!

  13. JeannieGrrl says:


  14. Her pose in that photo is hilarious. I love her quote underneath the photo too: “What the hell, I’m 75.”

  15. IRSistherootofallevil says:

    She is my hero. I’d like nothing more than to slap Comcasts’s CEO across the face. In public. On camera.

    The free market should apply to utilities. And government bailout of those scumbags that run utilities should stop. And seeing from the service that comcast or verizon or SBC or whatever provides, public utilities don’t have the teeth that it needs, justl ike the CPSC.

    They should be able to fine utility companies $2 mil PER CUSTOMER COMPLAINT. That should get comcast and verizon and whoever else to improve the customer experience.

  16. timmus says:

    Whoa… this is interesting. Let a regular Joe exact this kind of revenge on a megacorp, and it’s arrest for them, end of story. Let a little old lady do it, and the same thing happens but it makes headlines, shames the company, and gets things fixed. This is really interesting. If I ever form an anarchist group, I’m going to hire some little old ladies.

  17. timmus says:

    “What the hell, I’m 75.”

    Awesome! She doesn’t take any crap from the system.

  18. louisb3 says:

    I’m sure we’re due for a deluge of the usual bashing directed at this woman. However, when people feel powerless, they get desperate. Desperate people, surprise surprise, sometimes commit crimes because they can’t do anything else.

    Maybe getting crappy customer service isn’t as dramatic as, say, being disenfranchised, and it probably doesn’t merit acts of violence. Nevertheless, the woman has a point; these large, near-monopolistic companies treat their customers like shit. This is the natural result: when people can’t resolve their problems any other way, ridiculous actions suddenly don’t seem so implausible.

  19. caj11 says:

    Just wondering…will she be tried by a jury of her “peers”, i.e. other Comcast subscribers? Because no jury consisting of Comcast subscribers, current or former, would ever convict this woman. I sure as hell wouldn’t. What if the D.A. and/or judge are Comcast subscribers too?

  20. Cary says:

    Any legislators out there read these blogs?

    How about getting into the 21st century?

    Why is the “last mile” still a monopoly instead of a city service? Before I took my Adelphia cable box and nearly tossed it through their window the service was abysmal. Dish is a pretty horrid company to deal with but the lesser of two evils.

    Why don’t municipalities take over the last mile coax and/or fiber and charge residents $10-20/mo for the connection. We would then be free to choose our voice, data, and entertainment providers based on cost, content, and performance.

    My power has always been far more reliable than my cable TV ever was. I would have no problem letting the power company handle my “last mile” cable.

  21. ekoshyun says:

    Yeah, bonus points for the hammer for sure!

  22. jaredgood1 says:

    “But it is so irresponsible and so disrespectful.” Yes. Yes it is.

  23. Wasabe says:

    Dear Comcast:


    Hammer time.

  24. quiksilver says:

    YAY!!!! Good work!

  25. SOhp101 says:

    That’s the nice thing about being 75. You can act like a dick and everyone just takes it.

  26. ArtDonovansLoveChild. says:

    If she had been male she would still be in jail.

    If she had been a 35 year old male she would have been tazed.

    If she had been a 35 year old black male she would have been shot.

    There is never a good excuse for violence, and being old shouldnt get you special treatment

  27. sfjon says:

    At 75, this woman should know better than to act like a crazy person. Boo hoo, she couldn’t get her cable installed – there’s a reason to destroy somebody else’s property and terrorize the employees in the office – who probably had nothing to do with any delays in getting her crystal clear reception of Murder She Wrote and The Lawrence Welk Show. Put things in perspective people. We have kids dying in Iraq, but you get all bent out of shape when you can’t see Oprah. Every last one of you who applaud or condone this 75 year old thug ought to be ashamed.

  28. Havok154 says:

    I wonder if this is the reason my local Comcast office has bullet-proof glass across the counter and you have to use a box made out of bullet-proof glass that only allows one door open at a time, to get anything to or from the Comcast employee. They figure one day they will just make a customer snap and they’re prepared.

  29. IRSistherootofallevil says:

    Wow, it would be cheaper for them to invest in customer service instead of ridiculous security measures. One more reason Comcast deserves to go bellyup-they’d rather put their employees in danger than invest in customer service.

  30. kenblakely says:

    @myuu: Of COURSE she got treated differently because she’s old, and good on her! All you toss-bags saying “hammers aren’t the solution” should go sing kum-by-ya to Comcast sometime and see how far it gets you.

  31. moorie679 says:

    This is why I love old people…. They dont have time to deal with people’s bs… they go straight at the throat

  32. zundian says:

    That’s Comcastic!

  33. faust1200 says:

    Note to self: Buy Mona Shaw a flamethrower.

  34. aka Cat says:

    Note to self: next time a company is screwing me around, find a grouchy 75yo to deal with them for me.

  35. kc2idf says:

    You know…..

    You could bring a hammer to an office and just use it to make an unbearable din. A large rubber mallet would be perfect for this because it’s light compared to a similar-sized steel mallet, looks more impressive, and will make a fuck of a racket when banged on the counter or the bullet-proof glass.

    Of course, the right catch phrase, since we are dealing with telephone servic here, is “Can you hear me now‽‽”

  36. homerjay says:

    @ArtDonovansLoveChild.: Says the man who’s obviously never had to deal with Concast.

  37. JustAGuy2 says:


    Yes, $2 Million per customer complaint is perfectly reasonable. After all, all customer complaints are perfectly justified, and $2 million is a reasonable amount for a delay in getting cable installed, given that it’s just about what the life of one American is worth (based on how much more income people demand for doing riskier jobs).

    Also, what government bailouts? Haven’t seen any in the cable space in, oh, ever.

  38. SimonSwegles says:

    @sfjon: Based on the header at the top of this site, we appear to be at the Consumerist, a website dedicated to issues such as abuses of consumers by service companies, and the ways in which we, as consumers, deal with those abuses. If we were all to simply grip the mattress edges and take it with a forced smile as our taskmasters seem to want us to, then the purpose of this site would be wasted. “Kids are dying in Iraq” is no excuse for delivering reprehensible customer service. Trotting out that tired excuse as justification for every injustice we who are not soldiers fight against at home is … foolish.

    Besides, sfjon, did you consider that she might have been signing up for the triple play more for the internet access so she could have a more convenient method with which to contact family members in Iraq?

  39. dirk1965 says:

    GO GRANNY!!!!

  40. EvilConservative says:

    Incidents like this just highlight the need for stricter hammer-control legislation in this country. Contact your congressman today and send a message that hammer-control is your priority. She has a constitutional right to bare her arms (see photo), but when she puts a hammer in her hand at the end of one of those arms, she’s clearly crossed the line.

  41. Indecision says:

    @Havok154: “I wonder if this is the reason my local Comcast office has bullet-proof glass across the counter…”

    My Comcast office has that too, and the office is in the safest town in America. (I mean that quite literally. That study done earlier in the year ranking every town in America based on violent crimes? This is the town that ranked #1.)

    If they feel they need bulletproof glass in this town, I’d say they know perfectly well how angry they make their customers.

  42. jollymonjeff says:

    I’m Mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!

    You go girl! If only you threw a tv at them…

  43. Beerad says:

    Is anyone else a little disturbed that this was apparently a planned event on the customer’s part? Unless she happens to tote a hammer around with her, she was sitting at home, decided “that’ll show ’em!” and managed to drive all the way to Comcast with the intent to smash stuff up. Yeah, I’ve had some revenge fantasies for my cable providers, but I’ve never put any of them into action, and I’d like to think that at some point, perhaps before I was charging the office door screaming “BANZAI!”, I’d cool off and ask myself exactly WTF I was doing.

    Still, I kinda like that it happened. And to everyone complaining that she should be locked up even though she’s elderly, please remember that the main purpose of locking people up is to prevent future crimes. I suspect some 25-year-old guy who does this is much more likely to experience recurring rage-fueled violent outbursts than Granny McWantscable.

  44. savvy9999 says:

    AARP Hero of the Year. On behalf of those who are half your age, and can’t go all What the Hell on habitually horrible customer service, I salute you, Ms. Shaw.

  45. theblackdog says:

    Go Mona! I thought all of Virginia was under Cox and there was no Comcast there. Oh well, like her, I switched back to Verizon and I’m much happier with them.

  46. The Dude says:

    As “cool” as it appears, it will only result in one thing (which we have already here in Philadelphia) The representatives sit behind bullet proof glass and are even less friendly and responsive.

  47. @zundian: hahaha I am wiping the tears from my eyes. Good morning laugh!

  48. jeffjohnvol says:

    No excuse. I can understand her frustration, but becoming a criminal isn’t the answer.

  49. WNW says:

    Vigilante justice is the best kind of justice

  50. rewinditback says:

    i wish i were related to her. what an awesome grandma to have.

  51. Caswell says:

    This reeks of Verizon viral marketing.

    “I’m so uphappy w/ Comcast I smashed up their office and now I’m going back to Verizon!”

  52. Usermanual says:

    She assaulted the payment center? What does that have to do with her installation? It sounds like a crazy lady was upset, that she couldn’t watch Matlock, and the nearest building with a Comcast logo on the door was as good a target as any. I feel bad for the payment processing representatives inside who, more than likely, had no way to satisfy this woman outside of calling the actual installation call center.

  53. @ArtDonovansLoveChild.: I can think of some good reasons for violence but I agree this wasn’t one of them.

  54. tadowguy says:

    I still don’t understand why Comcast just didn’t show the receipt.

  55. Stereo68 says:

    I can tell you which posters have never had a cell phone or a home internet connection :-)

  56. Parting says:

    Did anyone thought about PEOPLE WHO WORK THERE? How did they FEEL? These employees didn’t have anything to do with install!

    Will they be able to sleep after seeing a crazy women coming in with a HAMMER and destroying their office?

    This women is a criminal, and I hope she gets some time in jail for her actions. And a psych evaluation.

    Nothing justifies terrorising employees, means do not justify the end.

    There a dozen ways she could have got their attention in a civilized way.

  57. vladthepaler says:

    I nominate Mona Shaw for “Consumerist of the Year”.

  58. Parting says:

    @louisb3: As per your comment, terrorist are desperate people, so should we automatically justify their actions?

    Violence is unjustifiable, because employees in the office had nothing to do with her install.

  59. Sudonum says:
  60. King of the Wild Frontier says:

    If I had a hammer… I’d hammer like Mona.

  61. mind says:

    the worst part about this is that she probably did less damage to their office than the tech coming out to install her service would have done to her home

  62. QuirkyRachel says:

    A hahahahahaha! For all the times I wanted to do that to a Comcast call-center…. (which I don’t anymore b/c I switched to RCN :)

  63. brancod says:

    Because in America when your cable tv goes down, you need to destroy private property instead of spending quality time with friends and family. It’s a good thing the Customer Service clerks didn’t throw money or their wallets at her or she’d be facing ‘armed robbery’ charges….

  64. brancod says:

    In America, when your cable tv or Internet is down, you need to destroy private property instead of spending quality time with friends, family or even reading a good book. Imagine if the Customer Service Clerks would have thrown their wallets or some money at her, then it would have appeared like an attempted armed robbery…

    In other news…’Cable TV & Internet Aren’t As Reliable As Electricity Or Water Utilities…News @ 7 ….’

    then again if Internet charged monthly prices like Electricity Companies, maybe they would be reliable….

  65. louisb3 says:

    @chouchou: Read my comment again (the whole thing this time), and you’ll see that I say violence *isn’t* justified. I was simply saying that it’s not surprising.

  66. LeJerque says:

    In Soviet Comcast, hammer nails YOU!

  67. The HZA. says:

    This woman is my hero.

  68. Jean Naimard says:

    I never fail to be amazed at the number of croporate shills or private property hardasses who manage to post here…

  69. overbysara says:


  70. micahd says:

    Funny what using contractors gets a company these days… maybe the US government could learn a thing or two.

  71. JeTDoG says:

    You go, grandma! This reminds me of a story my father once told me about how my grandmother walked into a bar and knocked my alcoholic uncle on his ass in front of everyone after she found out he hit my aunt (her daughter)…. gotta love senior citizens with nothing to lose…

  72. ogman says:

    Very cool! This is what it takes to get the attention of monopolistic a-holes like Comcast. WTG lady!

  73. hi says:

    Comcast employee: “I’m sorry but we can’t do anyth…”

    Old Lady: “Stop… Hammer Time!”

  74. erratapage says:

    I think even the woman thinks the arrest was justified. However, I hope that when I’m a senior citizen, I am feisty enough to hammer my consumer complaint home.

  75. ceejeemcbeegee is not here says:

    @ArtDonovansLoveChild.: Word.

    But you can’t help buy admire her balls… crazy and unjustified as they are.

  76. TurboWagon00 says:

    If she was so concerned about being able to make emergency calls, she definitely should not be on a VoIP solution. Otherwise, good for her !

  77. mac-phisto says:

    @Wasabe: FTW! you made me snort beer. it hurts!!!1!

  78. cliffordmanning says:

    For all the folks who said she was angry because she couldn’t get her cable turned on, you should read the whole article. She had no phone service and no neighbor to run to in case of a medical emergency.
    Just wanted to clear that up.