Saturday, April 19, 2008

If only Australians were as feisty as Americans

America's Comcast cable company seems to be on a par with Telstra for bad service and arrogance. But some Americans push back. Some excerpts:

Inspired by March Madness, the folks at the Consumerist blog recently set up brackets to determine America’s worst company. The tournament was still going on as this column went to press, but I’m not afraid to predict the winner. It will be Comcast — in a rout.

Sure, you skeptics are thinking, “What about Wal-Mart? Exxon? Halliburton?” I’ll admit that we can’t (yet) connect Comcast to child labor, environmental destruction or Dick Cheney (although clearly you’ve never sat for seven hours on a Saturday waiting for a new DVR). But I’m not alone in my seething rage for the nation’s largest cable company.

The Internet is filled with sites — like, and — dedicated to the company. Comcast customer Brian Finkelstein’s video of one of its technicians sleeping on his couch has been watched more than 1 million times on YouTube.

Then there’s Mona Shaw. This once mild-mannered retired nurse from northern Virginia (a square-dancing Unitarian, no less) got so fed up with Comcast’s lousy customer service that she went down to the local office armed with a claw hammer. Here’s the play-by-by from a Washington Post profile of Shaw:
Shaw storms in the company’s office. BAM! She whacks the keyboard of the customer service rep. BAM! Down goes the monitor. BAM! She totals the telephone. People scatter, scream, cops show up and what does she do? POW! A parting shot to the phone!

Shaw was arrested and earned a $345 fine, along with the admiration of millions.

More here

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