Friday, January 5, 2018

Comcast Xfinity Made Me Break My New Year's Resolution....

            Never being a fan of mathematics, I recently re-learned the importance of just how serious a decimal can be. On Thursday, while all of Savannah was out making snowmen and finding ways in enjoying our 2nd snow day in decades, I was fighting off a panic attack.
"Calm you will remain on this Snow Day in Savannah."

            For years, I have used the online billpay through my school’s credit union. While checking my balance because I was debating on surprising everyone by grilling steaks if the roads got clear and I got get to Publix, I noticed I was at zero and my savings account was much lower. My first thought was maybe the school system didn’t get my check deposited due to weather but that didn’t make sense. We got paid through two hurricanes so there had be another answer.
            Looking through what had cleared I found the culprit. Instead of paying Comcast $153.40. I had accidently put in $1534.And Comcast happily accepted it.
Before I go any further I want to be clear and fully admit this is my mistake. I screwed up because I didn’t go back and double check before submitting. I do stupid things constantly. It’s practically the basis for most of my humor. Yet when it’s money, I freak out. And freak out, I did with plenty of dizzy spells and words only my grandfather could use with mastery. And my Pop could swear with the mastery of Shakespearean poet. “He quoteth fuckingly”
            Kim came in with words of comfort and sage advice. Just call your bank and Comcast if you have to. Yet the bank wasn’t open because remember, Snow Day? So I had to deal with Comcast and thus began the follies.
            8Am.    I started by using the customer service number. My first two calls were frustrating but pretty much what I expected. The first rep said because it was a check there was nothing she could do so I needed to call my bank.
Sigh, let the game of ping pong begin.

            8:20Am.    Even though the bank was closed the online Billpay folks had an 800 number and they were pretty helpful. The online Billpay rep said that this happens frequently but because the bill is now in pending meaning the money had left my bank and was in the process of being accepted as payment by Comcast. All I needed to do was speak with a Comcast Rep and have them refuse payment.
            8:40Am   Armed with this nugget of info, I called back Comcast and got a brand new story. A refund ticket can be written up on this problem because it is an electronic check and not the same as a regular check. If that was the case, how about just refuse payment as suggested by my online billpay rep? The 2nd Comcast rep assured me that was not how it worked and they never did that. Even though it’s an electronic check, it still has a signature like a credit card so she’d need an expiration date to proceed.
No worries though,  my 2nd Comcast rep assured me she had my number and would call back when the banks opened later that day and we would straighten this out altogether. She would call back just after 9am. She had my bank’s number and could easily get this resolved.
At this point, I knew better than to believe yet I really wanted to believe her. For every 12 Comcast reps I have dealt with in the past I occasionally got lucky and found someone who was honest and helpful. Even a clock is right twice a day so some odds have got to be coming my way.
As I type this, it is 10:31 am and no phone call has been received. Who would have thought a Comcast rep would lie to me?

9:47Am     I take a different route and use the online chat from the Xfinity Facebook page. I had used this a few times in the past with great success so I had high hopes which would soon be dashed like a carton of eggs.
Apparently, when using an online chatroom, the Reps go from being called that to the preferred nomenclature of “Billing Analyst”. I had the pleasure of speaking with Ruth. Ruth being my third Comcast rep, whoops Billing Analyst. Three Comcast folks means, you guessed it, a third new story! Fortunately, because it's alive chat, I now can have some form of recorded evidence. 
Hers goes like this: She can’t do a refund ticket because payment is pending. Once it goes through, no problem. Just check back later and the money can be returned. OK, fine. I’ll just check back in a few hours. Between being iced in Savannah and broke, it’s not like I can afford to go anywhere anyway. 
1:40Pm   Our fourth Billing Analyst means our fourth tale in this sage of redemption and refund. I also begin to make the correlation between “analyst” and “anal” because this is largely becoming a pain in my ass.
Analyst number is four is Gagandeep. He is a nice young man who enjoys long walks on the moonlight beach and also making promises for Comcast in which he’ll never keep to customers.
Our transaction basically came down to my payment has cleared and he could pull up a refund ticket which will take some time. All of this will be confirmed to me via text and also an email of my choice.  .  Don’t take my words for it, let’s look at how it went down via my awesome screen shot ability. I’m like Wolverine but instead of SNIKT,  I left click….Yeah, that was bad by even my standards. Sorry, but I’m slowly losing my mind here.

            Needless to say it’s a little past 11Am a day later as I type this yet no e-mail or any form of confirmations has occurred. I was hoping for the best, thinking a ticket may actually exist w/ hopefully some resolution would be coming within 5-7 business days. I am such an optimist posing as a pessimist. 

            4:06Pm.   The roads to Publix have melted enough for us to trek down for a quick grocery and wine run. While in route my messenger chimes. I had forgotten about my message to Xfinity from 9:30 earlier that morning.
            Ally brings me my fifth and final story. Much like the Ghost of Christmas future, Ally’s news was about as cheerful. And foreboding. Curious to see if Gagandeep’s story would match, I went along with Ally and discovered many new things. According to her, my payment is still pending so there is nothing she can do. Have you tried calling your bank? There is no record of ticket but do not worry, if a customer rep from Comcast said they are doing something, it’s going to happen. My mind flashes to Last Crusade with Indiana Jones on the zeppelin.

            At this point, my awesome wife, Kim, stepped in and set me straight. My money situation with Comcast was doing nothing but making me lose my mind. Just wait until tomorrow when my bank is open and they’ll help.
            Kim was right, as she usually is.  I had let the day get away from me with nothing to show for it. With the exception of my half of the mortgage, all my bills were covered with overdrafts from savings so I’m ok for the next few days. I wasn’t thrilled at the prospect of using my credit cards to get gas and basic stuff but I’m frugal so we’ll be fine.
            I turned the rest of my day around seeing that I couldn’t fix anything. Kim and I drank some cocktails and sat with the kids. Kim made her amazing pasta with chicken sausage & sundried tomato cream sauce. We went to bed early snuggled up warm and cozy.
            Kim gets up for the Morning shift early so I usually wake up after she leaves, read a bit, grab some water, check my texts, then go back and crash for a few hours. This was waiting for me on my messenger.
In my defense, I never used profanity....

            There is a certain amount of skill that goes into doing a job poorly while at the same time having enough hubris about that poor performance to solicit reviews expecting praise. Now I know how it feels to work in the White House Press Corps. Odds are high that Sarah Sanders could get a pretty swank job with Comcast Xfinity.
On the bright side, while I am frustrated. I never totally lost it. Sure, I got a tad snarky but the old Robby would have come out with a profanity laced sarcastic response. Instead I went just went with terse and biting. Its days like this where I switch to Wrath of Khan Kirk mode and fight the “No-win” scenario.
In closing I go back to a phrase my Pop was fond of when pointing out how useless something is. If my grandfather was dealing with Comcast, my Pop would just shake his head and mutter,”They’re about as useful as tits on a boar, son.”
Yep, sorry that I reverted back to Old Robby right there for a moment but hey, Comcast made me break my New Year’s Resolution……


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