Thursday, August 25, 2005

The people at the Cable Company shouldn’t use the words people say on Cable. (Click PODCAST)

As a Child of Television I have a big pet peeve with my cable company. Make that many pet peeves. For starters, they change about every two years. As soon as one company promises me something, that company gets bought out by different company who doesn’t want to honor the prior company’s agreement. Once while upgrading my cable box the cable guy (who showed up sometime between 9 AM and 5 PM), broke an antique rocking chair then ran out of the house faster than the high-speed modem that their Tele-marketers keep trying to sell me every other day at dinnertime. I’ll see an ad for a new cable channel like the "Door Knob" channel. In the ad they will say, "If you don’t currently get the "Door Knob" channel, call your cable operator and say I want the "Door Knob" channel". I called my cable operator and said, "I want the "Door Knob" channel". I could tell that cable company sales rep had reached her saturation point and is about to go postal. But at least they never called me "Bitch Dog".

Last week I saw Keith Olbermann (Countdown with Keith Olbermann) interview an Illinois woman, LaChania Govan, who tried to report a problem with her Broadband service, she had called several times only to be put on hold, disconnected, and transferred to the Spanish language operator. After she had complained over and over again about the poor service, she discovered that someone at her cable company, Comcast, had replaced her name on her August bill with the phrase "Bitch Dog". Ironically Ms. Govan works in customer service. Comcast has responded by firing the two employees responsible, and issued a public apology.

I have worked many customer service jobs in my life and have seen coworkers fired for a lot less. Understand I am a member of three unions (Screen Actors Guild, AFTRA and IATSE) and have worked for many years as a shop steward and have advocated workers rights. Even though I can not condone someone changing Ms. Govan’s name to "Bitch Dog" on her bill, I can only imagine Cable Company Support Reps take a lot of abuse from subscribers. I think that Comcast should investigate working conditions of their support reps before someone replaces the phrase "Going Postal" with "Going Cable". After all they know where we live.

To quote Comcast spokeswoman Patricia Andrews-Keenan, "We only use the actual customers names on the bill".

Gee, I wonder whom LaChania Govan made the cable payment check out to.

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa
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