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Daily Democracy

Ryan Blethen discusses the press, media and democracy. Daily Democracy is part of the Democracy Papers, a series of articles, essays and editorial opinion examining threats to our freedoms of speech and the press.

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May 2, 2008 3:28 PM

Comcastiness!

Posted by Ryan Blethen

A recent story from the Philadelphia Inquirer showed how Comcast is fighting back against the growing outrage related to its service. I was not surprised when the story noted that Comcast rates near the bottom for customer service satisfaction. I use Comcast for the Internet and cable.

According to the story, Comcast has done a couple things to deal with the problem or perceived problem. The company has hired more people to deal with customer issues and more interestingly it has a person monitoring the Internet. It is Frank Eliason's job to track Comcast complaints wherever the whining appears online. He then gets in touch with the complainers and tries to soothe them and figure out their problems.

Could you imagine? This poor guy has a lot to deal with when there are Web sites out there like Comcastmustdie.com.

I have been having issues with my cable service. (Oh, and my Internet connection was slow last night. Maybe I should stop hammering on Comcat's net neutrality stance?) In the past six months many of my cable channels are not working and when they do the picture comes in a blocky mess with halting audio. The most troubled channels are MSNBC, TBS, and TNT. Sometimes CNN has issues.

More often than not when I go to one of these channels a blue box in the middle of the black screen says that the channel will be available shortly. After waiting several minutes the first couple of times I turned off the TV. The message is still there hours later when I turn it back on.

If anything the spotty service has shown me how much I do not really need most of my cable stations. (A la carte anyone?) I would be fine with ESPN and Fox Sports Northwest during college football and basketball seasons and the soccer channel on 401 year round. I also need cable news channels during an election year like this. Although, cable news has left me less than impressed this election cycle.

Here's to Mr. Eliason coming across my post in a sea of Comcastiness and getting my unused cable working properly!

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