Dark Side of the Joon
Yet Another Reason Comcast is a 10,000-headed Jackass

I was recently married, and am changing my name to my new husband’s as so many people do. Comcast is my cable/internet provider and they are one of the many companies I need to contact to have my name updated in their system. I decided the easiest way to find out what each company I work with needed from me to facilitate the change (some just need my request, some need ID, some need a copy of the marriage certificate, etc) was to contact them by email and ask what they would need. The majority of companies are contactable by email, so this step went quickly. No waiting on hold, no waiting for the live chat person to come online, just shot out all of the emails and waited for the replies to come in over the course of my day.

I logged on to the Comcast website and sent them an email at Customer Support. The response came about 5 hours later from a CSR who told me that I need to complete a Name Change Form. Great, I say, will you please e-mail it to me? No. *It has to be mailed.* 

What… you mean, like, with a stamp by the post office? Is it 1949? Did you know that your company runs a multi-million (billion?) dollar internet provider service that includes e-mail? *deep breath* Okay, can you please mail it to me?

No, you have to *call in to customer service* at 1-800-COMCAST and request that they mail it to you.

Wait… on the phone? Like, make that tiny computer I carry in my purse dial numbers and talk to someone… with my voice?! ARE WE CAVEMEN NOW?! *deep breath*

So I called into Comcast and was promptly (and by “promptly” I mean “After making my way through an elaborate maze of ‘Press 1 for English’ ‘Press 9 for Billing’ and ‘Press 4 to watch Charlie Sheen battle Puck from that one season of the Real World LIVE ON PAY PER VIEW!’ prompts”) told that the hold time was approximately 82 minutes (this may be an exaggeration) but if I wanted to I could hang up and go to Comcast.com and speak to someone on Live Chat Support.

So I hung up, went *back* to the website, and dialed up Live Chat. Much more my comfort zone. I asked a woman named Diane if she would please send me the name change form. After asking me twice how my day was, and ensuring me twice that she was going to provide me with exemplary customer service today, Diane told me that she would have the form mailed to my house. From there, she tells me, I will have to take the form, in person, to my local Comcast office along with proof of marriage and identity. 


Is the form available at the office, Diane? Can I just walk into the office and fill out the form today?

No. We have to mail it to you.

So, I have to wait for it to come in the mail, then take it to the office in person. 


Fine then. Can I just ask one question, Diane? Why is it that I can’t type into a box and speak to a person online via email and have them mail me this blank, inconsequential administrative form; but I was able to type into a box and speak to a person online via live chat and you are now able to mail it to me?

You need to be able to speak directly to a representative to make this request. 

But email… It’s just exactly… okay never mind. 

And just so you know, ma’am, for us to update your name in our system will be a fee of $1.99. 

Well clearly, Diane. How else would your company cover the cost of printing up a form and mailing it to me? THERE IS NO POSSIBLE WAY YOUR COMPANY COULD HAVE MADE THIS PROCESS LESS TIME CONSUMING, ADMINISTRATIVELY BURDENSOME OR INEXPENSIVE NOW IS THERE?