Thursday, August 02, 2007

I took a sick day yesterday. As a rule, I prefer not to be sick when I do that and yesterday was no exception.
If I'm going to be ill and miserable, I may as well go to work. However, who would waste a perfectly healthy day by going to the office?
While I did have legitimate reasons to stay home on Wednesday, there was also quite a bit of time to stress test our newly switched Comcast internet service.
We had Time Warner here, but Comcast took it over. This means a couple of different things which are not being hammered at the entire Houston market through every media outlet.
First, they cut us over to the Comcast subnet during prime traffic time. This required a reset of my router to completely switch to their subnet, but I only tried that after giving up on the light AC infested support call I made which seemed less "very important to us" the longer I remained on hold. From call volume, I'd guess their change surprised a lot of people.
The second thing it means is that while the Time Warner people had finally given up on selling us TV service, now the Comcast people are calling to find out what we pay for our satellite TV service to entice us to switch. It takes a while to communicate that we have no TV service and haven't for quite some time and also (more importantly) that we don't miss it. They seem really excited about a great new offer on TV service, and I'll sign up for it as soon as they can just answer a few simple questions from me. I sincerely enjoy asking these questions.
First, why are there so many home shopping channels in the first part of the line up? I know the answer is that the cable company gets a bigger commission if the shopping channel is lower on the "dial", but the CSRs seem allergic to admitting this. Invariably, they try to tell me about all the ESPN choices I can make, which I can generally deflect by asking what "ESPN" stands for.
Second, I ask if we can do without the 30 or so Spanish language stations. I've explained that we don't speak Spanish and that if we wanted to learn there are probably better ways than watching Sabado Gigante.
This leads to another round of "But you can get Lifetime, A&E and the Independent Film Channel" because my ESPN deflection has obviously triggered lines from the "Male user doesn't watch sports" section of the script.
Then I ask if we can buy by the channel. I know we can, because the technology is a part of digital cable, but seriously the cable companies don't want that. In fact, I'd imagine the only people who wouldn't mind people buying by the channel work at Animal Planet because I think we can all agree Shark Week is worth the whole rest of the year.
Okay, so this triggers a "but it is only $30 a month for the first 3 months" kind of thing, which I find reasonable and agree to -- provided the CSR can make one final assurance.
The deal killer: "But," I ask, "Can you guarantee that there will be something worth watching on? I mean, we had like 180 channels before and it was filled with absolute crap. Anything worth watching we pick up through Netflix or watch on the internet, so why would I pay $30 to have commercials added back in?"
Every time I'm off the phone and back to whatever I was doing before within 30 seconds of asking that. We've been called three times since the switch. I hope to soon know how many calls it takes to get us on the "Don't Bother" list.
I also played a little World of Warcraft. You know, like I do.
I ended up getting one of these:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Now I have to wonder if they read my blog at Blizzard.


Katy said...


Shark Week is on DISCOVERY channel.

Garrick said...


Wow I'm out of touch. If they make an All Sharks, All the Time channel I need to know about it.

tess said...

Personally, I like the whole discovery channel family. The discovery science channel has all sorts of interesting shows about how things are made, and trips to outer space and the like.

I like animal planet solely and completely for the vast amounts of kittens =D

Garrick said...

Kittens rule!