Did you hear the awesome telecommunication news that's about to ruin our lives? Comcast is buying Time Warner Cable -- the two biggest cable companies in the nation are gettin' hitched! Which means if you were hoping to dump one for the other, now you're stuck with both. If there's anything we Americans love, it's choice. And now we have less choice. Less delicious choice for us, thanks to our new cable TV overlords. I still don't quite understand how this is even legal.
But since I'm so annoyed and apparently also a glutton for punishment, I decided to call customer support to complain.* Here's how that went down.
I'm skipping the long, frustrating automated phone system that misdirects me 12 times and jumping to the point where I finally talk with a live person.
COMCAST: Hello, Comcast, how can I help you?
ME: Yes, I'd like to complain about your merger with Time Warner. This aggression will not stand.
COMCAST: I'm sorry, you're complaining about coverage in your area?
ME: No, that was yesterday. Today I'm complaining about the merger. MERGER! You know, Comcast buying Time Warner?
COMCAST: I'm sorry ... I don't know what you mean.
ME: Haven’t you heard? Your employer just bought out their biggest rival!
COMCAST: Ma’am, I barely get told what I need to know to do my job. Why would they tell me that? Anyway, I’m in the Philippines and it’s the middle of the night here.
ME: Whatever, I want to register my complaint.
COMCAST: Are you having trouble with your equipment or with receiving a signal?
ME: No! I want to complain about this merger.
COMCAST: (Pause) Let me transfer you to billing.
COMCAST: Hello, Comcast billing. Could I have your name, your address, your Social Security number, your inseam measurement, the number of hairs on your head, your first-born’s middle name, and the head of Alfredo Garcia.
(Twenty minutes later)
COMCAST: Thank you. How can we help you today?
ME: I’d like to complain about the Comcast merger with Time Warner. This is completely unacceptable. This --
COMCAST: Let me transfer you.
COMCAST: Hello, this is Brian Roberts.
ME: Oh! Brian L. Roberts, the CEO of Comcast?
ME: The guy who also owns NBC?
COMCAST: Yes ... who is this? How did you get transferred to my line?
ME: (Pause) This is! A customer! I don’t like! I no likey! Not! No like merger! Bad! Bad company!
COMCAST: I’m hanging up now.
ME: No wait! I just wanted to say that I hate this merger. We already don’t have enough choices about our cable and wireless providers. This just makes it worse. Why do you have to be so big?
COMCAST: Well, with this buyout, we have created a pure-play cable company that, combined with Comcast, has the foundation for future growth ...
ME: Blah blah blah!
COMCAST: Look, this is not about you. These two companies aren’t rivals in the first place. You had no choice. Choice is an illusion! You will still get your Saturday Night Live and your Real Housewives and your Internet porn. Now get back to work, serf!
ME: Yes sir. Sorry to bother you, sir.
*Not really. This whole conversation is fictional. I don't have time for this kind of nonsense ... in real life, anyway.
Do you care about having a choice or are you okay just so long as everything works correctly?
Image via Espensorvik/Flickr