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Is it me? Or is it her? It's her, right? It's not me, is it?
Comcast now forces you to do a live chat when you order new cable or internet service. But I have a feeling that this is just a way for the operators to handle several calls at once. However, I have a feeling that this means they aren't giving anyone their full attention, leading to conversations like these:

Live Chat
Patrick_Kellogg has entered room
Comcast_Drone has entered room
Comcast_Drone: Hello Patrick_Kellogg, Thank you for contacting Comcast Live Chat Support. My name is Comcast_Drone. Please give me one moment to review your information.
Patrick_Kellogg: Hello this is Patrick Kellogg
Comcast_Drone: We appreciate your time and interest in signing up with Comcast. I will be happy to complete your order today.
Comcast_Drone: Hi, Patrick.
Comcast_Drone: How are you doing today?

Patrick_Kellogg: Thanks I'm looking for to having cable and internet at my new rented house
Comcast_Drone: That is great! Thank you for choosing Comcast to be your new service provider.
Comcast_Drone: Please confirm if the information below is correct:

Patrick_Kellogg: Yes, all of that is correct
Patrick_Kellogg: I need cable and internet... I don't need phone
Comcast_Drone: Thank you, Patrick. I will look for the right cable and internet packages for you.
Patrick_Kellogg: Also, I'd love a wireless modem for the internet
Comcast_Drone: Patrick, I have checked the current promotions in your area, and it appears that the Digital Double Play bundle is available.
Comcast_Drone: This includes Digital Starter cable and High Speed Internet for $69.99/month for 6 months.
Patrick_Kellogg: That internet package sounds great
Patrick_Kellogg: But I'd love Showtime and HBO as well, along with premium cable channels such as Logo
Patrick_Kellogg: (Sorry if I'm typing too fast)
Comcast_Drone: Alright, Patrick. The Digital Double Play bundle for $69.99 for 6 months does not include Premium channels. I suggest that we sign you up for Digital Premier cable for $84.99 per month for a choice of 6 months or 1 year, then internet can be added for $42.95.
Patrick_Kellogg: Hrm - I can't see what the "plus" part of Digital Preferred Plus is
Patrick_Kellogg: Otherwise I'd go for "Digital Preferred and 2 Premium"
Patrick_Kellogg: Is it high definition? That would be nice
Comcast_Drone: We can add the HD service, let me see the price.
Comcast_Drone: It shows HD service can be added for only $4.95 per month for 6 months.
Comcast_Drone: Its original price is $9.80 per month.
Patrick_Kellogg: Sounds great! So... what is the "Plus" part of Digital Preferred Plus?
Comcast_Drone: Do you want to sign up for our Digital Premier cable for $84.99 per month?
Comcast_Drone: Okay, if you prefer the Digital Preferred Plus, let me give you its included features.
Comcast_Drone: It includes up to 125 channels, plus HBO and Starz.
Patrick_Kellogg: How does that compare to "Digital Preferred and 2 Premium"? I thought Preferred PLUS gave me three premium channels
Comcast_Drone: Patrick, Digital Plus includes two Premium channels only, the Premier will give you all five Premium channels.
Comcast_Drone: The Digital Plus is $98.45 per month. The Digital Premier is $1102.20 per month but is currently offered for only $84.99 per month.
Comcast_Drone: You are also automatically enrolled to Customer Guarantee Program. If you are not satisfied and wish to cancel our service/s for any reason, you can do so in the first 30 days and get your money back, we will refund everything to you, including the monthly and installation fees.
Patrick_Kellogg: I am confused
Patrick_Kellogg: Here are the choices at your webpages at http://www.comcast.com/Customers/Clu/ChannelLineup.ashx?lid=4ProgrammingChannelLineups&lpos=Nav
Patrick_Kellogg: Digital Starter, Digital Preferred, Digital Preferred and 1 Premium (or 2 or 4 Premium), and Digital Preferred Plus (and Digital Preferred Plus and 5 Premiums)
Comcast_Drone: Patrick, I am sorry for the confusion, let me further explain each package.
Patrick_Kellogg: I asked you about the difference between Digital Preferred (regardless of the number of Premium channels) and Digital Preferred Plus
Patrick_Kellogg: I was curious as to what the "PLUS" part meant... does it include more regular (i.e. non-premier) channels?
Patrick_Kellogg: Or does PLUS have to do with hi-def?
Comcast_Drone: Patrick, let me explain. The Digital Preferred and Digital Preferred Plus have the same channels except for the Premium channels included only in the Plus package.
Comcast_Drone: The 'Plus' has to do with the Premium channels.
Comcast_Drone: Each cable package does not include Hi Def, it is an add-on.
Patrick_Kellogg: So... "Digital Preferred and 2 Premium" and "Digital Preferred Plus" are the EXACT same thing? That's really weird.
Comcast_Drone: Yes.
Patrick_Kellogg: Ok... since I only need 2 premium channels (HBO and Showtime) I'd love whichever of those two packages is cheaper.
Comcast_Drone: Patrick, let me clarify. The Digital Plus has default Premuim channels- HBO and Starz. Now, if you want a different Premium channels, then you can get Digital Preferred plus 2 Premiums.
Patrick_Kellogg: Sounds great! Digital Preferred plus 2 Premiums (HBO and Showtime), with the high-definition add-on, and then digital high-speed internet on top of that. Thanks!
Comcast_Drone: Okay, Patrick, I will get you Digital Preferred with HBO and Showtime. This is for $98.45. If we will add the HD service for $4.95 and internet for $42.95- the total is $146.35.
Comcast_Drone: If you want just one Premium channel, then you can get Digital Preferred $44.99 plus HBO $18.95 or Showtime $16.95.
Comcast_Drone: Since you want the one which is lower, we can choose Showtime over HBO. The total rate with internet and Hi Def included is $109.84.
Patrick_Kellogg: I would like both HBO and Showtime, as I mentioned
Patrick_Kellogg: Can't I get the package for $109.84, and then add HBO on top? That would be cheaper than the $146.35 quote
Comcast_Drone: Okay, I have a better way to lower your rate to include the Digital Preferred with HBO and Showtime, Hi Def, and internet.
Patrick_Kellogg: Sure! Please suggest something... I don't understand why you can't just give me the lowest price possible given my request. That is what I want.

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I had to endure that one time and I was sooooo tempted to do an "Eliza".

I know! Some of her answers were so surreal that I thought I was being pranked...

Why do you tell me you were being pranked just now?

Comcast charges $10 a month for HD service? what a crock of shit! also, what a confusing fustercluck for signing up for service. I have read through that twice now, and I still don't see why we need everything to be a stupid bundle. also, I hope there is a typo here: "The Digital Premier is $1102.20".

Actually I know several major cable companies charge $10 extra per month for their HD service, though as HD television slowly replaces the old SD services, those fees will start to disappear.

Uh huh. You're clearly not old enough to remember how long our phone companies charged us a premium for touch tone service -- many years after they discontinued any rotary phones.

Oh but I do. Even before that people couldn't even own telephones - they had to rent them from the phone companies! I had a bit of tenure with Qwest/US West and some smaller (still independent) companies before then.

I guess I'm accustomed to a certain minimum level of service. Time Warner is just looking better than I had thought it was now.

Yeah I've noticed that Time Warner and Cox both offer their HD service at "no extra charge" - here in Denver you can only choose Comcast, Dish, or DirecTV, and they ALL charge $10 to get the HD package - so I chose DTV. At least their OnDemand content is 1080p.

This would be why I hate and do not use Comcast.

(Deleted comment)
Do you SERIOUSLY have to go through all THAT!!!? *yikes*

That would turn me OFF getting Cable TV!

Um, hi? How do you order internet service if you don't already have internet?

Good point! And if you are having trouble with your cell phone, please call 555-1112...

I have a DVD that instructs me on how to connect my DVD player ;)

Is this actually mudcub's journal?

With memories of James T. Kirk and the original Star Trek's "I, Mudd" episode, you could have brought down the entire Comcast Death Star with the right question. I suggest next time one of my favorites for "service" "associates":

If you can't help me, why am I talking to you?

Oh, brilliant. If I didn't know better, I'd say you were conversing with a computer.

My favorite oart:

Patrick_Kellogg: So... "Digital Preferred and 2 Premium" and "Digital Preferred Plus" are the EXACT same thing? That's really weird.
Comcast_Drone: Yes.

I thought the same thing... This is like that A.I. God thing that was popular a few years back...

i refuse to deal with those drones. i will only deal with phone sales, as purchasing cable can be more confusing then buying a house these days.

One of the reasons companies are going to live chat only is because having multiple lines on a single 800 number costs beacoup bucks. Eliminate the 800 number, eliminate costs. Then remove a couple of the operators and let the desk man handle two or three online chats at a time, eliminating two phone operator positions (even the Pakistani ones cost something). It's just another way to screw workers and decrease services.

Thats what i figured. Oddly Verizon keeps telling me how to lower my cable/phone/internet bill whenever i call. Same for the cell phone.

maybe they just like me :)

Whoa, with those prices, wouldn't be cheaper to buy or rent media digitally? (iTunes, Amazon, etc) It has plus feature of not having to deal with Comcast. :) We're drop comcast few years ago and never looked back... We just buy TV seasons in HD for ~$40 or rent movies between $1-$3. Apple geek here, so of course, it's with Apple TV.

When Joe and I bought this house, I called the cable company - Adelphia(crooks). I asked to have cable installed. I was talking to a woman in Texas.

Me - Hi, we just bought a house in East Haddam, Ct and we need to have cable and internet connected.
Her - is this a new house or an exsisting house?
Me - it is a older house.
Her - And there isn't already cable installed?
Me - No, there is not, when can you install and what are my options?
Her- Well, hold on just a minute here sir, if this is an existing house and it doesn't have cable, we have a problem.
Me - Oh, what could possibly be the problem.
Her - Well honey, if it were possible to install cable in that house, it would already be done.
Me - No, I know for a fact the women who lived here didn't want to pay for T.v. that is why there is a monster antenna on the roof. So, back to a schedule, when can we get connected?
Her - Oh, honey, everyone knows that if it is possible to have cable, they would have done so, NO ONE watches TV with just an antenna anymore, unless they live too far away from the street or are so poor they can't afford it. I am going to have to send a man out to check your house and see if it is even possible to make this instalation.
Me - So, when will this take place?
Her - My next available appointment is a month from this Friday
Me - huh? to drive by the house and see that we are 100 feet from the street and the phone and the electric run from the street to the house and that the cable line is right there, on those same poles?
Her - Now don't get yourself in a fit sir, I will do what I can. But I still think that you are either going to have to pay to bring cable to your street or have an extra pole installed on your property, as I have already told you. If this house could have cable, it would have cable already.

This continued for almost an hour, and two months later we got cable. And. Then. Adelphia. became. Comcast.

from reading your exchange, anyone can imagine how that went.

Why hasn't cable been deregulated? If this is supposed to be a free market economy, why do I have only one choice in Cable providers? Why does TV service have to cost 163.00 a month for Cable, HD, and interent access? with no premium channels!

Oh the joys of Comcast.
When we moved into here, I figured I just move the service from the apartment.
But in their present efficiency, they couldn't locate our 43 year old unit on their maps. They suggested perhaps the unit had never been wired for cable... I was standing in the living room looking at the cable coming into the room from the cable junction in the garage.
They wanted me to go to one of their customer service locations and point to my unit on their map.

I had DirectTV installed a week later!

As leonian08 said, "Whoa, with those prices, wouldn't be cheaper to buy or rent media digitally? (iTunes, Amazon, etc) [This] has [the] plus feature of not having to deal with Comcast. :)".

As a blog person said of Comcast: "It's Craptastic!"

Just skip the cable company. Write them a letter; copies to FCC, FTC, congress critters, media, whatever; telling them you decided against cable, and explaining why, and how.
Not much will happen, at first. As more people figure out to do the same, then the mismanagement-majors running these companies will eventually take notice---one hopes. In the meantime, you save on stress and cash both.

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