Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Word Up Wednesday: Expulsion

I'm a wee bit annoyed as I write this post, which sets up this week's Word Up nicely. I'm annoyed because I looked at my Comcast cable internet bill and saw a $27.99 fee from them under the mysterious title of "service call charge." WHAT. WHAT. Oh yes, that was the technician I had to have come out here after FOUR DAYS of no internet access and fix something on their wire. Oh yes. Totally their fault, and then they charge me that outrageous fee. And not just charge me--they tricked me. Yes. They never told me that it would cost that, or I would have canceled my service with them. You might think that is a bit harsh, but I think $27.99 in this economy is exorbitant and I will never pay that for a service fee. So, Comcast is on the verge of expulsion from my house, and that's your Word Up.

The problem with the expulsion of monopolistic services like the cable company is that there aren't many alternatives. I'm on online chat with the phone company right now as I type this (multitasking!) asking about DSL services (which apparently just sucks compared to cable; no contest. The representative on chat won't give me a straight answer about speed even though I've asked point blank three times). This is a good way of defining expulsion--it's sort of absolute and complete. Although not a rule, the expulsion of something seems final. So if I expel Comcast, I may suffer the consequences of a slower internet connection. (Which doesn't bear considering, either. Quandary.)

There are so many ways to use expulsion and right now I can't get away from the finality of the act of expelling, and I tend to think of expulsion as a fast, almost violent act. As you can see from the image above, the artistic rendering of the expulsion of Adam and Even from Eden is a popular and oft-painted subject in classical art. This particular painting is a detail from the Sistene chapel by Michaelangelo, "Expulsion from Paradise." And certainly that was a finality, and rather traumatic I would think.

So, what are your thoughts and feelings about expulsion? I look forward to the comments -- you all always give me a well-rounded view of a word.


Travener said...

I have been experiencing an involuntary expulsion of phlegm from my lungs all morning (TMI?); I hope I don't wind up expelling my lungs altogether.

Sierra Godfrey said...

Funnily enough, Travener, so have I!

It's all rubbish anyway. I'll bugger off now.


ComcastCares1 said...

I work for Comcast. I will reach out to my contacts to see if we can remove this for you. Please send me the phone number linked to your account so we can take care of this for you.


Mark Casem
Comcast Corp.
National Customer Operations

Sierra Godfrey said...

Mark, if you really are a Comcast rep and not a tricky troll then I say -- nice customer service, finding my blog like this! I'm impressed.

I've already had the fee removed, so thank you. If you have any influence over customer relations, I would sincerely say this--I totally get that Comcast (or ANY service provider) needs to be cost-conscious about fees. But that being said I cannot understand why charging the customer for equipment or service failure on the company's part is going to make for a happy, satisfied customer. I urge you to reconsider this practice. I know some people won't blink an eye at $27.99, particularly when they already pay cable bills of $100 or more, but I assure you that this is a steep fee to many--especially when slapped on the bill without warning.

In addition, I would say that the rep I spoke with made sure to tell me that the removal of the fee is a "one time courtesy." What I DIDN'T tell her is that the next time there is equipment failure on Comcast's part and I am without internet for five days and then made to pay a fee that I wasn't told in advance about, and also not credited for the four days leading up to the technician visit (as I was told I would be), I may not call to argue. I might just quietly switch to DSL or another company.

I say the above NOT to be argumentative or threatening or even disgruntled, but to give you honest customer feedback. Thanks for your kind comment.

Amber Tidd Murphy said...

I can't believe a comcaster commented on your blog. That's so awecome -- if it was real.

When I think of expulsion, I think of some rebellious kid who isn't allowed at school any longer.

Tina Lynn said...

Wow, Comcast has Google alerts. They can pay someone to monitor such things since they charge for that stuff, methinks.

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