Bob Garfield’s Not Feeling Comcastic

Ad Age critic Bob Garfield has taken his personal crusade against Comcast into the blogosphere with a new site called Comcast Must Die.
Here’s part of the site intro:

Actually, I have no deathwish for Comcast or any other gigantic, blundering, greedy, arrogant corporate monstrosity, What I do have is the earnest desire for such companies to change there ways. This site offers an opportunity — for you to vent your grievances (civilly, please) and for Comcast to pay close attention.
I advise you to include your customer number in your post; this will give Comcast the chance to contact you and work on your problem. If it does so, I encourage you to post an update, giving credit where credit is due. Meantime, be aware you may be the target of online fishers trying to get personal information from you. DO NOT REPLY TO EMAILS CLAIMING TO BE FROM COMCAST. Deal with them only by phone.

Is this Bob’s idea of forging a Web 2.0 conversation with Comcast?
Has he, the famed TV commercial ad critic, ever suggested that Goodby spend some time (and their client’s budget) thinking about ways Comcast can improve their customer experience instead of just dreaming up clever ads?
Will his reviews for Comcast competitors now be biased in favor of them?
Is he just jealous of Jeff Jarvis?

About Dan Goldgeier

Blogging on AdPulp since 2005, Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. In addition, he is a regular columnist for TalentZoo.com. Dan published the best of his TalentZoo.com columns in a book entitled View From The Cheap Seats: A Broader Look at Advertising, Marketing, Branding, Global Politics, Office Politics, Sexual Politics, and Getting Drunk During a Job Interview. Look for it on Amazon in paperback and e-book editions.

  • http://tangerinetoad.blogspot.com Tangerine Toad

    Funny. We have had Comcast for at least 5 years and find them to be generally competent. We haven’t had problems with our cable so far and are happy with their HD service and HD-DVR.
    Their customer service people are among the friendlier ones I’ve dealt with on the rare occasions I’ve had to deal with them.
    Garfield must have bad karma.

  • Bob Garfield

    Yes.
    Yes.
    No.
    Yes.

  • http://adage.com Ann O. Nymous

    Seems like another example of Bob Garfield transforming into a crotchety curmudgeon in Andy Rooney fashion—though Rooney makes a lot more money.
    Brilliant suggestion to post your customer number, Bob. Nothing like encouraging potential privacy problems.
    Does Garfield do daily google searches to spot every online reference about him? He seems awfully quick at responding to all posts. Not to imply that the man doesn’t make daily visits to peruse the latest offerings on AdPulp. No wonder he’s pissed at Comcast. The allegedly bad service must be seriously hampering his online searches.

  • veedub

    here’s what i know about comcast. it’s amazing but true.
    i recently was accosted on a saturday morning by a REPO MAN to whom comcast had sold an outstanding bill for their phone service. the amount in question was $40. it was FIVE days past its due date. apparently mailing me a courtesy reminder was too much to ask. instead, because it was five days late, they had some lummox hassling me on a saturday morning. a phone thug who’s treating me like i’m a teenager behind on his camaro payment. and he fully expected me to whip out my credit card despite the fact that his number was blocked. this in the age of identity theft! let’s just say there was much swearing on my end.
    comcast are clueless idiots and get everything they deserve. they have a monopoly and they know it. they could care less.
    i don’t always agree with him but Bob Garfield got that one right.

  • http://adage.com Ann O. Nymous

    Well, let’s not give Bob too much credit.
    Your story, while appalling, is hardly unique in the category. It’s not just Comcast. It’s every cable and interactive provider out there. Customer service continues to be a foreign concept with these corporations. And it doesn’t help when certain areas are denied any competitive choices; that is, if your neighborhood or residence is serviced exclusively by Comcast, too bad. The wireless phone providers are not much better. Ditto the landline phone companies. At some point, they’ve all got to stop acting like utilities. Unfortunately, consumers ultimately approve the nonsense by subscribing. If people refused to buy, there could be change. Until then, there will only be blogs launched by crotchety curmudgeons like Bob Garfield.

  • Bob Garfield

    “If people refused to buy….”
    You’ve just finished saying all telecoms are awful; do you therefore not buy from ANY of them? Brilliant suggestion.
    But what about making an example out of one of them, and shaming it into some semblence of responsiveness? It’s a crazy idea, but IT JUST MIGHT WORK. In fact, Comcast has already contacted people who have left their customer numbers. As for privacy issues, without a name, address, or even state, just what kind of privacy breach did you have in mind?
    By the way, I do a Technorati search for my own name SEVERAL times a day to listen to what people are saying out there. I seldom respond, although every now and then someone says something so stupid I just can’t help myself.
    Please note that I sign my name.

  • veedub

    i didn’t give bob too much credit. i just agreed with him because he’s right.
    comcast et al bought monopolies from the government with cash. they don’t care because they don’t have to. and they know it. and they’re only acting accordingly.
    what would be weird would be to expect an ounce of humanity from them. ever.

  • http://adage.com Ann O. Nymous

    “what would be weird would be to expect an ounce of humanity from them. ever.”
    so you’re saying bob garfield is weird? agreed.

  • veedub

    uh, stop telling me what i’m saying A.O.N. i’m saying comcast are clueless idiots.

  • veedub
  • http://adage.com Ann O. Nymous

    so we’re saying bob garfield bears an uncanny resemblance to a 75-year-old woman? agreed.

  • veedub

    no.

  • Dianne

    I needed a place to address my frustration with comcast phone service and I am glad there is a place to vent! The Comcast phone service just doesn’t work! The cable network system had been fine until I also added phone. Then the signal apparently waned leaving my house so my phone would die AND my email server. So you transmit computer messages again, but the phone would just cut off. I tried to get this corrected for 6 months until I finally went back to Verizon. Then for 3 more weeks Verizon service was not functional, nor Comcast. No accommodations were made for my inconvenience, lost phone messages, no phone service, by either company, other than adjusting service dates. You or I could not stay in business like that! Only with government support are these bad business practices encouraged.