You don’t have to explain something you never said.

President Calvin Coolidge

With money tight and prospects for the economy doing worse I’m always on the lookout to save a buck.

So when a vendor calling for Comcast said he could do something for my bill if I made a deal I was willing to listen.

We have two old non HD TV’s in the house, this Christmas using Amazon points we picked up a cheap 32″ HD TV the first one in the house for $97 (contrary to the comments they Did exist) but when I went to Comcast to pay my bill and was told it would be $20 a month for an additional box HD box (down to $10 for a limited time as a promotion) the idea of adding $120-$240 annually to my bills was not an option. (Clearly I am not qualified to run for congress)

So when a few days ago a Comcast subcontractor called saying he could add that third box plus throw in the pay channels I don’t have like HBO, Showtime Stars etc and all the channels below 400 for two years for only $2 more a month with a two-year commitment I told them I’d talk to the wife and if she was OK with it, we had a deal.

So after the wife said we could manage $24 a year I waited for the callback. It came as promised but with a different sales guy who confirmed the deal. We were ready to commit when I asked the $64,000 question:

I just want to confirm, that $2 a month includes all taxes & fees right?

It turned out not to be the case, including Taxes & fees my bill would be about $8 a month more. That comes out to $100 a year. For some people $75 isn’t much but when you are pinching pennies that’s one or two water bills.

I said, nope, can’t do it, I told him if he could guarantee me a price no higher than $3 more a month, I’d go for it, but $8 a month was too much. If he could make the deal for $5 less, we were good.

He refused. I pressed I cajoled and dickered but nothing could pry that price down that extra $5, so when we hung up I figured, maybe it was because it was a subcontractor so I called Comcast proper and tried to make the deal, nope, that extra $5 a month was a bridge too far.

I’ve had Comcast for years and the service has been fine. I pay my bill in person so I can deal with the ladies at the booth who are friendly and know me by fedora , but I was pissed. They had changed my expectation level and then dropped the ball. FIOS had just come to the area and if Verizon wanted me I was as ripe for the picking as you could get.

So I called em.

I talked to the Verizon rep, he was very friendly. I told him exactly the features I needed, the channels I could not do without (MeTV & BBC America) I told him the internet speeds I needed and he quoted me a price better than Comcast WITH a #300 Visa gift card on top of it as a bonus.

There was only one problem, one of my oldest fiends had dropped Verizon like a rock a short time ago, I asked the Verizon rep to call me back the next evening after I talked to my friend to find out why. I named a time and was told I should expect the call. In between I spoke to my friend. He has a full range of features and his issue was of price not quality.  That was it since the quality was there and the price was right it looked good to me!

I made it a point to be available, cancelling my regular Saturday night activities and other obligations. I started making preparations in anticipation of no longer using my e-mail addresses. I understood there would be some inconveniences but I didn’t care. Comcast had led me on and fumbled the ball, As soon as that confirmation call from Verizon came it was goodbye Comcast and Hello FIOS for at least two years, in writing! As soon as the phone rang we were in business…

…it never did.

As the rep was in a different time zone I waited, perhaps he thought 8 my time was 8 his time I waited two more hours and then a 3rd and fourth.


Mind you I’m not one to change capriciously if I like a service I tend to stick with it. If Comcast’s surrogates hadn’t called to make that offer and kept me $5 away from a deal I would have been satisfied to stay exactly where I was but Comcast annoyed me and Verzion had a shot to take advantage of it.

They didn’t.

The end result I’m pissed off at Comcast for raising my expectation and dashing them, I’m pissed off at Verizon for doing the same and I’m upset that I spent a considerable amount of time on the phone with both for no effect, both of em might have done better to just be quiet…

…so tell me more about the Roku thing

One of the nicest thing about the entire “Fiscal Cliff” business is it focuses us on the change that is coming in the 2nd term for President Obama.

Granted the new congress doesn’t convene until Thursday and the President’s new term is twenty days off but the fiscal cliff deadline has clearly been painted in media as a function of post-election the whole: “Obama won so congress should do X” meme.

I was trying to think of how to best illustrate what is coming in a second Obama Term and the more I think of it New Year’s Eve is absolutely perfect for the job.

Think about it:

New Year’s eve is a day when people tend to party to excess forgetting all their actual problems for one big smash of excess forgetting all their worries and then the next morning, what happens:

You wake up in bed with a bad choice beside you

Or In a cell if lucky with a big bill if lucky or a bad accident if not

or in a best case scenario you start the year with a splitting headache

with the huge credit card bills of December in the mailbox

and your federal tax forms in the mail.

This is America under Obama all over, a bender of spending that felt good, a bunch of big bills coming up, and a bunch of bad choices where the lady chooses the flashy guy, vs the steady one.

And we wake up to the 2nd term and suddenly here come the bills, the taxes, the Obamacare (with its taxes and rules), the companies finding it easier to drop hours and coverage than give you insurance, New regulations on the and the layoffs that will come from them and an Arab world with Islamists on the rise.

All of this is coming in the 2nd term, all of this we’ve done to ourselves.

Enjoy New Years Eve because the with the New Year comes the government we deserve, and that’s going to be the most painful part of it.

Update: I’m still $370 away from avoiding a personal 2012 defect. It’s too late for voters to stop the nation’s fiscal cliff but you can help me avoid mine.