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Comcast VoIP: An Extra $10 To Bang My Head Against The Wall

April 14, 2005

Before I muse a little on the news highlighted by Johanne Torres' recent article on TMCnet, "Comcast VoIP Plan Rolls Out in Boston and Hartford, CT," (http://www.tmcnet.com/tmcnet/articles/2005/comcast-voip-digital-voice-boston-hartford.htm), I'll say first that I'm a Comcast customer, by virtue of where my house happens to be, for both cable television and broadband. I've written in the past before about how I find Comcast to be the most customer-service challenged company I've ever had the displeasure to deal with. Each interaction with Comcast takes a year off my life...I'm convinced of it.

Reading Johanne's article this morning, I find that Comcast is ready to offer me VoIP phone service. The news caught my eye for personal reasons: I currently use AT&T CallVantage for VoIP service, so anytime I can consolidate one more service onto a single bill, I'm usually interested.

Then I read a little further: for me, a (unwilling) Comcast customer, they're going to offer me the "bonus" rate of $39.95 a month! Wow! Considering I'm paying only $29.95 a month to AT&T, I'm not sure why Comcast expects me to get tickled about this. An extra $10 a month for...well, I'm not exactly sure.

The company is touting its E-911 service, but I get that with CallVantage. Comcast cites "the convenience of calling one number for customer service," presumably to customers with bundled services. Great! Instead of losing one year off my life each time I call Comcast customer service, I'll lose 18 months!

Shortly after I sign up for the new Comcast Digital Voice service, I'll venture down to the nearest bus station and ask if I can have the privilege of cleaning their restrooms if I pay them $10. To me, it's the same thing.

TES




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