As I've noted a few times over the past couple of weeks, I've moved to a new house outside of the craptastic city of Philadelphia. My reasons for moving? Lower taxes, lower crime and new jerks around my neighborhood that I can write about. Unfortunately, crappy cable has followed me to the suburbs.
A close friend of mine worked for Verizon (Jerk of the Week entry forthcoming) and warned me not to get FiOS, so I went with old reliable Comcast. Everything was going smoothly - the sales rep and installation guys were great - but s*** hit the fan on Tuesday evening.
My downstairs cable worked fine on Tuesday morning. I went to work upstairs and then left the house to go to the mall (not that there's anything wrong with that). Once I came back around 6 p.m., the downstairs cable box no longer worked. Instead, the TV just said, "Check signal cable." Umm... isn't it supposed to be "check cable signal?" Did Emmitt write that message to get revenge for all the times I've made fun of him?
I didn't feel like calling Comcast, pressing one for English and waiting for 15 minutes to get a real person on the phone, so I opted to wait and see if the problem fixed itself. Unfortunately, there was still Emmittese on my TV screen come Wednesday morning.
I called Comcast and surprisingly had to wait only three minutes to get a live person on the phone. I would have been content with this - if I could actually understand what this lady was saying. This woman sounded like one of those grown-ups on Peanuts. I wish I were joking about this.
It took about 20 minutes and several "I didn't hear what you said's," but we finally understood each other. She set up an appointment for me the following Monday. That wasn't good timing though, as my housewarming party was this past Friday.
I called the Comcast sales rep who signed me up for the service. He told me there was nothing he could do personally, but suggested that I could hasten this process by exchanging the cable box myself.
So, I went to my old Comcast building. After waiting in line for about 15 minutes (there was a lesbian cop in front of me - not that there's anything wrong with that), I approached a fat black woman behind the counter. She scanned my cable box and said, "This has got to go to the Bensalem branch. We can't exchange this cable box here because you don't live in Philadelphia."
What? Why not? It's a damn cable box. What the hell's the difference between a Philadelphia cable box and a Bensalem cable box? Does the Philadelphia cable box have an inferior education level and pay higher taxes? Is the Bensalem cable box cleaner? Does the Bensalem cable box not steal money like the Philadelphia cable box and its crooked mayors?
The lady gave me the address I had to go to: 1750 Byberry Road in Bensalem. Easy enough. Byberry Road was on the way back to my house. I was confused though because Byberry Road is in Philadelphia, but I figured if I drove long enough, I'd get to Bensalem via Byberry.
I drove down to Byberry Road and went toward the 1700 block. Once I got there, I didn't see any sort of Comcast building. Instead, there were these run-down garages with big chain fences that had signs reading, "No Cars Beyond This Point!" I went in to make a U-turn - stopping right before that sign - and I saw some shady-looking Mexicans leering at me from beyond the gate. Thank God I saw the sign. If I went in asking for directions, I'd be floating in the Delaware River right now.
I went around back and forth a few times, and I didn't see any sort of Comcast building. I gave up and went home, eagerly hopping onto Mapquest to see if I missed it. Upon typing in the address, I couldn't believe what I saw. Take a look yourself:
There are two freaking Byberry Roads, and they aren't even close to each other! What the hell is that all about? I guess Byberry such a cool name that they had to use it twice. Why couldn't they just name that second street something else? Why not Sideberry Road, or Forwardberry Road, or Snozzberry Road?
I'd love to blame Philly for this, but this second Byberry Road is Bensalem's. Time to move again!
JERK OF THE WEEK NO. 2: Best Buy
As you can tell, I'm having a terrible time with customer service. First, Sears couldn't get anyone proficient enough in the English language to understand where my house is. After that, Office Max screwed up my delivery. And just now, Comcast nearly got me killed at the hands of shady Mexicans. Next up on the list - Best Buy!
Most of my old TVs were the big bulky kind, so I decided to buy a couple of flat-screen HDTVs for the new house. I bought them at Best Buy, and when asked when I wanted them delivered, I chose the 10-2 option on Saturday. I play basketball every Saturday at 3:30, so I figured I'd have everything delivered and perhaps set up by the time I hit the gym.
Given my luck with this crap, I should have known better.
I worked on this site Saturday morning when I finally noticed that it was 1:15 and they hadn't come yet. An hour later, still no Best Buy. I called them up, and once I gave them all of my information, the following conversation ensued:
Best Buy Guy: I can't locate your order.
Best Buy Guy: Your name, phone number and address aren't registered here. And you said your delivery window was 10-2?
Best Buy Guy: See, that's weird because we only give 3-hour delivery windows.
Me: They had the option of 10-2, and that's definitely what I chose.
Best Buy Guy: I'm not really sure what's going on here. Let me check around to see if I can find out what happened.
Uh oh. Did I buy my TVs at a fake Best Buy? Did they know I was coming in and plant fake salespeople in the store who just took my money?
Two minutes later, I got a call from a New Jersey number.
Jersey Caller: Hello, this is Select Delivery Service. We have your TVs. We apologize for the delay, but we're on our way.
Me: OK, how long do you think you'll be?
Jersey Caller: I'd say 30 minutes tops.
Phew. I wasn't conned, my TVs are safe and I'll still make it for basketball in time. All is well, I thought. Again, given my luck with this crap, I should have known better.
More than 30 minutes passed by. It was now 3:30, and still no Best Buy guys. I had my gym bag packed and my sneakers on so I could get into my car as quickly as possible, but I couldn't leave until Best Buy arrived.
Half an hour later, I got a call from Jersey again.
Jersey Caller: Yeah, we're going to be delayed again. The delivery guy had to go to the hospital.
Me: Oh man, is he OK?
Jersey Caller: Yeah, he cut up his arm doing a delivery and had to go to the emergency room, but it's not very serious. I'm calling another team out to you. They'll be there in maybe 30 minutes tops.
I suddenly wasn't so mad anymore. Poor guy suffered an injury, probably hurrying to catch up on his orders. My greedy desire to go to the gym almost cost this man his life!
Two minutes later, I got a call from the first Best Buy guy I talked to.
Best Buy Guy: Sir, I looked all over, and I really don't know what happened to your order.
Me: Really? Someone from New Jersey called me after I talked to you, so I assumed you talked to them.
Best Buy Guy: Oh man, that's a relief. I thought we lost your TVs.
Great communication skills, Best Buy! Two minutes later, I was jotting this down for Jerks of the Week material when I got a call from a new number.
Best Buy Delivery Man: Eh yo mang, this is Best Buy. We got yo TVs. We right around the corner but we can't find yo house.
Wow, that was fast! I was finally able to go to the gym. I got there at 4:30, but missed the first three pick-up games.
While I was stretching, I got another call - this time from the Jersey number again.
Jersey Caller: Sir, this is Select Delivery for Best Buy again. Our delivery man just got out of the hospital and will be heading to your house to deliver your TVs right now. He'll be there in 30 minutes tops.
Me: Huh? My TVs were already delivered.
Jersey Caller: Oh, really? Well in that case, have a good day, sir.
I really wish I were joking or exaggerating about any of this, but I'm not. Best Buy is that incompetent.
Can you imagine if I asked them to deliver something to one of the two Byberry Roads? I'd probably still be waiting around for those morons.
JERK OF THE WEEK NO. 3: Six Flags
If you haven't heard, Six Flags is celebrating Muslim Family Day by having a festival at their parks soon.
Look, I'm not going to insinuate that Muslims are bad or anything; I just dislike the ones who blow up buildings, and those who cheer and burn American flags when this happens. Those people will be going to hell when they die, where Satan will punish them by having 99 virgin males take their turn banging each up the behind. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
The thing I don't understand is why Six Flags would have this on Sept. 12 - one day after 9-11. Didn't they have the foresight to realize that they'd piss off a lot of people by doing this? Those who oppose this will see this as Six Flags spitting in the face of America. They'll link Six Flags to supporting terrorism, and they'll never go there again. Others, more of the naive artsy-fartsy new-age hippie kind, will argue back, stating that it's only Sept. 12 because it's the last day of Ramadan. Personally, I don't know anything about this; I prefer Kraft Macaroni and Cheese to Ramadan Noodles. Zing!
1. Thieves: I feel old saying this, but when I was growing up, no one had cell phones.
It's true - I'm a week away from being 28, and no one had a cell phone in high school. In fact, I received my first cell phone right after my freshman year at Penn State. Unfortunately, I never used it.
My dad bought me this particular cell phone and gave it to me right before I went to Six Flags.
"Don't lose it," he warned. Whoops.
When I arrived at Six Flags with a few of my friends, I realized it was too hot to leave my phone in the car. I didn't want it to fall out of my pocket while on a ride, so I had my friend Pat put the phone as well as a few other things in a locker.
When we were leaving, we went back to the locker room. This was when Pat noticed that the key was missing.
We waited for what seemed like an hour for a guy who proudly called himself the Locker Master. He eventually arrived and opened up our locker, but nothing was inside. Apparently, some douche found Pat's key and stole all of our things, including my first-ever cell phone.
It all seems trivial now, I suppose. Phones now can access the Internet, play music and turn dog poop into gold coins, and yet that phone couldn't even send text messages. Still, it makes me wonder what could have been. I didn't get my next cell phone until I was a senior, so I could have been cool and called people over the next two years. Instead, I was phoneless and uncool.
2. Comcast Chick's Son: The last time I went to Six Flags, I was there with my sister and her hot friend Stacy. The sign on a particular roller coaster read, "Please pay attention to instructions once you're seated."
Sounds easy enough, right? Well, when we got into the roller coaster and everyone was seated, the guy on the microphone (a.k.a. Comcast Chick's son) started talking:
Six Flags Worker: Waa waa waahhh wa waaahh waa waaahh waaahhh waahhh.
People Around Us: What's he saying? What did he just say?
Six Flags Worker: Waa waaahh waaahhh waahhh.
Everyone on the Ride: What are you saying?
Six Flags Worker : Waa waa waahhh wa waa waa waaahh waa waahhh.
I have no idea if it was the microphone or the guy himself, but no one understood a thing he said. The ride took off, and luckily none of us died.
3. Getting Lost: Amusement parks are supposed to be fun. Fun does not entail getting lost and having to consult a map for directions.
Why can't Six Flags just line up all the rides side by side? That way, no one would ever get lost, and no one would ever get tired from walking around all day. Seriously, when I go to Six Flags, I spend about six hours on 8-10 rides and the rest of the time trying to find the damn rides.
I'd ask why Six Flags does this, but if Philly and Bensalem can't cooperate to have one Byberry Road, I guess I can't expect a crappy amusement park to do things logically.