A Little Honesty: Comcast Doesn't Give A F**k What You Think Of Its Merger

from the reasonable and knowledgeable dept

We recently covered how Comcast’s top exec in charge of getting its merger with Time Warner Cable approved has insisted that only ignorant and unreasonable people oppose the merger. And yet… somehow, the public (ignorant and unreasonable as they are…) still don’t seem to think too positively of the merger itself. And, for some reason, the terrible, terrible deal that American cable providers (mainly: Comcast and Time Warner Cable) continue to offer Americans as basically their only real broadband possibility still seems to inspire creative derision.

Almost exactly a year ago, we posted a hilarious fake commercial of what your cable company (likely: Comcast or Time Warner Cable) would say in a TV commercial if it were honest. The mildly NSFW video includes the important fine print:

You’ll have the option of choosing from several of our completely unwarranted ripoffs, including internet speeds almost 200 times slower than Korea… at twice the price. TV packages with over 500 channels, 90% of which you can’t view and we guarantee a plethora of hidden fees. Then our barely trained technicians will come to install your service somewhere between the hours 8am and 10 pm, knock once while you’re in the shower, and promptly leave…. Why you ask? We’re part of what is called an “oligopoly.” It’s like a monopoly… only legal!

Watch it again:

Soon after that, we posted another video from some guys pretending to be Time Warner Cable customer service employees asking people around NY what they could do to make service even worse. Go ahead, watch that again too:

And, now, with the attempted merger underway, we’ve got a third video to add to the bunch. This one comes from Funny or Die, and directly addresses the issue of the merger, and is titled: Comcast Doesn’t Give a F*CK. Like the first video above, it’s made to look like a traditional cable company commercial, with the direct message being that, well, you know what the message is. Here, watch it:

Key excerpt:

We’ve read your comments and complaints, and know that a lot of you are very nervous about our merger with Time Warner Cable. So I wanted to talk to you today and let you know, that no matter what happens, we don’t give a fuck about you. Whether you’re calling in for an appointment about your cable box, or wondering why your favorite channel disappeared, we don’t give a fuck. That’s what makes us an industry leader in terrible customer service. We don’t give a fuck because we don’t have to. What? Are you going to go to another cable service provider? [Laughs] Chances are we own whatever movie or network you’re watching, so that’s still money in our pocket.

You could watch Netflix or Hulu. In fact, you should. We own Hulu. We also make Netflix pay us extra for streaming content, meaning they’ll probably pass those costs on to you. Bottom line: Fuck You.

I’m sure all these kinds of videos keep popping up, because the American public doesn’t understand how good the service we get from our “local” (and by “local” I mean, Comcast) cable provider is. Or maybe Homer Simpson was on to something. Nah, must just be all those unreasonable and ignorant folks.

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Companies: comcast, time warner cable

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Comments on “A Little Honesty: Comcast Doesn't Give A F**k What You Think Of Its Merger”

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why can't cable be more like dialup?

That’s a reason I hated giving up dial-up internet. In the late-’90s, there were literally hundreds of companies offering dialup internet service, each trying to out-compete each other on quality and price. While the heavily-advertised AOL offered a $25/month service that had an overloaded network full of busy signals, bargain-hunters could choose from many other dialup providers that offered a far more reliable service at a tiny fraction of AOL’s cost.

It’s a sorry state that with high-speed internet, most people in the US don’t have any choice other than their cable company. Although some ‘telecommunications’ companies like Verizon offer some areas high-speed services such as fiber-optic lines, I’m sure it will just be a matter of time before the ‘phone’ companies and ‘cable’ companies (as well as content providers) are merged into a single giant monolithic company — in part owned and operated by the very same congressmen and regulatory staffers that previously approved the merger before jumping ship and cashing in.


Re: Re: why can't cable be more like dialup?

Thanks a heap, Mike. I’d completely missed that shocking SCOTUS decision.

I’m very glad to see that you’ve (apparently) changed your mind about ‘National Cable v. Brand X’ since 2005, when you wrote “This one is a lot harder to call as to whether it’s a good or bad decision.”


But then maybe that was before the FCC-to-Cable revolving-door was in full motion.


Re: Re: why can't cable be more like dialup?

“One other reason: Broadband generally involves wires hanging on poles. Dialup had none of that last-mile infrastructure cost, and so was easier to quickly create standalone competitors.”

Like dialup, I believe that ISDN, DSL, and cable internet can use existing telephone or cable-TV lines.

As for “wires hanging on poles” …

… ironically, above-ground lines are common in parts of the US that have trees, ice storms, and hurricanes (resulting in periodic blackouts) but in the southwest desert region (having neither trees nor ice storms nor hurricanes) underground lines are the rule. At least that’s been my observation of this completely ass-backward system.


There is nothing good about this merger for the public. This is very obvious that it should be blocked on the grounds of Antitrust laws. They could not possibly dump enough to ever get out of the Antitrust when they would have a presence in the majority of states across the nation.

The best possible thing would be for the FCC to claim all the city contracts nationwide with cable companies allowing sole exclusivity to be canceled. It’s’ not like those cable companies haven’t already ripped their customers off enough to have made their money back and more. The strangling of competition is the very reason we have such poor speeds, poor service, and high prices.

Coyne Tibbetssays:


Speaking of uncaring oligopolies: The “Comcast” video from Vimeo won’t play for me, but the advertisement before the video plays just fine. Gee, I wonder why that is?

Hmmmm…Oh, wait, I know. That’s Vimeo saying, “The advertisement is about money, but the rest is just a lousy video. Go watch another of our ads.”


Re: Re: Vimeo

Me either. Was also amazed at the amount of ads on youtube recently when at a relatives house.

Only problem is that all the sites I visit are broken nowadays. Some sites are so bad that their third party plugins refuse to work unless you allow the “plugins… third party plugins” too.

Using adblock, ghostery and flashblock btw.


Re: Re: Re: Vimeo

Indeed, seeing some web pages on relative’s/friend’s computers can be really eye-opening, not unlike watching their TVs, in terms of all the ads.

Me, I’m currently using: NoScript, RequestPolicy, BetterPrivacy, Disconnect.me, HTTPSEverywhere, AdBlock, ModifyHeaders, SecretAgent, NukeAnythingEnhanced, and SelfDestructingCookies.

Talk about breaking the modern internet. ­čśë


Re: Re: Re: Re: Vimeo

i’m too lazy to run noscript effectively, but httpseverywhere and adblock mostly get the job done. I had no idea how god awful the internet without adblock was until i had to troubleshoot my mothers computer.

i’m sorry masnick, not for you, not for anyone. i’ll buy your schwag, but i wouldn’t whitelist my grandmas forum on quilting, if my grandma knew what the internet was.

My Name Heresays:

non starter

We also make Netflix pay us extra for streaming content,

Misinformation like this goes a long way to contributing to the problem. Comcast was not blocking Netflix on their network, but the routing wasn’t very good because of the peers each had chosen and the peering points. Netflix offered to pay more in order to get peering that would give them a more direct shot onto the Comcast network, and there ya go.

It’s not Comcast’s fault that Netflix is a bandwidth hog, nor is it their fault that Netflix doesn’t peer well with others.


Re: non starter

The point is that this is exactly what Comcast did. With taxpayer’s money. And money from subscribers. and now Netflix.

Remember all those subsidies that were, ‘to upgrade American broadband cabling’? And the soaring cost of American broadband in comparison to other countries? And remember when Comcast decided to fuck over the actual data providers like Cogent and Level 3?

Wait, no, you don’t. The whole thing could have not been an issue for anybody had Comcast and their ‘competitors’ just done what they said they would to begin with, all the way back in 2000.


Re: non starter

“Netflix offered to pay more in order to get peering that would give them a more direct shot onto the Comcast network, and there ya go.

It’s not Comcast’s fault that Netflix is a bandwidth hog, nor is it their fault that Netflix doesn’t peer well with others.”

Offered? OFFERED? Like I offered my wallet to a mugger some years ago?


Re: non starter

And those magical peering points just happened to materialize immediately upon Netflix forking over a boatload of cash, right?

Or perhaps a more logical explanation is that Comcast purposely neglected it’s routing at known congestion points in order to give the impression that there was a major problem with Neflix’s content delivery. After all, Comcast sells “content” also and considers Netflix it’s competition.

But Comcast decided that now was not a good time to rock the boat, with the proposed Comcast / TWC merger about to come up in the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, and decided to sweep the whole argument under the rug … for the time being.


Who cares what they say or do?

Recently bought a Smart TV.

My experience.

Broadcast TV is 50% or better commercials.

Cable TV is pay for view. The more you pay the more US based content you get. IF you are lucky you may get some Mexican content in Spanish too.

There are a whole bunch of pay to view internet based content like Netflex et. whose combined cost per month is unaffordable except for a money printing bank like the Federal Reserve.

U-Tube comes in two forms.

A diminutive form that is easy to operate by the TV remote control.
And a web browser version that is plain difficult by the remote control.

On U-Tube there is excellent affordable programs like
Muhteşem Y?zyıl
with only one problem, to me. It is in Turkish and I do not speak Turkish but from a technical point of view, only, it is excellent.

As far as Comcast though why would anyone pay for their content when one can get better content for free if one is willing to learn a language besides English?


most… Smart TV’s (today) are the same as cablebox/on demand.
1)Search for channel
loop) Repeat when show is over

Get organized.

PC, remote, Player and host of downloading tools.

a) Video download helper(firefox) : to download streams from youtube and other streaming sites.

b)Torrent client: for…

c)Usenet client: if applicable.

d)Custom Firefox: A specific streaming “TV browser”
d1)setup with a large bookmarks toolbar to the streaming sites
d2)LARGE font
d4)custom shortcuts

e)GomPlayer: (purely because it’s media file browser via remote control is good) Works as well as vlc.

1) search for shows
2) download
3) make playlist
4) watch

If you need to stream a show. Open the firefox. Operate with bookmarks and shortcuts with the remote.

Once it is setup, it is better than a smart tv. And when you have to use it like a “tv” because you can’t download… Every bookmark in firefox is a “web app”.

oh… Firefox OS is coming to TVs. When that happens it will change everything.



Here, here. A computer connected to your TV is far better than anything else, for many reasons. I just finished my own setup this way, and wouldn’t settle for anything less at this point. One thing I want to mention: If your new TV is a Samsung, beware that it is very likely that there is a hidden camera in the front bezel (yes, to actually watch everything you do in what used to be the privacy of your own home). All Samsung TVs starting with model year 2012 have this. Nothing that a piece of electrical tape won’t fix, but something to be aware of.


Re: Re: Who cares what they say or do?

No they don’t. I have to struggle to get channels in. Before digital I got: CBS, NBC, ABC, three PBSs, Fox, WB, and UPN. Now I get ABC and Fox. I can get the CBS station if I try (some days are worse than others) and NBC on occasion. ABC comes in without much effort most days, but will be blank sometimes (“no signal”) usually during high winds.


Re: Re: Re: Who cares what they say or do?

If rabbit ears do not work as well as they did with analog, possibly the transmitter output levels have been reduced but the frequency bands used remain the same. Fancy “digital” antennae will not help unless they have an amplifier – which you can purchase elsewhere.

Over The Air broadcast, which is now digital, does not typically compress at the high levels required in cable and satellite TV. This results in better picture quality. This can been with the naked eye when comparing the same broadcast side by side via cable and via OTA.

For example, cable and satellite companies decrease the compression levels and hence increase the bandwidth used for the broadcasting of NFL games. They do this to increase the video quality. OTA has no bandwidth limitations … yet.


Re: Who cares what they say or do?

There are a whole bunch of pay to view internet based content like Netflex et. whose combined cost per month is unaffordable except for a money printing bank like the Federal Reserve.

You don’t have to buy everything… $8/month for Netflix and $70/year (I heard it’s going to $90) for Amazon gets you a lot of video.


A load of crap...

This all sounds to me like it’s couched in unrealistic hatred of all things corporate.

I’m not an employee, nor am I shill – I’ve had my issues w/Comcast as a customer – but overall, I, nor ANYONE else that has Comcast has ever, EVER had the problems and issues described in this article.

On the contrary, everytime I’ve had an issue, not only has Comcast quickly, fairly and honestly handle the situation IMMEDIATELY, they were very friendly and knowledgeable as well.

As a customer and part of the “public”, I took and still take no offense at what was supposedly said regarding the public being uninformed. For one, sadly, he’s right; most of the public IS stupid, mainly because they take as gospel whatever the talking news spewers say to, but mainly because I have far more important thing in life to worry about other than being “offended” by a few words that have ZERO bearing on my day to day life.

No one company is perfect and the sooner the hand-wringing shriekers who believe in Unicorns and Utopia For All figure that out, as well as stop LOOKING for things to be offended by, the better off we will all be.

I was, am now and ALWAYS will be a SATISFIED Comcast customer. It’s just too bad that so many of you are too busy hand-wringing and shrieking to actually ENJOY your otherwise God-forsaken lives.

I’m just sayin’…


Re: A load of crap...

I guess even a stopped clock is right twice a day, but that doesn’t mean you should turn a blind eye to the legions of people other than yourself who have had very real problems.

Your situation reminds me of when I used to work at Wal-Mart. It was the first job I ever had and I landed myself in the electronics department due to my knowledge of video games. I had a cool supervisor named Mary-Ann, patient bosses, and overall it was a very positive experience for me. But that was also about a decade ago and I had more of a safety net back then. My conclusion is that despite how well everything went for me personally, I was part of a small, fortunate camp, meaning Wal-Mart does actually have serious problems that it needs to address.


Re: A load of crap...

“I’m not a shill, nor is Comcast? the perfect company, but literally no one in the universe has EVER had the problems described in this video, I know because I am omniscient!”

Wow, way to shoot your argument in the back of the head before you even got to your opening paragraph.

It must be cold on your high horse to think that because of your extremely limited usage of their service, then literally no one must be or should be having problems with their service specifically because you said so. Despite the fact that the internet is littered with reports about how Comcast and Time Warner have terrible customer service with a terrible service in general to boot.

Unless you’re saying all those people are lying, entitled babies that need to ‘deal with it’. If you are then you have to be the biggest shitstain that has ever typed a response on this site to imply that paying customers just need to keep subsidizing the monopoly because you don’t feel their troubles are valid due to you having such a tiny brain that has kept you from actually understanding the shortcomings that should make you outraged.

If this wasn’t an attempt to ‘troll’ or be ‘funny’ about what could be one of the worst violations of the free market in America today, then I highly suggest eating your hands so no one else has to read your flailing about and drooling. No one else needs to hear you proudly proclaim to the world that you have no idea what you are talking about and wish for the whole world to know that you can count to potato.

Consider it.

Mike Masnicksays:

Re: A load of crap...

I’m not an employee, nor am I shill – I’ve had my issues w/Comcast as a customer – but overall, I, nor ANYONE else that has Comcast has ever, EVER had the problems and issues described in this article.

On the contrary, everytime I’ve had an issue, not only has Comcast quickly, fairly and honestly handle the situation IMMEDIATELY, they were very friendly and knowledgeable as well.

I don’t use Comcast, because back when I was a customer of their’s I went through the October from hell. Every day between 9am and 10am, the service would stop working entirely. Blinking red light rather than a connection. I would call, and after being handed off from person to person with long hold times, I’d be told that the downtime was due to “scheduled maintenance.”

“Does the schedule show it will be happening tomorrow too?”

“We don’t know.”

“Not much of a schedule, then, is it? Also, if it’s scheduled, why didn’t you warn me ahead of time that my connection would be useless pretty much all day, every day?”

“It’s scheduled maintenance.”

This went on for four weeks until I finally switched to AT&T. No great bargain there either. I’m finally on Sonic.net now.


Re: A load of crap...

“…I, nor ANYONE else that has Comcast has ever, EVER had the problems and issues described in this article.”

Congratulations, you tried and succeeded at not being able to be more wrong! As a Comcast victim for many, many years, I have not only had the problems and issues described in this article, I’ve also had many others not described herein.

The idea that anyone could even consider typing up such a factually devoid statement is difficult to fathom. If you actually believe that (and you WOULD be the only one, if so), then you REALLY need professional help. Just saying.


Re: A load of crap...

I was, am now and ALWAYS will be a SATISFIED Comcast public relations employee. It’s just too bad that so many of you are too busy hand-wringing and shrieking to actually ENJOY your otherwise God-forsaken lives.

There, I corrected your statement for honesty.

Only a Comcast employee would think that the legions of people who have reported problems with the company are “stupid” and “hand-wringing.”

Ed the Engineersays:

Re: A load of crap...

All I can say is, I have been a comcast customer since they bought up my local cable some 20 or so years ago. Let me tell you about their great customer service techs. I was having some problems with my internet. I spent three evening on the phone with them trying to get the connection back up. Each tech kept asking me the same question “What is the mac address on the bottom of the modem?” A modem I rented from them. I kept telling them, there is no sticker on the bottom with a mac address. Basically, every technician assumed I was to stupid to read a number. As my name implies, I am an engineer, with a masters in computer design. I can read a number. Finally, I got a technician on the phone who asked a simple question: “What is the model number of the modem?” When I told him, he said “Oh, we discontinued that a long time ago, they don’t have mac addresses.” It took three evenings on the phone to get the one person with some brains. I went out and bought a new modem, rather than renting one from them. They could not even keep track of what model they were charging me for.


We already don’t have any choices when it comes to broadband services. A lot of phone companies were merged with companies such as Centurylink who is just as bad as Comcast and Time Warner. Where I live I have a choice between poor lines. I can either use 1.5 Mbps from CenturyLink or 20 Mbps from Comcast and there isn’t a chance that they will ever upgrade their services since they don’t have an incentive to win over customers. They make their money from corporate mergers and creating a legalized monopoly rather than winning over customers. Unfortunately this seems to be the status quo in today’s corporate America.

That Anonymous Cowardsays:

Maybe if we made the congress critters pay for their own service they would have a slightly better understanding of the real world.

They live in this gilded world, so far removed from reality, and think it is how it is for everyone else. I’d love to see the veins in their foreheads throbbing as they lose days waiting for a tech to show up to fix their problems. Imagine how fast TSA would be disbanded if they had to get fondled like regular people.


Re: Re: Re: Re:

“kickback money, err, campaign donations”
“Which comes from…your tax dollars!”

Not necessarily, and most likely not directly.

The shortfall caused by corporations shirking their tax obligations has to be made up somewhere and the middle class is again being asked to contribute more. So, indirectly some of the corporate political contributions are your tax dollars.

Campaign contributions from multinational corporations are potentially comprised of money from foreign interests. This used to be illegal. This also could be partially comprised of your tax dollars via foreign aide and corruption.


I hate to say this, but your suggestion is unrealistic.

Even if we assume Congresspeople know what’s going on with their connection, I would bet the tech-support call goes something like this:

Caller: I’m the aide for Senator Smith. The TV isn’t working.
Provider: Senator Smith you say? A technician will be out in 10 minutes.

Then Senator Smith makes a speech about how he’s always received excellent service from the provider.

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