Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Updates On Surveillance: Infamous Comcast Customer Service Call and more

Comcast may eventually be allowed to merge with Time Warner to expand from a fairly unlimited monopoly to some kind of super unlimited monopoly. Cable companies are different. They directly pay local governments for the right to be monopolies in that area. An argument in favor of the merger is the odd fact that Time Warner and Comcast do not really compete in any given area. No competition ironically is the hallmark of monopoly.

Comcast may eventually be able to get the FCC to allow them to charge for access as they did Netflix because in all those local places Comcast is pretty much the only or only effective provider. A former Comcast lobbyist is now the head of the FCC. 

These are all particulars which should be galling to anyone who thinks we have rights as citizens to have a say in government actions. I used to live in an apartment complex where the apartment management had the full package of free cable while the rest of us paid the provider making the bribe. At the time most all of the city had two choices of cable service. We had one because of this direct bribe. I tried to work through every avenue government to get this fixed and was never successful.

So, at the very worst time for  Comcast, someone uses surveillance to record a cancellation call they made to Comcast. I hope that everyone has heard this secretly taped call because of its symbolism in showing the overblown ego and sense of power that is Comcast's culture as a monopoly. It ranks up there with the secret surveillance of Romney as he speaks to his voter base,,, the wealthy.

It is simply an amazing tape. Many of us have dealt with this type of guy who resides in customer retention. The only unique thing I can see is that this one has no bonuses (20 dollars off or whatever) to bribe the customer to stay. 

If you have not heard this call... I give you... the fruits of surveillance:

[The setup is that the call has progressed for ten minutes before this and the wife has given the phone to her husband in frustration as we bring in the mic to begin our surveillance.]

The call probably remains more civil because the person taping knows he is on tape, which bolsters the idea that police would be more professional with body-cams. The call is also the most visceral argument against expanding the power of Comcast. If we could share it enough times, turn it into a pop video mix or something, we might gain the advantage over Comcast. Surveillance... it can be your best buddy.

This short lived campaign after the London bus bombings tells an interesting aspect of surveillance:

Update: 7/21/2014  PETA approves of surveillance:

Update: 7/22/2014 Surveillance documents war crime: