By Joe Rector

Yes, I’m an impatient person; over the years, that shortcoming has been worked on  until my exasperation over things that don’t come in “my time” has eased. However, right now my irritation level is once again at red-alert status, and it’s all because my television and Internet have been out. I know many people have been without power recently, and I have nothing about which to complain, but I’m going to anyway.

I can understand that outages can occur during bad weather. However, during my first phone call to Comcast, the recorded voice assured me that service would be restored by 11:15 a.m. As everyone knows, that didn’t happen. On the second contact, the recorded voice said the same kind of things, but this time the promise for a signal was set at 3:13 p.m. Yep, it didn’t happen. Oh, and here’s a kicker. This moronic recording tells me I can check the status of the outage by going to I don’t think that’s possible since I HAVE NO INTERNET CONNECTION!

By 7:30 p.m. I’d lost my good will toward men. I stayed on the line to talk with a representative. CiCi took my call and kept trying to connect my problem with a discontinued account that we’d had in Nashville. She finally found the right account but couldn’t understand why the outage had been going on since yesterday. She put me on hold, and before long the phone was disconnected. I called back, this time steaming, and talked with another representative. She quickly looked at the situation and told me service should be back at 2:30 a.m. I felt my heartbeat quicken and my blood pressure soar. Then she corrected herself and said I’d have service back at 8:13 p.m. As I look at the clock, it is now 8:20. I hate it when somebody whizzes on my leg and tries to convince me that it’s raining.

So, I’ll make yet another call when I finish this piece. We returned to Comcast when Direct TV prices climbed too high. That was two weeks ago, and already, I’ve lost service and been lied to. The thing is that I never lost service for an extended period of time like this with Direct TV.

Cable and satellite companies are sticking it to consumers. Just think about the packages offered. We can purchase a small package, but it will be filled with Spanish-speaking channels and void of sports. Larger packages offer the sports channels and hundreds of others, many of which are of no interest to any viewers. Charges are included for equipment, extra televisions, taxes, and a bunch of other stuff. On top of that, many of these corporations demand contracts for service.

It’s time for consumers to take charge of the situation. Here’s what I propose. From now on, sign up with a company for their two-year contract period and cheaper rates. Watch your channels and enjoy the entertainment. At the end of contract period, call the company and tell them to come and get their equipment post-haste. Then contact another provider and sign up for two years with them. Just keep changing when you can get the best deal.

Television providers might someday learn that they are in business to serve the consumer. If they take us for granted, then our job should be to drive them out of business. Yes, I know that doing that is unlikely, but like a gnat during the summertime. I plan on tormenting these folks as much as possible. I owe them nothing and certainly have no loyalty.

I hope that this rant will stop the palpitations and surging anger. I also hope that folks can understand my frustration and can offer suggestions for ending it. Oh, by the way, I called Comcast again, and now I’ve been told that service will be restored tomorrow. Does this company specialize in lying to appease customers? It did NOT work with me.