Customer “Support”

This morning, I was having trouble sending email. I have Comcast Cable Internet services, and there didn’t seem to be anything on their web site about any outtages or anything, so I thought I’d get onto their LiveSupport chat thing and quickly talk to a person.

Now, let me tell you: this LiveSupport chat thing is great. You wait in “line” maybe two minutes and then someone handles your support request through a little Java applet that lets you two chat. The support person can suggest websites as resources which appear in a window where you can click on them and follow the links, and you can even get a transcript emailed to yourself for future reference.

Today’s chat was less than helpful. I showed my boy Brian the transcript, and he thought it was too funny for words. He also suggested that the responses from the support person were not unlike those you might expect from Eliza.

Finding this assertion amusing, I figured I’d write what I expect Eliza to say to me, as a Comcast customer support call came in.

Eliza> Hi! My name is Eliza and I’ll be handling your customer service request, today. How can I help you?

Chris> I am having trouble contacting smtp.comcast.net

Eliza> Does it bother you that you are having trouble contacting smtp.comcast.net?

Chris> Well, frankly, yes. I pay for Comcast Internet and feel that I deserve the service for which I pay.

Eliza> Do you think that it is because you are having trouble contacting smtp.comcast.net that you feel you deserve the service for which you pay?

Chris> Well, duh! I pay for that shit, so I should be able to send my fucking email!

Eliza> Let’s calm down. Does it bother you that you pay for that shit?

Chris> Well, when I can’t send emails it bothers me, since I pay for it.

Eliza> Do you think it is because you are having trouble contacting smtp.comcast.net that you can’t send emails?

Chris> (silence)

Eliza> Why is it that you pay for Comcast Internet and feel that you deserve the service for which you pay.

Chris> (silence)

Eliza> Is there anything else I can help you with?

Chris> Yeah, go fuck off.

Eliza> It is because you cannot fuck off that you feel you deserve the service for which you pay?

Chris> This is hopeless.

Eliza> Do you feel hopeless because you are having trouble contacting smtp.comcast.net?

Chris> Yes.

Update: 2004-07-07 16:18: The actual transcript is available.

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