A Cinecle View – Just when I thought I was out, they pulled me back in … Part 2

Tony Marion

Tony Marion

If this is your first visit to A Cinecle View, thanks for coming! But you picked a bad day for firsties; I’ve got a cliffhanger-resolution-thing happening this week.

Actually, I guess last week would have been bad, too, because instead of finishing the story last week that I began two weeks ago, I whined about the lovely and talented Tamron Hall leaving Today on NBC. So if you’re new this week or were new last week, here’s where you go to get caught up.

You’re back? Cool, thanks for jumping through the hoop! Here’s the thrilling* conclusion.

* You just read Part 1, you know that I’m prone to exaggeration.

I was determined; I wasn’t going to call them for help. Andy, the COMCAST tech that made our internet blazingly fast compared to its speed before his visit (my Bit-Torrented Taylor Swift complete videography … I MEAN, my Netflix-ed Die Hard collection … downloaded twice as fast as files that size normally take) could not possibly be evil.

Sigh. I really didn’t want to call COMCAST.

So maybe Russian hackers had my online shopping and banking passwords and scandalous web browsing history – so what?

What do they really know? That I visit the same seven “news” sites everyday and still somehow think of myself as “well-informed”? Yeah, me and most Americans, comrades!

That I spend enough money annually at two businesses, one in Manhattan and one in Los Angeles, to finance a run for office? DEBT IS THE AMERICAN WAY!

That my preferences in adult entertainment lie somewhere between “niche” and the kind of fucked-up that puts you on a watchlist? That’s my freak-flag overhead, bitches, long may it wave.

But I was not willing to risk access to my bank accounts. There’s no way that I’m financing a wardrobe of track suits, gallons of aggressively-scented cologne and a stockpile of gaudy chest hair ornaments.

RUSSIAN GANGSTER

I sucked it up and dialed customer service.

“Hello, this is Jill, how may I help you?”

“Hi Jill, here’s the situation…”

I told her all about the original call, Angelic Andy’s visit, the 2nd call and how the number appeared to not belong to COMCAST and how I was now paranoid that Boris was going to be rocking some new knockoff Adidas gear on my dime.

“I’m not showing any open service orders for your account. Unless your service is affected, there is nothing I can do.”

No hulking, no hulking, no hulking …

“I don’t understand …”

“Is there anything else that I can help you with?”

I tried, I really did, but …

“APPARENTLY NOT! Which part of ‘I’m afraid that either the visitor to my home was perpetrating a fraud to gain direct access to my network, or the second call trying to set up another service visit was an attempt to do so, and either way, COMCAST has had a data breach that exposed my information and will spawn a class action suit’ do you NOT FUCKING UNDERSTAND?”

“Would you like to speak with fraud prevention?”

“YOU THINK?”

I was instantly put on hold, giving me time to calm down.

“Hello, this Emily, how can I help you today?”

I repeated the entire tale, but Emily was no Jill; she reminded me of Tara.

“Yeah, that’s a little sketchy. May I have the number that texted you?’

“Absolutely.”

I motioned for Danielle to give me her phone and I recited the number.

“Can you hold for a few minutes while I check this out?”

“Yes, thank you.”

I was treated to some stellar muzak mixed with advertisements for pay-per-view programming, BECAUSE COMCAST HAS NO FUCKING SHAME.

“Mr. Marion?”

“Yes.”

“The number is not a COMCAST number, however we do have a record of your service visit, that was legit …”

I knew that Andy couldn’t be involved!

“I would advise you to contact the authorities if you receive any further messages from that number …”

My wife tapped me on my shoulder and held out her phone displaying the text message that started this odyssey.

“You just hit redial when you called them, you didn’t actually call the number in the text.”

Sigh.

“Emily, I have another number for you …”

She didn’t even put me on hold.

“That is a COMCAST number. We contract outside services for text communications – you must have dialed them instead of the number in the text.”

Having realized my mistake, you would think that I would have turned crimson with embarrassment, but you would be wrong. I turned a different color …

“So what you’re telling me is that the reason you don’t tell the third party with access to all of my customer information that my service is complete and that they should stop fucking bothering me is because YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHO IS SETTING UP THE APPOINTMENTS!”

“Mr. Marion …”

“Look, Emily, I know that this isn’t your fault, but for fuck’s sake, I just wasted an hour on this because the people running the show there have no clue what they’re doing! DO THEY WANT TO ME TO GET A DISH? IS THAT WHAT THEY WANT, EMILY?”

“No sir, and I agree with you, this was handled very badly and I will make a note of it. I apologize for this. Is there anything else I can do for you today?”

“No … thanks for your help.”

I hung up, satisfied that my online privacy was intact, and secure in the knowledge that I was right after all – they are too inept to be sinister.

Dish or DirectTV, if you’re reading this, and you have an offer for new customers, I’m finally ready to listen.

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Tony Marion is a writer and filmmaker who splits time between Lancaster, PA and Baltimore, MD. He lives for the work of Descendents (the band), Chuck Palahniuk and Rian Johnson. Check out the digital embodiment of procrastination he calls his website here.

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