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Xfinity is the boyfriend who doesn’t know it’s over
Your TV wants to see other people but Comcast wants a monogamous relationship
Writer’s note: This post was first published on Medium’s “Tickled” on April 16, 2020 and will now be permanently housed on Substack’s new “Tickled” column.
There’s going to be a time when you have to have that tough talk with an amenity company. The relationship you two had was cool, and you enjoyed it for a little while. You even dated around with a couple others for the one-year promo year and decided it just wasn’t for you. You’d rather save yourself anywhere from $75 to $90 and just buy ROKU. Hell, Philo has all the stations you wanted anyway, so why do you need all these other side pieces? You’ve got your main relationship right in front of you, and you like it much better.
AT&T understood. Direct TV knew you couldn’t get away with a satellite dish and chalked it up to the game. RCN was so cool about your cable cancellation that the technician showed you how to set the first TV up for streaming. (You and RCN will always have Internet.) But there’s always that one relationship that simply doesn’t know when it’s over. Xfinity is that boyfriend that thinks the connection was way better than you ever did. It’d be easier to climb the West Maui Mountains barefoot than to quit this cable company because Xfinity simply just doesn’t understand what “terminate our agreement” means. Even if you’re not under contract, somehow every phone representative you talk to doesn’t recognize the word “cancel.” Whatever language you speak fluently, they now don’t.
You start off really polite with the, “It’s not you, it’s me.” You know you’re lying through your teeth when you say it. Nope, it’s really them, but you don’t have to explain yourself. It’s your money anyway. They want to know why you’re quitting them. And so you say you’d just rather try “something new.” You know if you start talking about streaming services, they’ll try to talk you out of it — or worse, they’ll give you all kinds of scenarios in which your favorite program won’t be available without keeping their cable service. (They don’t even know what you like to watch. You two never had that kind of relationship. There was no “Netflix and chill.” It was more like “give me the remote and go.”)
Xfinity will insist on why keeping the bundle package is cheaper. Never mind that you asked to cancel the entire account and never said a word about keeping any of the three options. Once again, you say “cancel.” That’s when the shenanigans really start. Miraculously representatives who are locked and loaded, and ready to to sign you up for every possible thing your TV, Internet and phone can do now “don’t know how to cancel.” So you get transferred. There’s a long wait. And then the line clicks. Dial tone.
You call back and ask to speak to the cancellation department. And then there’s a long wait. You set the automation system so it will call you back, only to have to be transferred again — multiple times. To no one’s surprise, now the customer service rep tells you that the audio is bad and (s)he can’t hear you well. Curiously, this same rep heard you just fine while trying to pitch a bigger bundle package to you. You want to cancel the relationship? Tuh, puh-leeze, your phone is trash. And you’re disconnected again.
You know what their game plan is. Xfinity knows you know it, too. It’s trying to wear you out so bad that you slump on the couch and say, “Forget it. It’s not worth it. I’ll just keep the service another month.” But now you’re stuck in this relationship again. And dammit, you were very clear on this breakup when you got on the phone. It took you a lot of elevator music, beeps and clicks to get to the point where you could even admit you wanted to see other people. So you stick to your guns and call back again.
Finally a supervisor puts the cancellation department on the line, and Xfinity gives in to you canceling. But now they’ve told you that your own Social Security number is wrong. Well, hell, how do you debate that? And why do cable companies need your Social Security number anyway? Your mortgage company doesn’t even ask for that level of detail. You double-check to make sure you said it right, and eventually they finally agree that you’re correct. Your Xfinity amenities are finally canceled. You sigh long and hard, and feel like you’ve run miles. You’ve finally gotten through the breakup.
Two or three weeks later, you are happy as ever and saving a few dollars, too. You check your mailbox on your way home. You roll your eyes at the promotional postcards and business cards and signs from Xfinity that are already in your mailbox. They are that boyfriend who keeps sending flowers and candy trying to win you back, but really you just want him to buy himself a ticket to the Bermuda Triangle.
You see a few other envelopes inside and grab those. You walk in the door, dump the Xfinity marketing postcards in the recycling bin and flop down on your couch. You lean back to watch your cheaper, faster and convenient streaming service. You’ve made yourself proud. You never understood why you were breaking the bank on a cable bundle package anyway. You unhook one envelope with your finger. (If you’re fancy, you go to your desk to grab the letter opener first.) You breeze past all the legal lingo and taxes on several pages of a bill. And there in front of your face is another bill for the next 30 days with Xfinity. They don’t care what you said on the phone. In their mind, this relationship is still going strong.
Do yourself a favor. Just stop paying the bill and ghost them. It seems to be the only way Xfinity understands the word “cancel” anyway.
Did you enjoy this post? You’re also welcome to check out my Substack columns “Black Girl In a Doggone World,” “Homegrown Tales,” “I Do See Color,” “Tickled,” “We Need to Talk” and “Window Shopping” too. Subscribe to my free weekly newsletter to keep up with all posts at once.
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