Really this is a column about how business is done in America, how it has become “ScamAmerica.” Xfinity, a Comcast company, is just an interesting example.
There are certainly others: WalMart teaching employees get public assistance so they can pay poverty wage, while living on the dole themselves: relying on eminent domain, breaks in regulation and taxes, meanwhile using those breaks to sell so cheap they kill Mom and Pops, AT&T reps telling customers they’ll get one price and when the bill comes in there’s always fees, on fees, on fees… and odd charges like activating lines, or phones, already activated. Ironically it’s the same charge to activate a totally new, extra, phone service as it is simply to switch to a new phone and keep the same old, same old.
What was once capitalism has definitely become scam-a-lism. All due to the fact that anti-reg fanatics dominate our politics these days, and love to make us poorer in order to make the uber rich even more “uber.”
But Xfinity sure is one fascinating example. I think it may be paving the way to an even more, consumer unfriendly, form of scam-a-lism.
I have never bought their services, and only used it once. It was a mistake. Had no idea who Xfinity was, or that they were Comcast: a company that recently rated as having the worst customer relations in a public survey.
I was at a Wendys and Xfinity was the only server showing in a business location claiming to have free internet. I figured it was what this specific Wendys called their free internet. But it wasn’t the “only,” and it certainly wasn’t free for all but the first hour. I found out later if you just keep refreshing the Wendys internet will be displayed along with several other services, then not displayed: just Xfinity, then displayed again, then not. It’s like Xfinity is struggling to block you from seeing the other servers. Perhaps I shouldn’t have typed “like?”
Couldn’t be, could it?
After my first, and only, hour I would have had to pay for the service. I didn’t. I left.
No. The only thing I can figure is it downloaded something into my laptop because for months after that, wherever I went, it would favor Xfinity. If I asked the laptop to hook to Wendys, or McDonalds, even the library, it would try to hook up with Xfinity. This would happen after I had been on another server for an hour or so. Suddenly I found I could surf nowhere.
(Anyone notice “surf” is rarely, if ever, used anymore? Did I just commit the crime of showing how ancient my net lingo is?)
Back on topic, why had I lost my net? You’ve probably already guessed, yup, without being asked I had been switched to Xfinity.
This happened several time while in libraries, and having five bars, Xfinity showing far less. Also at McD’s, Wendys and Burger King.
It’s happened so much I can’t imagine it not being intentional. Do the spooky Burger King, Wendy and Ronald now work for Xfinity? I doubt that. I suspect this is Comcast performing a form of digital, non-consensual, server user rape.
Any company doing business like this needs to be fined, at best, dismembered if necessary. This is not ‘free market,” nor “capitalism.”
Attempted connectivity murder? Server murder too, since they block other connections?
This the kind of corporate criminal behavior that’s the antithesis if “free enterprise,” where other servers either have to step up and become as aggressive, or go out of business. We’d be like puppets passed back and forth, or better yet an abused woman who keeps falling in with abusive boyfriends.
One cry over the years has been that we let the market take care of itself. Yet this is exactly one possible result of “leaving alone.” And this is what would happen if something isn’t done, legally, to limit, regulate, unfair business practices. Without such you can guarantee it would go downhill from here.
It’s also proof the most fanatical anti-reg folks are, at best, not just wrong… but completely whacked.
Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 30 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks and into the unseen cracks and crevasses that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.
Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions