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Comcast Drops Spurious Fees When Customer Reveals Recording 368

Posted by timothy
from the keep-the-recording-handy dept.
An anonymous reader writes In yet another example of the quality of Comcast's customer service, a story surfaced today of a Comcast customer who was over-charged for a service that was never provided. At first, the consumer seemed to be on the losing end of a customer service conversation, with Comcast insisting that the charges were fair. But then, the consumer whipped out a recording of a previous conversation that he had with another Comcast representative in which not only was the consumer promised that he wouldn't be charged for services not rendered, but the reason why was explained. Suddenly Comcast conceded, and the fees were dropped. But most telling of all, the Comcast rep implied that she only dropped them because he had taped his previous interaction with Comcast customer service. I wish I had recordings of every conversation that I've ever had with AT&T, the USPS, and the landlord I once had in Philadelphia. Lifehacker posted last year a few tips on the practicality of recording phone calls, using Google Voice, a VoIP service, or a dedicated app. Can anyone update their advice by recommending a good Android app (or iOS, for that matter) designed specifically to record sales and service calls, complete with automated notice?
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Comcast Drops Spurious Fees When Customer Reveals Recording

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  • by sideslash (1865434) on Tuesday August 12, 2014 @09:14AM (#47654571)
    In my state, only one party needs to be aware of a recorded conversation, and it's perfectly fine for that to be the person doing the recording.
    • Same for Texas

    • In other states, like Oregon, part of the recording must include a question about whether it is okay to record, and the answer. So the question is asked twice.

      Does anyone know whether it is okay to record conversations when the other party's recorded message says the call is recorded? Washington state and Oregon are 2 about which I'd like to know, with links to the law.

      It's crazy that each state has its own laws! It's crazy that Comcast is allowed to be so abusive. CenturyLink, the phone company in Oregon and SW Washington state, is also hostile to customers, in my experience. We are becoming a country where the rich can do anything they want to everyone else.

      Is the answer always to record? If legal, I think yes.
      • by thieh (3654731)
        Most Custiomer service calls says they are recording the conversation for training purpose (Surprise! talk on the phone now needs training), So when they do so It is usually implied that you can. In any case, the point is not to use the recording to sue them (so in case it may not be legally obtained) but to release it to public to drive their PR to the ground.
        • by AvitarX (172628) <me@@@brandywinehundred...org> on Tuesday August 12, 2014 @09:51AM (#47654897) Journal

          I'm willing to be damaging a companies reputation with an illegal recording is going to get you into trouble, but I've always taken "this call may be recorded for quality assurance purposes" to mean I am allowed to record, to assure quality service.

          • by taustin (171655)

            It's all about expectations of privacy, and when they reserve the right to record, they have none.

          • by stdarg (456557)

            What I'm a curious about is the automated part of that notification. They don't even know that you're listening when they play that message. So if I call up a company that doesn't have that notice, and while I'm in the menu tree I say "This call may be recorded" to nobody in particular is that sufficient notice to "the company" that I may record everything? Seems to be the same level of notification that they give us.

          • I interpret this the same way. It doesn't say "recorded by us" or "recorded by us exclusively" but merely "may be recorded."

            In fact the phrase "may be recorded" is open to interpretation and can mean both "we might record it" and "we give permission to record it."

              Still, I wouldn't put it past some company to try the "you recorded us illegaly" tactic.

            • by EvilJoker (192907) on Tuesday August 12, 2014 @11:53AM (#47655941)

              I doubt the first is legally enforceable, as the statutes don't speak of owning the recording. They says that one/all parties on the call must be aware of the recording, and can terminate if they do not consent.

              I'm sure it's only a matter of time until a prominent company (Comcast seems about right) does try to sue someone for it, but I suspect their PR dept will immediately demand it be dropped. Not only would it likely be considered a SLAPP, it would certainly involve the Streisand Effect. The headlines write themselves, something like, "Comcast sues customer for holding them to their word". Honestly, I can't even think of a headline that wouldn't put them in a bad light, and it would get a lot of coverage.

          • by budgenator (254554) on Tuesday August 12, 2014 @12:06PM (#47656063) Journal

            I'm willing to be damaging a companies reputation with an illegal recording is going to get you into trouble, but I've always taken "this call may be recorded for quality assurance purposes" to mean I am allowed to record, to assure quality service.

            I'm curious about your theory of mere mortals being suficiently powerfull to further damage Comcast's reputation.

        • Most Custiomer service calls says they are recording the conversation for training purpose (Surprise! talk on the phone now needs training), So when they do so It is usually implied that you can. In any case, the point is not to use the recording to sue them (so in case it may not be legally obtained) but to release it to public to drive their PR to the ground.

          It's their customer service that's driving their PR to the ground, the recorded calls are just a vehicle for that.

      • by bondsbw (888959) on Tuesday August 12, 2014 @09:42AM (#47654827)

        I suppose, once you know when the bot is going to say that line, just preemptively ask it:

        Can I record this call?

        Then when it says

        This call may be recorded for quality and training purposes.

        They almost certainly wouldn't have a leg to stand on.

        • Great tip!

        • by aclarke (307017) <spam@@@clarke...ca> on Tuesday August 12, 2014 @10:24AM (#47655153) Homepage
          I wouldn't even say you need to go that far. "This call may be recorded..." sounds like permission to me. Thanks! I think I WILL record it.

          To answer the original poster, I recently switched our home phone to VOIP using voip.ms [www.voip.ms]. I use the iOS app Groundwire [acrobits.cz] to make and receive calls using my mobile phone as one of my methods for using my old land line number. Groundwire has easy one-button recording, with optional beeping to remind the other party that the call is being recorded.
        • by PReDiToR (687141)
          When you call VirginMedia in the UK the computer now says (quite close to)

          Just to let you know, sometimes we record these calls for training purposes

          Maybe someone doesn't like your tip and has put a stop to it.

      • Unless you're calling your local Comcast office you're calling across state lines. If you do anything across state lines it falls to the Feds which are 1 party.

        • by GGardner (97375)
          How am I supposed to know, when calling a 1-800 number, where the call center is? It _might_ be in my state, in which case a different set of laws applies.
        • If you do anything across state lines it falls to the Feds which are 1 party.

          Courts have gone both ways about that. In Lane vs. CBS Broadcasting [google.com], the federal court held that in the absence of explicit stated intent to the contrary, complete federal preemption only applied in cases in which state law was less restrictive, and otherwise the state's law applied. In my state (an all-party state), I don't think your statement is something I'd want to bet a third-degree felony conviction on.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        "It's crazy that each state has its own laws!"

        This attitude always amazes me. That is the entire point of the United States!

      • by Nukenbar (215420)

        Most of the time, it is an automated message saying that the call may be recorded from their side. Can I just respond back to the automated message that the call may be recorded from my side?

        • by adamstew (909658)

          I would think that once both parties have agreed that the call is going to be recorded (via the automated message) that you would have no legal issues with recording the call yourself. Basically, as long as proper consent has been given to record the call (whether it's a 1-party state or 2-party state), then it doesn't matter who is doing the recording or where.

          IANAL. Not legal advice, etc. etc.

        • by aclarke (307017)
          Note that they don't say "we may record this call", they generally state that "this call may be recorded". That sounds to me as much like permission as it does notification.
    • by Timothy Hartman (2905293) on Tuesday August 12, 2014 @09:26AM (#47654671)
      In my state all the calls are recorded anonymously for my safety as well as the safety of my country. Freedom isn't free after all.
      • What do you have to hide, citizen?
      • by Bob9113 (14996)

        In my state all the calls are recorded anonymously for my safety as well as the safety of my country. Freedom isn't free after all.

        Hmm, let's see...

        In my state all the calls are recorded anonymously for my safety as well as the safety of my country. Freedom isn't freedom, after all.

        There, FTFY. :(

    • by geekmux (1040042)

      In my state, only one party needs to be aware of a recorded conversation, and it's perfectly fine for that to be the person doing the recording.

      I'm glad you mentioned state here, as that is critically important. In fact the legality of recording and then using at a later date is perhaps the most important aspect of this entire idea. Know your laws.

      Wiki of the recording consent laws, listed by country.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telephone_recording_laws

    • by RenderSeven (938535) on Tuesday August 12, 2014 @09:30AM (#47654711)
      Just wondering, if the other party says the call may be recorded, does that mean its legal for me to record also? Seems fair that if they ask the question they are giving tacit approval for me to record.
      • Just wondering, if the other party says the call may be recorded, does that mean its legal for me to record also?

        Not in all cases. In California, if a woman alleges that her husband or boyfriend is abusive, she can get a restraining order that gives her the permission to record phone calls, but denies him the same right. Then she can call him up, provoke him into saying something stupid, edit the recording to delete the provocation, and then present the edited recording to a judge to get the guy thrown in jail for violating the restraining order.

    • by mysidia (191772)

      In my state, only one party needs to be aware of a recorded conversation, and it's perfectly fine for that to be the person doing the recording.

      Most companies pre-announce that calls will be recorded for quality assurance. As long as your recording includes that announcement, then the remote party has consented.

    • by EvilSS (557649)

      In my state, only one party needs to be aware of a recorded conversation, and it's perfectly fine for that to be the person doing the recording.

      Be careful here. When the two parties on the call are in different states, the rules can change and it becomes a little more complicated. The way courts have come down on this in the past you need to make sure that you are within the law for both your state and the state of the person on the other end. Generally, it comes down to the most restrictive laws win. So if you live in a single party consent state but are on the phone with a person in a two-party state, legally you have to notify them, and it's yo

  • They're Monopolies (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fortfive (1582005) on Tuesday August 12, 2014 @09:20AM (#47654615)

    And, recording or not, they'll soon just start ditching "troublemaking" customers, like the hospitals do.

    • by roc97007 (608802)

      And, recording or not, they'll soon just start ditching "troublemaking" customers, like the hospitals do.

      So, let's all be troublemaking customers. Let's make it as unpleasant and difficult as possible for Comcast to do business. We will be doing the world a service.

      • by Etherwalk (681268)

        And, recording or not, they'll soon just start ditching "troublemaking" customers, like the hospitals do.

        So, let's all be troublemaking customers. Let's make it as unpleasant and difficult as possible for Comcast to do business. We will be doing the world a service.

        You will be punishing the service reps, not the people who make policy.

        • by Xaedalus (1192463)
          What if we figured out a way to empower the service reps to fuck over their management but still stay within legal employment guidelines? After all, they've got to be the ones who hate all of this the most because they're being paid to be bad guys. And not just that, they probably were in circumstances that compelled them to choose that employment. Like, calling up a service rep and tieing up their line for twenty minutes with complaints and threats to cancel service, but then using the rep's authorization
          • by EvilJoker (192907)

            They probably won't connect the two, but even worse if they do. They'll just see that, despite all of these sales, they're not making anywhere near enough money, and they need to expand their revenue. IOW, fuck over their customers.

            Sprint actually used to be known for giving some VERY nice deals if you talked to retention, and threatened to cancel. This was true, until it became common knowledge. Now, they give fuck-all about retention. This is knowing that you can, and will, switch to another carrier.

        • by Rakarra (112805) on Tuesday August 12, 2014 @11:45AM (#47655873)

          You will be punishing the service reps, not the people who make policy.

          Their service reps are Comcast. They don't get to be "human shields" protecting the corporation from customer outrage. Not while they're on the payroll.

    • by adamstew (909658)

      I would think that, since they are effective monopolies in the areas they serve, that their franchise agreements don't let them just ditch customers that are troublemaking. I know this is up to each individual municipality, but I would hope there would be conditions in there on who they have to serve and the reasons that are allowed for them to not serve someone.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday August 12, 2014 @09:21AM (#47654625) Journal
    Don't talk about your fraud on the record... It's not at all surprising that Comcast would do this, the fact that their alignment is apathetic/evil is well known; but it's pretty surprising how open they are about it.

    Invoice fraud is a totally classic con; but it depends in part on knowing when not to push it. The target catches on and is angy; do you want to cause a scene and risk discovery or just offer an insincere apology, drop the issue, and move on to the next target? Especially given Comcast's current less-than-winning PR situation (you know it's bad when your cancellation procedure has an AOL guy driven to despair...) there is no way this call would be worth the risk, even if they'd made all the charges stick. Shut up, appease the noisy guy, and cram some befuddled old people or something.

    I suspect that the odds of actually being charged are basically zero; but billing 'errors' made in very, very, questionable good faith start to look a lot like mail fraud if they aren't quite isolated incidents(especially given how added charges always seem to be more common than accidentally omitted charges).
  • by jddj (1085169) on Tuesday August 12, 2014 @09:21AM (#47654629) Journal

    I do stakeholder and user interviews, and may not be able to predict what telephony equipment I'll find at a site.

    I realize you're asking for a smartphone or VOIP app, but what I've come to rely on is the JK Audio QuickTap: http://www.jkaudio.com/quickta... [jkaudio.com] - it can record both sides from virtually ANY corded-handset phone. Sounds great, it's a passive device, so no batteries, no AC, it's little and comes with the adapters you need for a pocket recorder (like the Olympus recorder I use, but works with a PC/Mac input as well...).

    This works nearly anyplace, and sounds great. Whatever you do, DO NOT try the Radio Shack device for cheap cheap that claims to do the same thing. The Radio Shack device has a little switch on it. Position 1 is "Suck", and Position 2 is "Suck Differently". You buy this thing and you've hosed yourself.

    Full disc: I don't sell these, have no ownership, employment or other stake with JK Audio: they just make tools that work when I desperately need 'em to, and I love 'em.

  • by pla (258480) on Tuesday August 12, 2014 @09:22AM (#47654645) Journal
    Just about every call I've ever made to a sufficiently-large company has started with the automated disclaimer that "This call may be recorded for quality assurance".

    Well then, thank you. They just gave permission. This call may be recorded. Thanks, Comcast!
    • Correct! So what if I placed an on-demand playback of "This call may be recorded for future review". How many CSRs at the other end would drop my call?

      • by geekmux (1040042)

        Correct! So what if I placed an on-demand playback of "This call may be recorded for future review". How many CSRs at the other end would drop my call?

        In reality, probably none. The CSR likely doesn't have the authority to simply not give you support for that reason. That would be the beauty of using something like that.

      • Correct! So what if I placed an on-demand playback of "This call may be recorded for future review". How many CSRs at the other end would drop my call?

        You're missing the point. If they give notice that "this call may be recorded" then that covers *both* parties. Either one of you may record legally at that point.

        I live in a "one-party" state (TN) and used to live in another (IN) so it's never been a concern to me if I wanted to record, and I definitely have. One of my best calls was with a idiot Comcast rep - surprise, surprise.

    • by bagboy (630125) <neo@arctiPLANCKc.net minus physicist> on Tuesday August 12, 2014 @09:34AM (#47654747)
      With any call to a place of business, credit card company, whatever - always start with the agent by telling them that you are recording the call (even if you don't - it covers your bases) - all of a sudden their attitudes will be very different and of course if you are recording then there is no question on legality. Works every time I've done it.
      • by Superdarion (1286310) on Tuesday August 12, 2014 @11:36AM (#47655773)

        Not everywhere, though. I worked at technical service for a US cellphone carrier and I was instructed during training to refuse being recorded. If a customber told me that he was recording the call, I was to insist they turn it off, or I would have to end the call. Curiously, it was one of the very few reasons I was actually allowed to hang up the phone.

    • Nope. If you live in a two-party consent state (which is where these notifications could potentially very seriously matter) that satisfies the requirement that all parties be aware that the company you're calling is recording, but does not satisfy the requirement that all parties have been notified that you are recording. Scrutinize http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T... [wikipedia.org] carefully to determine under which jurisdiction you live, because that's what matters.
      • Surely there's some legal principle (with a latin name that translates to something like "what's good for the goose is good for the gander") that automatically gives you the right to record the call if they claim it themselves.

      • Well if the message is literally saying, "This call may be recorded for quality assurance," then couldn't you take that as permission. It doesn't specify who should do the recording, it just says it "may be recorded". Like, "Yes, you may go to the bathroom. This phone call also may be recorded."

    • by Bite The Pillow (3087109) on Tuesday August 12, 2014 @09:43AM (#47654837)

      Are you sure of the legal basis of this? Or is it just logic?

      Because in my state, the wording means their recording is legal but mine is not. So that makes me think people should not rely on logic for legal matters.

      • by pla (258480)
        Are you sure of the legal basis of this? Or is it just logic?

        Just logic, and yeah, I know, law != logic.

        Interestingly, though, Washington (one of the 10(ish) two-party states) specifically addresses and allows the loophole I mention.
      • by Solandri (704621) on Tuesday August 12, 2014 @11:11AM (#47655523)

        Because in my state, the wording means their recording is legal but mine is not. So that makes me think people should not rely on logic for legal matters.

        Are you sure? 12 states have laws requiring both (all) parties consent to a recording [wikipedia.org]. This means party A agrees the conversation can be recorded, and party B agrees the conversation can be recorded. The requirement of mutual consent would seem to exclude your interpretation. i.e. Their notice is not just getting your consent to have the conversation recorded (just hang up if you don't approve), but also their announcement that they are consenting to have the conversation recorded.

        The remaining states, recording is legal if one party consents. So you can record it if you want regardless of what the other party says.

        (Your interpretation also violates reciprocity and consideration, making me think a recording under those terms would be thrown out in court.)

    • by brindafella (702231) <brindafella AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday August 12, 2014 @10:01AM (#47654967) Homepage

      True! "This call may be recorded..." is a bi-directional statement. I love the logic.

      Also, if in doubt, as you hear the 'statement', repeat their exact words into the phone.

      And, if in further doubt, when a real human comes on the line, ask, "Do you agree?" If the answer is a spluttering 'Yes' then.... or if 'No' then say "Please review your recording of his call, and I'll wait on the line as you do that." And, listen to what happens; It's likely to be hilarious! ;-)

  • by swb (14022) on Tuesday August 12, 2014 @09:24AM (#47654659)

    Is it just because of "wiretap" laws? It seems like it would be a pretty trivial feature to add to smartphones. It's also easy to see how it could be very easily enhanced beyond simple audio files -- automated or selective recording of only some calls ("Answer and record", "record all calls" flag in contacts, speech-to-text, and so on).

    Recording calls USED to be very easy -- $5 telephone pickup from Radio Shaft and a cassette recorder.

    • It is a feature, but it's only available to the NSA.
    • It's because cell phone companies are cowards and are worried they might get sued, basically. ...also, they are probably more than a little nervous about having the feature used against them when their sales/support representatives lie about something.

      The feature is actually part of Android, but apparently requires some driver magic to get the audio streams from the radio, and without that support you have to jump through a lot of hoops to get it working. Expect to try a few apps before you find one that

    • by geekmux (1040042) on Tuesday August 12, 2014 @10:04AM (#47654989)

      Is it just because of "wiretap" laws? It seems like it would be a pretty trivial feature to add to smartphones. It's also easy to see how it could be very easily enhanced beyond simple audio files -- automated or selective recording of only some calls ("Answer and record", "record all calls" flag in contacts, speech-to-text, and so on).

      Recording calls USED to be very easy -- $5 telephone pickup from Radio Shaft and a cassette recorder.

      It's still easy to record telephone conversations (speakerphones, digital handheld recorders, and likely apps). What is not so trivial is the average consumer actually using those recordings to their advantage without violating state or federal law.

      Besides, would you really want this to be a prevalent feature on smartphones? All of your friends having recordings of your phone conversations? Apps being dropped on the phone that access and share these recordings (via the EULA no one reads anyway). How long before the Facebook/Twitter/Instagram app simply turns on recording and sharing by default, leaving you scrambling to secure your new eavesdropping spy-phone? We act like the current data collection methods aren't intrusive enough.

      And yes, it is very sad to think about new and cool technology in this way, but it's the sad reality of the world we live in. One should question how new tech will be abused. It's certainly no longer a question of "if" anymore.

  • by anmre (2956771)

    "Over-charged" in this context implies that the bill was too high -- like when your waiter "charges" you for an extra cola that you didn't actually order. When you point it out to him, he goes back and prints a new check before you pay him. What mega-corporations like Comcast will do is simply ding your credit card on file without authorization for a product or service which was neither requested nor provided. Taking something which you aren't entitled to is theft, so let's call this what is: THEFT.

    • by devman (1163205)
      This is exactly the reason I use electronic bill pay through my bank and don't use the service providers auto pay system. I like to see the bill before I authorize payment.
  • Just yesterday I had to engage with my ISP's support folks to resolve a network speed issue. Fortunately, I had saved the chat sessions from when the same problem occurred two years ago. I ended up pasting part of a previous chat session into the current chat session so that the CSR could see what worked last time. Result: problem resolved in hours, not days
    • by geek (5680)

      Just yesterday I had to engage with my ISP's support folks to resolve a network speed issue. Fortunately, I had saved the chat sessions from when the same problem occurred two years ago. I ended up pasting part of a previous chat session into the current chat session so that the CSR could see what worked last time. Result: problem resolved in hours, not days

      I too prefer chat but I ran into a problem while canceling CenturyLink service. They refuse to cancel unless you call them and speak to a "retention specialist". I was furious so I told them in chat that I was deaf and could not speak to a specialist by phone. They told me that was unfortunate but was the only way to cancel.

      About 20 minutes of back and forth with them I informed them it was illegal to deny my request based on the people with disabilities act. Within 10 minutes they canceled my account via o

  • Use your smart phone. It's got a recording app that works when you call people, and the quality of my recordings have been surprisingly good. I usually use it to record sessions with clients so I can review them later, but it would work in a pinch for CS calls.
  • by F34nor (321515) on Tuesday August 12, 2014 @09:40AM (#47654803)

    Natural monopolies should never be for profit. This is what happens when you pay lip service to free market capitalism and fail to regulate. You get natural monoploies acting as either true monopolies or oligopolies.

    If you every household who uses comcast turn off their service and spends the 150 a month on Comcast stock even if the stock stayed steady it would take 2 years to buy them out. Then we put Nader, Lessig, et. al on the board and FIRE EVERY FUCKING EXEC AND MANAGER IN THAT FUCK HOLE.

    • by dywolf (2673597) on Tuesday August 12, 2014 @09:54AM (#47654921)

      Regulated utilities are allowed to make profits. But it's regulated.
      That's the problem. Comcast (and other cable cos) are operating in a natural monopoly market area, but lack any and all related regulations that we force companies operating public utilities to operate under. They are being allowed to act as if its a free market, while at the same time enjoying a quasi-utility type natural monopoly.

      They should either be
      a) forced to operate as regulated public utilities
      b) forced into actual competition

      Either one would largely fix the current situation.
      Right now they are neither, and are enjoying benefits of both A and B, with non of the consequences of either.

  • yeah yeah (Score:5, Insightful)

    by roc97007 (608802) on Tuesday August 12, 2014 @10:01AM (#47654969) Journal

    "Comcrap screwed me again. I couldn't get them to reverse this charge."

    "Why do you do business with them anyway? You regularly call them things like 'comcrap' and are complaining about them constantly. Why not move to another carrier?"

    "I'd love to, but they're the only game in my part of town."

    (after a few minutes of research) "No they aren't, you have Qwest Fiber available in your area. Why not switch to that?"

    "Well, Comcrap is faster. They offer (some speed) and Qwest only offers (some slightly slower speed)."

    "Ok, do you really understand what those speeds mean? How much faster is your pr0n going to download at, for instance, 15 Mbps vs 30 Mbps? In real minutes."

    "30 is twice as fast."

    "That's only the top peak speed possible from the connection. The actual speed can and does vary wildly. Besides, the speed at the head end of the service you're accessing is much more significant."

    "I've had comcrap for six years."

    "And you've HATED every minute of it! You haven't called the company by its real name in all of that time! You're regularly telling me how they promise a discount and then don't give it to you, or charge you for stuff you haven't ordered, and how you can't get any charges reversed. What the hell?"

    "I got a good price on the bundle."

    "You never answer your home phone! And you only watch stuff you've illegally downloaded."

    "I don't like commercials."

    "Ok..." (deep breath) "So, let's summarize. Of the three services you're currently paying for, you only commonly use one of them (internet), so despite the great deal you got on the bundle, any cost you're paying over and above internet is A WASTE OF MONEY. And the company regularly busts your chops. Yet you stay with them. Are you an abused spouse?"

    ...the conversation doesn't go well from there.

    This is only slightly paraphrased from a real conversation. The conclusion I've drawn from speaking to comcast subscribers is that some stick with it under the impression that they're "getting a deal", and some because they have been sold on the idea that "it's the only game in town", but I suspect that some people just like to have something to complain about.

  • Recording Apps (Score:5, Informative)

    by SailorSpork (1080153) on Tuesday August 12, 2014 @10:03AM (#47654983) Homepage
    Here is an article from Lifehacker [lifehacker.com] on how to record incoming calls on your smart phone. It looks hard unless you use Google Voice, and GV only records incoming calls (fear of grey areas around wiretapping laws it seems). Free Android apps seem to record all sound coming in the mic and end up being lower quality recordings.
    • No, if you actually poke around the Android store a bit you'll find more than a few apps that will record both sides of the conversation--not just record from your mic. Recording "the entire call" is a thing that's been built into the Android APIs since at least 4.3--it just requires a bit of support from the phone to work. Said "support" is often reverse-engineered and you should Just be very sure you're in a one-party consent state before you do this, because it could get you in some legal trouble.

      If

  • Corporate Culture (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Nemesisghost (1720424) on Tuesday August 12, 2014 @10:44AM (#47655323)
    While I haven't worked for a large number of companies(only 4), I can say that corporate culture defines these types of interactions more than any executive degree ever will. When you have a company that is solely focused on profits, you will always end up with situations like this. Yet, when you have a company that values their customers, things like this will very rarely happen. The last company & the one I currently work for are both for profit(one public & one private), but put their customers first over that profit. This happens from the CEO down to those who are the face of the company people by interacting with the "customers". The attitude of service to the customer is ingrained as a part of the culture, and any deviation from this is unacceptable.

    Contrast that with the companies I worked early on(a telemarketer & a "small loan" company) and it's night & day. These 2 companies only wanted profit, at the cost of mistreatment of their customers & employees. The attitude was to treat everybody suspiciously, and employment metrics were based on how much money you made the company. I now find it funny to see the excuses they used to justify the "good" work they were engaged in.

    This is why people like to shop at mom & pop stores, which usually cost more, than Wal-Mart. The owners of these small shops care more about their customers & making sure that they leave a good impression, than they do the immediate sale. Now this might not be for truly altruistic purposes, as mom & pop shops live and die by word of mouth, but that doesn't mean it isn't appreciated.
  • by tekrat (242117) on Tuesday August 12, 2014 @11:18AM (#47655579) Homepage Journal

    Have we become a country so corrupt that we now have to record *everything* in order to have even a modicum of justice? You can't get Comcast to not perform mail fraud unless you have a recording of them saying they won't do it, they only way to NOT have a police officer beat you to death for "resisting arrest" is to record it.

    Funny that if I personally were to turn the tables on Comcast and send them a bill for services I didn't perform, they'd have the authorities on me in an instant, and try and have me sent to jail.

    But there's no way to arrest Comcast for doing the exact same thing, even though they are legally a "person" and can even claim religious rights. Comcast is a sociopathic person who flagrantly disregards the law because they can get away with it.

Power corrupts. And atomic power corrupts atomically.

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