Comcast/Xfinity notified me this week of a $100 charge for in-home service. Combing their website I found the “contact-us” link at the hairline of the fine print. I cleared my schedule, settled in for an extended tussle and sent an inquiry: “Isn’t in-home service free as part of your recent upgrade to my high-rise?”

Within five minutes the reply came: “$100 will be credited to your account.” The response crimped my escalating ire. Restitution was enough. I didn’t look for, nor did I need an apology.

When I recounted this good fortune to a friend, she said, “They were hoping you wouldn’t notice and just pay it.” Really? I suggested she was a bit more cynical than me, that I prefer to think of it as a mistake.

My initial reaction is that a human error occurred, like a beautician accidentally snipping off too much. On second thought, conditioned by my friend, I later suspected that a programmer set a computer to scam thousands of customers, expecting a certain percentage would pay without question. Teased by a subconscious groupthink, I reckoned Comcast/Xfinity, Big Pharma, Medicare, IRS, Social Security, banks, mortgage servicers, insurance companies, condo associations and Amazon not only make mistakes but misbehave. Experience has shown me that correcting mis-charges in all these organizations requires pull-my-hair-out patience. To make matters worse, AARP informs me every week to be over-vigilant to incoming email, text messages, phone calls, and snail mail. Apparently, thousands of scammers are out to shear my bank account.

Accepting the idea of a corporate crime wave is easier when in the thick of a crisis. A few years ago I sat with a tattooed, mohawked alcoholic who was detoxing in the hallway of an emergency room. A nearby social worker overheard me phoning his family with the news that their insurance denied coverage for inpatient treatment. She pulled me aside and offered: “They always reject you on the first try. Their business model counts on you giving up. Tell them you know it’s against the law to deny him.”

The father of the patient wigged out at the shamelessness of the blameless insurance counselor. I say blameless, because what kind of mullethead would take a job where the requirements would be to lie to the customers? Insurance eventually accepted the sufferer’s claim. He lasted two weeks in rehab before cutting out, but that’s another story.

86922a4b282276bf1fe4cf8fc1f67411When the devils throw blow-out parties, they wave around essential-fatty-acid credentials weaving stories that depict the decolorization of human goodness. They bob around spewing certainties on the demise of the Democratic Party and the catastrophe of melting polar ice caps. Then they buzz cut what’s left of our serenity pronouncing Trump will be the next president. 

How do I foil hair-on-fire incoming?  By upsweeping the good. I stick every 100 dollar refund on the beehive and wait for the honey.

3 thoughts on “Scammers and Fear Mongers

  1. Brilliant writing, I’m think Comcast puts that charge on out of a mix of incompetence and crockery!

  2. In Oct our Amazon visa credit card through Chase had a charge of $10.90. Neither Doug nor I could identify it. Our Amazon account showed nothing ordered for that amount. I talked to someone with Amazon. She could find nothing. Said I should call Chase and ask for a refund. We got the money back and I thought everything was fine. Today I see a charge for $10.95, exactly a month after the first one. Must be some kind of subscription that no one can identify. I didn’t have the energy to tackle it today. Regan, I feel for you.

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