Saturday, April 26, 2008

From the Desk of the Jeremy Crow R&D Department - Volume 8

Well it was certainly fun to be a Comcast customer today. I woke up as I usually do {in a bad mood} to certain others in this house having computer problems. Nobody could get on the internet, so I examined the situation, but by the time I had gotten up the internet appeared to be working fine. I tried a few sites on some of the computers in the house, and when I got to my site some church in Kentucky was replacing all of my pages. I was furious to say the least, and I feel sorry for all of the tech support guys I was lamb basting with my issues. In the end they were reduced to reading my web pages to me so that I was convinced that they could see them. I couldn’t understand because all of my pages on other sites that my site was serving images too couldn’t display the images either.

The poor guy on the other end finally convinced me that there was an issue with Comcast itself, and it’s DNS was all messed up and routing everything to the wrong places. All day fighting around this I realized a trend in all of the pages that were being served {accidentally of course} to my computer from Comcast’s Domain Name Server. They all appeared to be the type of content that you used to get before the invention of the “Pop Up Blocker.” I am hypothesizing here, but I am allowed to do that as Comcast is the most over monopolistic, congress owning company on earth, and truly believe that they must have been screwing around with the system a bit. I’m thinking something along the lines of fixing it so that the Error 404 pages of other sites would point towards advertising that they were serving to it’s customers. I’m sure there will be more relevant ideas coming out from everyone as soon as we can get to the information.

It is insane that a company can be allowed to own all of the broadband internet in this state, but to simply charge 50 bucks infinitely, threaten customers to use less bandwidth and then on top of that openly mess with its own system to block Torrent traffic, and then force advertising on us all goes over the top! They have become such an omnipotent being around here that they don’t even apologize when they willfully interfere with what people pay for. As someone who hates the “open lawsuit” way of dealing with everything, it is like a kick in the balls to have to admit that Comcast needs to be sued into obscurity.

Now back to the farm. I was trying to get all of my auto insurance quotes in line today, and see if anyone could convince me to leave Allstate. I do this every time my insurance policy is up, and I will admit that the last few years I have paid on average 70 to 100 more for my coverage, but lately all of the companies have come out with their big “push” to talk about how they save you up to 400 dollars by “switching” so I was intrigued. There are still just two companies that give me a better rate if I want it. The first being Geico {would save me 123 dollars to “switch” but as we all know will double the rates the next year, after you lose your loyalty bonuses with who you have} and the other being Nationwide {which will send you your premium back if you ever have an accident that costs more than your premium … and yes they can legally do that} so again I am staying with Allstate.

What slayed me though is Progressive which used to be the cheapest of them all. Originally it was just a money laundering arm of the DNC, but somehow they must have become more than that. Their quote was an insane 420 dollars more than Allstate for half the coverage. It was so over the top that I actually responded to the e-mail with the quote in it by saying “And it was 400 dollars more than the next highest quote!” which actually got me a reply. See how stupid they think I am … {annotated of course}

Dear Mr. Crow, {How charming}
Thank you for contacting us. {Charming again} We appreciate you taking the time to obtain a quote. {Of course it was pretty easy on you, wasn’t it?}
Thank you for getting a quote with Progressive. {Ok all the “thank you’s” are starting to remind me of the Indian guy at the Quickie Mart} I hope we made the process easy for you to compare rates, coverage and service. {Oh hell yeah, it was somewhat of a glaring example that was hard to miss} I'm sorry the quote we provided you is not competitive with other rates you may have gotten. {Sorry I caught it}
Insurance companies generally base their rates on their expected cost of doing business, including the cost of paying claims. {Like the 0 I have had in 20 years?} We use information about drivers, driving histories and vehicle makes and models to determine accurate prices. {Ok so take 0 add a 4 cylinder with 120k on it and a sexy Minivan and you get “danger Will Robinson”}
Because insurance companies have different costs of doing business, rates will vary from one company to another, and no one company will have the lowest rate for every driver. {Your cost of doing business is obviously tied up in trying to convince people you are cheaper … Ok I get it}
Insurance rates change often, so we encourage you to shop around again to be sure you're getting the best combination of price and service for you. {Um, I think I had alluded to that already, but again I am an idiot}
We look forward to having you shop with us again in the future and invite you to compare our rates, plus our 24/7 in-person and online services, with what our competitors offer. {See above}
We appreciate the time you took to explore our Web site and quote a new policy with Progressive. {But next time you come through please don’t compare our prices first, it’s horrible for business}
Sincerely, Whatsername, Progressive Internet Representative

Um, No? If there is one thing that I learn its “Don’t go back to the prison yard if you make the inmates horny!” I did find a things that were interesting though when I went around to all the different sites. AIG doesn’t even sell insurance in New Hampshire. This is usually a sign that they can’t gouge you here and it isn’t part of their business structure. New Hampshire is one of the wonderful states that doesn’t force you to have insurance and places blame on those that have accidents instead of oppressing everyone with it. This creates the need to actually give better drivers better rates since better drivers don’t even have to drive with it. Of course it is best to have it because they will force you into having it if you do have an accident even if you aren’t at fault. Insurance companies love that aspect because you pay an extra 200 dollars for SR-22 if the state makes you have it.

Of course after paying 39 dollars for my 4 cylinder to get a full tank of gas, these insurance companies should just be happy that a lot of us still own cars to insure. Don’t think that doesn’t factor in to why I am not to particularly thrilled with paying an extra 400 dollars so that my vet bills can get paid in case of an accident. My pets aren’t allowed in the vehicle unless they come up with some gas money damnit! ;8o)