This one should make anyone who's experienced being on hold for way too long smile. Comcast has now been fined $12,281.84 in Montgomery County, Maryland, for being too slow to answer customer service calls. This shouldn't come as a surprise. After all, even Comcast's own technicians have been known to fall asleep waiting for support to answer a call. Apparently, Montgomery County is cracking down on cable service providers who treat customers terribly and is trying to hold them to a minimum service level (we assume that they can do this as part of the franchise agreements they give out for cable providers). Normally, a competitive market would force companies to serve customers better, but we all know that there still isn't much of a competitive market when it comes to cable services. There is some concern that the fines are too small to make Comcast care -- which may be true. It seems like a better solution might just be to try to increase the number of competitors in the market, and then publicize average hold times, so that customers know these things when they choose who provides their cable and broadband services. But, for now, that's probably just a pipe (or tube?) dream.
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