5 Reasons We Should All Be Thankful for Comcast

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(This post originally appeared on The Philly Post)

This holiday season there are plenty of reasons to give thanks. Sure, there are challenges that we face. But the economy is rebounding. People are more educated. Our standard of living has never been higher. Poverty is at an historical low. Life expectancy is at an historical high. Natural disasters are killing fewer people. Fewer are dying in wars. And, of course, we have Comcast.

Yes, you haters, Comcast. We have Comcast. The media and entertainment giant that people love to hate. The company that, with just a brief mention of its name, turns seemingly reasonable, charitable, kind and loving human beings into angry, violent lunatics. The company that is the butt of 78.53% of the jokes on late night TV. The prime example of what customer service should not be. The target of lawsuits and scathing blog posts. People just love to hate Comcast.

Well, you can deservedly blame Comcast for a lot of things. But when you watch the Eagles this Thanksgiving, look up a recipe for pumpkin pie online or just make a simple phone call to Grandma because you didn’t feel like going over the river and through the woods this year, you can thank Comcast. And be grateful. Because Comcast is doing great things. Don’t believe me? Here are five things Comcast did … just this past month!

Comcast has solved a problem that has plagued mankind for decades.

Unfortunately, it’s not the introduction of a fat free Big Mac. But just last week, Comcast announced that it’s testing a new feature on its mobile app where customers can track the location and arrival times of their service technician and rate their performance. The app will also alert you 30 minutes in advance of a tech’s visit. No longer will you be imprisoned in your home “between noon and 6 p.m.” waiting for that technician to arrive. Thank you, Comcast.

Comcast is improving the lives of its blind customers.

Earlier this month the company said its TV guide service will speak the listings out loud. The service will go live on December 1st. This could improve the lives of between 500,000 to 700,000 people. These are people who must search for hours through almost 200 stations just to find that one golden episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians (and you know the one I‘m talking about — where Scott Disick travels to London to become royalty? Awesome.) Now the blind can keep up with Kim and her family faster and more efficiently. Thank you, Comcast.

Comcast is making it easier for us to understand their bills.

The company in November implemented a new billing system in this area that promises to “make the monthly bills more transparent with itemized charges, and will improve communications inside Comcast, making technician calls more efficient.” OK, there have been some glitches but what, your computer doesn’t crash once in a while? I, for one, am looking  forward to really, REALLY understanding the bills I get from Comcast, all the way down to those $.39 franchise and excise fees I’m paying. Next up: Explaining why I would possibly spend $4.99 to rent 22 Jump Street.

Comcast is making it easier to work from home.

The company is introducing a new service called Ethernet@home which will extend “secure network connectivity to employees working from home.” For example, “in a healthcare environment, this would allow a hospital to expand beyond multi-point Ethernet connectivity on a campus to deliver secure Ethernet connections that reach all the way to a physician’s home.” Don’t we all want more flexibility and more time to spend with our families? Thank you, Comcast.

Comcast has started to read your mind.

A new partnership with the amazing service IFTTT will enable Comcast to give you messages on your TV or change the channels immediately when a certain event happens. IFTTT is a tool connects web-based services to other services or even “smart” objects in your home, like your thermostat or lights … or cable box. This way you can immediately be notified when the Sixers win a game or Ryan Howard hits a single to the opposite field. Nah, that probably won’t happen. Comcast is powerful, but it can’t perform miracles.

Like many, you’ve probably stopped reading this column halfway through and are already composing a hate-filled comment about me and Comcast. But if you took the time to read this to the end, here is your reward, a piece of critical information: I have zero relationship with Comcast. I am not paid by them. I have never been paid by them. I personally do not know anyone who actually works at Comcast. I have no incentive to write this piece other than to remind you of how thankful you should be for Comcast. Oh, and to rile you up…just a little. Happy Thanksgiving!

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