Media Columnist Launches

Giving Comcast subscribers an online forum for complaints about the cable TV operator, media columnist and radio commentator Bob Garfield launched Web site on Friday.

The Web site debuted about four weeks after Garfield first penned a column headlined “Comcast Must Die,” in Advertising Age. Garfield’s screed, which detailed difficulties he had with Comcast, its customer service department and field technicians while trying to obtain digital telephone service at his Maryland home – evolved into a seven part series that castigates the nation’s largest cable company.

Garfield, who also hosts the program “On the Media” for National Public Radio, teamed up with Bart Wilson, CEO of Santa Fe, N.M., real estate marketing firm Voyager International, to create the Web site.

Wilson said he registered the domain name after reading Garfield’s column. Wilson, who subscribes to EchoStar’s Dish Network, said he and Garfield are not looking to make money with the Web site.

Garfield wrote in his first post on the Web site that the forum offers Comcast subscribers an opportunity to vent grievances, and for Comcast to “pay close attention.”

“Actually, I have no death wish for Comcast or any other gigantic, blundering, greedy, arrogant corporate monstrosity. What I do have is the earnest desire for such companies to change their ways,” Garfield wrote.

Comcast senior director of corporate communications Jenni Moyer said local Comcast teams in Maryland, where Garfield is a subscriber, worked to resolve problems with his service after his initial column.

“With respect to the Web site, we recognize that it shouldn’t take a public event for people to get customer service,” Moyer added.

Comcast counts 24.1 million cable TV customers, 12.4 million high-speed Internet customers and 3.5 million voice customers. Moyer said Comcast customer service agents have 225 million “interactions” with customers each year.

“I can’t overstate how important it is that we get it right for all of our customers. That’s why we’ve been so focused on making changes in how we deliver service, and we’ll continue to stay focused on that,” Moyer said.

About 45 comments had been posted on by Monday morning. Most of the comments were criticisms of the cable operator from Web surfers claiming to be current or former customers.

One anonymous poster said he recently cancelled Comcast for DirecTV service, and that he soon planned to add FiOS Internet.

Another anonymous poster said he “never had a problem with Comcast,” and that his Internet connection “is always blazing fast.”