dear comcast: six years ago, you installed internet service at my old apartment. as part of this installation, you left a small plastic modem plugged into our wall.

with our recent move, you told me that modem was now obsolete, and that you would bring me a new one. however – you said – i must return the old modem to your headquarters or be charged $5 a month indefinitely. well, can i just give it to the guy who comes to install the new service, i asked. no, said you. you must come in person.

frustrated and without a car or time during business hours to spindle around the maze that is potrero hill (where your “headquarters” are located) i called your customer service representatives seeking a mailing address. i waited on hold (at work) for 40 minutes and then had an argument with someone about the fact that i work during the day and cannot get to potrero hill. in the end, you agreed to mail me a “box” to ship my modem back in. i thought this was the end of this ordeal, but no. two weeks went by (and $2.50 more on my bill) with no box. then i get a ups notice that i “missed” a delivery. well of course i missed, it – as discussed, i have a job and am not home during the day. so couldn’t they just leave it? no. well then, reroute it to my office? no. three more “missed delivery” notices and finally, it must have been my neighbor who signed for the package.

which was an empty, torn and crushed box that i must tape back together and bring to ups to mail back to you.