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October 10, 2007
Jim Carrey popularized the psycho cable installer persona, and now Mona "The Hammer" Shaw may do the same for crazy cable customers.
The Potomac News reports the following tale of a Golden Girl gone wild in Northern Virginia:
Mona Shaw had heard and seen enough from Comcast, her local cable television provider.
After repeated attempts to change her phone service from Verizon to Comcast's Triple Play during a week in August, the 75-year-old Bristow resident with a heart condition took out her frustrations at the Manassas payment center on Center Street.
Shaw was arrested for disorderly conduct after she took a hammer to several items in the office - all the while saying, "Have I got your attention now?"
What on earth could have caused such a rampage from an otherwise serene senior citizen? The paper explains:
Shaw's problems began when she and her husband, Don, waited all day Aug. 13 for a Comcast worker to come to their house to install its much-publicized Triple Play service, which includes digital cable, digital voice and high-speed Internet service. The Shaws were Comcast customers already but wanted to upgrade.
No one came Aug. 13 but two days later, a representative arrived.
According to Shaw, the Comcast worker didn't finish the job, told her that he needed a third party to finish it and left his equipment there.
Before leaving, the cable guy gave her the option of changing her phone number, but Shaw said she didn't want to change a number that she has had for 34 years.
The next day the Shaws couldn't receive calls but were eventually able to make calls.
That Friday, Shaw spent the morning on the phone with Comcast and made a frustrating trip to its Manassas office that resulted in no assistance from a company manager, she said.
When the Shaws returned home, they discovered they had no phone service at all.
A cell phone call to Comcast resulted in their receiving a new number and a promise that someone from the company would call on Monday. In the meantime, the Shaws figured out on their own how to plug their phone directly into the equipment the worker left.
That weekend, Shaw called the State Corporation Commission, the regulatory agency with authority over Virginia businesses. She says she spoke with the SCC's Larry Kubrock and was promised that someone from his agency would contact Comcast.
The Shaws waited Monday for a call. Finally, around 4:30 p.m., Mona Shaw put a hammer in her purse and returned to the Manassas Comcast office.
"I smashed a keyboard, knocked over a monitor ... and I went to hit the telephone," Mona said. "I figured, 'Hey my telephone is screwed up, so is yours.' "
Shaw did not specifically address rumors that she is a retired postal worker. Instead, she hinted at a case of geriatric temporary insanity.
"What the hell, I'm 75," said Shaw.
To be featured in this month's Comcast VOD marquee movie library: Anger Management.
— Michael Harris, Chief Analyst, Cable Digital News
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