“A Supervisor at Comcast just informed us that they couldn’t send their technician to repair our internet service today because our area has too much violence.....ARE YOU KIDDING ME?????? Oh Hell No!!!!!!!,” Father Michael Pfleger wrote on Facebook.
Phillip Hunter, the Director of Community Employment at Pfleger’s St. Sabina Church, told DNAInfo Chicago that he called Comcast and made an appointment for 3-5 p.m. Wednesday. But Hunter said he quickly got a call back to reschedule.
“Due to safety reasons” Hunter said, Comcast moved the appointment to the next morning. He says a Comcast supervisor told him, “there’s a lot of gang activity going on in the area”
St. Sabina Church is located in Englewood, which is Chicago’s 7th most violent neighborhood, according to crime stats published by the Chicago Tribune. On Tuesday, Father Pfleger led a funeral mass for Tyshawn Lee, a 9-year-old gunned down on his way to play basketball in a neighborhood park.
Does any of that justify limiting the neighborhood’s access to essential services, though? Crime has been declining in Englewood for a decade now, and the church seems to be a positive force in the neighborhood.
Hunter told DNAInfo it’s important to get service back before Tuesday night, when the students from the GED class he runs will come in to do classwork. Wednesday’s class was already wasted.
Hunter wants “a resolution to this situation and some form of apology for what I believe to be profiling,” he said, and if the church doesn’t get it, they’ll look into switching internet providers.
In many areas, though, there’s only one real ISP option— and it’s usually one of the big two not-technically-monopolies, Comcast or Time Warner. If that company refuses to provide service, there’s not much a customer can do to access what’s increasingly being viewed as a fundamental right.
Gawker has reached out to Comcast for comment on Pfleger and Hunter’s claims.
Well guess what after Facebook goes off and calls and media respond...SUDDENLY, calls from Comcast come and two technicians and a supervisor show up to do the work.....My question is.Why did it take pressure to do the right thing.....and what about Miss Jones on the block that is treated like that.....If they would tell our Employment Center that, how is an ordinary citizen treated?????? SMH
Update 2: Comcast sent Gawker the following statement by email:
Comcast serves each and every neighborhood in the city each and every day.
We made the decision to postpone yesterday’s scheduled appointments in order to ensure the safety and security of our employees after receiving police information indicating a heightened potential for violence in the neighborhood. We proactively reached out to the six customers in the area who had appointments and rescheduled them.