MADELEINE BRAND, host:
Finally today, someone who had struck a blow, literally, for all of us - all of us who have spent countless frustrating minutes or hours with customer service representatives.
Seventy-five-year-old Mona Shaw was furious at the treatment she received by her local cable company, Comcast, so she took a hammer, went to the office, and let out her anger.
Mona Shaw is here now. Welcome to the program.
Ms. MONA SHAW (Customer): Thank you very much.
BRAND: Well, tell us first, what was your initial problem - your initial disagreement with Comcast?
Ms. SHAW: We were trying to go for the three-for-one.
Ms. SHAW: Cable and telephone. It's supposed to be about a hundred dollars a month.
BRAND: And so the guy comes out and what happens?
Ms. SHAW: And he does - he messed up our telephone lines, and left.
BRAND: Just leaving them in disarray.
Ms. SHAW: Correct. We spent hours trying to get them straightened out and come out, and they wouldn't. And so five days have gone by and all day Friday we had tried and tried and tried to get them to straighten out our phone. And I'd gone down to Comcast that time and very nicely asked to see a supervisor or a manager.
BRAND: So you actually went down to the office?
Ms. SHAW: Right. They told us to sit - wait outside on a bench.
BRAND: Us being you and your husband?
Ms. SHAW: Yes.
Ms. SHAW: And we did. The two of us sat there for two hours, at which time somebody came out and said, oh, I'm sorry, the manager went home. Now we are without a phone, we can't even call 911. We can't dial out, we can't - we're just dead in the water. And for a whole weekend we're going to be like this.
Monday, finally at 4:30 in the afternoon, I went down, got my husband's hammer, and I said, come on, honey, we're going for a ride. And we went down to Comcast and I walked in and reached across the counter and just started whacking away at their telephone. I hit the computer keyboard and knocked over the monitor. And I said, now have I got your attention?
BRAND: And I'm - I guess the answer would be yes. What did they say to you?
Ms. SHAW: They asked me to go sit on a bench outside again.
(Soundbite of laughter)
Ms. SHAW: And I said, no, I am staying right here. So then of course somebody had called the police, I gather one of the girls there, and the police came roaring in. And first he said put down the hammer, and I said okay, and I hit the telephone one more time.
BRAND: So here you are, you've probably never done something as violent...
Ms. SHAW: No.
BRAND: ...as this in your life. You're an upstanding citizen. You were an Air Force nurse. You square dance. You're a church member. Why did you think this was a good idea, to go down there with the hammer and vent your rage?
Ms. SHAW: First of all, if the man had done his job, we wouldn't have gone through this. Secondly, if they had told us how we could disconnect the stupid box that he put in, the whole thing would have been avoided.
BRAND: Well, a Comcast executive called it inappropriate, what you did, and she said nothing justifies this sort of dangerous behavior.
Ms. SHAW: Oh, dangerous my foot.
(Soundbite of laughter)
BRAND: So what happened? You - you were arrested. You are taken out in handcuffs?
Ms. SHAW: Right. I did go to court on the 24th of September and I paid damages and was told that I had to behave for three months.
Ms. SHAW: I am - I am - they've got a restraining order on me. Can't go near the building.
BRAND: Comcast has a restraining order against you?
Ms. SHAW: Yes.
BRAND: Do you have a new phone company now?
Ms. SHAW: I'm back to Verizon and very happy with them.
BRAND: Mona Shaw, thank you very much for speaking with us.
Ms. SHAW: You're quite welcome.
(Soundbite of movie, "Network")
Unidentified Woman #1 (Actor): (As character) I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!
Unidentified Man #1 (Actor): (As character) I'm mad as hell! I'm not going to take it anymore!
Unidentified Woman #2 (Actor): (As character) I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!
Unidentified Man #2 (Actor): (As character) I'm not going to take it anymore!
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.