I’m Stuck Between a Rock and Comcast

It’s no secret that I don’t like Comcast.  Just over a year ago, I wrote a post on just how frustrating it was to get anyone from Comcast to stick to an appointment and vowed never to pay them another dime for service.  The problem, however, was that no other cable or internet company offers service where I live (downtown Miami – go figure) and I’m stuck.  Today, I was reminded why monopolies are a terrible, terrible thing.

Roughly three weeks ago, I decided to add a television in the bedroom.  This room also happens to contain my office so I thought it would be a good idea to stay plugged into financial news while spending most of my time writing.  In order to do this, however, I need a Comcast technician to come to my apartment, install a new cable box and split the line that is currently in the living room.  Had I not needed someone to “flip the switch”, I could have done this on my own, but alas, I was forced to schedule an appointment (gulp).

Calling on a Wednesday, I was told no appointments were available until the following Tuesday.  I was a little disappointed in that time frame, especially considering the job would only take five minutes and I live in an area where I see Comcast representative trucks daily, but so be it.   I booked the 8 am to 10 am time-frame and purchased a Vizio TV that was on sale from Costco. Very solid deal that Costco provided and so far, the plan is unfolding to perfection.

Then Tuesday arrived and for some strange reason, I assumed Comcast would be here on time.  Of course, this was not the case and at 10:01 am, I called in to see what was going on.  As usual I was given the run-around and no information was available.  I asked for:

  • The phone number of the representative who was supposed to show up and it could not be provided
  • The phone number of dispatch; so the driver could be located and it could not be provided
  • A time-frame of when I should expect the representative to show up and it could not be provided

One of the many beautiful things about Comcast is that its customer service team only has the power to create tickets, which are then responded to by dispatch and other departments.  They have no phone numbers (that they can provide anyway) and no way to contact others within Comcast.  Everything they can do resides within a ticket system so the right hand never knows what the left is doing.

I waited, and waited, and waited. At 2 pm I received a call that the technician would arrive in two hours.  Then at 3pm, a very kind and apologetic gentleman showed up, set everything up in five minutes and I had cable television.  To be honest, everyone that has shown up from Comcast has been excellent.  The problem though is that they are always late or never show up at all.  No worries; I did receive a $20 credit for the missed appointment and this case was closed.

Until today, when I received my bill for the upcoming month.  I was double charged for HD service, double charged for a new cable box, triple charged for service taxes and also had a nice $45 installation fee that was added for the five minute job performed two weeks ago.  My cable and internet bill was more than $170 when I expected it to be just over $100, and I’m fighting the good fight yet again.

I have no doubt that tomorrow I will be able to have most of these charges removed from my account, but it irks me to unimaginable levels that I must waste more time dealing with Comcast.  I know and they know there is absolutely nothing I can do to rid myself of Comcast (other than cancel cable and internet, which is not an option for someone who works from home).   Be that as it may, my only option is to forgive and forget and hope that I never have to deal with them again.  I brought this on myself by wanting an additional television so I know I’m partly to blame.

Life is too short to let Comcast get the better of me, so I’ll simply use a few money saving tips to make up for the money lost on this venture.

Published or Updated: September 14, 2011

Comments

  1. Money Beagle says:

    I see some things never change! Almost ten years ago, I fired Comcast. My cable modem went out. They told me it would take five days to fix it. I waited. They came, fixed it, or so I thought. A few hours later it went out again. When I called back they told me it would be another five days, not caring in the slightest that they had already been out. I cancelled instead and have not regretted it for a second!

  2. Evan says:

    It is not just Comcast it seems to be any large cable provider with a monopoly over a city. What I don’t understand is how the sat companies haven’t figured out a way for townhouses and some condo units with window access to receive their service!

  3. jim says:

    The thing is that I don’t think other TV providers are really any better. Mediocre service seems to be the status quo for the industry. So even if you don’t have a monopoly your choice is between 2-3 different cable /satellite companies who are all pretty bad at support.

  4. ComcastMark says:
    • Michael says:

      Mark

      Someone from Comcast left this very same comment on the last Comcast article I wrote and I actually decided to provide my info.

      Guess what happened … nothing!

  5. Poor customer service is to be expected from a monopoly. It is only through competition that prices and service start to improve. Creative destruction is a good thing.

    • jim says:

      I don’t think monopoly = bad service and competition = good service.

      I can see the logic and sometimes thats exactly what happens but it really isn’t set in stone as a cause and effect thing.

      The service that I get from my local garbage company, water utility, police station, and the USPS has been great in my experience. They are all monopolies. Where I live Comcast is not a monopoly and I have 4 choices for TV between Verizon, Comcast and the satellite providers yet Comcasts service is poor.

      Since the satellite companies came on the scene you could argue that its been a long time since a cable company has any kind of real monopoly since satellite companies compete nation wide.

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