I guess you can call me old fashioned, but when I find something I like, I stick with it. Living in Miami for the last eight years, the only real cable provider in my area has been Comcast, so that is who has been servicing my cable and internet connection. I’ve been patient, I’ve been calm, and I’ve turned the other cheek on several occasions, but come August 21st, I’ll no longer be a customer of Comcast for anything.
When I moved to my current dwelling in August of last year, I had Comcast install their “Double Play” line-up. This means I would receive both cable and internet at a discounted rate for 12-months (which came out to roughly $80 with all rented equipment and taxes). Immediately, I had problems with the cable connection and was spending a good amount of time on the phone requesting a technician. This would happen roughly once a month until February, but each time Comcast seemed to fix the problem.
Then in late February, I started to have even more connection issues. Service would be out for a couple of days at a time, and it always seemed at the most inopportune of times. Working from home, having an internet connection is crucial, and so I immediately went on the offensive with Comcast and demanded compensation.
Surprisingly, I was provided a free month’s worth of service, which kept me in their good graces until June. This is when I had a technician come and install HD, as we purchased a new (lightly used) TV. I was asked to pay the technician $30.11 in cash and after a few phone call reminders and another initiated by me, I was told a credit card would not be accepted and cash was the only option. That morning, I made a special trip to the bank and withdrew $40 in ten dollar bills. The technician came, which was a miracle in and of itself because my last SIX appointments were no shows (for which I was not compensated like their TV commercials would suggest) and he finished his work in 10 minutes. Before leaving, I provided him with the $30.11 that was requested of me and the case was closed. Or so I thought.
Wouldn’t you know it, when my July bill was sent to me (in June), included in it was a $30.11 charge which I had already paid. Already having Comcast #1 on my speed dial, I calmly called in and asked that this charge be removed, as it was already paid. The representative told me it would take 24 hours to take care of the matter and I should expect to receive a phone call from a supervisor. Two days passed so I called back. This time, I was told it would take 48 hours and again, would receive a call from the supervisor when completed. Three days later, I placed yet another call.
This time, I spoke with a CSR manager who informed me that the process could take up to 30 days, which I thought of as ridiculous. All that needed to be done was to verify the technician received the funds and this would be over. But as upset as I was, I decided to wait the 30 days. I marked August 3rd on my calendar and informed the CSR manager that I already knew this would not be resolved. Comcast had never done anything they said they would in the past, why start now. Meanwhile, the best course of action recommended was to pay my bill minus the $30.11 as it would be removed. So I did.
Well August’s bill rolls around and on it is a $5.95 late fee for not paying my July bill in full. On August 3rd, 31 days after my ticket request, I called back, furious again, wanting to know what happened. Well the ticket placed seems not to exist anymore so no one knows what happened. Comcast has a record of all my previous communications so they know it SHOULD have been resolved. I was asked to place a second ticket, which would be rushed through the system and which would be resolved “quickly”. The representative kindly removed the fee, and I moved on knowing that the battle had only just begun.
Saturday night, August 14th rolls around and I learn that Comcast has turned off my cable! Already knowing why, I call in to have it turned back on, but Comcast has no one available for such an inquiry until Monday. Absolutely fantastic!
Monday, I call in looking for nothing less than blood and explain yet again the circumstances leading up to this problem. I’m told that the initial ticket is still missing, the second ticket is still unresolved and the research department assigned to this matter is un-contactable. I am told that I would receive a phone call within 24-hours from them no matter what, but I questioned it because if they don’t have a phone number to call them, how are they going to call me?!
During that same call, I found out that the cable is automatically turned off because I have a past-due bill of more than 10 days. Even though every single note left in my account suggests this should not happen, it happens anyway because the automation Comcast has set up doesn’t read notes. It just sees a negative balance and shuts you down. The representative turned my service back on, but I told him this would happen again based on the system they have in place. He put a note in the account for future CSR’s.
Two days later, for a second time, Comcast shut off my cable. Keep in mind that this issue was to be resolved at SEVEN different points along the way of this investigation and not once did I receive a phone call and not once was there any new information. I called Comcast ready to go to war and demanded 10 years of free service (seriously). I conservatively estimate spending more than 100 hours on the phone with them and I have had enough. As polite as ever, the CSR escalated the ticket for a 3rd time, and had enough personality to tell me if this were her, she would have blown something up by now. Comcast had made me laugh for the first time.
So I sit here today, just a few hours removed from my last conversation with Comcast, knowing that tomorrow, AT&T and Direct TV will be receiving some new business. Everyone reading is probably saying, “Just pay the $30.11 again and move on. It’s not worth all of this aggravation!” and you’re absolutely right. Perhaps that was the smart thing to do, but I’m too heavily invested in this to give up now! On Friday, when my cable is shut down yet again, it can remain that way. I will look for compensation for the time they wrongfully turned off my services, but it won’t me much.
There’s nothing more frustrating than expecting an appointment, expecting a phone call, expecting a resolution that doesn’t come and having to follow-up time and time again with no response. The continued lack of support, canceled appointments and lack of service has gone on for far too long, and with my bill slated to increase to $125 a month for basic cable and internet, it was probably time to move on anyway.
If you have Comcast stories you would like to share, I would love to hear them. Don’t forget to email the CEO of Comcast, Brian Roberts (email@example.com), to let him know how you feel.
Published or updated August 20, 2010.