Comcast Has Lost My Business Forever

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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 (brian_roberts@comcast.com), to let him know how you feel.

Published or Updated: August 20, 2010

Comments

  1. Blair says:

    Michael –

    What a nightmare. This sounds like something you ought to send to the Consumerist; they usually hit the cable companies & other service providers with near-monopolies hard when it comes to stuff like this. (http://www.consumerist.com) Stories like this just make me more and more willing to ditch cable entirely.

    -B

    • John Beasleh says:

      I’m with you buddy.

  2. Brad says:

    Great reading your story and hearing your frustrations. I too know exactly how you are feeling and have had my own run arounds with Comcast. I’m glad you have voiced your concerns so that others on the internet will see. There are lots of results that yield Comcast as the worst company in america. I hate them so much I’ve been short their stock and will hold it until they go under!

    It’s Comcastic = It’s craptastic

  3. RT says:

    I’ve ditched cable TV altogether because of Comcast. Ive considered Fios, but I am a little apprehensive since I am scared of the same customer service from Verizon that I got from Comcast. Anyone ever had good or bad service from Verizon?

  4. Brian says:

    I had a similar incident with Comcast that started with a technician showing up to my apartment high, knocks over a lamp, and then climbed on the roof to look for the access panel, which was obviously in the basement. It ended with a technician coming to my apartment on Saturday July 4th, because the internet was still not turned on. He ended up activating my internet and adding tv service for free, which I didn’t notice until months later when i called for a problem with the internet, and they commented that we could add tv to our service at a promotional price. I kept my mouth shut, and after I moved out of that apartment I vowed NEVER to have Comcast AGAIN. After moving into a house and getting Directv/Qwest I had a service line from Comcast that was overhead from the alley to the back of my house, fall into my back yard during a bad thunderstorm. I called their local service center and told them if they weren’t there in 24 hours to get their cable out of my yard I was going to call 911 and tell them it was a power cable and let Comcast deal with the aftermath. In all the time I was ACTUALLY a customer they NEVER moved so fast as they did to get that cable put back into place that evening…

    • Michael says:

      Never thought of doing that! Maybe it should be my next move …

  5. ComcastMark says:

    I apologize for the poor experience. I work for Comcast and I’d like to look into this on our end. If you don’t mind, will you please let me know the phone number on your account?

    For those of you who are experiencing troubles with Comcast, please feel free to contact us too. We are here to help! 

    Mark Casem
    Comcast Corp.
    National Customer Operations
    We_can_help@cable.comcast.com

    • Michael says:

      Mark

      I’ve emailed it to you. Hoping something good comes from it. The ball is in your court!

  6. robbin says:

    I am a Comcast tech. We are check, DAILY to see if we are trying to make contact. If you are not home or, you do not answer your door, what are we suppose to do? Literally, we have to knock on your door and call you. If you don’t answer, then we have to call our dispatch. They ask us if we have knocked on your door and called. If we have, then they call you. If you don’t answer all of that, then we have a back up: We have to give a detailed description of your home. If you call and ask for the description of your home from the tech who came by and they give you an accurate description, then the responsibility falls on you. We hate to lose your business but, do not blame us for you lack of responsibility. If you set an appointment… keep that appointment! If you get no calls, call us. If they don’t no give you an accurate description of your home, cuss us out!

    Robbin

    • Michael says:

      Robbin

      I work from home. My desk is 15 feet from the door. I’ve called Comcast the day after each of the six missed appointments only to listen to excuses.

      I assure you, no one showed up. Comcast admits it … just doesn’t compensate for it.

  7. jimmy says:

    You can get rotten service from anyone. I used Dish TV for a long time and didn’t have problems, yet I read about people that have nightmares. I have my phone service and DSL through Verizon. When I lived in an apartment, my DSL went out for weeks, until one smart technician connected to another line in my apartment building and solved the problem. I will not use Direct TV because of the horror stories I have read.

    Good luck

  8. jim says:

    I have had better service with Comcast than Verizon personally. I’ve never had ‘perfect’ service from any major TV / internet provider. They all eventually seem to screw up something.

  9. Jonah says:

    Comcast is the most shady scum company out there. They bill you all the time in advance and as this shows, they steal your cash right out of your hand.

  10. Fontaine says:

    I think you would be absolutely crazy for sticking with Comcast. You are the customer! I had them for five years and had issues all the time (though not quite as bad as yours). DirectTV is no better – they are SO ghetto.

    I was reluctant to get Cox after having experienced Comcast, so I called Direct TV. This ghetto lady insisted that I give her my social security number so she could run it! I was only inquiring about prices, not signing up. She got mad and said I was wasting her time and refused to provide the information. Terrible!

    Comcast is absolutely horrible…Direct TV is terrible. Cox has been so-s0.
    I just don’t understand how you can pay so much and still keep Comcast after all those issues. Just get rid of them already and move on…it has to be better elsewhere!

  11. I wish I would have known this information before we signed up for their high speed internet. When youre using it on a computer, it’s just fine. The download speeds are more than enough, and bandwidth is sufficient enough to be able to buffer any video very quickly. However, when I try to play an online game with some of my friends and family, the connection is HORRIBLE. Now I’m scared to call them when they have basically told you to, “Suck it up, buttercup.” Thanks so much for the article and info!

  12. Jerret says:

    Oh. I thought “Comcast Cares”? They’re touted in every social media book that’s been printed in the last 100 years as THE model to follow in social media. Guess that doesn’t matter if the product is crapola. Thanks for the story.

    -Jerret

  13. ebele says:

    You, my friend, have the patience of a saint. I would have burst a vain by now., especially if you’re working from home. I’ve had ‘experiences’ with phone companies – dumb experiences where you wonder how they manage to function at all, but nowhere near anything you’ve been through. I know it’s not my fault, but I feel like saying sorry, so I will. Sorry for your experience. The team that were dealing with your issue sound like an absolute bunch of muppets.

    Glad you’re moving on. Hope the next company you join puts ComCast to shame.

    Take care…

  14. mamabear says:

    Re Comcast: I paid my $52 bill on time automatically every month. Unbeknownst to me, the bill had increased by $3 a month 6 months earlier. One Saturday, Comcast technician shows up and turn off my service due to overdue bill. I said, how could it be overdue when I pay you every month? Found bill – it was $124.00 OVERDUE. I called, asked agent how could it be overdue by $124.00 when I paid every month except for the $3 shortage for 6 months. At most, the shortage would have been $18. Agent said, $124.00 is what you owe. Pay it in full or no service. I said fine. Send me a final bill. Final bill arrived – for $17.00 and they sent me a free return label for their control box/remote. I gladly paid the bill, returned their stuff and said “no more Comcast”- ever.

  15. Annie Mack says:

    I dont’ work for Comcast but have had their service for years. I’ve run into problems maybe three time in my recollection. Everytime I contacted the corporate office after getting nowhere with customer service and was given VIP treatment in solving the problem. Once when we were experience intermittent pixeling of our HD, we had 2 technicians sit for an entire afternoon and watch television with us until the problem started and then they actually said they were embarrassed that the picture became unwatchable. They called out teams of trucks to track the wire through our neighborhood to find the bad piece that caused the problem. I also call whenever specials on our bill expire and talk with their retention department. The most recent time was yesterday and when we were finished, my bill went down $94. Instead of being angry and yelling, go to the top and get them to make their people fix the problem. My family has Verizon and they hate it. Satellite television wasn’t for us either. As bad as Comcast can be, there are ways to get what you want without your head exploding.

  16. Kathy A. says:

    We paid our July 5 to Au5 5 bill late (Aug 18), went on vacation and learned Comcast disconnected our service Aug 22. Now they want me to pay the current month bill (Aug 5 to Sept 5) and the future month bill (Sept 5 to Oct 5) before they’ll unblock my service. So, I said, fine! Cancel my service, I’ll go elsewhere. They won’t cancel my service until I pay the Aug 5 to Sept 5
    invoice …. but, I was only able to use the service 17 days. I’m not paying for 30-days of service. Any one know a way around this vicious circle? We’ve always had rotten service with Comcast, including a land-line that didn’t work for 45 days … they finally fixed it. And now this. Oh, I always pay my bill after the month I use it …. I’m not going to pay 30-days in advance — no one else makes you pay up front? not dish, not att u-verse, not your electric company, or your water company, or your phone company. So, I do I get them to cancel and pro-rate my Aug 5 – Sept 5 bill? :)

  17. Andy says:

    I just recently moved into an apartment for college. The tenant before me didn’t pay his bill so I had a lot of trouble trying to sign up for service. Then after I did get signed up it was going to be 10 days before someone could hook up my service. Luckily my neighbor was getting his turned on in 3 days so the tech actually turned mine on as well. I went to my local office, got an install kit, and installed it myself. I get my bill and they charged me $60 for installation. I was upset so I called and the guy removed the charge because no tech installed my service. Then a few days afterwards my internet and tv went out. There had been a tech outside and when I called the first time they said it would automatically come back on that he had to turn it off. I called a few hours later and they said there was not an outage in my area even though everyone in my apartment building didn’t have cable. Three days later another tech comes by and turns it back on. The previous guy didn’t turn it back on. Not even a week later, another tech was here and my neighbor doesn’t have service. He paid his bill early and everything. When he called about it they told him it would be 3-4 days before they could get someone out here. I know they are busy but seriously, if you mess up, fix your mistake.

  18. Billy Ray McCork says:

    I too work for Comcast and I am sick and tired of you people who think just cuz your paying 30 bucks a month that you are that important. come on give me a break. just cuz you cant surf the net tonight IT IS NOT THE END OF THE WORLD. And sure EVERYONE who has internet with Comcast uses it for work, yeah right. Im just so sure that you are brokering multimillion dollar deals everyday that your connection is down. brother. One guy told me he lose out on a 35,000 deal cuz his internet was down. I told him that it was pretty stupid of him not to run down to the coffee shop or library and use their internet. He told me that he should not have to because he has internet with comcast. I told him not when it’s down. HELLO STUPID.

    We have real accounts from fortune 100 companies from people that really do work from home. Doing real work not just reading about Britney Spears on MSN. For some strange reason they don’t seem to have a fraction of the problems that you 30 buckers have.

    Oh and about appointments, like the one tech said. If you know that you have an appointment in the morning/evening make sure to be THERE. If you run to the store/drop off/pick the kids/had to go to the bathroom…etc, YOU ARE GONNA MISS YOUR APPOINTMENT!!! Hello, I have sat there and knocked at doors where I know the people are there they see me, but they want to take their time to answer the door, who do you think your punishing, by making me wait? Good luck getting me to come back. Or you jerks that know I’m coming by and leave the three pitbulls in the yard. Sorry not going to knock on your door, oh I know I know, you didn’t get my call cuz your cell phone battery died or was on vibrate. Oh well tough, make another appointment so that you can miss that one too and then whine and cry about how comcast is so crumby.

    Whatever, complaining about cable is so old now go complain about something else like cellphones or medical care.

    GET A LIFE!

  19. i have been what i consider a top notch customer for years now but after this week from what i see on the service end of it i am leaving Comcast for something else. They just don’t seem to care whether they have your business or not and they have more excuses then anybody I know of in this type of business. Sorry Comcast but now i think they have better out there then what you offer.

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