Monday, August 4, 2008

Comcast is an Asshole

Most every Comcast customer I know has some story about poor service or a late/missed maintenance call. Turn to the internet if you haven't had the same experience, we are many. The torch we Tabibs bear is predominantly billing related. A year ago in June we were paying $165 a month for every movie channel, a HD/DVR box, digital phone and cable internet. In July of 2007 we received our monthly bill in the amount of $300. Yes, that's right almost double what we had been paying the previous twelve months (that shit deserves to be bold).

I ended up calling twice and finally getting an "account specialist" to adjust my bill to $185 a month after making a hollow threat to leave for Direct TV. Their explanation was that we had been on some sort of package deal that was some how saving us $115. It made no sense, but I had resolved the issue and that was all that mattered.

History has a pain in the ass way of repeating itself I guess. As of June 2008 our bill was still $185 a month. Our July bill arrived in the amount of $235 and our August bill came in last week at $265. None of our services had changed, we had not requested anything new and there was no explanation on the bill as to why the cost went up. Simple enough, I assumed Comcast wanted to make this an annual event in the hopes that customers too lazy or timid would not call. Neither of us are that customer.

- Monday, I got on the phone and called at 9:30pm to find that their offices were closed at 9pm.

- Wednesday, I called at 8:15pm, got the run around and had to hang up to take care of other obligations. I promised I would call back the following night to discuss the matter further.

- Thursday, I started calling at 8pm...

Call #1-2: The first two calls I was put on hold for ten minutes before getting a tier 1 representative. Tier 1 reps can talk about what is on your bill and why it is there, but can not change anything. When the tier 1 rep put me on hold for a tier 2 rep who could change my account (see above: account specialist) I was disconnected both times.

Call #3: My third call landed me a tier 1 rep again who sent me to hold for a tier 2. When what I thought was a tier 2 rep picked up it turned out to be a tier 1 again. I Expressed my frustration to this rep and was assured that I would be put in touch with a specialist this time. I held for 5 minutes and was disconnected.

Call #4: Call #4 had me back on the line with a tier 1 and begging to talk to someone who could actually help as it was 8:52pm and I knew they closed at nine. I was put on hold for a tier 2 and finally someone from sales picked up. The guy from sales said he could not help me, but would transfer me to a account specialist who could. I told him the department closed at 9pm and that I wanted to make sure I got someone on the line. He assured me that the department was open 24 hours a day even after I told him about the prerecorded message I had heard Monday. At 8:56pm I was transferred and got the message about the department closing at 9pm.

Call #5: While on hold for call #4 I asked Crystal to call as well in an attempt to double our chances. The tier 1 rep transferred her to the tier 2 department at 8:55pm and she got the closed message.

Call #6: Crystal's final call of the night was made at 8:57pm where upon she got to a tier 1 rep who told her that the account specialist office was closed at 9pm. My loving wife pointed out the simple fact that it was 8:57pm and wondered to the rep if every account specialist left early that night. The rep repeated herself again (in her best
monotone put out robot voice) and tried to end the call. Crystal asked to speak to a manager and the rep told her that a manager would tell her the same thing and could not make account changes. The rep then wished Crystal good night and hung up.

- Friday came and Crystal had the day off. She called mid day and went from a tier 1 to a tier 2 the first try. She decided to downgrade our package and drop the digital phone. When the phone call was nearly complete the line disconnected. Having had enough phone calls to Comcast in one lifetime she decided to drive up to the Richmond office. When she arrived she got in line exchanged the combo internet/phone modem for just and internet one and got an estimate for what our monthly bill would be ($125 by the way).

When she arrived home she hooked up the new modem and the internet did not work anymore. She called Comcast repair and was told she had two options.

1. Remove the plan downgrade, get a chance to fix the internet and be transferred to a tier 2 rep who could reapply the downgrade.

2. Wait till August 5th (4 days without internet) for the plan downgrade to go through their system and then get a chance to fix the internet.

Frustrated she choose door number two in the hopes that I could fix it when I got home from work. When I did arrive home I made sure everything was hooked up properly (it was) and called the same repair department she had earlier. I actually got a competent person on the phone and had the internet fixed in 20 minutes, without any mention of downgrades.

The cable TV in our office stopped working later that night and has not worked all weekend. Crystal called and they assured her that the only way to fix it was by sending out some one to repair it. I am going to call tonight and roll the dice (more like Russian roulette) that I get someone smart on the phone. That or yell at a twenty something who makes $10 an hour.

The icing on this crap cake... Verizon sent us a postcard in the mail starting a two month count down for Fios in our area. You bet your sweet ass I am switching!


Grant said...

My goodness, what a story. I've heard people say things like "Better Business Bureau" and that sort of thing. Is there anyone worth reporting all this crap to?

A switch to Fios- does that mean you'll be switching to Direct TV?

Also, does that mean the old home line is gone?

Wreck said...

BBB doesn't want anything to do with poor customer service, at least I think they don't. Might be worth checking out.

Fios offers fiber optic TV and internet. They offer direct TV to anyone who can't get Fios in their neighborhood.

The house phone is gone, call our cellphones.

Erin said...

BBB would definitely want to know of companies hiking up charges against their contractual agreements without notice or explanation.

Good on ya'll for not killing anyone. I'm afraid I would have had blood on my hands! My parents are switching to Verizon, too.

Don't worry, Comcast will rot in hell (free of charge) for all it's soul-less business operations.

Wreck said...

I actually started filing out a BBB complaint yesterday and found out that the complaint is limited to 2,030 characters. I had planned to copy and paste my blog post and edit it for the complaint, but I was way over 2,030. I need to write a new one and try again.

Mehtul... said...

Yeah, I have noticed in the past with my own problems with comcast I have always started by going directly to them (the main office for my area). Its the only way things got done somewhat correctly. Using the phone is pointless. I just got that FIOS postcard as well and am considering it heavily.

ComcastCares1 said...


I would like to apologize for the experience we have created for you. I would like to share your experience with the appropriate individuals/departments so that the experience can be evaluated.

Please know that we are working extra hard to ensure that you have a better experience next time. So that we can better understand and learn from your experience, will you please send us the phone number on the account? This information will help us learn from our mistakes, correct the problem and prevent them from recurring in the future.

Thank you for providing the opportunity to assist and I really do hope that we can create a better experience for you next time.


Mark C.
Comcast Corp.

Wreck said...


I just sent an email to the address you provided with my account phone number and my cell number. Thank you for your time and attention with this matter.


Anonymous said...

comcast- we can help if you are tech savy enough to complain for the world to see. This is just the tip of the bad customer service iceberg there old Mark C. For every blogger slamming your customer service there are probably 10-20 people who just gave up. You need to kick some corporate booties to right this stuff BEFORE the customer get's screwed over. Right now Mark C. you are just fighting fires rather than fixing the issues that cause them...

Mehtul... said...

Yup it rears its ugly head again. I went to transfer my current account to my new house but oh no my bill is going up 40 bux a month? BS I say. I talked to Comcast 3 times today with no help of fixing my issue. I just want to pay the same amount I have been paying for the past two years for the same service. Give or take a few bux for reasonable taxes surcharges what have you. No way am I going to let 40 dollars come out of my pocket for the same product a month. I have one last resort and I hope it works out cuz if not FIOS here I come.

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