Oh Comcast…

Let me tell you a story about how I wasted more than 10 hours of my life.

It all started on the Friday after Thanksgiving, when I was in Florida with my family.

My wife and I had recently leased a new town home just down the road, and we needed to schedule transferring our service from our old address to our new address.

When I called the representitive on Black Friday, she told me about some great deals they had going on, and I selected one of them which would be perfect for our new apartment (Mistake #1, changing plans while transfering service)
I set the transfer date to 12/21/2011, a few days after we were planning to get the keys for the new place. The representitive told me moving the date would be easy in the event I needed to do so, and we went about our business, never to speak again. (mistake #2, trusting the representitive)

In early December, my wife and I revised our moving schedule to about 1 week later. I called Comcast and rescheduled the install for 12/28/2011. While I was on the phone, I verified that I was going to get that Black Friday deal where I paid $109/mo for internet, TV, and phone… They had no idea what I was talking about, BUT they were able to lock me in to a super sweet deal where i could pay $129/mo for the same thing. After speaking with the supervisor, they assured me there was never a $109 deal, and told me $129 was the best I was going to get…. Whatever! (assholes)
<strong><ul><li>2 hrs of time, and $20/month.</li></ul></strong>

When we moved our stuff on 12/27 in preparation for the cable guy, i noticed ALL of my equipment was working when I got there… That was great, the installer was set to come the next morning, and it was likely to be a very short install.

The installer shows up… I told him all my stuff was working already and that “this must be the same loop, because my equipment is already working”. He looked at me in total surprise. His work order was not for a transfer, it was for a new install.
He did his thing, and I had Phone/Internet and Cable. Then he left.

Well apparently activation signals take forever to make it through Comcast’s system, about 20 minutes after he left, both of my TiVO’s had a “Channel Unauthorized” signal on them. They had been De-Activated.

I called my friends at Comcast and told them what happened… about two hours, and a lot of watching a TiVO status screen later, my stuff was working. Except HBO. The Agent said, “You don’t have HBO, but I can sell it to you for $3.99/mo.” After debate and talking with a supervisor, once again I was told that i had an amazing deal, and i should take what I can get.
<strong><ul><li>So that call cost me about two hours worth of time, and $4/month.</li></ul></strong>

Fast Forward to Mid-February. 2/16/2012:

While at work, I got a Collection call from Comcast. Suddenly I realize that I hadn’t seen the auto-debit from my account to pay the bill so I immediately paid the $450 over the phone they wanted… (MY BAD!) With my bill settled, I was happy. For now.


Me: Hello?
Robot: “Hi this is Comcast with an important message about your account, please call us back at [###-###-####]”

So I call the number, and get the “this call is recorded for quality” message. When the agent picked up, they said I owed $495 and it was past due… Again this is at work, and I couldn’t look at the statements there… So I told the rep I made the payment already, and they said OK, it must not have posted yet.

I checked the statement later that night, and it hadn’t posted, I checked my credit card… it had posted, on February 16th, 9 days earlier.

I call Comcast, wait on hold, and finally speak to ta person from billing. 45 minutes later, the problem was “resolved” and I hung up.
<strong><ul><li>So that call cost me about an hours worth of time, and no extra money</li></ul></strong>


I get a written letter from Comcast telling me I am Very delinquent on my bill and to contact them immediately… I ignored the letter since I had just spoken with the rep a few days prior…
but something was eating at me… I checked my account online, and sure enough, I still owed $495.
I called Comcast, spoke with some collection agent, explained what happened, and got transferred to “Billing” where I sat on hold for 2.5 hrs before becoming fed up and hanging up.

<strong><ul><li>2.75 hrs wasted</li></ul></strong>

I had a busy Monday, so I didn’t call until Tuesday.


I call my friends again, and started getting this thing sorted out. I had statements and bills at this point, and nobody was going to stop me…

I cannot remember exactly how the call went down, but I can summarize:

in 3.5 hours the following happened. I learned that I never transfered my service, they canceled it, and opened a new account at my new address. (likely because of a promotion) So they had to cancel the account at the old address, and transfer the credit to my current address. While they were working on that, my TV’s went unauthorized again… I told the agent, and she said, “While I work on this billing issue, why dont I transfer you to (some other person) and they said “What TiVOs?” …. After some time, they learned that the cable cards (the Comcast card which de-scrambles authorized channels) in my TiVOs were never attached to my new account. They transfered me to a tech who could do that.

I spoke with the tech, who said something like there was only one card on the old account, so we would have to get the other attached before it could all be done… In my description of the problem, I told her that only local channels were working, HBO and other non-basic channels were not. She told me I dont have HBO, but they could sell it to me for $6.99/mo… as everyone else said, this was a really great deal, and I should just take it… I didnt even want to speak to a supervisor at this point, but in order to take care of things she had to transfer me back to billing before they closed.
I got transfered to billing where I got a guy who literally told me he had no idea why i was transfered to him… so I lost it and told him to get me to someone who could actually do something useful about my problem.
He transfered me to a tech support person who made my TVs work again… I dont know her name, but thank you… you were nice. She gave me HBO for that dumb price, and got my TVs working.

<strong><ul><li>3.5 hrs wasted, an additional $7/mo</li></ul></strong>

My account still didnt show a credit… I called comcast again, and spoke with a nice lady who seemed to figure things out.

Apparently when I called on Black Friday, I had a new account created to be started on 12/21, since I didnt move and my old account WAS canceled on 12/21 the service started at my old address… The whole fiasco on 12/28 (when i actually had service start at the new place) left me with another new account (the one I use every day for internet, tv, and phone) this time, the old-new account was not terminated. The bill collector who called on 2/16 was collecting for that 12/21 – 12/28 account which had been active but unused at my old apartment since then. When the lady I spoke to today saw everything, she says she was able to back-date all the billing and about $470 will roll to my present account.

<strong><ul><li>1.5 hours.</li></ul></strong>
<strong>The Grand Total Loss was 12.75 hours and $27/month.</strong>

I had the privelege of speaking to my friends at comcast again today… I have still not received my credit…
Comcast: We show that you still have a modem for this account, which is why you have never received your credit. Could you read me the MAC address on the modem you have so that we can verify that you, in-fact, own that modem?

Me: The burden of proof is on You… the person claiming I did not return the device… tell me what device you think I have, and produce signed delivery papers for that device, and I will be happy to oblige you with the MAC address and SN of the device I have.

Comcast: I understand your frustration, this will all make it go faster…

Me: *laughing* I’m pretty sure “faster” is not something your company truly understands.

Anyways, they say it could take another 15 days to get hte credit… I have another channel open with comcast right now. one that I trust (given I can actually speak to the same rep again) Hopefully this will take care of things…

I have some updates to add here… Specifically the ones where I dropped my Telephone and Television services for Verizon, and DirecTV respectively… I am still trying to figure out a better option for internet… but Verizon doesn’t even offer DSL where I live… I am monopolized in to Comcast. I can only hope that Verizon HomeFusion or (cross-fingers) FiOS gets deployed to my area sometime in the future.

Specifically the last 4 phone calls, and a collections letter.

The last 2 calls I was on went something like this:

Got a call from a collections 3rd party, and I explained that I have a credit, and should have a credit… the rep saw that, and wondered when i was going to pay the money I owe… I clarified… “I have a credit, I dont owe any money” the response was “Sir, I see the credit… I am not refuting that… but when are you going to pay the amount you owe?” After 5 more minutes, she told me to call 800-comcast after she repeated the previous sentence a few times.

I called comcast, talked to a representative, he said he was getting a supervisor, transferred me, and when the next person picked up, it was a 1st level customer service rep who had no record of me being transferred.

The latest email I am sending via the “Send an e-mail to Rick Germano” link:

My account # is XXXXXXXXXXX it wont let me paste that in the account number field, it says invalid account number.

First – I want to hear from a manager who is capable of owning this problem… This issue will not be resolved with someone with the credit capabilities of a traditional associate.

For the short version, read the comments on my account, they tell a lot of the story, but keep in mind it is only your side of the story.

I have had billing related problems regarding a move I made in December. This has cost me several hours (last count was literally 27 hours) of time on the phone with customer support. Please look up my account history, it is all there in the comments. Further, each time I try and resolve the problem by calling I mysteriously get “disconnected” or I will get transferred to a “supervisor” usually this means that I got transferred to another associate with no comments as to what I want. I have been hung-up on, called by bill collectors, and generally treated terribly for an issue that was created by comcast customer service representatives.

If you want my side of the story, please read my blog: I stopped tracking my hours on the phone, because it was depressing. Currently I have an “Urgent Notice” saying I owe $154.33. When I look at my account online, it shows I have a credit of $312, and a pending charge for $466. Last time I checked, pending charges do not appear on a statement, and I will not pay a bill for something that is not on my statement.

For my troubles, I was promised a large credit. If I charged minimum wage for the time spent on the phone alone, it would be several months free internet. My time is more valuable than that… I want to meet somewhere in the middle.

By the way, the auto response for the Rick Germano link looks something like this:

Thank You! Your Comments For Rick Germano Have Been Received

Dear Comcast Customer,

Thank you for contacting us. A Comcast customer support representative will respond to you.

In the meantime, if you have other questions, please visit the Help and Support section of at

Your Comcast Support Team

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