Thursday, August 30, 2012

More Cable Options Please - No Comcast!

Oh Comcast, I’m sorry to say that I am one consumer you cannot fool. Did you think I wouldn’t see the little “by Comcast” text underneath your new “Xfinity” logo? Tsk tsk...

If you didn’t get my oozing sarcasm there, here is a straightforward proclamation - I HATE COMCAST.Yes, I said hate. And I meant it. Let me tell you a little story:

Early June 2008, Chicago, IL

I’m preparing to move out of my Chicago apartment. I decide that since I’m going to be traveling a lot before I move in mid-July, I might as well cancel my cable and save some money. I call Comcast and cancel, then I drive to the local drop off place and return my cable box and remote, receiving a receipt for returning the materials. Comcast tells me I can expect a check in the mail in a  month for the part of June I already paid and payment for the cable box and remote I returned in good condition.  Excellent. All is well, right? Ha ha....if only I had known....

Late June 2008, Chicago, IL

I receive a bill in the mail from Comcast for July. I call them. They tell me that yes, my account is cancelled and that they will be issuing me a check soon, but that the system still automatically sent me a bill. Not to worry, they say. Ok.

Late July 2008, Mom & Dad’s house, Iowa

I am staying at my parents’ house for a few weeks before I move to Wisconsin. I moved in the middle of July after getting back from my best friend’s wedding in Jamaica. I get a bill in the mail from Comcast. They are AGAIN charging me for cable for the next month (August) AND they are charging me a late fee for not paying my July bill. I call Comcast again. “So sorry,” they say, “but our computer system is lagging behind, we’ll get your check to you as soon as possible.” I get angry and ask to speak to the supervisor. The supervisor reassures me that they have a record of my cancellation in June and also have a record that I returned the equipment to the Chicago drop-off center. Fine then, I’ll keep waiting for my check (which is supposed to be about $50). But could you please hurry this up!

Early August 2008, Some highway in upstate New York on the way to Lake Placid

I’m driving with a friend to Lake Placid. I get a call on my cell phone from Comcast Collections. They inform me that my account has now been put in their internal collections department and that I need to pay this month’s and last month’s cable bill immediately. I am furious. I explain to them over and over that I actually cancelled my account two months ago and that I turned in the equipment AND that I no longer lived at that residence. “Check with the post office!” I say, trying to use any common sense that will prove to them that no, I do NOT live in that apartment and that YES, I did pay my bills on time and actually YOU owe ME money! I ask to speak to a supervisor, AGAIN. I’m told that they are so sorry, they made a mistake. I am right, they owe me money. They are very sorry, and they assure me that my account will be taken out of collections immediately and that I will get my check in 6-8 weeks. What?! 6-8 weeks! Are you kidding me? I’ve already waited two months for my money back! But what can I do? I’m on a highway in upstate New York.

Early August 2008, Another highway in upstate New York, this time driving back from Lake Placid. Five days after the last phone call from Comcast.

I get another call from Comcast. It is AGAIN their internal collections department. They tell me, AGAIN, that I need to pay my bill. But this time, if I don’t pay it, they are transferring my account to a FEDERAL collections agency. I’ve worked in customer service before. I know what happens to accounts that go to federal collections agencies. They cannot be disputed. You are forced to pay them (and at this point they were charging me over $200). HELL NO this is not happening. I yell at the representative, espousing my knowledge about how this process works (the agent is shocked that I actually know a thing or two). I again ask to speak to a supervisor, and I demand to speak to the highest person they have - the director if necessary. I get transferred to some woman named Maria. I tell her the entire story and because I am at my wits end, I ask for her personal work number. She gives it to me. I tell her that I am going to call her every day until I get my check in the mail.

Early - Late August 2008, Iowa and Wisconsin

Every day, I pick up the phone and leave Maria at Comcast a message. It is the same thing, “Hi Maria, it is Katie again. This is my daily call to remind you that you need to take my account out of collections and refund my money. Thank you.”

I finally get my check a few weeks later.

And THAT is why I will never ever ever EVER use Comcast again

On a related note - does anyone have experience with a Roku? I’ve heard good things, and it would stick it to Comcast.

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