Comcast's Customer Service Reputation

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BolderBoy
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Comcast's Customer Service Reputation

Post by BolderBoy » Thu Feb 25, 2016 11:32 pm

Never had a reason to complain...until today.

4 days ago I returned a "digital adapter" in the original box with all included stuff. This device was to convert Comcast's digital signal to analog for an analog-only TV. Very limited number of channels available for that. Hadn't used it for some time and Comcast started charging for it. I have their regular, digital cable TV service (for many years.)

I wanted no other services provided to me at that time - just take back the device and stop charging me for it.

Clerk at local office accepted the return and gave me a receipt. Apparently, after I left, he signed me up for internet service. Today I get a dunning email telling me to eSign the service change agreement for the term of service I agreed to (the 'or else' was implied).

Called customer service (offshore, apparently) - they are so sickeningly sweet I can barely stand it. First rep = worthless. Never acknowledges that an error was made (I have business class Comcast internet service already [home office]). He saw nothing odd about adding residential internet service since I obviously need both in the same house (I'm unmarried). He offloaded me to a "customer retention specialist" who was more worthless - she said the internet cable modem is on the way and that she can only cancel the requested (!) service as of today, not cancel it back to the day I requested it (!) and yes, I'd be charged for 4 days' service. I asked for her supervisor - she isn't there and you cannot talk to her anyway; they only take your number and call you back.

Plan to go down to the local office tomorrow and 1) get the original clerk who screwed the pooch to undo this (if he is there) and 2) cancel my residential service altogether - goodbye cable TV and good riddance to Comcast residential.

I find this infuriating and now understand why Comcast's customer service is rated among the worst in the country (world?)

My question: Anything else to do to cover my butt?
"Never underestimate one's capacity to overestimate one's abilities" - The Dunning-Kruger Effect

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cheese_breath
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Re: Comcast's Customer Service Reputation

Post by cheese_breath » Thu Feb 25, 2016 11:46 pm

I know it's hard to believe, but many others are just as bad. You won't believe the hassle I had trying to cancel my MIL's U-verse for her.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

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BolderBoy
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Re: Comcast's Customer Service Reputation

Post by BolderBoy » Thu Feb 25, 2016 11:53 pm

cheese_breath wrote:I know it's hard to believe, but many others are just as bad. You won't believe the hassle I had trying to cancel my MIL's U-verse for her.
Oh, joy. I'm ditching TV, so won't be sucked in by another.

On the plus side, Comcast Business Class Internet service is very good, including the customer service. My only complaint would be that they send me 3-5 letters (USPS) per week (disguised in various ways) trying to get me to buy faster speeds. They go immediately, unopened, into the recycle bin. I've asked them to stop that, but they say they can't.
"Never underestimate one's capacity to overestimate one's abilities" - The Dunning-Kruger Effect

Mudpuppy
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Re: Comcast's Customer Service Reputation

Post by Mudpuppy » Fri Feb 26, 2016 2:42 am

There have been others complaining about similar behavior from various cable and cell phone company employees. The theory on places like Reddit is these employees get a bonus for signing people up and experience no penalties for fraudulently signing people up.

Specifically for Comcast, some have reported success using the cancellation option on the phone menu to get to the retention team, who may (or may not) be more receptive to fixing the issue. Some have reported success on using the online chat option or the xfinity forums. Some have had to log / record all attempts to get Comcast to resolve the issue and post it online in order to shame them into making the appropriate corrections.
BolderBoy wrote:My question: Anything else to do to cover my butt?
Record everything that you legally can record. This would not include in-person conversations unfortunately, unless you live in a state with one-party consent. Phone conversations are legally recordable as long as the message "this call may be recorded" is given, as that is equivalent to consent on the part of Comcast.

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climber2020
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Re: Comcast's Customer Service Reputation

Post by climber2020 » Fri Feb 26, 2016 8:06 am

Keep all receipts for any equipment you return. If things don't get resolved properly, open a Twitter account and complain very loudly and publicly; this has worked for people in the past.

I hate Comcast. I switched over to a local FiOS service several months ago for both TV and internet, and the difference in customer service is huge. I can actually call and talk to someone who speaks English. Amazing.

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Toons
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Re: Comcast's Customer Service Reputation

Post by Toons » Fri Feb 26, 2016 8:10 am

BolderBoy wrote:Never had a reason to complain...until today.

4 days ago I returned a "digital adapter" in the original box with all included stuff. This device was to convert Comcast's digital signal to analog for an analog-only TV. Very limited number of channels available for that. Hadn't used it for some time and Comcast started charging for it. I have their regular, digital cable TV service (for many years.)

I wanted no other services provided to me at that time - just take back the device and stop charging me for it.

Clerk at local office accepted the return and gave me a receipt. Apparently, after I left, he signed me up for internet service. Today I get a dunning email telling me to eSign the service change agreement for the term of service I agreed to (the 'or else' was implied).

Called customer service (offshore, apparently) - they are so sickeningly sweet I can barely stand it. First rep = worthless. Never acknowledges that an error was made (I have business class Comcast internet service already [home office]). He saw nothing odd about adding residential internet service since I obviously need both in the same house (I'm unmarried). He offloaded me to a "customer retention specialist" who was more worthless - she said the internet cable modem is on the way and that she can only cancel the requested (!) service as of today, not cancel it back to the day I requested it (!) and yes, I'd be charged for 4 days' service. I asked for her supervisor - she isn't there and you cannot talk to her anyway; they only take your number and call you back.

Plan to go down to the local office tomorrow and 1) get the original clerk who screwed the pooch to undo this (if he is there) and 2) cancel my residential service altogether - goodbye cable TV and good riddance to Comcast residential.

I find this infuriating and now understand why Comcast's customer service is rated among the worst in the country (world?)

My question: Anything else to do to cover my butt?

Over the many years I have dealt with Comcast in business discussions,I have found you need to be savvy,savvy,and never relent...keep moving up the chain of command :happy
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

YttriumNitrate
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Re: Comcast's Customer Service Reputation

Post by YttriumNitrate » Fri Feb 26, 2016 8:32 am

deleted.
Last edited by YttriumNitrate on Sat Mar 12, 2016 12:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Watty
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Re: Comcast's Customer Service Reputation

Post by Watty » Fri Feb 26, 2016 9:57 am

climber2020 wrote:Keep all receipts for any equipment you return.

+1

I have heard of several cases where people returned equipment to Comcast only to have a collection agency come after them more than a year later(with no prior contact from Comcast) with a claim for hundreds of dollars for some piece of very old and possibly obsolete equipment that you could get for a couple of bucks on eBay.

vkfu
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Re: Comcast's Customer Service Reputation

Post by vkfu » Fri Feb 26, 2016 9:58 am

I would file an FTC complaint.

takeshi
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Re: Comcast's Customer Service Reputation

Post by takeshi » Fri Feb 26, 2016 11:05 am

BolderBoy wrote:I find this infuriating and now understand why Comcast's customer service is rated among the worst in the country (world?)
Yup. I always dread having to call in whether it's customer service or support. Thankfully, they're rare for me.
cheese_breath wrote:I know it's hard to believe, but many others are just as bad. You won't believe the hassle I had trying to cancel my MIL's U-verse for her.
I dislike Comcast but at&t is even worse IMO. Gave them another shot several years ago and that reminded me what I was dealing with Comcast instead of at&t.

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BolderBoy
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Re: Comcast's Customer Service Reputation

Post by BolderBoy » Fri Feb 26, 2016 1:02 pm

Went to the local office this morning. Their sign-in iPad was broken and there were people standing around with no semblance of order. I asked loudly what to do with the broken sign-in device. One of the agents put a pad of paper on the counter and said to sign in there - I was first on the paper even though I wasn't first to arrive. There were 6 or more agents talking with customers.

Very nice agent listened to my story, said the errant agent from last Sunday wasn't available and no supervisor would be in for 3 more hours. BUT, he said he could undo anything, so no problems. Also said to not call the customer service # unless you have no choice - always go to the office to talk with someone in person.

The agent looked and confirmed that the previous agent had made an error by trying to do me a favor, so he (said) he undid it all. When that was settled, I gave him my cable TV box and cancelled the service.

Supposedly a refund check will arrive in 2-3 weeks. We'll see...

I have all the receipts connected to the interaction. Agent's last comment was that I'd be asked for feedback about my interaction with him and he'd appreciate a 5. I see no reason not to do that.

Thanks for the support and comments. I hope this is over.
"Never underestimate one's capacity to overestimate one's abilities" - The Dunning-Kruger Effect

KyleAAA
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Re: Comcast's Customer Service Reputation

Post by KyleAAA » Fri Feb 26, 2016 1:06 pm

To this day their automatic monthly payment system doesn't work for me. I set my account up to automatically charge my CC every month and it doesn't happen. Eventually, they cut off my service and I have to call the support line to have it turned back on. Every time, they try to charge me a late fee and I talk them out of it by explaining what happened. They look and sure enough, my account is set up to automatically charge my CC and they "have no idea" why it didn't work this month. They promise to fix it so that there are no future problems. This has been going on for 2.5 years. The kicker is that when I call, they have no record of past problems on my account even though they ALL say they will make a note of it. I just don't care anymore.

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siamond
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Re: Comcast's Customer Service Reputation

Post by siamond » Fri Feb 26, 2016 1:08 pm

I happened to work in Telecommunications for quite a while, and I met and worked with service providers all over the US and all over the world. Can you make a guess about which one was *by far* the most arrogant and ignorant at the same time? The one with the most awfully designed network architecture? The one clearly not caring whatsoever about any concept of quality of service to their customers? And I'm not even telling the worst things I figured out, or this post will have to be moderated.

I'm still reeling from a series of meetings with them, and that was ten years ago or so (and I know they didn't improve one bit, it's a company mentality problem, and it goes real deep). And I'm a fairly patient individual, but sheesh, those guys...

Bottomline: cut the cord, switch to a more decent service provider, and you'll get more for what you spend and save money on top...

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siamond
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Re: Comcast's Customer Service Reputation

Post by siamond » Fri Feb 26, 2016 1:24 pm

Something interesting to ponder about though... Even with all those issues, Comcast stock performance is still looking significant better than the S&P 500, whether you look at the past 10 years, 5 years, or just a couple of months. Play with this chart and wonder...

http://stockcharts.com/freecharts/perf.php?cmcsa,$SPX

A telling example of why one shouldn't invest in individual companies just because they feel good or bad about it. I shorted it in a virtual portfolio on my own (a portfolio of "sure duds"), just for fun, and I'm getting thoroughly crushed... :shock:

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Lee Saage
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Re: Comcast's Customer Service Reputation

Post by Lee Saage » Fri Feb 26, 2016 1:37 pm

It took me four months of relentless telephoning to successfully terminate my relationship with Comcast. We had both TV and internet service in San Francisco and wished to terminate service because of an out-of-state move. At each instance of interaction, whether in person or by telephone, whatever I had been told by a Comcast employee was repudiated by the next employee in the on-going chain of events. I could never see a reason for an employee to lie deliberately and am still a bit mystified with the series of assurances and succeeding repudiations. A really bizarre business strategy. Finally, after four months of effort, my account was correctly settled and I received a refund of the amount due.

I am normally quite calm dealing with such service providers and have very low expectations for their performance. My experience with Comcast was so maddening, however, that if sometime in future Comcast is my only service option, I will do without.
Most of my money went to fast cars, fast living and good wine. The rest I just wasted.

electriclights
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Re: Comcast's Customer Service Reputation

Post by electriclights » Fri Feb 26, 2016 1:44 pm

I'll spare you my Comcast experience.

I still hold a grudge. The one thing you have to know about Comcast: do not call them. Do not call them. What I'm trying to say, if you can't tell, is... do not call them.

Rip your equipment out and take it to the office and get a receipt for all of it. Take a picture of the equipment. Whatever.

If they want to bill you, let it go to collections, and then you have a cause of action.

The best deal around is to get Comcast out of your life forever.

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prudent
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Re: Comcast's Customer Service Reputation

Post by prudent » Fri Feb 26, 2016 5:06 pm

I deleted some posts that did not address the question on how the OP can best protect himself in this situation. Please keep replies focused on the question posed by the OP and not general rants.

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Re: Comcast's Customer Service Reputation

Post by mnaspbh » Fri Feb 26, 2016 7:48 pm

siamond wrote: Bottomline: cut the cord, switch to a more decent service provider, and you'll get more for what you spend and save money on top...
Unfortunately, in a lot of places, there are simply no other options at all--the cable company has an effective monopoly on broadband Internet services, and usually on non-broadcast television. This happens even in surprisingly densely populated and "high tech" areas--infrastructure buildout is very spotty, just enough so a company can claim they service an area even if it's really only a couple of homes. The cable companies fight to maintain their monopoly status, and they know that poor customer service can't hurt them unless there's effective competition.

If the OP can't sever all ties with Comcast, keeping detailed notes on every conversation (including names of employees) and using that information in complaints filed with city, state, and/or Federal agencies may be the most effective route. Making it clear that you know who to complain to about Comcast's behavior may be enough to get them to take action to correct their mistakes.

Customer service nightmares like the OP's can also be used in registering comments on potential mergers or policy changes, if one wishes for more competition (and hence better services and more competitive rates).

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siamond
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Re: Comcast's Customer Service Reputation

Post by siamond » Fri Feb 26, 2016 9:58 pm

mnaspbh wrote:Unfortunately, in a lot of places, there are simply no other options at all--the cable company has an effective monopoly on broadband Internet services, and usually on non-broadcast television. [..] The cable companies fight to maintain their monopoly status [..]
Yes, that is sadly very true. Part of the stuff I didn't want to be too explicit about - and there is much more. Funny thing is that a few minutes after I posted my views on Comcast, a sales rep rang at my door and showed me his Comcast badge. Poor guy, he wasn't knocking at the right door... As I am lucky to be in a competitive area...

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BolderBoy
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Re: Comcast's Customer Service Reputation

Post by BolderBoy » Fri Feb 26, 2016 10:14 pm

KyleAAA wrote:To this day their automatic monthly payment system doesn't work for me. I set my account up to automatically charge my CC every month and it doesn't happen. Eventually, they cut off my service and I have to call the support line to have it turned back on. Every time, they try to charge me a late fee and I talk them out of it by explaining what happened. They look and sure enough, my account is set up to automatically charge my CC and they "have no idea" why it didn't work this month. They promise to fix it so that there are no future problems. This has been going on for 2.5 years. The kicker is that when I call, they have no record of past problems on my account even though they ALL say they will make a note of it. I just don't care anymore.
This is hilarious. They dinged my CC every month like clockwork.
"Never underestimate one's capacity to overestimate one's abilities" - The Dunning-Kruger Effect

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BolderBoy
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Re: Comcast's Customer Service Reputation

Post by BolderBoy » Fri Feb 26, 2016 10:21 pm

Lee Saage wrote:I am normally quite calm dealing with such service providers and have very low expectations for their performance.
This is an interesting comment. I suppose I was so infuriated because I have HIGH expectations of nearly everyone with whom I interact. Maybe I should lower my expectations and save myself the aggravations?
"Never underestimate one's capacity to overestimate one's abilities" - The Dunning-Kruger Effect

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BolderBoy
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Re: Comcast's Customer Service Reputation

Post by BolderBoy » Fri Feb 26, 2016 10:24 pm

electriclights wrote:Take a picture of the equipment. Whatever.
Forgot to do that. Darn.
If they want to bill you, let it go to collections, and then you have a cause of action.
Told the goombahs last night I'd be looking for them to drop the ball so I could have legal fun with them, at their expense.
"Never underestimate one's capacity to overestimate one's abilities" - The Dunning-Kruger Effect

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Re: Comcast's Customer Service Reputation

Post by BolderBoy » Fri Feb 26, 2016 10:27 pm

mnaspbh wrote:If the OP can't sever all ties with Comcast, keeping detailed notes on every conversation (including names of employees
Not sure they use their real names. The receipts have name "codes" on them which bear no relationship to the name of the actual person who "served" you.
"Never underestimate one's capacity to overestimate one's abilities" - The Dunning-Kruger Effect

goodlifer
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Re: Comcast's Customer Service Reputation

Post by goodlifer » Sat Feb 27, 2016 12:50 am

I used to have such problems with Comcast CSR that I would have chest pains after hanging up on them. I had to go back to them after a few years, and while the problems are still many, the reps are much nicer now. They are much more willing to remove charges from my bill or give me a free month of a premium channel if I am nice to them. Honestly, I would rather just have the problems fixed in a timely manner. And I'm getting tired of forcing a smile and starting every conversation with, "I know it isn't your fault, but..."

Like another poster, they don't charge my credit card even though I am on automatic payments. I have talked to 6 different reps and all have said that they have never seen this problem. I thought they were probably lying, but now I know. I could go on and on about the other problems, but I will just upset myself. Must find my happy place.

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Re: Comcast's Customer Service Reputation

Post by CedarWaxWing » Sat Feb 27, 2016 1:18 am

BolderBoy wrote:
electriclights wrote:Take a picture of the equipment. Whatever.
Forgot to do that. Darn.
If they want to bill you, let it go to collections, and then you have a cause of action.
Told the goombahs last night I'd be looking for them to drop the ball so I could have legal fun with them, at their expense.
Unless you are an attorney, I suspect there is no legal fun to be had. They can sue you for no reason, and you have to defend yourself, at your cost. They can send you to collections, and you are guilty as charged until you prove your innocence by having taken extraordinary measures to collect the proof... which is not always possible. i.e. they send you equipment you already refused on the phone, and you need to go to their office across town to deliver it in person... or they will charge you rental fees on the unwanted device.

If you send them to collections... there is likely something in your original contract that says you either cannot do that or any legal issues you initiate must occur in their neighborhood rather than yours.

The best way to stay out of trouble with Comcast is to not do business with them, and/or to always be willing to take your complaints to a very public forum, in a multitude of ways. Your having to do means you have lost the game already.

Best..

M

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Re: Comcast's Customer Service Reputation

Post by Barefootgirl » Sat Feb 27, 2016 5:43 am

Reputations don't just spring up out of nowhere and theirs appears to be well deserved, so deserved in fact that there is a somewhat popular saying that goes around:

You want to win the war on illegal drugs? Legalize them and put Comcast in charge of ordering and distribution.

Seriously, the only way I have ever resolved many issues with telecoms over the years? go online to your state attorney general's office and file an online complaint. They usually respond to those promptly, courteously, factually and with a positive outcome. I no longer waste my time.

Good luck.
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Re: Comcast's Customer Service Reputation

Post by neilpilot » Sat Feb 27, 2016 7:19 am

I use Comcast for internet reluctantly, since there are really no good alternatives. I've set up auto-payment out of my checking account. I don't trust Comcast with my credit card number.

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fandango
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Re: Comcast's Customer Service Reputation

Post by fandango » Sat Feb 27, 2016 8:02 am

I can't believe that there is a provider worse than Comcast.

My experience with Comcast is very spotty. If you get hooked up with a good representative, things can go very smoothly.
If not, you will be very frustrated.

When I have an issue, I start documenting every conversation with dates, names, etc. Just in case. I have a one inch file dedicated to Comcast.

If I had better options, I would leave them in a heart beat.

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Re: Comcast's Customer Service Reputation

Post by Mudpuppy » Sat Feb 27, 2016 1:40 pm

Hopefully, this has been resolved by the second customer service rep. But I would still keep an eye on your account for the next month or two, just to be sure. And put the receipts for turning in the device in a safe place, because you might need them years down the road to prove that you turned the device in.

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Re: Comcast's Customer Service Reputation

Post by Mudpuppy » Sat Feb 27, 2016 1:42 pm

neilpilot wrote:I use Comcast for internet reluctantly, since there are really no good alternatives. I've set up auto-payment out of my checking account. I don't trust Comcast with my credit card number.
But you do trust them with your bank account number? They could drain your bank account, and even overdraft it, due to an error. Then you'd be out that money until they resolve the issue.

That is far, far worse than them accidentally charging the credit card with the wrong amount, which you could dispute with the credit card company and not be out a penny until it is resolved.

sk.dolcevita
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Re: Comcast's Customer Service Reputation

Post by sk.dolcevita » Sat Feb 27, 2016 1:43 pm

OP,

I have decided to not to call Comcast customer service more than three times on any given issue. After three attempts, I file an online complaint with the FTC. Within 48 hours or sooner, I get a phone call from some Comcast VP in charge of governmental affairs who has already researched my account and the resolution of my concerns then goes at light speed. Of course, my complaints are genuine.

It is not that someone at FTC picks up the phone and calls Comcast for you. I am told that Comcast gets a form letter from FTC informing them that a complaint has been lodged and the contents of the complaint. Comcast has to then tell FTC if the complaint has been attended to or not in certain time frame. I don't think FTC penalizes Comcast, but Comcast is very sensitive to statistics building against it.

Try it, it works beautifully. All my F&F are doing this now when they are faced with a brick wall at their communications provider.

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BolderBoy
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Re: Comcast's Customer Service Reputation

Post by BolderBoy » Sat Feb 27, 2016 7:11 pm

sk.dolcevita wrote:OP,

I have decided to not to call Comcast customer service more than three times on any given issue. After three attempts, I file an online complaint with the FTC. Within 48 hours or sooner, I get a phone call from some Comcast VP in charge of governmental affairs who has already researched my account and the resolution of my concerns then goes at light speed. Of course, my complaints are genuine.

It is not that someone at FTC picks up the phone and calls Comcast for you. I am told that Comcast gets a form letter from FTC informing them that a complaint has been lodged and the contents of the complaint. Comcast has to then tell FTC if the complaint has been attended to or not in certain time frame. I don't think FTC penalizes Comcast, but Comcast is very sensitive to statistics building against it.

Try it, it works beautifully. All my F&F are doing this now when they are faced with a brick wall at their communications provider.
I like this sort of legal fun the best. Thanks. Hopefully it is all behind me.
"Never underestimate one's capacity to overestimate one's abilities" - The Dunning-Kruger Effect

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Re: Comcast's Customer Service Reputation

Post by neilpilot » Sat Feb 27, 2016 7:26 pm

Mudpuppy wrote:
neilpilot wrote:I use Comcast for internet reluctantly, since there are really no good alternatives. I've set up auto-payment out of my checking account. I don't trust Comcast with my credit card number.
But you do trust them with your bank account number? They could drain your bank account, and even overdraft it, due to an error. Then you'd be out that money until they resolve the issue.

That is far, far worse than them accidentally charging the credit card with the wrong amount, which you could dispute with the credit card company and not be out a penny until it is resolved.
No, the auto pay is set up as a push from my bank, not a pull from Comcast.

alwayshedge
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Re: Comcast's Customer Service Reputation

Post by alwayshedge » Sat Feb 27, 2016 7:41 pm

I had cancelled Comcast to switch to Uverse a few years ago. I returned all my equipment to the Comcast location and kept the receipt. A month later I receive a bill from Comcast charging me some ridiculous amount of money for equipment I failed to return. Thank god I had the receipt and provided it to them and the situation was cleared up. What angers me though is how many people this must happen to who fail to keep their receipt. :x

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Re: Comcast's Customer Service Reputation

Post by Mudpuppy » Sat Feb 27, 2016 11:04 pm

neilpilot wrote:
Mudpuppy wrote:
neilpilot wrote:I use Comcast for internet reluctantly, since there are really no good alternatives. I've set up auto-payment out of my checking account. I don't trust Comcast with my credit card number.
But you do trust them with your bank account number? They could drain your bank account, and even overdraft it, due to an error. Then you'd be out that money until they resolve the issue.

That is far, far worse than them accidentally charging the credit card with the wrong amount, which you could dispute with the credit card company and not be out a penny until it is resolved.
No, the auto pay is set up as a push from my bank, not a pull from Comcast.
When you said auto pay in response to people's complaints about Comcast's auto pay feature, it sounded like you were talking about Comcast's auto pay. Paying from your bank is technically called bill pay.

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Re: Comcast's Customer Service Reputation

Post by noraz123 » Sun Feb 28, 2016 2:51 am

neilpilot wrote:I've set up auto-payment out of my checking account. I don't trust Comcast with my credit card number.
I don't very much trust Comcast either. Not so much in that my credit card number would be compromised, but rather that they would charge me too much. I like using my credit card, as at least I have another level of protection and could dispute charges via my credit card company.

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BolderBoy
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Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 12:16 pm
Location: Colorado

Re: Comcast's Customer Service Reputation

Post by BolderBoy » Mon Feb 29, 2016 7:51 pm

OP here: Update

Today I was notified of an updated bill. From what I can see the numbers are correct and I have a refund coming. So for now, it looks like Comcast followed through accurately.
"Never underestimate one's capacity to overestimate one's abilities" - The Dunning-Kruger Effect

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