The Definition of Insanity: A Comcast Rant

The Definition of Insanity - picture of remote control pointed at television

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“You’ve got to be fu*#ing kidding me.”

That’s my new favorite phrase. Though I blurted it out several times on Sunday night, I’m not simply reserving this new catchphrase for errant football snaps or Percy Harvin kick returns. Nope. I’ve found several real-life instances in which I’ve been able to utter this most eloquent of new maxims. Let me explain.

The Definition of Insanity

Nothing gets me more fired up than poor customer service. At this point, I don’t even expect a whole lot out of these poor souls stuck in a phone bank – especially when it is halfway across the world. So, in order to get my dander up, you really have to be piss poor. Well, Comcast takes that to a whole new extreme.

For those of you who have been following this blog since the beginning, you may remember that I am not a fan of Comcast. In fact, I think that they are easily the worst company that I have ever dealt with on any level. From the first time I used them in college and skipped class to be home during their 4-hour installation window (to which they never bothered to show up) all the way to them not giving us a router for our internet service a few years ago, my dealings with Comcast have always been awful. So, you think I would know better than to sign up with them again, right? After all, the isn’t the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result?

I Am Certifiable

You see, being a cheap-ass is who I am. And, Like Michael Corleone at a mobster convention, Comcast used that to lure me back in. They promised me high-speed internet. They promised me an internet/cable bundle for $3 less than just paying for internet alone. And better yet, they promised me free HBO for a year…and you know how much I LOVE Game of Thrones!!! All this I could get for the low price of $35/month. Although I had some reservations about a moonlit dance with this cable TV devil, the cheapskate in me couldn’t resist. Besides, they were going to send me a “self install kit” to streamline the process, making it even easier for me to get started.

I should have known better.

Self Install…Not So Much

After receiving the TV box and modem in the mail, I immediately got to work installing our new product. How hard could it be? The directions were straight forward, and there are basically only 4 steps. Hell, my 4-year-old could do that. So, once I got the TV and internet modem/router hooked up, I moved forward to activate our account. That is when things got hairy.

As per the instructions, I went to to complete the installation. After filling in a few basic fields, I clicked on the installation button…only to get an error message saying that my account was not eligible for self-installation. I found that odd considering that they had sent me the self install kit in the first place. Thinking that there could possibly be a mistake on my part, I started the process over. Again, I hit the installation button…no dice.

I decided to go ahead and give the self install phone number a try. After following about 5 minutes of prompts, I finally was put on hold to talk to a real person. Unfortunately, that call was dropped by the automated system. “You’ve got to be fu*#ing kidding me.”

Losing my sanity one agonizing minute at a time, I decided to call again. We’ve already discussed the definition of insanity, right? Well, as any logical person would expect, I got through the prompts, waited on hold for 10 minutes, annnnndddd…the system dropped the call again.

So, I tried it again, going through all the prompts and waiting on hold for over 15 minutes. Finally, I got to talk to a real person who said the could assist me with the self install. Our conversation lasted about 30 minutes, but the meat of it went a little bit like this:

Comcast Dude: I’m sorry, are you calling about TV or internet service?

Me: Both. We ordered both please.

Comcast Dude: OK, so you have 2 TV boxes?

Me: No. We have 1 TV and 1 Internet box.

Comcast Dude: Oh. I see. We do not have either of those boxes registered to your account.

Me: Funny, because you sent the boxes to my address. I would have thought that you should have registered them before you sent them to me, seeing as this is called a self install kit.

Comcast Dude: Sorry about that. Can you give me the numbers please.

So after giving them multiple numbers, waiting on hold, and being on the phone for over an hour at this point, the guy finally tells me that they can’t seem to get my boxes registered. Not only can they not do it, he suggested that I travel 30 miles to the nearest Comcast location for them to help me with it. “You’ve got to be fu*king kidding me!”

Seriously, this is one of the reasons we decided to cut the cord to cable in the first place.

Never Give Up

To make a long story short, Holly called them again the next day, suffered through several hang-ups, argued about whether or not we were going to get the free HBO that they offered us, and finally got all of the equipment that Comcast sent to our house actually “registered” with the people that sent it . Ridonkulous, right? When it was all said and done, the “30-minute self installation” took approximately 4 hours. Problem solved, right? Not so fast.

The Defintion of Insanity – Part Deux

One of the biggest issues we’ve had with Comcast has been their failure to be able to bill us correctly. Why should we…

Breaking News

This just in!!!! I was going to tell you about how Comcast screwed up our first bill, charging us for multiple services that we didn’t ask for and didn’t want. (Surprise, huh?) I wanted you to know about the additional 4 hours we’ve spent trying to get our bill corrected. (Seriously?!? Yep.) I planned to regale you with the tales of 8 more phone calls, 6 of which were dropped by their system while we were on hold. (YGTBFKM, right?!?!?!) But instead, after spending my entire lunch break on the phone with Comcast earlier today trying to fix my bill, I came home to this:


The Definition of Insanity: A Comcast Rant


That, my friends, is a box full of Comcast equipment…another TV box and modem…which we didn’t order…and they want us to pay for.


Not only did they send me all of this stuff that I didn’t order or want, but they actually wanted us to return it to their office 30 miles away so that we don’t get charged for it. They quickly found out that there was not a snowball’s chance in hell that we were going to do either of those things…after we were disconnected AGAIN.

So, as it stands, if I have to waste any more of my time to make another phone call to this ridiculous joke of a company, it will be the last call I ever make to them. Seriously, how can anybody even stay in business operating in this manner. Sometimes, free s#it just isn’t worth it.

Honestly, you’ve got to be fu*#ing kidding me.

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  1. I’m not sure why telecommunication companies are so notorious for this stuff, but they have justified bad reps! I am in the process of dealing with two right now – my cell phone doesn’t take calls anymore (essentially everything goes to voicemail, but it isn’t a device issue), and our internet has major peaks and valleys that make connection so hard.

    It sucks being a cheapskate sometimes, huh… we have rose-colored glasses on how things have, and will, turn out. I learned a new abbreviation today, though. 🙂

    1. That’s what is crazy about this. The internet service is working fine. I just want my bill to be right and them not to send me stuff and charge me for it. Why on earth would I need two modems?

  2. The saddest part about this… none of it surprises me in the least because Comcast’s service is so notoriously bad. Are there any other service providers in your area? I would definitely consider taking my business elsewhere to never deal with their BS again.

    1. We do have AT&T Uverse as another options but it’s considerably more expensive. We will definitely switch though if we have any other issues. Paying another $20 per month would be worth it at this point. We had Uverse at our old house and never had an issue.

  3. I have the exact opposite experience with comcast. Maybe I use up all the good mojo in this state?

    1. I know, me too! I’ve had it at numerous addresses over the years. In fact, they gave me a modem. I had my own but it was in the trunk of my car in Colorado (I was in VA at this place without said car). The installer “loaned” me one until I could get mine home. Now I have my modem (which I’m now using) and this extra free one. I never got charged a rental fee. I took your good Comcast karma. My bill is $29.99 all in for internet with a 2 year contract.
      However, they are under the impression that all marketing materials sent to me should be in Spanish.

  4. Wow, this tops most of my Comcast stories! THIS exact thing happened to me when I did my self-install -> “I decided to go ahead and give the self install phone number a try. After following about 5 minutes of prompts, I finally was put on hold to talk to a real person. Unfortunately, that call was dropped by the automated system. “You’ve got to be fu*#ing kidding me.”” The worst thing about Comcast is you have to play their stupid game of calling every six months or 12 months and threaten to leave until you get the lowest rate possible. It’s really dumb because then sometimes you have to install a new box, which obviously is nearly impossible. Anyway I feel your pain.

    1. I bet that our call has been dropped by them at least ten times during all of this. Or a rep will put you on hold and accidentally put you back in the queue to start everything over. That has happened to me at least three times.

  5. God, I hate Comcast. I actually swore off of them a few years ago vowing never to go back, but we needed a faster internet connection and the simple reality is that they offer MUCH faster speeds at a MUCH lower price than anyone else in the area. It was a painful decision, but we’re back with them. So far there haven’t been any major issues but I’m definitely waiting for the other shoe to drop.

  6. We have comcast in our area and I’m doing my best to stay away from them because of all of the horror stories. If you have WOW in your area, I’d recommend them. Cox is good too. They’re the two cable companies I’ve had the least amount of trouble with between all of the different cable companies I’ve had at various places. Hopefully comcast doesn’t have a monopoly there!

  7. Comcast is the absolute worst. They are definitely the biggest reason I cut cable for good. We only have internet through them now, and our experience has been much better ever since – well, other than their f#$%ing WEEKLY calls asking me to sign back up for TV..

  8. Hahaha…I almost died when I saw you found another box of equipment…My experience with them has not been too bad nor has it been rosy. I have spent hours on the phone trying to activate and other times fighting for wrong billing. However, what pissed me most is when I moved and I had to return my old equipment to the old town 30 miles away because the new town system is different. Then I ordered the self install kit and then they billed me 35 bucks claiming that a tech installed it for me. I fought it and threatened to disconnect and they credited me back.

  9. I’m not familiar with Comcast (I don’t think they operate where I live) and I think I’m glad!! OMG that is so terrible. How have they managed to not go out of business??!? I think I’d be seriously considering packing up all the crap, driving the 30 miles, and giving myself the gift of being rid of them forever…

  10. Dude, how do you really feel about this? I’d stop holding back.

    What a horrible way to treat customers. I was going to tell you that my experience was cable was bad (the one where they “forgot” to bill me and then tried to put it on my credit report), but I think yours wins.

  11. That’s horrible! We don’t have Comcast in our area, but there is only one internet provider that offer high speed internet where we live, so there is no choice. Their service is also terrible. When the rep told me to try the troubleshooting tips online when my internet was out, that about sums it up on how helpful they are.

  12. I used to have Comcast when I lived in Maryland. *Horrible* service. Although, I can’t say that other cable companies are much better… And it seems to be mostly limited to cable companies…

  13. Oh gosh, I have so been there, and it sucks, I’m sorry. Bad customer service is one of the most frustrating things EVER- I have wasted hours of my life, energy, tears… Any chance you can find a different provider?

    1. ATT Uverse is in the area and we are considering it. We are trying to make this work though, if at all possible, since we’ve already been through so much hassle so far.

  14. I have heard a lot of stuff about Comcast and I can’t imagine how they get away with this sort of thing.

  15. i hope you get better services from them in future, as i don’t have such a bad experience with Comcast.

  16. Tara @ Streets Ahead Living says:

    While I have great customer service with Cablevision/Optimum for our internet, they refuse to reduce our internet cost because they know they’re the only option for folks in our area (I can’t even get DSL because the phone lines are in poor shape and Verizon refuses to fix). So since I can’t get our cost reduced, I at least enjoy the free wi-fi hotspots in the NYC area I get with my Optimum online and the peace of mind I enjoy that when our internet is occasionally down, I can actually get a hold of a CSR who has fixed it every single time.

  17. Oh my god! You poor thing. I don’t blame you for blowing your top. I used to play the Comcast/ DISH game every 6 months to a year depending on offers and customer service. They all suck!!! Just keep thinking of Jamaica. By the way, did you know Season 1 was filmed in Malta as well as Ireland?

    1. Yeah, we don’t need TV…just internet. We might be switching to Uverse soon!

  18. How ridiculous can they get? I hate it when lines disconnect when you’re on hold or waiting in a queue. It’s infuriating. I’m sorry you guys had to deal with this; hopefully everything gets rectified soon (and for good).

    1. I hate that too….then you have to completely start over through all the prompts and gobots =/

  19. Ugh…. comcast how I loathe thee. My record for trying to get internet at a new place was spending over 22 hours on the phone with Comcast in one week…
    and NO I did not have working internet by the end pf that week.
    My personal favorite was when they said I was ineligible for Comcast because they couldn’t run a cable to my house- except I live in the middle of a city in a townhouse and share a wall with a neighbor who has Comcast, so we had to have this idiotic discussion of why the cable couldnt be run the additional 6″ to my house before they would install WTF?!

    1. I don’t think that anyone who works there knows what they’re talking about!!!

  20. Christine says:

    LMAO when I read your column! Comcast is the company I love to hate. They are the only game in town where I live so I do have them. When I call their customer service department (which is fairly often!) I start the conversation with “Let me state right from the start that I hate your company!”

  21. Wow! We don’t have Comcast in LA, so I’m not personally familiar with them but I hear people complain about them all the time. Sorry you and Holly had to jump through so many hoops on something that was SUPPOSED to be simple. I honestly dread calling customer service because it is so hit and miss. Sometimes you strike gold and it is easy but then next time hours and hours later, nothing is fixed. Hopefully things will get fixed soon, so you can enjoy Games of Thrones in a couple of months. 🙂

  22. The most I have ever been frustrated when it comes to customer service, all had to do with cable/internet companies…Verizon…Cablevision…Time Warner and Bellsouth. With each of these companies, I had “Are you fu*#ing kidding me?” moments. The best was Verizon destroying my husband’s credit because they said they never got a router back that they confirmed we mailed back to them at the time. Our big 2014 goal is to be cable free, then I can just save my curses for Netflix or Roku.

  23. That second box would have brought out my Beast Mode. I demand a certain level of service from my providers, and, for sure, that sort of incompetence would have pushed me over the edge. Good on you for wading through that. Hopefully, their incompetence ends up making some errors in your favor…

  24. Oh Comcast. We used them for two years. One day, our cable mysteriously went out. Just stopped working. We called on day one and reported it. They said it should come back on in 12 hours. 24 hours, still nothing. Told to wait. We waited again. And again. And again. Every day we called to report it was still out. Every day we were told to wait or there was a service outage. This went on for, I kid you not, 20 days.

    On the 20th day, I freaked out on them. I’m a calm and patient person. I am understanding and do not like to yell at poor, inept customer service reps. But I lost it. I demanded every manager until I was told that there was no one else. They sent a service agent out to us, finally. But we had to take off work to let them in. And then, they charged us a $40 service fee. AND THEN they still charged us for the 20 days without cable. Oh. And they charged us for a new tv box too. We’re still fighting that bill 2 years later.

  25. This just shows why Comcast and Time Warner cable are the two most hated companies right now. They are both terrible, yet they own so much that you can’t get service without them. I can’t get internet without TWC, so it is either them, or I am in the stone age.

  26. ComcastMark says:

    Greg – I work for Comcast. I just want to leave a note to extend my apologies for the frustrating experience. We’d like to look into your experience so that we can prevent any recurrence in the future.

    If it is not so much of a trouble, will you please provide your account info and best contact number so that we can look into your experience? You may contact me (with a link to this page for reference) at the email provided below.

    For those of you who might need further assistance, please feel free to contact us at or

    Thanks for providing the opportunity to help!


    1. Honestly Mark, I appreciate the offer. Unfortunately, your company has wasted enough of my time already.

  27. Candice @ My Freelance Adventure says:

    I understand your frustration. I hate Comcast. I LOATHE Comcast and it doesn’t help that they seem to have the monopoly wherever they are. I recently moved to the west coast and had to use Cox. I haven’t had any problems with them yet but it’s probably only a matter of time…

  28. Ha! We can relate. Comcast is the reason we cut the cord seven years ago and we haven’t looked back. They are so horrible they tried to change their name to Xfinity to leave their reputation behind. It didn’t work. Clearly they should spend more time on improving customer service and their business processes. Regardless, these former customers won’t return. Hope things get better.

  29. Comcast sounds as bad as Time Warner Cable. That’s why not matter how good a deal something is I usually pass it up, because of dealing with crap like this. I can totally understand the frustration. If it wasn’t for the fact that I need internet to do my job, I’d totally be done with cable companies for good!

  30. Unbelievable what you went through. Love how you handed that off to Holly to handle on day two. Nice! 🙂 I would have done the same thing. I can only last for about 30 minutes on the phone with tech support, then it’s the wife’s turn.

  31. Comcast is a nightmare. Their customer service is horrible, they try to get you to buy a lot of extra things even when you’ve firmly told them “NO!” multiple times. Then, they up your rates without telling you. I wish I could switch to another company, but they have a monopoly in my city.

  32. I have nothing nice to say about my experiences with Comcast, so I’m going to keep my mouth shut this time. Sorry to hear about your frustrations.

  33. We have Charter for our cable and internet….and I thought they were bad. I never thought I’d do this, but I am on my knees thanking the universe for having Charter. I have nothing to share that compares to this. LOL.

  34. OMG. There are no words for this. I’m so glad I don’t have cable and your experience reinforces while I’ll NEVER EVER HAVE IT AGAIN. You have GOT to be f-ing kidding me!!!!

  35. There is a reason comcast ranks in the top 3 for worst customer service of all companies in the US. I had similar problems. When I moved into my current house, the cable guy shows up, looks around and says “you don’t have cable from the street to your house” and then leaves. Apparently Comcast doesn’t have the resources to verify that in advance. It took us two months to get the workers to come dig underground and the service guy back to install inside. 6 months later I switched to directTV (kept comcast internet as my boyfriend refuses to have a slower speed). I had spent over an hour on the phone fixing my bill only to find a week later when I went to return the equipment in person that the lady I talked to on the phone did absolutely nothing! The only saving grace was that the local service department is ultra helpful and actually gets things done. I refuse to call comcast support again.

  36. Wow… that’s the absolute worst. I’m sorry you had to go through that, we had the choice between Verizon and Comcast but after my wife read similiar nightmares it was an easy choice to go with Verizon.

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