An Open Letter to Comcast
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When I started writing this open letter, I wasn’t sure how to begin. I mean, you’ve shown me exactly how little you value me as a customer through your various actions (and non-actions) – which have included everything from hanging up on me, to mailing me crap I didn’t want, and not showing up for appointments. All of these things have made it clear that you don’t give a rat’s behind, so I’m probably wasting my time here.
But I have to begin somehow, right? So let’s start this off with a quote, shall we?
“There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.” – George W. Bush
Yeah, nevermind. That doesn’t make sense now, nor did it ever. Let me start over. I’m writing you today to let you know how much you suck. Let’s start at the beginning.
An Open Letter to Comcast
A couple of years ago, I signed up for Comcast internet service for the first time. And, even though I had heard nothing but horror stories about your service and products, I had high hopes. Of course, those hopes were dashed after your installer showed up and left without actually installing our internet. Still, I tried to be patient, even after you sent me a bill for $16 for three consecutive months after I cancelled the service that I never really had. And even after I was hung up on multiples times, and received a collection letter for that $16, I let it roll off my back and moved on.
Fast forward to 2014. We moved to Noblesville, Indiana, and I decided to give you another shot. But that was only because you offered free cable television, including HBO, for 12 months if I signed up for Comcast high speed internet for $39 per month. So I signed up for the self-installation package through your website and waited for the equipment to arrive. And when it did, I immediately got started on the self-install. That was, of course, until it wouldn’t work.
Comcast Customer Service at Work
After spending over four hours on the phone with you that night, we determined that you had somehow neglected to register my equipment – the equipment that you sent to me. Then you said something shocking: You said I needed to drive the equipment to Anderson, Indiana to drop it off.
“Ummmm…yeah. There’s no chance in hell I’m going to do that,” I said to “Patrick” in India.
“Sorry, there’ nothing we can do,” said “Patrick” in India.
I called back the next day and spent another three hours talking to various Comcast reps who could not, or would not, help me. And then we had a breakthrough. Someone was finally able to register my equipment over the phone and it started working. Finally.
Comcast Billing at Work
Then, when I got my first bill, I noticed that I had been charged an additional $9.99 per month for HD, which I do not have, and $5.99 for something else that no one could explain. I tried to remain patient as I spent another 4 hours talking to various people on the phone, and I tried not to get angry when I was hung up on multiple times and randomly transferred to different departments just for fun. Amazingly, some genius at your company finally found a way to credit those charges, but only after I made three additional phone calls that week. Good job!
Then this happened:
I arrived home to find a giant Comcast box on my front porch. So I called to see what in the world it might be. A bomb, maybe? The funny thing was, you actually had no idea what was in the box. In fact, you asked me to open it and tell you what was in the box. So I did.
Here’s how that conversation went:
Me: “Ummmm……it looks like two modems in separate boxes.”
Comcast person: “Hmmm…..that’s weird. We have no record of that. We’re going to need you to drive that box to the nearest Comcast location and drop it off.”
Me: “Yeah, there is no chance in hell that I am going to drive that box anywhere.”
Comcast: “Well, I’m taking note of this right now. I can send you a return sticker and you can mail it back, but you’ll be charged for it if we don’t get it back in time for your next billing cycle.”
Me: “Charged for what? For two modems that I didn’t ask for? Good luck prying that money out of my cold, dead hands! Is someone playing a joke on me? Am I on Boiling Points?”
<insert angry maniacal laughter here>
I was finally done being patient and nice. Your unbelievable incompetence as a company was one thing, but threatening to charge me for two extra modem rentals had somehow crossed the line. But since we were leaving for Jamaica the next day, I let it go.
Unfortunately, I arrived home to two tiny Comcast return boxes on my front porch. I tried not to cry when I realized the boxes weren’t actually big enough to return the modems you mailed me. In fact, I improvised. I took the return stickers off of them and just stuck them on the giant box you mailed me in the first place. Problem solved.
My Internet Sucks
I started having problems with my internet a few weeks ago, so I was forced to call Comcast for help. After doing a few scans over the phone, they confirmed the problem and scheduled a tech to come out this morning from 8:00 – 9:00 a.m.
Of course, nobody showed up, so I immediately called your Customer Service Line. I also tweeted your Twitter account, which is ironically called @comcastcares.
I’ll give you a minute to let that sink in.
My pleads to your Twitter handle went ignored, but the customer service rep assured me that someone would call by 10:00 a.m. Unfortunately, nobody ever bothered to call to reschedule. No one called to apologize either. And no, no one bothered to see if my internet is working well or at all.
I used to think that your company was just disorganized. Maybe you were too big to function well, or tried to take on too much. But now I know the truth. You don’t care about your customers, or even if you do a good job.
I will never, ever subject myself to your awful company again. In fact, I wouldn’t even sign up for Comcast if it were free, or even if you paid me. What you offer is simply not worth it. Not today. Not ever.
Comcast, you are the worst company in the history of planet Earth. I would rather swim in molten lava, watch 87 episodes of Caillou, or eat my own dog than pay for your services ever again.
“There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.”
In the context of your unimaginable incompetence, this quote now makes a lot more sense.
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Your hatred of Comcast is the same as my hatred for Sprint. Do I have that to look forward to as we have Time Warner in Hawaii and they want to merge.
That could be good or bad, right?
Ugh. I wish we had more options for Internet access. Comcast charged us when a tech came out to check our lines, even though their customer service rep told me it would be free. It took me two weeks of calling, and multiple promises of “it will be off your bill in 48 hours” before I was able to get it resolved.
Sounds about right!
Comcast is the only option in my area, so I regularly have to bend over and take it from them with little to no recourse. I feel like I have a abusive prison cell-mate.
Fortunately, I have other options!
Ok, Ok…Comcast Sucks…but is Caillou really on that same level??? LOL. So what are your plans for internet service, etc after Comcast…..and how will you return the equipment? I sense more adventure coming….
On the plus Sid, without internet or TV, it is harder to watch caillou.
I had ATT Uverse installed yesterday and called Comcast to cancel. I can either mail my equipment or drop it off 20 minutes away. I’m trying to decide on that one! I will probably just drive it so that I know they got it and won’t try to pull anything crazy on me!
Caillou is the worst show that ever was. We have it on Netflix (or we did at one point) and I actually used to pretend that it was “broke” when my kids wanted to watch it.
But each day he learns something new. He’s getting to be such a big boy, you know.
Make sure you check your bill after returning your equipment. They won’t necessarily cancel your services or remove the charges for the equipment when you return it.
We have never had Comcast, and I don’t think we ever will! I have heard way too many stories just like this!! Ugh, at least you’re finally rid of them!
I just have to give them their equipment back now!
I have Comcast and you’re right, they do suck. I’m sick of all the pricing games where it goes up after 6 months or 12 months and you have to waste time calling and getting it lowered. I’ll likely switch when this contract is up. It’s not worth the hassle anymore and I can stream things for cheaper.
It really isn’t. I don’t even need TV anyway so it’s no big loss for us.
Holly – Thank you for documenting my experiences as well. I would switch from Comcast immediately, if I had a choice, unfortunately they hold a monopoly in my area. See what monopolies do? They charge high prices and have diminishing experiences over time. If there was some competition, prices may be reasonable and customer service and service itself would actually improve.
They have a ton of competition in my area ( I have 4 choices for internet) and they still suck.
“…come out this morning from 8:00 – 9:00 a.m.” Haha…why do they even bother giving the “we’ll arrive between this and this” time. Times a service tech showed up between the times scheduled = never.
Yeah, I know. I was so hopeful though.
I love me a good rant! I have Comcast and WOW in my area, and if I wasn’t convinced before, I’m convinced now that I will NEVER EVER use Comcast. I’ve heard about 10 of these horror stories from personal friends so this is definitely the nail in Comcast’s coffin. Sad thing is they’re going to be a super power if they’re allowed to merge. It is disgusting.
They need to completely rethink the way they do everything. I feel bad for their customer service people. They must get yelled at all the time.
Talk about bad service. Maybe they took note of your number and have everyone dodge you because you call there often. They sound like a terrible company for treating you like that. In your personal finance blog, how much money in total did you lose? not even counting the time and stress.
LOL, yeah. Maybe they are just avoiding me. Haha!!!!!
No mention of the worst thing that comcast has done recently – gone completely against net neutrality and netflix went along with it. Such a bad precedent to set.
Hmmmm….what is that about? Do tell.
Holly, I could feel myself getting worked up reading this – the injustice of it all! Talk about crappy customer service. Luckily we don’t have Comcast in the UK. Phew!
Comcast is horrible!!!! They said I couldn’t get cable in my townhouse- I pointed out that both neighbors I share walls with have Concast cable, and the Comcast rep had to come out 3 (!) Times WITH a manager to “figure out” how to run cable to my house…. The exact same way my neighbors have their cables run….. So I spent if the eight hours it took for them to install cable sitting around the house waiting for a manager to show up, who was supposedly only a block away, while the other Comcast tech SLEPT in his van outside my house!!!!
Comcast managed to not send me a bill (only late notices?!) for FIVE months of a 12mo contract. The ‘customer service’ messed up everything- so we found where the bills were being sent after about 6mo. So for five months, I had to drive to the service center and try to figure out when the bill was due (the service reps kept giving me the wrong date) and to pay me bill (the account was so messed up phone and internet payments wouldnt work)……. Yeah, Comcast is the worst customer serivxe I’ve ever experienced. Sorry for the long rant….
I love the long rant! It goes right along with mine. Hey, someone from Comcast commented further down the thread if you want to email him for help, LOL!!!
Wow, 87 episodes of Caillou…that’s some serious hate right there! However, I get it – both Comcast and Caillou!
Bad combo, lol!
I’m not sure if Comcast is in the STL area, and if it is it seems like no one here has it. However, I have heard so many horrible stories from PF bloggers that I would NEVER use them.
Comcast is the only service that offers internet in my area… Can’t imagine how frustrating that is! It is soo expensive and as you’ve mentioned, the service is terrible.
Yep, yep! Sorry you don’t have more choices!
Thank God we never watched Caillou. Is it really worse than My Little Pony?
I have never ever heard one good thing about Comcast. We don’t have them here, but only have one choice called Century Link. Their customer service is horrible as well. One time when I called they said they had no record of me at all and I had to get really mean and tell them that they send me a bill every month, so I must be in there somewhere! It took 2 managers to find our account. Also once when our internet was down, they told me to check online for troubleshooting advice. I hate monopolies.
Caillou is bad. Take my word for it.
Check online while your internet is down? WHAT?!!?!
Thanks for the heads up, Comcast just bought Time Warner in Los Angeles.
My mother just got her Comcast bill, which had mysterious random $1 charges on top of her usual monthly fees. She called to find out what the heck they were, and the rep had no clue. They did remove the fees, but I think it’s clearly a case of tacking on a few smaller charges to the bill, hoping the customer doesn’t notice, then ending up with a nice surplus from doing it to hundreds of others, too. Disgusting, but I’ve come to expect as much from these monster money hungry corporations.
Yeah, me too.
The thing that makes me cringe is all the TIME wasted on the phone dealing with these geniuses. They should be paying you for all the time they wasted!
Exactly. It makes me so angry to sit on the phone for hours. This isn’t rocket science, people!
I honestly had no idea how much you hated Comcast until you declared that you would rather watch 87 episodes of Caillou, that is equivalent to the sort of torture they dole out at Guantanamo to members of terrorist organizations. I am shuddering to think about it. I never had Comcast, but I know others who feel your pain. We had Verizon and loved them until we decided to go cable-free this year.
Yeah, the “free cable” wasn’t worth it at all! We haven’t had cable for the past three years!
And this is why I don’t want them buying Time Warner Cable. TWC is just as bad and when you combine two horrible companies, you get extremely horrible. The issue is they know that you don’t have many options. These large companies usually own all of the other options, so one way or another, you are paying them. If this was really a free market, customers would have voted with their dollars and Comcast, TWC and all the other horrible companies wouldn’t be in business. Unfortunately, we aren’t in a free market society.
I wish there were more options!
I share your passionate disdain for Comcast. I’ve hated that company since they bought out AT&T (yes, AT&T used to have cable tv where I lived a long time ago). I’ve experienced many of the same ridiculous issues that you’ve shared here although not quite as much in a consecutive fashion as you have. I was able to switch to DirecTv and only maintain Comcast for internet for several years. That went well, but we had to switch back to Comcast for everything after we moved. They are our only option. The service has been a bit better lately, but that’s not saying much. Honestly, you’re just an account number to them. You’re a commodity…the “one customer doesn’t matter” mentality is prevalent. And the whole “we care” message is just a marketing ploy.
It’s totally a marketing ploy. Saying that you care and acting like it are two different things!
I like TWC, to some degree so I only fear when they merge with Comcast what will happen!
Ugh, I would be scared!
It’s Comcastic! I had many issues with Comcast when I was living in IL and they called all the time to see how our services were. My roommate would always tell them it’s Comcastic…a derogatory term. Now I’m in VA and have Cox. They’re not much better.
Yeah, sometimes it’s about choosing the lesser of two evils.
This is how I feel about IKEA.
I’ve only been there once and didn’t buy anything. What’s the story with them?
We don’t have Comcast here but I have heard so many horror stories about them. My mind boggles at all the hoops you had to jump through – just because – gasp – you wanted to use Comcast. Ack. I do feel bad for their customer service reps because while they probably make their fair share of mistakes, I suspect they are probably not well-trained and get yelled at 24/7.
I feel bad for them too. They’re set up to fail!
About ten years ago I fired Comcast. I had cable and Internet through them, and internet was just hitting popularity. It went out, and I called, and they told me that it would be a week before they could get someone out to take a look. I complained and begged for something sooner, but they wouldn’t budge. So I lived without for a week. They showed up, did whatever they do, and left with working Internet. Not more than two hours later it was out again. When I called back, they said it would be…you guessed it, a week before they could someone out, not caring one bit that I’d already been out for a week. I asked around, found that we had access to another company, and they were able to get me setup the next day. I’ve never given Comcast so much as a second thought since then.
Sounds like an incredibly wise move!
You had me until Caillou. I mean, I’d rather staple my tongue to a burning building than watch 87 episodes of Caillou. 🙂
Hate that show!
Holly, I’m glad you got that off your chest. Feel better now? (I thought not) Well, I personally never used Comcast services. OTA TV only for us. But a good portion of US homes subscribe to Comcast. So many in fact, that Comcast has cash reserves to buy NBC Universal…now they own the CONTENT too in the empire. Scared yet? So what can we do? I bought Comcast stock. Just like the Healthcare industry; if you can’t beat ’em, just buy ’em.
BTW, I had a similar series of issues with Verizon DSL. Once I switched to FiOS, the problems went away. I found out that Verizon is just not interested in maintaining the heritage copper lines.
Ha! I like that strategy. You might as well invest and benefit in some way, right? Hard to argue with that.
So what did you go with?
ATT Uverse installed internet yesterday. And guess what, it works. That’s all I wanted to begin with!
You are right about Comcast..
I have never watched Caillou, but my worst movie was Mr Jingles. My niece was an actress in it. It was a class B horror film that I rented at Blockbuster once. I could not wait until she got her throat slashed so I could turn the movie off…
LOL, nice! That’s pretty disturbing but then again, so is Caillou.
Never had Comcast, and from the horror stories like yours, never will. Thanks for sharing your experiences.
I work for Comcast. I just wanted to leave a note to apologize for all the troubles you experienced with Comcast. I know that you are probably not interested, but if there is anything that I can do to convince you to come back, I am here to help. I would also like to reach out to my local colleagues to ensure that your concerns are addressed, so please feel free to contact me and include your information.
For those of you who might still need help, you may also contact me. Just include your information, best contact number and a link to this page as a point of reference.
Thanks in advance,
Here’s the problem with what you’re saying: It’s too little too late. You’ve already shat on me too many times. Sorry.
Here’s some advice: Instead of trolling the internet to do damage control, try being proactive about your many (many!!!) customer service problems. Do a google search for “Comcast sucks” and you’ll find thousands of people with a story similar to mine. Your entire system needs to be revamped- your company is bloated and incompetent. I’m honestly surprised that you’re able to accomplish anything with the level of dysfunction you must work with every day.
Thankfully I’ve never had to deal with Comcast. The line, “Comcast, you are the worst company in the history of planet Earth. I would rather swim in molten lava, watch 87 episodes of Caillou, or eat my own dog than pay for your services ever again.” made me laugh so hard Eric asked me what I was reading and then came over and read the post over my shoulder. Now we’re both cracking up.
What a timely post!
I recently tried to make the switch to Comcast for an introductory offer. We got off to a bad start– they mailed me the wrong equipment.
I decided to cut my losses before I even connected the service.
I drove the equipment to the service center and stood in line for an hour only for the CSR to drill me on where the correct equipment was.
Since then, I have received 3 bills for a service I never even used.
I have spent hours on the phone and in the service center with Comcast for a service I never got to use.
Finally today the CSR said I should receive no further bills. BACKWARDS.
So I’m from Philly, the home of Comcast. They suck. I hate them. We own our own modem, but every few months they just start randomly billing us for a modem rental. When we call, they don’t know how it got on our bill. I’m certain they just do that and reap the cash for everyone that never looks at their bill.
The pricing game they play is annoying too. They can offer you the same price as your previous deal if you add channels. Most fall for this and when that new “deal” is up, their bill skyrockets in price too because now they have more channels than before.
Now they want to buy Time Warner. They claim it will be good for the customer. Um, Comcast is the #1 cable operator in the US and Time Warner is either #2 or #3. Guess how many markets they compete in head to head currently. None. So when they merge, how is that good for customers? Most customers only have 1 choice for cable as it stands now.
One last thing, many people are cutting the cord and not using cable anymore. Comcast is on to this. They are basically raising the internet price so it costs the same as internet + basic cable. You can’t get away from it. If you stream Hulu/Netlfix/Whatever, you need the internet and luckily, the big cable companies are now controlling that too.
I don’t have that many followers but I made sure to Tweet it anyway. Mainly because I too hate Comcast. My experiences were not nearly as horrific, but their service (lack thereof) left me with a bad taste in my mouth. As always, a very well written rant. 🙂
I am so sorry for your terrible experience with Comcast. I have not had the pleasure of getting screwed by Comcast yet but I have had similar experiences with AT&T and Time Warner. Deep down I know that most of these large companies don’t care, but at least try to fool us. When their customer service people don’t care you can see that it is systemic.
We recently cancelled Comcast because the intro rate expired and the new rate was ridiculous. Plus the Internet was totally spotty. We didn’t have any problems returning the equipment (sent us a prepaid box) and we received our prorated refund really quickly, so that was good. We have Century Link now and it rocks!
In Canada, we don’t have Comcast and it seems like we may have a few more internet options than many States, because I’ve seen quite a few terrible Comcast reviews around the blogosphere in the past few years. I can’t believe they expected you to send back a modem when it wasn’t your mistake. What a mess!
Holly, I’m currently waiting to hear back from Comcast corporate. Here’s my story:
January 2013, switched to U-verse. Called Comcast and they closed my account. (Or so I thought). Tried over the next six weeks to return equipment (3 to 4 hour lines in my area do to a ‘recently closed service center’). Called Comcast to explain that I have cancelled but I actually work and cannot take an entire day off to return equipment (attempted 3 times and even waited several hours before giving up one day). No problem, ‘we’ll send you a box with a prepaid label’ (says the agent who is staring at my account that should have been cancelled but still unbeknownst to me has not been). Received box within a week, shipped next day. Never heard another word from Comcast. Until – a random box from Comcast shows up at my door in Feb 2014 (13 months after I cancelled). What is this? A TV box with activation instructions? Mistake? Called Comcast who informs me that I never cancelled my account and they have been auto-debiting my bank account for THE LAST 13 MONTHS!! They have no record that I called last Jan 2013. ‘Willy’ told me that they do see notes that I called in Mar 2013. “Willy’ told me the notes said I was having trouble returning my equipment. I asked Willy ‘do you know why I was returning my equipment?’ No, says Willy. Because I CANCELLED MY ACCOUNT, WILLY! We have had no equipment and have been paying for U-verse all this time. Spent over 5 hours on the phone with them in the last few days (they have admitted to some abnormalities but no resolution). Gets worse – they were debiting $142 per month for my closed account but more recently started monthly bills of over $800, over $400, over $400 and so on. They said I ordered channels (Spanish channels – I don’t speak Spanish). They said they never received my equipment. I asked if my account is open why are they sending me a new box with activation instructions. I don’t know, says ‘Linda’ (the 5th person to who I repeated my story). Linda asked me to check the ID # on the TV box that was shipped to me – I gave her the number. ‘Oh, that’s the equipment that wasn’t returned’, said Linda. ‘You just shipped this to me, Linda! Not a long lost package addressed to Comcast coming back to me, a new box with a new shipping label – From Comcast, To Me! She then explains that TV box was received in Aug 2013. It’s the internet modem that was never returned. I explained that I returned both in the same box in Mar 2013. And Linda, if you received my TV box in Aug, how are you charging me for a gazillion Spanish channels the following month, and the next month?’. Silence. She asks to put me on hold for another 20 minutes (it had been over 3 hours at this stage). She comes back, let’s me know she agrees with me, she is on my side, but everyone she spoke with said that the outstanding equipment has to be resolved first. (By the way, I felt sorry for Linda – she obviously wanted to hand me my money back and seemed to be at a loss with how to help me in a corrupt organization). So, it is up to me to handle the box they shipped to me for no reason (I am not shipping it) and they have to find the $34 modem before they can return to me the several thousand dollars they stole from my banking account. Seems like this will be a full time job trying to get back the money that was stolen. How did I miss this? Well, they stopped sending the e-bill notices to my email address (I had paperless billing). When? Jan 2013, the month I cancelled. I should have caught our bank debits but suffice it to say that we have several accounts with a high number of transactions and we had family illness last year so we were overwhelmed. We would have caught it when doing taxes but the mysterious box arrived first. I was a loyal Comcast customer for over 20 years with no problems so I did not have my guard up during the cancellation process.
That is insane. First of all, I think it’s crazy that you didn’t notice all of that money was debited out of your account! I notice if ten cents is missing!!!
Comcast truly does suck. You should email the idiot a few comments above and see if he can help. My cousin mailed her equipment back to Comcast and they said they never received it and made her pay $300, so that doesn’t surprise me.
When I returned my equipment, the line was literally running out the door and around the block. They are the worst company ever! It sounds like you’re going to have to turn your BITCH SWITCH on to get your money back!!!
I f*cking hate comcast so hard. I will be sharing this one.
I hate Comcast with a passion. My boyfriend refuses to switch to a lower speed internet provider so I’m stuck with them for now. The only thing that has worked for me is to go into a physical store location and stand there and make them resolve my issue. I spent hours on the phone with a rep to only find out from the in store rep that the person on the phone completed nothing that they said they did. I wonder if they have a page on their screen that says “type random stuff here so people on the phone think you are actually doing something”.
so do we! plus that’s good to hear, as I don’t know any who do 🙂 love it.