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Comcast / lied about cost - bait and switch

1 Oakbrook Terrace, IL, United States Review updated:

I have been a Comcast customer for 10+ years. I have called a few times over the years to see what deals were available. Most recently we decided to add digital voice service as we already have tv and internet through Comcast. I called and spoke with someone in sales and we went over our current service and compared what our bill would be like under different options. We were looking at a Triple Play package with lower internet speed and were told that if we took that package our two DVRs that are included at no charge in our current service package would not be included but that if we opted for the more expensive premiere triple play that the two DVRs would be included along with a year of all premium channels for 179/mth. We decided to go for it and the installation was completed that week for the digital phone. While the tech was here he called Comcast and tested both of our DVRs with them over the phone, I signed the work order provided by Comcast that listed the serial numbers for both DVRs. About a week later my bedroom DVR stops working.

I contacted Comcast customer support. I ended up spending two hours on the phone and spoke to two tech support people, one was a lvl 1 and the other was his 'Floor supervisor' named Cara. The lvl 1 began by telling me that he only sees one DVR on my account and that this one must have been turned off as a result (remeber, the serials are both on my work order from a week ago so this is utter BS) and that it will cost me $15/mth on top of the 179 if I want him to reactivate this for me. So I press and ask to speak to a supervisor, before transferring me the level 1 asks to confirm my phone number and reads me my old phone # that was just replaced by Comcast. I expressed my amazement that he would not know the phone number that his own company just installed for me and that the automated voice in the call menu just identified when I navigated the menus on their phone system. I think I made him mad after holding for a few minutes his supervisor 'Cara' came on the line and started off by explaining that she apologizes but that there is nothing they can do about the charge but she can wave it for 2 months. I explained our conversation with the sales person and that we took her at her word in what is essentially a verbal contract and all that a customer has when adding service, when she said that the new bill would only be 179. Cara told me that this was a 'Sales Technique' and that she apologizes but that there is nothing more she can do. I couldn't believe my ears! She pretty much implicated Comcast as using 'Bait and Switch' as a 'Sales Technique'. I admit that I lost my cool and started to tell her to cancel everything, but instead I told her that I would need to call back and speak to someone that 'has a clue'.
Then I waited 30 minutes and called back and talked to a billing rep and his "Sr. Acct. Mgr" named Juanita. Ironically while I was talking to the Billing Rep the other line on my phone rang and it showed as Comcast calling me! I decided to let them leave me a message as I was pretty sure it would be the girl without a clue. I checked after my call and it turned out to be Cara's supervisor 'Stephanie who even in her voicemail sounded condescending but was clearly in either 'Damage Control' mode or call back and make her self sound tough in front of her employee mode. Either way I have no interest in talking to her as I was able to have the Billing rep get me to Juanita the 'Sr. Acct. Mgr'. Juanita as with the previous three began by telling me that she is sorry but that she can't credit an entire 2nd DVR for the 12 month introductory period to make it so that all comes out to 179 as promised. Instead she first stonewalled, second offered 6 mths at $6/mth for the 2nd DVR, third upon further debate added $35 credit which would end up making the 2nd DVR free for 6 mths rather than 12.
Now some of you may think this is a good deal, and if the sales person in the first place had pitched this we probably would have accepted, but I feel that because of the sales person specifically stating that we had to go with this high end package to keep our two DVRs free that this is a matter of principal. We based our decision on this pitch and now I am being told that they are going to 'Do me a favor' and only charge me $6 for 6mths for the box.
I explained to Juanita that she can't make it so that Comcast lives up to the verbal contract from the sales person, I have no reason to expect that she will live up to what she is promising me on this call and that as a result I am not interested and that I will return the second DVR, explore Dish, DSL and other VOIP and once I find other service in the next week or two I will cancel all Comcast service. In concluding the call I asked if she can provide me with an e-mail or name of someone higher up in the organization that I can give some exit feedback to and ask that they review all the recordings from my experience to better understand why I am cancelling. She told me that she would have someone contact me in 24 to 48 hours so that I can give them feedback. I've already priced out alternatives and even though the internet connection will be slower it will still be cheaper and I can get multiple boxes for free.
I am amazed that over a 15/mth dvr charge that was omitted as result of their own error, Comcast is willing to lose not only the 179/mth I would spend for the first 12 months but also the 200/mth x 12 mths ($2400/yr) that I was willing to pay them.

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Comments

  • Co
      20th of Mar, 2010
    0 Votes

    I called up for one of their deals on a tv advertisement and was told that the deal did not exist even though I had just watched it five minutes before. I signed up for the service anyway at a higher charge. When the ad came on again an hour later, I called up again and they said they would fix it. Several weeks and many phone calls later, it was fixed, but...

    I had to pay $175 to have them come out and hook it up (even though I insisted that I could do it myself) plus the $5 router rental that was not listed in the ad but they insisted I had to pay for. I came in and found that the representative had gotten on my computer, hooked it up online to the wall (not the wireless I was paying for the service and installation on), gone on facebook (yeah, I pulled up his facebook account because the ### left it open) and then just left without finishing the job. Several phone calls later I hooked it up myself. I demanded that they credit the $175 but they refused. It gets worse...

    I got two bills within the first month. I called up and stated that I would not pay a month and a half in advance and I would pay the one bill on the next month's due date (September's due on October 15). I continued doing this until this month when I noticed that my amount due and amount owed didn't match and that there was an "unbilled" amount of $7.95 listed on my bill with a misc of $8.34. I called and asked what was going on and was told I'd been getting late fees every month for not paying on time and in full. I went round and round with two reps and one supervisor about how I was told this was acceptable that I pay the monthly amount by the next month's due date instead of an additional month in advance and that it shouldn't say "unbilled" if it's being billed. I was called crazy and told it wasn't showing up on the bill that I was looking right at during the entire conversation. I was told by the supervisor that "representatives cannot make the type of arrangements to allow you to avoid late fees". So the supervisor herself admitted that they cannot stand behind the promises of comcast's "customer service". I cancelled. They don't care. They said they're going to take my $31.26 in late fees and put it in collections and then on my credit. I said I and my family will never be customers again. They still didn't care. I told them I'm never going to use their shady company again and I mean it.

    Their customer service is a joke. I asked to speak with a manager and was told I couldn't. The fact that they are all foreign and hardly speak English isn't helping matters any. There's a lack of communication not just because of the language barrier and culture barrier (I'm pretty sure they hate me for being an American), but also because they have obviously been taught that the customer is wrong or lying and to do everything they can to screw the customer over more. I've worked in call centers before and would've been fired on the spot had I spoken to any customers (even the irate ones) like they spoke to me...and I was calm the entire time just trying to get them to understand what I was saying (because you usually catch more flies with honey).

    I'm calling corporate on Monday. The number online is listed as 215-665-1700. Hopefully they speak English and are able to at least listen to me when I explain that I paid the full balance prior to the due date each month and therefore shouldn't be charged a late fee for arranging in advance not to pay more than one month ahead.

    This company is filled with scammers. Just google "comcast scam" and see all the other people who complained about similar things!

  • Po
      21st of Apr, 2011
    0 Votes

    A special rate for Internet service is offered through broadbandoffers.com. The deal is stated as $19.95 per month for 6 months with no contract and service can be cancelled anytime without penalty. They also advertise a free modem, but you must buy the modem and then mail in rebate forms to receive reimbursement minus shipping cost. The online application takes you through some hoops and indicates that service will be activated after the modem is received. I received the modem and then called the phone number that was provided, which connected to Comcast customer service. They had no record of the order and do not offer any deals such as what was stated. After an 1-1/2 hours of the runaround, I was finally told that broadbandoffers.com is a third-party service and I would have to go through them for activation. I went back to the beginning, which was an advertisement at comcastoffers.com, which links to broadbandoffers.com. I could not find any phone numbers. There was an online contact form and I submitted a request for activation. An email response the next day indicated that broadbandoffers.com does NOT handle service activation. They referred me back to Comcast customer service. The box that the modem came in clearly says "Comcast Corp" at the top of the shipping label and directly underneath this it says "broadbandoffers.com". I finally realized that the whole thing is an elaborate bait and switch scam, which appears to be operated by Comcast. I sincerely doubt that I was the first customer to call Comcast and attempt to activate service based on the broadbandoffers.com offering, but the operators played dumb and led me around and around as if to wear me down so that I would get tired and give up. The catch is that once you have payed for the modem and received it, you are not likely to return it at your expense, wait for a refund, and also forfeit the original shipping cost. Broadbandoffers.com cannot activate the service for the stated price and Comcast bumps you into a higher price plan (with a contract?). At that point I decided that I will NEVER DO BUSINESS WITH COMCAST AGAIN!

  • Ma
      23rd of Apr, 2011
    0 Votes

    According to Clark Howard, cable companies are repeatedly ranked in the bottom percentage of customer service scores out of any other industry in the United States.

    Further, Comcast is regularly ranked second to last, only one above Time Warner Cable when it comes to providing customer service and having happy customers.

  • Sh
      6th of May, 2011
    0 Votes

    I've have avoided Comcast for years and got roped in with an introductory offer. The service is fine but I recieved a late fee for $7.99 on a $26.99 bill. They don't disclose late fee information and claim it's a standard fee. Isn't around 30% late fee a illegal fee? A standard fee? according to who? I see Comcast just settled a class action law suit in Oregan for ripping their customers off for millions to unlawful late fees. I'd like to add my name to a class action lawsuit in Washington if I could. Their service is good but their customer service sucks and business tactics suck even more. For the same money I'll go with someone else.

  • So
      4th of Aug, 2011
    0 Votes

    I signed up for the triple play and was told I will get $250 gift card reward. I waited three months according to the application form which direct you to select fastest $150, or $200. Or $250. I checked $250 box and mailed it with the first month bill as directed. I called and also went to the office which after an hour of research the front office told me I should have signed up for the HD Preferred and not just HD Starter package. Does any one else see this clause on the advertisement. I signed up in April 2011. FTC should make such a non disclosure illegal or the fine print should be more transparent.

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