Seriously, what is wrong with Comcast?

Seriously, what is wrong with Comcast?

Summary: Back in January I wrote a blog entry discussing my desire to cut back my cable television and rely more on iTunes, Netflix, Joost, etc. I asked Comcast to simply disconnect my cable TV but keep my Internet.

TOPICS: Hardware

Back in January I wrote a blog entry discussing my desire to cut back my cable television and rely more on iTunes, Netflix, Joost, etc. I asked Comcast to simply disconnect my cable TV but keep my Internet. That's when they informed me they could do that, but they would then have to cut my bandwidth from 6Mbps to 3Mbps. Apparently they sneak that extra 3Mbps over the 60+ channels I never watch.

It is basically a strong arm tactic to get me to keep paying for cable TV. It's shady, but what can you do when you've got the bandwidth blues?

So I caved and they cut my cable TV down to basic which dropped my bill from $100 a month to $64 a month.

Or so I thought.

Starting February first, my bill should have been $ was $100. It was also $100 in March, April, and May. During this time I called them on several occasions asking them to correct their error. In May, they told me it was fixed, and my account was credited for the error and my bill would reflect the change next month. When the next bill was $100.

I called again this last week and asked them to fix the problem, but the person told me they didn't have any notes that I had requested this going back to January, so he could only credit me for May. I told him I was ready to disconnect my cable altogether and that's when the smooth talking express got underway.

He gave me this whole story about how his computer system couldn't give me a credit, but instead what he would do is drop my Internet bill to about $32 a month and my TV would be $5 a month...meaning in 6 months, what I have already overpaid them for 5 months...I would essentially earn back...and then some over time. In a bit of a time crunch and not wanting to argue about it any further, I just said go ahead and do it.

The issue I have here is why can't companies like this just be completely honest and above board? Why have these secret discounts for ticked off customers? Why always have these complicated packages and services people don't want? Why cant we pick what we want...get what we need...and not have to deal with all this time wasting?

I'm pretty sick of companies excusing bad service with discounts. Can't you just get your act together and provide a service that I love so much I'm willing to recommend it to my friends and family? No hidden fees and discounts...just good solid performance and a dedication to excellent customer service. Period.

Topic: Hardware

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  • Credits and churn

    Are the driving factors which impact a customer service rep. Companies typically take a loss on those "special" promotions, but it avoids reporting credits or the loss of a customer.

    Be advised, your "special" deal is more than likely only temporary.
  • I would love to pick only channels I like

    It would be nice to be able to choose TV channels and not the packages. Now I have only the basic package simply because I can not justify paying extra $20 per month for two more channels I would be really interested in.
    It is good for netflix though as they are getting large part of that TV channel package price difference ;)
    • Right with you but...

      even the channels that I would want, are to inundated with commercials. Which is why I stopped watching TV completely. ]:) except for netflix!
      Linux User 147560
  • Why? Because good service is expensive.

    Why don't they just do what's right? That's easy - because good customer service is expensive to provide; throwing all this subterfuge at you in an attempt to placate you is much, much cheaper. Combine that with the fact that many customers will simply put up with bad service, and you'll see that Comcast has very little reason to improve. That allows Comcast and others to keep the revenues coming in w/o investing any more in better customer service.

    If you were as serious about your principles as you want Comcast to be, you wouldn't have been swayed by their last minute tricks. You play right into their hands, and vindicate their strategy as a viable one.
    • Bad service is more expensive

      Besides driving customers away, bad customer service is expensive. Bad customer service drives call backs, longer calls, escalations and adjustments - all of which costs money. The problem is that bad customer services costs even more money to fix.
  • I just did three Speakeasy tests

    And the nearest server showed alomost 5 mbps. Have never had cable TV at this residence. So much for the 3 mbps restriction.

    But when I moved in, slightly over a year ago, the provider was a small local company. Bill was $30/month. They were acquired by Comcast in two quick jumps the bill is now $54.
    • My test

      with comcast i ran a speakeasy test and the results came in at 19Mbps....

      Ya... 19 Megabits per second.

      just tested it today and it was only 5.
  • Cablevision is better

    I suggest you move to a Cablevision covered area. Not only is the basic internet much faster at 15Mbs they also have excellent, well-trained, helpful customer service. I don't know why this is, it wasn't always like this, but I won't complain as long as it stays like this.
    • Wait till Time Warner buys Cablevision out.

      They're just waiting to do it. Time Warner wants new york state to themselves. Cablevision will be purchased sooner or later. Its been a long time coming...
    • I suggest..

      "I suggest you move to a Cablevision covered area."

      That's the perfect solution. My internet is slow so I will sell my house to find good service. Genius.


    Cable used to say. Buy Cable TV. You pay for it so that you don't have to see a lot of Advertisements. Have you looked at Cable TV lately??????? JUST--- as many ads as regular Over the Air Television... So why pay for cable anymore????
    • Which is why

      I dropped the TV portion of my Comcast bill to internet only. Had one hell of a time doing it, but after enough phone calls and arguing I finally won out. ]:)
      Linux User 147560
  • Timewarner -> to Comcast = horrid experience

    In my market (Memphis, TN area) we had TimeWarner which was bought out by Comcast. The service with TimeWarner was not bad (not good, but bearable). I've had more problems with my service in the 6 months I've had Comcast than the three years with TimeWarner.

    I had requested a service call that was scheduled for a Friday. No show, no call. A week and a half later, I received a call to confirm my service appointment for that day. After I figured out this was for the week+ late service, the rep mustered out a half __ apology, and then proceeded to ask me if I was going to be home...

    It seems like Comcast doesn't understand customer service and doesn't really care because they are the only cable option in my area. I really wish another cable company would come in and give them some real competition. It would force them to keep their prices reasonable and service quality high.
    • the laws need to be changed

      There needs to be 3 or 4 cable company "choices" in urban areas...

      Its a given that if a company owns an entire market.. customer service suffers.

      When options like FIOS are provided and that bandwidth is fast enough to pipe tv stations into tv's... its my guess that cable companies are digging their own graves with their arrogant monopolistic attitudes and overpricing, not to mention no freedom of choice.

      For instance.. i should be able to pay a 10 dollar flat rate for access and 1.99 per month for each channel i want, and be able to use my own cable box. end of story.

      The future will settle this debate!
    • Same Experience

      Same experience with the no show, no call. I set up a home visit over the internet and they didn't show, so I called them. After 30 mins of waiting and being redirected they said I never set it up online (it wasn't in their system). So, after another 4 day wait they didn't show up, nor did they call either of the 2 phone numbers I specifically asked them to call. I called them and the lady on the phone set it up for the next day, same thing happened again. On the 4th try they finally made it out. The contract worker was nice but SLOW and I drove home from work with intentions on returning. After a 3 hr install (turn cable on, one wall outlet install) he was done and left. I did get to return back to work but half of the afternoon was gone. What a waste.

      After that there were many billing errors and I spent over 10hrs on the phone with them over 2 days. Unfortunately Comcast is the only provider in my area and AT&T Uverse isn't going to run fiber to the house anymore, so I lost interest in them.
  • What's Wrong With Comcast? It's NOT COMFASTIC!

    Not that anyone in the position to effect change at will be reading this, but at least I get to vent. Thus, futile, but necessary for my sanity. Numerous IT magazines have done surveys asking readers to comment on their ISP's for the past decade or so. It seems like Comcast takes delight in being the cellar-dweller champion when it comes to Tech Support and the "HELP?" Desk. Recently, I was basically lied to by a sales person telling me that if I went to all three digital services that would be on one bill instead of the two I used to get(Digital Cable,Digital Internet on one and the phone on another) they would graciously save me approximately $60 a month and to sweeten the pot, throw in some premium channels for a year to enhance my television experience. I asked, "Is this VOIP we are talking about for the phone? I was assured it was not after saying if I lost my download speed at a fairly consistent 19200/kbps, on my three networked computers besides a phone system that is unreliable such as "TELEPHONEY", I would much rather keep what I have. The sales person told me not to worry after I further explained I need a reliable network and phone as most of my work is done from home. I was told how I was getting a brand new ARRISS modem(Touchstone) and would even have better service for less money. So, guess what? Within two days I had a service tech here to install my new, improved and superior three-in-one service.(should have realized right then that this was highly unusual for Comcast-to be at my house in 48 hours instead of the normal month or more). I am now living a nightmare,-my phone cuts out all the time and my network is averaging 5000 less kbps besides constantly crashing. The disks I received for the speed boost and the modem is already outdated as I was given the new ARRISS 502 G-not much info out there on this to say the least and now, my calls are being routed from Comcast's local support to a country where English is by no means the first language. It's pretty disheartening to try to talk to the experts when it seems I know more than they do. Verizon FIOS is making its way in to my neck of the woods sometime this year and I can't wait to jump on that wagon! In the meantime, I refuse to be placed in the Comcast cellar so I'm playing around with some hardware configs until I get Comcast to take back their crap and compensate me by keeping all my new services in place at the same rate I was offered by a less than true sales rep of Comcast!
    Verizon has these people scared and like me, I hope the Comcast powers that be are experiencing sleep depravity over finally having competition.Linda's View aka Linnie's Voice.
    Linda's View
  • Comcast really does need to focus on customer service

    I am not in a Comcast free zone. Recently I signed up for Directv to get the NFL Sunday Ticket (I am a massive football junkie) and I decided to look at the alternatives to not having Comcast High Speed Internet. Qwest has a 7mbps DSL in my area and Clearwire is in my area. I decided to try both and I kept the Qwest high speed. I pay less than Comcast is charging and I have had no service issues plus because Qwest and Directv has a distribution agreement I get an additional $5 off a month (not a lot but one bill a year typically for my Direct service). I had horrible luck with Comcast in the Seattle area. Comcast seems to be spending a lot of money to shine up their image. My parents are going to get Directv with Fios Internet (no FIOS TV in their area) and they are going to spend less than they did with Comcast in their area. I think the cable group is definitely feeling the pinch from competitors. I know there are people who have had good luck with Comcast but I am not one of them.
  • Comcast Horrors

    This is not something new. This is the very reason I cancelled cable and went lesser of the crappy customer support (AT&T) and got DSL. AT&T of late seem to have gotten past their wrongandoverbillingitis and missingupdateitis.
  • Comcast the Worse

    ZDNet - Comcast 07/06/2007

    I also can tell you that in my dealings with Comcast it appears to me that Comcast is the worst company that I have ever delt with. That absolutely couldn't give better customer service if they tried. It appears that they aren't considering the customer in anyway. They also show no respect for their installers and they also have to wait on hold to reach someone at Comcast. I saw the installers on hold for over 30 minutes numerous times. The worst part is that you can be told that it will take 72 hours before they can start on your problem. If you use Comcast for phone service this can be a serious problem and I don't feel exceptable. I have asked to speak with a supervisor on a few occassions and they don't want to let you do that. Finally on screaming they connect me to one. Now I live in New Jersey, USA and I am talking to a supervisor in Canada and his answer is I will do my best but that won't do much good since he can only do so much. He informed me that we need to speak with dispatch and he can't do that. He went to his supervisor and he couldn't help also. So what happens is that you are helpless and can't do anything to lessen the problem.
    When I signed up for the phone service I had a two week wait which was fine but in error they turned off my internet and when I called I was informed that they couldn't do anything to get it back in under 72 hours. After I screamed and yelled it was back that day. I have found nothing pleasant in my dealings with them but they are a monopoly so they can get away with anything. More and more we the customer are being abused and have no power whatsoever. We must fight back before we lose it all.
    Finally let's talk about Comcast tech support. I find in my dealings that all they want to do is argue with you and not help. In my case I told the tech who came to the scene what was wrong and he said never heard of that. Well after being on hold for over 30 minutes he said let me try your suggestion and put on a new modem. Well I was right and he said I think you know more than they do! I could go on for hours with more stories as to how bad Comcast is but I hope you get the idea with the above. We must voice ourselves and demand a better service because it is not a cheap service and we are paying for the best and get the worse. Final remark is Comcast pays most of their installers by the job and not by the hour so Comcast doesn't care about how long they are on hold waiting for the Comcast end to respond to the question or problem. In the mean time you the customer have to stay with the tech until he finishes after you may have been given a four hour time frame for him to come to your home.