[Updated] Comcast is just Awful
Posted on 2014-08-29
This story probably won't be surprising to anyone, and it's one of many about how awful Comcast's service is. Maybe I thought I would get lucky and maybe I was assuming that I would have a similar experience to the last time I used them, which was over a year ago. My first experience was impersonal, but it wasn't horrible. This time was very different.
On Monday, 2014-08-25, I signed up for Comcast online. There was a relatively nice deal where I would get up to 50mbps download for $34.99/mo for the first 12 months. Seemed pretty reasonable and I so I chose the plan and started through the sign-up process. Towards the end, they gave me some good news. My apartment was already ready for Comcast and I could order the self-install kit (SIK) and not worry about having someone come out to the house. I wanted my internet NOW, so I chose the overnight option, which was an extra $30.
The next day, the modem shows up at around 8:00am and so I quickly pull it out of the box and hook it up. It doesn't work. I immediately call Comcast and tell them that my modem isn't getting a connection and I believe that my apartment doesn't have whatever hookups it needs (even though the last tenant had Comcast too). I had to go through the basic "unplug it, wait, plug it back in" b.s. and then they told me I would need to have a tech come out and there may be additional charges. A few hours later, I get a confirmation email that the tech would be coming between 7:30-8:00am on Friday. Perfect, since now I don't have to miss work. But now there's a new problem. The email has an order summary, saying that my monthly bill will be $80 + $30 for the overnight shipping + a new $50 for a failed SIK install. Again, I call Comcast, and this is where the real annoyance begins.
The first person I talked to was pleasant enough, but told me that they couldn't see online deals and so they couldn't and wouldn't honor the deal I claimed to have signed up for (you don't have a browser to look??). They basically made me swear on my life that I signed up online and not in a store before they would let me go any further. I was then transferred to someone else, only to re-confirm my name, phone number, address and last 4 of my social and then told the exact same thing. Repeat these steps 3 more times before getting disconnected during the hold process. I call back and immediately tell the person I've been transferred 5 times and disconnected once. I need someone to help me or I would like to talk to someone about getting a full refund for my service. I was immediately transferred (again) to a customer retention specialist. She was nice, and at least seemed to have a soul. She understood my situation and told me that she will get me to someone who can honor the deal I signed up for. She was nice enough to also do a live call transfer in which she explained to the other rep while I was on the line what my situation was. She, also, was very nice, and was very explicit about what she was doing and that she left detailed notes about everything that happened. She waved my overnight fee since a tech was coming out and that if I got charged for anything else, call back, give her agent ID and tell the rep to look at the ticket notes. At this point, I was happy and assumed it was smooth sailing from there. Nope.
It's now Friday morning, I get up early and eagerly sit and wait for the Comcast tech to arrive and give me my internets. Comcast let me down...again... Here's the timeline so far (remember, the scheduled appointment was 7:30-8:00am):
07:30am - No show. I'll give him a few more minutes.
8:20am - Called Comcast to see if someone was coming out. Their automated system tells me the tech is late (as if I didn't know) and that he'll be arriving between 7:55-8:25am. I can press 4 to talk to someone. Pressing this button then says "this entry is invalid" and immediately disconnects
08:23am - I call again, but this time it says that my tech missed the appointment and immediately tries to transfer me, and then disconnects due to an invalid entry. I'm now stuck and cannot talk to anyone at Comcast.
08:36am - I call one last time, claim to not have an account and finally get to someone. He's actually friendly and helpful. He gives me the $20 credit I'm due for the tech not being on time, but promises that dispatch would be calling me within 15 minutes to let me know what's going on.
09:04am - Sitting and waiting for either the tech to show up, or Comcast to call me back. So much for that 15 minutes.
09:22am - Still no call or tech. I think I'm going to just go to work at this point. I really don't want to go the whole weekend without internet.
09:33am - Decided to call one more time. They told me the tech just straight up isn't coming now. The next appointment is Sunday from 12:00-2:00pm. Guess we'll see what happens then.
8:00pm - I receive my Comcast bill, once again saying I owe $110, of which I'll be paying $80/mo instead of $39.99. Comcast's site says they're available 24/7 on the phone, but when I call, it says they're closed and won't be open again until Tuesday since it's a holiday. Luckily their chat was available. I explained in detail my situation, the agent who left notes for my account, and that my bill is incorrect. They verified that the bill was in fact correct and that a new one will be issued in a few days. The person was very nice and answered my question in detail.
12:45pm - The tech arrived (on time). He was a nice guy and got everything set up. He was overly chatty and it ended up taking almost an hour and a half to get everything set up. He was nice enough to say that my modem was "bad" which waves the $50 service fee since there was a problem with my service.
All in all, my experience was pretty poor with Comcast. My last few interactions were plesant, but I fear they weren't the common experience for most people. I hope that I don't have to contact them in the future, but I'm sure I will to resolve my bill.