I’ve written before about Comcast, and now that I’ve been their customer for 3 months I have to say that I hate them. Now, hate is a strong word and I try not to use it lightly. But I honestly hate them.
I have two options to choose from: Comcast and AT&T. Given that I hate Comcast so much I should probably switch to AT&T. We probably will since Will just told me they have better customer service. The best it could be is the lesser of two evils. Both have that new scheme where they charge you for super internet, or bumped up Internet or whatever their marketing team came up with to make it sound alluring. Whatever it’s called, what you get is the same service you used to get before they made the standard service slower so that they could squeeze some more dollars out of each of our pay checks.
2. HIDDEN FEES.
The first bill was high because we had just added a DVR on the plan and there was some deposit we had to pay for the opportunity to use it. Never mind the fact that we had a DVR that was better at home, but for some reason it wouldn’t work because they a way of making their cable work only with their DVRs. Now if that isn’t f$#@ed up I don’t know what is.
The DVR rental costs us $7.99 a month, so I was expecting a bill around $115. Instead the June statement was $229.21. I called them up and went through it line by line.
I asked about the $7.95 monthly charge for having a cable box. How can they charge us for a cable box that we have to have in order for their service to work? The customer service rep said oh, that’s because it’s an HD cable box.
We don’t have an HDTV. So the technician who installed it gave us an HD cable box knowing full well we didn’t have an HDTV. At no juncture were we given the choice between a free cable box and one that we rent monthly. And now we get to take it into the Comcast office to exchange it and then call back and try to get them to reverse the charges. Thanks, Comcast.
I asked about the $45.17 worth of “partial charges and credits”. This is some sort of additional deposit for having adding on DVR service half way through the month, so this is in case we cancel. I basically have to look at this as lost money because we are cancelling.
The “other charges” turned out to be installation and activation charges for the DVR. I still don’t really understand what all these charges are. I was never told about them, but I guess being a Comcast customer gives them implicit authorization to charge you for practically anything however they see fit. I’m sure there’s some small print in the contact that gives them the ability to do this and there’s no sense in a class action lawsuit.
I was able to get $29.95 of the $55 “Other Charges” removed when I said I hadn’t been notified that having someone visit would cost money.
Tacked on to the end of the bill there are $21.92 of “Taxs, Surcharges & Fees”. I asked the customer service rep what they were, and he mumbled something about some of them going to “parks” or the “city.” Another one he didn’t even know what it was for. I noted our $0.23 “911 Fee” but didn’t ask about it. Now I wish I had–it would be just like Comcast to call a hidden fee something that sounds like a necessary community service.
3. UNUSABLE EQUIPMENT
Today I unplugged the Comcast DVR. I plugged it right back in. There are no buttons. You have to operate this thing with the remote. But the remote for the DVR is the same as the remote for the cable box. Now–for whatever reason–and who knows why–the remote only works with the cable box. I can’t get it to turn on at all. I tried another one of the same remotes. No luck. I unplugged it and plugged it back in to a different socket. Nothing. I’m pretty good with electronics, but there’s no way to make this work because they don’t want us to be able to work it. They want us to call a service technician so they can charge us more on the hope that we won’t spend an hour every month calling to object to the charges.
And now we get to call Comcast customer service and deal with some poor guy overseas who will most likely be unable to help us.
So, rather than take my frustration out on him like I normally do (I’m only human after all and Comcast is more than my good-intentioned self can take!) I wrote this blog. Meanwhile, Will was also frustratingly blogging about our Comcast experience.
After I publish this post and before I deal with this looming Comcast call, I’m going to spend twenty minutes beefing up the SEO on this post, a task I reserve for those posts I really really really want to come in high in searches.