I have a long history with Comcast, going back to 1992. When their franchise agreement was up with our City that year they pissed off a lot of customers by dropping MTV. (Now, in hindsight, that might have saved the world from Snooki, but I digress.) I launched a political campaign to reject their franchise renewal.
That’s when the bullshit started. The local office would call me constantly, “lose” my bill payments, interrupt my service, and so on. One time they even sent someone to our house at 7 in the morning to disconnect us and take our cable box because we were supposedly three months past due. We actually had a credit balance at that time.
This was my first introduction to how Comcast treats those who dare to complain.
Last month I got a bit of sticker shock when I went to pay my bill on-line. This is from our February bill:
…and this is from our March bill:
Quite a difference, huh? I called to complain and was about to disconnect my television service entirely when the operator put together some kind of deal (I don’t remember the details) that was going to get my total bill down to about $80.00 a month. I found that more acceptable than $105.55, so I agreed.
And I thought that was the end of it.
Earlier this month, I got a solicitation call from Comcast pushing me to order their spiffy new digital cable boxes. I refused, since I own two TiVos and they can do everything I want better than Comcast’s boxes. Then I got another call from them to get me to order their spiffy new cable boxes. I complained. My account was supposed to be marked “do not contact” for solicitations, only regarding billing problems. When I got a third call I went to the NJ Board of Public Utilities.
I should have expected retaliation, but I didn’t. I was foolish.
For the past week our internet service has been interrupted, like clockwork, at 9:30 AM each day. Each morning Comcast has reset our modem, forcing all of our connections to close and our IP address to change. Minor annoyance but an annoyance all the same. So wanting to make sure that I wasn’t getting disruptions because the bill was past due (it was not) I went to check my account and pay my bill.
This is from my new bill (the full version isn’t available yet):
That’s right. Instead of being cut by $20.00, my bill became $7.50 more expensive than even what I had complained about before. I call to complain. On top of it all, in addition to not giving me whatever discount or incentive the operator had worked out on my last call, I was being charged for three cable boxes that I do not have and would not use even if I did. One of the three was “free,” at least, but still….
So off to the BPU again. And if I can find people to help install it, to buy an antenna. Lesson #1, which I should have learned 20 years ago, is do not trust Comcast.