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Triple Played

June 13, 2007

I just moved into my new place, purchased a new television, and have no cable or internet service after at least four visits from Comcast and many frustrated phone calls and live chat sessions.  I can survive without cable and internet at home, do not get me wrong, but I am being charged, lied to, and stood up worse than any girl has ever done to me.  I am still without two thirds of the phony “triple play” package.  Ive been played alright, but much more than three times. 

The nightmare started two weekends ago, when a technician came to my place on a Saturday morning to install the triple play package.  Everything seemed to be running smoothly, almost too smoothly.  Shortly after he installed everything, he told me there was a possibility he was going to have to take everything out that he had just installed because, in layman’s terms, the wires inside of my wall are old and thin and therefore not compatible with the cable wires he installed outside of my wall.  He told me he would call his supervisor to see what needed to be done.   He called his supervisor.  While he was on hold, I stepped away for a second.  The guy snuck out of my house and left.  He never said goodbye.  

After several phone calls to Comcast to try to figure out what had just happened besides me being played once, I finally was referred to the maintenance department to schedule what Comcast calls a post-wire, which essentially means a replacement of the wiring inside of my walls with the newer wiring that Comcast uses now.  I called maintenance and set up an appointment with them, but was told I would have to call Comcast separately after my maintenance visit to have another technician come out to reinstall everything.  Fine, I made both appointments for the following Saturday.

That next weekend, two gentlemen show up to my door.  They looked miserable.  I felt like the first player tipped them off to my situation and told them to avoid this job at all costs.  The most I got out of the guy who was sitting on my couch for much of the twenty minute visit was how much he hates his job.  Yeah buddy, so do most of us.  After I told my frustrating story to the other guy about the post-wire, he glanced at the cable outlet and told me a post-wire is not necessary, and that if it were necessary, it would require tearing down walls and ceilings.  The new player told me all he had to do was remove a splitter which would strengthen the signal and that he would install everything to save the technician who bolted from my house a trip back later in the afternoon.  Great.  Long story short, he gave me the line that it takes twenty minutes for everything to work and left with his miserable and useless partner.  Twenty minutes passed.  Nothing worked except for the phones.  The double play.

Without exaggerating, I have made at least fifteen calls to Comcast within the past week since the last visit.  I have been told it takes twenty four hours for activation.  I have been told I need to call a separate number to activite my internet.  I have been told the cable box is not working.  I have been told to reset my cable box.  Finally, I convinced Comcast to send another technician this past Sunday in the dreaded 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. time slot.  This is the worst part of the story.

 I stayed home all Sunday afternoon with my front door open, literally, and me sitting on my couch located an arm’s distance away from the door, as I mostly stared at my tv.  I received a call at 4:30 p.m. from dispatch advising that a technician was at my house at 1:45 but nobody was home.  I was speechless, yet managed to call Comcast and its employees several bad names.  After several further time consuming phone calls where I had to repeat the same story over and over, I was told my account will be given immediate priority by a supervisor and an experienced technician will call me to schedule a visit.  I have not heard from Comcast since then.  The triple play. 

 I really don’t want to call Comcast back.  I’d rather go without cable and the internet.  I guess the only way I can get them to respond is if I sign up for the quadruple play.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Heather permalink
    June 15, 2007 1:32 pm

    Indeed – Comcast has spun a web of departments and layers of supervisors to deter any consumer who tries to get to the bottom of the ridiculous problems they create. I had a similarly frustrating experience when I received a bill for $450 – for an account I had not had for over 5 years. When I first called I was told that the customer service department was closed and I would have to call back, then I was told that I was calling the wrong location, then they couldn’t access the account because it was so old. After literally hours on the phone, I found out that the actual amount allegedly due was $42.50. I did not believe that I even owed that amount, but after wasting days of my time, I gave in and paid. Comcast wins again. Some days I think that my skills as a lawyer aid me in the general minutae of life – this was not one of those days.

    But the saga doesn’t end there – what I haven’t mentioned is that Comcast sent the bill to a collections agency without notifying me of the alleged oustanding debt in the first place. So in order to end the entire mess, I requested that they send to me and the collections agency a letter indicating that the debt was satsified. They said they would do so within 7-10 business days. 14 business days later I called back and they claimed that the letter had been sent – although neither I nor the collections agency had received a copy. Finally, after much ado, they sent a letter and the collections agency closed the account. I filed a complaint with the Philadelphia Utilities Commission, but in the end I cannot recapture the time I spent sorting the nightmare out. And now I have to be on the lookout for any effects on my credit – talk about triple play – Comcast pitched a perfect game of consumer run around and I lost.

  2. Dave Koller permalink
    June 15, 2007 1:57 pm

    just a story i was looking for. thanks. and in the midst of drafting discovery thats never used and drafting memos that might never be read, sometimes i think to myself that i should devote my lawyer-time to efforts like combatting comcast – something that will do real good in the world. i feel silly that as a lawyer i don’t know where to start, although the thought of starting my own firm solely devoted to duking it out with the cable giant has crossed my mind. i think i can make a worthwhile living of it.

  3. jocelyn g permalink
    June 15, 2007 3:59 pm

    Have you thought about sattelite?

  4. darshan1979 permalink
    June 15, 2007 11:51 pm

    I loved Jocelyn’s response, and it reminded me of this old joke I had heard. The joke goes:
    Several decades ago, when NASA and the former USSR were in a space race to try to get to the moon, the question was: How do we get a pen to work in zero gravity? NASA spent millions of dollars and after extensive research came up with the antigrav pen. The USSR used pencils.

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