Comcast Tech Fails Installing Cable to Customer’s Heart

It’s expected that Comcast cable installs are both late and flawed, but Andrew W’s friend adds a new wrinkle: unwelcome love advances.

During the installation, this female friend was asked out by the “big, imposing” Comcast tech. She declined. Alone in the kitchen, he told her, “I just have to say, you are so pretty.”

On the work order, the tech put down his home number. After the (failed) installation, he called the friend again to try and meet up. She hung up but he continued to call.

Andrew’s friend turned off her phone and is now sleeping over at friend’s houses. She decided not to report the guy to Comcast as he knows where she lives and she’s afraid of retaliation. What to do?

We’re no relationship expert but….

Andrew,

Sorry to hear about your friend’s troubles.

We understand her fear but she should leave her phone on. If he calls again, she should tell him in no uncertain terms to stop calling. Hanging up hasn’t, in all fairness, made that explicit.

If he continues to make calls she feels are harassing, then she should consider calling the police.

Have her document the affair as best to her ability, including names, times and dates, and then call the police immediately to report the harassing phone calls and unwelcome behavior.

Then if you want to get him fired, report the complaint now that you’re under police protection. Or, make an anonymous complaint and say you’ve heard about the tech doing it, without specifying the complainant. Bear in mind, though, the latter won’t carry as much weight as the former.

If she still balks, consider this: if she doesn’t complain and get him fired, what’s to stop him from doing the same to another customer?

Sleeping on customer’s couches is one thing, but trying to sleep with you on the couch? Quite another.

Andrew’s original letter below:


    “Here’s a might bit terrifying story for you. I’m leaving my friend’s name and city out of it for safety’s sake. I’m hoping Consumerist readers might have some advice, because she’s stumped and not a little scared…

    My friend just moved to a new city and last weekend had an appointment to have cable installed by Comcast. Two Comcast contractors show up (late, naturally).

    Partway through the installation, one of the guys–a big, imposing guy–asks my friend if she’s married, has a boyfriend, etc. “I would like to take you out,” he says. She says no thanks, with no lack of clarity.

    A bit later, while the second guy is out at their truck and while my friend is trying very hard to avoid the two of them completely, the first guy finds my friend and tells her, “I just have to say, you are so pretty.” She was ready to cry at that point, she says. She’s in her kitchen, alone with a creep. All she could get out was a sarcastic “Uhh, thanks.”

    Finally they leave, but without having properly set up her digital cable. They’re supposed to schedule a second appointment. He puts his home number on the work order. Half an hour later, he calls my friend from his cell. When she asks why he’s calling, he says it’s so the two of them can meet up in town later. She hangs up, but he calls two more times that night. My friend stays over at a friend’s place, she so creeped out. The next morning, there’s another missed call from him. She turns off her cell altogether.

    This is where she needs Consumerist’s advice. Her friends and boyfriend tell her not to call Comcast, because, they reason, if this big, creepy, obsessive guy gets fired, he might come straight for my friend. He knows where she lives, after all. It may not be likely that he’d retaliate, but it’s a real enough threat to make one think twice about reporting him. So what is a person to do in this case? I’d have to assume my friend isn’t the only woman this guy has harrassed. He shouldn’t be allowed in people’s homes, period. But how do you get him off the the job without endangering anyone else?

    And in general, in less threatening circumstances, what’s the most effective way to report someone who makes unwelcome advances when they’ve been asked into your home as a contractor? This isn’t “Log Jammin'” from the Big Lebowski–these are people’s homes and lives.

    Thanks,

    Andrew W”

Comments

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  1. Morgan says:

    Ditto on telling him not to call. I know from an unfortunate experience my girlfriend had that the police won’t do anything until you’ve told him not to call anymore; hanging up repeatedly isn’t enough.

  2. Triteon says:

    There’s an easy, passive way to start a log: leave the cell phone on– it logs incoming and missed calls. Save the number, and don’t answer it when “Comcast Creep” comes up on the caller ID. Don’t call him back either, even if it’s to tell him to stop calling.
    Go to the cops, phone and a written call log in-hand. At the very least file an incident report if they won’t let her file a formal complaint; ask the fine peace officers to knock on his door and have a conversation with him. Send the incident report or complaint to Comcast and his union as well.
    (A similar situation happened to a friend of mine, only with Ameritech…the calls stopped immediately.)

  3. Papercutninja says:

    Unfortunately in this day and age, you can’t trust anybody. When my girlfriend had cable installed at her apartment, i made sure i was there so that there wouldn’t be an issue. As it turns out, her cable guy was nicer than nice and would’ve been regardless if i was there (I’m not very imposing).

    The best thing to do is to be very nice about it, and inform the guy that you are flattered but not interested. If it goes beyond that, then contact police and comcast. There’s nothing else to do.

  4. ADM says:

    This guy needs to be fired. Your friend should write a letter and send it to the General Counsel’s office at Comcast. Don’t go through customer service channels. If she does’t step up, he will continue doing it, which is what he has been doing, which is why it happened to your friend.

  5. Paul D says:

    I concur, ADM. I’m doubtful that this is an isolated
    incident for this guy. Something about it smells of habitual behavior,
    and it will continue if the inappropriateness of his actions are not
    made crystal clear to him either by Johnny Law or Joe Boss.

  6. Why should she say she’s flattered when she’s terrified of the guy? That’ll only confuse him. She needs to be honest and straightforward, which can take balls when someone’s intimidating. She needs to do something before it gets more out of hand. Report him to Comcast’s legal counsel, and inotify them that the police are going to be involved as well. Comcast has a major responsibility for her safety here.

    A couple years ago, a similar situation began in my home. When we got a new refrigerator delivered early one morning, I answered the door, since I was already up. While my boyfriend was getting dressed in the next room, one of the delivery guys commented that, boy, I sure was fine, & asked me if I’d be interested in a date.

    While I wish I’d reported him, I did tell him something to the effect of, “No, you don’t. You don’t come into my house and speak to me like that. I don’t care what you think. You’re here to install a refrigerator, that’s all. So shut your mouth and install it already.” Reporting him, though, would’ve had a better long-term effect than the evil eye.

  7. Nifle says:

    I too have had this happen. I had to get my Dell laptop fixed and the tech asked me out. I politely declined but he continued to call “because he was concerned that my motherboard may not have been reinstalled correctly or some non-exsistent issue”, which I knew was not the case.

    Thankfully, after a male friend, posed as my new boyfriend and took one of the calls, the problem was handled.

    I do hate the fact that, as a single female, I can’t feel comfortable in my apartment when a male technician is there. I always have my cell phone in hand no matter if it’s the apartment custodial staff or the cable person working on some issue because I don’t who they are or what are their true intentions.

  8. Entrepreneurs out there take note. If you can hire a set of handywomen, there’s a solid market for a contracting company that sends female workers to female-run homes.

  9. What do Comcast and AOL have in common?

    Yeah, they both do their bidness on the internet. Yeah, they both have screwy people working for them.

    That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the shared, secret fantasy of beating our dear Consumerist editors senseless. I can’t imagine how many people want to set themselves on fire at those two companies thanks to this blog.

  10. Trust DirectTV to make this into a selling point for the service. Are there no depths to which Murdoch will not sink?

    That aside, Nifle, I’m sorry you feel as if you have to keep your mobile in hand and have to question people’s true intentions. And, no, Andrew, even if a company were to send all-female techs out, there would still be people who are wary.

  11. Jesse in Japan says:

    Legally, this guy hasn’t done anything wrong yet (he’d have to start calling dozens of times a day, every day, but even that’s not enough to get the police interested), but I would be willing to wager that Comcast does have some kind of policy about this or are willing to make a policy in this case, especially if you have a lawyer contact them (though I wouldn’t do that unless they ignore the matter entirely). I wouldn’t worry too much about retaliation, and, anyway, if he’s the kind of person who would retaliate, then he’s the kind of person who would eventually become a danger to you anyway.