Time To Call And Ask For A Discount, Comcast Revenue Up 80%

As you well know, calling your cable company and calmly telling them they’re way overpriced will likely result in your cable bill being lowered significantly. Don’t believe us? Try it.

Now’s a good time to do it, because Comcast just announced that revenue is up 80% this quarter. From The Philadelphia Inquirer:

Revenue rose 32 percent in the period, to $7.39 billion. Cable revenue rose 12 percent to $7 billion.

Wall Street had been expecting 17 cents per share on revenue of $7.36 billion, according to Thomson Financial.

The gain stemmed from the dissolution of a partnership with Time Warner Inc. in Texas and Kansas City.

The company added 1.76 million revenue-generating units in the first quarter, a 63 percent jump from a year ago. A revenue-generating unit, or RGU, represents a service bought, so a customer who bought cable, phone and Internet service from Comcast would count as three RGUs.

Company executives attributed the RGU growth to the popularity of their triple-play package, which offers cable, high-speed Internet and phone service at an introductory rate of $99 a month for one year.

So far, triple-play customers have been less likely to leave Comcast than digital cable customers, even after the introductory rate expires and monthly bills rise by about $30

Tips for using this information, inside.

What this means:

• Comcast values triple-play accounts.
• “Churn” affects their profile on Wall Street.
• If you leave because it’s too expensive, that’s “churn.”
• Churn is bad.
• If you call them and say that the new “triple-play” pricing is too much and you will leave unless you get the “old” price, you will most likely get it.
• Churn is avoided. Everyone is happy.

Try it. Tell us what happens at tips [at] consumerist [dot] com. —MEGHANN MARCO

Comcast quarterly net up 80 percent [Philadelphia Inquirer] (Thanks, TaxChick!)
(Photo: Tom Simpson)

Comments

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  1. enm4r says:

    I won’t email because this doesn’t have to do with Comcast (they don’t service my particular building in Chicago) but over the last couple months I’ve been slowly winding down my cable services. Just last week I called RCN and informed them of my wishing to cancel cable service, but wanted to keep cable internet. After some discussion, and being perfectly honest about the price just being too high to justify ($55 for HD receiver and the standard cable package) the CSR eventually gave me a great deal.

    I guess it helped that I legitimately would have canceled service, but simply stating (“this is too much, it is not worth it to me anymore”) what I wanted brought about the best results. I think he understood I would have canceled, so jumped straight to a $25 a month discount. That’s essentially a 25% reduction of my total RCN bill, which I was happy with, so I took it. If in two months I decide it’s still too much, I can cancel then.

    So chalk another one up for “calling and stating your needs calmly and clearly will get you a reduction in price.” It also helps if you’re willing to follow through with your threat to cancel…

  2. Jon Mason says:

    If there was any competition in the local cable business these guys would be doooomed. I have a pretty bad tale of woe ready to send to you guys about my move from a Charter neighborhood to a Comcast one, but am still waiting for them to deal with the issue before I dish the dirt. Suffice to say it’s 2 weeks and about 10 phone calls since my “installation” was done and my internet is still not working.

  3. homerjay says:

    Why should I call them and beg when its more satisfying to just switch to DirecTV?

    Fuck Comcast….

  4. strandist says:

    The last time I called Comcast I just told them simply and honestly: “I’m a student and my cable and internet bills are more expensive than what I’d like. What can you do for me?” Poof, more than 25% off my bill. I’m sure there was more that could have been done, but considering I didn’t even threaten to cancel, she did pretty well.

  5. RumorsDaily says:

    I called and threatened to cancel my TV line as I was coming to the end of my promotional period (sincerely). My bill was going to be about $145/month. I lost HBO but otherwise kept my same TV/Internet service and they dropped the price to under $90.

    I still might call back and cancel TV, but that got me to at least accept the deal for the time being.

  6. QuirkyRachel says:

    I might try this with Comcast to see if they will drop it down. They are sooo expensive (and I’m already paying less from so many bad service refunds on my account).
    Anyone else in Chicago who hasn’t had Comcast cable in 3 days? There are so many people calling in that I can’t get through (and their email service, of course, just tells me to call customer service).

  7. fluidfoundation says:

    Well, I just had a chat with Comcast customer service. I checked my facts with the Bellsouth/Att Offers here in Atlanta, and came up with a list of the figure comparisons, and what would satisfy me. I figured with the Cable Digital Plus + DVR + Internet that I’m paying a ridiculous $150 a month for, knocking off $35 and adding a premium channel would be reasonable enought to ask for.

    Comcast and I have different definitions of “reasonable”. They’re version was to offer me a $160 plan that would include all 3 services. …. never mind that the three pack bundle they have now is $99…. nice math, did you guys go to school with Verizon?

    Seriously, what kind of customer service would offer you something MORE than what your current bill is when you call to say that you want to pay less?

    I’m going to try again in a bit, the gentleman that I spoke with gave off that “I’m not helping you at all” vibe as soon as told me to hold (which was the first thing he said… nice greeting).

  8. ShadowFalls says:

    My bill comes out to be around $150 a month, it is not Comcast, but then again that bill covers cable, phone, and internet service, so I guess it is not so bad figuring there are 4 digital boxes in the equation, one of which is a DVR.

  9. mopar_man says:

    Thankfully I’m not a Comcast customer and hopefully never will be but I don’t even think I’d bother to try and get a lower rate with all the “great” stuff I’ve been hearing about them lately. Lots of my family have been DirectTV customers for years and have never had a problem with them.

  10. QuirkyRachel says:

    @mopar_man: Comcast seems to have a bit of a monopoly in Chicago, so nearly everyone has some sort of bad service story about them. The silly thing is that they have this great commercial where they ask why someone would get satallite TV “in the city of wind”. It’s cute, but the cable does seem to go out when there’s bad weather. Anyway,t he problem is that sometimes you *have* to use Comcast because your apartment building is wired only for them.

  11. ptkdude says:

    About 6 weeks ago I called Comcast here in Atlanta and scheduled a disconnect of my video service in 2 weeks, stating I was having satellite installed. I did not schedule a disconnect of my internet service. A week later, I called back to add my internet service to the disconnect order, stating I was having DSL installed. As soon as the rep realized it was a total disconnect, he magically cut my bill by $30 a month, but only for 3 months. I pressed him to make the discount longer, but he said 3 months was the most that he could do. He heavily implied that I should call back in 3 months and do the same thing to get whatever they were offering at the time.

    I honestly doubt they’ll take the discount off my bill at that time, since I signed up for Howard Stern On Demand a year ago with $4 off per month for 3 months and I still get that discount.

  12. shdwsclan says:

    Yeah, they do do bend the rules of their own agreements alot….

    OK, here are a few pointers…

    Directv and dish network have these 4 room deals for satellite service.
    Reading between the lines:
    Buy a bunch of recievers, keep one, and send the rest to family members anywhere in the country. I believe DTV/Dish will allow you to register up to 10 recievers on one account so you can split the bill up to 10 ways if you have 10 family members that want premium tv…
    The only thing you have to buy is extra satellite dishes.

    Also, DTV has that Titanium Package[625.00 a month], if you got 10 family member to do it, it would cost you 62.50 per month to watch ALL the channels, including all the MLB/NBA/NFL/MLS/NHL seasonal special channels, all the foreign channels, all the xxx channels, all hd, all movie channels, all music channels, and all PAYPERVIEW[well, you no longer have to pay individually for it] running all the time.

    Comcast doesnt do that because nodes track recievers and they will know if a reciever has been moved to a different node. This would work if your entire family lived on your block.

    Internet works the same ways.
    They give you stats about downloading games, movies etc….
    Hmmm download games movies, nobody does that….are they indirectly implying torrent….???

    Hmmm, makes you wonder…

  13. crayonshinobi says:

    Hear hear Homerjay!

    Of course Comcast’s revenue is up…It’s easy when you have an unregulated monopoly!

  14. 2Legit2Quit says:

    Personally, Comcast bought out Garden State Cable about 5 years ago, and I couldn’t be more satisfied. I’ve had very few problems with the TV service and cable internet, minus a crapped modem which they replaced for free. Since we were an @Home customer, they gave us a nice lower rate on Comcast Hi-Speed.

  15. 2Legit2Quit says:

    schwdsclan, that just sounds like the biggest bullshit claim that I’m sure DirectTV and Dish don’t ACTUALLY allow. Try it.

  16. CourtG16 says:

    It’ll be interesting to see how the roll out of Verizon’s Fios affects Comcast’s monopoly. Although some may consider Verizon monopolistic at least it’ll give people another option for TV/Highspeed internet/VoIP services. Early adoption of Fios may be slow but long term the technology will be far better then anything Comcast can offer.

  17. jasonplusliz says:

    Funny that this article was published today; I just canceled our Comcast cable TV service on Monday. In our area, we can’t even get a correct cable lineup out of our Comcast office– so TiVo can’t even find half of my shows to tape. Extremely annoying.

    Anyway, since I’ve spent weeks trying to get them to fix their lineup, only to end up physically at their local office where they tell me, straight faced, that they are waiting for cable lineups from “marketing” themselves, I decided that it was the end of the road for me. Called Comcast’s customer service, granted I was irate, but never had a “special offer” dangled in front of me. Just as well.

    As a side note, when I used to live in Montgomery County Maryland, they regularly offered me their “VIP” specials where I could get all the cable channels + cable internet + premium movie channels for $100/mo. That was a good deal. Now they want $53/month just for BASIC analog cable. I don’t think so.

  18. rugger_can says:

    I never understood how Cell Phones can be so cheap yet DSL and Cable interwebs can be so expensive in the US. Here in the Frigid north its the complete other way around.

    Odd.

  19. markschneg says:

    MaxPayne3476: schwdsclan is right. I used to install both Dish and DirecTV, so I learned a little bit about what you can and cannot do. I currently have a Dish receiver in my house that technically pertains to a family member’s account in another state. The receiver doesn’t care where it is, and Dish has no way of knowing since I do not have it connected to a phone line, and I never order PPV. Granted, it’s an older receiver (Dish 311pro, if you must know) Newer receivers/PVR’s/DVR’s will likely NOT work because they require an analog phone line.

    It takes some technical know-how – more than most people are up for. If I wanted to, I could order a 4-room setup, activate all the receivers, then send three of them out to siblings or friends to connect to their own dish antennas. The box would continue to work perfectly fine for all channels (minus the locals if you’re in a distant geographical area/local channels market than where the account physical address is).

    Don’t call BS right out of the gate. While neither satellite company will “allow” you to do this, it is doable if you do the footwork. Local channels excepted, the satellite signal hitting California is the same one hitting New York, and any old dish /receiver combo will pick it up assuming it’s activated.

  20. nuton2wheels says:

    I contacted Comcast to renew the discount package I had — $20 a month for 6 months of internet service. The two representatives I spoke with said I would have to wait 90 days before I’d be able to take advantage of another discount offer :(

  21. hateeecs says:

    i’m getting all of my comcast TV disconnected tomorrow here in chicago. I will follow with the internet once I find an alternative…hopefully RCN.

  22. MajorXP says:

    Greetings!

    Time Warner was recently purchased by Comcast. As a result, my cable modem bill went up $5.95 a month. All of a sudden, I’m now paying ‘rent’ on my cable modem that I have been using for years and the price went up for access. I have the HD and Internet packages and have been a customer for several years now. I was really annoyed. My bill went up with no notice and after checking out bellsouth DSL, I discovered that the price was cheaper for similar service (actually rated faster). With my bills printed out and the bellsouth pricing page printed out, I called Comcast. There was no way I’m going to pay the extra amount. Either they reduce or I’m gone.

    After a short wait the first rep from Comcast answered…

    I explained that I was offended. I was offended because they had raised my rates $71. 40 without any notice or change in my services. I was calling because I was sure it was a mistake and needed the bill fixed before I could pay it.

    I don’t think she was expecting this because there was a long pause and she finally said that there were billing system issues and she would try to fix it asap.

    After looking up my account, she discovered that it was $71.40 a year and explained how Comcast charges more than Time Warner for service and also charges a rental fee. I came back with the fact I have been a customer for several years and never paid rent on the device. I was told that’s how Comcast does it. After some banter back and forth I finally explained that it was not acceptable to charge more for the same service without notice and I would no longer be a customer. I have viable alternatives. I explained I was hanging up the phone and calling bellsouth to come and install DSL. She explained how she couldn’t do anything, but the customer retention department might be able to. I couldn’t be transferred, but would have to accept a call from them later.

    Now after reading consumerist for so long, I knew these were the folks I really wanted to talk with.

    The phone rang a few hours later. I went through the same discussion about rates changing without notice and being offended as a long time customer. I told her that Bellsouth had a better service for a cheaper price and that they would give me a modem (instead of paying a rental fee). I clearly asked for the same price or better. I would accept nothing less.

    After a lot of typing she came back and offered the $33/month plan and I accepted. She indicated that it would only be good for a year (but I guess I can have this discussion again in a year). It matched the same price I would have gotten with DSL. I was happy because I wasn’t excited about staying home and having to switch away from something that worked great for me already.