How Can I Get Comcast To Match AT&T's Offer?

Reader Chris writes in wondering how to get Comcast to match AT&T’s offer:

Tried to get Comcast to match any of the 4 different offers I received from AT&T to switch and save over 55 dollars a month for the same or better services I receive from Comcast now. (I don’t particularly want AT&T-branded satellite and DSL, however.)

I’ve tried twice before, and I know the general idea is to keep calling/chatting back and get a new person. This time, however, it seems as if they are all sticking to their reading points.

Chris continues:

This was the end of my last chat session.

I explained that my $150 a month bill for partially-high speed internet (only fast when my condo community isn’t awake) and my HDTV digital cable that seems to get more compressed each time they add another hi-def channel can’t be justified at this time. I also explained one offer, which she apparently ignored when she copied and pasted the following two DSL lines. The kicker is in red.

Me(Tue May 29 08:38:32 EDT 2007)>
I know you can make offers to existing customers to prevent them from switching, I know that’s pretty much why I’m talking to you. What offers can you make for me?

Stephanie(Tue May 29 08:38:32 EDT 2007)>
Our service is faster then the DSL service since it is on a phone line

Stephanie(Tue May 29 08:38:47 EDT 2007)>
You will have to get home phone service in order to have the DSL service

Stephanie(Tue May 29 08:38:56 EDT 2007)>
We do make offer

Stephanie(Tue May 29 08:38:59 EDT 2007)>
We offer service

Stephanie(Tue May 29 08:39:10 EDT 2007)>
If you want a service we will provide it

Wow, Stephanie was pulling out all the stops with that side-splitter.

Her only “offer” was an option that wouldn’t have lowered my bill, but in fact, would have added an additional $33 a month for a feature I said I’d never use!

It doesn’t seem like they’re budging as of late, perhaps too many people have tried cutting their costs with this department just because they can, not because they’re getting competitive offers. Is there a specific person I can speak to that will make the offer, or is the entire cancellation/downgrade department the “retention department” and I just have to keep sticking my arm in the barrel of fish?

Well, Chris, without knowing what sort of deal you have with Comcast, we can’t really calculate the likelihood of a price-match. We will say this, if you’re one of their triple-play customers, they are more likely to attempt to retain you.

That being said, you are not likely to get a better deal than the promotional “triple-play” package. In order to get Comcast to price match, do the following:

1) Call to cancel your service.
2) When you are directed to a retention specialist, they will ask you why you are canceling. Tell them they are too expensive and you’re going to go without cable and use the money to take Spanish lessons.
3) They will give you a retention offer. If it’s better than AT&T’s take it, if not, cancel or hang up.

Don’t waste your life arguing with a Comcast CSR. It’s just not worth it.—MEGHANN MARCO

(Photo: Spidra Webster)
RELATED: Time To Call And Ask For A Discount, Comcast Revenue Up 80%

Comments

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  1. scoobydoo says:

    They have been pretty decent with me in the past. Last month I called and got cable from $69 down to $33 for 6 months, and added Showtime for $4.99 (6 months) and HBO for $10 (12 months).

    I asked about a lower Internet price, and she also put me on the $33 “promotion” (down from $54).

    Total savings was around $400.

  2. minneapolisite says:

    I didn’t have success trying to get a deal out of Comcast. They never even had me talk to a retention person when I called to cancel (though it wouldn’t have done them any good, since I had already signed up for Dish Network). So far, we’re loving our Dish and are getting a much better service at a much fairer price.

  3. swalve says:

    That’s the thing- you have to be willing to actually leave Comcast. If you’re not willing to leave, that means Comcast is actually worth more to you.

  4. bdalton says:

    Comcast are the 800lb gorilla in this scenario, and it’s seriously difficult to take them down. But at the same time, it is possible to play them like a finely-tuned fiddle. At the end of the day, it costs more to get a new customer than it does to keep an old one. Wisebread.com has a good article about this very subject right here.
    http://www.wisebread.com/last-night-i-threatened-to-discon

  5. enki says:

    I needed to cancel my Comcast service because I was moving to an area not serviced by them, so I gave this a shot. I called and told them I wanted to cancel because it was too expensive and I was moving to satellite. The CSR immediately directed me to return my equipment to the nearest branch and they would disconnect my service without pause.

    Can’t say I mind, though. Now I am in Brighthouse’s region and the service is great. I called customer service to add and HD DRV and was connected without holding. The CSR told me it would be a few days before they could send a tech out to install but that I could go to a branch and get one immediately. He even informed me of an offer for 6 months of free HD Premium Tier that was only available by upgrading over the phone but that if I mentioned it to an agent at the branch I might be able to get it anyways. I drove to the nearest branch where there was no wait to speak with a CSR. She was pleasant, grabbed the box immediately, explained everything and added the free 6 month promo without hesitation.

    I can’t understand how a company with better products and service can service such a small area while Time Warner and Comcast dominate the country with their horrible reputation.

  6. alk509 says:

    When we moved to our new place last year, we had the option to switch to RCN, which was cheaper than our Comcast cable TV/internet package. I called Comcast to cancel, but to my surprise their “retention specialist” offered a much better price than RCN if we stayed, AND he even threw in the Digital Chimichanga Whatcha-ma-call-it (HBO and Discovery and other extra channels) free for one year. My bill would pretty much stay the same at $88 and change after taxes. Happiness ensued.

    Fast forward to last week, I get a Comcast bill for $128 and change – the one-year promotional period had expired, and the price shot up fifty bucks! (they didn’t take out the promotional free digital package with the extra channels once the promo period went…)

    So I called Comcast to cancel my service, fully expecting them to offer an extension of the promotional plan they’d had me on for a year, but their retention specialist only offered me the shitty $33-for-a-phone-I’ll-never-use plan. When I said I didn’t need phone service, he didn’t make any more offers and scheduled my disconnect! (he actually tried scheduling it for after my new billing cycle began, so they could charge me for a week of service at the new price before I left, but I caught it quickly enough).

    Now I’m waiting for my first RCN bill, which should be about $25 more than I was paying before… 25 still beats 50, though!

    Al.

  7. Canadian Impostor says:

    My triple play from Cablevision is about to expire. I’m planning on calling them to cancel in the hopes that they retain me, and if not I guess I’ll have my girlfriend re-sign up for the service.

    Wish me luck, friends.

  8. fullman says:

    @alk509, that’s the same thing (phone offer) this one tried doing. (I’m “Chris” in the post.)

    Only, the phone offer would have increased my cost by 33, not bring it down at all. Some offer!

  9. PhilK says:

    Comcast is run by idiots. I’ve gotten 3 calls from them so far offering me a discounted rate for cable, then when I tell them I’m already a customer they say, “Oh we’re sorry, it’s for new customers only”. When did it become acceptable to piss off your customers for no reason? It seems to me if they actually cared they’d take the blame for their mistake and give me the rate anyway. It’s not like they don’t have a computerized record of exactly who I am. Even if it’s just their dumb marketing firm they should be trying to prevent the, “Oh! You already have cable? SUCKER!” style phone calls at all costs.

  10. fluidfoundation says:

    I called comcast twice to get my bill lowered. The first time they offered me a package that actually cost more than my current service. When I brought this little nugget of fact to the attention of the rep, they seemed to give up and go straight to just asking me when I wanted my service cancelled. I was told I could not be offered anything better. Calling back, I got the same “offer”. My account is in great standing, so I’m not sure why they dont budge. Is it just the Atlanta area that seems to have the service reps made of stone?

  11. enm4r says:

    @swalve: Ding ding ding. We have a winner. If you’re not willing to cancel over the price, it’s obviously worth more than what you’re trying to pay. I’m all for a deal, and I’m all for people calling and asking to be put on promos and the like, but for some reason people give off the impression that they think they’re entitled to a lower price, because it’s been offered before.

    I don’t watch much tv, blah blah, all I really want are my 12 HD channels or whatever, and most of those I can get for free. Essentially I’m paying $40 or whatever a month to watch ESPN, Discovery HD, and TNT (NBA games/playoffs). Is it worth it? Debatable, but obviously as much as I complained I paid because I didn’t want to go without. Hence, somehow I considered it worth it.

    So I called up RCN about 2 months ago, wanting to cancel services. I didn’t play around with “can you offer me any sort of deal to stay?” lines, I just let them know I thought I was paying too much for the use, and I can get OTA HD signals for free, which is good enough. Please cancel, let me know what to do with my HD box. So the guy types up some stuff, and he initiated, asking if there was a price I’d consider worth staying. I told him the priced I’d decided before calling, and he came back with a price that was a few dollars higher than that, since it went in line with a 12 month promotion, and so I accepted. Thing was, he could have said no, or came back too high, and I would have cancelled.

    The thing I want to know is, the people who just do this trying to save money, when they don’t offer you a deal and just start cancelling do you just hang up? Do you say a quick “I changed my mind. I’ll call later” or what. I’d assume hangup, but that’s a pretty dead giveaway if they can make a notation of that failed attempt after you hang up.

  12. VicMatson says:

    Please remember with Comcast you are born again after 60 days without service! So either take a TV break or go with something else for some time and when you call you will get all the new promotions.

    And help the cable guy by ordering just the minimum and let him/babe offer you premium services and Internet. They get $30.00 for each thing you add, and believe me you will get the best install job of your life!

  13. MrWashy says:

    I tried to get Adelphia (bless their miserable extinct heart) to price match not long before the Comcast buyout. I was told, flat out, by a CSR that if I wanted to cancel then cancel because they weren’t making any deals as per official adelphia policy. His explanation for the policy was “too many people call just to get their rates lowered”. Good job there Mr. PotatoHead, I said as much when you answered the phone. Note that I never mentioned cancelling to him at all, he went straight for it.

    I haven’t tried with Comcast, mainly because I don’t care for headached and Tier 1 service.

  14. Papa Midnight says:

    “Don’t waste your life arguing with a Comcast CSR. It’s just not worth it.”

    Wiser words have never been spoken…