Update: Why I Did Not Cancel Comcast

Remember “Mr. Pants,” the guy that was canceling Comcast? Well, a Biblical-grade swarm of technicians descended upon his home like locusts with service trucks. So he’s keeping them.

Mr. Pants writes:

Comcast really went after me to try and keep me as a customer, and I have to admit, they’re probably going to do just that. For 1 year.

How is this even possible you ask? How is it, after everything they put you through, that you will even think of giving them another chance?

I’ll tell you.

Monday, after I sent my original rant to Comcast, basically saying, “Look if this story helps other customers, great. If not, I won’t be surprised considering our experience.” I received no less than 4 phone calls from 4 different support managers, directors and even a corporate executive.

An hour and a half after I sent my email I got a call from an executive who assured me they were extremely sorry, and he would make sure my wife and I were well cared for.

Over the course of the day Monday, I talked to all 4 of these Comcast representatives, and had a technician at my house at around 6pm working on my issue. He happened to have a signal checker that NONE of the other Comcast techs have had. He also informed me that there was indeed a signal issue that went from my house back to the pole across the street.

From that point, up until around 10pm that evening I had 2 techs in my house, who proceeded to rewire the basement coax, re-ran the line to the pole across the street, and triple checked the signal from the pole to my TV.

Then FOUR Comcast trucks showed up and started running cable from the pole to the node, over a block away.

At around 10:30, the original support tech called me to say that they had figured out that there was some “equipment running hot” at the node, and they had to replace and retune it.

Whatever that means.

This morning, the regional CS director called me again and asked if everything was fixed. I told her that to my knowledge it was, and she asked what they could do to keep me as a customer. I told her something very nice, and very substantial.

They reapplied all of the payments I had made to my original account, over to my new account again, which totaled around $300. They upgraded my TV package to include twice as many channels and dropped the price to $39/mo. and then dropped my internet service from $45/mo. to $35/mo. for 12 months.

Also, on top of all of this, a free month of everything.

So. I guess I’m going to take it, since it’ll be cheaper than everything else out there.

At least for 12 months.

Twelve months from now, we’ll see what happens. Provided the current service works for the next 12 months anyway.

I send this on to you, since you posted my first story, I figured it was only fair that I tell you of Comcasts rectal rectify.

Thanks for reading.

Mr. “Fancy” Pants

Hooray! We love happy endings. Most of our stories sort of end like The Birds . Good job, Comcast.

(Photo:cmorran123)

Comments

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  1. faust1200 says:

    1 customer satisfied – 3 gazillion to go. Good luck Comcast.

  2. darkened says:

    I’m always impressed by how much the consumerist get’s done for people when they post an article about it. I’m glad companies do sometimes truly care even if it takes beating it into them to make them realize what is happening.

    I have been a comcast user for many many years, back when comcast was even apart of excite@home. It’s unfortunate when I hear of people having experiences like this, whenever I have had issues with comcast I have always had them dealt with immediately or a service tech out within 3 days or less, sometimes even tomorrow to resolve the issue. And with the bittorrent fiasco I also have not seen any of that and previously I used to use 5-10 terrabytes of bandwidth a year with comcast and never had issues. But i’ve cut that down to about 1TB/4-6 months with comcast seeming to actually admit there bw caps more finitely.

  3. SuffolkHouse says:

    I don’t agree with this decision. They only did this for him because his complaints went as far as they did and because he went public. This was “public relations” not “customer service.” Keeping him wasn’t worth a nickel, but getting THIS story out was worth all the effort.

    ComCast seems like total garbage to me, and unless you are stuck in a market that has absolutely no alternative, I think you should just buy an antenna.

  4. forever_knight says:

    wow. glad it worked out!

  5. Antediluvian says:

    so, if all their other customers with problems just post something online, the world will be a better place.

    That’s the actual moral of the story here — Comcast doesn’t give a fig unless you publicly make a very loud stink. Try the normal routes and you’re screwed. Piss and moan in the media, get a fleet of techs.

  6. pinkbunnyslippers says:

    You know if they spent this much time and effort on a national level instead of on just one guy’s house, we’d all probably have marginally better service.

  7. IrisMR says:

    I guess now everyone else who plain hates their comcast service needs to write a long essay about them and threaten to terminate their service. Then maybe Comcast will be decent.

  8. 1 down… 1 Googol to go…

  9. @IrisMR: Well, for some reason, threatening a company with loss of service is the only way to get them to budge. Posting it to a consumer support site seems to help even more as this has proven. And for those of us in monopolies when Comcast may be the sole provider of internet service, make the switch over to dial-up. If a company realizes that you’re actually willing to sacrifice all that bandwidth for better customer service, even if it means (God forbid) going to America Online, they will practically do whatever you want since it’s money out of their pockets.

  10. DashTheHand says:

    Yea, it leaves a sour taste in my mouth that it took another public humiliation story on Consumerist, a corporate email bomb, and the threat of cancelling to get the services to work right. Then on top of this guy getting the royal treatment of having a fleet of service techs get sent to his house to get things working correctly, he gets a decent discount for a year.

    I honestly wish there were more/better service providers in my area. Comcast is the worst.

  11. nursetim says:

    Take the rule of thumb about a person telling 10 other people about poor service, multiply that several times over, and you finally get someone’s attention at Comcast.

    My story about attention getting over a problem only involved sending an e-mail after being told I had to wait a week to get a new DVR after the new one out of the box I just got wouldn’t do any of the functions that it should. The next day, got a call in the morning telling me a tech would be over later that day. Finally got a working DVR, but it was a refurbished one after the new one the tech brought also wouldn’t do DVR functions. I guess I had the right key words that got someones attention.

  12. IphtashuFitz says:

    So the moral of the story is that when you’re sick of the standard line of useless customer support, unqualified techs, and other people at Comcast who appear to be incompetent or simply don’t care then start making a huge stink on the internet and hope that people high enough up the food chain at Comcast hears about it. If you’re lucky enough like this guy was then you may finally get some decent service.

    I must say that it’s pretty pathetic of Comcast if it takes this much effort on the part of a customer before they find out that ‘there was some “equipment running hot” at the node, and they had to replace and retune it.’ Shouldn’t they be monitoring their equipment for just such problems and repairing it proactively since it’s likely to be causing problems with other customers in that neighborhood and not just the one who happens to be making the most noise?

  13. forever_knight says:

    to top it off, did they give you a new DVR full of free porn? some people view that as an extra bonus!

  14. MercuryPDX says:

    @Antediluvian & @IrisMR: That’s just the thing. It shouldn’t take that much effort to get a problem fixed. Maybe waiting until a customer has a logjam of issues so large that they feel they have no alternative than to go to the media is just their way to save costs?

    I do especially love the level of “Customer Service Theater” Comcast presented knowing full well it would be followed up on here: Phone calls magically get returned, Mr. Pants’ basement gets rewired by not one but TWO qualified techs (who brought the right equipment), the node for his neighborhood gets replaced, his billing dispute is resolved, and he gets a good discount on top of it.

    See, they’re not really that bad! They DO care about their customers.

    [insert golf clap]

    Kidding aside, bravo to Mr. Pants for turning the tables.

  15. kylere says:

    Congrats!

    As long as you do not want to actually USE the connection!

  16. crnk says:

    Stomping out the fires as they happen? With this and the recent hammer woman story, it seems Comcast is just obsessed with the negative publicity and addressing reported problems (with major service issues only) only to put a spin on an amazingly pissed customer.

  17. Buran says:

    So how do I get that many trucks to show up at my place when I have something wrong with some utility, instead of having to sit around all day?

  18. remthewanderer says:

    It should not have to come to this but I am glad to hear that your situation was solved. When I tried to tell comcast that there was a signal problem with the coax running into my apt i got the run around. I can not wait to move into a single family home so I can put up a satellite dish, or even better, be in an area that gets FIOS service…

  19. Canadian Impostor says:

    @Buran: I had a similar problem with Comcast. I upgraded to an HDTV and when they came out and installed the box the installer (a contractor) plugged it in, watched some Ultimate Fighting bullshit for half an hour when I told him I had to go take an exam (he said he needed to test the connection), and then when I finally got rid of him I came home and half of my HD channels didn’t work.

    I called Comcast and they sent that same moron out who told me the lines would need to be replaced but because it was winter he couldn’t do it until April.

    I told him I understood and as soon as he left I called Comcast and told them they could re-run the drop or I’d cancel their service since I wasn’t going to pay them for partial TV service. I told them about the contractor and they apologized and set up a service appointment for the next morning.

    Four trucks, a whole gigantic crowd of technicians actually from Comcast, came inside, ran all sorts of tests and then got to work ripping out every foot of coax cable inside my house and replacing it. They did a professional job and worked incredibly quickly.

    Then they went outside on ladder trucks, and took all the wire down off the pole, and re-ran the drop to my house. I was really impressed with Comcast in Boston.

  20. Pennsylvanian says:

    I pay bills for my boss and he got a bill this week with a $13.95 charge – it says “Downgrade Service Charge”. I asked if he wanted to call them about it and he said no, that they mentioned it on the phone. I told him I wouldn’t put up with some BS charge like that and I’m surprised he would (since he fights over pennies on other matters), but you never can tell.

    Me? I would’ve told them to cancel the whole ball of wax and stick it. I wonder how many other people they are bilking for $13.95 when they make a change to their account?

    One good story ending does not a corporate angel make. It just means they are making up taking care of this guy on the backs of the rest of us, I guess. Good for him, though, and it’s better than taking a hammer to the Comcast office, like that other woman recently!

  21. Munsoned says:

    If he had four trucks at his place at once, what does that say about the other three Comcast customers waiting for a tech to fix their problem? Seems like an inefficient use of resources to me…

  22. marsneedsrabbits says:

    Comcast regularly acts in a way that companies should not act.
    I’m pleased that your situation worked out to your satisfaction, but the fact that you were forced to jump through so many hoops to get what was owed to you points to the fact that Comcast does not always do business in an ethical way.
    When issues reach the media, where it takes on a life of its own, Comcast is embarassed into taking some sort of corrective action. They seem disinclined to act otherwise. In my case, I didn’t go to the media and got nothing approaching decent service.
    Yuck.

  23. majortom1981 says:

    This is my experience with cablevision also .The contractors that they hire stink and so do the level one tech and customer support.

    If you can get a level 2 or higher support or an actually cablevision tech everything will be done pprofessionally and quickly.

    I think all companies are like that.

  24. Consumer007 says:

    Yes, good for you, happy you got results, but they still sued and insulted the 76 year old hammer lady. It was their fault she got to that point, no apology to her, no admitting of their horrible lack of respect for customers, or changing it. The PROBLEM is still there – they think of and treat customers like dog meat.

    Can we ever MAKE a corporation CARE at the root of its being? Maybe yes, maybe no, but the million dollar managers can certainly make sure they at least act in a smart, prompt, professional manner, and they AREN’T.

  25. rdm says:

    I wish that I could get similar results from Charter, but I think they know they are my only possibility for broadband (about 5 miles from the Dallas city line, you’d think that wouldn’t be the case), so they will continue to screw us.

  26. InThrees says:

    I want to say “good job Comcast!”… but this would NEVER have happened if he hadn’t gotten exposure for his story.

    I know it, you know it… Comcast marketing executives reading this follow up sure as hell know it.

    Guys, this level of pell-mell patchwork reaction is not necessary if you fix the underlying problems – namely, service, or lack thereof. Why couldn’t this guy get his problems fixed with the first 15 phone calls he made?

  27. AD8BC says:

    Last year when I was living in Michigan, my Comcast cable internet quit working. The analog and digital cable worked fine, just the internet quit.

    So I called customer service. I got a recording that there were maintenance activities going on in my area and service should be restored shortly. I called twice the next day and got the same message. Finally got a human being on the phone who told me that there was maintenance and it should be completed shortly. The next day, although the recording said there was still maintenance occuring a human being told me that he had no record of any maintenance and they could see other cable modems on my node, but not mine, and recommended I purchase another cable modem, which I did. They couldn’t see that one either.

    After one week of troubleshooting, I called my friend Tom who is a head-end technician for Comcast. He did an “internal” investigation of my problem and found out that someone had put a block on my cable line because they measured “excessive leakage” in my house (loose connector or something) that was causing excessive signal loss in the neighborhood. He had them reconnect the line but he asked me to call customer service to arrange a site visit from a tech to find out where the problem was.

    I don’t mind being told that the neighborhood signal is leaking out through my house. But nobody told me. They just cut me off.

    So I called again and they wouldn’t send anybody out because “my service was now working properly.” So, even though I allegedly was leaking the signal through my house, they never shut it off again after that.

    I called to get credit for the month I ended up not having internet and, although they gave it to me, I was admonished for taking it upon myself for contacting someone internally rather than going through proper channels.

    Sheesh.

  28. Chongo says:

    Why can’t I get them to call me like that? I’ve had literally 6 techs come out and the problem still persits! Thats it, I’m putting together my story…

  29. Lordstrom says:

    Shouldn’t Comcast run a thorough investigation as to why all of this was a problem in the first place? I mean, why do they let it reach to a point where a customer has to cancel to get anything done? Don’t they want to know?

  30. Hellblazer says:

    You, Mr. Pants, are making a serious mistake. Because you know what’s going to happen the =next= time you have a problem with Comcast? The same thing that happened every other time before you made a HUGE stink about it. Which is to say, absolutely nothing. They don’t care about you or fixing your problem, they’re just trying to make themselves look good because they know people are paying attention now.

    I had my Comcast services (cable TV and internet) turned off three months ago because of repeated shitty service much like what you were experiencing. I’m buying a new TV and computer in January, and getting services reactivated then — as long as I can get Direct TV and DSL. I’d much rather go without than give Comcast another nickel.

    Sticking with Comcast is a waste of your time and money and a complete mistake. It’s only a matter of time before they do something to make you realize that.

  31. Seacub says:

    It’s kind of creepy how much Comcast did to fix the situation.

  32. Akamaru says:

    Wow, I want 30 minutes of my life back for reading this blog entry and the original complaint blog.

    This Mr. Pants guy sees fit to write this long drawn out complaint; which obviously means he is completely fed up with the service. Then he posts it on here to get sympathy. Of which I was very sympathetic and wanted to help in some manner.

    Now everything is magically fine and no service is canceled. Okay… I mean, what? What do you think will happen when you inevitably have more service/ billing problems in the next 12 months?

    Are you going to post another rant trying to gain sympathy from us because Comcast’s customer service will inevitably still be abysmal?

    What I gathered from all of this is we should all post rants about companies that have wronged us.Then we can hold out till they give us discounts and free stuff! Who care about trying to effect change! Okay, Sounds good I’ll go first! I have a beef with Crate and Barrel because they make shoddy furniture at expensive prices and double charged my credit card to the tune of $2,000…blah, blah, blah. News at 11.

    At least have the dignity to call out Comcast on their bull. You know, like sending FOUR vans to your house when in any other situation you’d be lucky to get ONE to show up at all. So maybe the rest of Comcast’s customers may benefit from your struggle and you can come out looking like a hero.

    Currently I just see a guy who sold out.

  33. Gannoc says:

    Well, I’ll be optimistic. I’m sure that even when a comcast exec reads an article like that, they think, “What??? That is complete bullshit!”, and they have the power to fix it.

    I mean, I doubt that the higher-ups at Comcast like the idea of people canceling their service in a rage.

  34. dlab says:

    Comcast certainly did a good job of picking a high-profile customer to make amends with.

    Does anyone here think it’s a coincidence that Suzanne Keenan (VP over customer service at Comcast) reads this very blog and has posted comments to it before?

    I’m very skeptical that Comcast is turning ITS ENTIRE OPERATION around.

    I will say however, that my girlfriend called a Comcast tech out to our house recently (we were having bandwidth issues). We only had to go through 1 cancellation of the appointment where we were not consulted (down from 3-4 previous times). However, the tech they sent over actually drove a Comcast van and had a Comcast uniform (gasp!!!). And he had the fancy signal-checker thing that Mr. Pants talked about. AND the guy actually found a problem outside our apartment that affected 3 of our neighbors also, which he then fixed.

    So, they’re off to a good start, but they still have a long way to go.

  35. Imhotep says:

    @SuffolkHouse:
    Unfortunately, even an antennae won’t be worth salt come 2009 since all broadcasts are going HD. It totally sucks that they’re setting up the whole bloody telecom industry to get everyone hooked in and paying. Out the ass. For abysmal service.
    Personally, I prefer Netflix over selling my soul.

  36. doireallyneedausername says:

    I have to say, Comcast is a mixed bag. It really depends on who you get to help you out.

    I had a signal problem at my house as well a few months ago. Little to no signal, slow to no internet, TV that cut in and out. It took two weeks and 4 tech visits before my problem got solved. The very last tech visit was the one I was most impressed with. While the first three visits involved a tech looking at the line and going “well, nothing I can do, gotta escalate,” the final visit involved 2 network technicians who spent all day (10am-6pm) rewiring the entire neighborhood’s connection (fiber to node, then from the node to my home). I had a connection afterwards, albeit slower than I expected for the internet. I was impressed, yet mortified that it took two week and four visits to get to a point where I was satisfied.

  37. backbroken says:

    Dear Diary,

    Last weekend, I caught my husband cheating on me. I told him this was the final straw and that I was leaving for good. But then he came home with a diamond ring and said he was really REALLY REEEEEAAAAALLLLLYYYYY sorry this time. So I told him I’d stay, but one more slip up and I’m gone, I swear.

  38. wyldmagyc says:

    If only they used good equipment in the first place, that would never have happened. I am sure that the actual wires were fine in the first place as they often are.

    The new equipment is a bad as the old stuff and I am sure the same problem will arise again in no time.

  39. awkwardrew says:

    I’m ready to join Mr. Pants. AT&T’s u-verse service recently came to the neighbor and we were the first on the block to signup so we could finally dump Comcast. But after the AT&T installer spent 12 hours attempting to get the service installed – tracking dirt thoughout the house and breaking a beloved wine glass in the process – we sent her away and filed a complaint. We’ve spoken with six CSR’s to seek reimbursement for the carpet cleaning and wine glass but, as yet, no response. They claim that they’re sending an experienced installer out in a couple of days to finish the job, so we’ll see how that goes. There’s no question that AT&T is hiring rejects from ROP and training them on the job, at the expense of the customer. Comcast was mediocre, but life before U-verse was so much more peaceful.