Is Comcast Overloaded With Last-Minute Orders For The NFL Network?

Reader Dana is trying to order the Comcast Sports Tier in time for tonight’s “Old Favre, Young Favre” battle between the Packers and the Cowboys, but she says she can’t even get Comcast on the phone.

I just tried to call Comcast, and the recording tells me they are ” too busy” to actually connect me to a customer service, due to the high volume of calls they are receiving. Like many other people, I am unfortunately taking the bait and trying to get the NFL network for tonight’s game. We waited until the last minute on purpose, as we want to keep this extra service for the shortest amount of time possible. I am actually trying to call a company to give them my money, and they are disconnecting me on purpose?! Huh. Is that a common practice these days?

Dana

Whoops. That does sound unusual. Anyone else having this problem?

(Photo:silwenae)

Comments

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  1. quagmire0 says:

    If people REALLY want to see this game, why don’t they just go to a bar or restaurant that carries the game? Why pay money to see it?

  2. kewl132 says:

    I live in Dallas so haha

  3. EricaKane says:

    Its cheaper to order it and watch it at home. Sports Pack on Comcast is like $7 month, and I believe all Comcast services are pro-rated. so if you just want to watch this game, it will probably be like a $1 or so, or at worst $7 for the whole month.

    I ordered late Tuesday night for this exact reason. I will probably keep it just for the rest of the NFL season and then cancel..maybe I will cancel after tonight..I don’t know.

  4. Adam291 says:

    Well, there are ways of watching this game without NFL Network. You can go to a sports bar. You can steal cable. You can…oh I don’t know…Google ‘p2p NFL’ and click the first link…

  5. privatejoker75 says:

    I’ll never understand why people stick with Comcast. I have Dish Network and pay a lot less for better equipment and more channels. The NFL network is included with the HD package.

  6. gniterobot says:

    who cares, celtics play tonight on tnt…watch that

  7. hubris says:

    I just discovered the other day that Cox in RI has HD NFL Network, so I’m all set for tonight. Hell, I discovered like 20 more HD channels above HBO/Showtime/Cinemax (which is where I figured they stopped). HD programming has now consumed my life.

  8. Omir The Storyteller says:

    @gniterrobot: I’m in Sonics country, wny on earth would I be watching basketball these days.

  9. JustAGuy2 says:

    @kewl132:

    You live in Dallas so haha.

  10. zentec says:

    Too bad I can’t “gift” my forced subscription to it on DirecTV to someone who wants it. Sure, I account for 70 cents going to the NFL network, but it’s 70 cents for something I never watch.

  11. “unusual”? Please tell me thats not serious. Don’t worry, Comcast not answering the phone is just something they do on GP.

  12. jasonorl says:

    As much as I don’t like Comcast or the NFL network, I think their policy of pro-rating it is actually generous. They really should charge for the entire month so people can’t take advantage and subscribe to the NFL for 1 day then cancel. People that continulaly do this are costing Comcast money which it turn will be passed on to all Comcast customers.

  13. EricaKane says:

    Wow. Not having to pay for a full month of service if you don’t use a full month of service is generous? Give me a break, thats the way it should be done, and is.

  14. hazelwoodfarm says:

    I spoke with comcast this morning concerning tonights game. I was told that it would cost $1.97 additional. Not sure if it was for only tonight or the month, because it just pisses me off that I have to pay extra to watch this particular game. I realize comcast and the nfl are very poor and are barely surviving, sheesh! I told them that I thought they were greedy bastards and said no thank you.

  15. phantomfly says:

    Lesson: Don’t wait until the last minute.

  16. BStu says:

    @EricaKane: I’m JasonORL. What’s generous is allowing people to pro-rate like this. pro-rating in general is a good thing, but the way people are talking about using it is an abuse of the system and the kind of thing that companies use to justify taking away perfectly reasonable offers like pro-rating service. There should be a 1-month minimum order on the sports tier or another premium package. That would keep pro-rating alive and well for long-time customers who have to end service or people who pick-up service mid-month, without letting people sign-up for service for a day and then cancel.

    Believe me, I’m no fan of Comcast right now, but they aren’t the bad guy when customers take advantage of them. I’m not saying the customers are wrong, per se, since it is Comcast policy, but the original email was very disingenious when they cried about how they are trying to give Comcast their money one sentence after talking about how they tried to wait as long as possible so as to pay Comcast as little as possible. “Why won’t you let me take advantage of you?” isn’t a cry the elicits much sympathy.

    Besides, if they were smart in their scheme, they would have scheduled for it to be turned on, say, Wednesday by calling a week ago, and then called today to schedule service to be canceled. You can plan for service to be turned on, but Comcast never turns service off right away anyway. If you call tomorrow, you’d be lucky if its off by Monday.

  17. jasonorl says:

    @EricaKane: My point was that it is abusing the system to just order a channel or package for 1 day to watch something and then cancel and then repeat every time they show something you want to see. No, I don’t think the fact that they pro-rate for service is generous but I think I am suprised they allow this type of abuse.

    If I like to watch a show on HBO that came on once a week, would it be right for me to order HBO for just that day then cancel and do that every week so then I only have to pay for 4 days (prorated)of HBO per month? That is obviously not the intent of their policy regarding pro-rating.

  18. jasonorl says:

    @BStu: I am assuming you meant to say something like ” I am with JasonORL” otherwise you are claiming to be me with you are not (although I agree with your comment).

  19. scampy says:

    She also mentions how she is trying to call and give them her money and how they dont care. After she cancels the service tomorrow she will have paid a few cents with prorating, but Comcast still has to pay the NFL network for the month for her subscription so why should Comcast care? They arent making the money from her that they have to pay

  20. facework says:

    I don’t hear Dish mentioned much in these parts, but I’ve got the family top 100 for $29.99 per month (plus .58 in taxes) that contains at least 95% of the programming I ever want to watch, including NFL network. I ditched Comcast because the enormous bills made me feel ill on billing day.

  21. Saydur says:

    If people treat this programming like pay-per-view, it will soon cost like pay-per-view.

  22. EricaKane says:

    @BStu: Can you please tell me how ordering something for less than a month is taking advantage of Comcast? Its not. If people felt the “Sports Package” was worth $7 a month, they would subscribe all month. If Comcast can take away the NFL Network at will(it was a part of the programming last year) then consumers have a right to pick it up/drop it at will. Thats the advantage of cable – the ability to add/drop programming and not be stuck in a minimium service level.

    As for HBO, simple economics says it is not cost effective to drop/add a show that you watch more than twice a month. HBO is a #10 per month add on, so turning it on for a day would probably cost somewhere around $2 – $3 ( I base that off the above post that says watching the game tonight costs $1.97)…besides the time wasted contacting Comcast Support to turn it off/on.

  23. The Bigger Unit says:

    I live in Canada, so haha. NFL Network games are free on TSN.

  24. scoobs says:

    I’m more bitter at the NFL then Comcast, but that’s another story.

    I admit, I bit. I called 30 minutes prior to kick off to order this ticket. I had to convince my self that buying this ticket for about $6 a month would save me money versus going to the bar twice, buying at least two beers each night on a Thursday.

    The thing that kills me, I called to order the Sports Pkg/Nfl network 20 minutes prior to kick off, I got through to a rep, 10 minutes after kick off. The second halftime started, I can finally watch the NFL network.

    It seems to me as though Comcast delayed punching through my purchase of the NFL network until half-time.

    If the NFL network charged their advertisers 20% more then other channels to advertise there, no one would buy ad time. So why should we have to pay 20% more per month to get their channel? This should be a cheap form of publicity for them. Dear NFL, don’t try to make money on this network, view it as a way to build your brand, and just break even. Think of how many cubs fans there are because WGN is on basic cable!!!

  25. humbleish says:

    Everyone, NFL.com is actually streaming the game live. Free, live, video.

  26. BStu says:

    If someone kept ordering and canceling HBO just so they could watch a show every Sunday or to watch a specific movie that’s being aired on the channel, it’s going to drive up costs because I’m guess folks like HBO and the NFL Network don’t prorate costs to Comcast. If they do, I’d be less offended, but still in no way sympathetic to people who try to game the system like this. People doing this gives Comcast the excuse to stop prorated pricing for everyone else and that would be a very bad deal in the long-run. Yes, that would be Comcast making the wrong move to correct a problem, but that doesn’t mean I have to be supportive of the people abusing their policies and giving them cover. Both would be wrong, but right now Comcast hasn’t ended prorated pricing, so its just the game players who are wrong.

    Comcast should put a stop to this themselves. Its their policy and they can fix it without wiping it out. Require a month of service whenever a premium package is ordered. That’s hardly unreasonable and its Comcast’s own fault if they don’t do it.

    Of course, I’m sure most people trying to game the system like this don’t realize that Comcast charges a “Change of Service” fee. Its $1.99 where I am, anyway. It means there is an added fee for signing up for the NFL Network AND canceling it.

  27. BStu says:

    @jasonorl: Indeed. I must have deleted the “with” while editing.

  28. BlueModred says:

    Welcome to comcast, OP. I was NEVER able to connect with them without a 20 minute wait or several disconnects during the year I had them.
    That’s why I give props to AT&T Uverse. While I had some issues getting it set up right, the customer service over the phone has been stellar.

  29. ogman says:

    @facework: I’m with you, lovin’ Dish and watchin’ the game!

  30. jasonorl says:

    @EricaKane: There is a big difference between Comcast making decisions about their programming and someone who games the system by adding and canceling a service just to cherry pick the shows they want to watch. If HBO costs say $10 per month that would only be $0.33 per day pro-rated. So if someone wants to watch two movies per month and only had service for those two days, they would only be billed $0.66 which would end up costing Comcast more than that with the 4 calls to customer service to add/remove service twice in one month (and then they have to pay HBO).

    Most people probably don’t try to game the system like this as if enough people did, Comcast would notice and change their policy. That is what happened with Costco. Although their return policy allowed returns anytime, people abused the policy by exchanging for a new tv every year so they eventually changed their policy. This is exactly what will happen if enough people try to abuse Comcast’s policy.

  31. celloperson says:

    It’s true. Too many people called in at the last minute to order it, and it kind of overloaded the system that assigns services to your cable boxes. d-oh.

  32. Nick says:

    I’ll bet none of these people realized that the NFL streamed the game live for free on NFL.com. (I didn’t know either until I happened to come across it.)

  33. IceWarrior says:

    NFL.com did NOT stream the game on the internet, for free or otherwise. What they had were highlights at 15 adn 45 minutes after the hour. Thats hardly considered showing the game.

    As far as consumers adding the Comcast sports package and dropping it the same day, I believe you just gave Comcast $23 even if you drop it this morning. Comcast has a $15 service disconnect charge that it uses for mose services, probably to discourage people from adding services for one day to just watch a boxing match, a special episode of an HBO show, or in this case a football game.

  34. camas22 says:

    comcast subscribers + nfl followers = inarticulate arguers

  35. stephenjames716 says:

    direct tv + sunday ticket = football heaven!

  36. darkened says:

    I watched the game for free on NFL.com/Live, the service did suck but free is free and kept me up to date on the cowboys hitting their record 11-1 season.

  37. biledemon says:

    Damm.. what people will do to watch Fussball. Fortunately I do sports rather than watch ‘em.

  38. Spifferiferfied says:

    @biledemon: And that makes you better?

    Wow… what people will do to read a webpage… Fortunately I make pages instead of read ‘em.