Comcast: Repair Techs On-Time Or You Get $20

Did you know that Comcast has an “on-time guarantee?” That’s right, if your tech arrives outside the time window for a repair, you’re entitled to a $20 credit. For installs, you get one free cable outlet installed. A former Comcast worker says, “Only dispatchers have the ability to put this credit on accounts, however,” which makes us wonder how easy it is to actually get these applied to your account. Maybe if you use these numbers to call dispatchers directly you’ll get somewhere. [Comcast]

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  1. mgy says:

    Are you kidding? This will bankrupt them.

    Maybe it’s not such a bad thing.

  2. outinthedark says:

    Cox Communications has this to. They even mentioned it to me when they called to confirm my recent apointment. It was $24 if they were late. The tech showed up 15 minutes early.

  3. Verdigris says:

    How long has this been going on? I imagine that A LOT of people are intitled to their twenty bucks…

  4. elf6c says:

    Interesting- they still get to take a nap though right? I keed I keed, please don’t turn off my broadband. . .

  5. JeffMc says:

    It probably comes out of their contractor’s pocket which would explain all of those “the customer wasn’t home” claims we hear about when the customer was actually sitting at the door waiting.

  6. tripnman says:

    Notice that the linked page says that this guarantee is not available in all areas – my guess the only area it IS available in is the one where there are three subscribers and four techs.

    How does this help when the tech just says you weren’t home?

  7. heavylee-again says:

    Re-he-he-heally. Comcast has done a good job of keeping that under wraps for a while. I imagine many people will be entitled to, and hopefully receive, their credit. But Comcast’ll prolly just remove the policy if it ends up costing them too much – rather than fix the actual problem.

  8. azntg says:

    @tripnman: Naive thought, but maybe they’ll develop a system where the customer can call a toll free number to confirm the arrival of their tech (wo)man?

  9. EyeHeartPie says:

    @JeffMc:
    Wonder if anyone has actually set a camera to watch the front door for the service time window, then can shove it in Comcast’s face when the contractor claims no one was home?

  10. Hawkins says:

    Mr. mgy: this will NOT bankrupt them. There’s no possible way to get the credit, because there is NO POSSIBLE WAY to speak to the dispatcher to ask for it.

    Don’t believe me? Call 1-800-COMCAST. They will explain, patiently, that there’s no way to contact the dispatcher, except by “opening a ticket.” So you can’t ask the dispatcher for a credit, or ask anything else, including, for example, whether or not the tech is planning to show up, now that it’s 5:30 and you’ve taken the whole day off from work to wait for them.

    There is no e-mail address for the dispatcher. The dispatcher has no inbound phone service.

    They will open a ticket that asks the dispatcher to call YOU, if you like, but the dispatcher will simply close the ticket.

    I make these assertions based on long, bitter experience. Nobody will EVER get this credit, Mr. mgy.

  11. nursetim says:

    @Hawkins:
    Bingo, that is the catch, and that is why it is set up like that.

  12. davebg5 says:

    Time Warner Cable said I’d get a free month of cable if they missed the 2-hour window for my last service call.

    However, they showed up on time, so I have no idea how difficult it would have been to get them to stand behind that promise.

  13. swags says:

    Comcast has had this policy in place for years, and I’ve never heard of someone actually receiving the credit.

  14. nightshadowon says:

    Maybe they have changed the rules lately, but I got this a couple of years ago when a tech was late showing up for a service call. I was careful with the paperwork he gave me and one of the places he said “just initial here, here, and here” said that the tech showed up on time. I didn’t initial and my next bill (or maybe the one following) had a credit on it.

  15. pylbug says:

    It’s true, you will never get the credit. Never ever.

    This “fee” has been law in Illinois for years already. The main reason I’m no longer a Comcast customer is that, when I moved, they botched four tech visits. Ultimately, they had me stay at home for 13 hours on Mother’s Day, talked me out of cancelling once a tech truck showed up (the phone rep was unaware that a tech was in the area, mind you). They still couldn’t do the job properly. I spent a total of more than 40 hours leaving work to let a tech in… a tech who only showed up the very last time and didn’t do his job anyway.

    When we cancelled, they owed us a month of service we’d just paid plus sixty dollars ($20 for each no-show). We never got the sixty bucks. It’s been almost four years, and all we get is the run-around. First they say the check has been cut and sent to us, and we should have it in two weeks. Months go by and nothing. Call again, same story. Then nothing. We’ve given up on them, and swear to never, ever be customers of their again.

    I’d sooner go without television than be a Comcast customer. They are incompetent liars who don’t care about you no matter how long you’ve been a good customer.

  16. This applies to Bright House Networks as well. The customer just has to ask for it when they call into customer service. I would suggest people do it immediately though when a tech has missed their appointment just to make it easier to track.

  17. Carencey says:

    I managed to get this credit last year, but only after multiple “where is the tech dammit” calls. (5-8 window…he finally arrived at 9:30 after I told them, no, they could not bump me to 11-2 the next day.) Actually, I should note however, that I live in Montgomery Co. MD and always work through our local # rather than 1-800-Comcast. I believe it actually WAS the phone rep that put the credit on my account rather than the dispatcher, and the credit was added after the dispatcher did not respond to the previous phone rep’s ticket.

  18. unimus says:

    I’m still waiting for the punchline, which goes something like “Comcast has also widen the service window to the nearest month”…

  19. Carencey says:

    @Carencey: left something out there…the significance of where I live is that Montgomery County’s franchise board seems to do better than most places in keeping an eye on Comcast. they can’t stop them from sucking, but they can at least fine them when they do.@nightshadowon: yup, I have a work order from yesterday with that box on it (yeah, see where I mentioned that Mont.Co. can’t keep them from sucking?). I am not sure if it will scan well but can try tonight.

  20. AdmiralKit says:

    This is all well and good unless you get the 8 AM to 8 PM window… “They’ll be here sometime maybe today, or not. But if you don’t see one within a week, we’ll give you $20 to make up for all the work time you missed.”

  21. boosterts says:

    I got this credit a couple weeks ago. I didn’t have to complain. The teched left a message on my cell phone saying he was there, but I didn’t hear the bell. He must have rung the wrong one (there are three apts in my building). I called within 10 minutes of him stopping by, but didn’t get installed that day. The operator gave me a $20 credit.

    Unfortunately, I couldn’t get another weekend appointment and had to take off work to get it installed. I then had to call every day for a week after the installation to get the internet service working. Then two more times to get the billing sorted out. It also took comcast over a month to refund the credit on my old account from old account. I needed to cancel and then get new service when I moved <10mi from Alexandria, VA to Washingotn, DC.

    Comcast suck and the $20 credit isn’t going to change that.

  22. Lambasted says:

    Please!! That $20 is just to blind you from the fact that you only get ONE free outlet. Who in the hell has one TV?! Direct TV gives you at least four. Just another reason why Direct TV is 100% better.

    If memory serves, Comcast used to give you unlimited free outlet installation so long as you were also getting a receiver for it. I know because I had three installed and almost added a fourth because it was going to cost me to add it later.

    Note to Comcast: You think those people are going to be happy with $20 once they turn on their TV and see their high definition picture is all screwed up because your lines can’t support more than 100 people watching TV at the same time? Or when they use the internet and find out you have blocked downloading from their favorite torrent site? Or how about when they receive that cancellation letter from you because you say they used the internet too much?

    If Comcrap comes aknocking…hide!! And then call Direct TV.

  23. dragonpup says:

    “Only dispatchers have the ability to put this credit on accounts, however,”

    Speaking as someone who has been a dispatcher in Comcast for over 5 years in the North East region, let me clarify: No we do not. We do not put credits on accounts at all. Dispatch does not interact directly with customers except when we need to call them in relation to their appointments(running late, open the door for the tech, etc)

  24. @Verdigris: If I had twenty bucks for everytime a Comcast employee was late somewhere in the country…

  25. magic8ball says:

    @Papa Midnight: … you’d own Comcast, and it would probably suck much less.

  26. floyderdc says:

    @Carencey:

    I used to work for Montgomery County Cable, the local # or 1-800 Comcast go to the same place. Same call centre same reps. The 1-800 # detects your area code and exchange and sends you the the correct call centre, annoying if you have a cell with say a Phildelphia area code and live in DC.

    I saw many people get this credit, as it was not done by dispatch, but a department called check-in. They would do the data entry after the appt was completed. They did miss a lot of credits though. If someone was entitled to a credit but did not get one we would pull the work order to see if the signed in the correct box to get the credit. No initals, no credit. Sometimes I would put a credit on the account myself but I could not issue an “ontime gaurentee credit” I could get in serious trouble for that. I would just issue a $20 creidit and call it something else. I would say about 30% of people who deserve this creidit get it.

  27. Juncti says:

    Scam usually is when you call to complain and ask for the credit, they mysteriously lose your appointment on your records. So not late if the appointment never existed.

    Plus is your time wasted sitting at home all day during that long window really only worth $20 to you?

  28. SacraBos says:

    $20 for a missed tech visit? That’s cheaper than paying the techs to be on time. Now they can give you crappier service, the customer is marginally happier because they have a $20 credit, and they can reduce staff, and pay the executives a bonus. Genius!

  29. GrandizerGo says:

    This is old news.
    Verizon has the same thing. I got credit 3 times when they showed up at 5 minutes after the time they were supposed to each time.

  30. madanthony says:

    They had this two years ago when I moved and got Comcast at my new house. They mentioned it when I scheduled the appointment, and I asked for it when I called them an hour after the window to find out if a tech was still coming. They applied it no questions asked.

  31. mamacat49 says:

    Time-Warner here in NC gives it, too. And I know it works, because I’ve gotten my $20 credit more than once.

  32. ivanthemute says:

    @davebg5: A free month? Around these parts, TWC only issues a free week of service (now, it does cover all services, so for some folks that credit could come up to $40, 50, 60 bucks in some cases. At least all phone reps (billing, customer service, repair, whomever) are able to issue that particular credit.

  33. QueenHawkeye says:

    It only says that they’ll give you $20 if they’re late.

    What happens if they don’t show up at all?

  34. Youthier says:

    I’ll tell you… Comcast costs way too much for too few channels but I never get late service techs from them. I’ve moved numerous times in the past few years within the same service area. They always offer a two hour window for weekday service (four hours for Saturdays) and I’ve never had them not show up in that time. Most of the time, they’ve finished in the two hour period.

    Of course, the last one I had left my back gate open, didn’t tell me, and I ended up chasing my dog down the street for twenty minutes. But he was on time!

  35. ConsumerAdvocacy1010 says:

    Over here in NJ they still charge you $35 for a service call/repair. So unless they wave that and then give you $24…it’s worthless.

    I had Comcast Digital Voice installed. (I Dislike Comcast…but I HATE Verizon. Will NEVER do business with them AGAIN.)The tech was nice enough, but didn’t do the job right. He couldn’t figure out why the fax machine did not work with Comcast. He said nothing more could be done….

    I check the work order. Free installation. I then wrote on the work order…”Install Incomplete” and “Fax not working.”

    Complained for over a month…got three techs to the house (at one time)…and they fixed it in less than five minutes. Wiring was incorrectly hooked up outside. The first tech improperly installed the service. I check the work order…no charge listed. I sign.

    Anyway, my bill shows up. Comcast waved my monthly service charge for that month. Yay. But there’s a $35.90 charge labeled OTG. That’s On-Time-Guarantee. So the installation was free, the monthly service charge was waived, but they charged me to fix the first tech’s mistake. That’s so logical…

    To be fair, I didn’t ask if the service call was free, but ALL the work orders list the charge for service/repair/installation. It was listed as $0.00.

    Had to argue with the phone rep for almost fifteen minutes to get the charge removed.

    If legally able, record all customer service calls you make. Ya never know when it could come in handy.

  36. morydd says:

    Last time I called Comcast for service (they’d disconnected the whole building when the people in the downstairs unit moved out), they had me reboot my cable modem a few times even though I told them I didn’t have any signal at all on either TV or the modem. So they scheduled an appointment… on someone else’s account. So after waiting through my window and calling and finding out they didn’t show a tech scheduled, I got to wait another week. (I work odd hours, and will not allow contractors in the house when my wife is home alone. If he turned out to be a creep, she’d probably severely injure him.) They offered me “credit” for the time I didn’t have service. I laughed. “Yes, I know. You’re legally required to do that.” Ended up getting about $50 off my bill for the next 6 months.

  37. forgottenpassword says:

    Yeah, good luck getting THIS! If they had to pay out 20 bucks for every time a comcast guy is late or never shows up …. they’d be out of business within a couple of months!

  38. GenXCub says:

    @outinthedark: Cox was the same with me last week to help troubleshoot a packet-loss issue on my internet connection (cable modem issue), they told me about the late penalty that morning in their first “make sure you’re home from 1-3″ call. Cox has always been great to me in the 8 years I’ve used them in Vegas.

  39. jeffbone says:

    What difference does it make if they show up on time, if they’re not prepared to complete the work on the work order?

    I suppose sending techs out three times to complete a simple installation, even if they make the appointment window, is much cheaper than the alternative — sending me a tech who misses the window, but actually has the tools and supplies to get the job done the first time.

  40. ChainsawFan45 says:

    Back when I lived in Illinois, Insight (which is now part of Comcast) didn’t show up for their scheduled appointment. I got on the phone to try and coerce someone into giving me some kind of credit, and I was shocked to get this immediate response:

    “We’ve already credited your account $20 for the inconvenience.”

    That was a real shocker, especially from a cable company of all places.

  41. PatrickSF says:

    @Lambasted: “Who in the hell has one TV?!”

    Me, and the first 10 friends I thought of. Believe it or not, some of us don’t want/need a TV in every room.

  42. Rider says:

    Bright House has the same guarantee. guess what when the tech misses the appointment and you call to complain they tell you you were mistaken about the appointment time.

  43. maestrosteve says:

    To all the people saying “good luck trying to get it”, let me say that I received it. I live in Toms River, NJ. A Comcast repair tech was to be here at a certain time, and the guy was a few hours late. He phoned me to tell me he was running late, and I was just happy that he’d be here at all that day.

    When he was leaving my house, he said to me “by the way, you’ll get a $20 credit because I wasn’t here when I was supposed to be here”. I never asked for it, never knew about it, and it came automatically on my bill.

    Absolutely the truth.

  44. ComContractor says:

    For all those interested, there is a space on the work order that clearly says “OTG Credit” or “The Technician Arrived On Time” with a yes or no check box.

    Now, I try not to be late, but when I have 3 jobs scheduled between 8-10, some more involved then others, people are going to get pushed back. I will usually call at least 30min before the end of a time frame to let the customer know, but that certainly isn’t the norm. Hell, I even get reprimanded for being early, BY THE CUSTOMERS! really, you just cant win in this business

  45. kewl132 says:

    Time Warner does this too. The installer was 15min late so I got my credit. Only thing I like about them.

  46. picantel says:

    We have brighthouse and when the tech was over he told us that the credit comes directly out of the contractors pocket. Also, if he is late not only does the fee come out of his pocket but brighthouse also charges him their own ‘late fee’. He said some weeks he makes well under minimum wage as they load him up with calls he cannot possibly catch up on. Greed at its finest.

  47. turkeybacon76 says:

    Good luck getting that Comcast “OTG” as they call it applied to your account. It was promised three times to us by customer service reps after our service man was an hour and a half late. NEVER applied nor documented in our record by any of these reps according to each subsequent call. COMCAST MUST DIE!