Dear Comcast: It's Been 3 Months, Stop Incorrectly Billing Me $320 A Month For Cable

Christopher made the mistake of calling Comcast to order a baseball package and now he’s been stuck with an outrageously high (and incorrect) bill. Every month. For 3 months. He calls and calls and they tell him it’s fixed and it never is…

I’m writing cause I’m at my wits when and don’t really know what else to do. Approximately 4 months ago I called up comcast and explained to them that I needed to have the movie channels discontinued since I don’t watch them anymore. I also told them I wanted to add the Baseball package which I really missed the year before when I didn’t order it. The guy explained to me that my bill for everything I had would go down to approximately $115+40 for my baseball package (for the time it was on). Sure enough my next bill was 115 since the baseball season hadn’t started yet.

The following month I got this bill for $380. I called and talked to a couple people including a manager, who’s names I wrote down, they all insisted that I owed comcast $380 or else. Finally, I got in touch with a sweet old lady from the billing department to whom I explained that I had spoke to a rep the month before who had told me I would only owe $115+40 for the baseball package. She asked for some time to look into the issue and through the call logs and said she would call me back. Sure enough she called be back and said that she couldn’t put me on $115 a month but could put me on $120 a month package which I was fine with she said she’d fix it and everything would be fine by the next bill.

May bill comes in and again the bill is for $320. So I called comcast again to find out what the issue was and they insisted that I had not fully paid my bill in past couple months. I told them the names of the people I spoke with and to look into the account notes in the system. Again we went through the whole song and dance and the lady said she’d fix it and I should call back in a couple days to verify that the problem had in fact been rectified in the system. She even gave me her extension and name and said I should ask to speak with her. Well I call back and when the comcast agent picks up the phone I asked to be transferred to Debbie. He responded that he couldn’t and that he would help me with my problem today.

Well, we got in to a discussion on how I had already told this story a million times and didn’t want to have to tell it a million and one times and that I had dealt with Debbie and that I wanted to speak directly with her cause she was familiar with my case. He informed me that their system was not capable of transferring people from one agent to another and that he didn’t know who Debbie was, which was funny considering that the gentleman I had spoke with earlier that day said no problem but she wasn’t at her desk and to call back. So I told him I wasn’t talking to him and I wanted to speak with his manager. The agent again informed me that he couldn’t transfer me to his manager cause the system wouldn’t allow it without me telling him my problem first and that even if he did his manager was working with the same tools as him and couldn’t transfer me back to Debbie. After this round robin of me say I wanted to speak with Debbie and him saying he couldn’t transfer me cause the system wouldn’t allow it, he said that he would go find his manager and see about what he could do. Upon returning he informed me that his manager said he could transfer me to Debbie if I told him what my issue was. Upon which the following discussion came out of.

Me: So you lied to me?
Comcast Agent: No sir I did not lie to you.
Me: You told me that there was no way to transfer me from one person to another in the system, that is what you said!
Comcast Agent: Yes sir I did say that but…
Me: So you lied to me then!!!
Comcast Agent: Ok sir I lied to you.
Me: Apologize to me!
Comcast Agent: Well sir it wasn’t really lying.
Me: Apologize to me or else were going to wait here until you do.
Comcast Agent: Ok… Sorry.
Me: What are you sorry for?
Comcast Agent: I’m sorry I lied to you.
Me: What did you lie to me about.
Comcast Agent: I’m sorry I lied to you about being able to transfer you to another agent.

Normally I try to be a little more nicer to people but I can’t stand people treating me like I’m 4 and lying to me. So I told him my issue and he said he would fix it. To which I got his name and told him if I found out he lied to me again by telling me he would fix it then I would be calling him back.

June comes around and I get a bill for $320, again its wrong but this month I’m moving so I make a payment for the amount I really owe and call up to get the rest taken care of. The lady tells me that she’ll fix it but its going to take a day in the system cause its got to go up for approval. So, with boxes all around me, I tell her ok and that I just need to schedule a move and that it.

Now she informs me that they can’t process a move until the account is corrected so I’m stuck without cable for a couple days but I should call back Monday and verify that everything is fine. So this morning I got onto Comcast’s website to find out if the changes had been made, and talked with a gentleman by chat, who informed me that comcast had already credited me with $245 and that I should be grateful for that. I asked him to look at the notes for the account to which he said that he couldn’t see any notes made by people who called in but only by instant online chat.

Needless to say my problem is not in act fixed and I don’t know what to do. I’ve called and I’ve called they say its fixed and then the next month there a huge bill. My apartment building only allows comcast no DishTV, DirectTV or FIOS. I’ve had it up to here with Comcast but need internet and would like Cable TV.

-Christopher

You didn’t mention where you lived, but from the sound of things, your community might have a franchise agreement of some kind with Comcast. Contact your local government and ask them how to file a formal complaint about Comcast and their inability to send you an accurate bill. If your email to us fails to impress, that might get their attention. If nothing else, it’ll give your town hall some more ammo to throw Comcast’s way when they’re feeling annoyed, and we’re in favor of that.

Comments

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  1. davere says:

    Contact your local cable franchising office. Your issue will be fixed faster than you can say “Have a comcastastrophic day!”

  2. BoomerFive says:

    Wow, well, I can say that Comcast continues to travel to new and exciting levels of ineptitude. Which is kind of amazing when you think about the level they were already at.

  3. sleze69 says:

    Christopher. You might want to investigate cell phone internet. If you live in an area with 3G, you can get a pretty fast connection for about $60/month unlimited.

    Why not try to cancel the service and reopen it with your middle name instead?

  4. Erwos says:

    I called Comcast about getting a CableCard install for my new TiVo HD, and they told me it would take more than 3 weeks. I punched off a nasty note to their CEO, letting him know of my displeasure, and of my desire to move to FiOS when it gets here in the next couple months. We’ll see if that speeds things up.

    I also pointed out that their franchise agreement with the county requires new installs within one week, and that they were clearly violating that provision.

  5. caj11 says:

    Calling them is absolutely useless. Make copies of the incorrect bills, send the local office a letter explaining what happened and then maybe CC it to the corporate office in Philadelphia. Then there will be a written record of what happened.

  6. AndyAndy719 says:

    Just like every other commenter/poster here – I have had mad trouble with Comcast – but this is what worked for me.

    Call the Comcast corporate office – ask to talk to the executive customer service vp – and they’ll transfer you to someone who just takes complaints on the executive level. Just like its posted everywhere on Consumerist – be nice – I cannot stress this enough.

    They’ll take a message and say someone will return your call. The call I got was from the local executive care manager, and she was insanely nice. Get her name + phone number (and continue to be nice – she’s not the one that messed you up – she’s the one thats going to help you out). The local executive care manager is the person that can get things done.

    Long story short – my neighbor got connected and the contracted installer unhooked me, and it took a week of begging to get rehooked up. The local executive care manager (based in Oak Brook – I’m in Hinsdale, IL) wiped my bill for my trouble and took care of the tech that refused to reconnect me.

    2 months later, I’ve been suffering signal problems – and I had truck roll after truck roll. I had another scheduled and I called her # and left her message. She got the message and upgraded the tech to a team lead – and the dude that showed up was cable superman. He replaced a bunch of junk wire inside my apartment (so technically it wasnt even their responsibility), and even wore the booties over his shoes to not get my place dirty.

    After that – she called and said she upgraded my tech, and was happy to hear he fixed it. She wiped my bill again, gave me the free Comcast Blast internet speed tier for 3 months (16meg down, 4 meg up). She wanted me to try it for 2 days and make sure I liked the speed – then she’d add it to my service permanently. She called back 2 days later as promised, and I’ve nice download speed since.

    While it sucks they constantly mess up – showing someone a little patience in an environment where they get constantly yelled at by angry customers goes a really long way. Call the corporate number, leave a complaint, and you’ll get a call from the best contact you can get at Comcast.

  7. greghayden70 says:

    After reading all of these horror stories, I will never use Comcast, never. Everyone else should do the same.

  8. AgentTuttle says:

    Sounds like your slumlord is getting a kick-back from comcast.

  9. WarOtter - I went to Japan and all I got was this tumor. says:

    I miss the days of independent ISP’s. I would totally cut out my cable if there was a comparable internet offering.

  10. battra92 says:

    Wow, seriously. If you’re in a small enough town I would raise awareness to the town like suggested here. Those contracts are up for renewal all the time and other companies would be more than happy to get into a new area.

    I think the easy answer here is just to drop the cable.

  11. macinjosh says:

    Umm, what does the bill say the extra money is for? Is there an extra line item? Details! Details!

  12. Propaniac says:

    @greghayden70: I’m about to move to an apartment community with no other options. I’m terrified. I looked at the Comcast website to get an idea what I’d be paying (assuming they don’t totally screw up the billing like this guy), and the website options didn’t make any sense, but I’m dreading calling them on the phone because after reading so many stories here, I literally have no expectation that whomever I talk to will be telling the truth and not just making stuff up. I feel like I might as well call my dentist and ask him to tell me about my cable options.

  13. Pro-Pain says:

    DirectTV is working on being this shitty too in case no one has noticed…

  14. ThinkerTDM says:

    Ok, I had to stop reading at the “apologize to me” part. The second the comcast agent gave me shluff, hang up and call back. Don’t sit on the line and then browbeat him into an insincere apology about “lying”. Of course he was lying. That’s what his job is. Do you think anything that comes out of any agent’s mouth is the truth?

    Of course, I am impressed that the first lady actually called him back. She must have been new.

  15. MrEvil says:

    Your landlord can’t Prohibit you from having any sort of antenna, including a satellite dish. HOWEVER, the landlord can prohibit you from making permanent alterations to the structure and can also prohibit you from putting the dish in any place that’s considered “Public” and not part of your apartment. It’s part of Federal law under the FCC’s jurisdiction.

  16. EyeHeartPie says:

    @Propaniac: You shouldn’t be worried about signing up. They treat you as royalty before you sign up. Your problems will start if you have an issue with service or with a bill. Then they treat you like the crap that crap craps.

  17. jpdanzig says:

    Let’s not fail to cite Time-Warner Cable for terrible service too. Woe to customers who go to their customer service office in Manhattan. The last time I was there, the lines were so long and the service so slow, there was almost a riot. I felt just as bad for the T-W service reps who had to contend with the angry customers, while the managers cowered in their offices far from the fray…

  18. ArgusRun says:

    @ThinkerTDM: Are you kidding? That was my favorite part. Using the Socratic method to get Comcast to admit that they are lying jackasses was a stroke of genius. If only we had a recording.

  19. dragonfire1481 says:

    I saw this pretty much every day when I was with Sprint. A lot of companies are sucky like this, but Comcast is one of the worst.

  20. johnva says:

    @Propaniac: Yeah, the stuff on the website about channel packages is nearly indecipherable as far as I can tell. I think they intentionally don’t list on the website what you get with each cable package. Either that, or they are just incompetent, as usual.

    Also, this story is so typical of what it’s like calling Comcast. They have a gaggle of idiots working at their customer service centers, one of whom was literally the stupidest person I think I’ve ever talked to who actually had a job. And their systems and IT infrastructure seem to be a mess (probably because of Comcast’s Borg-like corporate acquisitions strategy), meaning that the idiots have even more trouble sorting out any genuine problem that goes beyond the usual stuff they deal with.

  21. Garfunkle says:

    I just dropped Comcast after 4 months of incorrect billing. It took 30 minutes for ME to explain to THEM that they were double billing me (every time!). I am so much happier with Netflix and the BBC shows that are all “new to me.”

  22. selectman says:

    I am having a very similar issue – I’ve had at least three separate CSRs tell me that they made the requisite change to my account, only to check my bill and not see it there. Every single work order was the complete opposite of what it should be.

    I needed a cable card install – it said cable card removal. I had my own modem – it said I was renting one. I had no Comcast DVR – it said I had one. It was comical.

  23. mike says:

    @sleze69:

    Christopher. You might want to investigate cell phone internet. If you live in an area with 3G, you can get a pretty fast connection for about $60/month unlimited.

    Be careful using the word “unlimited”. It doesn’t realy mean unlimited.

  24. Erwos says:

    @Erwos: Executive escalations called me, and rescheduled my install to tomorrow. Yay!

  25. onesong says:

    when my boyfriend and i moved, we cancelled my contract with comcast and signed a new one in my boyfriends name to continue to receive the optimum triple play deal. they were very friendly about this, totally understood why we wanted to do it–the only catch was that i had to return all the equipment that we had, and the cable installer would bring us new boxes. no problem, right?
    cue the next six months, where i would receive (in the same envelope that my bf got our cable bill in) a bill for different amounts of money, all stating that i had not returned the equipment. every month, i’d get on the phone with them and give them the confirmation numbers i received from the store i returned my equipment to, every month they would assure me that it was fixed, every month i would write down the CSR’s name and ID number, and every following month i would get a new bill. sometimes with a late fee, sometimes with a charge for two boxes, sometimes with a charge for just one. nothing got fixed until i got on the phone with someone who decided to check and see what their “internal status” was on the one box that was ALWAYS on my bill, and found out that it was “lost.” she was finally able to fix it, and they finally stopped hounding me. bottom line is, there are obviously many ways things can be entered into the Comcast system, and they’re not always readily apparent to the CSR you’re speaking to. make sure you note the dates and times of all your calls, the name of whom you’re speaking to, their ID numbers (they have 2 each), and what they told you.

  26. WiglyWorm must cease and decist says:

    It is illegal for your apartment to say “you can’t have Dish”. It is only legal for them to say “you can’t erect your dish in a common area”. So if you have a balcony or anything along those lines that has a clear view of the southern sky, drop comcast like a rock.

    You could also look in to threatening to report them for mail fraud. That should get it fixed quite quickly.

  27. failurate says:

    @ThinkerTDM: That was completely a WTF! moment for me too and stopped me from reading the rest of this.

    It’s a billing error and some corporate laziness and Comcast should be called out for it… but the “Apologize to me!” stuff is some stinky B.S.

  28. AaronZ says:

    Ok, I get that Comcast screwed up this guy’s bill repeatedly, and there’s no excuse for that… but does it make the OP feel all warm and fuzzy to be a total douche to some $5/hr customer service rep? I mean seriously, that quoted exchange in the letter made me feel sorry for the rep, not the dickhead with the bill problems.

  29. DoubleEcho says:

    @failurate: I thought it was hillarious – It was like the Comcast tech was a 5 year old caught lying. (“And what did you lie about?” was the best part :) ) I think the tech totally deserved it for not being honest and getting caught magnificently.

  30. Starfury says:

    Forget Comcast. Dish.

  31. johnva says:

    @DoubleEcho: I agree. If you don’t like being treated like a child, don’t lie (and if you do lie, at least keep your stories consistent.) Say you WON’T transfer the customer, not that you can’t. Because we all know that that is the truth.

    That being said, I probably wouldn’t have done that myself. It’s not usually an effective tactic to call them on their BS. But I certainly understand the OP’s frustration with Comcast, and I might be losing it too at that point.

  32. DoubleEcho says:

    @Starfury: Forget how to read?

    “My apartment building only allows comcast no DishTV, DirectTV or FIOS. I’ve had it up to here with Comcast but need internet and would like Cable TV.”

  33. failurate says:

    Most likely they were billing him in full for the baseball package instead of broken down monthly.
    But yeah, more details are needed, and yet again we have an OP that is difficult to have any sympathy for.

    The “lies” that this guy were told were nothing. We know Comcast is a huge company, asking for “Debbie” probably isn’t going to do dick for you.
    The CSR would probably get canned for dumping calls onto management or other CSRs without getting a problem description. He said he couldn’t because of the system, he should have said he couldn’t because of policy.

    The ass-hattery of the OP is unjustifiable.

  34. BoomerFive says:

    @failurate: Ass-hattery, hmmm, lets break down your post shall we?

    Assumption 1- Probably billing him for full package instead of monthly breakdown.
    OP was told REPEATEDLY that it would be “fixed” indicating that MULTIPLE csr’s new that it was a mistake.

    Assumption 2- The “lies” he was told were nothing. Pardon me, but I assume that after multiple csr’s assuring him it would be taken care of and then getting one that lies in such a stupid and transparent way, it might get a bit annoying. Not to mention that it kinda cuts to the heart of comcast service, get em off the phone at any cost whether you help them or not.

    Assumption 3- The csr would probably get canned for dumping calls onto management without a problem description. Huh? Number one, it seems to me that a description is pretty easy here, the guy is getting billed incorrectly. Two, how do you figure the csr would get fired? Do you have some fount of Comcast knowledge you can share with us that is substantiated in some way?

    So, we have 3 assumptions with no backing and this somehow makes the OP an ass hat. I think that the idiocy of your post is what is unjustifiable here.

  35. MissPeacock says:

    @WiglyWorm: My apartment complex actually made me sign a statement when I was signing my lease paperwork stating that I would never put up a satellite dish and would only accept Charter for my cable service. I still see Dish Network dishes up all over the place, though. And I’m moving in a month and a half, so screw them all.

  36. bleh says:

    This seems like a good time to vote for Comcast in the final 4.

  37. bleh says:

    @failurate: Demanding customer service is unjustifiable but lying to customers is fully justified?

    I hope I never do business with a company that you run.

  38. failurate says:

    @worksintheory: Fair enough, I wouldn’t want to do business with anyone who thought that “Apologize to me!” or “What are you sorry for?” is an acceptable part of any adult conversation.

    @BoomerFive: At least they were deducting his payments toward the baseball package. When they said, “you didn’t pay your bill in full”, they weren’t lying. He didn’t pay his bill in full. Were they charging him late fees on the remainder of the baseball package? That would be something to complain about if he had a payoff type of plan with them.
    And yeah, I’ve worked with customer service enough to know that CSRs that dump calls on other people without getting a problem description, no matter how redundant it is to the customer, get canned.

  39. rellog says:

    @battra92: Thanks to the nazis in office right now (as in fascists) they are taking all the power away from local communities to do anything about this type of stuff. This is the VERY reason I am so pro-local franchising…

  40. rellog says:

    @MissPeacock: I don’t know how legal that is. You have a right by federal law to have a sat installed. I doubt they can legally enforce that contract…

  41. rellog says:

    @AaronZ: Why? The rep was a douche himself.
    a. He doesn’t HAVE to know anything to transfer a call,
    b.) He lied about his ability to transfer…

    He deserved what he got…

  42. 2719 says:

    @Erwos:

    There’s your problem! You want a cable card and since cable cos have been forced to offer those, they will take their sweet time to get it installed. Of course this also means when you have a problem (and you will, trust me on this one) expect delays to get it fixed.

    In this area some people have waited over 8 weeks for a cable card…

  43. 2719 says:

    @ThinkerTDM:

    LOL if someone told me “Apologize to me!” I would simply disconnect the call.

  44. 2719 says:

    @rellog:

    Common call center procedure, CSR needs to have some information/reason to escalate a call.

    He did make a mistake by telling him he can’t transfer calls period. He should have explained to him that he needed a reason before he could escalate.

    So people should not call CS and immediately request to speak to a supervisor without any explanation.

  45. BoomerFive says:

    Why the HELL can’t the csr escalate a call without a reason? I have a crazy notion, How about when a customer asks to speak to a supervisor, they should actually get to! Crazy! I know!

    When I ask to speak to a supervisor, silly guy that I am, I actually EXPECT THAT TO HAPPEN. I could care less what “common call center procedure” is. That has nothing to do with me and whatever my issue is.

    Why should I or anyone else bend over backwards to follow Comcast’s stupid procedures? And you morons that say “he should have expected them to lie” are the ones who perpetuate this crap. If someone lies to me, I fly a bit off the handle as well, ESPECIALLY if I have been trying to resolve an issue for say, months!

  46. cjones27 says:

    Me: Apologize to me or else were going to wait here until you do.
    Comcast Agent: Ok… Sorry.
    Me: What are you sorry for?
    Comcast Agent: I’m sorry I lied to you.
    Me: What did you lie to me about.
    Comcast Agent: I’m sorry I lied to you about being able to transfer you to another agent.

    Normally I try to be a little more nicer to people but I can’t stand people treating me like I’m 4 and lying to me.

    Who is being treated like they’re 4 years old here?

  47. EdnaLegume says:

    “June comes around and I get a bill for $320, again its wrong but this month I’m moving so I make a payment for the amount I really owe and call up to get the rest taken care of.”

    You mean you call to complain but still pay the WRONG amount. Well dumbass, no wonder they keep billing you for it.

  48. 2719 says:

    @BoomerFive:

    Because they need to know it’s something that really requires a supervisor. Some people think they need to talk to a supervisor for every little problem that comes up.

    BTW I do not work for Comcast.

  49. crankitupyo says:

    @Starfury: I am beginning to think that all of those Dish reps are super, because no one seems to have any problems with the service. What about the times they can’t get the service to work correctly or that they want to charge me to get my services up. I think you all need to realize that problems happen with every service and it is not just Comcast it happens with all services and all reps.