Idiot Comcast Door-To-Door Salesmen Cause Neighborhood Panic

Yesterday, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported that the police were looking for two men who were posing as Comcast employees as a ruse to steal social security numbers. The men were driving an unmarked car, wandering around a neighborhood knocking on doors and telling residents they needed to fix some wiring issues. One resident refused, claiming that she didn’t have an appointment. She then saw the employees start knocking on other doors and, finding it unlikely that her entire neighborhood could have “wiring issues,” called the police.

They told a woman they needed to come into her house to fix some wiring, according to a police report. She noted the men drove a black Saturn sedan rather than a marked Comcast vehicle and refused to let them enter, saying she didn’t have an appointment.

The woman told police the men walked down the street knocking on doors.

An 80-year-old homeowner who lives across the street told police he and his son let the men inside. While inside, one of the men had the elderly man say his Social Security number into a cell phone and gave him a false work order, according to the report.

Comcast employees, including contractors, have identification available at all times and usually have a Comcast or contractor vehicle, company spokesman Steve Kipp said.

In some door-to-door sales cases, Comcast employees may ask for the last four digits of a customer’s Social Security number to verify an account, he said. But that information also can be provided over the phone, Kipp said.

Installers never ask for money and should have their Comcast badges prominently displayed, he said.

Today the paper posted a new report that confirms that these mysterious social security number thieves were in fact actual Comcast contractors who were not following proper company procedure.

Kipp said the contractors, working for Roseville, Calif.-based Winmark Authorized Agent Group, should have had their Comcast identification present.

“We’re working with the contracting company to make sure they’re properly trained and an incident like this wouldn’t happen again,” Kipp said.

He said the Social Security and AARP membership information obtained from one man was used to verify a Comcast account and not retained by the contractors.

According to Winmark Authorized Agent Group’s website they’re a D2D marketing firm. They don’t appear to be in the “wiring fixing” business.

Police searching for fraudulent Comcast employees [Seattle P-I]
Wanted Comcast contractors actually legit, company says [Seattle P-I]

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. GMFish says:

    Just when you think Comcast has hit rock bottom, and cannot under any possible scenario go any lower, they totally surprise us. They truly are Comcastic!

  2. Parting says:

    Ha! Ha! Arrested for stupidity! Rofl!

  3. mariospants says:

    Here I am, reading the story and thinking “holy shit! what shady characters – they must be identity thieves or casing out people’s houses.” and it turns out that they’re bona fide Comcast folks. Astounding.

  4. Velifer says:

    @mariospants:

    The two things are not mutually exclusive…

  5. headhot says:

    AARP membership to verify an account? What a load of bullshit. I worded for Comcast, and know their billing systems, no where in their is a space for a AARP membership number.

    They are covering their ass for a contractor who’s gone off the reservation.

  6. EarlNowak says:

    It’s Comcastic!

  7. Creepy. Sounds like a “Men in Black” thing, actually.

  8. pb5000 says:

    I installed for Comcast for a while and the majority of the contractors were idiots, this doesn’t surprise me at all.

    I was once at my parents house, in full comcast uniform when a contracted sales guy came to the door. I answered (again mind you IN FULL COMCAST UNIFORM) and told him no thanks, that if my parents were to switch to comcast they’d do it from me not him, I was polite about it assuming since we were on the same team he would respect that. He wouldn’t quit and crossed the line where I eventually turned rude and told him to leave the porch, when he kept talking about their “wonderful specials available only to direct sales reps” I shut the door in his face. He finally got that message.

  9. Nofsdad says:

    I am in no way surprised by any of this. It’s just typical Comcast crap.

  10. Ryan Duff says:

    One word: FAIL!

  11. Nixi says:

    I agree with Headhot. It sounds like someone at Comcast has gone rogue.

    Expect the feature length film to come out sometime next year.

  12. hardtoremember says:

    Never ever answer the door if you are not expecting anyone.

  13. felixgolden says:

    Comcast uses collections agents as well who seem to not know the rules. I had one show up at my door at 8:30pm while I was out of town. My phone number is not in the local area code, so he somehow got hold of my parent’s phone number, even though they live in a different town. He then called my elderly father demanding a credit card for payment while pounding on my door. He refused to give anything other than his first name. When my father demanded a supervisor, the agent put through a three-way call with someone who also refused to identify themselves. Neither seemed willing to allow him to call Comcast directly to confirm their identities. The agent then cut the line to my home.

    Once off the phone my father got a hold of me. I called Comcast to straighten the situation out. Turns out they tried to process my online payment using old credit card information. But to top it all off, the only past due amount was $26.55. And it was less than 30 days.

  14. howie_in_az says:

    Why would any company think that door-to-door marketing is ever A Good Idea(tm)? Telemarketing gets on everyone’s nerves but now you’re going to send people to the door to interrupt dinner?

  15. flugelhorn says:

    I was hanging out at my friend’s apartment a couple months ago when a guy holding a clipboard– no identifying uniform, just a college football jersey and some sort of baseball cap– found the door ajar and invited himself in. He launched into his Comcast sales pitch before we could say “WTF?!”

    I’m not about to sign up for any service offered by some guy that looks like he just walked in off the street, much less one that just waltzes into a private residence.

  16. axiomatic says:

    Dear Comcast,

    This might work in “latte land” Seattle, but if you come and do this in Texas someone is likely to get shot, or possibly become some “bubba’s “Gimp,” a la “Pulp Fiction.”

  17. Mark 2000 says:

    I had a Comcast salesman visit my wife while I was out at around 7pm. We actually were in the market for some cable and internet. She called me told me she was going to sign with this guy. I told her Comcast didnt go door to door and he was either a scammer or an axe murder and to throw him out. Then I ran home and nearly had an asthma attack on the way think this guy would hurt her. I saw him get in a car on the way out. He had a uniform on, so I guess he was real.

  18. Comcast contractors not only do accept money, but as many of us can attest actually *DEMAND* money to do work or avoid a shut-off; the latter apparently is Comcast official policy.

    Check out the Comcast Must Die blog for details.

    In my case I spent two months recovering overbilling charges and related damages from Comcast via the Comcast Must Die site after they sent two guys in uniform (w/ paperwork that had my generally correct account info) to my place at 8am on a weekday to shake me down for money it turns out I didn’t owe once I got on the phone and tried to get a breakdown of the bill.

    I only paid them b/c I am internet dependent to make a living, and Comcast is the only high-speed game in town here. It turns out they were also bundling a couple of months of cable TV in my bill, despite the fact I DON’T OWN A TV, and this is what was making my bill a couple of hundred bucks “delinquent.”

    The only way I made headway in convincing anyone there that I wasn’t using cable was to ask what the serial number for my cable box was. Starting from there I used Comcast Must Die to escalate the matter up several levels and eventually got a check which refunded me that money PLUS compensation for all of the time that they wasted (I billed my work per-hr rate) and my cell phone bill for the time I spent on the phone with useless levels of employees.

    Comcast Must Die rocks. The key is continue to escalate the matter until you get compensated for the time Comcast wastes and actual expenses that they’ve cost you, and not take anything less for an answer. Also, keep posting every major step on the site.

  19. junkmail says:

    That’s why you never answer the door unarmed. God bless the 2nd. :)

  20. mike says:

    (Sorry, hit submit too early)

    With the economy the way it is, I wouldn’t be surprised if this became more common.

  21. Sockatume says:

    Sockatume’s law: Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from a con.

  22. strathmeyer says:

    Seems like a complete Comcast coverup. If only there were some sort of journalists or police force out there who could figure out out for the public.

  23. chartrule says:

    there is no reason what so ever for a company to require your social security number for anything what so ever. Comcast doesn’t even have the right to a single digit of your number

  24. Gopher bond says:

    If yu don’t think they’re real cable workers, hand them a piece of co-ax and ask to see them strip and install connectors. Real techs can do it ridiculously fast, amateurs will mangle it. But if your con-man is an ex employee, you may be screwed.

  25. mikeqube says:

    Out here in Massachusetts there’s been a scam where guys show up to an elderly person’s home saying they are from the water department and need to get into their basement to investigate a possible problem that could cause flooding. Whats been happening is they go in and check the place out and the house gets broken into shortly after or one of the “workers” distracts the person and the other looks for money, jewelry or whatever.

  26. Hands says:

    I have Comcast for phone, internet and cable and have never had a problem with them. I feel terribly guilty.

  27. vastrightwing says:

    Simply Comcastic! You’re leading the pack for 2009!

  28. megafly says:

    I had a comcast rep (probably a contractor) with an ID come to my door and offer to sell me cable. When I told him that we already have cable he said that I “need to show him a copy of the bill”. Since I recognized that he was calling me a liar to my face, I got VERY angry told him I didn’t have to F’ing show him anything. I then may have assaulted him with my door in an effort to close it with maximum vigor and celerity.

  29. Anonymous says:

    I had had Comcast for the last 10 years and have been very pleased with the service. Currently I am training to be one of these Comcast contractor door to door salespeople. From the people in my training class I see door to door exploding. I am a former Sprint employee, which has gone down the drain as a company, but there are tons of car salesmen and even construction workers giving it a try. All commission based so they will hire lots of people and give them a chance to see if they can sell.

  30. Anonymous says:

    I had one of these guys show up at my door today. Asked if he could come in and “adjust” my computer to take advantage of the “new comcast speed”. I laughed at him, told him that I was a high tech person and that I highly doubted he could adjust my computers better than he could. There was no way I was letting this guy in or near my machines. WTF Comcast?? Do you value your customers so little that you’d send some morons out to try to get into our homes?

  31. Anonymous says:

    I am a Comcast Contractor that goes door-to-door. I am one of few females that can handle this kind of job. There are a few “salesmen” that are obnoxious and pushy that I would NEVER model myself after. I can usually save a Comcast customer money on their services by adding a service(s) or by bundling. I have a no pressure technique and am honest with the customer. My name and phone number is on that job order so I make sure that all the information and prices are on that order. I hope this makes a differece for some people out there. We are not all bad. It is a fun job and I get to meet some really cool people.