Comcast Gives Reader Hurricane Ike Refund

Reader Josh is a Comcast customer says he was without power for 7 days due to Hurricane Ike, and by calling 1-800-COMCAST he was able to get a service credit for the whole time he couldn’t watch TV.

(Photo: Wayne Gunn)

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. Raekwon says:

    Wow I tried to do that once when their “maintenance” knocked out my service for a week and other times when my service was down for long periods of time and they refused. Guess it takes a hurricane.

  2. hills says:

    Cox did the same for me with hurricane Isabel – you’d hope they would automatically make this adjustment, but you actually just have to call….

  3. jmsbmck says:

    Sorry, not a fan.

    All he did was help to jack up the rates of those of us in other parts of the country.

    Life happens.

    Comcast is terrible, but I don’t think they can create weather yet. :)

  4. PaulElectryon says:

    Just called, they asked for my service restored date and then told me that I had a 14+ dollar credit applied to my account. Working my way through the automated system tool longer then the discussion with the rep. Great tip.

  5. Vicky says:

    This was announced in the local paper, and I received the credit as well (for cable internet – I don’t actually have television). The folks on the phone were really quite warm and solicitous about how we had fared through the storm.

    My understanding is that many of the local land-line and cellular operators have similar policies, and I’ve received notices from my electric, water, and natural gas providers that they are not charging late fees or shutting off service for some set period of time.

    • P_Smith says:

      @Vicky: This was announced in the local paper, and I received the credit as well (for cable internet – I don’t actually have television). The folks on the phone were really quite warm and solicitous about how we had fared through the storm.

      It makes a big change from the usual Comcast stories where people have to fight tooth and nail to accomplish anything. Maybe it’s a sign that they finally realize customers are the reason they’re still in business.

      Either that, or they’ve got threatening competition.

  6. Mayor McRib says:

    Comcast actually had the local Houston news announce that you should call to get credit for the time you were out of power. I was out of power for two weeks, my cable/internet/security bill is around $140. I got a $20 credit. While not the full credit, I thought it was a nice gesture.

  7. nybiker says:

    I guess I should call DirecTV when a snowstorm or rainstorm keeps me from seeing anything on my tv?

    And maybe the OP might wish to contact his local foodstore since his probably went bad during the week without power? Wait, they probably had no power either. Who should THEY call?

    If it’s not their fault, why should they knock off a part of your bill? It’s nice that they did it, but to paraphrase jmsbmck, now his rates are going up.

    • Kat@Work says:

      @nybiker: Yes, you should call them any time you have ‘loss of service’ is what the 2nd CSR jsut told me when I called today. “Yes, we certainly do issue credits for service interrputions…”

      • nybiker says:

        @Kat@Work: My point is that Directv (for all their bad stuff at times) didn’t cause the snow to fall or the lightning to strike. So, why should they give anyone a credit because one was unable to watch tv for a few hours?

        In the case of hurricanes and tornadoes and other weather-related damages, it’s nice that they do, but I don’t see how they are required to do so.

        Here in NYC, Con Ed has to deal with steam pipe explosions and their aftermath. And of course, we’ve had 3 blackouts (’65, ’77, ’03) as well as neighborhoods which have had power outages. The electrical companies are the ones you want to fight to get money from. It’s their infrastructure that failed, not the cable company’s or satellite company’s. Of course, if DirecTV’s satellite has a problem, then, yes, go after them. If Comcast’s feeder lines burn up or get cut, yeah, go after them.

    • jeknee says:

      @nybiker: So, my family, who was without service for two weeks – when the power came back on after two weeks, Comcast was still not working and didn’t start up for another couple days – should just suck it up and pay for service they did not have? Sounds good, we’ll do that.

  8. Kat@Work says:

    I am on the phone with DirecTv right now to see if they’re doing this as well:

    First CSR just told me that I would have had to report the service outage when it occurred – I told her that I would have been happy to, but we didn’t have power or even landlines for a week – how would I have done that? Not sympathetic at ALL.

    So she transferred me. I’m on hold for a technical advisor right now.

    2nd CSR (Tech): MUCH better. He’s transferring me directly to Customer Care with notes on my account about dates we didn’t have power, etc. He’s sympathetic and nice. He’s good to his word and directly connects me to Customer Care without any wait.

    3rd CSR: Also very nice and gets to work right away on my credit. (I did have to shortly explain my story 3 times (once to each rep), but whatever, no big deal.)

    So, I got a $18.55 credit for loss of service from Sept 12-17. Not bad for a 19 minute phone call. Thanks Consumerist!

  9. Kat@Work says:

    Yay! Just called AT&T/SBC and they gave me a $31.73 credit! Again, totally worth the 11 minute phone call!

    So in total, I spent 30 minutes on the phone and received $50.28 in credits. :-D

  10. SeemaNange says:

    Well you guys are lucky. I had a two day outage and after 7 phone calls, 6 chats and 13 promises, I am yet to see that credit. I have since moved on to a different house and yet to receive the refund for the mid-month move.

  11. closed_account says:

    Was the cable out or just the power?

    • Mr_D says:

      @chadbailey: Cable is a little useless when the power’s out, don’t you think? Even if it was on, should he be paying for service he didn’t use?

    • closed_account says:

      @chadbailey: No, it isn’t the cable company’s fault the power company cannot maintain their lines. If the service is there and it is not the cable companies fault he cannot use it that’s his problem. Whats next, calling asking for a credit because you went on vacation?

  12. cmdrsass says:

    I don’t think Comcast should issue credits when the power is out unless their service was out, too. The power being out is simply not their fault. Often, the service is still available to you if you have a backup power source. For example, when I lose power in blizzards, my backup generator kicks in and I can still enjoy cable tv and internet most of the time. They could use all the good PR they can get, though!

  13. AzaleaMachaon says:

    just for the record, comcast is issueing credits because their amps were offline, meaning there was no cable in huge sections of the city. Even after the power came back on, my cable was out a week until they got their amp fixed.

    And people who kiss corporate ass are tools.

  14. costanza007 says:

    Cox gave discounts because of Gustav, no calling required.

  15. cantthinkofone says:

    Wow, so even when Comcast does something good for their customers people still aren’t happy.

    We weren’t hit by the hurricane, but we’ve always been given credits by Comcast for loss of service. Come to think of it, each time it has been something on their end, though.

    And this isn’t just someone’s power going out. This was a hurricane. People affected by hurricanes are also protected from getting their health insurance canceled due to non payment. Should that also stop?

  16. wadewood says:

    live in Houston and also received credit for 5 days of outage. Both power and Comcast were down. I had generator and ran extension line to DVR and Cable/Phone modem. Comcast was not working even with power, so they owe credit. They could/should have powered their hubs with generators out in field.

  17. FaithHarpie says:

    The reason for the credit is because SERVICE was also out. Not just because of the hurricane. Per the COMCAST representatives there was a loss of service to multiple people because they bundled their services with the same power lines that were down. Many people had power but no service after the storm. Even now I have no service and it is one month after. And they still expect me to pay for service I didn’t have.

    This is not the fault of the customer, but the fault of the service.

  18. gocoogs4 says:

    After my power came back on, Comcast service was still out for 2 days. TV and internet. Comcast credited me for time without service.

    I was happy with my CSR, he was professional and took care of business. +1 for Comcast in this case!

  19. Cable and utility providers automatically provided credits or even skipped the billing cycle after Hurricane Katrina. Quite nice of them.

    I guess the killer Hurricanes are becoming more common so the automatic nice gestures will have to stop and now you have to ask for the credit. Kinda of sux if you just got Iked

  20. mom22bless says:

    Cable lines are along electric lines. Our electricity was out for a week and cable was out for 2 weeks with IKE. I called and got my credit. They have always had this policy though….it’s really nothing new. Also, if you have an appt and they are late (even by a min), they will give you a $20 credit.

    • closed_account says:

      We had I@mom22bless: Our lines are on the same damn poles too. Electric- out for a week. Cable- 2 days. I have a generator. I was able to use the service. I am not going to scam a company then it isnt their fault I couldnt use their service. Call your electric company and get damages from them for your cable. PS I hate Time Warner and have Dish because of this. I am just saying what is fair is fair.

  21. Suulia says:

    It is a very good idea to call right when your service goes out (if possible) so that we can issue proper credits and also report and/or verify the outage.

    I just talked to a customer who said she’s been having the same issue for EIGHT YEARS, and finally called us today about it. Sigh.

  22. closed_account says:

    It isn’t the cable company’s fault the power company cannot maintain their lines. If the service is there and it is not the cable company’s fault he cannot use it that’s his problem. Whats next, calling asking for a credit because you went on vacation?

    • Amethyst23 says:

      @chadbailey: Actually, depending on how long you are going on vacation Comcast does offer seasonal or vacation rates. Those who go on 3-6 month Vacations can have their services put on a vacation hold and it costs under 10 dollars a month!!! This is great! No disconnections or install fees!! Just a flip of a switch or click of a button!!!

  23. YamkaProteus says:

    I found a link to this program on our local newspaper. Comcast has now pulled the HTML notice page, but I bookmarked it and found it using Google cache view:

    Hurricane Ike Advisory
    For Comcast Customers in Texas

    http://64.233.183.104/search?q=cache:H3eKVKHobSgJ:www.comcast.com/Corporate/Customers/houston.html+Hurricane+Ike+Advisory+for+Comcast+Customers+in+Texas&hl=en

    When I called them, I was actually speaking to a troubleshooting technician for my HDTV digital cable service and mentioned that I would be calling back for a credit later. She took care of it herself immediately. She asked me how long my service had been down (broadband/digital cable) and I figured 2 1/2 weeks. Got an instant $50 credit on my next bill. Cool!

    So it really does work, but you need to reach out to them. They won’t do it automatically or tell you unless you ask.

    Also, as a Houston, Texas resident, by selected electricity provider (groans about THAT “pro-consumer” program here) is Reliant Energy.

    They were unable to read the meters during our “Ike Event” and are doing some voodoo to calculate our utility bills (like it really matters after being without power all those weeks).

    They promise to sort it all out over the next couple of bills, but are offering options to customers who want to get it more accurate with their own work.

    Quoting from an email I got from them:

    Your bill is based on estimated usage, which may be higher or lower than your actual usage for the past month. We want to assure you all estimated billings will be reconciled after normal meter read services resume. This could take at least 1 or 2 more billing cycles.

    As you recover from Ike, we are here to help and don’t want concerns about your electricity bills to add to your burdens. We have several options to support you during this extraordinary time including:

    • Average Billing – which can be implemented retroactively and provides you a 12 month average each bill, potentially lowering your current bill immediately.

    • Deferred Payment and extensions so that you can pay your current bill over time.

    Optional self meter read to help us estimate what you should pay until normal meter reading services resume. Go to reliant.com/selfread to submit your meter reading, or a representative can help walk you through one.

    Please contact one of our Customer Care Representatives via email, chat and phone (866-222-7100) today. We’re available to assist you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    That last one “self meter read” is pretty interesting.

    More here:

    http://www.reliant.com/en_US/Page/Shop/Public/misc_self_read_meter_ike_page.jsp?s.campaign=REM_ERCOT_SelfMeterReadIke

    Hope this helps others….

    Cheers!

    –Claus Valca

  24. YamkaProteus says:

    Oh…and because I have seen some comments along the lines of “if the power was out, it’s not the cable company’s fault.”

    True.

    However for the resourceful folks down here in the Ike “zone-of-hurt” here who ran generators in their backyards and powered a small TV along with their cable-equipment (converter box/broadband modem, etc.)….cable service really was interrupted during the timeframe and not even when “regular power” was restored did our Comcast service return. That took almost a week later.

    Thought I would point that out….

    Respectfully.

    -Claus V.

  25. SinisterMatt says:

    That’s downright neighborly of Comcast. Pity I don’t live in the Ike-damaged area (All we got was some rain and wind here in Dallas, pretty minor), nor do I have Comcast.

    Cheers!

  26. colinjay says:

    Before everyone gets all warm and fuzzy about Comcast, let me give you my story. I was without power for 16 days after Ike and tomorrow will be one month without cable or Internet. Comcast has continued to send bills threatening disconnection and with a 7$ late fee added even though they know I don’t have service. Two weeks ago when the power came on, the earliest appointment to get a tech out here was a week and a half out. He was here on Thursday for all of 30 min because the problem is at the pole. I haven’t seen any other Comcast trucks out here in a month. Comcast tells me that they cant issue credits until service is restored and that I may be responsible for the late fees. They said my service should be restored this week althoug they have been saying that every week for a month. They cannot and will not offer any other credits or compensation due to their inability to make timely repairs. My home business has been forced to relocate for the time being and I’m out a considerable sum. To say that I’m pissed wouldn’t begin to describe things. The cable is no big deal, but running my office out of Kinkos or Starbucks for the last month sucks and is losing both Comcast and myself big money.

  27. ZaharAnticlea says:

    As of today it has been 1 month 3 days that I have been without Comcast cable. The comment is not about hurricanes or credits for no service but the total incompetence of Comcast’s Customer Service. It is a Labyrinth of futility. I do not believe they even know the history of the problem with our lack of service as each time I call to even simply get an update none of them are aware of the past conversations or actions taken by previous CSR’s , “supervisors” or their Service Techs. They have absolutely no clue as to what is going on. Each time I must start over even though we have had no signal coming down the line for over a month this being confirmed by 4 service techs on 4 sepearate service calls, the phone tech wants me to go through the troubleshooting matrix again and again…unplug your box..we’ll send a refresh signal etc. I have spoken ad nauseum with various comcast service levels all to no avail. The last one somewhere in India asked me once again to turn on my TV to check for a signal, when I said i would not do It as I have no signal he was confused and said “But sir we must follow procedure.” I asked him to enter into his computer that Comcast procedure sucks, and thanked him for his time at a very high decibel level. They know where the line break is and “the supervisor” has been advised over and over again of it’s location. Last time after almost an hour on the phone I got some sort of supervisor who clacked away on his keyboard telling me he was sending out a tech that could handle the type of repair needed ( Tech #4) he was indeed the same fella as tech number 2 who announced to me once again “I have no signal.” He once again told me he has contacted his supervisor and it should be fixed “today”… which was yesterday and which was the same thing he told me two weeks ago. As of today October15,2008 the line is still not fixed.
    O, and although the quality of the picture has improved here in my part of town the last two previous months the customer service reps are for the most part on par with eunuch’s in their ability to take care of business. My conclusion Comcast Sucks, always has and will continue to, what else would you expect from a bunch of eunuch’s anyway?

  28. Anonymous says:

    What other company would give you a credit during a hurricane? When Katrina and Wilma hit, I did not recieve one credit when my AT&T phone was out for a week, but Comcast gave me a credit.