Cox Agrees To Remove Undisclosed Charge, Then Changes Their Mind Without Saying Anything

Cox told reader Don that they would waive a $55 service fee they hadn’t previously disclosed, but then changed their mind without telling him. Now Cox is telling Don that if he pays the $55, they’ll return it to him as a credit next month. Yeah, sure they will. Should Don trust them?

Don writes:

For 2 weeks we’ve been out of town due to a death in the family (Cox was real sympathetic) and this morning I got a phone call because my cable/broadband bill hasn’t been paid. I called to pay it and it was way higher than it should have been.

That’s because (2 months ago) Cox charged me $55 to come put a connector on the cable in the living room of my new apartment. When I called them to tell them there was no connector on the end of the cable, they scheduled an appointment for the following day. They didn’t mention the $55 charge. (If they had, I’d have spent the money instead on a nice crimping tool and a bunch of connectors – and taken my wife to dinner with the remainder.)

When I called them a month ago to ask why my bill was so high and they told me about this $55 charge, I complained, but not for long – they were quick to remove the charge right away. At the time I thought that they must do this all the time, and when people complain, they quickly reverse the fee. I wonder how much money they make doing that?

When I asked this morning why my bill was so high again, and they again brought up the $55 charge, I again complained and they again offered to remove the charge. I mentioned my feeling of deja vu and was told that last month, a supervisor had disallowed the credit after my call, (not that anyone bothered to inform me,) claiming that I had known about the $55 charge.

Hey, Cox – you know that call you recorded for quality control? Why don’t you take a listen?

It gets better. Turns out they won’t actually remove that $55 charge – they want me to pay it, then they’ll credit me next month. (Yeah, sure they will.) No way, I said, not gonna happen. Next I was given the option of simply subtracting the $55 from the total bill – but I’d have to use the automated system or pay a $4 fee.

Well, guess what? The automated system won’t take a payment for less than the ‘minimum amount due’. Tomorrow a Cox supervisor is going to get an earful. Hope you’ll alert people to Cox’s sleazy little service call scam.

(Photo: coconut wireless)

Comments

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  1. PLATTWORX says:

    I am lost as to why you ar “calling” to pay your bill and if you have broadband why you have not been logging on to your account on Cox’s web site to make sure the promised credit was applied.

    Also, are you not receiving a paper bill either? I am unsure why you need to keep calling Cox to ask why your bill is “too high” when you should be able to read the bill yourself, see the $55 charge originally, see it was not credited, etc.

    • Wombatish says:

      @PLATTWORX: He said he was out of town…. no access to a computer maybe?

      Also, even if he saw the problem online or on the paper bill, he would still have to call to ask about it….

      I’m sorry, but I guess I don’t get your comment.

    • Verucalise (Est.February2008) says:

      @PLATTWORX: Maybe an automated system called with a “friendly reminder” that he was late paying his bill of (insert amount here). The amount seemed off, so he decided to call and ask about the charges before paying the bill.

      I believe it was a smart move on his end. Sure, he should of kept tabs on the credit but lets face reality. He was at A FUNERAL and the last thing on his mind would be that credit.

      On a side note, your comment still doesn’t address the credit being given, then taken away. Then their shotty ass attempt to get him to pay the full bill first and their statement of “We’ll give you a credit next month”. If they couldn’t give a credit THIS month what makes him think they’ll give it next month? They could turn around and say “You paid the bill, you acknowledged the $55 fee.”

      @Wombatish: I agree, I’m a little confused as well.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Ok, well he was charged because Cox had to pay a tech to go out to his house to fix an issue that has nothing to do with them. If you wonder why its not their issue, its for the same reason he stated that he could fix it himself. He was offered credit because the CSR did not want to hear him complain. He was denied credit because this was not Cox’s issue. Finally, they told him that he would be credited on next months bill most likely because the bill amount is already due and those are the limitations of whatever software they are using or due to a company policy. If he doesn’t trust them, he can call them up and check to see if there is a credit posted. He hit the nose on the fact that the calls are recorded and the company is most likely liable for the information given out by their CSRs.

  3. bones11 says:

    You don’t have to pay it. You can make a payment for the balance owed minues the $55. The reason they can’t credit it until the next month is because your current statement has already printed and been mailed out to you. More than likely it is in your hands, how do you expect a representative to change something that’s already been mailed out?? You either pay the full amount and your next month’s bill is significantly less or your pay the amount minus $55.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @bones11: I had the same problem with DirecTV. They tacked on a fee for something I had replaced, but ended up not using. I sent their equipment back, and when my statement came, I saw that they had charged me shipping and handling, and had used sneaky language to assure me that my replacement request was “free”…they neglected to differentiate that the equipment was free, sending it was not. Jerks. So when I got the extra $20 fee I called and they said they would credit my account. I went ahead and paid the full amount with the fee. Next month, I’m expecting the credit to be reflected. Nope.

      I called and had them change it right there, on the spot, and got e-mail confirmation of it AND went to the main menu to get my account balance over the phone to confirm it had been changed.

  4. tortcat says:

    Seems to me I would have simply picked up a $3 piece of coax

    • Charlotte Rae's Web says:

      @tortcat: Maybe you are more handy than the average joe or the OP. The OP clearly says he didn’t know there was a charge or he would have done it himself.

      Personally I can do certain things if I HAVE it but if they are included as part of the service I’m paying for while not incurring additional costs, I’d definitely let a professional do it for me.

      Either way, what’s done is done and the issue is the $55.

  5. calchip says:

    Comcast is famous for this sort of thing. A friend of mine has had repeated service and billing problems with them for months. Almost every month, he calls in to get credit, and someone issues the credit… but then, somebody else reverses the credit, and the next month the bill is even higher. He calls and repeats the process, again gets the credit (along with a promise it won’t be reversed) and once again the credit gets reversed.

    Even Bank of America is starting to do this. Their reps promise credits but then, when it doesn’t appear, you call back and “someone else reversed the credit.”

    I think it’s a new way of getting the customer off the phone, and hoping they either won’t call back, or will eventually get tired of arguing and give up.

  6. 2719 says:

    I guess service calls are not free! Seriously do any of you expect free service calls?

    • evilmage says:

      @2719:

      Yes. Time Warner here in central NY service calls are free.

    • deadspork says:

      @2719: I think we expect to be informed if the service calls are not free. That is all.

    • kc2idf says:

      @2719: If I am not now a customer, and will be as soon as they attach a 99 cent plug to the cable that I did not damage, then hell yeah.

      When I moved to my current home, Time-Warner came by, looked at my setup, and not only installed plugs, but even an entire run of cable for me from the grounding block to my home office where my cable modem is located — all for free. If they want my custom, they will set it up, or I’ll go somewhere else.

      Incidentally, I get my TV from Dish, because Time-Warner wanted to charge an activation fee. They also wanted to charge too much. Their Internet service is second to none in this area (Sorry, Verizon, you’re just no there yet, even with FiOS) but their TV service is too expensive.

  7. ScottRose says:

    (If they had, I’d have spent the money instead on a nice crimping tool and a bunch of connectors – and taken my wife to dinner with the remainder.)

    Hah, for a “nice” crimp tool your wife better be paying for dinner..

    But in all seriousness, I applaud that DIY attitude. (Of course Cox should have terminated that cable properly to begin with and should not have charged you).

  8. fireman2 says:

    I had Cox come out I carry their insurance they can fix everything. Got them out here they found the problem said it was the box they put on the house. My tv was lines through it he changed the box and seen some wires on the house with wire nuts and and taped said that was the trouble. not. Then he said he would check the pole walked out to the pole to big to get up there so he did not. So he got a tv from his truck hooked it up right from the pole and the same trouble was there. And he said that looks good. I am not stupid. He put the new box on and fixed the trouble. Then they charged me for a service call of $20.00 I told them I got insurance she I know that is why you got a discount of half. And I ask when did you start charging for service calls she said oh for 2 years and past. I said I never got charged before. And this was your trouble not mine. She said she would take it off nextmonths bill. Bull all lies, This whole world is nothing but lies any more.