Comcast Would Rather Have Me Switch Than Give Me A Deal

Reader Courtney was on a promotional plan with Comcast that she didn’t know about, so when it expired she was unhappy to find out that Comcast would rather let her switch to the competition than give her a deal.

Courtney writes to Comcast:

I’ve been a Comcast customer at my current address since June 2008. We were initially on a new-customer promotion that ended in June 2009; once that happened, I called Comcast & spoke with a representative about our options for bringing our monthly bill down a bit. I don’t remember the specifics of the conversation a year later, but I believe we gave up a few premium channels, ultimately ending up with a package that served our needs while remaining within our budget.

I hadn’t even thought about this until several days ago, when I went to pay our monthly Comcast bill & noticed it had gone up by about $20 from the previous month. I assumed it was some kind of easily correctable error, but when I followed up with Comcast I learned that apparently we’d been on some kind of promotional rate for June 2009-10, which has now expired. I discussed this issue first with an online chat representative, & while I was disappointed when he told me nothing could be done about the price increase, I figured I’d have better luck once I spoke with someone in person. However, after following up via phone with a frontline service representative, a retention specialist, & finally with a retention supervisor, the consensus seems to be that Comcast would rather I switch to RCN’s version of the same package than restore my account to the previous pricing.

I completely understand that many of Comcast’s prices have a lifespan; I wouldn’t be so frustrated if I’d had any idea that our package had an expiration date. Even the Comcast representative I spoke with acknowledged that nothing on my bill indicated that I was receiving a special promotional rate, & the person I spoke with back in June 2009 certainly didn’t mention this either. Unfortunately, this means that from my perspective, Comcast has arbitrarily hiked its prices by $240/year for our household, & I need to accept that if I want to remain their customer.

Everyone I spoke with—all of whom were very helpful & sympathetic to my situation—told me that no one had the power to bring my bill back to its original rate. Since we are on a really tight budget, & simply cannot afford to pay an extra $20/month for services we’d already accounted for, this means we can no longer be Comcast customers. I don’t want to switch to RCN; in addition to the hassle, I’m not confident that they’d have the same level of service that we’ve enjoyed from Comcast. We just don’t have a choice.

…Unless you guys can fix this. This whole situation feels like a silly reason to lose a customer, & I’m hoping that perhaps you have some authority that the retention specialists do not.

We’ve never had RCN, is Courtney right to be worried that they will be worse than Comcast? We seem to have found the first truly satisfied Comcast customer and they’re kicking her out the door.

Oh, Comcast!

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. Poisson Process says:

    I just switched to AT&T DSL for the same reason. When the promo rate runs out, I’ll switch back, and forth and back and….

    • craptastico says:

      in the old days i used to do this with long distance phone service. unfortunately it seems like their business model rewards constantly switching. i’m sure they figure most people are too azy to go through the hassle.

  2. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    The representatives you are talking to are wrong when they say no one can help you. They are told to say that in the hopes you’ll bend over. Someone can make it better, you just have to find the right person and find out how to get to him/her.

    If Comcast is advertising a promotional offer in your area for new customers, you should be able to get it even if you’re an existing customer.

    • Tightlines says:

      Yep. This happened to me one time. I threatened to switch to Verizon; no dice with the supervisor I was on the phone with. I hung up, called back, and spoke to someone completely different who was more than happy to cut my bill in half.

      • stevejust says:

        I quit cable once. Successfully. They had finally called my bluff. I was to be cable free.

        Then about 3 days later they called and offered me a reduced rate and a $50 gift card to come back to them. I hadn’t even taken the cable box and modem back yet, so I said, “sure.”

    • nova3930 says:

      Last time we had a promo run out, I just called and said I wanted to find a way to cut the bill down and the service rep found a way to keep my same level of service and cut $60/month off. I didn’t even have to threaten to switch.

    • tbax929 says:

      Call and threaten to cancel. Their retention folks will knock some money off your package.

      • Egat says:

        Except that in this case she spoke to a front-line retention agent and a retention supervisor…

    • barty says:

      This only really works if you live in an area where there is a real option to Comcast. If the local marketer knows there is no one else you can really turn, you’ll likely get nowhere with them.

  3. Nemtynakht says:

    Our bill doubled when our RCN promotional plan – that we also hadn’t realized we were on – ended after a year. We spent hours, literally hours, on the phone with RCN trying to get a better deal. Eventually they gave us another promotional plan that brought our bill down (with fewer premium channels) to a more reasonable rate.

    Also, if you are considering their internet service, we’ve had significantly lower speeds than promised. (They promise “up to 10mbps!” and we typically get 1.5-2.) We did complain about that, many time, and eventually get a newer and faster modem, but RCN is no picnic. We would have switched to Time Warner, except they charge an installation fee that we weren’t willing to pay.

  4. milqtost says:

    We went through this last year and even tried the over hyped “executive customer service.” I explained that if they couldn’t just adjust the account to match the current promotional rates, I’d cancel and someone else in the house would sign up with a different name. We’d end up with the same rate we were asking for, but they’d be out a phone number we ported off, the cost of a truck roll (typically $70) and the $200 “new service rebate” they were offering new customers. They declined with a canned response and we made good on the promise that same day.

    If only satellite could figure out a way to not have a box on every tv (or every other tv) in the house, I’d be all over them.

    • Randell says:

      Bcs Y dsrv t hv whtvr th fck Y wnt frm cmpn. Th WRLD rvlvs rnd Y. Slfsh rrgnt prcks lk y r wh cbl rts r s hgh fr vrybd.

      • common_sense84 says:

        What is wrong with you. People will pay only so much for a service. Raising rates = people may not be able to justify the cost.

        It’s the risk comcast takes. Since they work this way, most people must pay the higher rate. But there will always be people who cannot. If they don’t accommodate these people, they lose them.

      • craptastico says:

        you really need to relax. i’ve seen 3 or 4 replies by you today and everyone of them is peppered with swear words and CAPS to try to express your anger. you shouldn’t let things that don’t really affect you get you so worked up.

      • Narmical says:

        If cable relay was worth the price they want to charge for it. they would not need introductory rates or rebates to get new customers. No one is calling Coca-Cola and asking for reduced rates, i wonder why.

        • pythonspam says:

          Maybe because Bob’s Choice Cola tastes different than Coke. Switching to a different cable company gets you to the same ABC, CNN, ESPN, and HSN and theoretically the same internet (although there is no telling if the Comcast/NBC deal goes through).

  5. nodaybuttoday says:

    I’ve had similar issues before and they told me that if I switched my cable, I’d get charged extra for just having internet and since I NEED cable internet (Fios isn’t available in my area), I stayed with them. A month later I called again and there was another promo available.

    • weestrom says:

      Ahh the interesting definition of NEED.

      • eddieck says:

        I know, right? It’s not like some jobs require you to VPN in and do office work from home.

    • GameHen says:

      I had the same issue. They had me on a promo rate for $10 per month basic tv. If I canceled, my internet rate would go up by $10. Well, the promo rate expired and the 1 hour a night I spend watching the news while making dinner just isn’t worth paying that much for. I canceled tv service altogether. Since I work from home full-time, my employer pays for the Internet fee.

  6. dbeahn says:

    “I don’t want to switch to RCN; in addition to the hassle, I’m not confident that they’d have the same level of service that we’ve enjoyed from Comcast….”

    And that is what Comcast is counting on. That you’d rather pay more money than switch.

    In the end, really, the complaint is that you don’t want to pay the regular, real price for the service you were getting. While I understand that as a consumer, I find it to be a bad argument. “I want what I want but not at the price that it costs!”

    You can call and keep talking to Comcast, but if I understand this right, the OP got the initial 1 year deal, then got a second year of discount pricing on top of that, and now feels entitled to those lower prices. If you want the better prices, the “cost” is that (as a previous commenter noted) that you have to switch back and forth every year.

    • Marshmelly says:

      “I want what I want but not at the price that it costs!”

      Not that it matters, but the actual price of what cable connection costs is significantly lower than the cost set by Comcast (and other cable companies)…which they basically just pull out of their ass. :)

      I think what the real issue is is that they didn’t inform the customer that they were actually on any kind of discounted plan (let alone one that lasted for just a year) and then all of a sudden they tell her that her discount is over and raise the price. Its just a really bad business practice. They should have listed somewhere in her statement that she was receiving the discount or at least told her on the phone the first time. They could honestly just use that excuse every year as a way to raise prices for people, which I really wouldn’t put it past Comcast to do.

      • Randell says:

        She admits there is competition in her area, so why shouldn’t a business be allowed to raise their prices? If she were in an area with a monopoly or it were a NECESSARY utility it would make sense that she has some “right” to know, but last I checked cable was not a necessity, and since Comcast bills in advance, she is free to cancel before she would even owe them the increased rate.
        To say she did not know she was on a promotional rate is not supported by the facts. She called in AFTER her first promotional rate, and they gave her a new discounted rate. She readily admits that.

        I bought a Ford Mustang for $8000 at one time. Should I be able to walk into a dealership now and say I want to pay $8000 for one now?

        • Marshmelly says:

          “She called in AFTER her first promotional rate, and they gave her a new discounted rate. She readily admits that.”

          They didn’t tell her at all that this was a “discounted” rate nor did they tell her that it was only in effect for a year. She was under the assumption that it was her new regular rate that they had negotiated. Perhaps it was a miscommunication on behalf of the rep who didn’t really communicate to her that the price was only for a year, which they should have done. Of course a business should be able to raise their prices, but then just tell the customer that the prices are being raised to $XX starting on such and such date. Don’t tell them that they were on some “promotional discount” that has ended.

        • coren says:

          To say she did know about her discounted rate is at least equally supported.

          And sure they’re allowed to raise rates, just like she’s allowed to stop service.

    • chargernj says:

      The “real price” is whatever price you can negotiate for yourself.

  7. marcusj42 says:

    At least in my area, once you have been off Comcast for 3 months, they go back to considering you a new customer, making you eligible for discounts again. So, buckle down and deal with their competitor for three months (or make due with Hulu and Netflix), then give Comcast a ring around Halloween and ask what specials they have running.

    The competitor might also offer you all kinds of extra promos because you are currently a Comcast subscriber. That’s great, but read the fine print and ask for up front discounts instead of rebates – I played this game between Comcast and AT&T for internet service and it was a long process and huge headache to get some of those AT&T rebates.

  8. tomcat1483 says:

    Same thing happened to me. I was on some “promotional rate” and then they have jacked up my prices by more than $20. I call in say I want a lower rate. Comcast rep says nothing she can do. I ask to be transferred to someone who can or to the cancelation / retention dept. This is a trick that usually works well the rep says, “oh that’s no longer a dept, if you wish to cancel service I can help you right now” Arghhh there is no where I can go to get a better deal? So much for this NBC / Comcast merger making things cheaper for consumers it’s a bunch of crap.

  9. warf0x0r says:

    They don’t want to do anymore more negotiating. They want to charge you a flat rate and then steadily increase that rate.

    Comon people it’s not a swap meet. It’s not like they’re just selling you data access and you can determine what data you pull down. No, they have pre-packaged programming you must buy as they say. There’s no system that just lets you get data and you pick what precise items/programs you want. What kind of system would… OOOHHHHH.

  10. whogots is "not computer knowledgeable" says:

    I hate to suggest this because Comcast offices are kinda … third-world … but take a long lunch hour and go to the office. I was about to churn last year because of an order that was bungled in at least six separate and unrelated ways. Nobody on the phone gave a rat’s ass on rye, but the folks at the office cut my bill significantly after I explained why I wanted to return my receiver and have my account put back the way it had been before the order.

  11. bennilynn says:

    We negotiated for lower rates with our cable company over the course of about 8 months after our new customer promotional rate went away. It was okay, but still fairly high.

    Eventually, though, my roommate and I decided to drop cable altogether. Considering the strange hours we both work, it just wasn’t worth it, not when we’d turn on the TV and find infomercial after infomercial on. I refuse to pay for commercials. We kept the basic stations (1-13) since our TV is old and kept the Internet on. It was a little annoying at first, but I’m used it now. Amazing how much more time I have on my hands these days. It’s kind of nice.

    • redskull says:

      Amen! I dropped cable a year ago (I have 6 or 7 over the air channels) and it’s amazing how much extra time I had. And even more amazing how little I missed cable. People think they have to have it, but you honestly really don’t need it.

    • sheriadoc says:

      I just dropped cable about a month ago myself. I can honestly say that I don’t miss it. And I get to save ~$60/month!

  12. Tim says:

    I considered getting RCN instead of Comcast, but Comcast negotiated the price I wanted, so I stuck with them.

    I don’t think RCN is as good as Comcast is with specials and all. And you might have to sign an annual contract. And my girlfriend has ABC HD drop out every once in a while on RCN (really annoying when Lost was on).

  13. damageinc says:

    Cancel your service and have your husband sign up as new customer with the promo rate. I’ve been doing this for years with my roommates and have never paid anything but promo prices for my Time Warner. It only takes 3 months before you are a new customer in TW’s system, and they go by SSN, not address.

    At one point when I was cancelling I tried telling them I was only doing it so my roommate could sign up as a new customer, so why not just extend my promo rate another year and save the overhead, but they still wouldn’t do it.

  14. sonneillon says:

    Verizon FIOS is awesome. But as with Comcast you have to call them every year and haggle.

  15. Kishi says:

    Well, that’s pretty much their prerogative. No one goes to the grocery store with a coupon and then, the next time they go shopping, complains that the clerk wouldn’t give them $0.30 of Fancy Feast again, just because they did last time.

    They’re usually very clear that these packages expire after six months or a year. Next time, you may need to read the details more carefully.

    • Marshmelly says:

      “They’re usually very clear that these packages expire after six months or a year. Next time, you may need to read the details more carefully.”

      No. They aren’t. It was listed nowhere in her statement whatsoever. I know this because I had the same thing happen…a promo deal I was on but no listing of it in my billing statement at all. The only reason I had an idea I was on a promo plan was because one of the 5 reps I spoke to originally to get my internet service set up (which was a big fiasco in and of itself) mentioned something about the promo deal very quickly, but not why I was getting it or when it would end…so its entirely plausible that the person they talked to didn’t say a thing to her about it.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      But Fancy Feast doesn’t have competitors saying “use our cat food instead and for the next six months we’ll give you that $0.30 off coupon” so the analogy is invalid.

      Cable comapanies are fighting tooth and nail for marketshare (albeit against sometimes only one other competitor in a given area). Both sides offer promotional rates and are generally always willing to offer them at any time. Based on the myriad number of articles to support this claim, it should be expected that Comcast would offer the OP something to keep her there if she asked.

  16. Red Cat Linux says:

    OP has to make a decision and stick to it.

    Does Comcrap piss her off more than switching to a new provider?

    If the answer is yes, be prepared to switch. On the spot. It’s always good to have this decision in your pocket before you call. I got continual reductions from Comcast until a separate series of incidents torqued me to the point where I finally made a call, not about reducing the rate, but a flat out call to cancel the service.

  17. rich says:

    Same think just happened to us. Seems like a couple years ago, all you had to do was ask for a promo rate from Comcast and got it. Then more recently you had to threaten to cancel and they’d give it to you. And now, they are not offering anything to retain customers…when I asked them, they said, point-blank, “a lot of people have been threatening to cancel just to get a new promo rate and don’t mean it.” I told them that I did, in fact, mean it and now we’re with Directv. I was extremely happy with Comcast, but didn’t see the point in paying more for the same package we’d get with Directv…plus I won’t have to try haggling over price for a couple years now. But who knows, in 2 years I’ll probably run into the same stuff with them and switch back.

    • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

      “a lot of people have been threatening to cancel just to get a new promo rate and don’t mean it.”

      Probably because sites like Consumerist keep telling people to do that, and they’re so inundated with requests where people back down that they know it’s a sham in most cases.

  18. dush says:

    That’s weird. That last year and a half I’ve called up Comcast every six months and they give me a new promotional discount that’s been at least $20 off the regular price and lasts 6 months.
    I’ve just asked if there are any discounts available and they say yes.

  19. Link_Shinigami says:

    Wasn’t Comcast the one with the twitter guys stalking for unhappy customers? Just saying, if that is them, smack them up there. They seem to be the fixers… If I remember the company right

    • Marshmelly says:

      And not even just Twitter. I wrote something in my personal blog about ending my Comcast service, and I got a comment on my post from them saying “sorry to see you go” etc etc…O_o haha. They really do stalk out every mention of Comcast on the internet. If only they were as helpful when I actually need something done.

  20. Sir Winston Thriller says:

    A co-worker was very vocal–“Anyone know a better alternative to #COMCAST? Bill too high!”–on twitter. Someone from Comcast monitoring Twitter got him a better deal.

    • BurtReynolds says:

      Wow. Finally a use for Twitter. I think I’ll create an account and send a message to Verizon and Progressive.

  21. Dover says:

    Boo hoo. You might have luck with the retention folks when you call to cancel; if not, that’s the way the market works. Be thankful you have the option of switching, many consumers have only one cable provider available.

  22. IphtashuFitz says:

    Try sending an e-mail to their executive support department at We_Can_Help@cable.comcast.com. I had a technical problem a few weeks ago that I knew Comcast could fix remotely, but their front line drones were useless and after a few minutes only offered to send a tech out. I didn’t want to waste my time & money on that so I sent an e-mail to that address with the specifics of the problem. Within 24 hours they had resolved my issue remotely without me even needing to be home, and had also given me a 2 week credit for the hassle. If anybody can give you back that promotional rate or something similar they can.

  23. Stella says:

    Had the same thing happen with DirectTV–except they were more than happy (after a little escalation) to knock $25 of the $30 increase off my bill. Easy as pie!

  24. Jonwain says:

    I just had the same thing happen. My $19.99 promo rate for internet only ran out and my bill jumped to almost $70 a month. I called and asked if there was another promo rate or special I was eligible for, and they said, “no, we don’t let people do that anymore.” I asked what my options were if I didn’t want to pay that much and they said I could cancel at anytime. I said lets make that time now, and I signed up with Qwest DSL that same day.

  25. hewhoroams says:

    Comcast has apparently been cracking down on handing out promo deals beyond the initial 12 months. I’ve been hopping around for years, and finally they said enough when my current one expired. Someone in retentions told me they are really trying to stop this deal hopping and being more strict about extending 12 month promotional deals

    • COBBCITY says:

      I have heard and experienced that too. Sadly, in our area, it seems Comcast and all it’s competitors have decided “$99″ is the price they are all going to charge for internet, phone and TV service bundled together and if you try to drop one, it’s even more expensive. SO, when you drop off the Comcast promotion (which was $79) you really don’t have much to save by leaving.

  26. COBBCITY says:

    1. While I too have had issues with Comcast, there are e-mail addresses on this site to send a EECB. Comcast responds immediately to those. I just went through this and was able to keep my bill the same.

    2. Comcast bills DO say “Your promotional offer will end with the next invoice. However, your services will remain the same at the current price for that package.” Did the OP read the PRIOR bill? It sounds like she did not even notice the $20 increase until she went to pay the bill, which meant it sat around unread for a few weeks.

    3. What is the ending “…Unless you guys can fix this.”?? The Consumerist staff is expecting to pick up the phone, call Comcast and fix the problem?? I use this site to find ways to contact companies and resolve my own issues… not hand them off.

    • Link_Shinigami says:

      Reread it.

      It was admit that there was no indication anywhere that it was a promo offer. Had they pointed that out and he confirmed it, I imagine there would have been a light bulb moment. Wait, it took me 30 seconds, he even confirms had there been a end date on this, he wouldn’t care.

    • strawberryjam says:

      I think Consumerist has stepped in on behalf in the past, but I don’t know if it’s a regular occurrence.

      That is what we do though, at ConsumerBell – intervene on the customer’s behalf and escalate it.

      (disclaimer – I work for them. They’ve featured a couple of our stories.)

  27. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    So where’s Comcast Steve or whatever that guy was that always responds to Comcast complaints on Consumerist??

    Where are you, man? Won’t you make it right for this customer?

  28. NeverLetMeDown says:

    How is this an issue. You want a product. You’re willing to pay X. Comcast sells that product, and wants Y. If you’re not willing to pay Y, and they’re not willing to charge X, then switch.

  29. Vermifuge says:

    When i called to quit comcast “retentions” offerd me a free year of 16MB internet and a promo price on the tv service. But this was in response ro U-verse.

  30. DianeSaysWORD says:

    Ok I’m a little confused. Now granted, I don’t know anything about RCN (I have Cablevision and I LOVE them), but considering all the epically horrible things I’ve heard about Comcast, how bad could they really be? I think the OP should give them a chance and if she’s not happy, just switch back. I’m sure by the time she gives RCN fair shot, Comcast will be considering her a “new customer” and will be thrilled to give her a deal. Besides, it’s not like you’re in a contract with any of these companies…are you?

  31. areaman says:

    It may not be the best way to get there but moving on from the WCIA is a net gain.

  32. Xtopher says:

    We’ve had Comcast and RCN. In my city, they compete for business (how novel!) and since I had a bad experience with Comcast’s service, we tried RCN. The cable service is a bit better (picture quality seems better, channels don’t drop as much or get blocky), the On Demand is WAY WAY worse and the internet speeds are much faster. So, it’s a trade-off, but what really gets to me is that we haven’t had a single bill be correct since we’ve been an RCN customer.

    If you tweet @RCNConnects to complain, they tell you to email Help_Me_RCN@rcn.net. When I email that address, I do get a usually a

  33. ConsumerPop says:

    I have RCN–my apt building gets us a crazy discount and i was tired of paying over $100 for Direct TV. Never had an issue with their customer service. Any time I have called them about an issue they have resolved it immediately.

  34. Southern says:

    This is the boat I’m about to find myself in.. I *hate* Comcast’s cable service, but I *LOVE* their Internet speed (~30Megabit/sec).

    Still, my bill went up $50 once my promotions expired, and I literally HATE their DVR. It’s the biggest POS I’ve ever used. Locks up all the time, you hit FF and it takes 10 seconds to start, etc., etc.

    I love AT&T’s U-Verse though.. But I’m not wild about their Internet Speed.

    *Sigh*

    Guess I just need to bite the bullet and get it over with. If I thought Comcast would drop me back down to the promotional rate I had when I started I might stick with ‘em, but I’ve been hearing a lot of people say that they just don’t do that anymore.

  35. Traveshamockery says:

    I had to do the same to save my “promotional rate” with Insight. It was clear that the people answering the phone were not empowered to solve my problem, and ultimately a polite but firm letter to the CEO was required to get them to retain my business.

    DirecTV makes it so easy in comparison…one reason I’ll never go back to cable TV.

  36. MercuryPDX says:

    They’re apparently calling your bluff Courtney… so switch or don’t.

    I knew this would happen eventually. [sighroll]

    • svengali84 says:

      The problem is that a lot of people know about retention now, so they call up and threaten to cancel. Unfortunately that has forced Comcast and other companies to let some customers go in exchange for calling other customers’ bluffs. They know some people won’t go through the hassle of switching.

  37. MedicallyNeedy says:

    I mark my calendar to call to cancel a month ahead of the expiration of a 6 month promotion. You have to speak to somebody in retention. Hang up and call someone else if your not happy with the deal. We settle on a new promotion. I get hit with an increase anyway. They tell me they have not record of the call. I give them operator numbers, names and phone call times and it has been working out. I make sure they know I have the dish antenna wire and box ready to hook up. 3G will have to suffice for broudband internet until 4G comes around. I use google voice for long distance. (you no longer need an invite http://www.google.com/voice ) For less then $110 I get internet, dual tuner HD dvr, HBO, SHO, STRZ, ENCORE. I’m told you can call any time for a new promo and i’m not locked in. I can cancel at any time.

  38. milrtime83 says:

    “Comcast Would Rather Have Me Switch Than Give Me A Deal”

    And they can do this because most places have few, if any, viable companies to switch to.

  39. Hooray4Zoidberg says:

    People have been doing the “I’ll switch to [other company] if you don’t lower my rates” for years now. These tactics only work for a short while until they start showing up on blogs like this. Companies catch on and crack down on it because every single caller uses the same spiel. Example, “let me speak to a supervisor” used to work every time, now whenever I try it with any company they tell me none are available.

    So now just threatening to switch and having them lower your bill probably won’t work, you’ll have to actually switch and wait a few months until you start getting junk mail from Comcast inviting you to swtich back at a promo rate. Just be thankful you have the option, Comcast is my only choice and they pretty much just laugh at me whenever I mention my rate being too high.

    • El Matarife says:

      This is where the beauty of the chat rooms come in. They can’t kick you out of the chat or close the chat on you because you have a written record of exactly what happened.

  40. rinehj says:

    You know what you need to do, drop Comcast and get DirecTV. I have had them for almost 10 yrs now. About every 6 months I call and note how they are offering all these special deals for new customers but what are they going to do for me, a loyal customer. It never fails that they will throw in some movie channels free for 6 months or half off. I know that some dont care for DirecTV but from all the horror stories I have heard about Time Warner and other cable outlets, I have never had to worry about anything with them.

  41. nyCecilia says:

    Similar problem, Comcast bought our local cable/internet company and offered a “matching” rate. A year later, when suddenly and without warning my bill DOUBLED (to something like $250/mo), I was told that my previous rate was only a “promotion.” After trying to negotiate a reasonable rate–since I wasn’t a “new” customer, I apparently wasn’t allowed their $99/cable+internet+phone deals. I canceled cable altogether, but kept the $50/mo cable internet (not a lot of good options living on an island, but still looking).

    If they’d rather not have my business at all, then I’d rather not give it to ‘em. Where is the regulation for these monopolies????

  42. backinpgh says:

    I have found that Comcast people are less and less likely to adjust your rate when you threaten to switch. Although sometimes if you talk to enough different people you’ll get some kind of deal. It all depends on how persistent you are.

  43. backinpgh says:

    Or you can play the same game my husband and I play…sign up for the promo rate and when it expires cancel service and sign up in the other person’s name. It helps that I don’t have the same last name though.

  44. Awesome McAwesomeness says:

    When TWC hiked our rate by $20 a month (basically by 25% without giving us anything new for it) we dropped them. I won’t even negotiate with a company that pulls crap like that. We just stream Netflix and check out 3 at a time. We have a ton of shows to watch now. Plus, I am reading way more instead of watching TV. Did I mention this saves us about $60 a month?

  45. dolemite says:

    I’m going to run into this soon. We’ve got:
    Basic
    Digital
    DVR
    6MB internet

    with Comcast and the bill was running around $140 a month last year. They gave me internet for $19.95 which brought the bill down to $115 a month. If they don’t have any deals in August, I might have to keep their internet and give dish network a try for tv. I want to just drop cable and use Hulu/netflix, but the wife won’t go for it.

  46. KPS2010 says:

    Just switched to ATT yesterday because of this. Retention to cut cable didn’t give a damn and yesterday I called to cut the $60 internet price for not having cable. They just said what day do you want it disconnected and gave me a total. If it went up $20 I would have stayed but mine went from $94 to over $150 after the promos ended. not excited about DSL but damn does it feel good knowing I never have to deal with comcast again. What;s funny is I’m getting basci cable still just using my roof antenna for free on my HDTV. hahaha

  47. lain1k says:

    Same thing happened to me with Time Warner and FIOS. I told time warner that FIOS was just installed in our area and offered better speed for a cheaper/comparable price. I never threatened or was rude to the CSR. I asked what they could do for me because I would prefer not to switch. I was told that there were no promotions and I would have to wait a couple months and maybe there would be a promotion available. I told the representative I was not going to wait and maybe get a deal in a couple months, it just didn’t make sense. I kept getting “Sir, there is nothing we can do for you. You will have to wait until [month or two] to see if there is any deals available” over and over again. I told them I would have to cancel because fiscally it just didn’t make sense. I hung up, called verizon and got FIOS. Called Time Warner back and cancelled my cable. Once I cancelled I got 3 calls a day for a week from Time Warner asking me to come back and giving me comparable deals. That point the hassle of switching with the horrible customer service wasn’t worth anything I would have saved.

  48. BuyerOfGoods3 says:

    Go ahead and quit ‘em – that’s what I did..long ago.

  49. skokielad says:

    Not sure where Courtney is located but I think your RCN experience may vary depending on location. We’re in the Chicago suburbs and RCN is fine. It’s not without it’s occasional hiccups of course, but overall it’s pretty reliable. Enough for us to depend on it for pretty much every networked service coming to our house: phone+cable+internet. I had Comcast before and I would never go back.

  50. El Matarife says:

    Courtney,

    I recently attempted to lower my bill without sacrificing service. After 2-3 hours in the chat rooms asking for A) the employees badge number B) a manager or C) a solution to my problem, I somehow magically ended up with a bill that’s 14 dollars cheaper a month but now includes Starz, Cinemax, Showtime, etc.

    If anyone would like a transcript of the conversation I would be more than happy to provide. I tend to use the same tactics whenever I deal with Comcast and, although its a pain in the ass, I get what I want. Sucks I can’t say that for the rest of my life =/

  51. mattlohkamp says:

    They’re not obligated to give you a special price, and you can’t bully them into doing it by threatening to cancel your service. They’re not desperate for cash. It sucks, I know, but either you give them your money in exchange for their service, or you pay someone else. I’m not sure this even a story.

  52. kingsnakeaw says:

    Most promotional offers in respect to cable or satellite, internet, and telephone providers are designed to allow a customer to enjoy a service at a discounted rate for a limited time. I’m sure it is intented to motivate you sign up with service and if you do, why balk when the rates revert back the the standard rate? It sounds like the service that Comcast provides is liked and is better than the alternative, isn’t that worth the extra cost? And finally, if you can’t afford it then maybe you don’t need it.

  53. razdigital says:

    I liked the AT&T DSL model when I had them what they would do is provide new customers with low price and provide current customers with yearly rates $5 above the new customer rates.
    That kept both parties happy and meant more business.

    With Comcast they raise the rates by 20-30%, had all three service with them and was paying 129 after taxes now they are down to half the price for just internet.

  54. joejr says:

    so you’re on an ‘introductory rate’ for 12 months, then when it’s over it goes up 10-15%…. let’s just keep putting customers back on promotions when they’re over…. INTRODUCTORY = AN INITIAL PERIOD….

  55. Woodside Park Bob says:

    I have RCN service in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC. There is no way I’d ever go back to Comcast. My RCN contract will be ending late this summer, and I might switch to FIOS, but I’m not even going to bother calling Comcast to see what they can offer. My previous experience with them is that the Worst Company in America award is justified.

    Concerning RCN, well, they are a cable company, but their phone help line for internet service is among the best I’ve ever encountered. Once you get through the frustrating phone tree, I’ve found their other phone representatives to be at least acceptable and usually very good, too.

    I consistently get the internet speed I’m paying for (and I check periodically), and it and the TV and phone work correctly about 99.9999 percent of the time… almost no problems.

  56. stang9946 says:

    Every communications company does this, then 3 weeks after you have signed a new 2 year contract they offer you a better rate, companies are stupid, it costs you more to get a customer than meeting a price of a competitor.

  57. momto2tzus says:

    I have been through the same situation with Comcast. Even went as far as to talk to Frank Eliason (the one Consumerist said is now leaving Comcast). And you know what he did for me? He gave me 6 more months of promotional pricing and said that after that there was nothing they could do for us. Apparently, we have been on some type of promotion since we first became customers (late 2008) and because of this they won’t be able to give us any type of promotion again, or at least not until after we had paid full price for quite a while. I explained to them that this meant we would have to look elsewhere as this will raise our bill almost $40/month and Frank Eliason said they understand and will be sorry to see us go. That’s it. They really could give a crap if they lose customers. I even tried talking to the customer retention department. Their policy is that a customer can only be on a promotion for so long. After that, you’re out of luck. From Frank’s own mouth.

  58. momto2tzus says:

    Oh and I forgot one other thing they told me. They said “Comcast has to make money. They can’t just give away the service for free. They’re in it to make money.” This is what the customer retention department told me. This is in response to me asking to remain on our $90/month promotional plan. Yep, they’re just giving it to me for free at that price. What a stupid thing for them to say to me…

  59. Whuffo says:

    I give up. I’ve submitted comments that never appeared on the site – so much for trying to add something to the discussion.

    Fooey; I’m not going to waste my time anymore.

  60. EBounding says:

    I recently dumped Comcast and switched to WOW. I think it would have been best for them to keep me as a customer with another promo rate.

    I didn’t need their phone service anymore, but I still wanted the internet. Before I did, I asked the rep how much just internet would be and she said $45. The next month I get a bill for $45. But then the following month I get a letter saying my account has been audited, and the actual bill should be $60 for just internet. Plus I was charged for the extra $15 I “should have” paid.

    In order to get the $45 price, I would need one other service. So I asked for basic cable. They said it would be $30/month plus a $50 installation charge. I hung up and switched to WOW, I canceled Comcast once my new service was installed.

    Comcast then calls again and offers a promotional deal after I cancelled! If they did this in the first place and didn’t try to stick me with an installation fee, I wouldn’t have switched. But I’m very happy with WOW. MUCH better customer service.

  61. ZombiGamer32 says:

    As a comcast customer i am satisfied with my services,and never had an issue with customer service. Hell i just went with the 50 meg extreme tier, now i understand that people are looking to save money but why is everyone surprised they wont give away the house to keep a customer. Bottom line they are a company that answeres to stock holders they will work with someone to a point but at some point any company will have to say enough and be willing to loose a customer.