Comcast Offers You $25 To Take Phone Survey, Gives You Number For Time Warner Cable

Consumerist reader and Comcast/Xfinity subscriber Amy recently received a promo in the mail from the folks at Kabletown asking her to take a quick survey, for which they would send her a $25 check. One hitch — the number on the mailer sent her to a Time Warner Cable operator.

When Consumerist contact Comcast about the gaffe, they didn’t see a problem — they tried the number three times and got the correct Comcast recording. But every time we tried, we reached Time Warner Cable.

The Comcast rep tried dialing the digits on his cell phone and — voila! — he reached TWC. For some reason, land lines were going to the right destination while mobile phones reached the wrong cable company.

It took several hours, but Comcast appears to have fixed the problem. The number now goes to a Comcast recording.

Is anyone out there knowledgeable enough about this kind of thing to explain how this happened?

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  1. Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

    weird. what are the odds of it going to a competitor??

  2. uber_mensch says:

    There was a similar problem like that at SBC Global. They would verbally give the number to their tech support which started out as 888 but should have been 877. The 888 number pointed to their competition, Web.com.

  3. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    I think Comcast just wants all of their complaints to go to Time Warner.

  4. Blueskylaw says:

    Cross marketing gone awry?

  5. OSAM says:

    … HOW?!

  6. MDSasquatch says:

    Space Aliens?

  7. watchwhathappens says:

    I am the Amy in question. I talked to many people yesterday about this, including going in to a local Comcast office, and was told there that Time Warner and Comcast *are the same company*. But noone who answered the # when I called (I was calling from my cell) knew anything about it, and noone at Comcast did either. In fact, one supervisor at Comcast *insisted* that this mailer did not come from Comcast (though it turns out it did). I pointed out that they might want to check into it, since the mailer used Comcast logos, address, and copyright, but he seemed unconcerned.

    • Dover says:

      This sort of incompetence does not surprise me coming from Comcast.

    • Limewater says:

      And don’t forget lying. Comcast loves lying to its customers.

      • Griking says:

        Do people REALLY think like you?

        My God

        Yeah, I’m sure they have nothing better to do than to lie to customers just for the hell of it. In fact, they probably feel that they have too many customers and purposely piss their existing customers off just to help out their competitors.

        • Limewater says:

          I speak only from experience. I’ve been lied to by more Comcast employees than not. Generally, I think the case comes up where either the person I’m talking to will say anything to make their own job easier, or Comcast is purposely distributing false information to its employees.

          Examples:

          I have my own cable modem. Comcast thought I had one of theirs, and was charging me for it. I called to get it straightened out and was told that a) the reason I was getting poor internet performance was because I my modem serial number was not the same one their system listed me as using, and b) that I couldn’t possibly be using my own cable modem because my modem’s serial number had to match the one in their system or else internet service wouldn’t work. These can’t both be true. As it turned out, neither was true.

          I currently have a fraud alert on my credit report due to some identity theft earlier this year. This makes setting up new utilities a big pain. For an interstate move, I wanted to go ahead and get an account set up for my new address. I went through the whole process, but was told I had to go to a Comcast service center in my area to verify my identity to schedule the technician appointment. I made clear to the rep that I was in one state and was setting up service in another state, but she insisted I should go ahead to the local Comcast office to schedule the appointment. I foolishly did as she said and wasted two hours of my life, only to be told that the people at my local office couldn’t do anything for my new out-of-state account.

          I’ve stayed home for technician appointments, only to have the tech not show up. Of course, the story is that he called and nobody answered, which really stretches the bounds of credibility.

          I’ve been told that a credit would be applied to my bill when it didn’t.

          I was told that nobody could offer me faster internet service after I made it clear to the retention department guy that I was getting 0.0 kbps (My line was having power issues and I had no connectivity most days).

          That’s not all of them. But I didn’t just wake up one day and decide that Comcast lies to me a whole lot.

        • Limewater says:

          Just to clarify, my use of the word “love” was a joke. I don’t think that Comcast actually gets any sort of perverse pleasure from really, really bad customer service. It’s just what they do.

  8. mbd says:

    Land line called from a Comcast Land Line, Cell Phone from a non Comcast phone company.

  9. Blueskylaw says:

    In the upper third of the letter it says: Then we’ll send you a $25 check.
    In the lower third of the letter it says: $25 gift check.

    Is this a physical paper check or a plastic “gift card” that will start losing money the first month you have it?

  10. Dover says:

    “…quick survey phone survey…”

    It’s not a survey, it’s a marketing offer.

  11. grandboricua says:

    Hmm… I work for one of the aforementioned companies, in a call center no less… it may be that they share some call centers, and there was a routing issue, as in some markets it will route your call based purely on caller ID info… wouldn’t be the first time something like this has happened.

  12. JohnnyP says:

    I bet that the are using an outside company that maybe filters by the npa/nxx and they had the filters set incorrectly maybe just the numbers from the Comcast center were being sent to the right place.

  13. Tracer Bullet says:

    Have you ever wonder what happens when numbers get ported?

  14. psm321 says:

    I’ve had weird routing issues with my cell phone occasionally ever since the number was ported from t-mobile to verizon and then back a few weeks later. Every once in a while someone will try to call me and get a “this number is not in service” message from verizon

  15. Nogard13 says:

    It’s all in how the LEC (Local Exchange Carrier) has set up their routing. Phones are nothing if not routing. If the LEC set up a pointer wrong, you will be “forwarded” to a different party that the one you’re trying to call.

  16. Dan T. says:

    What is it with all those “surveys” these days… it seems like every single sales receipt these days tries to get you to call or go to a website to complete a survey and supposedly get a free bonus or something for doing it.

    • Groanan says:

      I hear ya! We need Andy Rooney’s take on all of this.

    • evilpete says:

      The reason every single sales receipt says to take a surveys is they want you demographics to connect to your shopping to sell to marketers.

      What gets me is watching the daily new and having *every* news story end with “and go to our web site for more information”

  17. Destron says:

    I was always under the impression that Time Warner and Comcast were the same. When I lived in North Texas I used to have Comcast, then one day I got a letter in the mail that said they was changing their name to Time Warner. The bill looked identical, just with Timer Warner at the top instead of Comcast. The didn’t change my email address, it stayed comcast.net, I still went to comcast.com to pay my bill, and they operated out of the same office as Comcast. Once when I needed a truck roll a comcast truck showed up. So I thought they was the same…

    • watchwhathappens says:

      according to the person in the office I talked to, they are; according to the indigent supervisor I talked to on the phone, they have nothing to do with one another

  18. econobiker says:

    My wife and I moved to an area of Northern MS fairly close to Memphis, TN. We got cable/internet/phone from a local operator (Metrocast). Our phone number ended up being the same one as the Memphis area Comcast office except for the area code.

    Guess what happened then…

    Yup multiple calls for Comcast, often from mad people. Anywhere from 3 to 10 calls per day. Some of the messages were very amusing as people ranted. We researched the number and even found an apartment complex website with the wrong number listed under their utilities page. We called Metrocast and they quickly gave us a new number. We hope that they in turn used the wrong area code number to get people to defect to their service.

  19. techdoodle says:

    My suspicions are that the toll free number is for a company that does promotion and/or surveys for both Comcast and Time Warner. They probably have their phone equipment set up to route incoming phone numbers by prefix. For example 123-456-7890 might route to Comcast based on the 456 prefix; while 123-987-4567 may route to Time Warner based on the 987 prefix. If their database can’t find the prefix, it probably defaults to Time Warner. This worked in the past because land lines were location based, at least before local number portability. So you knew if you had a prefix of 456 in the 123 area code, you were in Comcast’s coverage area; if you had a prefix of 987 in the123 area code you were in TW’s coverage area. Cell numbers nave never had the same location based system. Of course, with local number portability, the prefix exchange system is rapidly becoming obsolete, too.

  20. kristenroses says:

    This is actually simple, Comcast and Time Warner Cable both purchased Adelphia Communications jointly. Depending on where you are calling from you will get either Comcast or TWC. This sub was probably originally an Adelphia customer, they are still working out the “kinks”. I originally worked for Adelphia then I moved with TWC after they bought Adelphia, it is a huge cluster****. I no longer work for TWC.

  21. samonela says:

    Can I call the number for $25? I don’t have Comcast and I live in California…but hey so long as I can reach the number…

  22. iamlost26 says:

    When I moved to Philly from LA, when I was trying to sign up for Comcast using my cell phone, it would ask me for my phone number, then based on my area code (I assume), automatically transfer me to Time Warner Cable. I never talked to a person. Eventually I started using the phone number of the pizza place across the street to talk to a real person. Now that my number’s in their system, though, I correctly get routed to Comcast.

  23. steve says:

    This is about Comcast over charges. A few months back i spoke to a comcast rep asking how I could lower my bill. He suggested that I remove the monthly charge that protects me for wiring and other charges. He went on to tell me that if I had a call that required a charge I could at the very moment of setting up the appointment add back the service protection. The only catch is I would have to keep it 3 straight months. I told him this could be over looked in setting up the appointment and he twice assured me this would not happen as they receive some type of commission in selling the service plan and they always offer it. I said OK. I have on going problems that are never resolved and people out here repeatedly. I just noticed at least 3 service call charges. Never once did they ever suggest there would be any type of service charge. Nor did they offer me the service protection. Even if they adjust my bill it is obvious they have instituted a scam to not inform people there is a charge for a service call.

  24. jezebelseven says:

    I’ve been having a really strange problem similar to this, with two companies, and hope someone can explain it:

    I use skype and have a skype local phone number for Ohio.

    When I call TWC, I am being redirected to Comcast. We don’t even HAVE comcast in this area.
    Also, when I call Progressive, I am being connected to Drive Insurance, which I guess is a California branch of Progressive?

    We have no idea why this is happening, or how to fix it. :