Comcast Still Billing Customer For Account Canceled in 2006

Dan canceled his Comcast service almost five years ago, in January 2006. He moved to Korea in 2008. You might assume that the company would have stopped billing him by now. You would be wrong.

He copied Consumerist on his letter to more than a dozen Comcast executives.

I am sorry to have to escalate this issue to the highest levels of Comcast leadership, but my efforts at resolving this issue at the city and region levels over the last 4 years (5 in January) have not been successful.

I cancelled my Comcast service in January 2006, and despite all efforts to stop the billing, it has continued. I intially started the complaint process at the local [redacted] VA office where it fell on deaf ears. Because I was still in the local area, I kept calling every 2-3 months to have them zero out the balance of my account and make promises to cancel my account. I then moved overseas and have been working and living in Korea since May 2008. Throughout the years, I’ve spoken with customer representatives, managers, executive level customer support.. I’ve even spoken with a manager in Mexico who promised he’d take care of it. Unfortunately it hasn’t been taken care of. I even recieved a letter from one of your Northern Virginia executive offices telling me in writing that my service had been cancelled, all my balances zeroed out, and that I would recieve no more billing notices. The next month, I recieved another bill. After filing a complaint with the BBB (which apparantly didn’t do any good) I gave up.

So my routine is now whenever I recieve a Comcast bill (every month) I just shred it because I know I’ll get another next month. And while I really enjoy speaking with your customer representatives at 2 in the morning (big time difference here in Korea), I’d rather not.

Please help. My account number is [redacted] for service at [redacted], VA (I haven’t lived there since Jan 2006).

Comments

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  1. dmolavi says:

    they’re just trying to pay for their huge building in Philly (that I can see from my office window). cut ‘em some slack ;-)

    -dmolavi, a loyal non-comcast subscriber for 6 years.

  2. hennese says:

    Moving to Korea is no excuse for cancelling. Neither is death. People in heaven can watch House Hunters too ya know.

  3. Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

    Sounds like Comcast is drowning, and grabbing any branch they can reach in a death-grip just to stay afloat.

  4. msky says:

    Its like Mafia.

  5. wildhalcyon says:

    It sounds like a case of harassment. Normally, I don’t like to advocate legal measures when they’re not necessary, but it sounds like its definitely warranted. Sue ‘em.

  6. 339point4 says:

    I assume he’s not still actually paying for the service?

    • HalOfBorg says:

      He did say he’s been calling to have his balance zeroed and shredding the bills. Sounds like he’s not paying.

      • 339point4 says:

        It seems like, if he’s been racking up a huge bill without paying it, that he wouldn’t really need to cancel since after a couple of months of not sending them any money they would cancel him automatically for nonpayment. No? Isn’t that usually how it works?

        • pdj79 says:

          That’s the thing….you can’t rack up huge bills if you call and they zero it out. So they would never have a reason to cancel for non-pay because they keep bringing it back to $0.00. And even if he wasn’t, they’d cancel the account alright, and then they’d send him to collections hell were all sorts of evil will befall his credit score. I feel for the guy….now entering month 20 of my cable sabbatical due to Comcast’s inability to be a decent company.

  7. "I Like Potatoes" says:

    Reminds me of some churches that never go through their membership rolls to get rid of people who have moved, died, or just left. That way they can claim they have “500 members” even though only 20 show up on any given Sunday.

    • Negative says:

      The Mormon (LDS) church is big with this. Nobody gets removed unless they send a letter specifically asking to be removed (and sometimes even that doesn’t work). By not ever removing anyone (deaths, inactive, converts who have switched back to their original religion, etc) they can make the claim that they’re the fastest growing religion in the world. Once you account for the stuff I just listed it shows they are one of the slowest growing (possibly shrinking).

      • spamtasticus says:

        The good ole Holy See ( Catholic Vatican ) is exactly the same. They actually removed the ability to officially leave the church all together ( see link below ). So if your mommy or daddy has you sprayed with magic water you are in for life whether you like it or not.

        http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/intrptxt/documents/rc_pc_intrptxt_doc_20060313_actus-formalis_en.html

        Make sure and scroll to the end to read the “Conclusion”:

        “7. It remains clear, in any event, that the sacramental bond of belonging to the Body of Christ that is the Church, conferred by the baptismal character, is an ontological and permanent bond which is not lost by reason of any act or fact of defection.”

      • Not Given says:

        I did that once, not Mormon, Baptist. I complained about getting the mail from them when I hadn’t given them my address, it started at least 10 years after the last time I set foot in the place. They said I was a member unless I sent a letter withdrawing membership, so I did.

  8. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    What is especially strange is that Dan is being billed, but not charged for anything. It looks like a glitch in the processing/billing system that prints out these statements, actually. If he actually owed something, he would have been put into collections already, so IMO, it looks like the account is totally closed and there’s a glitch in the system that still registers his account as being open and services still being rendered, and that is why it prints a statement every month.

    • AJ_Syrinx says:

      Thanks for making a real contribution to the thread, instead of the other posters.

    • tamaracks says:

      I dunno, it sounds like he is being billed for some amount, since he says he keeps calling to have his balance zeroed out. And if they zero it out, it wouldn’t go to collections, because the balance keeps getting reset.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        I thought there might be a disconnect from what the billing system says and what the actual account system says – if one system says his account is closed, but the other system shows that it’s open, he could still be receiving statements for a closed account. I don’t see why, if his account was actually still open, that the customer reps at Comcast would be that helpful in zeroing out his account every time. The point is, if he doesn’t owe anything, it must be because the reps do see that his account is canceled – but the system that handles printing statements doesn’t show that.

      • Clyde Barrow says:

        Dan is being billed, but he’s not paying it. This isn’t a big deal until he returns to the States and wants service again and his credit report will show the delinquency.

  9. econobiker says:

    Comcast pays to send the bill to Korea (military base excepted if he has a military po box)? And how does this not trash his credit or have late fees/ outstanding balance?

  10. rick_in_texas says:

    I have a similar problem. I closed and zeroed out a bank account. The bank continues to send me Zero balance statements. Calls to their customer service desk claim the account is closed. Yet I continue to receive zero dollar statements.

    I gave up and for 4 years have been shredding the statements. My fear is to one day get a bogus charge on the bank statement.

    • hotcocoa says:

      Ah, same thing has been happening to me with BoA (those bastids)! I closed everything out in May or so and I *still* get e-mails about my closed accounts. Whenever I call, they say the accounts are closed, but I still get updates and my login info. still works! I don’t want to have any communication with them and don’t understand why they can’t grasp the fact. Very irritating. I don’t want the accounts to randomly re-activate somehow. I need to look into that again, actually…..

      • valued_customer says:

        I would if I were you. My closed account did yet reactivated months later from a renewal draft. I attracted a lot of attention screaming at the bank manager “What does closed mean to you?”.

        • hotcocoa says:

          They are actually closed credit cards that hadn’t been used in about 5 years. I just finally closed them this summer but still get updates that they are closed. I will stop by on the weekend however to double check, thanks.

          • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

            I’d bring in a letter that said:

            “Hot Cocoa’s account number [your acct. # here] has been closed by us at his request as of 11/20/2010.

            Signed,

            [ask the bank manager to sign]

            Witnessed,

            [ask a bank teller or another manager to sign]“

            If they balk, ask them to draft their own, but tell them you want some kind of proof in writing that the account is closed, otherwise you’d like them to close it for you….then provide you with a statement to that effect.

  11. SecretShopper: pours out a lil' liquor for the homies Wasp & Otter says:

    I had a similar issue in 2009 with Kabletown, I discontinued and paid my final bill in feb and ordered direct tv only to get a bill in march saying i owed them money I called was assured that I had cancelled service and that it was simply a glitch, and i went on my way. the same thing occured in april, may, and june with me calling telling them i’d cancelled and cust svc assuring me that it was a glitch. In June after yet another bill arrived I logged a complaint with the AG’s office and the billing stopped. so my advice is to contact the VA AG’s office (which might be inconvenient from Korea)

  12. u1itn0w2day says:

    That’s comcrap, found out we were getting billed through 2009 for a box turned in 2005.

  13. AustinTXProgrammer says:

    At least he didn’t have auto billing or they would have been stealing his money all these years. Although the chargeback fees (assuming he caught it in time, which it sounds like he would have) might have nudged them to get it fixed.

  14. pixiestix says:

    I had the same problem, though occurred for months not years. The bills showed I turned in my equipment but I was billed monthly for crap service I wasn’t receiving and sent to collection because I wouldn’t pay for services I obviously couldn’t receive. I sent a long email to the exec customer complaint guy and immediately received an email and passed along to a very helpful woman who let me know not only did I not owe Comcast money, but THEY OWED ME MONEY! Even though I got a great resolution almost 6 months out, I won’t go back to Comcast anytime soon.

    OP should email bomb the exec office and write the AG. The BBB isn’t as much of a threat with the current question of integrity and buying good ratings. Make sure to frequently mention the duration of the billing, dates and numbers of times you’ve contacted Comcast, what they’ve said, and stress you’re in Korea now and are at a disadvantage. Wouldn’t hurt to mention how much all these calls are costing you.

  15. MPD01605 says:

    Email your Congressman. I had an issue with Wachovia in 2009, and emailed the whole situation to Wachovia customer service and my Congressman and Senators. The next business day I got a call from the executive office of the President of Wachovia stating that my Virginia Congressman had contacted them about my issue. Issue resolved right there on the phone in about 5 minutes. Very surprising.
    That next weekend I switched to a credit union. So it all worked out.

  16. rdking says:

    next time they send you a bill,send it back with a latter informing them you are going o start charging them $5 for every incorrect bill they send you

  17. AllanG54 says:

    Well, Warren Buffett and his Berkshire-Hathaway company just sold off 98% of the stock that they had in Comcast and that must have been quite a block of shares. Guess Comcast screwed him over too.

  18. dush says:

    The BBB, hilarious.

    • TasteyCat says:

      I had a problem with Comcast. The CSR was unable to help me. Her supervisor didn’t care.

      I went to the BBB. Then Comcast immediately resolved my problem.

  19. bennshu says:

    the opposite has occurred ever since i canceled my verizon dsl in august. they said i’d get a refund for the unused month’s portion of the bill after cancellation, which would be about $14. ever since i’ve received each month an email alerting me that my credit card will be refunded $26.

  20. TasteyCat says:

    I don’t understand how a company would keep bothering after 5 years of not being paid. Account should have been canceled and sent to collections 5 years ago. Still would be both the wrong thing to do and a headache for the customer, but it would make more sense to me.

  21. mrscoach says:

    I had a similar problem with a different cable company. We moved, paid final bill, then found we were owed a refund of somewhere between $5-10. Waited, and no refund, so we called and they said they would only refund less than $10 if requested. DUH! yes, I want my money.

    Forward a few months, and no refund shows, but we start getting bills. I had to call and spend about 45 minutes a month for almost six months on the phone trying to get this settled. They eventually told me that we had transferred our account to someone else and they hadn’t paid, so we were on the hook. No, we hadn’t, and told them unless they had either a signature or my voice on record transferring the service they were to cancel all bills to me and refund my money. I got my money.

    It turns out that a friend and his family had moved into the house we had been renting. They had their own account with the company at their old house, but instead of moving THAT account, the company decided to just reactive the last account at the house we had lived in. Or something like that, because our friends soon, or at the same time, not sure which, dropped cable and went with satellite.

    Several months later they get a knock on the door. It was the cable company guy saying if they didn’t pay $X right then he was going to disconnect their cable. They told him to go ahead because they had cancelled their service almost six months earlier. So the company somehow in all this reactivated our account and began charging us for service no one was receiving.

    I just cared that I wasn’t being charged anymore and got my small refund. I only found out about our friends ‘adventure’ with the cable company after the fact.

  22. maruawe says:

    AOL did this to me a few years but a little different. I had to inactivate the credit card account to stop repeated attempts to collect the monthly fee after canceling service, They finally sent me a notice that my account was canceled after three months of non payment. i called and was told that the three months would be removed due to my canceling the account earlier. I reactivated the account six months later and again they tried to bill this account. I just closed the account permanently and opened another account to stop the billing…..Good Luck with your attempt but close the account and open another to really be rid of these reptiles.

  23. Sumtron5000 says:

    Where’s Comcast Bonnie? (Or whomever is in charge of that now that Frank is gone)