Watch Out For Phantom Comcast Technician Visits On Your Bill

Have you called Comcast recently to make any changes to your account or your services? Make sure that you don’t have any phantom technician visits billed to your account. That’s what happened to Jason every time he made any changes to his account.

He writes:

I want to let you guys know about a little game that Comcast has been playing recently. In my opinion, this really borders scam levels. At least two times now, some form of a $30 “Technician Visit” fee and a $2.99 “Service Transaction” fee have popped up on my bill without any visit ever occurring. The first time this occurred, I shrugged it off as a mistake, shot off a tweet to @comcastcares and in a few short minutes had the fee removed. Then it happened again. I then noticed that this happens every time a promo expired and I had to call in to change my bill or services. The first time I was put on a new DVR promo, and the second I had the price of HBO reduced from $20/month to $10/month.

On both of these changes made over the phone, they triggered these bogus technician visit fees. I inquired to @comcastwill why this was happening, and this is what he had to say:
“from what i saw last night, we arent proofing ourselves when making rate changes/corrections. it’s auto-adding the fee…but we need to remove it manually. unfortunately it hasnt happened as of yet. its based on how the agent adds the code, if they use installation type codes it adds the tech visit fee….i’ll notate the acct to review changes before confirming them to try to nip this in the bud.”

I find it highly suspect that simply changing the price of HBO on my bill should trigger any technician visit fee, and I have to wonder how many people use auto-pay and miss this completely. Hopefully, we can get the word out to the readers to check for this kind of thing more often! I’ll attach a snapshot of the charges on my bill, as well as the response from @comcastwill.

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Comments

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  1. YokoOhNo says:

    This is a free market issue. If you don’t like these phantom charges then simply change cable providers or start your own cable conglomerate…sheesh, that was easy.

    why do people want to continually decrease shareholder value while, at the same time, hating America?

    • RogerX says:

      Realizing this is a sarcastic, trollish remark– you can’t “just switch cable companies.” In nealry every place I have lived, the city has negotiated a contract with the cable company that eliminates any competition. It’s more like, “Don’t like your cable provider? Just move 17 towns away.”

      • YokoOhNo says:

        Then you always have the option of starting your own cable company to compete or move to russia with the rest of the commies.

        :)

        • RogerX says:

          Ha ha, I get it, you hate capitalism, corporations, republicans, and “the free market.”

          Except, oops, None of that comes into play except bad corporate behavior in a non-free market.

        • erinpac says:

          Even if starting your own cable company were at all practical, it STILL requires moving to the middle of nowhere to find a town that does not already have a monopoly agreement.

      • Yankees368 says:

        @ YoKoOhNo I live in an apartment where Comcast is my only choice, with only AT&T providing low end DSL as competition. I also cannot use satellite services. I didn’t mean to bash comcast with this post, only get out the word to look for mysterious charges when you make changes to your account.

    • stormbird says:

      Hey, stop using humor in the comments! ;-)

    • Joseph S Ragman says:

      At the risk of feeding the troll, let me ask this: Does anyone think it’s right for Comecast to charge three bucks for a phone call? Even if I pay Kabletown for telephone service?

  2. TheRealDeal says:

    I haven’t had those specific charges occur on my Comcast/Xfinity/Kabletown bill, but when I initially signed up for service a few months ago, I was billed for installation of three outlets (at $30 each) and a “Change of service” (at $20) in my condo. The problem was that it had already been wired prior to me moving in and all the tech had to do was hook up the DVR to the wall and then my TV and verify that everything worked.

    I called Kabletown directly and after about twenty minutes of confusion on their part, they finally understood that there were no installations and told me that they would research a refund. I did end up getting a refund, but it was an annoying process that shouldn’t have had to take place.

    • RogerX says:

      This is so installers can pad their time on service calls. He showed up, connected service, hooked up a DVR, and went back to his truck to fill out paperwork, where they filled out four hours worth of work. Ask someone who used to be a service tech, they know this guy real well. By the time you ask for a refund, the original installer is well past being held accountable for that time.

      • TheRealDeal says:

        Oh, I don’t doubt that one bit. I was just greatly annoyed that I had to explain it to the Kabletown people over and over.

        “Oh, you’re saying that he didn’t install a new outlet? What rooms did he install cable in?”
        “The living room, which already had an outlet in it.”
        “Ok, which other rooms did he install cable in?”
        “None!”
        “So he put one outlet in the living room?”
        “No! All he did was hook the DVR up to the existing outlet and then to the TV! He didn’t run cable, he didn’t install hardware, he didn’t cut holes in the wall, he didn’t do anything!”

    • BBBB says:

      Comcast has done this type of thing to me twice now.

      When I first switched to internet/phone from their old phone service, they insisted that a technician had to install it. I had everything pre-wired in the house (I don’t trust any contractor that I don’t know to touch the house.) He showed up and put a tester on the
      line and said it was fine – I connected the coax to my wiring and everything worked. I was charged for a full install. One supervisor later the charge was removed.

      Recently, all the Comcast services stopped working. I checked all the in house wiring and everything was fine. Now it was either the box or Comcast’s feed. While waiting for the technician I noticed a connector (actually an attenuator) that looked discolored. It had corrosion inside. I cleaned it and when the technician arrived he tested the line and we hooked it up – - – it worked. He then told me that there was no reason for the attenuator to be there (it was a relic from the old system). I was charged for an “in house repair.” Surprisingly, the FIRST person I talked to at Comcast removed the charge. [It bothered me that the reason for removing the charge was because I was a good customer, not because they were wrong.]

  3. Blueskylaw says:

    I am waiting for the day when they make a billing mistake in my favor. Since I am sitting in my underground bunker with a 20 year supply of food and potable water, I am expecting it to be a long wait.

  4. oldwiz65 says:

    For every customer who calls and complains, there are probably a dozen other customers who don’t notice it and just pay it. After a while, this really adds up to a nice profit for Comcast. I don’t believe for a minute that they are not doing this on purpose.

    • FireJayPa says:

      Maybe it’s a glitch in the software.

      Code can be buggy sometimes…..

      • Balaenoptera says:

        That doesn’t make it acceptable. If the error is in the customers favor they can change the code, but if its in their favor they can ignore it. If its an error, they need better computer support

  5. DanKelley98 says:

    How can they possibly run NBC?

    • PunditGuy says:

      30 Rock will still be on Thursday nights, but could show up any time in a four-hour window between 6 and 10 p.m.

    • scoosdad says:

      Whenever you switch channels away from NBC, a $30 Technician’s charge will appear on your cable bill.

      Hey, you didn’t think that happens automatically did you? Some little elf in the headend repatches your signal every time. Triggered by an electric shock.

    • Rhinoguy says:

      They will run NBC the same way they run Concast, by stealing a little from every customer they have. Do you think they will have the nerve to steal from Disney when a new movie needs advertising on all known media?

  6. PLATTWORX says:

    This just underscores you must read each and every invoice you get. I pay special attention to my Comcast and Verizon invoices. The second something is a penny higher than normal… into battle mode I go.

    I do have to say this sound sneaky, but when I have had to EECB Comcast, they have always been fast to fix it…. or perhaps cover their tracks hoping others won’t notice.

  7. strohsmike says:

    This very same thing has happened to me three times in the past couple of years. When I call about the problem Comcast apologises and promptly issues a credit. (Detroit, Michigan area).
    I watch that bill like a hawk now. I live in an apartment complex that has a contract with Comcast as a sole provider of cable and internet services or I would dump them in a heartbeat.

  8. Krang Krabowski says:

    I know how this one works. there’s two types of changes that can be made on the account adressable which can be done from the terminal of the agent on the phone. and non adressable that require a tech. the two are probably being confused by the agent. It’s not thier policy to charge these if a tech doesn’t come out.

  9. BillyDeeCT says:

    Yet another reason I would rather endure antenna television instead of getting in bed with the local Comcast system. At least the OP was able to get it corrected but to have to worry about this every time he takes up the offer of a promo? Sounds like Comcast needs to improve their own internal checks and balances.

    A monopoly service like this needs to earn the trust of its current and/or potential customers and this is yet another reason I utter “it’s Com-crapstic!” – No thanks, I’ll keep my rooftop antenna, thank you!