After leaving Comcast because of their prices, John tried to come back to try and get some faster internet. But despite being a prior customer, nobody could give it to him because they couldn’t verify his address. Even though this address had already received service in his name. Neither the online order system, chatroom CSR, local office, nor a regional salesperson could help. Shrug, what’s one dissatisfied customer when you have a virtual monopoly?
After seven months or so away from Comcast (I left primarily because the prices got too high), I decided to sign up for one of their high-speed Internet deals and give them another try. This being Comcast, I expected that some degree of difficulty might be involved in getting them to take my money in exchange for providing a service (It’s sad that my expectations are so low, isn’t it?), but what happened was beyond my wildest expectations of corporate consumer service indifference.
First, I tried to sign up online. I took a long time giving them all the information they requested, including things like my Social Security number, which frankly I don’t really think should be required for a non-contract service, but which I dutifully entered anyway.
However, at the end of the process when I clicked submit, they decided that my identity couldn’t be verified. Keep in mind that I had service with them in the same name, at the same address, with all the same information less than a year prior. As a result, that kicked me to an online chat with a CSR.
The CSR in the chat spent forever verifying information and saying the problem could be easily resolved, only to at the very end of the chat tell me that she couldn’t process my order. According to the CSR, I would have to come in to the local office in person to start the process over again and show some ID.
At this point, I was almost ready to forget the whole thing, but the alternative Internet I’ve been using is really slow and inconsistent, and I had been looking forward to streaming some movies on the faster Comcast Internet.
So, a couple days later, I went down to the local office. Upon arriving, I am told that my address can’t be verified — an address I had Comcast service at less than a year prior — *and* that I can’t sign up for the offer I’d been promised because it was an online only offer. Keep in mind, I tried to sign up online, and was told to go to the office with no indication whatsoever that I wouldn’t be able to sign-up for the same offer I’d been trying to sign up for.
Finally, after talking to a regional salesperson who happened to be in the back of their office, and a phone call from him to a central office of some sort, the address situation was resolved and I was told that I’d be able to sign-up for the offer I’d originally signed up for. However, there was another problem — my order couldn’t be processed because I’d started (but not completed because they wouldn’t let me complete it) an online order less than 72 hours prior. I was then told he could not put my order through due to company policy.
So, he said I could call his cell phone and he would stop by the next day after the 72 hour window had elapsed. I rushed home from running errands to call him, and he did in fact show up at my door. Then he had to make another phone call and we had to enter all my personal information once again. He said the installation would occur the next day between the hours of 2:00-4:30pm.
Problem finally resolved, right? Wrong!
The day of the installation comes, I made sure I was here just waiting for a knock on the door, and no one shows up. I tried calling Comcast’s hot line twice, and couldn’t find an appropriate option in their irritating automating messaging system, which insisted on asking me scores of irrelevant questions before letting me talk with a person. I called the sales rep’s cell phone twice and left voice mails, nothing.
In what universe does this constitute appropriate customer service?
I suppose I could just reschedule installation and attempt to go through this process once again. But you know the impression “Throwing good money after bad?”, well, that to me would be throwing good time after bad. I went out of my way to try to sign up for their service and devoted a lot of time, energy, and frustration to dealing with random obstacles they throw in my way. At some point, you just have to call it quits.
I also have to now pay for the next month of service on my laptop Internet card or lose access to the Internet and lose my grandfathered pricing plan with Virgin Mobile. I can’t afford to pay for Internet twice in the same month from two different providers — so even if I wasn’t utterly disgusted with Comcast, they’ve run out the clock on my financial ability to continue to try to continue jumping through their ridiculous hoops.
It’s hard to imagine ever trying to deal with Comcast again after this fiasco. I had planned to try going back to them for television, too, when my Dish Network contract expired. Now I can’t imagine signing up for anything with them if they were the last company one earth.
Only some upper-level Comcast god will be able to solve this computer glitch, like maybe someone over at @comcastcares.