Comcast Might Get Your Last $70 Back To You In 4 To 8 Weeks

Reader D. is having a rough time financially right now. Technically, he’s homeless, but he’s staying with a friend while he gets his life back together. As you can imagine, he doesn’t have a lot of money to spare. Which is why he now is without grocery money after Comcast kept on auto-debiting his account even after he left his apartment and turned off his service.

Lately, I’ve hit hard times. Luckily, I have a place to stay with a friend, but it’s the first time in my life I’ve had to consider myself homeless.

In December, I notified my landlord and utilities that I’d be moving out – including Comcast, who’d been charging me nearly $70/mo. for Internet service. I cancelled my Comcast service on December 28th after speaking with a supervisor in billing, and returned my equipment promptly to their [local] office. I asked a Comcast technician who was on site at my apartments if he’d take it in, but they’re not allowed to, causing lots of extra trips to the company’s huge [local] complex.

I checked my bank account this morning to make sure I’d have enough money to kick in some shekels for food while I’m staying with a friend, and saw that I was overdrawn as of the 20th of January – thanks to Comcast’s failure to stop billing me for service.

I called, and they offered to credit my account, which is in my ex-wife’s name. I asked if they could get me the money back, since they took it without my authorization and against my wishes, and the response from [Z], their supervisor, was “a check will be mailed to you within 4-8 weeks”.

When pressed, [Z] offered to escalate the request for a direct debit of monies back to my account, but could promise nothing.

How is it legal for Comcast to take my money “accidentally”, then refuse to immediately replace it? Are they aware that EFT works both ways? The local TV news has no interest in pursuing stories like this because they are an NBC affiliate. And guess who owns NBC?

We suggested that D. contact Comcast’s ace Twitter team of executive customer service ninjas, but he said that he already did, and they aren’t able to help him get his money any faster, either. He had this to add about his dealings with “escalated” customer service.

They offer to escalate ‘my issue’ to someone with a five-digit extension who will tell me the exact same thing – that they accidentally subtracted funds from my EFT account, overdrafting me; that they regret that I don’t have food money for the month; that they can’t draft the money back to me for several weeks, at best, and then only with a check.

I asked them to call outside of 2:00-4:00 Pacific time, as I had a job interview scheduled. Guess when they called? 2:30 Pacific.

Comments

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  1. Cat says:

    Contact Comcast’s ace Twit team of executive customer service nitwits.

    There. That’s better.

    Comcast is the devil.

    • longfeltwant says:

      Nobody is going to blame the OP for

      1. Doing business with Comcast
      2. Signing up for auto-rape, oops I mean auto-pay
      3. Paying $70/mo for cable when you are too poor to pay rent

      ?

  2. Evil_Otto would rather pay taxes than make someone else rich says:

    Why can’t poor people just stop being poor? They’re ruining America!

    /s

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

      According to your politicians, your country is just full of ‘job creators’, so why is it so hard for the poor to find jobs?

      /s

      • AstroPig7 says:

        They’re obviously being held back by ridiculously high taxes. (The fact that these tax rates are at historic lows is completely irrelevant.)

      • Lyn Torden says:

        They only create jobs for the rich.

      • failurate says:

        ‘Job Creators’ are rare mythical beast gods to be worshiped and sacrificed to (preferably a 1% tithe from every money exchanging transaction). If they approve of your offering, they will bless your region with a bumper factory, outlet mall, or professional sports team.

  3. clippy2.0 says:

    Only one option

    Burn that muthafucka down!

  4. scoutermac says:

    Comcast won’t care. They have his money and realize that he not only does not have money to come back as a customer but also does not have the money to fight them.

  5. sirwired says:

    Call your bank and tell them your account was debited fraudulently. They should be able to reverse it within 24 hours.

    • Eagle Eye says:

      Yep, came here to say the same thing. Banks (or my credit union at least) will let you dispute ACH (and other) transactions and should issue a temporary credit while they ‘investigate’.

  6. dogmaticman says:

    I swear they do this on purpose. I was dinged with an installation fee after discussing with a sales rep repeated that installation was free with the promotion I was on. Then after I called to complain, they said they would elevate it to the manager and call me back. They never did.

    This company makes probably hundreds of thousands on purposely dropping customer complaints within their system and profiting off it. It really is unreal.

    • Altman says:

      Same thing happened to me. Took 4 calls (2 with escalated Supervisor) to get the charge reversed.

    • AstroPig7 says:

      One thing to remember about large companies: the salespeople who work for them are typically less connected to reality than your average presidential campaign speech. Get everything in writing, and even then take it with a grain of salt.

  7. Browsing says:

    They did a similar thing to me, and an EECB back before they were over used helped. I said if you can auto debit my credit card why can’t you put it back on…instead they wanted to send a cashiers check to my old address. AH Comcast…..I only cancelled because you weren’t available at my new place. Better check what kind of check and where it’s going….

    • scoutermac says:

      Yeah.. which means they never sent a check period.

      • Browsing says:

        No I convinced them not to b-c anyone at my old address could have cashed that check and got them to reverse my credit card instead, the fact that they first rep I spoke to hung up on me when he got to the logical part of my argument and the second said there was no way to do things different made me contact the presidents office which fixed things in 24 hours

  8. mingtae says:

    I work for Comcast so hear me out -

    1) Account shouldn’t be in your ex-wife’s name. That’s just bad news right there. The refund check will go out in her name, not the OP.

    2) It is standard operating procedure that if there is a credit balance on a closed account that it would take 4 to 6 weeks for the refund check to be received once all the equipment has been returned.

    2a) However!! If the account is on auto pay and still withdraws from the bank or credit card after the account is closed then a refund can and should be pushed by a front line rep to reverse the charges onto the account that it withdrew from.

    • scoutermac says:

      Since you work for comcast. Help me to understand why when I tried to order just cable internet I was told no that I must have cable tv.

      Then months later I decided to order just cable tv and I was told no I must order cable internet also.

      • hmburgers says:

        I don’t work for Comcast and I know the two things you say are false. Not sure who you were talking to, but try again I guess?

        You most certainly can get Cable Modem w/o TV (but it will be spendy)…

        You can also get TV w/o Cable Modem…

      • Difdi says:

        Simple. The sales rep wanted to get better stats, so he lied to you.

        • scoutermac says:

          This has happened with every person I have ever spoken with at Comcast. On the phone, online, and in person.

    • Hi_Hello says:

      I’m glad when I closed my account because I was moving, they credit the 4 days I didn’t have service (lease ended before the service month was over) to my credit card directly.

  9. Marlin says:

    Contact your bank NOW! They will help and get your money back much quicker.

  10. nearly_blind says:

    Never sign up auto debit/payment. If you do there’s a good chance you will be incorrectly charged after your cancel service. You’re pretty much “asking for it” if you do.

  11. jnrcorp says:

    When I cancelled service with Verizon, it took them 3 months to send me a check for the credit that my account had. If roles were reversed and I owed them money, they would have sent me to collections sooner than 3 months. It’s a shame there’s no collection agency to send a company too. I would have preferred to do that, than get my money back.

  12. ancientone567 says:

    Tell the your bank to do a chargeback for a transaction that you did not authorize and you will have the money in less than 48 hours.

  13. Torchwood says:

    You have to love some of the checks and balances. Many companies are more than happy to take your money without any issue (unless you decide to pay your entire balance in pennies), but having them refund money to you requires multiple approvals from some pointy-haired managers. This is true of not only of business, but of government entities as well.

  14. dolemite says:

    Businesses to customers: “If you are more than 5 days late, there will be a 15% fee charged to your account.”

    However, when getting money back from them: “You may see a refund in 1-2 months”.

    • scoutermac says:

      I actually sent a bill to my previous apartment complex because they owed me like $15. I never received any type of response what so ever.

  15. DubbaEwwTeeEff says:

    A few months ago I was charged for going over my web usage on my T-Mobile account for a phone that doesn’t even have web access. When I complained through the customer chat, they said it was a large scale error and that affected customers would get credits back on their bill in 6 months or so.

    When I threatened to contact T-Mobile executives, and to notify my state AG’s office that T-Mobile was essentially holding its customers’ money hostage, they quickly changed their tune.

  16. vivalakellye says:

    And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why you should pay your utilities by check.

  17. jsweitz says:

    NEVER GIVE ANYBODY ACCESS TO DEBIT YOUR BANK/CHECKING ACCOUNT! Many companies (especially gyms for some reason) are notorious for “forgetting” to stop taking money from you, or even worse, waiting a year and starting back. There’s not a lot that can be done aside from changing account numbers.

    You should always go through a credit card, or at the very least, set up an auto payment yourself at your bank to go to whoever it is instead of giving them access to do so.

    • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

      The only company I allow to auto debit my checking account is my garbage hauler. It’s a local family company, and it’s $16 per month, and I didn’t want to mail a check or cause them merchant fees by using a credit card.

      No one else is allowed to do this, especially Comcast!

  18. grebby says:

    This sucks. But if you don’t have money for food, apply for food stamps. You’ll get that money a lot sooner than 8 weeks.

  19. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    I hope his ex-wife gives him the refund if/when it arrives. I feel bad for the guy. It’s easy to sit here and say “you shouldn’t let companies access your checking account” or “he should have gotten the account transferred to his name” or any number of hindsight observations. We don’t know the details of his personal financial life – maybe he didn’t have a credit card he could use for bills like this.

    Let’s hope that somehow, someone at Comcast becomes a human being and resolves this promptly. We all know if he was late paying the bill, they wouldn’t wait 4-8 weeks to shut off service.

  20. jimsa says:

    I had a similar experience with TWC. They said it would be four weeks for a check refund. Then four to six…timeline kept shifting.
    After a clear ultimatum to them, I filed a complaint with my state’s Public Service Commission. Within 24 hours, someone from TWC called, apologizing for the delay and promising to take care of it. She said since I had paid the bill via ETF, they didn’t even need to issue a check. All they had to do was refuse payment and it would kick back to my account.
    Comcast is playing games with you and they’ll keep doing so. I’m sure your state has some agency that can get their attention…and maybe an aggressive AG who could step in if it seems to be a common practice.

  21. myktag says:

    Small claims?

  22. sprybuzzard says:

    I wish you luck reader D. There are lots of good suggestions here. For the future, see if your bank has an online bill payer option that will work like auto debits but you are in control of when and what is sent.

  23. ovalseven says:

    I’ll lend the dude $70. How can I get it to him?

  24. agraham999 says:

    I cancelled my Comcast service last year after moving out of the house we own and having some renters move in. Even though I cancelled the service and the new tenants had their own Comcast service hooked up, Comcast continued to bill me for about 6 months. I didn’t notice the charge on my Amex, until I got a letter in the mail from collections that I also owed them for several months as well. This is when I noticed they not only had been charging me but also then put me into collections.

    I called Comcast to get it worked out…and they told me I have to fax them (seriously who uses a fax anymore) a copy of the lease to prove that I have tenants in the house, when all they have to do is look in their records to see there is someone else living there with Comcast service. In the meantime I’m out about $500 and have a collection agency on me.

    What a horrible company. I’m thinking of simply taking them to small claims instead of jumping through hoops.

    • hmburgers says:

      In Comcast’s defense… service to multiple names at the same address is not uncommon, so checking that service has been started in a new name does not mean the old person has moved out.

      a) Might be a multi-family house with only a single address… I’ve lived in two places like this, it’s not uncommon…

      b) Might have multiple subscribers in the same household… a friend of mine was so paranoid about his online gaming that he had a separate account with Comcast for his modem vs. the one that the other roommates used for the house. So he had an account and the other roommate had an account.

      • agraham999 says:

        My point is that when I called them and they asked me to verify there are tenants in there now they could not look up those records on their computer, they needed me to send a rental agreement. It’s a single dwelling home, you can only have one cable hookup there.

  25. hmburgers says:

    Had this happen to me a few years ago, really pissed me off…

    - Called Comcast beginning of June, they offered to cancel as of June 15th which would avoid prorating–not sure why they suggested I’d want to “avoid” it because it meant money back to me–but I did it.

    - Being the paranoid SOB that I am, I cancelled the “auto pay” with them on my Visa on the same call.

    - June 10th, returned all equipment to the local Comcast office, got a receipt.

    - End of June, I get a paper bill for July’s service, including all the equipment which is now returned… Call them “Oh, that’s just a mistake, don’t worry, it will go away on it’s own, don’t pay it” … me: “But what if I hadn’t cancelled my auto-pay?”… “Well we would have refunded the money back to you as soon as the cancellation was processed…”

    - End of July, I get another paper bill, now showing two months of service & equipment and indicating I’m 30-days late to pay for last month… Call again, get the same schpeal…

    - End of Aug, I get another paper bill, three months and this one with a red border on the letter saying I’m now 60-days overdue on part of the balance… again, same schpeal when I call, promised it will be resolved by Sept 15th if I call back…

    - Sept 15th, still not resolved, they promise resolution by Sept 30th

    - Sept 20-something, another paper bill, now 90 days over due, four months of service (we’re up to something like $700 now with late fees). I call again and finally someone tells me what is really going: Comcast will not cancel your account until a van has driven out and physically unscrewed your cable at the pole. I ask, why am I still being charged for the equipment, I returned that months ago… I get a non-answer…

    Finally sometime in October I get a paper bill showing a $0 balance from them…

  26. scoosdad says:

    I won’t get into the whole issue of letting Comcast reach into the OP’s bank account, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a utility refunding overpayments/credits/etc. back to a consumer via an electronic funds transfer. It always ends up that they send out a paper check.

    Someone mentioned that Comcast said they could ‘refuse’ an EFT, but that’s not the same as Comcast issuing one themselves back to the consumer.

    Given that my small-ish employer takes on average 5 weeks to send me an expense reimbursement check, getting a bohemoth like Comcast to send a check out in 4 – 8 weeks doesn’t seem unusual. Not saying it’s the right way to do it or the right way to treat a customer, but I don’t think it’s anything out of the ordinary for a big company. Sucks for the OP, though.

  27. Difdi says:

    If small claims court will result in a court date in less than 4-8 weeks, I’d go for that if I were the OP. He’ll have to pay the filing fee, but he’ll get some money back, and since an overdraft fee is part of the real damages they did to him, he can sue for that too.

    • rob3912811 thinks this site is full of retards and assclowns with cats for friends. says:

      Yeah, because he’ll get handed a wad of cash in the middle of the courtroom.

      In this particular case, that’s a very useless idea. Paying a filing fee, when he already have no money, and then waiting an indefinite amount of time to collect on a potential judgment. Brilliant!

  28. fmatthew5876 says:

    Never ever do automatic payments with any company. This is why.

  29. fmatthew5876 says:

    Never ever do automatic payments with any company. This is why.

    Take the 2 minutes to login every month and authorize the payment yourself.