Watch Out, Dish Network: Comcast Can Send Misleading Mailers, Too

Reader Christopher is a Comcast customer, but had just signed a new one-year lease an has no plans to move. So the letter from Comcast he received in the mail that said “New home transfer service summary” in red letters caught his attention. Was there an error at Comcast and they thought he was moving? Was the the victim of identity theft? Better open it and find out.

Of course, it wasn’t. The mailer was advertising “special offers” available to him if he does move. He realized that this was somewhat similar to the misleading Dish Network reseller mailing that we posted earlier this week, except this letter came direct from Kabletown itself.

I just read your story about Dish Network’s misleading mailer about an installation, and wanted to share the Comcast version.

I have (reluctantly) been a Comcast customer for nearly 2 years and have been in my current apartment for 1. I just renewed my lease and have communicated nothing to Comcast about moving, so thought this letter asking me to confirm my new address by 9/27 odd. Obviously I opened it immediately to make sure there was nothing fraudulent happening with my account, and it turned out to be a sales gimmick. Comcast wanted me to be aware of their “special offers” via their Mover’s Edge program, just in case I decided to move. I can also get a $200 prepaid gift card, which I’m sure would require some sort of agreement signed in blood.

If anything, it actually got me to open something from them that wasn’t a bill. Score one for Comcast.

Yes. Score one for Comcast, but in the end, we all lose.

UPDATE: A rep for Comcast sent the following statement to Consumerist:

Thank you for your email about the Movers Edge® program from Comcast. We appreciate the opportunity to address this matter. The direct mail you referenced in your email is sent to customers who either are or may be moving. The language on the outer envelope does not relate to any specific customer(s) and is a reference to an offer under the Movers Edge program as explained in detail in the accompanying letter. The letter does not state or suggest that any particular customer is moving and, when opened, the letter begins with the question “Moving?” Thereafter, the letter makes clear that “if you are planning to move” you should consider calling Comcast for a special offer. Comcast’s messaging on the outer envelope signals to customers that a summary of the mover’s program offer is inside. Our position is the envelope is not misleading and is consistent with industry practice.

PREVIOUSLY:
Misleading Mailer Shows Why DISH Needs To Rein In Third-Party Sales Agents

Comments

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  1. Rockfish says:

    No doubt that it isn’t Comcast’s fault … it’s the 3rd part direct marketing firm that did it, unbeknownst to Comcast, even tho THEY contracted them and it has Comcast’s name all over it, and they reap the benefits of any leads or sales generated. /sarcasm

    There’s absolutely NO difference from this type of misleading and deceptive direct mail piece and the slimy, unscrupulous EMAIL marketer who sends bulk email with fraudulent subject lines in an attempt to entice you to open their email. It shows exactly what the mind-set is of these third-party marketers, (and the companies who hire them) who adopt the tactics of spammers.

  2. evilpete says:

    … consistent with industry practice…..

    I loath those words.

    • Upthewazzu says:

      I wonder if hookers use this

    • scoosdad says:

      … consistent with industry practice…..

      Yeah, they’re right about that. That means that if one slimy company does it, then it’s OK for the other slimy companies to do the same. What a stupid defense.

    • regis-s says:

      Well, you have to admit they’re probably right about it being consistant with industry practice.

      As for the explanation? What a bunch of crap. If they want something that suggests the recipient is moving how about “New home service transfer summary.” Or, “Please confirm new address by…”. That certainly suggests to me the person the letter is addressed to is moving.

    • shepd says:

      Also consistent with industry practice: Blood Diamonds.

  3. daveoverton says:

    Why is this okay? When did “we all do it that way” make it right?
    Each of these companies should look at their practices and ask, “what if someone did that to me, what would I do?”
    Vote with your $’s, tell “industry practice” good-bye.

  4. flychinook says:

    If it came with a prepaid reply envelope, stuff all the junk mail into it (and any other junk mail that will fit) and send it back to them.

    Write “payment enclosed” on the outside.

  5. RogueStomper says:

    ” The language on the outer envelope does not relate to any specific customer(s) and is a reference to an offer under the Movers Edge program as explained in detail in the accompanying letter. ”
    If it doesn’t relate to any specific customer, why would this guy’s name be partially redacted on the letter in a few spots?

    ” The letter does not state or suggest that any particular customer is moving and, when opened, the letter begins with the question “Moving?” Thereafter, the letter makes clear that “if you are planning to move” you should consider calling Comcast for a special offer.”
    OK, straight from the letter, it states ” … call us to confirm your new address…. ” The letter doesn’t start with the question “Moving?” That may seem petty, but when a rep is going to quote a letter they are responsible for, perhaps knowing what it actually says would help.

    ” Our position is the envelope is not misleading and is consistent with industry practice. ”
    So, they are only talking about the envelope and not what is inside, even though they mention it in their response. Also, the envelope is misleading since it appears that the customer, who is named on the envelope (or so I would assume since it’s pixeled out) is to confirm a new address.

    I got the same letter and I’ve not had Comcast for seven years. Neat, huh?

  6. psm321 says:

    It is misleading enough that when I got this I called Comcast to make sure they weren’t going to cut off my service because they somehow thought I was moving.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      This would be my concern as well. I’m vigilant about my mail and identity theft, so when I see something like this, I start getting paranoid that someone’s gotten ahold of my identification and is messing with my stuff.

  7. DrPizza says:

    I hate misleading mailers. The most common misleading ones come from car dealers. And, I’m sick of the crappy key they mail to me that might. be. the. winning. key. They guarantee they mailed the key to the car out.

    If possible, I’d love to figure out which vehicle on their lot was the prize (if I had the winning key), then use the VIN from that vehicle to have a key for the vehicle cut.

    “Hey, wooohooo! I won!” Them: “uhhh, uhhh, uhhh” Me: “Are you admitting that promotion is completely fraudulent and that in fact, the odds of winning the grand prize were *zero*? Or are we just agreeing that we both are getting away with something this time?”

    • Scooter McGee says:

      This. Car dealers around here have started sending mail either with no return address, or a very official/government sounding return address. Almost looks like you are getting a letter from the IRS or a court summons. The only thing it does is tell me which car dealer to avoid.

  8. dicobalt says:

    Further proving my theory that marketing and sales people are nothing but professional liars who weren’t able to get a law degree.

  9. everynewday says:

    Not to defend Comcast, but they probably send these out around a year after people move, as it’s fairly common for renters to move after their year lease is up.

  10. oldowlisher says:

    I do like that…..:))

  11. Pete the Geek says:

    “Our position is the envelope is not misleading and is consistent with industry practice”.

    Comcast’s position is that making people wait at home all day for an “appointment window” is for their customers’ convence. It is also Comcast’s position that people prefer buying their premium channels in pre-packaged bundles instead of separately. Just because it is Comcast’s position, doesn’t make it right or logical.

  12. DanKelley98 says:

    Move to the address you’re currently at and score the gift card.

  13. Milquetoast says:

    Not that it will make the OP feel any better, but I get misleading communications from Comcast about once a month, and I’m not even a Comcast subscriber. In fact, I live outside of their service area, so we have a different cable company. I’m guessing they just blanket the entire region.

  14. mcgyver210 says:

    Comcast & all companies that send these obvious mis-leading advertisements know exactly what they are doing. Their intent was to get you to open the envelope which is a step in the direction they want you to go.

  15. mcgyver210 says:

    “Our position is the envelope is not misleading and is consistent with industry practice.”

    Hm…. And that statement makes it ethical, honest, right etc etc………

  16. Caddyshack says:

    I think the OP has a obsession-compulsive disorder. I just throw these away and forget the moment.

  17. Therulnig says:

    What is better is a letter I got earlier this week that had a return address that made it appear to be from my car insurance company and said something along the lines of “Important policy information” – Since I had recently had a billing issue with them I opened it….It was an advertisement for a competitors’ insurance…