Comcast Doesn’t Understand That 42-42=0, Sends Me To Collections

For a few months in mid-2011, Consumerist reader Claudia lived in two different apartments while waiting to close escrow on her new home. At both apartments, she’d had cable from Comcast, and when she closed out her account she was told she had a zero balance. Then yesterday, Claudia gets a call from a collections agency.

So she called Comcast, where she was eventually told that, in spite of what she’d been told earlier, she still owed $41.90 at one apartment. But wait — the Comcast rep sees that there is a $41.90 credit at the other apartment.

“I said, ‘So I don’t owe you any money,’” Claudia recalls to Consumerist. “The representative seemed startled for a moment and then agreed. He apologized and said it was Comcast’s error. I asked that the credit be applied to the amount due and that Comcast notify its collection agency to stop calling me. He couldn’t do that but transferred me to someone who “should have been able to do it.” After explaining everything again, the woman told me she didn’t know if she could transfer the credit to the amount due — on the same account number.”

Claudia was then transferred two more times — having to explain the story in full to each new person — before eventually ending up with the Sales department, which doesn’t really make sense.

“After explaining everything again, he transferred me to someone who spoke in such a garbled voice that I could not understand half of what he said,” she writes. “What I did hear was that he had a difficult time understanding how an equal credit and an amount due for the same account number could result in my not owing Comcast anything! When I asked him to apply the credit to the amount owed and to notify the collection agency to stop calling me, he mumbled so much that I doubt it was handled. He did say it would take 2-3 weeks and, at that point, he hung up on me.”

Meanwhile, the collections agency has continued to call Claudia, who has now wasted hours of her life cleaning up Comcast’s mess and has take even more time out of her life to alert the credit bureaus about the cable company’s mistake.

This seems like an awful lot of effort for Comcast to go through just to refuse to admit it made a mistake and maybe collect a portion of the $41.90.

So if you’ve ever had Comcast at more than one location, make sure — and get final statements in writing — that both addresses on your account have been zeroed out, or else you might find your credit being dinged for a relatively paltry amount of cash.