Comcast Gives Customer Bad Info, Slaps Him With $2,700 Fee

When you’re moving and your current cable provider tells you your new address is serviced by someone else, that should be the end of the story. But not for one Chicago-area man who was facing thousands of dollars in early termination fees because Comcast gave him incorrect information.

The Chicago Tribune’s What’s Your Problem? column has the full story, but here are the essentials.

In June, the man contacted Comcast to inform them of his impending move. Comcast told him that the new address was not serviced by Comcast and to “Locate another service.” Which is how he ended up agreeing to get AT&T U-Verse installed.

Then in July he calls up Comcast again to cancel his account in advance of the actual moving date. This time, Comcast said that it wanted to actually visit the address and assess whether it could indeed be hooked up with Comcast service.

He says that Comcast asked him to sign an online authorization to let an installation tech check out the site. Thinking this was required to get the company off his back, he agreed.

Lo and behold, he finds out a few weeks later that the house could indeed be hooked up with Comcast service. And then there’s the real kicker, if he wants out of his Comcast contract, he owes an early termination fee of around $2,700. Just to rub a little salt in the wound, he now has a two-year contract with AT&T that carries its own sizable cancellation fee.

“I told them they, Comcast, put us in this situation when they initially told us they did not have service,” the man tells the Tribune’s Jon Yates. “We had no reason or interest in changing to another provider… We loved their service.”

After repeated, futile attempts to talk sense to anyone at Comcast, he contacted What’s Your Problem?. And surprise surprise, shortly after being contacted by the media about this situation Comcast said it would cancel the service without charge and issued an apology to the now-former customer.

What the company doesn’t say is whether or not it decided to waive the ETF because it realized the errors of its ways or because one of the country’s biggest newspapers was going to write about this story. Given our experience with Comcast and other cable/Internet providers, we’d place good money that it’s the latter.

Problem Solver: Move by business leads to Comcast dispute [Chicago Tribune]