Comcast Triple Play, Now With 24 Month Contract And ETF

You might want to think twice before agreeing to an Comcast CSR’s offer to “extend the price for 2 years,” because Comcast’s Triple Play comes with a contract and an ETF.

Reader L. writes:

I love Consumerist. If it were a woman, it would be really large with multiple personalities, but I’d date it all the same.

Seriously, I got a contract from Comcast stating that if I don’t sign and send it back within 30 days of my service being set up then they’d bill me for everything at current market prices. It gets better though. They also state that if I make any changes to my account then I may be penalized with a $150 early termination fee. The only problem was that I set up service on 4/04; the letter they sent to me was dated 4/23 and I didn’t get it in the mail until 5/05. Before I even had the contract I was already in violation of it, if I were to sign it.

To give you some background, I signed up for their famous “Triple Play” and when I did so the person setting up the order said he could give me the price for 2 years instead of one. It made no matter to me because I only signed up because Verizon takes a while to set service up and I need something quickly to get online. Sure I know that customers like me are what Comcast would like to discourage but all their marketing says that it’s 12 months, no contract and then you get the old bait-and-switch and a scary letter sent to you.

Needless to say that I have a very lengthy conversation with Comcast and had my account changed from 24 to 12 months so I don’t have to think twice about them getting creative with my billing. Please feel free to share my story as I’m sure other Comcast or potential Comcast customers should be aware.

Watch out for Comcast’s shady contract behavior. Your CSR may not bother to tell you what you’re really signing up for. —MEGHANN MARCO


Edit Your Comment

  1. ptkdude says:

    When I called to cancel my Comcast service, claiming I was switching to satellite (which was a load of hooey, just wanted them to cut my bill), one of their big selling points was they don’t have an ETF like DirecTV does. HA!

  2. dscosson says:

    Contracts and ETFs = bad.

    Cox Communications doesn’t do this, at least :-) No contracts ever for residential customers.

  3. superlayne says:

    @blankfaze: Go Cox!

    Has there been an article about Cox on Consumerist?

    I am so glad I live in ____. No Comcast in sight.

  4. homerjay says:

    If you’re switching from Comcast to DirecTV, you won’t be T’ing the contract E so don’t worry about it. Comcast can’t hold a candle to DirecTV. They couldn’t be more customer friendly. (in my experience)

  5. silencedotcom says:

    As if we needed another reason to dislike Comcast and their business practices…

  6. NotSoComcastic says:

    Having been recently liberated of my job at Comcast, I can tell you that this 24 month contract and ETF have been sitting on the burner for about the past 4-6 months. The contract is supposed to be an option for consumers, not a requirement.

    Also, the contract is sent out through a third-party vendor, and you are supposed to have 45 days to sign and return the contract (If you signed it at all).

    It’s this kind of clear communication and underhanded dealing that really made my days at Comcast so pleasant.

  7. ungsunghero says:

    Wow, and I thought Time Warner was bad!

    By the way, LOL @ “T’ing the contract E”!

  8. Sean O says:

    Yes, kids, it’s fun to bash Comcast (hey why not replace the s with a DOLLAR SIGN?!), but…

    Comcast does not charge an early termination fee for the Triple Play if you sign up for one year. Opt out at any time. Be sure to flesh this out first over the phone, and keep records of all documents in case something gets screwed up.

    I’m no Comcast fanboy, but until Verizon gets their FiOS act together (laid cable in my hood two years ago, and still no service), their high-speed internet and dual-tuner HD DVR are still tops.

    • Cyberxion101 says:

      @Sean O: Except they do, genuis. In fact my brother just got fucked by one. You may not be a Comcast fanboy, but you’re ignorant and full of shit.

  9. hop says:

    direct tv is ok by us…’s the lesser of two evils…..haven’t had a problem with direct tv…..the few times we called them ,we had good response…….

  10. wfujim says:

    Yesterday I got a nice marketing letter in the mail from Comcast. It said a new “Customer Loyalty Program” was being developed, which would then provide a discount for existing customers similar to what the new customer offers are. It also included a $3.99 coupon for 1 pay per view movie as a gift.

    It did not specify what the loyalty discounts would be, but basically that they would notify me once everything was finalized.

    I thought it was odd (and actually pretty encouraging) that Comcast would reach out to existing customers to provide them with loyalty discounts. I couldn’t help wondering what the catch would be.

    It all becomes so much more clear to me now that I read the post above and realize what will likely accompany these “loyalty discounts” when I receive information about them in the coming months: a contract with a nice little ETF somewhere in the fine print.

    Oh Comcast, you broke my heart.

  11. The Bigger Unit says:

    Oh well. The “Spider-Man” Comcast commercial still makes me laugh every time I see it.

    “I webbed you. That means you get the apartment!”

  12. crayonshinobi says:

    @ptkdude: I was thinking the exact same thing as I read the article.

    Frankly, I’d like to see Comcast try to do a contract with an ETF. Comcast changes their services and raises their prices so much, I don’t think they could go 3 months before breaching their end. Then, you’d see “How to get out of your Comcast Contract without paying an ETF” stories on Consumerist.

    Eat poo Comcast.

  13. Canadian Impostor says:

    @blankfaze: Hooray for Cox! If you live in the area they service anyways, since cable companies very rarely overlap each other.

    @Sean O: Verizon Fios is a way worse customer service story than anything cable could do. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to have Fios, but we the taxpayers paid for the entire Fios network a decade ago. Combine that with the fact that at least withing three states of where I live Fios is only offered in the richest neighborhoods, and it’s a little ridiculous.

  14. Type-E says:

    Triple play is quite expensive in my sense,

    $100 for phone + internet + TV

    I cheaped out by:
    $19.99 1.5Mbps SBC DSL + $20 ($13 + a bunch of crap fees)cheapest lan line + free OTA HD.

  15. Trackback says:

    Forgive, if you will, the sensational headline. Comcast’s three-play service, offering internet, phone and TV for $100, is an easy, single-bill offering at a reasonable price.  And after the initial and all-too-common installation wait, our dealings with the firm have been plain sailing.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Well I’d like to say I’m shocked and appalled at the reaction this fine cable company provider is getting….ROTFLMAO. Please they suck. I’ve lived in Cox neighborhoods, never heard of a COD for installation (unless you had a past due balance, which is understandable), I’ve lived in Mediacom markets, Fantastic service (Okay I’m a little biased on that one, but I gotta support my union brothers). But Comcast. They are evil, I was a contractor for them (no sales only installation) and I was always bombarded with disgruntled customers. The problem is, they hold themselves in such a high regard, they feel they can do anything they want. Why? Because NOW they are the largest cable company. Until a few years ago, it wasn’t Comcast, but Cox Communications. I think they could learn a few things from Cox, from installation practices, to sales practices, to what equipment is reliable. Comcast is a clusterf#$k all the way up and down the ladder. BTW: Guess who owns comcast. Give ya hint the same people that own Verizon, and the old SBC…That’s right our old friends AT&T. SBC good service, Verizon good service…AT&T always left a little to be desired….now they all leave a little to be desired…hmmmmmm coincidence????

    • Dave Lehmer says:

      @FloraBuddha: shows how much you know about the organizational structure of Comcast. AT&T does NOT own Comcast or Verizon. You must be retarded or at least misinformed.