Has RCN Been Harassing You At The Gas Station?

Have you been approached at a gas station or other public place by someone who claims to be with RCN? Reader Lenka writes in to share an odd encounter she had with a guy in an RCN polo who approached her as she was pumping gas:

I was pumping gas into my car at a Shell station at the intersection of Broadway and Hollywood in Chicago (a very busy intersection, off the north end of Lake Shore Drive) when I was approached at my car by a man wearing a blue RCN polo, carrying a clipboard. He says, “How are you this evening, ma’am? I’m here to see if we can get you signed up for RCN cable tonight.” I find this odd, and I’m annoyed at being accosted while pumping gas (this does happen occasionally at gas stations in town, but usually by homeless people asking for change) and I respond, “I don’t have cable, and I’m not interested.”

His response, “Well, where do you live? I need your address.” To which I respond, “that’s none of your business.”

Has this happened to you? RCN provides phone, cable, and high speed internet access in Boston, New York, Eastern Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., Chicago, and Los Angeles. Are they pestering you at the pump? Read Lenka’s full email inside.

Lenka writes:

Dear Consumerist –

I wanted to drop you a note about a strange encounter I had yesterday with someone who may (or may not) have been an RCN cable representative. Have you ever heard of a cable company using this unorthodox method to sign up customers?

On May 30th, at approximately 7:00pm, I was pumping gas into my car at a Shell station at the intersection of Broadway and Hollywood in Chicago (a very busy intersection, off the north end of Lake Shore Drive) when I was approached at my car by a man wearing a blue RCN polo, carrying a clipboard. He says, “How are you this evening, ma’am? I’m here to see if we can get you signed up for RCN cable tonight.” I find this odd, and I’m annoyed at being accosted while pumping gas (this does happen occasionally at gas stations in town, but usually by homeless people asking for change) and I respond, “I don’t have cable, and I’m not interested.”

His response, “Well, where do you live? I need your address.” To which I respond, “that’s none of your business.”

He’s a little taken aback, but continues, “Well, I just need your information to verify that we have service in your building.”

I reply, “I’m sure you do, and I’m not interested.”

“Okay, well, how about Internet or phone?”

“I’m not interested in that, either.”

Eventually, he leaves and I watch him walk away – not to the next vehicle – but across the six rows of pumps to a young woman, who seems to engage him in conversation. I looked around the station to see if an RCN vehicle was parked anywhere, but there was none to be seen from my vantage point.

The interaction struck me as suspicious, and I haven’t been able to determine by calling RCN if this is one of their official ways of drumming up business (a very sketchy one at that, and one that has turned me off to their company) – or if this individual was a scam artist and should be reported to police?

By the way, I discovered your site about a 6 weeks ago and I’ve become a big fan – thank you for all the information and tips you provide!

best regards,

Lenka

We have heard of telecom companies sending people door-to-door to solicit customers, but pestering people at the gas station? That just seems wrong. Has this happened to anyone else?

Lenka had the right idea telling this chump to get lost. Don’t give your address to strangers just because they’re wearing a polo shirt! —MEGHANN MARCO

(Photo: idee)