Man Gets $35 Service Credit From Comcast By Doing Math In His Head

Shaw writes:

I am one of the early adopters of Comcast’s new TiVo service that is being rolled (see: rushed before ready) out in Massachusetts.

So far, not once but TWICE, the box in my room has crashed on me with the TiVo OS installed. The first time, they couldn’t send out a tech until nearly 2 weeks later. Got it fixed…and two weeks later, just like last time, the box crashed (stops showing any programming…and selecting “Restart The DVR” restarts it, over and over and over again. A death-spin of sorts).

So we get the bill today. A nice chunky $195 (3 boxes, two of which are TiVo DVRs, one that crashes, one thats a lil buggy). Enough is enough. Time to get credited for these boxes…

Call Comcast. Explain the situation. My box is dead and I can’t watch programming…my dad’s box is buggy and OnDemand doesnt work often. I asked for the price of the DVR boxes and TiVo service to be waived for a month and a half ($15.90 x 2 x 1.5 months…said a fair amount to me would be $35). He said the most he could do was credit me for one DVR for one month because signal was still being sent to my home and I could have plugged in the cable directly into my television.

He was being stern, but generally not awful. And I love a good debate.

Insert monologue: “Well if we want to split hairs here…then lets split hairs. I want my DVR service refunded for a month and a half. I want my TiVo service refunded for a month and a half. THEN, I want every channel above 96 refunded…”

CSR: “Why would we do that?”

Me: “Well…plug in your cable directly to your television. You’ll get channels 2-96. I don’t get the digital package that I pay $12.95 for. I don’t get the extended sports programming that I pay for. I don’t get my HD programming. All I get are basic and extended basic. So lets split hairs. I think $35 is fair”.

He puts me on hold.

10 minutes later, CSR comes back, sounding slightly defeated

CSR: “Hello…?” (in that “I’m trying to see if my angry girlfriend is on the other line voice”)

Me: “Hi.”

CSR: “OK, all of this aside…did you use a calculator to come up with $35?”

Me: “I failed nearly every year of math in high school. Just did some quick figuring.”

CSR: “Well, my supervisor and I just used a calculator and we came up with exactly $35.”

Me: “Well then I’m more brilliant than I thought I was! This means I’m getting the credit?”

CSR: “You’ve got it.”

Once again proof that 80% of America only needs 6th-7th grade math skills to survive. I wasn’t asking for anything out of line…just asking for a credit for services I was unable to make use of, and I got it. I was a bill collector for a year when I was 18…and although it was by far the worst job I’ve ever had (and I was the least successful at it…far too nice)…it, along with the Consumerist, makes it pretty easy to talk to CSR’s and get some action.

I don’t hate Comcast like some people do (in fact, I freelance for one of their television channels)…but having a good argument + Verizon FiOS in the neighborhood makes them a lil’ more of a pushover now.

Viva la Consumerist!!

It’s very simple. It’s just like algebra class.


If you’re getting 10.5 Y, then you should only pay 10.5 X. You’re just balancing the equation.

This is the second time we have posted a story from Shawn. The first time, he got his Seagate harddrive complaint resolved by posting it along with a slew of executive email addressees right in the official Seagate online forums. If he gets a third one, he will qualify for an official consumer vigilante mask.

(Photo: Getty)

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