Comcast Digs Up Your Patio After You Asked Them Not To And Other Assorted Humiliations

Reader Shannon has been without a working phone in her home office for the past 16 days thanks to Comcast. This has her in a bad mood, but she’s also a little ticked off because they sent over a bunch of guys who didn’t understand her when she told them not to dig up her patio.

Here’s her letter:

I am appalled that anyone can speak the word customer service at Comcast. I am so angry with Comcast right now that I am going to compose an email that will be sent to every investor, stock holder, news agency, better business bureau, and consumer protection agency. Allow me to explain why I am so irate; you at least deserve an opportunity to answer why a company that you run is so negligent with it’s consumers.

1.)I opened my account via the web with a live web rep via chat back in April. Because I had heard the horror stories, and because I worked for a local telco, I asked very pointed questions such as “will my service have any down time due to number portability?” and “Is there anything I can do to make sure that this is a smooth process?”. The chat representative assured me that the transition would not have any down time, and that all I had to do was follow the link provided and then fill out the “Letter of Agency” form. I did that and received confirmation for both numbers.

2.)Comcast Rep did not show up on scheduled date, instead, he showed up almost two weeks later on May 5th, 2008 unannounced. I figured the wait was because of the number and I did not say anything about it. The technician installed the service. The number on the ticket read [redacted]. I was very specific in my original chat that this was the number I needed. I explained that I have advertising on that number. The tech TESTED the line and assured us that everything was installed as ordered. What he didn’t tell us was that we were assigned a Comcast Native number. I was able to access the internet and make outbound calls but my inbound calls were just ringing, never actually going through to my home. This was due to the native number being placed on the line.

3.)May 5th, 2008, at 5pm, I contacted 1-800-Comcast. They informed me that it was a simple mistake, gave me the native number and explained that the problem would be corrected within 24 hours.

4.)May 6th, 2008 at 5pm. My services went completely down. No internet, no phone, no dial tone. I contacted 1-800-Comcast again. They explained that the earliest appointment time would be May 7th with an all day appointment (meaning by 8pm). At 8pm, the rep had not showed so I called. The rep on the phone explained that the tech had attempted to call the number on the ticket being reported for no dial tone, did not get an answer, therefore, did not come. They must have dispatched him, because he did show up at 10:00pm. He said he had fixed the problem. I could now use the internet and make outbound calls with the number [redacted] showing up on the other persons caller id, but my inbound calls were still going to never never land, not being received in my home. The tech explained that he could not fix it, that it was a portability issue and said that he would have his boss contact me the following day.

5.) Steve never contacted me. I finally contacted him at 4:00pm. He explained that I was a complete problem and that “corporate emails” had been flying all day and that he or his boss would email me with resolution by the following day which was Friday. No email. I tried to call him all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday yet he never answered his calls, returned my calls or emailed me to this day.

6.) I had three spanish speaking individuals show up to replace wire I assume. They dug a hole THROUGH my patio, buried that wire, then left the entire 1/2 acre of line exposed for the dogs to chew…Brilliant! I tried to ask them to NOT dig through my patio, but they could speak English, No Comprende!

7.) I called back in to 1-800-Comcast on 5/12/08. I spoke to Antonio. He said that a work order had been placed but that it was done incorrectly. He explained that the number had not been ported over correctly either. He said that he was going to correctly enter the work order but that I would have to go through another wound of third party verification. He said that the earliest he could have my new number up and running would be 5/22/08 before 5pm. He further explained that he could not enter a work order at the same time for our 2nd number. He said to call in on the 22nd and that they would then get the second number ported but that it would be at least another 7 days from the time that I call in.

8.) My box was reset, a call came from comcast and my number switched over on the 16th of may. The 2nd number was still incomplete.

9.) On 5/20/08. My phones went down again, no inbound or outbound, no dial tone at all again. I contacted the chat live rep again. The first rep said that I had taken the service off of my account which I had not done. He switched me to sales. The sales chat rep said that he should not have transferred me there and that he would try to resolve. He promised resolution by 9pm. He asked that I log back into this chat and check up prior to 9pm. I did. This time, the rep said that it had nothing to do with that and that this was an inside wiring issue. My questions was then why did rep #1 and #2 say that this was due to an account error and why did I just have my patio dug up to replace wire? She couldn’t answer but scheduled an appointment for another tech to come out 5/21/08. This is now ridiculous.

Really it boils down to reps pushing the blame, passing the buck and taking no responsibility. It seems that there is so much corporate tape to go through that Comcast can’t get out of it’s own way. I want a working phone and I want it now. I was told that it would be installed and by a Comcast rep, I was told that there would not be any down time. Promise after Promise has been broken and contractually speaking, comcast has defaulted. What is going to happen with my advertising bill of 800.00 this month? Am I expected to pay it when obviously no customer could get through to my line? And what about all the business I lost?? And what about the property damage? This situation is a lot larger than simply not having a phone for a few hours. It has now been 16 days (and counting).

Much more transpired through calls and what not but it would simply be too much to write. I am now begging to have this resolved…pleading. My business depends on it. Would you be okay without a phone in your office for 16 days? With all the complaints I am sure that you would rather have it that way!

I have chat logs, copies of all correspondence, recordings, you name it. Ignoring me will not make me go away. I want resolution. This is an opportunity to fix the problem now, before I take this matter for review before the consumer protection agency, the FCC, the better business bureau and all the local news agencies. I hope that you take customer service and promises seriously; any business relies on it!


After Comcast dug up our property without permission and left us without a phone for 16 days, we’d port our number to another company, have the damage repaired and file a small claims lawsuit for the amount of the repair bill… but that’s just us. Here’s some information on how to do that if Comcast doesn’t come through with phone service and a little patio repair.

(Photo: u2acro )

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