Comcast Tech Accuses 74-Year-Old Man Of Stealing Cable Service

Pretend you’re a Comcast tech who has been asked to transfer Ally’s account and internet service to her 74-year-old grandfather’s house. Your work order shows that Ally ordered only internet service, but when you shimmy up the pole, you see that the house is also set to receive cable service. Do you:

  • A) Connect the internet service and leave.
  • B) Connect the internet service and check to see if the 74-year-old man has a separate account for the cable service.
  • C) Accuse the 74-year-old man of stealing cable, and declare “I don’t want to see your fucking bill” when the granddaughter tries to explain the situation.

Ally’s story, after the jump…

So here’s my story with Comcast:

My girlfriend and I were living in an apartment where we had Comcast Internet, Phone, and Digital Cable service. After our lease was up, we decided to move into my grandpa’s house for a year or so to save some money to put down on a house. Anyways – I called Comcast and set a disconnect date at our apartment. My grandpa has basic extended cable through comcast, and for us, that’s good enough. So I asked them to cancel the cable and phone line for us, and asked if they could just transfer the internet service and set an appointment for a tech to come out and hook up the internet at my Grandpa’s. All went well. I was told a tech would be at my Grandpa’s the following Tuesday between 10 and 1pm.

As most of us know, Comcast techs don’t normally show up until about 2 minutes until that window is over, but this time – the guy actually showed up at about 10:05am. Great, I thought. I don’t have to sit at home all day waiting for someone to show up. He pulls his truck into the alleyway and comes into the house to see where we want the line hooked up. I proceed to show him the spare bedroom where I’ll be connecting the router. He obviously noticed my Grandfather watching cable tv in the living room.

He then tells me he’s going outside to check the line on the poll. I go upstairs and about 5 minutes later, I come outside to witness my grandpa and the Comcast guy in a screaming match. The Comcast tech is threatening to leave and I ask “What the heck is going on?!” Well, my Grandpa starts telling me that he disconnected his cable and says we do not have a cable account with Comcast and basically accuses my Grandpa of hijacking cable. Okay, last time I checked, most 74 years old probably don’t know how to hijack cable. So my Grandpa gets really upset and starts back for the house. I’m trying to find out from the Comcast tech what is going on and my Grandpa comes back out 2 seconds later with a Comcast bill in his hand. He goes to hand it to the Comcast tech and he rudely replies “Sir, I don’t want to see your fucking bill. If you don’t go back in your house and quit disrespecting me, I’m going to just leave.”

Meanwhile, I ask my Grandpa to try and let me straighten it out and go inside for a minute because I could tell at this point he was getting really upset. So I continue to ask the guy what the hell is going on all the while he is telling me he isn’t going back in the house to hook up my internet because he doesn’t appreciate my Grandpa “disrespecting him”. Well, from what I saw, my Grandpa didn’t really deserve to get his cable turned off and treated in such a way. I finally talk him into hooking up the internet (I needed it for school as my homework is submitted online). But the issue still remains with my Grandpa’s service. So I ask the tech why he thinks we don’t have cable. He replies “When I look up the phone number on the account, it only shows internet, no cable television. That’s a red flag mam.”

So I immediately figure out what’s going on. I tell him calmly “Okay, well you are looking under MY phone number. And yes, I only have internet service in my name seeing as I cancelled the phone and cable service. My grandfather has a SEPARATE Comcast account from me, on which he only has extended cable. If you would have let him show you the bill, maybe you would have noticed it is two separate account numbers!” I wanted it that way so then the internet bill comes in my name. It’s just easier that way when paying bills.

He then rudely replies with “Mam, I don’t really care. I’m doing my job, and I’m not stupid. Comcast will not allow two different accounts at the same address so I already know you are blatantly lying to me.” Well obviously this was news to me. And he proceeds to just leave without turning back on my Grandpa’s cable, which he PAYS for.

We have a Comcast center about 2 minutes from our house, so we drive over there. The lady proceeds to tell me she can’t turn back on the cable because the account was flagged.

Alright, well obviously he saw 2 accounts if he specifically flagged my Grandpa’s.

About six calls to Comcast later, and I finally get someone on the line willing to fix the situation. He tells me he has no idea what he was talking about and there isn’t anything saying 2 Comcast accounts can’t be at the same house. He turns my Grandpa’s cable back on and gives him a $10 credit, which in all honesty, is kind of insulting for the crap the rep and the center gave us. Not only was the tech wrong, but he treated my Grandfather like crap.

Who the hell is Comcast hiring these days?

Update: Ally writes:

The Comcast Corporate office called me this morning, and I’m more than happy with the way they are resolving the issue. They have credited or accounts for a period of time, and I have received a verbal apology from every single person I have spoken with.

Then a little while ago, I also got another call from the local Comcast branch apologizing as well as stating they are interviewing the tech about the situation.

To those telling me to switch – this is the ONLY issue I have ever had with Comcast. I’ve never had an issue with their service other than a few outages here and there, and last time I checked, you’ll get that with any service provider from time to time. Any other tech I’ve ever had come to my house has always been more than polite and did the job they were there to do. The way the situation is being handled is fine with me. It was more an issue with a specific tech than with Comcast service. As of right now, I’m giving Comcast the benefit of the doubt and trusting they handle the situation.

Several of the people from Comcast I spoke with openly stated there are things that need improvement. They didn’t question me, and did what needed to be done to resolve the issue. As of now, that’s really all I wanted.

(Photo: Getty)


Edit Your Comment

  1. hegemonyhog says:

    Given that the general method of Comcast’s customer service is for whomever’s helping you to arbitrarily make up a rule to explain why they aren’t doing the very simple thing you’re asking for, I’m surprised the guy didn’t demand that the grandfather go down to the lake and prove he wasn’t a witch, too. It’s right in the contract, I swear.

  2. rekoil says:

    At least he didn’t get criminal charges filed against him…

  3. mgy says:

    “I’m not stupid”

  4. EdnaLegume says:

    who checks that statistics of 74 year old cable hijack skills? is there a database for this, seriously?

    I still can’t help feel if people would tell comcast to go f^#k themselves when this crap happens then it wouldn’t continue to happen on such a regular basis. (I know, I know, “they’re the only provider for us”… “we NEED our internet/cable”)

    I realize that’s dangerously on the “blame the op” side, but it’s not really. This is comcast douchebaggery at its finest, but come one, stop letting it happen.

    Would it kill comcast to hire/sub out installers that have mediocre intelligence at least? that asshat won’t even get a stern talking to over this.

  5. headhot says:

    The problem is that none of the departments talk to each other, and supervisors and management make up rules as they go along with no understanding at all as to how the billing system and the call centers work.

    Then you get a $8 an hour install tech with a god complex.

  6. nicemarmot617 says:

    Yeah I think I would have told this guy to get off my property, cancelled Comcast and never looked back. Why are you people so willing to pay to be treated this way?? I would go back to dialup before I accepted that kind of treatment for my grandfather. I love how we have to have endless Comcast stories because people in Comcast areas pretend its a monopoly – “but I would die without my precious cable! DIE I TELL YOU!” Nevermind that there are companies just like it in almost every part of the country – ever dealt with Qwest in the rural West? It’s like you’re calling the Death Star and asking to talk to Darth Vader. At least Comcast didn’t win worst company, that really would have pissed me off.

  7. pdxguy says:

    It’s likely doubtful that complaining to Comcast at this point will get you the apology and satisfaction that you are seeking and should have. A better approach, and one that I have found that often does result in some response, is to complain to the local (city, town, village, etc.) cable oversight commission or committee. Almost everyplace should have one, and in my locale, their location and contact details are printed on page 2 of my bill.

  8. OP: “Who the hell is Comcast hiring these days?”

    A: Douchebags. :-)

  9. VicMatson says:

    Every time Comcast comes to my home they see a flag(they are color coded)and shut me off! Every time it happens I have to go up a tree(phone) to get a tech back out to turn it back on. Then every time they turn it back on they don’t see the bad tag(or play dumb as stumps) and it repeats itself like the movie Growndhog day. They are quick though, I hear the truck, get my shoes on, and leave befor I get a chance to talk to them.

    The part that gets me is Im running without for several days.

  10. tedyc03 says:

    Way to be a dick, Comcast guy.

  11. DigitalMariner says:

    “As most of us know, Comcast techs don’t normally show up until about 2 minutes until that window is over, but this time – the guy actually showed up at about 10:05am.”

    Comcast techs actually show up? When did this breakthru in service occur? Is this nationwide or some kind of test market program?

  12. RevRagnarok says:

    OK, let me start by saying I am in my early 30s and I have been known to drop f-bombs about once per hour (with a daughter on the way I am trying to get better). But I guess momma did something right, because the biggest “disrespectful” thing (not my words) that I see here is talking to any 74-year old person with that language.

  13. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    Yes, Comcast *are* stupid…and rude..and you’re a complete douchebag who should be fired on the spot, and your supervisor should drag you by your nose ring over to apologize to the old man.

  14. TomCruisesTesticles says:

    I don’t understand the title-unless he has dementia or is bed-ridden, why couldn’t a 74 year old hijack cable? And also, Grandpa is not the preferred nomenclature. Grandfather, please.

    When it’s furniture being delivered, an emergency plumber or electrician visit, I will gladly wait all day. But Comcast? 20 minutes before the window closes I’ve called to say, if you can’t be here by the latest time you promised, don’t come at all, I have things to do. Thus far I’ve only actually left once. I had a nasty CSR who obviously didn’t understand that people have lives. Yes, I know you’re very busy. So am I. No you may not come tomorrow, or the day after. Come in a week and come on time. I don’t have time for that shit. I’ll be damned if I wait all day just for cable

  15. Jeff asks: "WTF could you possibly have been thinking? says:

    There’s no mention of the language used by the grandfather in that shouting match…. Seems to me the GF has had more time to practice his French….
    Not blaming the OP, but I know I would cuss out a tech that cut my cable…..

  16. timmus says:

    most 74 years old probably don’t know how to hijack cable.

    No, no, no… that’s a serious oversight and let me explain why. A 74-year old would have been 46 in 1980, the era when cable descramblers, pirating, and theft were all the rage. It’s much more likely that a 74-year old wouldn’t give a crap about what’s on the premium cable channels, much less climb a pole, unless they were really desperate to get the History Channel or something.

  17. chartrule says:

    most service people work to their own schedule it seems

  18. hardtoremember says:

    I would say too switch to DirecTv but they have called me 2 times a day since I called requesting info.
    Hopefully Comcast gets tired of all this bad press and does something about their customer service issues.

  19. guilliam says:


    I don’t know where the OP is located but I do know that where I live, in a small town, we have 1 cable provider (thankfully NOT Comcast) and 1 high speed internet provider (same one for both) and have no choice to go somewhere else. Sure we could get satelitte tv or do without cable channels and do without high speed internet, but why should we have to just because they think they can treat you however they want? In reality, Comcast just needs to teach their employees to respect their customers (don’t laugh)

  20. Codis says:

    If someone cursed at my grandpa, he would seriously get one right in the kisser. POW!

  21. nicemarmot617 says:


    You will never get your evil cable company to treat you with respect as long as you keep giving them your money. They DO NOT and WILL NOT EVER care about the quality of their customer service when they are the only game in town. They are using that fact to their advantage and there is absolutely no way for customers to force them to change. Is it wrong? Sure, but it’s reality. The only thing they care about, and will ever care about, is profits.

    I know what it’s like – I spent a lot of my life living in small towns where there was only one provider, if there was any provider at all – and whatever company it was usually acted like we should treat them like gods just for showing up in our town. That’s the way it works in small towns, which hopefully someday will change. But until it does, you’ve only got one weapon and that’s your cash. You won’t die without your high-speed interwebs and cable TV. But if nobody is willing to pay the cable company, they will die!

    Also don’t understand why people are so resistant to satellite. It sucks for internet, but is way better than cable TV in just about every single way, cheaper, and less time to deal with evil techs. I still have it now that I’m living in the big city – did cable TV for one year and it was so laughably awful we bought an apartment with a south-facing balcony just to get satellite.

  22. Nick1693 says:

    @DigitalMariner: I had one at my house yesterday, the window was 11-2, he was here at 11:13, AND he made himself sound like he cared.

  23. crazyasianman says:

    is it just me or does it almost seem like corporate policy to screw with their customers? when I moved and cancelled my comcast service (was the cheapest option for cable/internet and signed before I knew what they were about) they sent out a third party to collect my equipment, which was all returned. a week or two later, I get an email stating that I needed to contact the local office about a piece of equipment that I had “kept” and needed to be returned. naturally I call to resolve and the tech tells me that all was well and I was logged as having returned everything. the next week I get a nastygram saying that I owed a couple of hundred for “missing equipment” and threatening collections if I didn’t pay up. took about three more calls and few hours that I’ll never get back to finally get it all cleared up. one department wasn’t talking to another, wooo

  24. dragonfire81 says:

    Although the tech was a major dick, I may have an explanation for some of his behavior. In some service jobs they hire people with a high school diploma and not much else. I when I was at my call center, they preferred rule followers who didn’t raise a ruckus about things than people who actually questioned authority and rules.

    It’s possible this tech was given some very basic rules to follow and warned to never, ever break them, hence he came up with the “you can’t have two accounts at one address” crap. It may be that you cannot have two accounts at the same address and same NAME, but who knows.

    Unfortunately the OP here got stuck with an jerk tech who didn’t really know the rules and didn’t care that much about his job apparently.

  25. dragonfire81 says:

    And on another note, I love the picture with this article! LOL.

  26. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    @dragonfire81: In which case, the proper way to address the issue would have been “I’m sorry sir, there’s a problem with your account. I can’t hook up your cable until I speak with my supervisor.”

    I also don’t think the issue is whether an old man is tech savvy enough to steal cable..(probably not)’s about an employee who was clearly out of control. There’s no excuse for that kind of behavior, and if the tech can’t handle the pressures of his job without taking it out on customers, he should be fired.

  27. EdnaLegume says:

    @dragonfire81: right. BUT, it’s comcasts responsibility to hire and dispatch competent service personnel. Regardless of what company that tech worked for, Comcast hired them for a job, and the tech was there representing Comcast.

    If they’re too stuck up their own ass to hire and train competent techs, the rest of the business is bound to be borked…. oh wait.. it is.

  28. AdvocatesDevil says:

    Comcast is pretty evil. Have they sent their “intertube pacifier” here yet to tell us all to settle down or they’ll have to stop the car?

  29. evslin says:

    $10, that’s it? For a cable tech accusing a customer of stealing, and a local office rep dispensing the same wrong information as the tech? Guy ought to be getting a little more than $10.

    And I’m guessing the cable tech didn’t get a tip or a glass of water for his little show of stupidity.

  30. Quatre707 says:

    Comcast high-speed Internet $49.95 a month. Comcast high speed Internet with basic cable $54.95.
    Mistake or not, who cares about a $5 a month mistake?

  31. Human947 says:

    Did the comcast tech use an offical van/truck ? If it was a truck with only a stick on sign on the door it was a contracter for comcast. If so they pay them per customer a flat fee plus whatever it cost to hook you up. This leads to sloppy work as in they want to do as much in a day as they can and for as little as they can. And the guy sounds like he needs better training whatever the case might be.

  32. Illiterati says:

    @nicemarmot617: No, I won’t die without my high-speed connection, but I also won’t be making a decent living without it. Nor would I make my mortgage payments. Like guilliam, I’m also in a small town with one provider (Time Warner, god help us all). I make my living online and absolutely need high-speed Internet. I work on image- and video-heavy websites for clients in other states. Imagine doing that on dial-up. Forget it, my clients would never pay for my time spent just loading their sites! It’s easy to say don’t pay for their shitty service, but it’s not feasible when their shitty service is what facilitates one’s ability to pay the mortgage and make more than minimum wage in an otherwise economically depressed area. That’s a simplistic answer to a complicated issue.

  33. dragonfire81 says:

    @Quatre707: $5 a month can add up to a lot over time.

  34. vastrightwing says:

    Since Comcast lost being the worst company on 2008, they are really working hard to win the title for 2009. I’m rooting for you Comcast! You’re well on your way. But it will be tough. I’m sure the competition will be fierce!

  35. badhatharry says:

    First off, my Aunt, who thinks her computer is only good for solitaire, and still thinks caller ID is sorcery, was stealing cable in the 80s. You don’t need to climb up there yourself, you just need to find someone who will do it for you.

    Second, I have no idea how you didn’t hit that guy. I would’ve totally lost it.

  36. nicemarmot617 says:


    Are you implying you didn’t make the choice to make your living the way you do, in the place you do? That you couldn’t move, or get satellite? Certainly my answer is simplistic – because it is the only answer there is. What do you suggest – government takeover of the evil cable corporations? What would that solve? I make the suggestions I do because they are literally the only suggestions that make any sense. I don’t see anybody else coming up with a better answer, you included. If a large volume of people withdraw their money from these companies they will be forced to improve. Otherwise, they will stay as they are.

    I’m from an economically depressed area too – Michigan. I *left* the minute I turned 18. That was my choice. I could have stayed and made my living there working online, with a crappy monopolistic cable company, and it would have sucked. But I see so many people coming onto this website complaining about the same damn problem, and not a one of them ever suggests a good answer. Why complain if you don’t have any ideas for fixing the problem? Then you’re just whining to hear yourself whine.

  37. farker says:

    If this had happened to me, I would have canceled Comcast immediately and signed up for one of the satellite/dsl combos the next day.

    The OP could have gone to the library to submit his homework until the satellite service was installed, and I think an EECB is in order to let the Comcast higher-ups know of this atrocious situation.

  38. EarlNowak says:

    It’s Comcastic!

  39. North of 49 says:

    we’ve been without highspeed net and phone for a week now. Using a neighbour’s open wifi connection is okay, but to describe my net activity as slow is ever. I’ve written several emails about the fun I’ve been having with Telus but nothing’s been posted yet. I swear that “Telus” is Canadian for “Comcast” because we’ve been getting the same run around.

  40. madanthony says:


    While the “we’ll be there between 8 and noon” window is a pain, I can understand it. Comcast techs get a list of tickets, and they have no idea how long each one is going to take – they could get to a house and just have to plug in a box, or they could basically have to rewire a house. There isn’t really a way to know how long each call is going to take.

    I work in desktop support, and “computer won’t turn on” can be anything from an unplugged power cable to a dead power supply. I imagine cable techs run into the same kind of situations.

  41. 2719 says:

    I think person talking to the tech was female. (That’s a red flag, mam (ma’am?).”

    Anyway there is absolutely no reason to treat anyone like that EVEN if they were stealing cable. If someone is disrespectful, still no reason to do this. Get your stuff and leave if you don’t feel safe doing your job.

  42. TPS Reporter says:

    It’s been my experience that most people who start off “I’m not stupid…” usually are. It’s like saying “I don’t mean to criticize but…” My grandparents pretty much raised me and if someone had spoken to my grandfather that way, I would have disrespected him and knocked him on his butt.

  43. rellog says:

    @hardtoremember: get a grand central number to use. I never give out a real #, unless I need to… and then it’s the GC number.

  44. 5h17h34d says:


    Disrespecting a Comcast tech. Isn’t that taken for granted?

  45. Difdi says:

    Since apparently nobody else has said it yet:

    The service was utterly Comcastic!

  46. StoneKitten says:

    Ah craptastic strikes again.
    Seriously I would’ve simply gotten the pinhead’s info and told him I was calling corporate offices and to vacate the premises immediately.
    Okay off for vacation now. Yeah. no more thinking about all things consumerist until September babies.

  47. Pylon83 says:

    Why is it that some people seem to believe that physical violence is an acceptable response to someone “disrespecting” their grandparent? First, I don’t see why it’s necessary to feel the real need to hit someone over something they said to you. Second, I never have understood the notion that the elderly are entitled to more respect than anyone else. We’re all people, we’re all entitled to the exact same level of respect. Just because someone is 75 doesn’t mean they are better than someone who is 18 or deserve more respect. Either way, violence is something that people resort to when they can’t come up with anything more creative or intelligent.

  48. evslin says:

    @badhatharry: Second, I have no idea how you didn’t hit that guy. I would’ve totally lost it.

    So you think racking up assault charges is a good way to get your complaint with the cable company resolved?

    The cable guy’s being a dick, but if you hit him over it that just makes you an idiot.

  49. mythago says:

    @DigitalMariner: The tech probably got confused and thought the time window ENDED at 10:00 am., and was therefore showing up five minutes late, like a good Comcast tech.

    @nicemarmot617: you really think the evil cable companies are currently operating in a free-market environment?

  50. badhatharry says:

    @evslin: I’m not defending it, but I might very well have hit that guy for talking to my Grandpa like that.

  51. marsneedsrabbits says:

    Dear OP,
    Please drop Comcast. Please.

    Please let your sense of moral outrage take over and refuse to do business with a company that will accept it’s employees yelling at your grandfather that way.

    A 10 dollar credit because they screamed at and impugned the good name of your grandfather? It means nothing to them and cost them a minuscule fraction of 10 dollars.

    You and your family mean nothing to Comcast, as they have clearly and repeatedly shown you.

    Seriously. Drop Comcast.

  52. Baron Von Crogs says:

    Wow. You need to drop them and move to a better provider. Jesus.

  53. baristabrawl says:

    Remember the old lady who took a hammer to the Comcast office and smashed some computers? Maybe you could get her and your grandpa the hook-up?

  54. Sorshha says:

    “C”.. i choose c… whats the correct answer?

  55. catskyfire says:

    When did being ‘respected’ become an entitlement? Of course Grandpa was disrespecting the tech…the tech had just turned off his legitimate cable.

  56. Stavro Mueller says:

    @nicemarmot617: I’m in the same boat as Illiterati.

    I am not in an economically depressed area. I chose my job because it is what’s on my degree (for which I am still paying off the loan, since my parents are not a personal bank). I am not willing to move due to the fact that I can get to Washington DC, new York City, or anywhere in between with nothing more than a five minute walk and a one hour train ride. Here, I can meet with clients in five states plus DC with only two hours notice. Out in Bumbuck Tennessee, I would need a three days just to get to the nearest city.

    And yes, I have tried both satellite and DSL. Satellite has good speeds, but is useless for videoconferencing. DSL is run by a local provider who throttles speed so low that it’s often faster to just FedEx anything I would normally send via email.

    I am not asking for a government takeover, I’m only asking for the government to do to cable what they did to the telephone monopolies.

    I see so many people coming onto this website complaining about the same damn problem, and not a one of them ever suggests a good answer. Why complain if you don’t have any ideas for fixing the problem? Then you’re just whining to hear yourself whine.

    This isn’t a case of “I can’t play games online anymore and playing games is a basic human right so I should get free internet”, this is a case of “I took a job that requires a internet connectivity, which was available cheap with good speeds and local tech support. Comcast then bought out my ISP and shut them down, effectively forcing me to either put up with their company, flush my job and degree down the toilet and get a job in a different industry, or move across the country to some backwoods town without Comcast, just to put up with some other ISP that is just as monolithic, monopolistic, and bureaucratic as Comcast.”

  57. Micromegas says:

    I’ve noticed that stupid, self-important people often throw around the phrase “Stop disrespecting me” whenever they get into an argument. No matter what you say to them, whether you have a valid point or not, they’ll yell back “Stop disrespecting me!” and consider themselves the victor. I’ve had customer service reps do it to me a few times.

    It’s one of the top signs that you’re dealing with an idiot.

  58. Dobernala says:

    @Pylon83: When it comes to Comcast, one has a hard time coming up with a solution other than violence. It may be illegal, but there doesn’t seem to be any OTHER solution that delivers the message to them.

  59. Nofsdad says:

    Damned right. Especially if you’re a senior citizen on a limited fixed income. The grandfather definitely qualifies on one of those counts.

  60. @EdnaLegume:
    Enough people seem to be telling Comcast where to stick it, as their stock has lost 1/3 of their value in the past year. I suppose some of this is because of the crappy economy, but I doubt 1/3 of all Comcast customers have dropped it only because they can’t afford it.

  61. camman68 says:

    @nicemarmot617: You make it sound so simple. This year, we have had more rain in the past 3 months than we usually get annually. Every time it rains, or snows, the dish goes out. Every time the dog sneezes……

    It is usually cheaper than cable – and about 1/2 as reliable.

  62. I’m just curious why the tech was checking the line on the poll. Was he voting before starting the job?

  63. amkls704 says:

    Hey guys. Sorry I’m a little late to the party. I’m Ally (the OP). I’ve been really busy today and have been in and out of the house.

    Anyways, I actually was contacted by Comcast on the phone today. I sent Carey the update so I’m sure she’ll post it soon. I don’t know what the rules are, so I don’t want to post anything in the comments. I don’t know if they have to check it/screen it or what-not first.

    Either way – to the people saying to drop Comcast, I guess I should clarify this. I am in a suburb about 45 minutes from Chicago. In my area, the only choices are pretty much dial-up or Comcast. As far as tv, my grandpa has considered switching to dish, as he’s the one with the cable account. I don’t know what he’s planning on doing, that is his decision.

    I’d never had ANY issues with Comcast until now. I figured I would give them the chance to rectify the situation. As others have stated, I have no idea if this was a private contractor or someone working directly for Comcast. (I don’t remember if the van had a magnetic Comcast sign or a legit painted on one).

    Whoever he was, the guy I talked to wholeheartedly agreed they don’t need people treating customers the way he treated us. I was told I’ll be updated as to what happens, so you guys will be too. I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt as of right now.

    To the person saying I should have went to the library to do my homework – that would be ideal but our library has a 30 minute limit on internet computers and when you’re trying to submit calc assignments and write papers to submit online, it just isn’t possible.

    Anyways – I’ll keep everyone updated as I find out more.

  64. sventurata says:

    My landlord had this happen with Rogers, in a old house converted to three apartments. The tech saw my internet line and flipped out.

  65. bilge says:

    Anyone who says something like “Stop disrespecting me” deserves to get a disrespectful kick in the stomach.

  66. Nick1693 says:

    @amkls704: I think this ( [] ) would answer your question about commenting. =)

  67. Rogg2000 says:

    Fuck Comcast

    I had a similiar problem with them. Except the tech guy and I almost got into a physical fight.

    Fuck their Gov’t granted Monopolies….

  68. mrearly2 says:

    Makes me glad I have satellite TV, installed by yours truly. Never have to put up with ignorant, stupid and rude a-holes coming ’round.
    The way that “tech” acted, one would think Gramps was stealing something from him! Why should he care about someone allegedly stealing cable service? And he uses foul language and cries about Gramps “disrespecting” him. What a shit-head! He WAS stupid, after all.

  69. dj-anakin says:

    Sound like this needs an executive email bomb. Utter and complete bullshit! Ally needs to go to the tech’s supervisor and to the super’s super. This is happening way too often.

    I’ve got Verizon DSL and never had a problem with it… although, I wish I had my old Mediacom cable back.. it was so fast!

  70. rhett121 says:

    I would have seriously beat the $HIT out of ANYONE who spoke to my grandparents like that! I don’t give two damn who he thinks he is, he’s got an ass full of my foot coming for that kind if treatment.

    “Don’t disrespect me”? Give me a freakin’ break you asshat. You wouldn’t know respect if it crawled up your ass and ate your liver.

    I had Comcast once, idiots. I don’t watch TV at all anymore and I don’t miss it one bit.


  71. cinlouwho says:

    OK, here is the solution to these Big Cable and DSL companies. I grew up in a small town in Northern NY called Massena. They developed their own Electric Municpal Company. Now they want to develop their own Municipal Cable Company (offering cable, Internet, Phone). Here is a link to an article about it.


  72. amkls704 says:


    Thanks =)

    Holy crap I didn’t think this would be on Digg and Consumerist and get this much attention.

    Little does grandpa know he’s an interwebz celebrity. If only he knew how to use a computer for anything other than spider solitaire. =)

  73. 2719 says:

    F@mrearly2: Why should he care about someone allegedly stealing cable service?

    Well…because it’s HIS JOB! No need to treat someone like this but cable techs are expected to provide only services that are paid for.

  74. jennydecki says:

    To the OP,

    Have you tried ATT Uverse yet? We dropped cable and dsl in January and just put a big ol antenna on the roof and suffered through unreliable connections until an option C was available. We’re 30 minutes outside of Chicago so maybe that would work for you. It’s the fiberoptic line stuff.

    And it is like the nirvana of cable TV/Internet. I can show flickr pics on my TV and I can schedule the DVR to record from the computer.

    It was worth six months of no service other than what I could scrounge to wait for this to be available.

    End of the “to OP” part of the comment, on to more general stuff…

    I dumped comcast years ago and never looked back.

    They had a guy come to the door recently and I succumbed to the wiles of low prices and sweet promises. Then he went back on it all because that deal was only for new customers and I was a customer 5 years prior. I told him no thank you and closed the door…he continued to knock on the door and holler at me for two minutes (a long time when some dude is pounding on your door and yelling) until I opened the door back up and threatened to call the police. He cussed at me and left.

    I will never. ever. deal with comcast again.

    Seriously, if you can get this Uverse stuff…it’s awesome. I’ve only had it for four days though so maybe it’s just that it’s shiny and new and I don’t have to double click open wireless connections for eight hours a day to keep a connection LOL I feel so spoiled now…

  75. bwcbwc says:

    @badhatharry: Better than hitting him: Most states have laws against abuse of the elderly. Dropping f-bombs and stealing service could easily fall into that area. Call the cops. They might even be able to force him to reconnect the service on the spot.

  76. Pylon83 says:

    First off, swearing at someone hardly counts as abuse, especially when there wasn’t any kind of threat at all. Just because you’re old doesn’t mean your ears are too sensitive to handle “bad” words. Second, the police certainly aren’t going to force a private company to hook someones non-essential service back up. It’s a civil dispute between private parties. The police have absolutely no business getting involved. I love how a certain segment of commenters seem to think that calling the cops is the end all be all solution to any problem. Usually they just make it worse with their power-tripping egos and pseudo understanding of the law.

  77. RChris173 says:

    Some places receive cable through an agreement with a homeowners’ association and the bill is not billed directly to the customer…I wonder if that would also result in a “red-flag.”

  78. alfredodedarc says:

    I live in a small rural town in Indiana which is served by Frontier Communications [Frontiernet]. The company has changed ownership several times, but still maintains a local office in this town of 1400. My Internet connection isn’t the fastest in the world, but it is fast enough and never seems to go down. My phone service and service on Dish Network also run through Frontier.

    I call for a service problem, the tech is usually here the same day. What’s more, these guys have been with the phone company since I moved here in 1986 and I know them all very well. If I need a change in service, I can walk the 2 blocks to the Frontier office and chat with the secretary, who has also been with the company a long, long time [except between 1 and 2 PM when she goes to lunch].

    Someday, I know the 21st Century will catch up to us, but here’s hoping we can hold out awhile longer. I know I sound like Andy of Mayberry,but there’s a lot to be said for our bucolic yet mostly modern way of life.

  79. P_Smith says:

    @Derek Balling: OP: “Who the hell is Comcast hiring these days?”

    A: Douchebags. :-)

    A: McDonald’s graduates who wanted more pay

    A: Layoffs from Radio Shack who only got jobs because CumCrust thought working at RS meant they knew some tech stuff.

  80. nsv says:

    The Comcast tech not only actually showed up, but didn’t fall asleep, and you’re not kissing the ground he walked on?

    This is why I get my movies from my local library. Screw cable. And Embarq for DSL has been… no, I’m not going to say it and jinx myself.

    @Pylon83: The preferred method of dealing with a customer, in my feeble mind, is with respect. If you can’t manage that at least be polite. If even basic manners are beyond you, fer cryin’ out loud find two brain cells to rub together and don’t swear at a 74 year old man. I really don’t think that’s too much to ask for.

    If someone pulled that on my grandfather the notebook and camera would come out and all relevant details would be recorded. Then the phone calls would start. Say what you want about me, but do NOT mess with my family.

  81. LouisaTrigeminus says:

    I really don’t understand how companies can hire people like this to do customer service work. In the country I live in a tech who took this attitude towards a customer would be shown the door no matter what his position.
    If I were the customer here I’d stop the conversation and tell the tech to leave, and that I’d be making a complaint to his company and the BBB about his behavior. If he continued to be disrespectful and not leave immediately, I’d summon the police and have him escorted off my property.

    Connect to the next generation of MSN Messenger

  82. srlevine1 says:

    The only way to get Comcast’s attention is to cost them time and money. First, file a complaint with your state’s public utility commission. Second, file a complaint with your local city or county agency which regulates “cable franchises.” Ask them when the Comcast agreement comes up for re-negotiation and plan to file a complaint at that time and possibly attend the hearing to suggest that the city or county open the bidding to others. Third, check your local politician’s campaign finance filings for contributions from comcast or their employees. Ask these politicians to intercede on your behalf. And last, every time the cable service or internet service is interrupted — make a note of the date and time and send your payment to the public utilities commission with a complaint about the outage. And, of course don’t forget the blogs and local media. See if your neighboring town has a different provider and ask them to bid. Solicit support from your neighbors. Contact the president of comcast. Check with their investor relations people and find out which stock market analysts cover their stock. Send them your complaint with a copy to comcast. If comcast attempts to retaliate — file additional complaints and take them to small claims court.

  83. Wubbytoes says:

    Man, what a jerk. Hopefully they can get service through another company so they don’t have to put up with that shit.

  84. eymhere says:

    I would do everything I could to get this guy fired even if I had to lie. A few years ago, I wasn’t treated badly at all and I WAS stealing cable – climbed the pole and removed the little gray HBO blocker. When they came out, they found it and didn’t even say anything and simply put it back in. I would call comcast and tell them the guy shoved grandpa and that I was going to call the police and need the guys name. It’s the only way anyone important would even hear about it at comcast.

  85. 2719 says:


    What’s your point? That you are a cable thief and a liar?
    I am sure these qualities will encourage people to take your advice.

  86. 2719 says:


    Sounds like a full time job LOL. Outages happen, no service is perfect. Take it or leave it. There are other options too.

  87. jolejniczak says:

    I’ve had the same issue with Comcast. I used to work for a company that provided internet service to its employees, thus requiring two separate accounts under the same name and same address (if you also had cable tv service from them). I’ve been told by several Comcast employees that two accounts at the same address was not allowed when obviously it is. This would also cause MANY problems when trying to make any service call. This is by far one of the WORST companies for customer service.

  88. Pylon83 says:

    On another note, I don’t understand why people keep repeating how bad Comcast is. I liken it to repeatedly stating that the sky is blue or water is wet. There is no good solution. Some people have no choice but to use Comcast, and the suggestions that they simply give up cable or internet are foolish. These situations are essentially like it being hot outside. You can either sit inside all day long and never go out and do anything, or you can simply learn to cope with the situation and move on. I AM a Comcast customer and I despise them. However, I, like most people, rarely have to actually deal with them. The few times I do are like a root canal with no Novocain, but canceling service is simply not an option. This is 2008, internet is essentially a required service for anyone under 60 years old. While it’s not necessary in the same way electricity is necessary, most people simply aren’t willing to go without. Perhaps constructive suggestions such as how to craft a perfect EECB or how to effectively deal with a supervisor on the phone would be more productive than “CANCEL YOUR SERVICE NOW”.

  89. amkls704 says:


    Yeah I wouldn’t condone lying, nor would I do this. That’s immoral and just plain wrong. If Comcast doesn’t want to do anything about it, that’s on them, because he will surely treat other customers the same way, and they’ll pay for it.

  90. zithero says:

    it’s garbage like this that makes me happy to work for Cablevision…

    when you move to a new address, and you have another subscriber there, they actually take your old Account# and file it away, then give you a number identical to the resident’s account#, sans 1 number at the end. thus there can be no confusion as to what services are active at the home. It’s a rather smooth operation, and only gets a hiccup when someone at customer service occasionally disconnects the old account a day or two early (Which is easily fixed by a call to the customer service center which is opened 24/7/365).

  91. banmojo says:

    This isn’t news that Comcast has been screwing their customers for years now. What WOULD be news would be a solution to many peoples’ problem: How to get cable and high speed internet without using Comcast.

    Monopolies are bad for consumers. Comcast is bad for consumers. Ergo, Comcast is a monopoly (in many areas).

    I thought monopolies were supposed to be illegal?

    Our government sucks giant donkey warts.

    It gets its grubby little fingers into all sorts of shit that it SHOULDN’T, and DOESN’T manage business NEARLY as well as it should/could.

    Free market it good only up to a point. When monopolies get too powerful, they stifle market growth then become a bad element in the overall equation.

    banmojoconomics 101.

  92. XiangDo says:

    This story is really a specific example of a general problem: people who are not intellectually, ethically or emotionally suited to do so are increasingly being put in positions that allow them to exercise authority over others and are allowed to do so without limitation.

    The Comcast technician is just another petty bureaucratic functionary who gets to feel powerful by controlling elements of other peoples’ lives.

    Consider the indignities and invasion of privacy visited upon the public at airports every day: a cadre of uniformed employees – evidently members of the general public who just want government jobs, not career security professionals – are given authority over the traveling public, with the inevitable results that too many persons of small character are allowed routinely to bully the vast majority of travelers who are law-abiding.

    Fail to comply quickly and quietly with the TSA screening process? Congratulations, you’ve won a free strip search that coincidentally lasts just long enough to make you miss your flight!

    You look, in some way, as if you might make other passengers nervous? We better treat you like a terrorist! You’re not flying today!

    Question the treatment a TSA screener gives you and ask to speak to a supervisor? Would you like to shut up, or would you prefer to be detained on a false charge?

    And that’s just one area in which we need protection from the protection our government is forcing on us.

    Threats on the order that the Comcast tech will just leave unless the customer complies, while far less sinister than the ones implicit in the pursuit of so-called homeland security, are no more acceptable.

    “We’re just following the rules” is the mantra of these bullies, as if blind obedience is a mark of honor instead of the badge of stupidity. It wasn’t a very viable defense at Nuremberg and I have a hard time finding it any more acceptable with the passage of time. “The rules” may say you have to beat me, but I when see whose hand is holding the stick I apportion the blame accordingly.

    The bottom line is that most people aren’t qualified to wield authority over others in a responsible way, and it is up to their employers to make certain their employees know the limits of their authority and the magnitude of their responsibility.

    As my Dad used to say “Crap tends to flow downhill, but responsibility floats to the top.”

  93. pigbearpug says:

    Can we have a do-over for Worst Company in America?

  94. ospreyguy says:

    I would have told him to stop right after the f-bomb asked him to repeat what he said and if he uses that language again in my grandfathers presence I will engage you physically. Now would you like you rethink your position, you bag of ass.

  95. Pylon83 says:

    Again with the insatiable need to use physical violence. They are just words, and I’m sure old people have heard them before. Who cares? Maybe it’s a “I’m a big man and I want to beat people up” mentality. Are you a member of the armed forces? (Osprey would indicate to me that you’re somehow involved with the V22 project). I simply don’t understand some guys immediate reaction being violence.

  96. amkls704 says:


    Ha I like that, bag of ass. I’m going to have to remember that one.

  97. mannymix03 says:

    And then you go to jail for assault, really really smart.

    Yes the comcast guy was an asshole, but why would you go to jail for something so stupid. I think a lot of people need to lose the “ILL KICK YOUR ASS” mentality, and start realizing that not everything needs to be solved with violence, although I’m sure (from what I’ve seen) that the comcast installers are pretty bulky, and from how you talk (through the internet) you probably couldn’t anyway.

  98. evslin says:

    @ospreyguy: Hey look, another Internet Tough Guyâ„¢!

  99. palomine says:

    I emailed Comcast twice for a public statement and got two replies – very quickly, I might add.

    He didn’t really have a full statement other than he talked to the customer and they will be investigating the event.

    I don’t know if this person’s whole job involves dealing with problems like this, but I got the impression he doesn’t really enjoy it when this kind of thing happens.

    The guy responded immediately to my e-mail on a Sunday evening!

    It’s just hard for me to believe that they wouldn’t simply put out a statement that the guy is no longer in the field while they investigate and if he was in anyway aggressive toward a customer, he’s fired.

  100. Meathamper says:

    This is why people are finally discovering there are other companies that are willing to take your buisness, Comcast. However, I use Time Warner Cable/Road Runner since I’m in NYC.

  101. drmr27 says:

    I have had similar dealings with Comcast in the past when the errors were completely on their part.The first time they pulled my connection I complained only to Comcast and got no satisfaction. The second time they disconnected me, also a mistake on their part, I took a different route and soon they were all over me offering me a month’s free cable, free pay-per-views and no less than four personal letters of apology. Here is what you do:

    First, craft a very clear letter stating the facts as you see them and also where you believe the cable company has wronged you. Stick to facts and leave the emotion out. Every city or town has an agency or committee that deals with the licensing of cable operators. Send them the letter. Send that same letter to the local TV station’s and newspaper’s consumer reporters. send the same letter to the state attorney general. Send that same letter to state reps and/or senators who deal with telecommunications regulation. Send that same letter to every consumer advocate and politician you can think of. Make sure the list of “cc’s” at the bottom of the letter includes everyone who is getting a copy. This creates some “peer pressure” amongst the recipients to act on the issue. Send the letter to everyone…EXCEPT Comcast. Companies like Comcast that are deaf to consumer complaints only wake up if they get blindsided by the state senator who votes on cable regulatory bills or a TV consumer reporter who has collected a handful of complaint letters against them.

  102. Suulia says:

    Ok, so I’m a little late getting to this party, but here goes. I work for Comcast, although these comments are mine alone and I do not speak for my employer.

    I’d take a guess that the agent who set up the order didn’t create the order correctly. the order should have either been flagged as a 2nd account, or as an addition to the existing service, since there wasn’t a disconnect order from the existing customer.

    The techs in the field can only do what is on the invoice in their hand. If the field tech sees an internet only order, the TV is connected, and there’s no 2nd account flag or TV+internet on the order, per the order the TV needs to be disconnected. Since the order wasn’t entered correctly, the tech had incorrect info about what the actual situation was.

    Yes, the tech’s customer service skills leave a lot to be desired, but the agent that set up the order put the tech in that position to begin with, and that issue should also be addressed.

  103. DeleteThisAccount says:

    I thought that was John McCain in the cover pic… haha

  104. I dunno what’s happened, but lately, I get great service from Comcast. About a month ago, we had an outage due to a storm. The rest of the neighbourhood got back online, but we didn’t. A few calls to Comcast and an Email to a higher-up got two trucks out to our house that afternoon, a repair, and a free month of everything (all cable channels, internet, phone).

    I guess the lesson is that if normal customer service sucks, Executive Email Carpet Bomb. Which kinda sucks, just ot get decent service. But it works.

  105. kabes says:

    How can Comcast possibly suck so damn much? It’s just horror story after horror story. Truly one of the worst companies in america. A text book case of how you should never handle customer service.

  106. TheBigLewinski says:

    Switch to FIOS, fuck Comcast. Although Verizon is HUGE machine, the TV and Internet is far superior to anything offered by the cable companies. On-site service is performed by actual Verizon technicans and not out-sourced. When I switched their CRS group continued calling till I told them there was no way I was going back to them after the way they treated me previously. Boy did it feel good….

  107. CharlieInSeattle says:

    I suggest you contact the local government person that oversees comcasts franchise license for the area, and file a complaint.

  108. TACP says:

    Doesn’t this jerk know that Comcast isn’t even worth stealing?

  109. @TheBigLewinski: Unfortunately, folks in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine can’t get FIOS. Verizon sold everything in these states to Fairpoint. Fairpoint thinks that DSL is the greatest thing since…56K modems. They’re real vague about fibre.

  110. AvDub says:

    “this is the ONLY issue I have ever had with Comcast.”

    Only issue?? That would be understandable language to use if there was a minor problem – but a Comcast bozo insulting your grandfather and then disconnecting his cable is ridiculous! I applaud Ally for remaining so calm, because there’s no way many of us could have seen a family member, especially an elderly family member, be treated that way and not take a swing at the guy!

  111. synimatik says:

    It’s a shame that it was only her and her grandfather there. If I were in that situation, I would have beaten the holy hell out of that prick with his little clipboard.

  112. Ubik2501 says:

    @Pylon83: Almost every time I hear somebody yell, “DON’T DISRESPECT ME,” they’re refusing to give any respect or consideration to the other party. Here’s a hint, people: Respect is a reciprocal relationship. I’ll treat you with respect by default, but if you don’t give it, you don’t get it either. And legitimate disputes, issues and miscommunications do not constitute disrespect, so if you’re yelling “DISRESPECT” just because somebody’s disagreeing with you, you’re the one being disrespectful (and an asshat to boot).

    The Comcast rep here seems to have dished out the disrespect before any could be given back to him, which combined with his ignorance of actual Comcast practices and policies designates him a Grade A Moron.

  113. ElPasoAgresso says:

    I don’t use Comcast because I don’t want what happen to you to happen to me.