Got Refund After Comcast Charged Me $28 To Fix Their Mistake

Roger got Comcast to refund a $28 fee they charged him after they came out and fixed his lines that were not connected to his house properly. Even after they reversed the charge, they wanted to charge him a $1.99 monthly fee for a “protection plan” which would protect him from being charged $28 fees. Here’s how he defeated them:

Dear Consumerist,

Today when I received the Comcast bill, I was shocked to see a 25% bill increase because I called for technical support due to my intermittent internet troubles. I looked closely and found a $28 fee for “Video Trouble Call” which I am definitely sure that my issue was specifically for internet, not television. So here’s the story for how I won a $28 fee with three technician calls to fix Comcast’s problem.

I called Comcast in early July to let them know that the internet was not working correctly and scheduled for a technician visit for July 13th to look at the lines. I specifically said that the lines were the problem and during summer is when the internet problems usually occur. Out where I live, the cable lines are above ground, the climate is a desert, and the weather gets very hot that it could be an outside wiring or equipment failure.

The first technician came out, checked only my cable modem and plugged his machine to test the frequency of the line. He said the line worked fine, however he talked to the technician who normally maintained the lines to give it a week or so to have the internet problems fixed. It didn’t resolve the problem and I complained on Twitter about Comcast.

I called Comcast for the second time on July 22 to see what else they can do. The second customer service representative mistakenly thought I rented a modem that I owned when she pulled up my account. I thought there was a mistake since there was no modem rental charge ever on my bills and I bought the modem at Circuit City seven years ago. She suggested that it could be a modem issue. I asked her, how can a modem not work if it works perfectly fine streaming movies at nighttime but not work during the day? I let her know it that the lines may be a problem. Then she said there was a fee for the a technician to check the problem. She said that for a monthly fee of $1.99, I could have a “service protection plan” to protect myself from failures of my own internet equipment.

Here is what I have trouble understanding: I have to pay a fee to prevent another fee? And I have to pay that fee to “protect” equipment I owned for seven years? That frustrates me because I pay for a service to work properly, I do not pay for a service to not work as advertised by Comcast’s Customer Guarantee. I was pretty angry that I am being pushed a fee to resolve a problem Comcast is responsible for. I asked the CSR to send the technician out, and I waived her “service protection” offer because it is a Comcast line issue, not my equipment that has issues. I also tweeted about my issue about the protection plan to Comcast.

A second technician came out on July 23, checked my cable modem, and tested the connection like the first technician. He checked the cable splitter in the home and determined that the splitter was going bad, and replaced it because he believed that could be the issue. He checked the line before and after the splitter and said that the connection works fine. It still did not fix the intermittent connection.

I called Comcast for the third time on August 4 and talked to the most patient customer service representative ever. I spoke to her for more than thirty minutes and explained my issue, the last two calls and house visits, and asked for a technician again to fix the problem. She said nothing about a charge for a technician home visit. I complimented Comcast for their patient CSR on Twitter after I hung up with her.

The same technician from the second visit comes out to look at my internet problem on August 4. As I directed him to where the cable modem is located, I told him about the problem, and he said he remembered my issue and checked the line on the outside from my house to the utility pole. He went on my roof and figured out that the cable from the utility pole was not connected properly to the house cable and he repaired it. When he finished, he tested the connection and said that it should work fine from now on.

It has been working perfectly fine after the third technician visit. But I’m disappointed that I said it was a line issue from the first call, only to have Comcast charge me $28 to waste my time and Comcast’s time to fix their problem. I don’t think that it is my responsibility to touch Comcast’s lines that lead from the utility pole to the house, and I called Comcast on August 10 to have the $28 fee removed. Even as I asked for that charge to be removed, I was offered the same monthly “service protection plan” for $1.99.

I would appreciate not calling three times to fix one problem and then be charged a ridiculous fee to have a technician visit my house and check the internet connection. I should also not have to pay for a “service protection plan” when it was definitely a Comcast equipment problem. Also about Twitter, after posting my experience with the CSRs, I was contacted by their Twitter team, even DMed the account number and no one from their representatives talked to me about it after that. I understand Twitter is new, so it’s not a big deal that they didn’t get back to me through that line of communication.