Comcast Balks On Replacing Cockroach-Infested Cable Box

We’ve certainly gotten a number of complaints about Comcast cable boxes containing bugs of the electronic glitch variety, but an Illinois man received a box from Kabletown that he says was full of actual cockroaches.

The man tells the Chicago Sun-Times that soon after the Comcast installer left his house, the roaches began spilling out of the cable box. He tells the paper that he spent several days calling Comcast customer service and going to the local office, all to no avail. He requested new equipment but was told he would need to wait until another installer was available to come out to his house.

“Why wouldn’t they just take the time to bring you new equipment?” he asked the Sun-Times.

A rep for Comcast tells the paper that the box was eventually replaced for free and that the company apologized for not handling the problem in a way that would indicate they treat customers at all like human beings.

Aurora resident says Comcast equipment has bugs — literally []


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  1. dolemite says:

    Well, that takes care of the cable box. Now who is paying this $500 exterminator fee?

    • frankrizzo:You're locked up in here with me. says:

      The pest control company sells fogger to Comcast who seals a room and fumigates the equipment themselves. Most likely operator error. Not enough product used or room not sealed long enough.

  2. chatterboxwriting says:

    Stupid roaches! They love to hide in electronics. My neighbors do not enjoy cleaning or being hygienic in any way, so my fiancee and I were the lucky recipients of a crop of German roaches this past summer. The first sign of a problem was when I noticed dirt around our electrical outlet and decided to unscrew the plate and wash it off. When I took it off the wall, the roaches spilled out. Our landlord had someone spray the kitchen, but that just drove them into the living room, where they hid under the TV, cable box and modem. Yes, I hate renting. Yes, I am in the process of trying to get approved for a mortgage so I can get the hell out of here.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      That was a big motivator for buying a house. I’ve never lived in an apartment or row house that didn’t have a roach infestation. I still remember being terrified of them as a little kid and never walking in bare feet at night.

      • chatterboxwriting says:

        I’ve lived in lots of apartments and never had a problem before. These people are just dirty, though. I am not Ms. Neat, but there is a big difference between a little clutter (coat tossed on the couch) and 30 bags of trash in the basement (says the real estate agent who is trying to sell the house). Our landlord is super nice, but he has serious health issues and can no longer keep up with the property. We have the opportunity to buy a condo for a good price (a family member was in a severe accident and can no longer live there because it is not handicapped-accessible); it’s just going to be getting a mortgage that is the issue.

        • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

          I think the issue is that you really can’t control the hygiene of your neighbors and it’s impossible for an exterminator to completely cordon off an entire building to eliminate all of them, so you get colonies propagating all over the place. Plus, a lot of landlords just don’t care.

          I’ve lived most of my life in Pittsburgh and Philly and both cities seem to have major roach problems, especially in the big old buildings. We’re constantly having problems keeping them out of our garage — we bug bomb it a few times a year but they then re-infest a few months later. I’ve always assumed that they come in from the alley that we share with several abandoned houses.

          • Robofish says:

            I heard horror stories from a maintenance worker at my GF’s (now my wife) old complex about roaches. He was helping us rid her of the bedbug problem from her downstairs neighbors while sharing them with us :(. Turns out her downstairs neighbors found a dumpster mattress full of them, and had it leaning up against her bedroom wall. They hid everywhere. I wish them upon no one.

        • SisterMaryPollyEsther says:

          ….and sometimes roach infestations have more to do with geography than hygiene. Coastal VA and NC come to mind. were to have them. The nice neighborhoods were closest to the water.

          • LadySiren is murdering her kids with HFCS and processed cheese says:

            Agreed. In Hawaii, they’re pervasive no matter how clean or dirty you and your domicile is. I eventually sorta looked at them as pets; the flying kind are kind of ornery, though. It was amusing to watch the geckos fight it out with the roaches, kind of like an Animal Planet caged deathmatch thing.

            • LadySiren is murdering her kids with HFCS and processed cheese says:

              Wow. Grammar fail on my part. First day back at the office after a long vacation is a toughie.

          • moyawyvern says:

            I totally agree. Here in SC the “palmetto bugs,” as the locals call them, are big enough to carry you away, and you can probably find them anywhere, dirty or clean. Plus they fly. *shudders* Luckily, my four-legged exterminators are happy to help.

        • shepd says:

          If it’s an apartment condo or townhouse condo, there’s no land to stop critters and there’s no reason to believe they won’t infest there as well.

          If you want to have full control over being pest free (doesn’t mean they won’t still try to infest the place, but you have control and can keep them at bay even if you have crap neighbours) you really need a fully detached house, preferably one with more than 6 inches of space between you and a neighbour.

          All the rental apartments I was in had constant issues, and same with the townhouses. And my parents moved into a ridiculously expensive owned townhouse that had mice a few months later.

          The only time I’ve been in a detached house with issues was once. We had mice. They left and never came back for 10 years a month after we got a cat. And I’ve lived in 10 different detached houses. The one I’m in now shows evidence of once having mouse issues decades ago, something that was obviously dealt with a couple of owners ago. Being fully detached means you can fully defend against the issue with either control devices (cats) or just simply sealing the damn place up properly from the OUTSIDE. You can’t seal a place on the inside (apartment/townhouse) and expect to get much value out of it.

          Sucks it has to be that way, but all it takes is one person who doesn’t give a crap to ruin all the units attached to them.

    • pk says:


    • SisterMaryPollyEsther says:

      I used to live above a woman who liked to feed the local urban wildlife. We were only a few blocks from water, so her activities attracted 2-inch-long cockroaches in Fear Factor quantities. I shoved steel wool into every crevice in the apartment and sealed it over w/caulk to keep the critters at bay until I could move the hell out of there.

    • Maltboy wanders aimlessly through the Uncanny Valley says:

      You’re going to transfer the problem to your new place unless you kill all the critters hiding in your stuff too.

    • ToddMU03 says:

      I routinely shoot little puffs of Borax behind our faceplates. Not good if you have pets or kids, but wife and I don’t have either, and I don’t think she’d willingly chow down on some Borax.

    • tdatl says:

      My company used to send out desktop PCs to remote workers, & we once got one back after the employee left. It reeked of cigarette smoke & was incredibly dusty, & it was full of live cockroaches! We had to bring exterminators to fumigate the entire building since it sat for a few days before anyone opened it. We started seeing them running thru the office. I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it.

  3. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    What about the cost of removing the roach infestation from the home?

    • SerenityDan says:

      What? They are lucky Comcast doesn’t charge them extra for all those free roaches they got.

  4. Cat says:

    All I could think of was Joe’s Apartment:

  5. scoutermac says:

    Anyone interested in a dish network referral for $50 off? LOL

  6. McRib wants to know if you've been saved by the Holy Clown says:

    In mom’s voice:
    That’s what you get for downloading porn! ROACHES! In your TUBES!

  7. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    I don’t understand why the local Comcast location wouldn’t take back his box and why they said he needed an installer. I’ve had no problem swapping boxes my local TimeWarner location.

    • sponica says:

      box is full of roaches….I put box in car….car now has roaches or roach eggs…I can’t say I blame him for not wanting to transport box with roach stowaways….

      • The Porkchop Express says:

        Roach goes in the box, box goes in the car, you’re in the car, roach is in the car. Our roach. Fair well and adieu….

      • There's room to move as a fry cook says:

        Put it in a sealed bag, Problem solved. He just left it in his house unsealed allowing more to come out and hatch? I hope not.

        • sponica says:

          if it were me, I just would have burnt it….but then the living room prob would have caught fire…..

  8. DerangedKitsune says:

    Hee, reminds me of the similar article Consumerist had over a year ago, though it was Cox cable in that case.

    I only remember because someone quipped that was still an available domain at the time.

  9. blogger X says:

    I see Comcast is doing every damn thing they can to make sure they don’t get usurped from a one year wonder in the WCIA Tourney.

  10. scoosdad says:

    Aurora? Cable? Wayne’s World! Party time, excellent….

  11. pgr says:

    As much as Comcast’s prices suck I’ve always received prompt service from them. I would NEVER wait for them or any “tech” to come to to my house to do anything I could do better and quicker though. I’ve exchanged several Comcast cable boxes in the last few years by simply bringing them back to the local office and asking for a new one. I’ve never been question why they just hand over a new one when i give them the old one back.

  12. Cat says:

    Cockroach infested box.

    Great visual. And me, with no brain bleach.

  13. EdnasEdibles says:

    A neighbor had a similar problem. If this happens to you and you get no help from the cable company – take a video, upload it to youtube, send the link to everyone you know and then write the cable company again with the link and tell them that it’s already getting page views. That is, if you can’t get the Sun Times to cover it.

  14. pk says:

    It gets worse… last line in the full article:

    Munoz’s problem comes shortly after the news of a class action lawsuit that Comcast employees are making against the company on the south side of Chicago. The lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court, says that employees were often forced to install inadequate, bug-infested equipment at homes on Chicago’s South Side.

    what the f*ck????

  15. Liam Kinkaid says:

    TIL that the phrase “cockroaches spilling out of…” really gives me the creepy crawlies.

  16. framitz says:

    Why couldn’t the customer take the box in and exchange it for another?
    I had my daughter do just that 5 times one day until we finally got a box that worked (insects weren’t the issue).
    Yeah exchanging the box 5 times is ridiculous, thank you Cox.

  17. hicks says:
  18. technos says:

    Ah yes, roach boxes. Always got returned to the warehouse in thick plastic, and the testing people would spray the whole thing down in insecticide and add a second thick plastic bag and lots of tape.

    They lived in the corner, away from people, until we got a run of bad boxes from Motorola. We’d slip a roach box or two into the return shipment as petty retribution for making us wade through brand new boxes that didn’t work. They never went back out to a customer.

    I don’t understand how the customer ended up with one though, unless the installer was ran short on equipment and reinstalled equipment he’d replaced earlier in the day. The box should have gone through at least three people, all of whom who should have realized the roaches were there. Roach boxes were pretty common, and it isn’t hard to tell. Just give the box a shake. Hear anything? It’s bird seed or roaches.

    • JusticeGustine says:

      Darned things burst out of hibernation as soon as heat is applied.

      Comcast should track down the person that had the box last and sue them for infecting the next customer..

  19. RayanneGraff says:

    Eeeeeeew… yeah roaches LOVE electronics. They’re attracted to the heat. Something like this happened in my shop once. A guy brought in a PC that was full of roaches & we told him to take it home & never come back. By some miracle we avoided an infestation of our own.

    *shudder* nothing worse than roaches!

    • shepd says:

      Bed bugs are worse than roaches. Cost more to rid yourself of, difficult for even pest control companies to get rid of (virtually impossible for homeowners), require throwing away items, need multiple treatments for even the smallest and simplest infestation, and are basically invisible until fully grown (And live for 18 months without oxygen!) so it takes a long time before you’re absolutely sure you’re really rid of them.

      And roaches are just gross. Bed bugs exist only to eat you alive. And they are making a *huge* comeback due to the ineffective pesticides that are left for companies to use (most companies now give up and just bake the room and pray instead).

  20. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    I’ve had the same Comcast cable box for over 3 years. Note to self: if cable box needs to be replaced, inspect for roaches BEFORE leaving Comcast office. OMG this whole article gave me the heebie jeebies.

  21. HDTVTECH says:

    I recently had an “interesting” TV repair, complete with creepy crawlies. Guy had a “new” 46 inch TV, needed it serviced, but is never home during the day. Decided to take it to his mom’s house, because she’s home all day. I show up at mom’s, she points me to the basement where the tv is lying on the floor and then she heads back upstairs. I go to plug it in and immediately roaches start climbing out. I don’t know why I did, but I went ahead and popped the cover. Major infestation inside. I close it back up quickly, call manufacturer’s tech support and tell them why I won’t service it. They agree and I head for the door. On my way out, I let mom know about the bugs. She looks shocked, then asks if I can carry it to the garage. I politely decline, as I don’t want the little critters crawling out onto me and into my toolbag. That night, the toolbag went into a bag and got fumigated. I remember thinking “what a nice gift to give your mom”. I think I’d disown the kid and ban him and anything he owned from the house.

  22. HDTVTECH says:

    P.S. Doesn’t anyone else experience that weird feeling like things are crawling on you after seeing something like that. I swear I had that felling for several hours after leaving the site. And NO, I didn’t have any on me, just felt like I did.