Worst Company In America Sweet 16: Comcast Vs. DirecTV

Welcome to Day 2 of Sweet 16 bloodshed! Unfortunately, because of exclusivity deals, those of you who haven’t paid $350 for the deluxe, HD/3D/Smell-o-Vision package will be blacked out from seeing the televised broadcast of these TV titans.

Former WCIA champ Comcast is looking to bring the Golden Poo back to Philadelphia. The Kabletown Krew got off to a blazing head start in Round One by taking more than 73% of the vote in its battle against New York-based rival Time Warner Cable.

Comcast made it all the way to the Final Four last year before being bested by eventual champ BP. If only the company had waited until that contest to inflame consumers’ ill will by trying to rig the vote, it might have been a repeat WCIA winner.

Of course, Comcast needs to shut down DirecTV before it starts ordering T-shirts and hats emblazoned with the Golden Poo.

DirecTV won a clear victory — though not a trouncing by any means — over Dish Network in Round One.

Both companies are the biggest in their particular fields. Both have racked up oodles of customer complaints about service and billing. Both force customers into mandatory binding arbitration in their dense terms of service.

So go ahead and kick a few holes in your wall and overbill yourself in celebration of this morning’s match — and then go vote.

(Voting on this poll will close at 11:59 p.m. ET on Friday, March 23.)

This is a post in our Worst Company In America 2012 series. The companies competing for this honor were chosen by you, the readers. See the entire WCIA 2012 bracket and schedule of match-ups HERE.


Edit Your Comment

  1. humphrmi says:

    It’s a runaway!

  2. 8bithero says:

    I have had Comcast. I currently have DirecTV.

    I may have random and sparse problems that are on par with having satellite service, but I have always had said issues resolved quickly and professionally.

    With Comcast, they said that my cable would only be on for about 3 hours a day because the “signal going to your house is too strong. There’s nothing we can do about that, sorry.” (ACTUAL QUOTE!!).

    • scoutermac says:

      Well Comcast.. not only is that not true. But there are ways to filter a signal that is too strong to bring it down to a more manageable level. Sounds like horrible customer service/tech support.

  3. BrownLeopard says:

    I am sick of DirecTV calling me over and over to get service from them even though I have asked to be removed from their calling list. I actually am a satisfied customer of Time Warner and refuse to get satellite.

    • Marlin says:

      Sign up for the do not call list and then sue after you tell them to stop and they don;t.

      Easy money.

    • scoutermac says:

      I have the opposite problem. Comcast won’t stop sending me offers in the mail. With tiny tiny print on the bottom that basically says we will charge you at least twice the price we advertise.

  4. katarzyna says:


  5. Cat says:

    I’ve had both, and while I hate them both, Comcast needs to be broken up before they become the default high speed internet and cable TV provider for the whole country.

    And then there’s that whole NBC-Universal thing…

    • OutPastPluto says:

      Comcast is a physical monopoly. DirecTV is not. That is bound to create much more “excitement” about Comcast. DTV may be evil but they are also completely avoidable.

  6. chijosh says:

    Poor little DirecTV doesn’t stand a chance.

  7. krescendo says:

    DirecTV owns blockbuster‚Ķ and blockbuster is evil. Folks I know who have comcast don’t seem to have the issues I’ve heard.

    • Cat says:

      Dish owns Blockbuster. Not DirecTV.

      • dpeters11 says:

        And is Blockbuster all that evil anymore? They are a shadow of their former selves. Hardly any stores, they don’t even own the Blockbuster kiosks that Redbox is buying.

        • Robofish says:

          BB by mail isn’t evil. At least in my experience, and I’ve been using that for over a year now.

  8. ctcatfur says:

    For all their name changing and offering of $20 credits for screw-ups (which does help) they still suck. They still hand out crappy set top boxes even when they KNOW they won’t work right. As soon as an alternative becomes available to my condo…

    • scoutermac says:

      I have visited friends that have comcast. Their setup boxes are awful. They will randomly lock up or reboot or even just power off without notice. I have had some problems with Directv boxes in the past but nothing as bad as a Comcast box.

  9. krescendo says:

    DirecTV bought into evil by purchasing Blockbuster.

  10. homehome says:

    I have had both and I don’t know why any1 would vote for dtv over comcast. Maybe because they’ve only had dtv and had a bad experience.

  11. final_atom says:

    this should be a no brainer!

  12. suez says:

    Cost of high speed internet service only via Comcast: $70 per month
    Cost of triple-play package (internet, cable, and phone) via Comcast: $79 per month


    Oh yeah, and needing to be constantly on guard against price creep is getting old.

    • kathygnome says:

      I suspect that is not a short term discount that will be followed by it doubling or more.

      • suez says:

        All I know is that at least once a week I get a snail-mail flier begging me to sign up for the triple-play package, even though they’ve given me absolutely no incentive to sign back up for the rest. The only reason I’m still with the internet service is because I HAVE NO CHOICE.

    • scoutermac says:

      If Comcast offered me the triple play (TV-Internet-Phone) for $79/month I would take it. Every time I have tried to get this deal they have added fee after fee and it ended up being $100/month plus.

  13. pythonspam says:

    I hate to echo every other WCIA thread, but you can choose to use DirecTV, but often consumers are stuck with Comcast because of archaic monopolistic “Only our coax and the phone company’s copper goes to your neighborhood/building.”
    The no contract w/ promotional periods are make it slightly more bearable, but it just means you have to call the retention line every 6 months to pay a reasonable price for one of the 2 bundles of channels they offer.

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

    I have Comcast Triple Play. I have no problems with it. The internet works, on demand works, when I turn on the TV to watch a channel, it’s there. No problems with the wireless, streaming Netflix, nothing.

    I also voted for them instead of DirecTV. They have a monopoly in my area. We have no other cable choices, no other choice for high speed internet, and for landline phone service you can choose Verizon. We can’t get TV OTA because we’re too far away from the transmitters and there’s those pesky mountains in the way. Prices are pretty steep, too, if you try to get just 1 or 2 services without a bundle. I don’t like the whole cable business model, it’s not just Comcast specifically.

  15. nbs2 says:

    Yesterday night I would have voted for Comcast, but then I sent a tweet to the heirs of Frank. Solid service earns them a one round reprieve for my vote.

    Plus, I don’t like the Sunday Ticket monopoly (even though I wouldn’t be able to get it unless they offered it OTA or via a post-cable box).

  16. Bent Rooney says:

    Comcast is actively working to drive me away as a customer.

  17. Press1forDialTone says:

    Yep, I’m that one decades-long Comcast customer guy in a middle-sized
    college town in the Midwest. No, I have no stories of missed appointments,
    (TV and Internet are rock solid and they never need to come to the house),
    surly customer service folks (the ones in Ann Arbor, Mich
    or Louisville, KY are always very nice and competent), bad picture or Internet quality
    (I get 25mbs download and 8mbs upload and the picture does my 1080p set proud)
    or much of anything ever to complain about. I lost TCM late one night and called,
    and the customer rep knew that they were doing some line maint in my area that they
    didn’t send me an email about and would I accept $20 off my bill for the inconvenience?
    I do know that the folks who manned the Insight office before Comcast bought them did
    not lose their jobs and they were terrific. Once I went to the Comcast service center
    in my town to swap a sick Motorola box (after 15 years) and they upgraded me to
    a DVR box without an extra charge.

  18. erinpac says:

    I hate Comcast more every time I have to deal with them. It is just mind boggling that they can have a monopoly in so many areas, on what is becoming as much of a utility as a landline used to be. If there were another option for broadband internet, I’d ditch them in a heartbeat, even if it cost more, just to not deal with them.
    I have to call to try to correct my bill almost every month. On the off chance they’ve not added some new random charge, they are still billing me for a set top box that I do not have. This charge has been there for about 2 years now, with no actual box. It took about 3 months of weekly tech visits to get them to actually supply a cable card for the Tivo, so I shouldn’t really be surprised. Also, when they turned on the cable originally, they charged for several bogus ‘extra outlet installs’ which were not done – I have one television, and a cable modem, and split that connection myself. They did not enter my house for the install. That part I was able to correct, but the continuing hardware charge eludes me – they all say they cannot cancel it and will refer it to the local tech to verify. I don’t know who they think will verify something doesn’t exist, but of course that never happens. Then, I cannot cancel or even significantly lessen my television package without providing them a non-existent box, and they raise the price apparently at random. So, I seem to be just stuck with them outside either a lawsuit or moving, changing my CC & phone number and contesting anything that goes to the credit bureaus. I don’t even care about my TV anymore. I haven’t watched it in months. I am so beyond tired of arguing with Comcast. Their twitter support is a little better than their phone, but they did nothing for this situation after multiple tries, the phone didn’t help, local store didn’t help, online chat didn’t help, and the various emails I could find didn’t help. In addition they started advertising that $20 guarantee thing, which as near as I can figure is completely imaginary. They’ve certainly never honored it for anyone I know.

  19. Chester Copperpot says:

    I will vote for Comcast until the end of time.
    There is no company worse.
    Well, maybe ticketmaster, but those guys only screw me a couple times a year.

  20. cyberpenguin says:

    Neither Comcast nor DirecTV will let you use HBO-Go with a Roku,

  21. Bryan Price says:

    I have Comcast. The problems that I’ve seen are related to Internet service. It’s rock solid most of the time, but when it goes bad, it can really go bad. Months of dealing with similar if not the same issues. The last go round was about lightning hitting our pole (they rewired our old cabling thinking that was the problem… Nope!), the major problem being a fiber to coax node that was hit by lightning, and then having our pole hit by lightning ONE MORE TIME. The first technician probably new that it was a failing node, but engineering won’t listen to the techs. People have to bitch about it enough for engineering to actually move their ass.

    The people that I know that have DirecTV aren’t even a little happy about it. My brother has it only because he moved and that’s all that’s available. My neighbors have been with them for a couple of years after being with Comcast (and actually still had it, just to have Internet), and Comcast was out last week and now the dish has been taken down.


  22. HogwartsProfessor says:

    Gotta vote for Comcast. I have DirecTV although not for much longer; unemployment dictates I’ll have to cut it off very soon. :( I’ve had very few problems with them and those were fixed pretty fast.