Hey, Who Cut My Comcast Line?

Jim can’t prove that a technician working for Verizon cut his cable line. He didn’t see it happen, and the vandal didn’t leave a signature or anything. All the perpetrator left behind was a dug up, severed Comcast cable, some fiber optic cable, and a conduit. Less than a week before, Jim had booked a tentative FiOS installation a month ahead of time, pending the approval of his housemate. Instead, this turned out to be one of those very rare Consumerist stories where the hero is… Comcast.

On July 20th, I gave Verizon FiOS a call to see if they could beat my low Comcast rate of $41.78 per month for 25/5 Internet. I spoke with an account rep and while they couldn’t match it, she did a great job of upselling a 75/35 plan. I told her I would need to discuss the major price increase with my housemate before I committed. However, she said she would schedule a tentative installation for late August just to get me in the system (they required no payment information as the installation was free).

Shortly after, I received a confirmation e-mail showing that I was scheduled for a FiOS installation on August 23rd – plenty of time to figure out finances.

However, on July 25, not five days after my call, I come home to find my back yard dug up and a conduit and fiber optic cable already installed. I gave them credit for the fast install but then I noticed something else. I. Could. Haz. No. Intarwebz. My cable modem lights were off and nothing the Comcast CSR nor I did could get it to work. Note, that on the morning of the 25th, before I left for work and before the apparent installation, I had full Internet access.

Luckily, the CSR, who was very nice, was able to get someone to come out on the 27th and she guaranteed a fix that day. So, one day with out main Internet isn’t bad.

When the Comcast tech arrived (on-time), he did the normal inspection and found that the line had been cut and then reburied right outside my backyard fence. I couldn’t believe it when I saw it (see pic). The technician said that he had seen them do this before and that they aren’t allowed to mess with the Comcast cabling. So, what was Verizon’s master plan? Kill my Internet for at least a month while I decide to maybe have it active in late August? I have never been so shocked by a company’s behavior. While I am sure this isn’t company policy, the behavior is reprehensible.

Comcast was very nice about the ordeal and repaired the line, free of charge, even though it wasn’t Comcast’s fault. I told the tech that I wanted to file a complaint with someone and he said that Comcast would take care of it for me. I hope they do.

So I hope Verizon FiOS knows that they lost a potential customer forever. I will never use their services nor can I recommend them. Destroying my current Internet access was unprofessional and unacceptable. May they burn in the 10th circle of Hell. Comcast, however, has won me over yet again.

Yeah, Verizon installers only get accused of sabotaging their own lines!

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.