Comcast Does Something Not-Awful, Teams Up With UPS Store For Easier Equipment Returns

From stories of waiting hours in line at a local cable office just to hand back your old cable box to tales of being billed hundreds of dollars for equipment that get “lost” in shipping even though you have tracking info showing they were sent back, one of the most frequent complaints we hear about cable companies is that it’s a huge pain in the derriere to return equipment. Comcast, in its bid to do things that aren’t always horrible and anti-consumer, announced today that its customers can now go the UPS store to return their Comcast stuff.

Comcast currently only operates around 500 Xfinity stores, but there are more than 4,400 UPS Stores around the country that should now be willing to accept your returned equipment — free of charge — and provide you a a receipt and tracking information.

Additionally, returns to UPS stores don’t require the customer to provide any packaging, says Comcast. So no need to find a shipping box and bubble wrap.

It’s a smart move for Comcast, which not only needs whatever PR wins it can muster, but which benefits from shorter lines at Xfinity stores. And since many people who return equipment are people who no longer want anything to do with Comcast, it gives those disenchanted consumers a non-Comcast place to go (and keeps them from riling up customers at Xfinity stores).

As we’ve pointed out before, while Comcast brags about its improved customer service scores, it still ranks near the bottom, if not dead-last, in many major customer satisfaction surveys of cable and Internet service providers. The UPS Store partnership allows it to deal with the industry-wide problem of equipment returns without having to invest in new retail locations (and the staff needed to run them).

It still remains to be seen whether or not this arrangement will indeed speed things up at Xfinity stores and reduce lost-equipment complaints from consumers, but it’s a rare pro-consumer move on Comcast’s part, so we’ll take what we can get.

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