Comcast Will Send A New Cable Modem Whether You Order One Or Not

Image courtesy of Mr.TinDC

Most people assume that their Internet service provider isn’t going to behave in a similar manner to the very shadiest of computer malware and virus mongers. Apparently, they shouldn’t, especially if they are customers of Comcast. Consumer reporter Bob Sullivan and one of his readers both clicked one link to trigger the shipment of a new piece of equipment that neither of them wanted.

Earlier this week we told you how Sullivan and some of his readers had found that Comcast’s e-mail urging them to upgrade their modems contained a link that looked like this:


Is there anything there that says, “Click this link to automatically order new devices with no confirmation?” Maybe there should be, because that’s what happened.


While the e-mail says that there would be no cost to the customer, the reader who complained about this says that he was charged a $160 installation fee and $8 per month. That’s silly if you own a modem or router already.

The same thing happened to Sullivan, who uses his own modem, but when he contacted Comcast to inquire, he was told that his order would not be fulfilled and not to worry.

But in an update to that story, well… you can guess what happened.

(Don’t worry. Clicking on that link will just take you to the original article, and will not order any cable boxes.)

Yes, within 48 hours of being told that he wouldn’t receive a modem, Sullivan was now the proud owner of a new Comcast modem that he didn’t want or order.

“Now, it’s up to me to get it back to the company somehow,” he writes, “and once again, make sure I’m not paying monthly fees on it.”

He then confirmed that the reader who complained about being charged for the modem had also received a special unwanted delivery.

“Clearly we messed up here,” explained a rep for Comcast, who said that the auto-opt-in e-mail was intended to ease the ordering of new equipment, “and we should not have put you through this experience. I’m sorry and we will use this instance to refine our processes and improve them. Our intent was to make sure you have up to date equipment so you can get the most out of the faster Internet speeds we are rolling out in your area. Thanks for your patience and for sharing your experience with me.”

‘This has gone beyond being funny’ — Drive-by orders, and how Comcast made me an offer I just couldn’t refuse [Bob Sullivan]
Comcast modem upgrade acts like a computer virus email; some complain about surprise fees [Bob Sullivan]

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