Comcast Decides To Not Charge Early Termination Fees To Flood-Ravaged Stores

Image courtesy of Park Ridge Trading Co.

Flood waters recently tore through Ellicott City, MD, forcing some businesses to close up shop. One store says Comcast tried to rub salt in this fresh wound by demanding it pay hundreds of dollars to cancel service it can no longer use.

“Comcast is unbelievable,” wrote the Park Ridge Trading Co. yesterday. “They are charging the destroyed businesses an ‘early termination’ fee (about $600), and are insisting on charging for this past week although no services are being provided.”

The store says Comcast was also requiring that affected businesses sign a written agreement that they would pay the fee before the cable giant would turn off service — even though the storm waters had effectively done that job days earlier.

“There should be a special place in hell for business owners who try to capitalize on the misery of others,” wrote Park Ridge.

After this story began to catch fire on social media yesterday, Comcast told Baltimore’s Fox 45 that it had a change of heart.

“Given the circumstances, we will be waiving the early termination fee and will also ensure that billing is stopped for as long as they don’t have service,” writes Comcast. “We’ve reached out to the customer to apologize and are working to make this right.”

Park Ridge Trading confirmed this early Friday morning in a Facebook update, saying that “executives at Comcast contacted us to apologize and have promised to remedy the situation for all of the affected businesses and residents.”

This is not the first time Comcast has been chastised for treating customers poorly in the wake of a natural disaster. There was the time it decided that a Michigan customer who had lost their home to a tornado was “on vacation.” And we couldn’t forget when Comcast demanded the return of a cable box from a home hit by Hurricane Sandy, even though the property was at risk for fire or explosion because of a gas leak.