Time Warner Cable wants to charge $12,000 to install cable and internet for a customer in the remote town of Lee, MA. The town’s Board of Selectmen, however, are having none of it. They say that Time Warner Cable in in breach of their contract, which requires them to install cable in any house that already has electricity and telephone service.
Reader K. wants to let us know that our tips for writing an effective complaint letter helped her solve her parents battle with Comcast. For months they’d been complaining about faulty internet service — only to be told they had the best signal they could get. Turns out, however, that their cable had never been installed properly. Whoops!
This is actually a happy story, despite my inability to write cheerful-sounding headlines, so pay attention if you’ve ever been told that your whole apartment complex can get cable/FiOS/whatever, but you can’t because you are special and not allowed to be happy. You’d be surprised at how many letters we get from people who have this problem. One such person, Andrew, Consumerist Reader, decided to email the CEO.
Riddle me this, Batman. How many Comcast cable techs does it take to install a TiVo? We’d love to give you an answer, but we can’t because reader Lynn still hasn’t got a working TiVo after 3 appointments. Whoooops.
Meet Stacy. Stacy moved into a new apartment. The person who moved out of the apartment had Comcast. Her neighbors all have Comcast. Stacy, however, cannot have Comcast. Why? A clerical error. And another one. And after that, still another.
Here’s a lovely story from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. A unnamed 75-year-old widow says AT&T called her to offer their new U-Verse service with bundled TV, Internet and phone. She signed up, only to receive a phone call letting her know that the TV service wasn’t available in her area yet, but would she like to sign up with DirecTV instead? She agreed, but DirecTV started doublebilling her as soon as her service started. After a few months of the runaround from DirecTV she called to cancel.
Sounds like that Verizon guy is too busy making commercials to show up and install your DSL. Reader John-Paul just wants Verizon to keep their appointments… is that so much to ask?
John ordered a washer and a dryer from Best Buy. First, he says Best Buy showed up early for the delivery, so naturally, John wasn’t home. Then they assembled the pedestals for the washer and dryer on some gravel in front of his house, damaging them. After that, they left the appliances with his neighbor.
For more than a year, says the Baltimore Sun, there were Comcast cables laying in the gutters, and across the driveways of a neighborhood in Hanover, MD. Why were they laying there? Because that’s where Comcast installed them.
Reader Bill was getting the run around from Verizon– but he wasn’t even a customer yet! His dramatic ordeal started on October 9th, and by the 16th he’d taken a full day off of work, called Verizon nine times and still he was without FiOS.
Amy, a student at UC Davis, has just learned one of the lessons that one inevitably learns at college. Cable companies are simply not very good at what they do. Take, for example, the “finished” installation of some cable outlets in her apartment.
Reader Belinda’s iPod and a few accessories were smashed by some delivery guys contracted by IKEA. When she tried to file a claim for the $500 worth of damage they did, she got the runaround until she eventually gave up and wrote to us.
Reader Jeff writes in to let us know that Comcast Frank and the Twitter team swooped in and rescued him from Comcast tech hell.
Reader Kyle, like so many of us, would rather Comcast not dig up his property without asking, especially when they are a) running cable for his neighbor b) mysteriously avoiding an area near the curb where they could have run the cable without disturbing his yard. To add insult to (landscaping) injury, when he asked the Comcast workers to stop digging they refused, and when he called Comcast to ask them to tell the workers to stop, they also refused, then hung up on him.
The Washington Post is the latest paper to attempt the problem of just why and how Comcast is able to suck as hard and as consistently as they do. They run through the usual suspects (too much emphasis on growth, Brian “Comcatastophe” Roberts makes $20 million a year, too much competition, not enough competition, people watch videos, it’s Wednesday, I love lamp, etc.). Whatever the reason for Comcast’s suckage, its not accidental, and we’re thoroughly bored with the excuses, but we did enjoy the article for its obligatory “bad customer experience” anecdote — in which Comcast characterizes itself as going “above and beyond” for the consumer.
Reader Scott really wanted to give Lowe’s some money to install a new door in his house, but, sadly they were just too incompetent to actually do it. After a month and a half of incorrect orders, botched installations, and having to cancel his credit card because an employee from Lowe’s called him up to ask for his mother’s maiden name, Scott finally got a refund and vowed never to do business with Lowe’s again.
Reader Brandon took his recently purchased 1996 BMW M3 to a car stereo installation company to have a stereo, speaker set, and GPS system installed. When he got his car back, he noticed that the climate control system was no longer functioning the way it used to. Hot air was leaking from his air ducts when he selected cold air. After a few unsuccessful attempts to get the car stereo installation shop to repair the damage they caused, Brandon took the car to some BMW experts and found out that the botched installation had caused over $10,000 in damage to his car. Brandon then tried to get the car stereo shop’s insurance company to pay for the repairs, but they denied his claim on the basis that procedures used for the installation were typical. Brandon says he then took the car stereo shop to small claims court. but the judge ruled against him because the car stereo shop employees claimed that he entered into a oral contract to release them from liability in exchange for a partial refund. Brandon claims he never entered into such a contract. Read his story inside.
Reader Shannon has been without a working phone in her home office for the past 16 days thanks to Comcast. This has her in a bad mood, but she’s also a little ticked off because they sent over a bunch of guys who didn’t understand her when she told them not to dig up her patio.