Comcast Tried to Pull A Fast One On Me

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In a recent post on this site, I talked about how Fidelity was up to some of their normal tricks again by 1) trying to lure me away from my current investment house (Vanguard) with a less-than-enticing offer, and 2) spending more money to execute/mail out a failed promotion, thus further proliferating the need for their higher mutual fund fees than Vanguard.

In light of my recent experiences with my high-speed internet account, the same would have to be said for Comcast, my internet provider.

In  my mind, Comcast is somewhat of a necessary evil. Each time that my promotional offer pricing period expires with Comcast, and it is time to renegotiate my price (if you don’t renegotiate and ask for a discount, the price of the same internet service doubles generally), I always investigate options for other internet service provider companies.


Background

After purchasing my condo for graduate school in August of last year, I signed up for a $30 per month special promotion for a “Performance” internet package with Comcast. The time period of the offer was 6 months.

So, when February came around this year, an automatic reminder popped up on my Outlook calendar to call and renegotiate my pricing plan. If I were to continue with the same internet package after the promotional period expired, the pricing would have reverted to the normal $60 per month.

In my mind, paying $60 per month for internet is just unacceptable (a belief which I made sure to express to the Comcast rep upon calling to ask for a discount – see below for more details).

The Call(s)

(This title reminds me of the Backstreet Boys song – see clip below for a little laugh to remember years past! Or maybe these were years that we would rather forget..haha)

Call 1 – 

The automatic reminder on my Outlook calendar popped up during the last week of January. So, the day after it showed up, I called Comcast’s “lovely” customer service department.

Upon calling them and giving the details of my account, I mentioned that my promotional internet pricing period was expiring, and inquired if they had any new promo offers to make available to me.

“YES,” the service rep said enthusiastically. “If you sign up to receive phone, cable TV, and internet service as a bundle, we can offer the internet portion to you for just $20 per month!” “What a deal,” I was thinking to myself. (rolling eyes to back of my head)

I then proceeded to tell the rep that the bundle wouldn’t work because I use Netflix instead of paying for cable TV each month. Naturally, I then asked if there were any promotional offers for internet alone. She said NO.

Upon hearing this, I then said that I would rather discontinue my service and share internet with my neighbors than pay $60 per month. I gave her one last chance to find a way for me to pay less than $60 per month, and then hung up the phone, mentioning that I would be inquiring with their competitors about transferring my service to another company.


Investigating The Competitors


Remember when I said that Comcast is a necessary evil? Well, it really is true. In looking around the internet, I discovered that the only providers in my area for internet (besides Comcast) were 1) NetZero, and 2) CenturyLink.

However, in looking in to these companies’ plans, I found out that both required that I have a land line phone hooked up in my condo. Since I use my cell phone for all of my calling needs, these options would simply not work either.


When I was almost ready to give up my search, I came across a (coincidentally) fairly hard-to-find page on Comcast’s website that listed all of the levels of internet packages available (see link below). And, low and behold – listed on this page was the Economy package for only $40 per month. Now, that is more to my liking as far as price ranges go!!!! 

Comcast Internet Packages


Call 2 – 

To take advantage of this pricing program/internet package, I knew that all I need do is call up Comcast and request to downgrade my account (tip – the calling waiting time to talk to a service rep is 10x shorter if you press the button to “change service on your account” rather than “inquiry about billing”).

So, the next day, I called Comcast, and it went very smoothly getting them to downgrade my plan!

Beware – Brief Rant section 

WHY DID THEY NOT TELL ME ABOUT THE ECONOMY PRICING PLAN WHEN I CALLED UP THE FIRST TIME? WOULDN’T THEY RATHER KEEP ME AS A CUSTOMER AND HAVING ME PAY $40 FOR A LOWER PACKAGE?

I just don’t understand it!!!

Some More Details of My Experiences With Comcast

While I living/working outside of Philadelphia last year, I signed up to get Comcast’s high speed internet service. As expected the installation technician came to my condo, and hooked up my cable modem to Comcast’s system.

However, after he left, he marked down that the modem was Comcast’s property, and that I would be charged $5 per month to rent it from them!

Somehow, due to my obliviousness, these rental charges slipped by unnoticed for the 8 months that I lived in Pennsylvania. When I was preparing to make the move to Virginia to start graduate school, Comcast said that I needed to return the rented modem.

I then proceeded to tell them that NO, it is my modem. I bought this from Shentel, my previous internet service provider.

To make a long story short, I actually ended up having to get Shentel and Comcast talking to one another to prove that the modem was mine (Shentel was good enough to have the MAC-ID number in their computer system still, identifying the modem).

So, to recap, there a couple of things (shown below) you all can learn from my experiences from Comcast:

  • Know your options for what services your utility/service providers offer.
  • Keep track of your promotional pricing offers, and follow up to ask for additional offers and discounts.
  • Examine your service statements with a fine-tooth comb, and don’t be afraid to challenge errors that the company makes.

How about you all? Have you had an experience recently when you felt ripped off? Does anyone have any good/bad Comcast experiences they want to share!?


Share your experiences by commenting below!


***Photo courtesy of http://mycabletvsucks.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/comcast-sucks.jpg

Comments

  1. ComcastScam says:

    I just recently experienced the new xfinity rollout for my dvr service in the Orlando area. I had been looking forward to some of the newer features, but comcast decided to ruin the experience. Comcast decided to replace the bottom channel row with a banner ad. One of the evils we've come to accept in this day and age are banner ads on websites and for the most part we are willing to forgive them as a necessary evil. Not so much for content we are paying a premium for and even less so when we are forced to interact with the ads. The ad is not just a simple section of the screen sectioned off as banner space. It is literally another row in the guide that you are forced to click through whenever you go up or down a page in the guide. So roughly 20% of the time we are cycling through channels we have to go through this banner ad. This is like forcing you to listen to an ad every 5th time you made a phone call or having a banner ad popup 1 out of 5 times you check your email.
    I decided to give comcast a call this morning and after speaking with a helpless CSR first, then a helpless 'Manager' (actually just a team leader, aka CSR) I have been told an actual manager will call me back sometime, eventually. The only useful thing I got from the Team Leader was a comment about how I do not have a contract with Comcast and am free to cancel my service. I am now eagerly awaiting a call back from 'one of the several floor managers that we all busy in an off-site meeting'. I'm now going around posting on related sites to share my thoughts and see what other people think about this new banner ad we're paying for.

    • Thanks for sharing those experiences! I recently read a consumer report's article about how satisfied people were with various cable and tv providers. Needless to say, Comcast didn't score too high!
      My recent post Simplify Your Asset Allocation and Remove The Impossible From Your Investing Strategy With Bettermentcom

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