The Comcast Soap Opera Continues!

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Dictionary.com defines the word “soap opera” as a serialized drama, usually dealing with domestic themes and characterized by sentimentality.” That sounds about right for my relationship with Comcast!

In the ongoing, drama-filled saga that is my relationship with Comcast (my cable internet provider), there has been a recent occurrence that I wanted to fill everyone in on!

Background

In my last post regarding Comcast, I discussed/ranted about how Comcast’s customer service team tried to hide the cheaper, Economy, internet package from me when I requested a lower priced service. I was doing this because my Performance internet promo offer was running out and threatening to revert to the $60 per month pricing.

As a result of this post, we even attracted the attention of Comcast’s social media team, which was concerned about me voicing my negative experience with their customer service team, and wanted to correct it. This was very considerate of them. 🙂

In the end (after 2-3 repeated phone calls to the Comcast customer service line), I was able to downgrade my internet service to the $40 per month Economy package two months ago. And, with automatic payments with my Chase Freedom Credit Card enabled to pay my internet fee each month, I figured that I would just be able to sail off in to the internet sunsetting horizon for months to come! Guess again, Jacob! Comcast had other plans for me!


Current Affairs


Having set up my account for auto-payments for my $40 per month Economy internet package fee and being told by the Comcast rep that my account was paid in full until the April billing cycle, I figured my affairs were in perfect order.

However, on Thursday of this past week, I received an email from Comcast (my BEST friends!) saying that I owed them $80 for two billing cycles + late fees for not paying my March balance.

In other words, my account had been marked “delinquent.” Now there’s a lovely word, isn’t it!? Nevertheless, this special occasion called for another lovely call to Comcast’s customer service line! Yah!

Surprisingly, Comcast’s customer service rep was quite pleasant this time. She saw that my account was correctly set up for auto-payments and acknowledged that the error was due to a glitch in their online payment system. She even took off the late fees! Quite nice!


And, on top of this, the customer service rep told me about a 6 month promotional deal for the Performance internet package (faster than the Economy package I currently have) for $20 per month. I jumped at this opportunity because this was half of what I am currently paying.

Furthermore, after checking on Comcast’s website, I found out that they are also currently offering a promo for Blast internet (super fast speed!) for only $30 per month. This is a reminder to us all to keep checking with our utility providers to ask for discounts periodically. It can really save a lot of money!

Is Comcast going to be responsible for making my credit score go down?


Needless to say, I was surprisingly satisfied with my Comcast experience for once. However, one question remained in my mind – would Comcast’s mistake in marking my account as delinquent make my credit score go down?


My initial guess to this question was that it most likely would negatively affect my credit report. However, I wanted to do a brief investigation just to make sure. Listed below are several useful/illuminating links I found on the subject:

Privacy Rights.org – Description of Credit Score Calculations
WikiAnswers – Effect on credit score of late internet bill payments
CreditBoards.com – Effect of utility payments on credit score

The general consensus from the above resources seems to be as follows – “The late payments won’t affect your FICO credit score unless the account gets reported to the credit bureaus. Most utility companies don’t report their accounts unless the debt gets charged off. However, there are some utilities which report to the CRA’s (credit reporting agencies = credit bureaus).”


So, I basically take this as, “it depends on the company.” 


Recommended Action Step


Since it appears that the effect of your payment history with utility companies on your credit report varies quite a bit, I would recommend that everyone check their credit report for free once per year (using Annualcreditreport.com) to see which of your utility accounts is actively reporting.


Personally, I just checked my credit report (hadn’t viewed it since March of 2010, so it was definitely time to look again!), and none of my utility bills are being reported. Therefore, I think I may have dodged a bullet on this mistakenly-delinquent Comcast account problem. Good to hear!


Also, be sure to do yourself a favor and place a recurring, automatic reminder on your electronic Google or Outlook calendar (and sync the two) to check your credit report for free once per year on the site above. I just did!


How about you all? Have you had any interesting experiences with Comcast recently? Has your credit score ever been negatively impacted by a mistake in billing such as this? 


Share your experiences by commenting below!

    ***Photo courtesy of http://www.businesspundit.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/comcast.jpg

    Comments

    1. Sorry I don't have anything positive to say about Comcast. Incompetency seems to be a requirement to join Comcast workforce.

      One instance where outsourcing might actually help.
      My recent post How To Invest In India

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