Sunday, May 8, 2016

My Divorce from Comcast

Everybody hates Comcast, don't they?  Not me.  I thought they were great...until I tried to divorce them.  Our parting was anything but amicable.  In fact, it was downright hostile.

It all began in December when I called to ask if I could keep my phone number when I moved to my new apartment.  "No problem," they said.  So a couple of weeks later I cancelled my TV and internet services because this building has their own system.  They have their own phone system, too, but that would have meant changing the number I'd had for decades and which I'd included on the many change-of-address cards I'd sent to family, friends, banks, insurance companies, doctors' offices and anyone else I could think of.  I was not about to accept a new phone number.  I'd just keep my long-standing contract with Comcast and happily go on from there.  Easy to say, not to do.

  The Comcast technician came to install my phone but he couldn't figure out how to connect it.  Neither could the second technician.  Finally, after the marketing director and I spent hours with Comcast, we finally reached a guy from the Phllippines (where else?) who got the phone installed.  No more problems, I thought.  Silly me.

A bill from Comcast for $390 arrived in the mail.  I called them and asked what it was for.  "Your services," they said.  "But I only have phone services."  "No, ma'am. You have phone, internet and TV.  "But I cancelled them," I argued.  "You didn't inform our Cancellations Department."  "I didn't know you had one.  No one mentioned it."  "Well," the customer service person said, "we've been providing services at this address (my old one) and you haven't paid for two months."  "No," I said.  "I don't live there any more."  "As far as we know, you do.  You'll have to get a statement from your former apartment management saying you moved out and bring it to our office."  "Can't I fax it?" I asked.  "No," he said firmly, "you mus bring it in and return your equipment."  "The technician who tried to install my phone offered to take the box and return it for me," I said, kicking myself for trusting anyone who worked for Comcast.  By now, I was no longer a fan.

The lovely and very patient lady in charge of phones at my new apartment building tried to help by explaining to Comcast that I only wanted phone service because other services are provided here and to please cancel my TV and internet.  "Certainly," they said and immediately cut off my phone.  And a few days later, to top it off, they sent a bill, this time for $600!

A few days passed and on Saturday as I left the supermarket, lugging a 14 pound bag of cat litter, my cell phone rang.  Of course, my cell, because I had no other phone.  Quickly I glanced and saw that the ID read Unavailable.  I ignored the call and went home.  By chance, I decided to call the number back.  It was Comcast, reminding me that I hadn't paid my $600 bill. and chastised me for not responding to their call.  After arguing with him, whoever he was, I was routed to the Customer Loyalty Department.  Who knew Comcast had such a department?  

The lady there listened to my tale of woe and assured me she would check into my account and remove the $600 and would call me back on Monday.  Hah!  Of course, she didn't. and, in the meantime I got two more collection calls from Comcast from a department which had no record of my talking to anyone else.

 Tuesday I called Customer Loyalty (by now I knew about them)  and spoke to a different lady (because, of course, the first lady could not be reached directly.  That would have been far too easy.) This lady assured me they could delete the $600 and restart my phone system and said a technician would be by in a few days with a modem.  "I don't think I need one here," I said.  "Yes, you do."  "Could I let you talk to the person in marketing here who is in charge of phones?"  "Marketing!" she sniffed.  "Marketing has nothing to do with phones; they do sales."  "This lady does phones," I insisted, "and she will know if I need a modem," I said as politely as I could.  "Lady, two plus two equals four and my answer isn't going to change, no matter how many times you ask about the modem," she snarled.  By then I had walked downstairs and into the marketing office and handed over my cell to our marketing/phone person.  After an hour on the phone, we all agreed to have the technician set up a modem.

Not so easy.  He couldn't connect to Comcast from this building because, after his supervisor came by and conferred with him, they agreed that this building was only wired for AT&T.  Then they went away,

I decided to try setting up a phone at my daughter's house and having the number call forward here.  The technician who came to take care of this insisted there was no way to connect, and he went away,too.

Eventually, my building managed to get an agreement from Comcast to "port" over my number.  This took several weeks and did not work.  I had just about given up when I got a call from the marketing office here, saying, "Your phone is working."

At last!  I try my number several times a day just to be sure, and yes, it's finally connected.  The building here now owns my phone number, which is fine with me because I don't plan to move ever again.  The downside is that now I'm getting calls to "lower the interest rate on your credit card if you'll give us your card number" at least three times a day.  But that's minor.  I can live with that.  I just couldn't live without my 40-year-old phone number; it was part of my identity...and now, we're back together.

And I'll never. never, never have to deal with Comcast again.  Our divorce is final.


Susan Kane said... [Reply to comment]

Now THAT is amazing. What a battle, and it great to know you won. $600? Fraudulent!

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