The Penny

Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.

[Thursday, May 7, 2009]

NOT Comcastic

I hate Comcast. Maybe every cable company plays games with the bill, maybe Comcast is worse. It bothered me. However, I had agreed to a two-year contract last May, when we moved to Maryland, so I was stuck with them. They told me that I would have cable, internet, and landline phone for a certain price, which of course ended up being a lot more when you add in taxes and fees. I had many battles with them: won some, lost some. Every month, I got agita before I opened the bill, knowing that there was a good chance I'd be speaking to an idiot shortly.

A few months ago, Laynie and I talked about getting rid of phone and cable. I never use the landline phone, and we only watch four shows on TV, which are all online, even with captions, so there's no reason to have cable. We can't get rid of the internet, because Laynie's videophone requires high speed internet. Besides, how could you live without the internet? Our work and school stuff is all online, and it's usually the best way to buy stuff. But I decided not to downgrade the services, because then I'd have to pay a fee.

We moved last month, and I had Comcast come out and move services to the new place (for a fee, naturally). Then I got the bill. The monthly fee is $20 higher than it was! Funny, there was no mention of a fee change when I called to have the services moved (rolling my eyes). Of course, I called them right up. I let them know that there was a mistake on the bill, and they let me know that there was no mistake. Hm. Think fast.

"If you're breaking the contract, that's excellent, because I wanted to downgrade anyway."

"We're not breaking the contract. Your contract said that if you move, you start a new contract."

"Then why did the guy who signed me up specify that the price would be constant for two years? It was his main selling point, that the price wouldn't go up as long as I lived in a place that Comcast serviced."

"I don't know what he said. The contract you signed says that if you move, you start a new contract at whatever the current price is."

"I will pay [old amount] for the bundle. That's what I agreed to, and that's what your representative told me it would be. I will not pay more."

"Well [new amount] is what it is. I mean, I don't know what they told you. I guess I could try to get a supervisor to look up your conversation and see who signed you up, and then they could talk to his supervisor, who could talk to him and see what he said..."

"No, thank you. Now that I don't have a two-year contract, I'd like to downgrade. How much is it for internet only?"

"[Amount that is still unreasonable but is less than half the current price of the bundle]."

"OK, let's do it."

"Um, OK..."

Typing. Explanation of when the technician can come out. Assurances that I do NOT now have a contract, so I can cancel at any time without a fee.

"Um, you know, there is a possibility that someone could call you and find out what happened, why you're downgrading. Maybe that person could get your bundle back to [old price]."

"I'm happy to have internet only, but I would love to talk to someone about my experiences with Comcast. They can call me."

So you see, they are smart, but they are not so smart.


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