Comcast Collects A Combined 20 Years Worth Of Fees From Two Customers Who Never Received What They Were Paying For
from the $30/month-for-a-piece-of-worthless-paper dept
Well, two recent stories collected by the Consumerist website detail both ignorance and unreasonableness -- and in both cases, it's the cable giant that has a monopoly on both.
Apparently, Comcast offers security systems in some markets. "Offers" being the key word. It seems to be a bit lax on actually maintaining a system that provides security.
When you pay $30 per month for a security system, you sort of expect to get a working security system. At least, most people would. Not in Comcastlandia, the strange world ruled by the corporate policies of Comcast. A Houston family started alarm service in 2007, and then learned from experience that their alarm system wasn’t working. And hadn’t in the entire seven years that they had been paying for service.The customers uncovered this seven-year gap in coverage after finding their back door open after returning home. However, the alarm hadn't been triggered. After bringing the issue to Comcast's attention, the company discovered the alarm had been offline for more than a half-decade. Rather than express any genuine concern about this lapse, Comcast's first move was to blame the customer for paying for a service that didn't exist.
Comcast countered that the seven years of non-service weren’t their fault, since the user agreement says that customers are supposed to test their systems monthly. If the system is offline and the customer hasn’t tested it, that makes everything the customer’s fault.In total, the customer had paid more than $2100 for nothing at all. Comcast's counteroffer? A $20 credit. Once the local TV station got involved, Comcast changed course and offered a full refund.
Seven years is a pretty impressive run of non-service, but another Comcast customer has that beat.
An 88-year-old woman in Florida is on a fixed income, but enjoys watching telenovelas, so she dutifully paid her $29 Comcast cable bill every month. There was one small problem with that, though: Comcast wasn’t providing her with any cable service. The condominium building where she lives provides cable to all residents, through a different company that is not Comcast.Once again, Comcast reacted to this news in the Comcastian of fashions. Total intake over 13 years of non-service? $4,500. Refund amount offered? $174.
The building switched providers from Comcast to Charter back in 2000. Yes, that’s right: she’s been paying for cable service that she didn’t get for more than 13 years.
And once again, it's local TV to the rescue, shaming the ignorant and unreasonable company into refunding the whole amount.
Now, for those still insisting no harm will be done by the Comcast-Time Warner merger, just think about how many more opportunities Comcast will have to collect money for doing even more than its usual nothing. A company with a horrendous customer service record shouldn't be rewarded with a doubling of its customer base. Of course, Time Warner isn't that much of an improvement, and it's been clear for years that both cable companies have long passed the Too Big To Care threshold. Combining these forces into a singular bastion of ineptitude and antipathy towards the public simply subtracts one company from the pool of "Worst Company in America" contestants.