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Comcast: Promises one price, charges another

Discussion in 'Comcast' started by DavidB, Mar 19, 2015.

  1. DavidB

    DavidB Guest

    When my previous Bundle Offer expired, I inquired with Comcast’s Executive Customer Relations office to see if I could lower my bill or if there were any similar pricing offers going on.

    For reference purposes, I was previously paying $79.99/mos for Digital Preferred with OnDemand and Performance Internet plus Starz and HBO. On top of that is a $9.95/mos HD Fee, a $2.99 Additional Outlet Fee and their new $3.25 “Broadcast TV Fee” plus taxes. When that promo ended with my January bill, I was charged an additional $15/mos for the HBO.

    I was called back a few days later by a Cheryl Jackleson here in Boston, and after discussing it with her, I was told that the old promotion with HBO and Starz was no longer available, and that HBO would be $15/mos more. I then asked what was available that would keep my bill about the same amount, and she stated she had the regular pricing for the Digital Preferred plus Performance Internet for the same price, but that it would not include HBO or Starz. We also discussed some other paired down packages, but at that time, she told me that none of them were available with HD service. Why would anyone today want Cable TV without HD? I then specifically reiterated with her that my bill under the regular pricing would be the same as it was, $79.99 plus the additional fees, for the same package, same TV and same Internet minus HBO and Starz, and she said yes. We were very clear about that. It was repeated twice. I agreed to that price and she said she would cut off the HBO and Starz and prorate my bill as of that day. Immediately, I no longer received HBO or Starz.

    Yesterday I received my new bill, and, of course, it was higher. Instead of the $79.99 I was promised, my bill was 104.99 plus the taxes and fees, so, essentially $25/mos more than we agreed upon, for a total of $124.13. The HBO was prorated back, as we discussed. I immediately contacted ECR to inquire about the discrepancy, and Ms. Jackleson returned my inquiry the next day, of course calling me back on a number I have EXPLICITLY told Comcast NOT to call me on, and that is NOT associated with my account, my business cell phone. At this point, the lies and runaround began. She told me I was told that I was now in “2nd year pricing” something that was never mentioned before. She told me she “reviewed her notes” to which I replied that I would love to listen to a recording of the call. She misdirected and resorted to doublespeak, and kept trying to sell me on other things. I offered to come down to her office and sit and listen to the call with her, along with a rep. from the AG’s office, she changed the subject. Then she told me I have plenty of other choices for service, (I don’t) and when I asked her to name those, she again changed the subject and tried to misdirect. She told me I agreed to $104.99 which I did NOT, and NEVER would’ve. Why would I pay more than I was for less? Why would I pay more for a crippled double play package than a new customer could pay for a more feature rich TRIPLE Play package? Had I been told that I was going to charged $104.99 for what she was offering, I would’ve declined and told her no right then and there. I asked her if she could continue the conversation without lies and games, a simple Yes or NO, and she wouldn’t even answer that, and continued to misdirect and lie, and then she hung up when I became frustrated.

    I called back the number and asked to speak with a Supervisor. After 3 disconnected switches to the 800 CS number, I reached a Helda in Plymouth, who had no direct line or extension, but reviewed the information she had in front of her, and told me she would escalate the call to a Supervisor would would supposedly pull the call to review and get back to me. Again, I offered to come down to the office so we could listen to the call together. I even offered to pay Comcast for that privilege, but she declined. And that’s where we stand at this point. Once again, we have to suffer through the lies and low rent games by this company. Once again, a customer is lied to. It’s bad enough we are constantly being ripped off by Comcast’s exorbitant charges for service, bundled with ever increasing rip-off “fees” and made up taxes, but we have to be repeatedly lied to on top of that, with little recourse due to their monopoly. I should note that my first bill after the old promo ended was at the old price, plus the $15, so this new price I am being charged is part of the game Ms. Jackleson played on me.

    Follow Up:

    Just received another call from the rep. claiming to have reviewed my call with Helda above. She went into a long spiel about other packages that we spoke of, continued the lie that HD was not available with any other package, and then lied and told me I was told of the higher price. When I offered to come down and listen to the recording of the call with her, she told me she could not do that. I even offered to pay Comcast $100 a month more if that recording proved that was what I was offered and agreed to, of course, she declined. No, Comcast would rather live in the lie than honor what they offer.
     
    #1
  2. Grant Ritchie

    Grant Ritchie Dependable adequacy :-)

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    Hi David,

    Boy, did you come to right place. Having just awakened from my own long nightmare with AT&T U-verse, I can tell you... you were lied to. Don't like it? What can you do? Your interactions were by phone, so there's no proof of anything... and these reps make used-car salesmen look like church elders.

    What can you do? I have several suggestions:
    • If you don't like what you're hearing from one rep, call back and talk to another, and another and another until you get one who tells you what you want to hear.
    • Ask to speak to the Customer Retention Department. Deals which the original rep says are absolutely not available, magically become available when they know they're at risk of losing you.
    • When, eventually, you can't squeeze any more out of Customer Retention, go ahead and cancel your service (after making sure there are no penalties for doing so), then call back and ask what they're willing to do to get you back.
    These dodges kept me with AT&T a couple of years longer than I would have stayed otherwise, but eventually all good things come to an end. I finally told them to stick it, canceled their $100-plus/mo. service, and went with $40/mo high speed internet, a hi-def antenna, Roku and an Amazon Firestick. And I have never looked back. You won't either.

    If you'd like to battle it out with Comcast before wishing them a tearful farewell, here's how.

    Send short, polite emails to, one at a time, with a week between each, the two Primary Contacts, two Secondary Contacts, and the Chief Executive you'll find here:


    I emphasize "short" because short letters are much more well received than looong ones.

    Save all your correspondence and if you don't receive satisfaction, feel free to complete and submit the Elliott.org "Help" form you'll find here:
    http://elliott.org/help/

    Good luck!

    Grant
     
    #2
    cp556 likes this.
  3. DavidB

    DavidB Guest

    Hi Grant, I've already spoken with 3 different reps, plus a "retention" specialist and all I've gotten is BS and the runaround. Unfortunately, I live in a spot where OTA reception will be spotty at best, so I'm left between a rock and a hard place.

     
    #3
  4. ken

    ken

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    David,

    I've seen similar complaints. Unfortunately, there is no good solution for this. Comcast's customer service is so messed up. It's not that the reps are lying. They simply don't know how to fix your problem or are not authorized to make changes you want in your account. Their system does not allow them to keep track of phone calls you make.

    A couple of suggestions:

    First, use chat. A chat rep will most likely not be able to fix your problem, either, but at least you can build a paper trail. You can launch it from here:
    https://www.comcastsupport.com/ChatEntry/Protected.aspx

    Second, try Comcast user forum. You may be able to get tailored suggestions from knowledgeable fellow users. In rather rare occasions, a corporate rep steps in and fixes a problem:
    http://forums.comcast.com/

    Third, escalate your complaint with the corporate. (Comcast is a collection of local franchisees, who have no idea what they are doing.) It appears to me that corporate reps are smartpants and you are more likely to get good luck:
    we_can_help@cable.comcast.com

    Good luck,
     
    #4
    Grant Ritchie likes this.
  5. Christopher Elliott

    Christopher Elliott Administrator
    Staff Member Forum Director

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    #5
  6. DavidB

    DavidB Guest

    Thanks, it's already been escalated. It was a corporate rep who lied to me in the first place

     
    #6
  7. ken

    ken

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    Ah, okay, now I see it.
     
    #7
  8. Christopher Elliott

    Christopher Elliott Administrator
    Staff Member Forum Director

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    #8
    DavidB likes this.
  9. Andrew Der

    Staff Member News Curator

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    Comcast and I are "friends" from way back and have gone through my share of regional managers. I am also - sigh - a captive customer at the same time by coincidence, as somehow my building legally only offers Comcast as the only cable choice.

    I have executive emails at the end that - to steal from Chris - are so "insidery" that I almost feel guilty.

    With great knowledge comes great power as Spiderman would say - so when contacting them by email, be succinct and factual most of all and no negative emotional language - although it is tempting believe you me.

    Perhaps use bullets when providing chronology. Be super polite and thank them for their time and consideration.

    Reference your account number.

    The emails are as follows. If they do not work then they really did scramble quickly to change because I used them a couple of days ago. They were really nice to me and helped me right away.

    Chavis Robinson at Chavis_Robinson@cable.comcast.com

    and

    Peter Leva at
    Peter_Leva@cable.comcast.com

    One caveat though, this may be corporate for Northeast USA regional office rather than the big cheese at a main executive office. If so, I got there via the original main corporate contacts first which are no longer operational. If this is the case, and not regional to your location, they may well refer you to the appropriate corporate office.

    You may want to end your email with a phrase asking that if there is a more appropriate office to go to, you would be very grateful for such a referral.

    Good luck
    Andrew
     
    #9
    DavidB, Grant Ritchie and Luke S like this.
  10. Luke S

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    Do you have another option for TV and internet in your area? Sometimes your best bet is to dump Comcast and try the competition for a year. I just dumped Comcast and went with Uverse. After the first month my bill is what I expected and I have had no issues. I even got $250 in visa gift cards to switch. When my special pricing ends in a year with Uverse I will call and see what they can do. If they can't come up with something agreeable I will switch back to Comcast for a year.

    It is really silly they make these great offers to new customers only and make us play these games to get good value but I have decided that the only way to beat them is to play their game.
     
    #10
    Andrew Der likes this.
  11. Andrew Der

    Staff Member News Curator

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    Unfortunately, in my block for some reason I used to know, there is no other provider available other than Comcast. I do not know how that is possible but is the way it is.

    One can use a satellite provider in theory but not where I live due to HOA restrictions for visible dishes, so effectively has forced a monopoly which probably has added to Comcast's apathy. I am in Baltimore.

    I don't even need the TV but use it for the high speed internet for work. A basic cable package comes with that whether one wants it or not.
     
    #11
    DavidB likes this.
  12. Luke S

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    Not that this would help for internet but if you wanted Satelite most HOA restrictions are illegal. I once fought the management of the apartment complex I lived in for their crazy rules to put a dish on my balcony. They wanted me to have a million dollar insurance policy, give them a $500 extra deposit in case of damage, submit proposed plans, etc. I filed a complaint with the FCC. To my amazement the FCC jumped right on it and sent the landlord the rules. In the end not only did the management company have to allow me to do what I wanted but also had to notify all 4000 of their residents in all of their properties that they were wrongj, refund anyone else that made a deposit and reimburse them for the million insurance policy they had to get.

    http://www.fcc.gov/guides/over-air-reception-devices-rule
     
    #12
  13. Andrew Der

    Staff Member News Curator

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    Good info - thanks!
     
    #13
  14. Grant Ritchie

    Grant Ritchie Dependable adequacy :-)

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    Hi David,

    I have things to amaze and delight. :)

    Since I dumped cable, I've had zero regrets. Here's why:

    Check out this link for a comparo between the four top media streamers, Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast and Amazon Fire TV. All you need is high-speed internet and one or more of these little jewels:


    Next up is a link to CNET's "Battle of the sticks: Fire TV, Chromecast and Roku: The thing with sticks is that they don't come with a remote, so you have to use a tablet or a 'puter. In my case, I use my iPad as the remote, A little inconvenient, but they're dirt cheap and a good way to get a toe in the water. I started with an Amazon Firestick, then added a Roku 3 (which does have a remote). Here's the link:


    Last, but not least is a wonderful little deal through which you can get a free Amazon or Roku stick, or half off an Amazon Fire TV or Roku 3 (this is where I got my Roku 3). The "catch" is you have to sign up for Sling TV, which is a great deal in itself. I got mine about a month ago, so I'm not sure the deal's still in effect, but if you'd like to take a look, here's a link:

    And... I don't have the story to link, but within a month, HBO is going to available by streaming, too!

    A couple other things, DVR's are dirt cheap, so if you think you're going to have to do without that... you're not.

    And you can buy an Ooma box, dump your landline, and have unlimited long distance (within the U.S.) for only the taxes and fees you're paying now. I've had mine for a couple of years and my monthly bill averages $3.80! :eek:

    Also, did you know that Comcast is dinging you ten bucks a month for modem rental. And that you can buy your own? Here's a link:


    Bye Cable! Don't let the door hit you on your way out.

    Grant :p
     
    #14
  15. Grant Ritchie

    Grant Ritchie Dependable adequacy :-)

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    Ha!

    Way ta stand up for yourself, Luke! Would you be interested in a job as an Elliott.org advocate? The pay sucks, but it's the most rewarding job you'll ever have.

    Grant :)
     
    #15
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  16. Grant Ritchie

    Grant Ritchie Dependable adequacy :-)

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    Nice piece of work here, Ken.

    I just copied and pasted it for my Comcast file. Thanks!

    Grant :)
     
    #16
  17. Grant Ritchie

    Grant Ritchie Dependable adequacy :-)

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    Great post, Andrew!

    I just stole it for my Comcast folder. Thanks. :)

    Grant
     
    #17
    Andrew Der likes this.
  18. DavidB

    DavidB Guest

    Please note, the Brian Roberts address is invalid. It just bounces back, and the 215 area phone number just reaches their Sales Office. It will not get you to anyone useful
     
    #18
  19. DavidB

    DavidB Guest


    Unfortunately no, no I don't have another option. Verizon has declined to build in my town, and my pleas to local officials to investigate Muni Broadband have been ignored, probably because they are in bed with Comcast. On top of that, I live in a spot with a huge hill between my house and direct site of Boston, so over the air TV will be spotty at best
     
    #19
  20. DavidB

    DavidB Guest

    Grant, I have all the sticks and boxes, unfortunately, they're useless without Cable first. Comcast. Additionally, they do not provide local Live Sports, nor do they provide my local TV stations. Unfortunately, I live in a spot that has a large hill between myself and the city (Boston) so OTA signals will be spotty at best. In otherwords, between a rock and a hard place.

     
    #20

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