Pain came knocking at my door, and its name was Comcast

I’ve been a customer of Verizon for over a year, using their FiOS package. I had some minor complaints, but was mostly satisfied with their service. After the year was up, so was my promotional pricing. The price went up and Verizon wouldn’t budge on the price.

At serendipity would have it, a Comcast salesman came to my door a few days later. He sat with us for over an hour, listening to what we wanted and the price we wanted to pay. We were mostly agreed, with one sticking point - HDNet. FiOS has it, Comcast doesn’t. I watch it a lot for MMA, so I didn’t want to part with it. Our sales rep left and said he’d look into it.

A month later, he emailed me that there was good news - Comcast had just added HDNet. I looked on their site as well as on HDNet’s and found that this didn’t seem to be true. I emailed him for proof. He emailed back and said it hadn’t yet been added to the site, but he sent me a screenshot of his info; sure enough, there was HDNet on channel 183. I was pleased, so we set up a date for installation.

When the install was done, I was immediately disappointed. Channel 183 offered no HDNet. Hmmm. Worse yet, our upstairs box could NOT do the stuff he’d promised. It had no HD capability and could NOT stream content from our DVR. We’d specifically asked for that and didn’t get it.

Also, we didn’t get the package we were promised. No BBC America, no Travel Channel, none of the other channels we’d talked about. Notta.

Also, they hadn’t given us a wireless router. They just gave us a crummy modem with only ONE output. The guy knew we used another VOIP provider, so he had to know we’d have to hook our phone up to a modem.

I called this rep (who represented himself as an anytime problem-solver) and left him a voicemail. No response.

The next day I talked to Comcast directly. Adding the package we talked about would be extra. Adding the second box we’d talked about would be extra. Adding a wireless router would be extra. And they do NOT offer HDNet, period.

Again I tried to contact my rep, but got nothing. Frustrated, I told them to come back and take their equipment and reconnect my FiOS to put it like it was before they came. They relented and said they’d send someone out on May 1st between 11 and 1. Fine.

So here I am on May 1st and 1:30 has come and gone. What gives? I called, and surprise surprise - they had no one scheduled to come out today to do this. sigh The person I spoke with said he’d try to reroute one of the drivers to my place today but couldn’t make any promises. In the meantime I’m without phone, TV and Internet because they discontinued my service before coming out and taking the equipment.

My sales rep has yet to get back in contact with me and try to make any of this right. Of course.

In summation: Don’t believe Comcast’s lies about revamping their company and improving their customer service. Their service is horrible. Verizon isn’t perfect either, but at this point I’m ready to walk into the Verizon offices and kiss the first employee I see. At least they do what they say they’re gonna do.

I mention this in every Comcast thread. Comcast once scrambled my channels for a past due payment of approx $0.23. For real. They’ll be the last company on Earth before I do business with them again.

I work for a cable company (not Comcast!) in technical support. Honest to God, we try to make our customers as happy as we can and fix their problems as soon and as well as we can. Sometimes it just doesn’t happen.

That said, I occasionally find myself in a conversation with a customer where I say, “The sales person told you WHAT? That’s not possible/we don’t support that/ it doesn’t work that way/ we don’t have that… (many variations of this).”

Nothing against sales people, God love 'em. Without them we wouldn’t have a business; but some of them don’t understand how the network works, or flat out lie to get a commission, and unfortunately skate by for a few months before being caught and sent packing…

I’ve had the opposite experience. I’ve always had great luck with Comcast and their customer service, aside from a couple inexplicable internet outages here and there.

Sorry that happened to you. They are a huge company and likely employ some big, pimply a-holes.

You need to escalate this, and get action taken against the guy who lied to you. Even if they disconnect your service like they promised, you should make sure they know who the salesman was, and about the lies he told you. And tell your story to The Consumerist; they love this stuff.

Always keep in mind, when you call Comcast, you’re dealing with your local Comcast. Some are good, some are bad. And in all call centers, some reps are good, some are bad.

Saying “Comcast sucks” is nonsense – Comcast of <Your Area> may very well suck, but Comcast of Ocean definitely doesn’t. They’ve proved themselves to me time and time again.

FTR, Comcast and HDnet signed a charter agreement over two years ago, but the rollout has been slooooow – coverage is still very limited.

I’ve never heard of HDnet, but if this is their website, it looks like they are on Comcast somewhere.

I’ve never had any huge problems with Comcast. If we ever have a problem with service, it’s usually right after a big storm. Even then, by the time I call to let them know, they’ve already logged the problem and have queued our area for restoration. Sorry you haven’t had the same luck with them.

No, it’s not.

If Comcast contracts with some useless fucks at the local level, then that’s Comcast’s problem. It’s not the OP’s problem to sort out the relationship between the local reps and the company. His service is coming from an entity called Comcast, and if they suck, then they suck.

Obviously, as with most large companies, there will be people who have no trouble with them, and people who have lots of trouble with them. But the company itself is responsible for the service conducted under its corporate banner.

Have you considered satellite TV with FIOS or cable internet?

Since it is undeniably true that someone, somewhere has been screwed by Verizon, or Cox, or Cablevision, or any telecommunictions provider, we must then conclude that all providers suck. “Comcast sucks!” implies that others don’t suck, and that is not true. They all suck, so we might as well lay back and think of England, because they all screw somebody, somewhere.

Please file a complaint with the FCC regarding Comcast and its agent attempting to bait and switch you.

My Comcast problem is the slow and relentless increase in the bills. They add a buck or 2 or 4 practically every month, then scramble the packages adding and subtracting stations. After a year or so, you have a different package than you wanted and it costs a hell of a lot more. I have had them 3 times and dropped them 4. When you drop them, you have to take the equipment to their office. I did and they claimed I did not give it all to them. I had a receipt. They said it was incomplete and they sent me a bill for 350 dollars. We fought for a year. I will never give them money for equipment I don’t have. I also know all the equipment they gave me didn’t cost 350.

First of all, on some level i think that’s true, especially in the realm of media companies. These guys all act like assholes, and they all get away with as much as they possibly can in terms of screwing their customers over.

But my point was not to argue that any company with even some complaints must suck. It was simply to contest Hal Briston’s implication that, just because there are local representatives of Comcast, complaints about Comcast should not be applied to the company as a whole. I think that’s plain wrong.

Sure, some local Comcast regions might be great, and others might be bad, but that doesn’t mean that the parent company can wipe its hands of the bad ones. If the parent company is going to run a system that devolves sales and service to local entities, then the parent company needs to put measures in place to ensure that its local representatives don’t do the sort of shit described in the OP.

And if the local reps DO do this sort of shit, then it’s meaningless to suggest that Comcast, as a corporation, is not to blame, and that all the blame needs to be placed on the local reps.

The buck should stop at the top.

As for Comcast itself, it’s managed to win this year’s Worst Company in America poll at the Consumerist. While this is, admittedly, as rather unscientific evaluation, you have to really be doing something wrong to beat out companies like TicketMaster, Bank of America, Cash4Gold, and PayPal.

The horrible treatment is due to a lack of competition. The cable providers have divided the country up and really don’t compete. That is why our high speed cable is 14th in the world. That is why the price competition is practically non existent.
When a cable company moved into my area, I thought good, now we have some pressure on Comcast. They bought them up within weeks. They of course told the papers it was in the interest of getting bigger and better.

Yeah, when we moved to San Diego, i saw ads for both Cox and Time-Warner, and i thought, “Great! Maybe the prices and service will reflect a need to compete for business.”

Then i found out that the two companies had been allowed to split the city up between them. Cox has a monopoly south of the river; Time-Warner has a monopoly north of the river. So much for competition.

IMO, cities and communities in the USA should own the actual infrastructure of the cable networks that carry service there. Cable should operate like a public utility–not a private monopoly.

Corporations could lease usage of the cable runs from the communities, but only if they adhered to strict price regulation and fair guarantees of service/access set by a well-scrutinized public utilities board that has at least a few regular consumers as part of it’s make-up.

Yes, I hear you Invisible Handjob fetishists screaming about profit/innovation, blabalabla… Obviously the price controls must be such that they allow for a profit by the corporations leasing the lines, otherwise nobody would lease them. It’s not rocket science to understand how the numbers can be arrived at using fair bidding processes, etc.

It’s key that the lines be open to usage/potential usage by several companies so there will be robust competition, though I am unsure how that would be done from a technical standpoint.

It IS possible for consumers to get decent service at a non-robber-baron price AND for a company to turn a modest profit at the same time. Modest is more than enough–it’s a utility not a car company.

I’m not fond of big corporations, but…if the cable company absorbs the HUGE cost of laying cable lines, fiber optic, whatever so you can get service…then good on them.

Also, cable will never be a public utility like water, gas, electric, even phone service…because those are perceived as a need, whereas cable TV/internet service is a luxury.

I have Comcast, and I have a 16Mb download internet connection speed, cable TV with three boxes and HDTV on one of them, HBO/Encore, lots of “free” on demand content and their unlimited long distance digital phone service…my cost is $170 per month.

I think that’s pretty reasonable. Yeah, cable companies have slow, incremental increases in their rates over time…but ALL media companies do that, whether its Comcast cable, some other cable company, satellite, cell phone providers, etc.
I’m pretty okay with it.

I could definitely see internet becoming a utility in the nearish future. Just look at all the job applications that are online only, for one.

Possibly, but its still a luxury. There’s not a convincing argument yet that says you “need” internet service. Unless you’re a SDMB addict, of course. There’s no virtual methadone for that. Yet!

After a few more fumbled calls, they’ve now come to a new conclusion - they can’t come out and fix it. Their tech cut some of Verizon’s wiring when he installed Comcast’s Xfinity service. (Cut it. You know, with scissors. Snip snip.) They refuse to be responsible for putting it back the way it was, since it’s “not their job” to install a competitor’s service.

Verizon charges around $150 to come out and repair the things that Comcast destroyed. ($91 just for the tech coming out, and $46 per half hour) If I want my service hooked up by Monday (and I do, since I work from home and need Innernets), it’s coming out of my pocket. Comcast refuses to fix it and refuses to pay to have it fixed.

Thanks for the suggestions of places to complain. Rest assured, complaints will be made through multiple channels. Hopefully I can get my repair money back. I’m not holding my breath.

Oddly enough I’d had mostly-positive experiences with Comcast in the past. I wasn’t a current customer, but I didn’t really have a negative opinion of them. Now that’s changed.