If any company can make you forget your manners, it’s gotta be Comcast.
But that’s still no excuse for how one of our readers behaved when confronted by a billing problem with the cable behemoth — a slip that basically doomed her case to our circular file.
From time to time, we catalog our failed cases for educational value. You can find them all in the Case Dismissed folder, of course.
Shannon started cable Internet service at her apartment just before Thanksgiving, opting to self-install. (We’ll leave her last name out of this for reasons you’ll see in a minute.)
The modem didn’t work after she installed it. “I called Comcast to troubleshoot,” she says. “I was advised that there would be a fee to install a new outlet. It was actually to upgrade an outlet. But I did not call for outlet upgrades; I was having trouble with an outlet that did not seem to work at the time.”
OK, so Shannon self-installs, it doesn’t work, and Comcast’s solution is to “upgrade” her to a more expensive plan? How very Comcast.
The price: another $49, a technician explained.
But then …
What he did not explain to me that because I had self-installed the modem for $15 (what a joke) that if I have trouble after 30 days that there was a $99.99 fee, according to tech support chat, which I saved most of the chat but was unable to actually print it because it wouldn’t print for some reason and I thought I could save it after the chat ended. Big mistake.
Shannon contacted us in the hopes that we could help. And we thought we could. Then we saw the transcript.
Comcast: I understand that you have questions with your bill. I know how important to have a clear picture when it comes to the services you’re being billed for. Let us work together to have your questions resolved. Bill understanding is indeed a must. I also make sure that all billing charges are correct.
Shannon: Yeah have you read my initial notes… what is Failed CHKSI $99.99???
Comcast: Please allow me to check this on your account Shanonn (sic). Checking from here Shannon Failed SIK was for the Tech Visit.
Shannon: I talked to the tech; there was nothing wrong. And initially I was told $50 but the tech said that there was nothing wrong and I would not be charged for it. I don’t agree; I should NOT be charged for this visit, he didn’t do anything other than double check cable connections However, I WILL pay for the part I DO agree with.
Comcast: As for the inconvenience Shannon I can give you a one time credit of $20.00 to lessen the charge.
Shannon: Bullsh*t. You will remove the entire charge. Or I can escalate, your choice. There was NOTHING to repair! The modem kept glitching but it fixed itself on its own when the tech was there.
Comcast: I were you coming Shannon, I too as a customer would feel the same way too,Checking from here the charge was valid.
Shannon: I won’t pay it, don’t give me your “if I was a customer crap” charge isn’t valid it was supposed to be $50 if there was a charge at all. Tech said there would be no charge and I stand by that. Get me a supervisor then. I will make corporate shrink if it comes to it
The advocate handling this case was a little put off by the exchange. Here are the case notes:
I’m not personally offended by profanity. But I don’t think there’s room for it in customer service situations. It’s abusive to the person on the receiving end, who is doing his job.
I actually don’t want to spend any more time on this case. She is obviously rude and unreasonable.
I concurred and closed out the case. Shannon might have had a valid case — might still have a valid case — but we can’t condone her tactics. Using profanity and snapping, “Get me a supervisor” not only weaken your case. They also make it much harder for future customers who need to deal with an intransigent company like Comcast.
Had I personally advocated this case, I would have sent the entire paper trail to my corporate contact. I would have been embarrassed to do that.