Is this Comcast case a lost cause?

Some cases are just a lost cause. I suspect Tony Cannon’s is one of them.

Cannon contacted us in January about a problem with Comcast.

(I know. I had you at Comcast, didn’t I?)

He alleged “possible unfair trade practices” because of a bait-and-switch operation by the cable giant. To make a long story short, he’d been offered a $49.99 a month deal for service for two years, but it somehow was switched to a one-year agreement, leaving him with a $159 bill last November.

By the time Cannon contacted us, he’d fired off several emails to Comcast — and then some. The recipients included the Public Utility Commission of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Attorney General, the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Communications Commission and Call For Action, a consumer hotline run by a Philadelphia TV station.

The reaction from Comcast? Zip. “Their rudeness is unmatched,” he says.

Cannon demands that Comcast “fix the bill immediately and apply additional credits.”

When I politely asked Cannon to forward his paper trail — the correspondence between him and the cable company — I was met with a curt reply.

“You can access all of my case history from the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General,” he said, and gave me his file number.

Undeterred, I contacted Comcast on his behalf.

“We’ll get on this,” a representative promised.

That was followed by almost three months of radio silence. Until I heard from an indignant Cannon.

“I requested your help several months ago and received a response that help would arrive,” he said. “However, I have not had any more contacts as promised since that time.”

Actually, no one ever promised him help. My email said I’d contacted Comcast on his behalf and I asked him to let me know when he hears from anyone.

Here’s the email:

Dear Mr. Cannon,

I’m sorry to hear about your experience. I’ve contacted Comcast on your behalf.

You’ll probably hear back from the company directly within a week or so. However, response times may vary. Some cases get resolved in a day. Others can take months, and in rare cases, even longer.

There’s also a chance the company will ignore my request on your behalf.

If you haven’t heard back from anyone within the next two weeks, please feel free to contact me directly. I will do my best to get you a straight answer.

Cannon had waited slightly longer.

Next came an indignant email saying he’d been blocked from our forums. He wanted to post his story there. We don’t block people from entering our forums, but you have to register if you want to post. Otherwise we’d be overwhelmed with spam.

I think Cannon’s case may be a lost cause. He may have not read Comcast’s terms or not listened to what the representative told him when he ordered his service. Based on our exchanges, I suspect that’s what happened.

But I don’t know. I just know this: I tried to contact Comcast and it promised to look into his case. Then the line went dead. Normally, that’s a pretty good sign that there’s no legitimate case. (Not always, of course.)

I’m not put off by the way Cannon treated our advocacy team — we’re used to being roughed up. But a few things gave me pause when handling this one. First, he contacted every agency he could think of to get this resolved, including some that probably had no jurisdiction over this matter. Carpet-bombing agencies can backfire because it sometimes suggests a customer is desperate, if not for a resolution, then for attention.

Cannon lists his full-time occupation as “Disabled Veteran.” My inner wise-guy wondered if that is a real job, and if so, where I might apply for it. (I know, I know. Show a little respect.)

But careful readers of this site will probably suspect this loose Cannon is trying to play a card in the Elliott deck of misfortune, even though this time, it wasn’t a winning hand.

Does Tony Cannon have a valid case?

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