21 Times Comcast Was the Worst Company in America

BillFixers | June 8, 2016

A Comcast employee stole a Comcast customer’s identity to sell it to a Comcast vendor so they could sign him up for Comcast. They didn’t tell him and then they sold his “debt” to collections. Even though he already had an account and even though he already paid on time, Ricky McClure ended up with $1,300 in debt and ruined credit. Oh, and he wasn’t the first.

Comcast’s terrible customer service went viral when Ryan Block recorded himself trying desperately to cancel his service with Comcast, with no luck. For more than 10 minutes, Comcast literally refused to let him stop paying them money. Once he went public, they fell over themselves apologizing, but not before thousands of people shared their own stories with Comcast “customer service.”

When Conal called Comcast to complain about her service, it didn’t even occur to him that Comcast would call his employer, complain about him, and then get him fired from his job. The details on this one are murky, but Conal is suing Comcast. Here’s a tip: if somebody calls you to talk about your personal bill, maybe don’t call their boss.

Comcast claims they have to charge you the fees they do, but their profit just goes towards paying lobbyists to help them build their monopoly and stop things like net neutrality or consumer-owned equipment. In 2015, they spent more than $15 million on lobbying and that was their cheapest payment in years.

Comcast told Seth he’d be able to have service at his new house. They made him sit through 4 tech visits before telling him it would cost $50,000 to connect him to the internet. Then, they revised their estimate to $60,000. Since he works from home, he had to sell his house and move after three months with no service.

A Comcast rep renamed one of their clients from “Lisa Brown” to “Asshole Brown” in their internal system and then, oops, started sending out bills with that address on it. Don’t worry, though, they swore it was an isolated incident and it wouldn’t happen again.

And then other customers started sharing their stories. In a particularly classy case, they renamed a client to “Whore Julia” for complaining about the problems she was having with her service. But again, don’t worry, just an isolated incident.

People just kept coming out of the woodwork. The renamed somebody to “Dummy” and changed Mary Bauer’s name to “Super Bitch Bauer.” Huh, it’s almost like it isn’t an isolated incident. Maybe if Comcast spent a little more time on their customer service and a little less to how much to charge you for installing your own equipment.

Comcast tries to save money by using chat agents instead of call center reps and they are… not the highest caliber. Here’s one exchange Scott captured. I guess if they’re going to screw you, it’s good that they’re being responsible.

“I called to cancel my Comcast service. It turned out to be in my deceased husband’s name. I told them he was recently deceased. I was told I could not cancel the service; only my husband could! I reiterated that he was no longer living; the person again said it could only be closed by my husband. This went on for about five minutes till I gave up. I tried again the next day and got the same response.”

This is one of the shining moments in this list. The town of Worcester, MA voted to not allow Comcast to take over cable service in the town. In the City Council’s own words: “In my opinion, they should not be welcome in this city. Comcast is a wolf in wolf’s clothing; it’s that bad. They are awful, no doubt about it.”

Comcast has 4,010 reviews on ConsumerAffairs. How many 5 star reviews are in there? 2. And one of those is a joke. But hey, maybe that site is just a little biased?

Then they got the brilliant idea to let you order service on Amazon. Again, their page is flooded with terrible reviews and the top five star review right now is called “5 stars out of however many stars there are in the universe.”

Comcast is on the cutting edge of figuring out how to overcharge you. Even though the cost of bandwidth has effectively zero effect on Comcast, they started capping out the amount that their customers could use. What happens if you go over?

They charge you $30 a pop. Don’t worry, they’ve got a generous setup where you can have the same unlimited service you had the month before, except now it costs $50 a month. And, if you use less than their data cap, you still have to pay that unlimited charge anyway.

Last November, everybody got a peak into just how Comcast operates and why they say the infuriating things they do. In it, they admitted that there were no congestion problems and refused to let their representatives actually call it a “data cap.” Fortunately, we don’t work for Comcast. Data cap, data cap, data cap!

Comcast tried to compete with Google Fiber’s speeds, but only put the details in the small print. Google Fiber is only $50 a month; Comcast is asking six times as much. So much for competition.

Oh, and while we’re talking about the small print: just to have it installed costs $1,000 and it takes two months before you can start using the service. Not quite as good a deal as they make it sound. But hey, at least you’ve got gigabit internet. Well, “actual speed vary and are not guaranteed.”

Speaking of fees, Comcast has the highest fees in the business.  And in a business where everybody gouges on pricing, that’s pretty impressive. So, the next time they tell you they have to charge those fees, think twice. As Tim Wu points out, leasing a modem from Comcast costs more than subscribing to Netflix and man is it less fun.

They say you can be judged by the company you keep. Telecoms consistently rank as one of the most hated industries in the country. And Comcast’s terrible service is no small part of that. Well, maybe that’s unfair. Maybe Comcast is a shining star among cable companies?

In the “Worst Company in America” tournament hosted by The Consumerist – Comcast beat out Monsanto, Seaworld, and dozens of others to win the coveted prize. Congratulations, Comcast, you’ve found something you’re the best at: being the worst.

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