Sunday, August 28, 2011

Can Comcast support and billing really be this bad?

I'm writing this in the hope that it will help others, or perhaps others can help the rest of us figure out how to not have to call Comcast periodically to getting billing issues resolved.  What billing issues you ask?  Here is my story.

In 2009 I ordered the MLB Extra Innings package so I could watch out of market baseball games.  Great service, used it some, but in 2010 I decided I didn't want it.  Comcast sent a letter saying they would offer the "convenience" of auto-renewing me in 2010 so I called and said I didn't want to renew.  I thought all was well.

Unfortunately, I received a bill with the first of four MLB Extra Inning charges on it.  A little upset, I called them and was told it was resolved and I'd receive a credit and not be billed again.  In this case, it finally stuck and all was well.

In 2011, I never received a notice about an auto-renewal and baseball season started and I never received a bill, so all was well, right?  Nope, in June I receive a letter saying due to an error in their billing system, they were going to be billing me the four installments for MLB Extra Innings as it was a service I'd been receiving since the beginning of the year.  WHAT?  I never ordered it, never received a renewal notice, was never given any indication I was receiving it.  Further, I'd cancelled the year before and never got it!  Well, I checked the channels and sure enough I was getting them.

I again called and had to navigate several layers but finally got someone who apologized and said I wouldn't be charged and I asked that I be taken off any auto-renewal they have and was told that was the case.  This was in June.  And sure enough I get my next bill (dated 7/10) and there is no charge.

So imagine my surprise when I receive the following bill (date 8/10) and the second of four charges has shown up!  Ummm, I cancelled, and seemingly that stuck as I wasn't billed the first charge, so why do I now get the second charge?

To top it off I also see on this bill that changes were made to my account effectively changing my discount which will result in a bill $18 more per month for no change to my service.  I'm not on or around any anniversary date or contract expiration that would explain this, so I'm baffled once again.   Perhaps I just lost the "just accept our billing errors and pay them" discount?

Of course, I'm finding this out on a Sunday as I pay my bills and the Comcast's billing support isn't open.  So not only am I having to waste time researching this today (and writing this blog entry), but I'm going to have to waste time during my work week to get it resolved.

Have others had experience like this?  Are Comcast's systems this bad?  To their support staff just make lots of errors?  Or is there something deliberate going on to see if customers will just pay?

I'd love to hear what you think.