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.

7 comments:

  1. Hi Kevin - I work for Comcast. Please accept my apologies for the troubles that you are experiencing with Comcast. I can reach out to my contacts to have your concerns looked into. If you're interested in my help, please contact me; provide your info and a link to this page.

    Thanks,

    Mark Casem
    Comcast Corp.
    National Customer Operations
    We_can_help@cable.comcast.com

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  2. Thanks for the comment Mark. I did send an e-mail in and was called back to tell me my case is being reviewed and should expect another call back at some point.

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  3. I'm in the middle of an "interesting" conundrum with Comcast billing as well. I switched from DirecTV to Comcast Triple play to bundle in order save some money. I was previously being overcharged for a few months but when I called and finally spoke to someone who could do something about this, they assured me that they'd credit my account. At the end of this phone call, I was made aware of the triple play option, so I signed up with the promise that I'd be given several signup promotions and the full install would run me around $90. Also, with the credits I was receiving from the internet overbilling, the install charge would be trivial.

    Today I went to pick up an HDMI cable box and was told at the Comcast local store that I owed them $290. I asked about the charges and they were mostly installation/activation related, although they also included services. When I logged onto the Comcast webpage and checked "My Account", I saw $340 of unbilled activities and also some other mysterious credits. My balance was at a credit of ~$48. When I proceeded to chat with a Comcast account technician, they didn't see any of the $340, were aware of the credits, but had me owing ~$42 by tomorrow. How very odd and irritating. I was bundling to have more time and less headaches and I wound up with the exact opposite.

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  4. Well... here's the rest of the saga. The $290 includes charges a whole month's triple play and also partial month fees. The install was $40+$40+$30.... so $70 of that just get a land-line going... perhaps I misunderstood before but I though it'd only be $30 to get the phone active.

    At the end of the conversation, when I asked the service rep about the info I see under My Account on the Comcast Site, she said to pay no attention to it because "that stuff is all over the place", the only reliable piece of info there are the monthly fees, apparently. I'd expect better from a nationwide service provider.

    Say Mark, do you have the authority to drop one of those $40 install charges? It would at least be a gesture that I'd appreciate.

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  5. Igor, thanks for the comments. I'm sorry to hear you are having trouble too.

    Mark, I did hear back from Elise and she has credited my MLB Extra Innings charges and I see those credits on my latest bill. I have not however been given an explanation for why my regular cable bill has gone up 40% and have left a message for Elise asking that.

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  6. I just went to my online bill statement and found out I was being charge since March 2012! I had it last year only because of the Giants and didn't call to sign up for it this year. I did get flyer in the mail but didn't call to sign up. I am furious and this is exactly what Real Networks was sued for and lost just recently.

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    ReplyDelete