It took Comcast all of a day after our move to Utah to get on my “not impressed” list. In the intervening 8+ years, I can’t say they’ve done much beyond striving for mediocrity. From incompetent technical support to unexplained YouTube slowdowns to Netflix buffering at bizarre hours, it’s always been a case of least bad option. Unsurprisingly, they managed to disappoint once again.
About a week ago, I called in to get pricing on their 105Mbps service. For years, their website has claimed to not be able to figure out where I live. Tired of not having access to pricing information (seriously, who else HIDES the price of service?), I decided it would be worth the 15 minute phone call to satisfy my curiosity. It was a little too rich for my blood (basically double what I’m paying now), but the CSR made an offer to hook me up with a promo rate that was about 20% less than what I was paying for being “such a good customer”. The only catch was having a tech come out to check the lines. I double-checked both that this wasn’t adding on any extra services (which I neither want nor need), I wouldn’t need to do anything when the promo rate runs out, and I wouldn’t have any costs associated with having a guy come to my house.
Yesterday, the guy shows up. I’m thinking he’s doing the line check, but the work order revealed something very different. Not only was he there to add video service that I had explicitly confirmed I didn’t want and would not be part of the deal, he also had a rental modem in hand to place the one I own outright. I had him leave and took a day to cool off before giving Comcast a call to figure out why they’d done this kind of slimy bait and switch.
It seems that the original CSR had lied right to my face. The reduced rate was a promo rate if I added on basic cable, and that rate would jump after 6 months to more than I was currently paying. I’d end up with a cable box (no doubt at an additional rental fee) that would have to be returned to their office if I canceled the video service. And insult to injury? If I decided to now go forward with the promo deal, I’d be charged installation because I cancelled the previous appointment set under false pretenses!
Unfortunately, I’m kind of a hostage in this situation. Though CenturyLink offers a similar speed for about half the price, Comcast knows how bad they suck and won’t bother trying to make any deals. The “best” they could do was offering up a small credit for the “inconvenience” of them lying to me. I simply wanted them to honor their word and they’re proving it’s about as valuable as sand in the desert.
This is why I’m trying to start a fiber cooperative in my neighborhood. CenturyLink is dying a slow death and Comcast won’t bother competing as a result. When there’s no consequences for treating customers poorly, what else can you expect?