For those of you new to this story, read these posts (in order) to catch up to the rest of us:
- We Got Cable TV
- Why I LOVE Comcast!!!
- Comcast Blows It and then Saves It
- Comcast Blows It, then Recovers, Again
So here's the latest in my Comcast saga.
We returned from our Easter vacation on April 6 and found out that Comcast had turned off our HD channels. You know, some of the channels we got for free as a "we're sorry" for last time's mess up. Sure, we still had the channels in non-HD, but who can go back to watching regular TV after having seen HD? Not me!!! ;-)
So I called my "special" contact -- the guy who was supposed to make sure all was well with my service (he's someone higher up in customer service) -- a couple days later (I was busy and it took me some time). I got a call from him the next week (he was out on spring break the previous week). Here's what happened: the local Comcast team had done an audit, saw we weren't paying to get certain features (they're giving them to us for free, again, from last time), and turned them off from outside our home. Interesting that they only turned off the HD -- not the rest of the premium channels.
He said we'd need schedule a date to turn it back on, and I received a call at work from a "regular" Comcast representative (someone who I guess works for him) a few days later to make an appointment. Apparently, even though they can turn off things without us being there, they require us to be there for them to be turned back on.
I told her to call my wife and set up an appointment. She called, missed my wife, and left a message that she had automatically set up an appointment for 8 am to 10 am on Sunday (April 18) morning for us to get service and to call back if this didn't work. Now for those of you who read this blog regularly, do you think I might have a prior commitment on Sunday morning??????
My wife tried to call back four times -- the first three she gave up after being on hold for 15 minutes (one time even longer) each time. Finally she reached someone, cancelled the appointment for the 18th and rescheduled one for the next available time -- Monday, April 26. Yes, we're now working on the third week of "problems" before we get it fixed. But we're patient and willing to work through the process.
Then things went south. When we got home from church on April 18, we had a ticket on our door and several voicemail messages from Comcast saying they were there to check our cable per our appointment and we weren't there. My wife called them back (she got someone quickly this time) and found out that the appointment had never been cancelled and the new one never rescheduled. So she rescheduled officially for a new time on April 26.
Later that day (4-18), I discovered that we didn't have the soccer channels we paid for. This is when I hit the roof! Cutting off something we were supposed to get for free was one thing, but cutting off a service we were paying for was another matter altogether. And not to mention we're in the final weeks of the English Premier League and the semifinals of the Champion's League. I know that doesn't mean much to most of you, but imagine your TV went off a few days before the NFL Championship games (AFC and NFC). You wouldn't be happy, would you?
So I called and left a terse message for my Comcast contact saying I had had it and I wanted this issue resolved now -- not on April 26. He didn't call back by 9:30 am the next morning (Monday morning), so I called him and left another message. Got called back to me on 4-19 at 2 pm and told he would manage the problem himself all the way through the process -- until I was satisfied.
He called me back at 5 pm and said someone would be at my house before 7 pm. At 6 pm, the local guy showed up to fix my cable, but didn't know what to do. He said, "What am I supposed to do?" I wanted to tell him to turn on everything, but I gave him the details on the packages I was supposed to receive. It took him about 15 minutes to get us back up to speed. The one problem: he had to bill us at the regular rate (versus our $17 per month) because he had no authorization to do otherwise. I told him that was fine -- that I would cover it with my contact.
The next day (Tuesday, April 20), my contact called me to see if all was well. I told him it was and that he needed to adjust the price to make sure I was billed appropriately. In addition, I told him to be sure and cancel the appointment for Monday. He assured me all was taken care of. He was half right. The appointment was taken care of -- no one showed up. But on April 28, I received a bill for $89.37. Ugh. I have a call into my contact (he's out until today) -- I'll let you know if anything interesting occurs.
From here, we'll see how it goes. I started this process by giving them the benefit of the doubt, but now my money is on another screw-up happening again before too long. The most likely candidates are continued billing issues and/or the local guys changing my service again. I hope it all works out well though -- it sure would make life easier for both me and my contact.
BTW, I saw that the Consumerist named Comcast the worst company in America the other day. What have I gotten myself into?