Sept 14, 2012 I talked to a sales rep for Comcast. I gave
her all the information on what I was looking for (2 tvs, mid level
cable channel, HD on one, DVR on one and internet service). She steered me to a
bundle that included everything I asked for (verbally verified twice) that just
happened to also include a phone (something that I really did not want); price
117 a month w/o tax and $70 install. I agreed and set up an appointment.
Sept 18, 2012: install in complete but lacking some HD channels.
I use their online chat, spending over an hour eventually being told it takes
time to upload the channels. Two calls
later and a few channels show up; all the channels within two more days.
One week later decided the Comcast DVR is horrible (poorly
designed usability) took back to Comcast and got cablecard for Tivo. I
verify with Comcast I will be credited monthly charge for their DVR.
Three hours of phone calls and basic standard def channels
work but no higher HD cable channels. Again told it takes time to upload.
The next day nothing has changed so I am told to take the
card back and trade out. Given new card only to have the same result as before. 2-3 more
calls over the next couple of days, I finally get someone that knows how to fix the
problem. She does something that was entirely on Comcast side and instantly everything is
Tonight, (3 weeks after install) I start to wonder why I
havent seen a bill and login into the Comcast website. When I attempt to look
up the bill the site goes into endlessly loop of pulling information, "please wait". I contact online service and find out it has to do with browser (doesnt work with Safari). I change browser
and pull up bill to find out $365 for 3 weeks of service. The website gives very limited
information about how it is broken out but after I finally download what is the paper copy
I see monthly charges: $199 first month and install, $146 monthly ($30 higher than quoted), $14 charge for something I still have not found out why, and rest are taxes. So this
is framed correctly $365 for roughly less than 24 days of service in which
nothing fully worked.
I called billing and after extended hold (every single time
I call they are "experiencing higher than expected call volumes" and "longer than normal wait times"; if every time is longer than longer is normal). After several minutes
complaining to a very nice lady she transfer me to billing. After several
minutes waiting again I explained and complained about what was promised versus what
was being charged. First I was told it was a change for a cable box but it was
free but when I got the cable card (which is free according to the website) the
original box, that was free, is now $10 a month (apparently the cable cannot be seen
unless this box is used, yet nothing is stated that this is a required add on). When pressed the story changes to the charge has to do with the number of tvs hooked up. After several minutes of the bill is changed to the original 117I was promised (despite now having returned the Comcast DVR). Fifteen minutes later I sit down to watch tv only to find out my HD has now been turned off (only standard
def channels work). I just spent another 45 minutes on the phone to find this
out the 117 didn't include HD now.
Their system is unnecessarily and intentionally difficult to
navigate because most people give up or dont have the time to fight. This is a
monopoly in its purest sense with little responsibility to ethics. I committed $70
to install, invested hours getting the service to work, wasted more hours
waiting on hold only to be given bad advice by good honest employees that have
been taught to read scripts and not to think. The people that have helped me
are doing what they are told and are nothing more than a shield between
customers that are being screwed and dishonest business tactics that
technically have not been found to be illegal, yet. It is well known in
psychology that someone is less likely to leave a situation where they already
committed resources, even if they are being taken advantage of. Since cable is
a monopoly (especially in apartments) customer beware; you are powerless, will
be helpless, and pay the price they tell you. Dont be nave, you are not a
customer; you are revenue.