More Fun with Comcast

I’m hereby dubbing Comcast the "masters of condescending customer service."

About two weeks ago (November 26, in fact), I made the trek to our local Comcast office to drop off our HD-DVR and tell them to kill my cable TV service.  The lady at the store was friendly, took the HD-DVR, and gave me a receipt indicating they took possession of the equipment.

I should’ve been suspicious that the transaction was so easy.

Today, I got my December through January statement, and, sure enough, they’re still billing me for TV services.  I gave them a buzz, told them the error of their ways, and was transferred to their customer retention department.  I believe I’ve blogged before about how much I hate customer retention departments, but I can’t find prior blog posts about that for the life of me.

Now, the lady in customer retention first asks me why I’m discontinuing service.  I gave her the honest answer: switched to satellite, they had channels and HD options I wanted that Comcast didn’t.  This wasn’t good enough for her.  She rambled on about how in "side-by-side tests" Comcast’s HD signals were better than satellite.  Well, true as that may be (though I can’t tell a difference), I will say that in my side-by-side test that FoodTV in HD looks better than FoodTV on Comcast, which isn’t HD.  Oh, and NASA TV isn’t available on Comcast.

She goes on processing my order, puts me on hold for a few minutes, and then comes back saying that I should’ve known the TV wasn’t being canceled since a tech wasn’t scheduled to come out to my house.  Well, for one, how am I as a consumer supposed to be privy to that?  Second… I’ll get to second in a moment, just remember that no tech was scheduled originally.

Back on hold I go, and she comes back and "graciously" has set my close date to November 26, so I’ll get a credit back to me for the time I haven’t used it.  She tells me that "what I’ve gotten myself into" is a loss of "freedom of choice", since satellite doesn’t have On Demand (it has PPV and a streaming video thing, thankyouvermuch) and a contact whose price can change anytime.  I tell her that my contract is locked for 18 months, I’m well aware of what can happen afterwards, and how ironic it is that she told me that since Comcast just increased their rates here.  We’re done.

Oh, remember that part about not scheduling a tech to come out?  She didn’t schedule one to come out either, so apparently it’s not really needed after all.

Comcast – I fought ’em so you don’t have to

I’ve been spending the better part of the last half-hour trying to figure out Comcast’s digital cable packages and pricing.  Their website allows you to get a channel lineup so you can see which channels each package has, but doesn’t let you easily compare.  I decided to put them into an Excel spreadsheet to do side-by-side comparisons.

Then, I couldn’t find pricing on some of their plans.  I had to call them and get pricing.  What they don’t tell you is that their Digital Classic and Digital Preferred ($14.99 and $15.99 per month, respectively) are costs in addition to normal basic cable fees of $49.25/month.  So, to really compare Digital Starter to Digital Class to Digital Preferred, I’ve put together the following Excel spreadsheet that shows price and channel selections.  It’s probably only valid for their Bellevue/greater Seattle service area, since the pricing and channel offerings vary by region.