Thursday, May 3, 2007

Joining the Comcast Bashing

I don't normally like to bash a company just because everyone else is. I actually do like to form my own opinions about who's stupid and who is doing a good job. But I've got to tell you, the fact that poll after poll shows Comcast's Customer Service to be right at the bottom of the barrel, makes it hard not to react a bit harshly when I too became their victim.

A few months ago, Adelphia (a company with BIG problems of their own!) was bought by Comcast in my area. The transition seemed to go rather smoothly, although I did have a problem with one of my bills. During the switch over they didn't send me one. OK, I kind of expected there could be some glitches like that. But they DID add a late fee on the next one, which I happen to think is completely unfair. I called Comcast Customer Service, and the rep told me should would make a one-time-only adjustment to remove the $3 fee from my bill. I hope their profits for the month didn't suffer too much for this.

All was going fine until this month. I got my most recent bill, and it indicated my account was overdue. They never recorded my payment from last month. Well, I immediately checked with the bank, and sure enough, it was paid in full before it was due. It should have been posted to the account.
I called Customer Service, but they showed no record of the payment. The rep asked me if I could produce "proof" from my bank statement that it was paid and paid before the due date. I said I could. And this is where it gets kind of crappy.

According to the rep, the ONLY way to clear this up is to take the printout from the bank to the local Comcast office and show them in person that the payment was made. HUH? I can't mail it? Or e-mail it? Or fax it? Or enclose it with the next payment? Nope. Got to get in the car and drive to the office, which is only open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and happens to be about 10 miles south of town. This seems a bit absurd, especially since I didn't do anything wrong and I'm basically clearing up THEIR mistake!

But I did it. I drove to the office, which was not easy to find, I might mention. I waited in line, produced the proof, and now I hope my account is cleared up. We'll see, won't we? Somehow I suspect I'll be calling Customer Service again - and making another drive to their way-out-of-town office.

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