Comcast Rip-off

 Special Note 2: Happy surprise — when I received my latest bill, it seems I was credited for the entire $51 ($50.96) I was owed. So, in the end, Comcast did the right thing and made good on its error. So I give them kudos for that. I just wish it hadn’t been so difficult to get them to do the right thing.  

Special Note: I was just about to post this when I received a call from a third person at Comcast (Victoria) telling me they are refunding me $33 (11 months of the extra $3 charge). I don’t understand how they arrived at this amount, since I’ve been paying the extra for 19 months, but I guess I’m happier because it’s more than the $18 I was getting back originally. But still, it’s not quite there, is it. So read on, and learn from my mistake.

I’m sad to have to blog about something as mundane as getting ripped off by the cable company (it’s so cliché). But hey, venting is good for the blood pressure, if not actually for the soul.

In yesterday’s bill, I found an extra sheet outlining the current costs for various services and the new costs because, of course, Comcast is raising rates yet again (who can keep track of how often this happens?). Seems I should be paying $42.95 for my high-speed Internet service, but for some reason, my bill lists $45.95. Nothing itemized — just a flat $45.95.

So I call customer service, and they quickly discern that I am being charged a $3 modem rental fee every month. (This $3 fee is listed on the rate sheet in a separate column with many other “High-Speed Internet Installation & Other Services.”) Funny thing, I have never rented a modem from Comcast, I’ve owned my own modem for oh, 8 or 9 years or so, I was not charged this fee by Comcast at my last house, but suddenly it appeared on my bill and has been there for the last year and a half. I didn’t notice it sooner because I had a special “deal” with digital cable for the first 6 months we lived here. When that ended, the $33.95/month I was paying jumped to $45.95. Again, no itemization that the basic charge was $42.95 plus a $3 tack-on for the mystery modem — an extra I would have noticed and called about immediately.

So, here I am, expecting a full credit for 19 months of their mistake and am told by a lovely customer service rep that Comcast is only required to go back 6 months for a refund. I was told the same thing by the supervisor I insisted on speaking with, who actually had the audacity to try to upsell me to get Comcast phone service as well! Good job, Yolanda, I’m sure your bosses are proud of you. I, however, am thinking DSL sounds pretty damn good right now.

I suggested (a bit heatedly) to Yolanda that Comcast itemize these charges so people know what they’re being charged for. She assured me they’d take my suggestion under consideration. (I’m sure she’s tapping out an e-mail to her powers-that-be about that very thing right now — because that’s what people do, right? They listen to their customers, they try to solve problems, they believe the customer is always right? HA HA HA)

Hey, I get it. Having to actually tell customers what you’re charging them for would defeat the whole profit in being able to easily rip them off.

I’m not an ignorant person, I’m pretty vigilant about checking bills and so forth, but somehow I missed this the last time the rate cards came out. So, my $36 loss is Comcast’s $36 gain. Caveat emptor for sure.

Have you checked your cable bill lately? (I hear FIOS is pretty awesome…)

You can fool all the people all the time if
the advertising is right and the budget is big enough. 
                                         ~ Joseph E. Levine


  1. Mel L said,

    Friday, January 18, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    That sucks. The bastids. We have Verizon, but they’ve already raised out rates, too, after our “deal” of one year. They did tell me, though, that they were raising it–and amazingly did so before the rate hike. And when we had problems with our line, they did work with us until we found the problem (which, actually, was a wiring issue on our end).

    But truth be told, if you stick with any utility/company/supplier long enough, you become disillusioned. At least that’s been my experience.

  2. WritingbyEar said,

    Friday, January 18, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    I used to be a real Comcast advocate, because I’ve had some very good, conscientious service people work on solving tricky Internet problems (on Comcast’s end) over the past few years. But you’re so right, eventually, you’ll have a bad experience to sour the good.

  3. Kevin said,

    Friday, January 18, 2008 at 2:14 pm


  4. WritingbyEar said,

    Friday, January 18, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    You have the king of all Comcast problems, paying for high speed and getting nothing in return. I hope your switch to FIOS can happen soon! Oh, should I mention my TV cable service is going up $5 next month — again! We really do have to rethink this TV thing…it’s so not worth it.

  5. mel said,

    Friday, January 18, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    we pay only $12.89 each month–for channels 5 through 23, roughly, and a few stupid channels way up high (golf or some other such nonsense). we watch PBS more than any of the others combined.

    you won’t miss it. except for sports. my hub hates not having hockey. HOWEVER–less time is wasted when the temptation is not in front of you. not having big cable packages equals not keeping a big chocolate bakery cake in your kitchen.

    P.S. HEY! your URL is really “writing by ear” now! when did that change?!

  6. Saturday, January 19, 2008 at 10:49 am

    Mel, you are so observant! I just made the URL switch yesterday (purchased a couple months ago). I was going to send an e-mail letting folks know, although the old URL still works as well. However, the blog doesn’t seem to recognize me as the author anymore, so I have to see how to fix that!

  7. Kelly said,

    Wednesday, January 28, 2009 at 1:04 pm

    Comcast rips everyone off. period. If you havent been ripped off yet you will. I guarantee it.

    I used to work there. Thery specifically go in account that have had good standings for a couple years and change everything around so they can charge you more.
    A-holes the bunch of em.

  8. WritingbyEar said,

    Wednesday, January 28, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    Well, I’ve certainly had my good and bad experiences with them. To be fair, mostly they’ve made good when I’ve complained about things. Still hate writing that HUGE check every month…and was VERY unhappy when we lost TV and Internet during the Steelers playoff game a couple weeks ago.

  9. tamara said,

    Friday, March 20, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    Comcast is a major ripoff.

  10. tamara said,

    Friday, March 20, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    The monopoly must be busted!

  11. Anonymous said,

    Tuesday, March 31, 2009 at 8:38 am

    I had comcast for a couple years at a great rate (after a lot of complaining they ended adjusting my bill and left it that way) and then I moved. I called comcast and asked them if I could switch my service from my old house to my new house. THey said they would but I couldnt keep my current rate, so they quoted me rate that was double what I was paying. Apparently if you move its a new account and they cant do anything about it. So I went with the verizon/directv combo and got burned bad. So now I am back to comcast and all in all its not terrible, just make sure you remember when your package runs out because they will not let you know until they send the bill.

  12. WritingbyEar said,

    Tuesday, March 31, 2009 at 9:11 am

    My experiences have been good and bad — was having a lot of disconnect problems a few months ago. Customer Service suggested I needed a new modem (which I own, and it was about 6 years old). So, reluctantly, I bought a new one, and it does seem to have done the trick. That was a good experience overall, because their suggestion worked.

  13. Anonymous said,

    Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    we pay only $14.00 each month–for channels 5 through 23 (limited basic plan), roughly. Now in the digital world, comcast added $1.99 (converter box) to convert Public channels. Comcast is a major ripoff.

  14. Anonymous said,

    Friday, July 10, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    I just learned that Comcast added something to my router to limit internet usage. So on average, I tended to get around 1/2mb with ethernet and 1/10mb with wifi. As soon as I caught this, I switched to Fios because I was paying $100/mo for that.

  15. WritingbyEar said,

    Saturday, July 11, 2009 at 9:50 am

    Wow, that sounds bad. We have no FIOS option in our area….yet.

  16. mike said,

    Monday, November 23, 2009 at 11:10 am

    I highly recommend canceling your $42 a month high speed interent service and just get the basic $25 a month 1/mb speed internet service. Most people will not even notice the difference. All websites are capped at 1/mb, having a 50/mb service isn’t going to make them load any faster, I can stream video, play online games all without any noticable decrease in speed. You file downloads will be slower, I now get 100kb a sec download speeds, where as I was getting about 350kb before, but this is a minor inconvience, not worth the extra $15 or more a month for the few things I download. What most people don’t realize is 99% of the time you don’t used the 4/mb or 50/mb speeds your paying for, it’s all a gimmick to get you to pay way more then you need to.

  17. David said,

    Sunday, February 28, 2010 at 8:01 pm Would you reward a kid for stealing from your purse? Of course you wouldn’t.Then why is the NFL rewarding Directv with exclussive rights? They lie , cheat , and steal.They charge you to lease their equipment , then charge you upto $5.99 to protect it against repairs.They will also make unauthorized charges to your credit/debit card.This is 100% accurate , google directv complainsts , it will blow your mind , they had over 20,000 complaints in 3 years , thats a BBB record.They have 3 lawsuits pending , in California , Washington , and Oregon.This does not include the silent suits.My goal is to get congress to open the NFL Sunday Ticket to cable companies , And all Satellite companies , At the top there is a Petition , my goal is to get 10,000 signatures then I’m sending the petition to congress.America needs competition , what if there was only 1 electrc company , gas company , Or auto maker?You Get the point , Thanks for your support! Earl David Evans

  18. Anonymous said,

    Wednesday, December 15, 2010 at 12:37 am

    Comcast sucks…

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