Comcast: A National Treasure

This week, we upgraded our cable TV package.   We were on their most basic 15-channel plan, now we’re on Digital Economy, giving my wife the extra channels she’s been suffering without for the last few years.

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Our Tivo died last week.  I love my Tivo, and we saw its death coming, so we ordered a replacement.  We accidentally ordered the wrong one.  We got the one that can’t take a signal straight off of the cable.  It needs a cablecard.


We could send it back and miss out on the Tivo for another week, or we could upgrade our cable package.


We looked at Comcast’s site to see what was available.  Boost Plus–a internet + TV package–was available for $69.99/month for a year.   That’s $6 more than we were paying, for about 30 more channels and it came with 2 years of free HBO.  Yay!

Call Comcast.

The rep couldn’t find the offer, but there’s another one for $79.99 with no HBO, would we like that?

No, and we need to call the online offer number, since you can’t just transfer me.  WTF?

So I ordered from the website directly, because I was getting sick of people already.   I love e-commerce, just for that reason.

The last step of the process?  A 30 minute online chat with a rep to schedule a tech.   Grr.

After “Hello”, the first thing the rep said was, “Based on our conversation, the best thing to suit your needs is…”   A freaking upsell to open the conversation.   Buddy, you don’t know my needs.   You’re here to run a calendar.  I hate people.

No, I don’t want Triple Play.  Your phone service isn’t cheaper than I’m paying now.

No, I don’t want a zillion channels.   I have Netflix and a Roku.

No, I will not pay modem rental.  I bought my own for $50 instead of paying you $7/month for it.

No, I don’t want equipment protection.  The box will be on my dresser, out of reach.  If it breaks on its own, I’ll return it.

Yes, I do want the deal to last the entire year–per the ad–instead of the 6 months you’re trying to change it to.

Great!  Now my choices are a) pay $10 to have the new cable box shipped, b) pay $30 for a tech to come over and plug in 2 cables, c) drive to the cable office and pick up the box.   I’ll take the 15 minute drive and combine it with lunch with my wife, thanks.  I have to go there for the cablecard, anyway, since that’s not something you ship.

Wait a second!  Going to the store means we’re going to cancel everything we’ve just done?  And the store doesn’t have access to this deal, either?   Nevermind, I’ll take the shipping charges.


So, it’s off to the store to get my card, but not the box that will ship from that store.   After a 30 minute wait, the wonderful(no sarcasm) lady behind the counter was happy to give me a card.  Unfortunately, the rep from the previous night had entered the wrong deal, with a note on the account mentioning the correct one.  Because that’s how computers and automated billing systems work.   His plan left an error on the account that prevented anything new from being added, like my cablecard.


Double guh-errr.

Let’s cancel everything from the previous night.    There’s a better deal.

We got the same package for $49.99/month for a year, then $69.99/month for another year, with HBO for $5/month.  I got to leave with my card and my box.  Wee!  I love you, lady!

Comcast, seriously, WTF?

Now, if I could just get Tivo to recognize the channel lineup for Digital Economy.

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    1. All cable companies are impossible to deal with… I need to write a post about my recent issues with my cable provider. I am not going to name names though because I got what I wanted in the end. I am glad you got a decent deal.

    2. Melissa Mendoza says:

      Hi Jason. I’m sorry for the poor experience we’ve create for you. I would like to review the call and the chat with the leadership team. I would also like to work with my area partners to see that we get those cards paired correctly so you can watch all of your channels. Please email our team at the address below with a link to this post, your service address, and contact number. We will work to make this up to you.

      Kind Regards,
      Melissa Mendoza
      Digital Media Specialist
      National Customer Operations
      +Melissa Mendoza

    3. I have had difficulties with Comcast for many years; however, all it takes is a phone call and they are either out the next day or can handle it over the phone. I have voiced my concerns, and received a $20/month decrease in my bill which is still in place. I have phone, TV and computer with them. Would love to end the phone, but my Husband still want’s it. Anyway, Comcast is what you make of it. If you don’t like it don’t use it.

    4. You didn’t buy the wrong TiVo. Comcast recently changed their encryption so that no DVRs will work directly with Comcast service. It happened at the same time they made the change so that, even if you had a digital ready TV, you couldn’t watch TV without having a cable box, even though all new TVs have to be digital ready.

      I have found, though, that going to my local xfinity store results in much better service than trying to do anything online or over the phone. My theory is that people are more helpful when they actually have to be face to face with you.

    5. We were with Comcast for nearly 4 years before we switched to AT&T U-Verse in 2008. By the end, Comcast’s connection was breaking daily and the customer service reps had made notes on my account to no longer give credits when the service cut out. When I called to cancel everything, they kept switching me off to about 4 people and then told me that I wasn’t being fair…so yeah, Comcast is not my friend…

    6. Wow, what a mess! I hate dealing with cable companies. We got rid of our television, partly because it wasn’t worth the hassle and partly because we couldn’t afford it. We only watched Netflix anyway!

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