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(Dexter-Leader)   Comcast charges customers in an entire town a "vacation fee" for not responding to emails, letters, or phone calls. Difficulty: they didn't respond because their town was ravaged by a tornado   (heritage.com) divider line 102
    More: Fail, Comcast, structural engineers, phone calls, town, Comcast charges, vacation fee, customers  
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16060 clicks; posted to Main » on 29 Mar 2012 at 4:20 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-03-29 04:19:01 PM
I read the article differently than submitter. Residents called and said our house is now a vacant lot can you stop billing us? Comcast offered a choice between a cancellation fee to get out of their contract and a "vacation" rate which is a lower monthly fee than full service. Residents said how about a monthly fee of $0 for our vacant lot? Comcast account managers are checking with their public relations team to find out how bad they look and will make a counteroffer soon.
 
2012-03-29 04:21:20 PM

ZAZ: I read the article differently than submitter. Residents called and said our house is now a vacant lot can you stop billing us? Comcast offered a choice between a cancellation fee to get out of their contract and a "vacation" rate which is a lower monthly fee than full service. Residents said how about a monthly fee of $0 for our vacant lot? Comcast account managers are checking with their public relations team to find out how bad they look and will make a counteroffer soon.


I skimmed, but didn't it also say that Comcast was charging the residents for the destroyed equipment?
 
2012-03-29 04:22:59 PM

ZAZ: I read the article differently than submitter. Residents called and said our house is now a vacant lot can you stop billing us? Comcast offered a choice between a cancellation fee to get out of their contract and a "vacation" rate which is a lower monthly fee than full service. Residents said how about a monthly fee of $0 for our vacant lot? Comcast account managers are checking with their public relations team to find out how bad they look and will make a counteroffer soon.


I will assume Comcast public relations will recommend charging them a special "house destroyed fee" on top of any cancellation or vacation fee.
 
2012-03-29 04:23:00 PM
Comcast is a cool guy
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-03-29 04:23:55 PM
AmazinTim: didn't it also say that Comcast was charging the residents for the destroyed equipment?

Yeah, that too. Probably correct according to their contract. Comcast figures the homeowner's insurance will pay. Let's see how the court of public opinion rules on that claim.
 
2012-03-29 04:24:29 PM

AmazinTim: I skimmed, but didn't it also say that Comcast was charging the residents for the destroyed equipment?


Home owners insurance will cover that. Submit the bill Comcast sends you to them. A corporation less populated by dicks though would have better disaster handling policies though and realize "Hey their home was just destroyed, we can work out the price of the cable box at a later date".
 
2012-03-29 04:25:19 PM
In before the "that's what your home insurance is supposed to cover, suck it" people.
 
2012-03-29 04:25:22 PM

max_pooper: ZAZ: I read the article differently than submitter. Residents called and said our house is now a vacant lot can you stop billing us? Comcast offered a choice between a cancellation fee to get out of their contract and a "vacation" rate which is a lower monthly fee than full service. Residents said how about a monthly fee of $0 for our vacant lot? Comcast account managers are checking with their public relations team to find out how bad they look and will make a counteroffer soon.

I will assume Comcast public relations will recommend charging them a special "house destroyed fee" on top of any cancellation or vacation fee.


This is after they charge the "Post Disaster Disconnect" and "Disaster Veerification Service Call" fees.
 
2012-03-29 04:25:54 PM
Obviously, not fast enough...
 
2012-03-29 04:26:17 PM
I just found out that Sprint has been charging me a $1.99 "detailed bill fee" for a few months.

When I asked why, he said that it was because I was getting my individual phone calls listed on my bill, and I could get that online.

I asked why I hadn't been told or asked about this, and the guy didn't have an answer. I didn't yell, because it's not his fault.

He removed the fee retroactively, but I'm sure lots and lots of people are paying this.
 
2012-03-29 04:27:33 PM

ZAZ: AmazinTim: didn't it also say that Comcast was charging the residents for the destroyed equipment?

Yeah, that too. Probably correct according to their contract. Comcast figures the homeowner's insurance will pay. Let's see how the court of public opinion rules on that claim.


I really don't see the issue with making the home owner's insurance cover what is basically rental property. If Comcast can't count on the fact that people are fiscally responsible for the boxes, they'll have to raise rates on everyone. With the rate hike either to let Comcast buy insurance or just to cover the percentage of the boxes Comcast figures it will never see again (and won't be able to bill the owner for).

It's mostly just this totally a bill you could mail out in a couple months, not shortly after the house was destroyed.
 
2012-03-29 04:28:03 PM

SweetSilverBlues: max_pooper: ZAZ: I read the article differently than submitter. Residents called and said our house is now a vacant lot can you stop billing us? Comcast offered a choice between a cancellation fee to get out of their contract and a "vacation" rate which is a lower monthly fee than full service. Residents said how about a monthly fee of $0 for our vacant lot? Comcast account managers are checking with their public relations team to find out how bad they look and will make a counteroffer soon.

I will assume Comcast public relations will recommend charging them a special "house destroyed fee" on top of any cancellation or vacation fee.

This is after they charge the "Post Disaster Disconnect" and "Disaster Veerification Service Call" fees.



"A technician will be at your smoking crater between 8am and 5pm on Friday."
 
2012-03-29 04:28:52 PM
i can't really blame comcast, but their PR dept could have handled this a little better. If I buy lease a car, and it gets destroyed along with my house somehow, I can't reasonably expect the manufacturer to say "Oh, that sucks for you, don't worry about it", nor can I fault them for still charging for services that aren't being used, as per the contract.

Now, if the cable lines got ripped up or something, and it isn't possible to get service if a house was still there, then that's a different story.
 
2012-03-29 04:29:47 PM
Isn't this covered under their cable contracts as Force Majeure or Acts of God or something?
 
2012-03-29 04:29:55 PM
Is in true that in Quincy Jones version of the Wizard of Oz, the dog was named Tito?
 
2012-03-29 04:30:27 PM
We had a similar problem with the local electric company after wildfires destroyed our house. I got billed for usage from october though last month with late fees even though the house and all the land was just ash as of August.

A rep said their "smart meters" never reported an outage. I asked, could it if it doesn't exist and what is the billing based off of it the meter isn't being read or reporting?
Apparently they hired a 3rd party to "maintain" them and that company was scamming them by just reporting completely fictitious figures.

/csb
 
2012-03-29 04:31:37 PM
There's a reason Comcast made it to the Sweet 16 ^ and could go all the way
 
2012-03-29 04:32:09 PM
They kept billing me after Hurricane Ike. I told them they were not providing the service since there wasn't a cable, or electricity, or a house.
 
2012-03-29 04:33:21 PM
Fun fact: I used to live in this neighborhood. My ex-wife and son were there at home when the tornado hit. The worst of it missed their house by maybe 150 yds.

/Yeah, Comcast sucks
 
2012-03-29 04:33:26 PM
It's a free market, and the subscribers should have read the contract carefully or chosen a different cable provider. Personal responsibility FTW.
 
2012-03-29 04:33:46 PM

bluecalks: i can't really blame comcast, but their PR dept could have handled this a little better. If I buy lease a car, and it gets destroyed along with my house somehow, I can't reasonably expect the manufacturer to say "Oh, that sucks for you, don't worry about it", nor can I fault them for still charging for services that aren't being used, as per the contract.

Now, if the cable lines got ripped up or something, and it isn't possible to get service if a house was still there, then that's a different story.


This is the likely scenario. When an entire neighborhood gets destroyed by a tornado, what are the odds that the only part of every single house left standing is the corner of the house where the cable was connected and all the distribution lines were left up and active?
 
2012-03-29 04:33:55 PM
Comcast Cares ...
 
2012-03-29 04:34:19 PM
You think they could send a few employees to take a look around and check things out. it's not like a tornado is a secret. I still believe that one day Comcast and Verizon will merge into a giant vortex of suck that will destroy us all.
 
2012-03-29 04:35:32 PM

IrishCanadian: Isn't this covered under their cable contracts as Force Majeure or Acts of God or something?


No. It's under the "Hell or High Water" clause which states they can and will charge you the early termination fee come Hell or high water.
 
2012-03-29 04:35:33 PM
Comcast shares many a news station,
Yet somehow believes this town's on vacation,
You'd think they'd've watched,
What they try to hock,
But instead for stupidity get an ovation.
 
2012-03-29 04:38:16 PM
If I were them, I would call up comcast and say, "Hey, I want to add the service protection plan for 2.99 a month."
 
2012-03-29 04:38:40 PM

relaxitsjustme: There's a reason Comcast made it to the Sweet 16 ^ and could go all the way


I'm really not surprised at any of the names on that list. Reading through them, it was tough to choose who I hated more: BoA or Ticketmaster (among others).
 
2012-03-29 04:39:25 PM

towatchoverme: Comcast Cares ...


LOL

I see what you did there.

/former Comcaster
 
2012-03-29 04:41:38 PM

bluecalks: i can't really blame comcast, but their PR dept could have handled this a little better.


Yes, you can. I worked at Chase Auto Finance for over a decade in their collections department. Do you know what happened every time we had a natural disaster like that? We offered every customer in the affected area an extension so they wouldn't have to worry about paying for their car which may have been completely destroyed in the disaster. And we made the decision within a week. AND, we immediately filtered our dialer so we wouldn't call any customers who lived in the affected zip codes. We did this after 9/11, Katrina and Rita, and variety of other disasters. It's really not hard to not be a dick. Comcast just doesn't try.
 
2012-03-29 04:42:41 PM
fark Comcast.
 
2012-03-29 04:47:42 PM

towatchoverme: Comcast Cares ...

about what I have no idea!

www.movieactors.com
 
2012-03-29 04:50:45 PM
There's a reason they're often referred to as "Comcastards"
 
2012-03-29 04:52:01 PM
My wireless broadcasts the SSID "ComcastSucks" - the guy at Century Link service did not find that funny, I don't know why.

Comcast owes me money and they have owed me money for fifteen years and I will probably die with Comcast owing me money. If I owed them $2 they would have sued me by now, but they owe me $200, not counting interest and late fees.
 
2012-03-29 04:53:48 PM

Two16: fark Comcast.


Yep, 'nuff said.

authenticorganizations.com
 
2012-03-29 04:55:20 PM

Kit Fister: Comcast shares many a news station,
Yet somehow believes this town's on vacation,
You'd think they'd've watched,
What they try to hock,
But instead for stupidity get an ovation.


Flawless rhymes...perfect meter...clever finish...MaxxLarge, is that you?

/but seriously, maybe you should try haikus
 
2012-03-29 04:58:35 PM

ha-ha-guy: AmazinTim: I skimmed, but didn't it also say that Comcast was charging the residents for the destroyed equipment?

Home owners insurance will cover that. Submit the bill Comcast sends you to them. A corporation less populated by dicks though would have better disaster handling policies though and realize "Hey their home was just destroyed, we can work out the price of the cable box at a later date".


Typically, the insurance companies resolve this by informing Comcast that their giant faceless corporation will pay fark you dollars.
 
2012-03-29 05:02:19 PM
I used to be a Comcast customer and I hate them with the intensity of 1000 white hot suns. We switched to Verizon fios with the upgraded 30 MB speed and we've been happy campers ever since. The fios HD offers a far better picture quality as well, the better picture quality really surprised me.
 
2012-03-29 05:02:33 PM
This is simply another manifestation of the "There's no button for that" problem. Employees are forced to use systems where their choices are limited to pre-defined actions with no leeway for discretion. Since there's no button on the CSR's screen for "subscriber's home destroyed by act of God," they simply choose the next best thing, which was apparently a "subscriber is going away on extended vacation" button.

Because they are constrained to the limited set AND their employment is dependent on getting the customer off the phone as soon as possible, the next-best-thing is what you're going to get every time. Even if it's absurd. The combination of "you'll get fired if your resolution rate and service times are not within parameters" and "there's no button for that" is probably responsible for most of the complaints about customer service these days.

That's what you get when you turn your CSRs into human automated voice response systems.
 
2012-03-29 05:05:56 PM
The Free MarketTM will surely work this out. No need to get all angry and resort to Socialism® like regulating local monopolies.
 
2012-03-29 05:07:01 PM

Skyred: Comcast is a cool guy


And doesn't afraid of anything.
 
2012-03-29 05:09:29 PM

ZAZ: AmazinTim: didn't it also say that Comcast was charging the residents for the destroyed equipment?

Yeah, that too. Probably correct according to their contract. Comcast figures the homeowner's insurance will pay. Let's see how the court of public opinion rules on that claim.


Charter Cable did the same thing to the folks affected by last years' April 27 outbreak in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and other cities. It raised a huge stink.
 
2012-03-29 05:12:08 PM

runwiz: You think they could send a few employees to take a look around and check things out. it's not like a tornado is a secret. I still believe that one day Comcast and Verizon will merge into a giant vortex of suck that will destroy us all.


c'mon Verizon is not that bad.. they have good cellular coverage and the fastest full scale high speed 4G LTE network with the biggest spectrum spread and IPv6 compatible.!
 
2012-03-29 05:15:36 PM

jasmine2501: My wireless broadcasts the SSID "ComcastSucks" - the guy at Century Link service did not find that funny, I don't know why.

Comcast owes me money and they have owed me money for fifteen years and I will probably die with Comcast owing me money. If I owed them $2 they would have sued me by now, but they owe me $200, not counting interest and late fees.


Take them to small claims court. It'll cost you like $15 to file the paperwork and when they don't show up, the judge will automatically rule in your favor. Seriously. And then if Comcast still doesn't pay, you can take them back to court and then the judge will add some punitive damages to your award.
 
2012-03-29 05:26:09 PM

Mike Chewbacca: Take them to small claims court. It'll cost you like $15 to file the paperwork and when they don't show up, the judge will automatically rule in your favor. Seriously. And then if Comcast still doesn't pay, you can take them back to court and then the judge will add some punitive damages to your award.


Might want to read the contract first. No doubt it limits him to arbitration. There's an old saying that I just made up, "no one sues Comcast, there's no money in it".
 
2012-03-29 05:28:20 PM

jasmine2501: Comcast owes me money and they have owed me money for fifteen years and I will probably die with Comcast owing me money. If I owed them $2 they would have sued me by now, but they owe me $200, not counting interest and late fees.


The statute of limitations begs to differ on your claim
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-03-29 05:33:54 PM
ParaHandy: It's a free market

Cable and phone service is not a free market -- it is a highly regulated market with high barriers to entry.
 
2012-03-29 05:34:12 PM

The Irresponsible Captain: The Free MarketTM will surely work this out. No need to get all angry and resort to Socialism® like regulating local monopolies.


Already covered:

ParaHandy: It's a free market, and the subscribers should have read the contract carefully or chosen a different cable provider. Personal responsibility FTW.


Because if you don't like the government sanctioned monopoly, you can just choose a different service. I regularly have electric companies bombarding me to switch providers.

//True story though, AT&T sends me a flyer to switch to U-verse every 6-8 weeks. It pisses me off because I am 6 blocks in any direction away from where the service reaches. I asked a technician if they were ever going to extend it so the 50 or so uncovered houses would have the option of signing up. He laughed at me.
 
2012-03-29 05:35:03 PM

NightOwl2255: Mike Chewbacca: Take them to small claims court. It'll cost you like $15 to file the paperwork and when they don't show up, the judge will automatically rule in your favor. Seriously. And then if Comcast still doesn't pay, you can take them back to court and then the judge will add some punitive damages to your award.

Might want to read the contract first. No doubt it limits him to arbitration. There's an old saying that I just made up, "no one sues Comcast, there's no money in it".


Well, seeing as how they've owed him for 15 years, that might not be in his contract.

ScotterOtter: The statute of limitations begs to differ on your claim


There usually isn't a statute of limitations on money, just a statute of limitations on you submitting an invoice. So long as you communicated the debt to your debtor within the timeframe required by the contract, you're golden.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-03-29 05:46:30 PM
AT&T sends me a flyer to switch to U-verse every 6-8 weeks

Verizon kept asking me to upgrade to FiOS long before it reached my neighborhood. On the rare occasions the robocaller was willing to connect me to a human I'd say I wanted FiOS and the human would check the computer and say I couldn't have it. He would then promise to mark my account not to get more calls, which was a lie because telemarketers don't get paid to do that. Now I have FiOS, I'm on Verizon's do-not-call list, and I'm getting mailed solicitations instead because every two weeks the master control program notices I don't have the most expensive level of service.
 
2012-03-29 05:48:36 PM
Comcast sounds a lot like Archer...
 
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