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(Gawker)   Comcast really wants their cable box back and don't care if it's laying underneath the rubble of your Sandy destroyed home. Bonus: Not a Consumerist article   (updates.gawker.com) divider line 58
    More: Asinine, Comcast  
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4457 clicks; posted to Business » on 02 Nov 2012 at 9:10 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-02 06:49:28 AM  
Well, yes and no on the Consumerist part, submitter. There is a bit from them in there too.
 
MBK [TotalFark]
2012-11-02 06:59:14 AM  
Not to defend Comcast or anything, but the cable box is their property (you only "rent it"), and I'm sure for insurance purposes, they need to tell Comcast that the box is destroyed and they have to pay for it (which will probably be covered by the home owner's insurance).
 
2012-11-02 07:22:34 AM  
I would look around the flooded area and find some piece of electronic debris, hopefully dripping with raw sewage and decaying fish guts, and send it back to them.

But that is just me.
 
2012-11-02 07:36:56 AM  
Somebody didn't update the incoming call script quickly enough to account for the disaster, meh. It's not like those banks of people sitting there with their headphones taking customer calls have any discretionary power.
 
2012-11-02 08:07:18 AM  
After Katrina, the local natural gas company sent bills for usage to homes that were washed away. As one homeowner told them, " let me know where the meter is, cause its attached to the house I can't find." Needless to say, centerpoint eventually quit billing them.
 
2012-11-02 08:07:51 AM  
Please know we are working with our teams to ensure we handle all customer calls on a case-by-case basis with sensitivity to the devastating effects Hurricane Sandy had on so many of our local communities and residents. Again, we are of course notating his parents account to ensure they are not charged for equipment they can't return.

THIS IS AN OUTRAGE!!!1
 
2012-11-02 08:22:15 AM  
Bonus: Not a Consumerist article

The Consumerist reached out to Comcast,


Close enough to taint the article.

/taint
 
2012-11-02 08:53:50 AM  
Reminds me when I called BellSouth after hurricane Charlie, which took a buzz saw to the state of Florida, to report that my internet was still down a few days later.

Filipina call center lady's Weeners: "Well, how do you know you had a hurricane?"

"Um, I can still see the sky through my ceiling?"
 
2012-11-02 08:56:22 AM  
Comcast told a woman who just lost one of her two New Jersey homes

Wah.
 
2012-11-02 09:07:21 AM  

unlikely: Comcast told a woman who just lost one of her two New Jersey homes

Wah.


Not only that.
FTFA: their main home was still standing, surrounded by gas leaks which makes it completely inaccessible

The house with the box in it is inaccessible due to the gas leak, not permanently destroyed (yet). They can tell Comcast the box is on its way as soon as the house opens up again. (but at that point they'll probably want to turn the cable back on...). Obviously if the gas explodes, then we'll have a problem.
 
2012-11-02 09:14:08 AM  
Bonus: Not a Consumerist article

Bonus denied! It's a Gawker link.
 
2012-11-02 09:23:04 AM  

Diogenes: Filipina call center lady's Weeners: "Well, how do you know you had a hurricane?"


Well, if the lady had a weener, you know she wasn't really a lady.

/Love random filter pwnage.
 
2012-11-02 09:32:14 AM  
There's a Romney/insurance/job creator joke in there somewhere, but I need more coffee
 
2012-11-02 09:39:02 AM  

dittybopper: Diogenes: Filipina call center lady's Weeners: "Well, how do you know you had a hurricane?"

Well, if the lady had a weener, you know she wasn't really a lady.

/Love random filter pwnage.


*facepalm* Farking stealthy filter.
 
2012-11-02 09:39:22 AM  
CSB: The Apartment above mine burned, my apartment was flooded/destroyed door and windows knocked out etc. Called Comcast to move my service to the new apartment 3 buildings over in the same complex, they told me to bring the cable box with me I told them I couldn't because I had no access to my old place since it burned down, they told me the tech would move it since I obviously couldn't figure out how disconnect it.
 
2012-11-02 09:44:47 AM  
It's an article that paraphrases and links to a consumerist article subby, might as well just have linked straight to it.
 
2012-11-02 09:46:01 AM  
These poor people! I don't know how I would react if Buffy and I could go down to our Beach Bungalow to escape the doldrums of the clean up from the Hurricane. I thought that only happened to poor people living in apartments and trailers? How dare Comcast enforce their rules on rich people!
 
2012-11-02 09:57:54 AM  
Why would you get upset about this? Also what cheapskate's Weeners to a hurricane leveling one house and endangering their other is to cancel their cable and be outraged that they will be charged a monthly fee until they return the cable box?
 
2012-11-02 10:06:12 AM  
Not this stupid story again.

Comcast has every right to ask for their equipment back. If they cannot get it back, they are supposed to be compensated for it, per the CONTRACT the user agreed to.

Talk to your insurance company lady.
 
2012-11-02 10:18:41 AM  
I'm guessing they told her like they told me, you can pay the "lost device" fee, or you can return the box, until either is done we can't cancel your service.

Pay the fee, keep the reciept, send to insurance....ta-da
 
2012-11-02 10:20:21 AM  

Steve McQueen's Motorcycle: Not this stupid story again.

Comcast has every right to ask for their equipment back. If they cannot get it back, they are supposed to be compensated for it, per the CONTRACT the user agreed to.

Talk to your insurance company lady.


While I do not disagree with the content of your statement, wouldn't the cost/benefit of the PR gained or lost due to charging people with destroyed homes for their cable boxes be significantly greater than the cost of the equipment? Or if they said something along the lines of, "Unfortunately due to our contract, you will be charged for the cost of the box, however, we will work with your insurance company to recover the damages so that you won't be inconvenienced." That seems more reasonable than "Give us the box, or we continue charging you until it is returned, no excuses, no exceptions."
 
2012-11-02 10:25:34 AM  

roc6783: Steve McQueen's Motorcycle: Not this stupid story again.

Comcast has every right to ask for their equipment back. If they cannot get it back, they are supposed to be compensated for it, per the CONTRACT the user agreed to.

Talk to your insurance company lady.

While I do not disagree with the content of your statement, wouldn't the cost/benefit of the PR gained or lost due to charging people with destroyed homes for their cable boxes be significantly greater than the cost of the equipment? Or if they said something along the lines of, "Unfortunately due to our contract, you will be charged for the cost of the box, however, we will work with your insurance company to recover the damages so that you won't be inconvenienced." That seems more reasonable than "Give us the box, or we continue charging you until it is returned, no excuses, no exceptions."


If Comcast cared about not being the shiattiest company in America, they wouldn't be Comcast.
 
2012-11-02 10:29:30 AM  

roc6783: Steve McQueen's Motorcycle: Not this stupid story again.

Comcast has every right to ask for their equipment back. If they cannot get it back, they are supposed to be compensated for it, per the CONTRACT the user agreed to.

Talk to your insurance company lady.

While I do not disagree with the content of your statement, wouldn't the cost/benefit of the PR gained or lost due to charging people with destroyed homes for their cable boxes be significantly greater than the cost of the equipment? Or if they said something along the lines of, "Unfortunately due to our contract, you will be charged for the cost of the box, however, we will work with your insurance company to recover the damages so that you won't be inconvenienced." That seems more reasonable than "Give us the box, or we continue charging you until it is returned, no excuses, no exceptions."


That's not reasonable in any way, there are THOUSANDS if not MILLIONS of subscribers hit by this. What's easier for those subscribers to individual work with their insurance companies as they are going to have to do anyway, or hire a complete new call center staff, train them on what to do, and handle the innudation of calls, make calls to the insurance companies, etc?

Pay the farking fee, submit the reciept to insurance, LIKE YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO DO FOR ALL THE OTHER shiat IN YOUR HOUSE!!!!!
 
2012-11-02 10:36:42 AM  

roc6783:
While I do not disagree with the content of your statement, wouldn't the cost/benefit of the PR gained or lost due to charging people with destroyed homes for their cable boxes be significantly greater than the cost of the equipment? Or if they said something along the lines of, "Unfortunately due to our contract, you will be charged for the cost of the box, however, we will work with your insurance company to recover the damages so that you won't be inconvenienced." That seems more reasonable than "Give us the box, or we continue charging you until it is returned, no excuses, no exceptions."


How come whenever there is a disaster, people expect the person least at fault to bear the burden? This hurricane wasn't a surprise, there was plenty of warning. If you were so concerned about the fee for not returning property you borrowed, you could have secured the box. Or you could have your insurance pay for it. Or you can pay out of pocket. But it's outrageous to me that people expect to be able to say, "oh hey, I lost your stuff but it's only because I don't take care of things. We're cool, right?"

Plus Comcast doesn't need to care about PR because in most places they don't have any real competition.
 
2012-11-02 10:36:57 AM  

Steve McQueen's Motorcycle: Not this stupid story again.

Comcast has every right to ask for their equipment back. If they cannot get it back, they are supposed to be compensated for it, per the CONTRACT the user agreed to.

Talk to your insurance company lady.


There should be a disaster or extraordinary circumstance clause in the contract then. That's no excuse.
 
2012-11-02 10:42:40 AM  

Diogenes: Steve McQueen's Motorcycle: Not this stupid story again.

Comcast has every right to ask for their equipment back. If they cannot get it back, they are supposed to be compensated for it, per the CONTRACT the user agreed to.

Talk to your insurance company lady.

There should be a disaster or extraordinary circumstance clause in the contract then. That's no excuse.


No there should not be. Its a pretty straight forward issue. You have possession of someone elses property and are not going to return it and have a contract that spells out who is responsible. You need to compensate them for it. How YOU pay for it is a different story.
 
2012-11-02 10:44:32 AM  

Steve McQueen's Motorcycle: Diogenes: Steve McQueen's Motorcycle: Not this stupid story again.

Comcast has every right to ask for their equipment back. If they cannot get it back, they are supposed to be compensated for it, per the CONTRACT the user agreed to.

Talk to your insurance company lady.

There should be a disaster or extraordinary circumstance clause in the contract then. That's no excuse.

No there should not be. Its a pretty straight forward issue. You have possession of someone elses property and are not going to return it and have a contract that spells out who is responsible. You need to compensate them for it. How YOU pay for it is a different story.


Fine. Then airlines should reward full compensation for flights cancelled due to bad weather.
 
2012-11-02 10:54:49 AM  
If your house is flooded, and you don't specifically have flood insurance, your cable box wouldn't be covered.
 
2012-11-02 10:55:22 AM  

Diogenes: Steve McQueen's Motorcycle: Diogenes: Steve McQueen's Motorcycle: Not this stupid story again.

Comcast has every right to ask for their equipment back. If they cannot get it back, they are supposed to be compensated for it, per the CONTRACT the user agreed to.

Talk to your insurance company lady.

There should be a disaster or extraordinary circumstance clause in the contract then. That's no excuse.

No there should not be. Its a pretty straight forward issue. You have possession of someone elses property and are not going to return it and have a contract that spells out who is responsible. You need to compensate them for it. How YOU pay for it is a different story.

Fine. Then airlines should reward full compensation for flights cancelled due to bad weather.


Really? That's quite the response.

Your comparing a service to a physical piece of property. Not even remotely the same thing.

Not only that but I bet the contract has specific stipulations in regards to flight cancellations.
 
2012-11-02 11:04:21 AM  
This gawker article used the consumerist as their source, no matter the spin on it, it is a consumerist article.
 
2012-11-02 11:18:47 AM  

SurfaceTension: Bonus: Not a Consumerist article

The Consumerist reached out to Comcast,

Close enough to taint the article.

/taint


Ohhhhh tainted article; ahhhh tainted article
 
2012-11-02 12:02:13 PM  

Sybarite: Somebody didn't update the incoming call script quickly enough to account for the disaster, meh. It's not like those banks of people sitting there with their headphones taking customer calls have any discretionary power.


When I worked for Insight(ISP) I never had a script. I could grant credits if I wanted(Never did, would send them to billing for that), I could set up trouble calls and I could spend 2 hours on one call if it got that person online.

My average call time was 5.5 minutes and never got customer complaints.

I hated that job.
 
2012-11-02 12:02:15 PM  

DoBeDoBeDo: roc6783: Steve McQueen's Motorcycle: ***snip***
That's not reasonable in any way, there are THOUSANDS if not MILLIONS of subscribers hit by this. What's easier for those subscribers to individual work with their insurance companies as they are going to have to do anyway, or hire a complete new call center staff, train them on what to do, and handle the innudation of calls, make calls to the insurance companies, etc?

Pay the farking fee, submit the reciept to insurance, LIKE YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO DO FOR ALL THE OTHER shiat IN YOUR HOUSE!!!!!


I see that this has clearly hit a nerve with you, but I have never had to make a homeowners claim before, so take a chill pill and simmer down. I have only dealt with car insurance, where the only thing I had to do was call to make the claim, then take it to the repair shop. They did everything else. Obviously, in your experience, home insurance claims work differently.

And no, I do not see how saying, "Here is our policy, but if you pay the unreturned box fee, you can claim it on your insurance with the rest of your belongings," is unreasonable. Do you see how that provides a resolution to the problem that helps both the company AND the customer? Opposed to simply saying, no box, no help, no options, deal with it. Crazy thoughts.
 
2012-11-02 12:03:49 PM  

roc6783: Steve McQueen's Motorcycle: Not this stupid story again.

Comcast has every right to ask for their equipment back. If they cannot get it back, they are supposed to be compensated for it, per the CONTRACT the user agreed to.

Talk to your insurance company lady.

While I do not disagree with the content of your statement, wouldn't the cost/benefit of the PR gained or lost due to charging people with destroyed homes for their cable boxes be significantly greater than the cost of the equipment? Or if they said something along the lines of, "Unfortunately due to our contract, you will be charged for the cost of the box, however, we will work with your insurance company to recover the damages so that you won't be inconvenienced." That seems more reasonable than "Give us the box, or we continue charging you until it is returned, no excuses, no exceptions."




DING!

When will companies learn to communicate better to avoid horrible PR?
 
2012-11-02 12:04:27 PM  
This is no different than if a house burned down or someone spilled beer on the box. It's still the property of the cable company and they shouldn't have to suck up the loss.
 
2012-11-02 12:08:56 PM  

roc6783:
And no, I do not see how saying, "Here is our policy, but if you pay the unreturned box fee, you can claim it on your insurance with the rest of your belongings," is unreasonable. Do you see how that provides a resolution to the problem that helps both the company AND the customer? Opposed to simply saying, no box, no help, no options, deal with it. Crazy thoughts.



Not crazy, that's what they do. Seriously I didn't even have damage just moved and it got lost somewhere. When I called the options were 1) Return the equipment 2) Pay the fee. This woman probably just went apeshiat about having to "pay" when they shouldn't require shiat from her since she lost her house. Any reasonable person would have contacted their insurance company first, who, I suspect would inform them to keep any reciepts related to the loss.

Sorry for the caps, it just bugs me that people are stupid and for some reason get away with it because of the "Bad PR" the company would get for telling her to do what the large amount of her fellow subscribers will have to do. It perpetuates the "I can act like a complete moron" attitude that we have in this country.
 
2012-11-02 12:09:30 PM  
Just send them a bag with four pounds of this:

s3.amazonaws.com
 
2012-11-02 12:40:19 PM  

MBK: Not to defend Comcast or anything, but the cable box is their property (you only "rent it"), and I'm sure for insurance purposes, they need to tell Comcast that the box is destroyed and they have to pay for it (which will probably be covered by the home owner's insurance).


Not in all cases. I own both the cable box and the cable modem in my current apartment. And the damn things only cost about $3 to manufacture. Comcast can do the right thing, eat the costs, and shut the fark up when these types of events happen.

/didn't read the article
//because it was a gawker link
 
2012-11-02 12:43:43 PM  

DoBeDoBeDo: roc6783: ***snip***


While I do not disagree at all with the premise that customers acting like idiots is B.S., here is a quote from the guy's blog, "Well, if you read the post, I didn't ask them to pay for the box. What I said was that they didn't care. They do community outreach, and plant trees, and host events, and that's great. But when people really need them, they didn't offer to offset the cost, they didn't offer to delay the fees, they didn't even offer understanding. What they offered was a big "not our problem"."

I would think that a company as vast as Comcast would have a modicum of experience dealing with these situations and have some sort of resolution prepared beyond what was offered. Again, even when right, douchebag customers should not be catered to, but for a company with tens of millions of customers, there should be some sort of contingency in disaster emergency situations, even if it is advising the customer that they should check with their insurance company to see if the cost is reimbursable.
 
2012-11-02 12:44:03 PM  

Steve McQueen's Motorcycle: Really? That's quite the response.

Your comparing a service to a physical piece of property. Not even remotely the same thing.


You are comparing a $400 service to a $3 dollar piece of plastic. Not even remotely the same thing.

/and everyone I knew who had flights into or out of NYC that were cancelled were able to reschedule their flights without additional costs
 
2012-11-02 01:19:23 PM  
And that's what happens when you put your entire customers service department in India where they just follow a script and have no idea what's happening in the world.
 
2012-11-02 01:24:31 PM  

MBK: Not to defend Comcast or anything, but the cable box is their property (you only "rent it"), and I'm sure for insurance purposes, they need to tell Comcast that the box is destroyed and they have to pay for it (which will probably be covered by the home owner's insurance).


I have never been asked for a router back but those damn cable boxes. Geez.
 
2012-11-02 01:27:52 PM  

radiovox: And that's what happens when you put your entire customers service department in India where they just follow a script and have no idea what's happening in the world.


To be fair, they're probably aware of Sandy in a World News kind of way. But they just don't know where "Queens" is.
 
2012-11-02 02:27:26 PM  

TheGreatGazoo: If your house is flooded, and you don't specifically have flood insurance, your cable box wouldn't be covered.


Tough. Pay comcast then.
 
2012-11-02 05:32:21 PM  
Customer service. It's why Comcast is universally loved.
 
2012-11-02 05:40:46 PM  
Never understood the whole, oh the hurricane caused a flood but since you don't have flood insurance you're not covered. What's next? "Oh you don't have wind insurance, that damage was caused by wind, not the hurricane, not covered." "Oh, you didn't have flying shiat insurance, that damage was caused by flying shiat, not the hurricane, not covered" etc etc..
 
2012-11-02 06:51:44 PM  
sorry, act of GOD clause, no insurance coverage...
and they said GOD was dead...
 
2012-11-02 07:20:18 PM  

roc6783: Steve McQueen's Motorcycle: Not this stupid story again.

Comcast has every right to ask for their equipment back. If they cannot get it back, they are supposed to be compensated for it, per the CONTRACT the user agreed to.

Talk to your insurance company lady.

While I do not disagree with the content of your statement, wouldn't the cost/benefit of the PR gained or lost due to charging people with destroyed homes for their cable boxes be significantly greater than the cost of the equipment? Or if they said something along the lines of, "Unfortunately due to our contract, you will be charged for the cost of the box, however, we will work with your insurance company to recover the damages so that you won't be inconvenienced." That seems more reasonable than "Give us the box, or we continue charging you until it is returned, no excuses, no exceptions."



I could not agree more. As a legal and contractual issue, Comcast is 100% within their rights to have the customer pay. As a public-relations issue, Comcast will earn the everlasting hatred of every single one of those customers.

Go right ahead, Comcast, but only if you want your customers to despise your repugnant, vomitous guts until the day they die.

/yes, Comcast did this to me
//almost 20 years ago
///will hate with a burning hatred them until I die
 
2012-11-02 08:15:38 PM  

lilbjorn: Customer service. It's why Comcast is universally loved.


I've actually had pretty decent experience with Comcast CSR's. It's not that I have any big love for the company, but when I call them the CSR's are friendly, know what they're doing, and take whatever time they need to fix my problem. And the local Comcast "store" seems incredibly casual about how they treat equipment. When I had to trade in a box they barely looked at it--just put it on a big stack of other boxes. It could have been full of dog biscuits for all they knew or cared.

///Compay does keep jacking up the bill though
//get sick of calling them every 6 months to tell them to charge less
/the calls work, though
 
2012-11-02 09:15:56 PM  

roc6783: Steve McQueen's Motorcycle: Not this stupid story again.

Comcast has every right to ask for their equipment back. If they cannot get it back, they are supposed to be compensated for it, per the CONTRACT the user agreed to.

Talk to your insurance company lady.

While I do not disagree with the content of your statement, wouldn't the cost/benefit of the PR gained or lost due to charging people with destroyed homes for their cable boxes be significantly greater than the cost of the equipment? Or if they said something along the lines of, "Unfortunately due to our contract, you will be charged for the cost of the box, however, we will work with your insurance company to recover the damages so that you won't be inconvenienced." That seems more reasonable than "Give us the box, or we continue charging you until it is returned, no excuses, no exceptions."


I ran into this with rental charges on welding gas cylinders. We were getting charged $500 a month for cylinders (rental only, let alone the gasses) that were in use and ones that were just sitting (helium waiting for an event) and also the cylinders that were in inventory waiting to get changed out ~ on hand for quick change-out. So, we quit keeping them in inventory but we were still getting charged for the cylinders that were sitting around the property for about two years until we finally found some here and there that we could return and the gas supply company was satisfied. We called them once and said "we're still getting charged for all these cylinders how many years, are they paid off yet?" "no, you'll need to buy the cylinder with no discount from what you've already paid in rental charges" Anyway, the guy that picked them up and dropped them off was nice enough in taking oxygen cylinders and applying them towards helium cylinders or what not.
It's just nice to not have to deal with that cost/problem any longer. 

/it's funny, but over time these kinds of costs just get built into the budget and keep getting worse and more worse over the years until one year you decide to really prune the budget and you slam into an elephant like this. And then it takes two farking years to eliminate it.
//There was another elephant I was trying to shoot which was the water bill for my building which was about 6000 sq ft and using some obscene number of gallons per quarter. So I called the plumber (same company employee ~ in-house plumber) and showed him the bill. I said there has to be some problem here, there's no way that 20 people working in this building used this much water. He explained that they rigged a toilet downstairs to run a bit all the time so it wouldn't freeze up. I said ok, but still this is really a large bill and water is kind of scarce. He shrugged his shoulders and left. So I called the water company and questioned them about a leak in their pipes. That didn't go far, they said that their pipes didn't leak. Hmmm. Well, I got a transfer to another office and had to let that elephant go on to another hunter....
 
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