September 17, 2014
Brian RobertsCEO, Comcast
Here we go again! We returned from vacation in late August to find an unburied cable running across part of our front lawn from the cable box on our front lawn toward a newly completed house, which had become occupied during our absence. I have two problems with this:• First is the unmitigated arrogance of coming onto our property and hooking up the cable without first getting our okay. We were on vacation, but we are (very reluctantly---see below---) Comcast customers, and Comcast does have both our phone number and our email address. If we had been contacted, we would have, after some explanation, likely granted the okay (however, it is interesting there was a closer (to the new neighbor’s house) on another neighbor’s yard (did that neighbor decline to have the cable hooked up to the box on his yard?)• Secondly, is not burying the cable. We had a mighty struggle with Comcast to get the cable from the box to our house buried (see letter below). Ultimately, we had to put the letter below out on social media to finally have Comcast come and bury the letter, something they had promised to do months earlier. No mighty struggle this time. Our Sept 17, 2014 letter is already out on social media.
Kevin Rodden7177 Freemont Hill Ct.Warrenton, Va 20187
April 12, 2013
Brian RobertsCEO, Comcast
About a month ago, I saw your appearance on the "Morning Joe" show (by the way a terrific show, which we watch religiously---just hope Comcast doesn’t screw it up too). There’s never been such a tremendous disparity--- between your description of wonderful Comcast and the actual horrendous experiences of "customers", my wife and I, with Comcast. I’ll describe a series of episodes below, which I trust will enlighten you as to why I believe Comcast is the worst company I’ve ever dealt with in my life (and I’m going on age 73).When we moved into our new home in Warrenton, Virginia in the latter part of January of this year, at the suggestion of the Warrenton Information Center, we stopped by the local Comcast office in Warrenton to inquire about getting TV, Internet and landline phone services installed in our home. The surly (with another customer, as well as ourselves), older woman manning the desk informed us it would take two weeks for her just to check with Comcast installation to see if there was cable already at our house, or if installation would be required. We had intended to purchase Comcast Triple Play. Needless to say, we left her office and immediately contacted Direct TV, which now provides our TV service.Still needing Internet and landline phone service (we certainly would have gone with Direct TV for those services also, had they provided them), we very reluctantly contacted Comcast (national Comcast by phone, not the Warrenton Comcast office), since they were essentially the only game in town providing those services. The young man (very glib and fast-talking, made me wonder how he escaped the local user car dealer’s employ), whom we dealt with, said we would receive the new customer introductory rate (~$60 vs the normal ~$90) for the first three months of Internet and phone service.We scheduled cable installation (from cable box in front yard into our house) for the following Saturday from 10:00 to 12:00. The technician finally showed up at 3:00, explaining that Comcast business had given him the wrong address for the previous customer, and it had taken him five hours to get that straightened out. Having dealt with Comcast, I said I fully believed him. However, inexplicably, after getting on the phone with his boss, he explained, if we wanted him to complete the installation, we would have to pay the regular rate (of ~$90), rather than the new customer introductory rate. Since we had been without Internet service at home for a couple weeks at that point, we of course had to acquiesce. He did say we could contact Comcast to see if we could get the introductory rate, which we had been promised, restored. Also he left without burying the cable, which snakes approximately 75’ across our front yard, stating that Comcast would be by within a month to bury it (I’ll note here, when Direct TV ran the cable from the dish (which, due to line-of-sight considerations, had to be placed in the front yard), to the house, they buried it immediately).Our next Comcast project was then to contact Comcast business about getting our three-month introductory rate restored. Bryan, I will tell you, the next two days were as frustrating as any I’ve ever spent in my life. We must have talked to at least a dozen Comcast employees, waiting endlessly on hold, or worse, supposedly being passed to another employee, but the "connection" never taking place. With the last employee, we finally succeeded (I’m extremely tenacious) in having the introductory rate restored, although she acted as though she was doing us ingrates a major favor! I had to laugh when Comcast business asked if we were interested in Comcast doing a home security system/service for us!The saga continues. Towards the end of March, two months after cable installation, surprise of surprises, Comcast still had not shown up to bury the cable running from the cable box in our front yard into the house.. I had had to call Comcast "customer service" to have this done, since, by then, it had been one month past "the one month" we were told it would be done, when our Internet and phone service was first installed. When I contacted Comcast "customer service", I was given a work order number, and told I would be contacted within twenty-four hours by Comcast installation. This is a week later (another work order number later), and I still have not been contacted. Our push to get the cable buried is not academic. The builder (as I mentioned this is a newly constructed house) is about to do final grading (with tractor and heavy drag bar), prior to seeding the yard. That won’t work too well with the Comcast cable on top of the front yard.As a last desperation effort, I’ve recently contacted Comcast corporate offices (dealing with Chantel and George) about getting the cable buried. It’s still on top of the ground, so apparently no effect from that quarter. They, like Comcast customer service, seemed to be intimidated by the prospect of dealing with Comcast installation!Brian, let me tell you what I’m going to do:• I’m going to hire someone with a trencher (this is really hard Virginia clay) to bury the cable. Then I’m going to put in a claim, in small claims court, against Comcast for that cost, plus for my time and trouble• Send a copy of this letter with a complaint to the FCC• Send a copy of this letter with a complaint to the FTC• Send a copy of this letter to our "local" newspaper, The Washington Post• File a complaint against Angie’s List, of which we are members, against Comcast• Send a copy of this letter with a complaint to the Virginia Attorney General (who happens to be running for governor of Virginia)• Send a copy of the letter to Virginia U.S. senators and our local U.S. congressman• Perhaps, most significantly, enter a copy of this letter into the blogosphere
Please, don’t have your lawyers threaten me with legal action. I would relish it, if you did. Our family doesn’t intimidate easily (e.g., our older son is a Marine officer, who fought in very heavy combat in Iraq, as a Marine Company Commander, and in Helmond province in southern Afghanistan, as Deputy Commander of a Marine Recon Battalion). Be interesting to see what the media at large would make of the intimidation of 70-year old parents of an Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran by big Comcast!
Kevin Rodden7177 Freemont Hill CtWarrenton, Va 20175540 216-3934
N.B. I know it’s presumptuous of me, a retired physicist, to offer business advice to the CEO of a major corporation, but anyway here goes (and keep in mind, due to the outlandish behavior of Comcast, our TV service is with Direct TV, and our home security service is with ADT---in other words, Brian you’re losing money, which could have been Comcast’s, from us each month):• Fire the obnoxious older woman in the Comcast Warrenton office• Fire the head of Comcast installation, who seems to be heading a totally non-responsive (including to, amazingly, Comcast executive) fiefdom• Hire, and train (boy, is that needed!) good people
Product or Service Mentioned: Comcast Installation.
Reason of review: Poor customer service.
Preferred solution: Comcast come and bury cable, like they were supposed to have done already.