Saturday, May 9, 2015

Comcast Deceptive Sales Practices and False Advertising

Back in October of 2013 I called Comcast to upgrade to a newer XFinity cable box.  Before a appointment could a scheduled appointment was made the rep proceeded to offer me a special deal at “no additional charge” for the first year and only a small additional charge over the next two years.

The special they were running was for a home security and that if I signed up for three years my monthly service charge of $255 a month would actually be less for the first and second year of the three year contact special. 

I thought the offer sounded too good to be true but told them to go ahead away.  However, later that day I called Comcast back and cancelled the home security special and told them to just bring out the new cable box.

On 10-29-13 a Comcast technician arrived and installed the new cable box.  He then asked my wife why we had cancelled the home security special because it was such a good deal.  He also stated that because it was a special offer, the monthly charges would actually be less for the first two years which is the same statement and language the call center told to me just a week earlier.   Reluctantly I agreed to the special and the home security system was installed.  What a mistake.

My first bill the following month totaled $411.67, $156 more than what I had been paying.    Certainly not “less than what we were currently paying” as explained by not one, but two different employees of Comcast.  This is when I experienced, first hand, why Comcast has been bestowed with the Consumerist 2014 award in 2014 as the “Worst Company in America” and is constantly ranked among the worst in the Cable TV category.

When a called to complain about the billing charges I was told a supervisor would call me back once they had a chance to look into the matter.  I never received a call.  My February bill increased to $295.51 for what used to be the same exact service before the “special offer”.  On 3/4/14 and again on 3/22/14 I spoke with representatives from both the regular call center who directed me to the Customer Loyalty Group.

Several times during these phone calls the line mysteriously went dead requiring me to call back and start over.  Very, very frustrating.  After telling my story several times to several different people and spending well over an hour and half I was told my new monthly charges would be $182.97.  I again asked to have a supervisor contact me and was told they would within 24 hours.  No one called. 

As it turned out the quote they gave me was never reflected in my billing statement. I continued to be billed at the same rate as the previous month.  However, when I received my March statement it stated I had a credit coming of $538.20.  However, when I received my April billing only $380.27 was applied and it indicated my new balance was -$149.78.   The next month however instead of the $149.78 being applied, nothing was applied and I was billed $261.    

On 5/14/14 I again contacted Comcast to add my complaint to the long list of other consumers upset about poor customer service. I spent almost two hours getting bounced around the country along with people in other countries talking to different Comcast reps.  Again this is when this mysterious phenomena of the phone line going dead when placed on hold started again.  After all this I was told my new billing rate would be $195 which again never went below $295.

Finally on November 16th I was told my new monthly billing rate would be $217.34. I asked for and received an email the following date from Comcast confirming this in writing. However, they would end up never honoring this written agreement. My reoccurring charges have remained at $280.48.  My last call was on 3-3-15.  I tried to explain to them the email I received confirming the rate of $217.34.  I was absolutely stunned when the Comcast rep told me that that couldn’t be true and that if it was it had to be a mistake.

This is deceptive sales practices and false advertising which is illegal and needs to be investigated by the FCC.