To lowly me in Alameda, Comcast staff reaches out

Yesterday, I had four…make that five different communications from Comcast staff, each one a Comcast employee wanting to make sure my phone service had been properly restored. The first, around ten in the morning, was a phone call from a customer service manager in Hayward. He and I spoke at length about the timeline of my wait Monday. I explained the conflicting messages I got from Comcast folks. He explained how their system works. I asked for a day’s credit for the day without phone service, he said he’d give me two. Very kind.

The second communication was a call—which came in while I was on the phone with the man from Hayward—from a Comcast supervisor in what I think is the AP&T/Comcast transition office in Concord. (I had talked to someone in that office near the end of the day Monday.) By way of apology, the second Comcast caller offered to include me on a year’s free Starz channel promotion…after a year I’ll have to cancel or pay. “You like movies?” he asked. “Sure,” I said.

The third communication from Comcast was a comment posted on this blog by a corporate communications rep. He was checking to see if all was well with my phone service and I commented back to him…yes it is.

And the fourth communication was a message left on my phone by a Comcast rep, Frank, from Philadelphia.

Each caller yesterday was friendly and helpful, and I learned some details of how service calls are made. Apparently Comcast has a ‘dynamic’ dispatch method, which I understand to mean that until they actually head to your house, no tech in particular is assigned to a particular service call…there’s an ongoing shuffling of customers and techs to minimize tech downtime. But what I found infuriating as I was waiting Monday, was the refusal of one of the people I talked to respond dynamically to the information I was giving her. I get that the tech’s time is valuable; I consider the mine to be valuable as well.

In any case, this all leads me to believe that if you’re struggling with a Comcast issue it makes good sense to post your story on the Internet. Or maybe everyone with scheduling troubles gets four five follow ups? (The last call came in around 5 p.m. and was from the first Comcast rep, just double checking that all is well phone-service-wise.) Yes, my phone is still working. Yay! And the cable and internet access are working well, too.

As yet, I haven’t called the Philadelphia caller back, though I may try him later. In any case, I have his number. For right now, as happy as I am to have phone service back, I am tired of talking about my adventure in waiting for Comcast.


  • Sue T.

    Hi Eve: a reporter named Bob Garfield (host of NPR’s “On the Media”) started a web site last year called Comcast Must Die for people to tell their horror stories about the company. Eventually, it became clear that anyone who posted their tale of woe on the site would get immediate support from the company, as long as they included their account number. Garfield wound up “declaring victory” over the company, which he called “a vast, greedy, blundering, tone-deaf corporate colossus which, in one short year, has seen the light. Now it is now merely a vast, greedy, blundering corporate colossus.” It sounds like taking your concerns online is the best way to reach this company, odd as that seems.

  • Eve Pearlman

    Thanks, Sue. I did not know about the Comcast Must Die site, here’s the url comcastmustdie.com (though the site is no longer active). I have certainly had good results (but for Monday’s day of waiting/trying to communicate with them) with posting my story on the internet).

    To Comcast, I say they need a system that works dynamically on the customer side as well as the tech side…and there must be a way for customers to communicate directly with someone who actually has information/authority/knowledge about their service And, of course, it would be nice to communicate with the same person more than once. Without personal responsibility/follow through, all the electronics in the world don’t add up to good customer service. My experience revealed a lot of good intentions all hamstrung by an inefficient system.

  • Vivian de St. Vrain

    Humm; I have continuing trouble with Comcast, and hmm, I have a blog. Hmm. I think I might be getting an idea.

  • Patty

    Hi Eve!
    I felt like I should leave a comment about contacting Comcast an hour ago…
    I am an Alameda resident and just received (yesterday) paperwork about the transition dates. The paperwork also stated that my AlamedaNET Basic (which is what I’ve always have with AP&T) will be $38.99/mo for 12 months, $42.95 after. This is cheaper than the $50 I’m paying right now. Sounded too good to be true! It took about 15 minutes for the comcast guy on the phone to understand what I was asking for. He even went as far as to add up my current bill, telling me that it comes to $50. Um, yes, I know….so what about this new offer. I told him to refer to the paperwork just sent. We were talking apples and oranges for quite some time that I was starting to get nightmare flashbacks of talking to Sprint customer service. Ack! After 20 minutes, we were on the same page and he set up an appointment for Comcast to come my house.

    I am hoping and praying that my bill doesn’t show up with some crazy fees or anything out of the norm. I even went as far as to have him repeat, not once, but TWICE my “new” rate info. I’m sure he thought I was little crazy but I didn’t feel so confident when i got off the phone. *sigh*

  • Lena Tam

    Patty — My experience with Comcast’s billing has been horrendous. First I received one bill for over $273 (and my bills with cable and internet) was usually around $136 with APT and it’s been current. I call to get them to get it corrected. Then I get several past dues notices, and two days ago I got a bill for $1,320! I called again, but by this time, my confidence in their ability to straightened out their records have waned.

  • Steph

    We also received a past due notice, after our check was returned because the account number was invalid(which, of course, was not something we had control over, we just sent in the payment stub we received in the mail). They claim they will credit the late fee back to us, and resolve the issues, but I will be keeping close tabs.

  • Doug

    Initially I thought my switch over went without hitch, but now I am finding a lot of problems popping up – a lot of channels that I should be getting, I am not getting. After several calls to technical support (unplug the set….. now plug it back in) I now have a technician coming out tomorrow with a 4 hour window given. Hearing the other horror stories, I am not too hopeful.

  • Jan G

    I’m posting my experience with Comcast here so when I get the inevitable late fee I can document that I tried, really tried to pay my bill.
    I made the switch from AP&T TV and Internet to Comcast a couple of weeks ago. The billing has been all over the place, and even after signing up with Comcast I was unable to get a written version of what I’d signed up for, either on paper or on their website.
    So yesterday I went down to the Comcast office to pay a bill that was due that day, and to confirm what service I was paying for.
    It was 12:40 p.m. and there were several people in line ahead of me. Everyone seemed to have rather complicated problems that involved wrong this and wrong that. After 35 minutes in line (thank goodness for video games on the cell phone), I finally got a human to help me. I gave her my check with the bill for about $82. After consulting the computer for several minutes she told me I really owed $11. I started writing the check, but then she said the system was saying I owed $54. She then advised me to wait for another bill in the mail, which should be more accurate than anything she could pull up. I mentioned that the bill in my hand from Comcast said I owed $82 and would I end up with a late fee? No, she said, it will be fine to pay the bill that comes in the mail. We’ll see. I’m betting on late fee.

  • I. Vol

    I am just about to burst with dealing with comcast for 5 months. Every month i paid the bill, and every month the statement shows no payments received. I called the customer service every month-they cannot fix the problem and would not let me talk to a manger. I went to the Alameda office, and they cannot fix the problem either. I do not want my credit go bad, because of their mistake. I got to the point i am hopeless and do not know what to do-should i take them to small claim court-that they bouble billing me for months? Does anybody have any idea what else can be done ? Shame on comcast!!

  • Mike

    The latest thing Comcast has done to piss me off is apparently called “DNS Hijacking”. I mistyped a URL in my browser, and instead of a oops, you goofed error, I got a comcast search page full of ads. Arrrrrg! In order to have a functioning marketplace, doesn’t there need to be competition? As far as I know, Comcast is the only cable option in town.