Comcast: the only reason we're not ripping you off is that you recorded us

Tim David called Comcast to report that his self-installation after a move was running into troubles and was promised a no-charge service call.

But after the call, Comcast sent him a bill for $181.94. After more than an hour on hold for a supervisor, he was given a high-pressure wheeler-dealer patter offering some credit and some freebies that would partially offset the bill. Finally, he played back the recording of the original rep's promise of a free service call, and the supervisor agreed to waive the charge:

The rep promises to look into the issue then call back in up to an hour. She eventually calls back later than planned, and after escalating his call one final time she tells him that the full $82 will actually be credited back to his account.

When Davis asks why she couldn’t simply do that during the earlier call, her explanation is enough to make you pound your head through a wall in frustration.

“We try to negotiate, and again, that is a valid charge,” she answers. “But since I advised my manager that there is a recording and you were misinformed, then she’s the one who can approve that $82.”

Seemingly flabbergasted, Davis asks to confirm, “You’re telling me that if I didn’t have a recording of that call, you wouldn’t have been able to do it?”

“Yes, that is correct,” answers the rep, confirming that the only way to get Comcast to erase a bogus charge from your account is to have recorded evidence that you were promised in advance that the call would be free.

Comcast Tells Customer The Only Reason He’s Getting Bogus Charges Refunded Is Because He Recorded Call [Chris Morran/Consumerist]

Notable Replies

  1. Back when I used to get telemarketing calls all the time, they would typically say "this call may be recorded for blah blah blah" (and I would reply "that's OK, I'm recording this call too!" Most of the time they would insist that was against their policy, and abruptly end the call.)

    So in this case I bet Comcast does have a recording of the call somewhere, and could verify that he was promised a free service call, but of course why would they do that.

  2. If only we had a agency, federal maybe, that could do something about companies that abuse their customers this way. Unfortunately, we live in the US and no such agency exists.


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