Man, people really do not like Comcast. And now, thanks to Baltimore-based blog CityExplainer, we know a little bit more about why.
It's no secret that Comcast has a pretty rough reputation for customer service. With that in mind, the team over at CityExplainer had the idea to file a Freedom of Information Act request with the FCC to see how many people had filed complaints about Comcast, and why.
The answers: a lot, and for just about every reason you can think of.
The FCC responded with all customer complaints about Comcast from April to June. Comcast customers filed more than 2,000 individual complaints over that span. That's an awful lot of people who think the folks at Comcast aren't doing their job.
2,000 complaints is too many to read, so we flipped through them and pulled out the best ones for your enjoyment. Let's dive in!
I moved and was told by Comcast that it would be a “self-service” move. Moving day arrived and everything was seamless. Fast forward two weeks later.
I started working, I work from home, and at 9:30 on Monday morning my connection drops. I call COMCAST and that is when things get interesting.
For the first hour I was transferred 15 times. For the second hour I waited for a call back. For the third hour I was hung up on three times. I am currently on my fourth hour and and waiting again.
I have been told: my account was described, my bill was over-due, my bill is not overdue, that I have three addresses listed, no one can help me, that I should have called back, that I have faulty equipment… It goes on and on and on.
I do not know what to do do get help with a connection. No one at this company seems to be able to help get my connection re-established.
If your customers have time to write up an FCC complaint while they're on hold with you, then you may be taking too long to address their concerns.
Of course, you're not supposed to have to call Comcast at all. They have a live chat to resolve issues, but plenty of the complaints had some unkind words for that system as well:
My e-mail was unaccessable. LIVE CHAT, what a joke. 3 1/2 hours of the person who had to be just hitting the most frequent STANDARD answer buttons with a 15 minute delay between each answer:
1) Thank you for that information
2) I am now resetting your e-mail…
3) Sorry for the delay…
4) Please try again…
Back to #1, #2, #3 & #4 over and over. I even asked if they realized how many times they repeat themselves.
Friday afternoon at work and that was all I got over and over and over. Someone who was being paid by the hour to just hit buttons. I repeatedly asked to speak to someone, NOPE! I gave the person my phone number, no one called back.
Unfortunately I wiped out the live chat in frustration when I hit the exit key!!!
Remember that bit about Comcast failing to call when they said they would. That will come back in our most epic installment.
Anyway, this next one is great:
Internet down for last week helpdesk is helpless. 2 service requests cr454281557 cr454347921. No technician has showed up.
“Helpdesk is helpless” is absolute poetry.
A recurring theme in the complaints was Comcast's policies for areas that they do not yet service. Comcast's strategy is to get the people currently living there to pay for all of the necessary line extensions, and then to begin charging them as usual:
I live at ***** in South Lyon MI. All internet providers contracted to this area have refused to service my address despite all lines being present on my street. Comcast is the contracted provider for my township. They have stated that for a mere $12,000.00 they will run a line to the main street to my street, Johns Rd.
I live in a major urban area, 10 minutes from 12 Oaks Mall. 3 minutes from Target, Walmart, Sam's Club, Lowes, HomeDepot, Meijers, and many other restaurant and shopping facilities. Two major high schools are at the ends of the main road within 1-2 miles from my street. A country golf club is across the street from mine.
This one mile of road has been ignored and neglected by the contracted cable company Comcast. They have repeatedly tried to extort thousands of dollars from the more than 20 families who have tried to get service. This is outrageous that these multi million dollar companies will not service their contracted areas and provide basic internet service, which I understand is considered a basic utility in this day and age.
I am requesting assistance to obtain this basic service at the same cost and rates as every one else this provider is contracted to serve.
A couple of the complaints cited laws on the subject and did the math out – Comcast's billing totals and schedules were often incorrect (Comcast wanted a few customers to pay entirely up-front, but it seems that's not the law). Yikes.
Speaking of outrageous bills:
Ticket: # 257843 – Comcast committing extortion
I moved into this apartment in February 2014. In March 2015, I contacted Comcast about getting internet service. They are refusing to give me service unless I pay an old tenant's delinquent bill. Apparently, the bill has been delinquent since 2009. I didn't even move to FL until 2011. I feel that they are committing illegal activity. Is it not illegal to not provide a public utility to me because I refuse to pay a stranger's delinquent bill? I cannot legally be held responsible for a stranger's old bills. Comcast needs to pay for their crime.
I couldn't resist including the title in this one. EXTORTION! But, really, what else can you call it?
I didn't bother to include the entire complaint for the next one, but I'll let this excellent sub-heading from it introduce the next subject:
NOW FOR THE INEPTNESS OF SERVICE
That is a very excellent use of a sub-heading!
You'll want to strap in for this next one:
Called Comcast May 5th to set up new service, they said they would be sending a technician. So far
1st appointment: Tech tells me he can not connect the service and he will call supervisor to come and
take a look
2nd appointment: Supervisor comes to house and tells me that I need an “MDU” line. He says he will
have someone call me to make this speacial intallation appointment.
NO ONE CALLS ME
I call them: Said what happened and that supervisor was going to have someone call me to make
appointment for the MDU line hook up but no one ever called me to make the appointment. They tell
me not to worry that they will have someone come out to do it.
3rd Appointment: Another Tech comes out and tells me again he can't connect it and he will call the
I get on the phone with the supervisor (Olaf is his name) and he says “Oh it's you again? No one ever
called you? Let me send the email again so they can call you.”
NO ONE EVER CALLS ME
I call again comacast and now ask to speak to a superviso, who apologizes for the trouble and makes
an appointment to connect the MDU line hook up.
4th Appointment: The guy shows up but has a problem entering my neighborhood gate and says he
will be back in 1 hour.
NEVER SHOWS UP
I call Comcast again and ask to speak to another Supervisor.
He apologizes and tells me he will have someone call me to make an appointment for the MDU line.
NO ONE CALLS ME
Whew! You still with us? If you're keeping track at home, that was four appointments, three times that Comcast was supposed to call and did not, and one amazing moment where the technician just left for no reason and never came back. Wow!
The FCC seemed to be able to help some of these people – some of the emails back and forth were quite cordial. But that's boring, so let's look at one complainer who was not satisfied that the FCC did their due diligence:
Follow-up message by Consumer on 5/19/2015 11:02:44 PM:
ANY ******* IDIOT COULD LOOK AT THEIR RECORDS AND SEE THAT THEY ARE A
******* GOD DAMN THIEF YOU ******* FAKE FRAUD ******* SYSTEM NEVER
ONCE!!!!!! NEVER DID YOU ******* ONCE FUCKING YOU ******* FRAUD FAKE
SYSTEM!!!!!! YOU NEVER ******* ONCE LOOKED AT ONE ******* THING GOD *******
DAMN IT!!!!!!!!! YOU FAKE ******* FRAUD ******* SYSTEM YOU FAKE *******
PANDERERS!!!!!! GOD ******* DAMN IT!!!!!!
Even when the FCC was successful, that wasn't always the end of the story. Check out this horror story from a customer who get a billing change through FCC intervention – only to see Comcast jack up the price again as soon as the government looked the other way:
March 6 after complaining to you I was told by a Comcast representative my bill would be $39.99
minus a $15.00 discount until August 21st. Now after you have close that case they do not know
anything about what they told me on March 6th, and they have changed my billing amount yet again.
Unbelievable. There were also tons of complains about Comcast throttling speeds, which ranged from the paranoid (one customer thought that Comcast was waiting until he used speed test to change his Internet speeds and cover their tracks) to the more legitimate, like this one:
My family pays for 150 megabits/second for Internet and I ran a few speed tests and I've gotten
speeds from anywhere to 9 to 30 megabits.
Speeds were great when we were upgraded to the new modem. They were verging on about 130
megabits which is fine. I understand that you can't always hit your top speeds. But not even 2 weeks
later, I noticed speeds were much slower than Comcast promised.
Now I run speed tests maybe 2 months after we upgraded our internet, and I can never get anywhere
close to 150 megabits. It always seems to cap at 30 which is completely unacceptable. It's frustrating
how Comcast thinks they can get away with this. I won't even go into detail about how slow our
internet was before we upgraded. All I'll say is that is was far slower than what we were paying for.
Nine megabits per second when you're paying for 150. That is absolutely stunning.
We'll leave you with this final gem:
Hello respected human,
I am a resident of public housing in Ramsey new jersey,I want to know that we have no competition
in internet,tv and phone service,we have been dealing with cablevision which increases there prices
every year and I have no choice. I am not allowed to have a dish by housing authority.
On top of that I am paying cable $100.00 a month without most TV channels,
I am forced to watch cable vision ads while paying them (matterfact i should be paid by cable
company to let them advertise to consumers who is paying them). Also this how they advertise to
waste there money to charge consumers more, in that sense i should not have to watch Verizon
advertisement is well caz they can not provide me service here.
Since this is the age of target advertisement why both companies are wasting millions of their ad
money on me, they advertise low price packages and then cable vision tells me, I am not their target
Another point I want to bring to your notice CELL phone companies give you 30 day money back
guarantee but we consumers don't get the 1st bill in a month also 30 day guarantee was when they
were offering contract for 1 year only now minimum contract is for 2 years, satisfaction guarantee
should be for 3 months now.
I hope I made some valid points and consumers could benefit from it.
Ramsey NJ 07446
Dear respected humans: please avoid Comcast at all costs.