One Comcast customer and YouTube user is the latest to go public with his tale of injustice at the hands of the cable company's customer service agents.
Yesterday, Tim Davis (a pseudonym) posted a 14-minute video detailing how the company promised him he wouldn't be charged for something, charged him anyway, and then refused to undo the charges until Davis revealed that he had recorded the initial call.
"What have we learned today? Well for one thing, always record your calls with big companies," Davis says in the end of the video.
Basically, Davis moved from one Comcast service area to another and completed the self-install according to Comcast's instructions. When the service got spotty, he called Comcast. He was told it was a problem on the company's end and assured that a technician visit would not result in charges because it was an "outside issue."
The tech came and the issue was resolved. But the following month, Davis received a bill for about $182 in charges for the "failed self install" and, mysteriously, a wireless network setup he says never occurred.
After a few rounds with customer service agents, Davis is informed that $100 of the charges were actually offset by "discounts" on his bill, but he's still on the hook for $82. He ends up on the phone with a customer service agent who repeatedly claims the charges are valid and that she cannot credit him the full amount.
She offers a $60 credit on his internet service, which would have brought his obligation down to $22, but Davis insists the charges were not valid and demands a full refund. He plays the recording of his initial call, in which an agent says there will be no charge for the technician's visit.
After listening to the recording, the rep promises to get back to him within an hour. Roughly 90 minutes later, she does. The full amount is credited to Davis's account because, she says, she told her supervisor that there was a recording of the call. "Since I advised my manager that there is a recording, and you were misinformed, then she is the one who can approve that $82 credit."
"You're telling me that if I didn't have a recording of that call, you wouldn't have been able to do it?" Davis asks.
"Yes, that is correct," she says.
The story is now circulating on Reddit and various media outlets, but Davis's experience is hardly unusual. Last week, Dann Furia blogged about his Comcast nightmare, which involved $1,320 in charges, 17 phone calls, and six appointments. Similar stories abound in the Comcast subreddit, which is for "venting about your shitty experiences with Comcast."
The Verge also received a number of these stories from frustrated customers who have been following the Comcast Confessions series, which is about the underlying issues that lead to bad customer service at the cable company. Many stories spanned months of frustration over things like unburied wires after half-finished installations, long hold times — one gentleman says the department he was waiting to speak with actually closed while he was on hold — and unexpected charges.
Davis's story comes roughly three weeks after AOL exec Ryan Block published a frustrating call with Comcast that has been listened to more than 5 million times. Comcast, which has proposed a merger with Time Warner Cable that would increase its subscriber base by more than a third, says improving customer service is "one of our number one priorities."
Update, 3:30PM: Comcast sent a statement: "This is not the type of experience we want our customers to have, and we will reach out to Mr. Davis to apologize to him. Our policy is not to charge for service visits that are related to problems with our equipment or network. We are looking into this to understand what happened and why it happened."