Thursday, October 29, 2009

Copy of my letter to Comcast Customer Service

UPDATE: A customer service agent with the authority/ability to take care of this from their Twin Cities office called me a few hours after I sent this. They re-pulled my credit report and told me I wouldn't have to pay a deposit. I have cable and internet (finally) at the new house. Nice of Comcast to save the relationship - though they should empower their front line reps a little more so that I don't have to go to these lengths. I also feel bad for people who don't use Twitter/etc and don't know about these channels.

I've had Comcast for Cable and Internet for the past 7 years. They've been pretty good to work with overall, despite the horror stories that I've heard and read at various places around the Internet. I finally have a story of my own. I downplayed the "setting up the new account at an address with former service still installed" aspect in this letter, because that was finally resolved (and partially the fault of the incompetent non-profit that I bought the home from). But that saga was pretty terrible with 2 reps never calling me back and finally a third that was helpful. Clearly their reps need more training on what to do in these scenarios.

I'm proceeding with Comcast for now, but I'm hoping that this letter gets somebody's attention. I sent it via email to their executive customer service which seems to be pretty reponsive on Twitter, etc.

Hello, I am hoping you can help me understand and rectify the current situation I am in with your company.

To preface, I’ve been a satisfied customer of Comcast for 7 years, since May of 2002 when I moved into my home in Eagan, Minnesota. For the most part, I have been a satisfied customer of Internet and Cable services – a few glitches here and there, but Comcast has always been helpful in resolving in a timely manner when we've had issues. I now have a situation that needs attention, because I am being asked to pay a deposit on my new account in order to receive service. I believe this may be a systemic/administrative error that was simply overlooked.

My wife and I sold our townhome in August of this year where we had Comcast Service for 7 years and moved into a temporary apartment while we searched for a new house. I transferred service to this apartment successfully. We did have an issue with bill payment – the debit service for bill payment was not set up in time to capture my first bill at the new address and as a result was not debited from my account in a timely manner, even though I was told by an online rep (transcript available) and a phone rep that it wouldn’t be a problem and would be debited on time when I inquired. I rectified this situation after I started receiving shut off notices, and realized that Comcast wasn’t going to debit my account unless I told them to, even though they already had my debit info, it was setup on my account, and my account had been debited for the last 7 years.

I called Comcast’s local center in the Twin Cities on Saturday October 10th in preparation for the move to my new home in Minneapolis Minnesota. I did not think I would have issues with this transfer since I had just done one with relatively few problems. I was wrong.

I purchased the property at (personal info omitted) a few weeks prior from (personal info omitted). They had used the house for institutional purposes and apparently had never shut off service to the property as a part of their bulk commercial account. I was originally informed of this by a representative around noon on Saturday the 10th of October. I never heard back from that original rep or a subsequent rep that I talked to later that day.

By Tuesday afternoon when I hadn’t heard from anybody, I called the main Comcast Twin Cities number again and began talking to a third sales representative (Michele) in your Twin Cities office. At this point, I admit that I was a little perturbed because it had been 4 days since I had originally inquired about setting up new service, and it didn’t seem like anybody really wanted to help me get that set up.

Michele was very helpful and understanding, and was actually the first person at Comcast that seemed to actually care about the customer. She placed a call to the commercial group who told her to set up a new account instead of transferring my service and they’d take care of the shutdown of the old.

I was also asked to fax in proof that I owned the property. I understand why, and provided the Hennepin County Tax assessors record from their website, which already showed that I was the property owner (and is publicly searchable). Once I faxed that in, Michele called me back and we set up new service with an appointment for the following week (today, almost a week after I originally wanted service set up, due to the delays in shutting off the old account).

Imagine my surprise when a letter appears in my mailbox a few days ago, telling me that I would need to make a deposit to Comcast in order to acquire service, due to something found on my credit report from Equifax. It noted that it had been mentioned in my call to set up service, which it never was. I was also never informed of a credit check being re-done with my information. In response to this, I pulled a copy of my credit report from Equifax and have no accounts with negative standing or in collections. I also see no inquiries by Comcast in the recent past. I believe whatever credit check was done on me may have been done incorrectly.

Michele gave me her number to call her back if I had any issues. I left her a voicemail on this issue and never received a call back. It was disappointing to me since her service was otherwise excellent. I can only hope she's on vacation or otherwise out of the office.

I finally called the general Comcast number today to find out more information about this deposit levied against me, since the letter made no mention of the amount and it hadn’t been mentioned in my initial call. I was told it was going to be $200.00 and would be returned to me once I established a clean payment history. Since I’m technically trying to transfer my service from my account that I’ve had for 7 years and have never had a late payment other than the one that was the result of the billing error I described at the beginning of this letter, I’m a little stunned that I’m now being subjected to this treatment. I just purchased the property at which this service is being installed and at that time, had a very good credit history and received a prime loan from a well known national lender.

I’m hoping this is some kind of administrative mistake. I believe that my credit information may have been improperly pulled by Comcast which is what is causing this error. I have a copy of my credit report and I'm willing to fax it to Comcast to help rectify this error. I’m going to go ahead and pay the $200.00 deposit today to set up my service, but I’m also looking at other options for service. I have two other options (DSL and city WIFI) for internet, and other television options involving sat dish. I think it’s pretty obvious that I’m a fan of Comcast’s quality of their internet and cable service and a lot of people would have completely given up on Comcast by now. I would like to continue my service, but I'd also like this deposit refunded as soon as possible.

My account is under phone number (personal details omitted)

Thank you for your time,

Bill Kinney

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


That's the phrase that my friends and I honed in on from this Fanhouse Dugout column of spring training 2008. For those of you not familiar, Dugout is a mock IM session (AOL Style)between baseball notables. The guys that write it started off by constantly mocking Jim Thome (late of the Dodgers, but it started when he was with the Indians). It made fun of Thome's midwestern-golly gee ness (whether Thome actually acts that ridiculous is a point of contention, for sure) and general dopey nature.

At any rate, the column tends to have a pretty acidic sense of humor. The Twins spring training preview of '08 featured the arrival of Delmon Young with some classic lines as "Boom Bitch", and Delmon saying "ya gat dam right i play in at huh-huh-huh metradomez, in they outfield they got got trash bags son, trash bags ".

So it's been fun to watch his surge of power over the last week, considering he's played way under his potential virtually the whole time he's been here.

I'm a lot higher on the Twins now than I was a few weeks ago. I'd hasten to say that I've been a bit fairweather this year. But there have been plenty of teams with the momentum come October that won it all and didn't necessarily play the best 162-game ball. And the Twins definitely have that momentum. Gleeman covers it here in great detail. It's pretty amazing when you read that, what they've done without Morneau and Crede in the lineup.

Excited to watch the last few innings of the game today. Go Twins!