Saturday, December 29, 2012

Does Comcast care?

I’ve been planning to write a post about Comcast with the words “rip off” in the title, but I changed my mind when a customer service rep successfully helped me with a problem. Last week I DSCF5854 contacted @comcastcares via Tweetdeck. The first rep who responded offered a remedy that didn’t work. Later I tweeted again and @comcastwill provided the correct solution in one try. Go, Will!

Other than that one day, I stay miffed about Comcast mainly because of the cost. My issue with the amount of money I spend for Internet and cable services began to boil again when I discovered a new customer I know pays less than I do, but has more channels. (More about that in a minute.) It’s particularly maddening because they don’t offer any options to help me cut costs and save money.

In 2003, when I first signed on with Comcast, I had  phone, Internet and cable services. About a year later I no longer used the home phone regularly and turned off that service   As things worsened for me financially – I was pregnant with my fourth child, separated from my then husband and the economy had taken a turn for the worse – I called to cancel my cable to further reduce expenses. I needed the Internet to make money, but cable seemed like a luxury. I was surprised to discover an Internet-only package costs more than having both.

Recently I found out my daughter, the new customer, pays about $45 a month for cable plus two premium channels  and Internet. I pay about triple that without premium channels so I called again to see if  there are deals or plan changes for current customers that would  reduce my bill. Still nothing.

On top of fees, surcharges, taxes, etc., the luxury of Internet access and cable television is costing more than necessities. Since that’s the case I should really take advantage of the services, right? So I checked their website about adding HBO. If you want that service they’ll happily add it for $10 per month plus a connection fee. If you decide you don’t want it any longer they’ll kindly charge you a disconnect fee. Didn’t someone just enter information into a computer and the computer sent a message that activated the service? Seems like I’d be paying for someone to push a button. Isn’t that what they pay their hourly employees for? That person must get the 10 bucks in their pocket. (You do know I’m being sarcastic, right?)

From where I’m standing, Comcast doesn’t care about their customers. I have yet to see a change made that doesn’t involve increased rates or expenses. For instance, the digital television switch supposedly prevented me from using my DVR as my cable receiver and continue to have the ability to record shows, which I had been doing for some time. In order to do that I would have to purchase their DVR and pay for the service.

This company is an adequate representation of the direction this nation is going in. It’s all about the bottom line… of the accounting ledger, not appreciation for the loyalty of longtime customers.