0 For 25:
Contacting Comcast is an Exercise in Futility

By Dann Furia - 8/6/14

I had to contact Comcast 25 times in the past six months.
The result: Comcast was 0 for 25 in resolving anything.
I blogumented my sordid trek through vast swaths of customer service nether regions, often while I was waiting on hold.


  • Spanning 6 months, 17 phone calls, 6 appointments, $1320 in fees, and 20 hours of my time.

The Basics:

  • Fifteen failed attempts to get Comcast to fix my service
  • Seven failed attempts to dispute $360 in erroneous "Unreturned Equipment" fees
  • Three failed attempts to close my account and dispute a $960 Termination Fee

Subplot #1 - Evidence that it may just be impossible to avoid Comcast's Unreturned Equipment fees

  • In a thorough effort to preemptively avoid Comcast's notorious "Unreturned Equipment" fees, I recorded myself properly returning all of Comcast's equipment. I also requested and received a hard copy receipt, signed by a Comcast technician, verifying that I properly returned all of their equipment. Despite all that, I was charged $360 in Unreturned Equipment fees and I remain unable to get the fees removed from my account.

*Update - on 8/12/14 I utilized a Buzzfeed Post in order to further document this aspect of my story.

Subplot #2 - Icing on a Caca Cake

  • The $960 Termination Fee feels a bit shady-nasty, because I went to great lengths to get Comcast to fix my service before I gave up and closed my account. Oh, and also because I was a loyal Comcast customer for six years - from July 2008 through July 2014 - during which time I gave them $10,400. Thank you, Comcast, for the additional $960 parting gift you cleverly gave yourself from me.


The optimistic conclusion is that Comcast's support system has gone 0 for 25, inadvertently failing to help the same customer 25 consecutive times.

A less palatable possibility is that they are actually 25-0, in route to pitching a perfect game of - as Bill Maher aptly puts it - "Annoying you out of your money, wearing you down until you're too weak to complain, and then when you just can't go on, charge you for early cancellation. Or just make something up and put it on a bill and hope no one notices."

Regardless, I hope this blog will serve as my 26th and final attempt to gain some closure on the closure of my Comcast account.

Disclaimer: It is my sincere hope that no Comcast employees are harmed in the making of this blog. That is to say - with absolute sincerity - I hope Comcast does not publicly or privately reprimand or punish anyone who was involved in handling my account. In my opinion that would be a very unjust response to my blog post, which - in a desperate, last ditch effort to resolve a long-standing matter - highlights flaws in Comcast’s system and structure, NOT in their service employees.

0 For 25: The long, boring version of 25 consecutive interactions with Comcast, included for the sake of posterity.

#1 -1/16/14: I called Comcast to complain about two months of slow and interrupted internet service. Comcast: “the signal went through OK so it’s probably the outside lines. I’ll send a technician.”

#2 - 1/21/14: A Comcast technician came to my home to fix my internet but said he did not have time to diagnose or fix the problem today. Comcast tech: “I’m going to give you a new cable modem but it’s most likely not going to fix your problem. I’m very sorry. I recommend you call the office and try again later.”

#3 & #4 - February through April, 2014: I called Comcast two more times and attempted to have them resolve the internet issues over the phone. A very temporary solution was provided but it did not last more than two days.

#5 – Mid-June, 2014: I called Comcast and requested that they send a technician to my home to fix continued internet service interruptions.

#6 – 6/17/14: A Comcast technician came to my home to fix my internet, but when he arrived he politely said he could not work on my internet because he was not trained to work on a home that has Comcast’s Home Security System. “They should have sent somebody else. I’ll call my supervisor right away and have him set up another appointment for you.”

#7 – 6/18/14 – A Comcast technician (the same tech who came to my home yesterday) called my cell and said he had arranged for a Comcast supervisor to come to my home on 6/21/14 between 9am and 11am.

#8 – On or around 6/19/14, a Comcast “Advance(d) team” employee called me twice to try to troubleshoot the internet issue over the phone. We spoke once but he was unable to resolve my internet issue over the phone and he assured me that a technician would still come to my home as planned in two days. I also received a notice in my online Comcast account confirming the upcoming 6/21/14 appointment.

#9 -6/21/14: Comcast appointment 9AM to 11AM – NO SHOW.

#10 – 6/21/14: At 10:40 AM I called Comcast to check on the status of my 9am to 11am appointment timeframe. Comcast “The tech is very nearby and will likely arrive by 11am.” (8 min phone call).

#11 – 6/21/14: At 11:40 AM I called Comcast a second time today to check on the status of my 9am to 11am appointment timeframe. I was told that the tech was very close to my home and that I would receive a $20 credit for the missed appointment window (9 min phone call).

#12 – 6/21/14: At 12:40 PM I called Comcast a third time today to inquire about my 9am to 11am appointment window. I firmly requested that they send someone immediately and I was under the impression that my appointment window was now 11am to 1pm or 12pm to 2pm, though I was not certain what was really going on. (16 min phone call).

#13 – 6/21/14: Comcast new, vague appointment timeframe 11AM to 1PM-ish – NO SHOW.

#14 – 6/21/14: At 1:30 PM I called Comcast a fourth time today to tell them that no one had shown up yet. A Comcast employee told me that my timeframe was now 2pm to 6pm! (29 min phone call). I’m not gonna lie – I pretty much freaked out on this phone call.

#15 – 6/21/14: Comcast appointment timeframe 2pm to 6pm – NO SHOW.
At 9:30pm on 6/21/14 Comcast sent me an email saying I received a $20 credit for their missed appointment window. I therefore received one $20 credit for having to wait 9 hours for Comcast to ultimately never show up to my home.

#16. 6/24/14: I called Comcast to cancel my account. My effort was thwarted. A Comcast employee told me I would be charged a $960 Termination Fee if I closed my account. I firmly protested this termination fee, but to no avail. I ultimately decided to keep Comcast’s poor service rather than pay the $960 termination fee. (24 minute phone call).

#17. 7/4/14: I called Comcast again to cancel my account. A Comcast employee again told me I would be charged a $960 Termination Fee. I again firmly protested this termination fee, but again to no avail. I requested that she cancel my account and she set up a 7/12/14 appointment for a Comcast technician to come and remove all my equipment to finalize the closing of my account. (31 minute phone call). I asked the Comcast employee if she had any advice for me regarding avoiding “Unreturned Equipment Fees” that many Comcast customers complain about after canceling their accounts. She assured me not to worry since a Comcast technician would come to my home with an exact list of equipment associated with my account, remove all the equipment properly, and provide me with a receipt of the returned equipment.

#18. 7/12/14: A Comcast technician came to my home. He accessed my account in order to properly identify and remove all Comcast equipment associated with my account. I asked for and received a signed receipt from the Comcast technician, which included the serial numbers of all the equipment he removed. I recorded the audio of this entire appointment.

#19. 7/14/14: I logged onto my online account and noticed that my bill was $147 more than what I had been told ten days ago when I closed my account by phone.

#20. 7/16/14: I called Comcast to resolve the billing error noted above (7/14/14). I found out that my bill was now much worse than I thought: a Comcast Billing employee told me that my current bill now includes $360 in unreturned equipment fees. I said that I had properly returned all of the equipment and had a signed receipt. She assured me the unreturned Equipment fees would be removed within 48 hours. I recorded this conversation. (42 minute phone call).

#21. 7/19/14: I tried to log onto my Comcast account to verify that the Unreturned Equipment fees had been removed, but I could no longer gain access to my online account. (I did not try to call since I did not have 30 to 45 minutes of free time).

#22. 7/21/14 I called Comcast and checked my bill over the phone and the automated system told me my final bill was $147 more than what I had been told on 7/4/14 and $196 less than I had been told on 7/16. I recorded this.

#23. 7/21/14: I again called Comcast to speak to someone from Billing. After I waited on hold for 16 minutes, it appears in earnest that someone from Comcast accidentally disconnected my call. I recorded this (lack of) conversation. (16 minute phone call).

#24. 7/21/14 I again called Comcast and a Billing employee told me my bill said I owed $360 in unreturned equipment fees. I explained to her that a Comcast employee told me on 7/16 (5 days ago) that the fees would be removed within 48 hours. She said she had no record that I had previously disputed these fees, but she said she would investigate whether I had returned the equipment and assured me that the fees would be removed before I was sent another bill. I requested to speak with a supervisor and was told that a supervisor would call me the next day. I recorded this conversation. (43 minute phone call).

#25. 7/22/14: A Comcast Billing supervisor called me as I requested. I asked her to remove the Equipment fees and told her that 6 days ago Comcast said the fees would be gone within 48 hours. The supervisor said that she could not remove the fees but that she would make sure the matter was investigated within 3 to 5 business days. The Supervisor assured me that Comcast would not send me a bill until after they located my equipment and removed the equipment fees. She also said that the equipment should have been registered on my account as “Returned” within 24 hours of when I returned it. I recorded this conversation. (13 minute phone call).

On 7/30/14, I received my final Comcast Triple Play bill in the mail. It includes $360 in Unreturned Equipment fees. I received another bill in the mail today, 8/6/14, still with $360 of Unreturned Equipment fees, with added text in bold font that states Unpaid Balance - Due Now.

Based on two phone conversations (6/24/14 and 7/4/14) as well as a letter I received from Comcast in late-July, it is my understanding I will receive a bill for an additional $960 Termination Fee sometime after 8/12/14.