Sunday, July 02, 2006

Comcast Cable Vs. Consumers

Nothing bugs me more than all the money that Comcast Cable spends on attack ads against digital dish services. With so much negative attacks ads you would expect that Comcast would offer a really great quality product. But this is hardly the case. The quality of their service in the Portland, Oregon area varies greatly depending on weather and many times during the day. Some channels such the 2, the local ABC channel is so incredibly bad in quality, that you need an a VCR in another room to tape off the air with an old fashioned 1950's rooftop antenna if you wanted to catch that last NBA playoff game or that last night's episode of Nightline.

And my complaint's of rotten product quality pale against even worse experiences with Comcast. My sister who is an RN, fell on some lean times recently when she broke a hip and required a hip replacement surgery. She was unable to work for months until her doctor considered her able to do normal duties of her job such as moving patients. She fell a few days behind on her cable bill, and right away Comcast demanded entry into her apartment and not only disconnectec her cable service, but even cut up cable connections to her TV that were her property, not that of Comcast. Destruction of property not owned by Comcast is a consumer outrage. Some cable, DVD and VCR connections can be sort of expensive, and it is not the duty of Comcast to vandalize private property of consumers. Next to breaking legs, this seems like a real strong arm business practice. A person has a right to run a cable to their VCR or TV. A person is paying for the services.

After the $60 bill was paid, Comcast has not reconnected the service. Instead each day makes a harrassment call to demand payment that only stops when you tell them for the millionth time that this bill has been paid. Check their records.

And the consumer complaint's against Comcast are not particular to just the Portland, Oregon area. A consumer Website, The Rip Off Report or Bad Business Burea has complaint's listed all across the U.S. at local Comcast providers. An individual named Mark who lives in a Dallas suburb has a complaint that he even carried to the PUC officer that regulates his local Comcast that they failed to honor the advertised promotional upgrade price that was advertised. So far this consumer has received no "ethical" response from Comcast.

A Maryland consumer of Comcast had problems with the company seeking rental fees for unnecessary equipment, as normal nonpremuim or nondigital cable only requires a cable ready TV or VCR to pick up the signal. For many cable consumers this is entirely adequate and no extra monthy fees for a cable box are required. But this local Comcast made it difficult for this consumer to get consumer service and made consumer entry to their consumer service difficult by an unfair"password" roadblock. Paying consumers find it difficult to get needed service due to this roadblock.

Another Maryland consumer had serious service problems with nearly nonexistent service for two months before a second tech finally corrected the problem. They also purchased the Comcast internet service as well. But Comcast expected full payment for the two months in which no usable service was available to this consumer either with cable or Internet, and then shut off their service for "nonpayment" when the consumer refused to pay for the two months of delay fixing their broken service.

A Georgia consumer, Jennifer found out it took three months for her cable installer to show up and wanted double the quoted price. Another Georgia consumer, had problems with only one cable box brought out when they ordered two, and not all channels were available as promised. This angry consumer had nothing but diffulty and finally went to a dish installation instead, and is now very satisfied.

And Comcast continues to bill different customers different prices for the same services. It is as if the regular customers are having to unfairly pay more on their bills to subsidize promotional offers by Comcast. This seems highly unethical.

Comcast is one of the big cable TV providers who are involved in a lobby of Congress to change cable service regulations in their favor. Comcast nationwide seems to have buckets of money to spend to lobby Congress or to run attack ads against dish provider services. But it would be nice if at least part of this money would be better spent on improved customer services and easing consumer complaints. It is no wonder that cable TV service is one of the biggest areas of consumer complaint's.


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