[Billing] Installation to new apartment - says balance due I'm hoping someone here can point me in the right direction. My good friend (really, not me, a friend) is about to begin renting the 2nd floor of a house.
She has never had comcast service at any address. The house she is moving from has DirecTV.
She spoke to customer service, gave all of her pertinent info (including social security number), and they started to get things in order to install the service.
After a short while, she was told that she'd have to pay HER $185 unpaid bill from 2005 for THIS new service address. She'd never lived there before and hasn't ever even had comcast before.
The rep said that it is her account, and that they're going to report it to the collection agency.
She was able to speak to a supervisor, who said that this is an issue of identity theft and that she'd need to file a police report.
That's pretty silly. What are the odds that someone had a fraudulent comcast account in her name at the same address that she'd move to seven years later?
I advised her not to file a police report since she knows this isn't a police matter, that it's the case of comcast messing something up in their system.
Seems like a previous resident didn't pay their bill and when they put in for the new service, somehow they replaced the contact info on the account with my friend's info.
So the real question is how can she get this resolved?? Comcast customer service doesn't seem to be of any help. Is there a comcast rep here who can PM me with contact info?
It could be identity theft, or the CSR might have entered the SS# incorrectly. Normally an unpaid account, from 2005, should have already been submitted to a collection agency. Your friend should also request a free credit report from the government authorized site, www.annualcreditreport.com. Everyone (including you and I) are entitled to 3 reports. TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax.
It sounds as though the CSR may have incorrectly associated your friend to the house screen, and clicked on the wrong name to begin a new account. If there is an office near by, your friend should take her credentials there for comparison.
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reply to weinberk
I am dealing with something similar currently, my dad who has the same name and knows my SSN, has used it and had run up a bill for comcast back in 2003, so right now am going to file a police report and then get comcast to drop it.
Otherwise comcast will not budge and even the execs wont budge without it. so I hope your friend can get it resolved without having to take the actions I am having too.
Thank you both for your ideas.
The tip about the association to the "house screen" is appreciated.
Wouldn't a comcast phone rep be able to see the name that was on the account 7 years ago? Does anyone have any insight as to the setup of the comcast billing system? Where should my friend tell them to look so that they can see that the name on the account as it was setup in 2005 isn't hers? Shouldn't that be sufficient to resolve this?
Is there a history screen that they have access to? How about pdf copies of old bills? Something, anything, that an authorized and reasonable person would be able to use to verify their error. That's all this is, an error, that JUST happened when they were placing the order.
Do reps in walk in offices have the ability to apply reason to fix these kind of issues?
She can prove that she's her. She can prove where she lived 7 years ago. I don't know how she could prove that she didn't also live in this other house for a short hile 7 years ago. Maybe she could get a letter from the landlord (but it seems like that could be faked). I just don't know what going to an office would do for her.
On the ID theft idea:
It's definitely not ID theft. This happened 7 years ago, she's on top of her credit, and she's fortunate to have no indication of ID theft. More than that, this account was apparently only open for 5 months and paid except for the last bill. No thief is going to take the risk and use someone else's identity at the address that the theif is actually living to establish service, pay the bills for a couple of months and then not pay the last bill. And even if someone decided to do this, its way too much of a coincidence that of all the identities in the world, or even just this county of about a million, that they'd have selected my friend's identity who would renting that same house 7 years later!
She'll make a police report if necessary, but that doesn't sound like a particularly good use of the men in blue. She knows this isn't ID theft.
I wonder if this is a way for Comcast to recover an unpaid balance for that premises.. While I am not up to speed on their current policies, I know in the past you needed to prove that you did not live at a new address when the bill(s) were generated, usually when dealing with an apartment they want a notarized lease, plus you had to prove you were living elsewhere when the bill(s) were generated - if you can't provide proof it's either pay the old bill or no service.
Now, I'm not doubting your friend never living there, in fact thanks to the dealings I had with Comcast Customer Service over the course of the past month trying to get their VOIP installed, anything is possible with their system. While not going into detail of the BS involved trying to get a phone number ported, they had managed to screw up my existing services - twice my HSI speed was downgraded to the economy tier, once I lost my HBO and Starz, and twice I started losing my HD channels. I lost the HD when somehow the programming for the boxes got reversed, the SD box had the HD codes and the HD box ended up with the SD channel codes. I came to the conclusion that either their computer "billing and provisioning" system is horribly broken or there are quite a few incompetent people working making changes to things they need not be touching.
So it's quite possible a CSR screwed up and replaced the old account info with your friend's info, and just like the robots they are, now they want her to pay for their mistake. Good luck finding someone there who can actually think.. It took 3 weeks and a call to the Executive support until I found one of them rarities.
reply to weinberk
When you place a order comcasts screen goes to the account that never changes for the house. They push a button and it goes to the last sub that lived there. They push it again and the screen goes to the person before that and so on. If the phone number or name is or was ever the same its assumed its the same person. If it really wasnt her she can still get service. She just needs to take a copy of her new lease, drivers license, and a current utility bill from her last address and head on down to her local comcast office. At this point they will probably want a security deposit at the very least. Or you go and file a police report. Not sure why you dont go that route. But no its impossible for a csr to swap the names. Those screens with the exception of the new screen are read only. Couldnt even change it if she or he wanted.
reply to weinberk
I had a milder case of this 2 years ago when I moved into an apartment and tried to get service.
I signed up for service online(which is pointless since you STILL have to call a phone # to confirm everything at the end!!!) I was told that they couldn't finalize the install because there was still an open account at this service address and I had to go to the local office. Ok fine.
Went to the office and was initially told that I would have to call Comcast, by the lady at the window! After explaining in simple words that this lady could understand, I finally got her to make a phone call to a supervisor or something, and she did something to just create a new account from scratch for me with the same promos that I got for signing up online. Thankfully I had the foresight to bring a copy of the lease showing that I legally had possession of that unit and I didn't care what the past person's account status was, that I'm living there as of this date, so open a new account for me. The lady couldn't understand why i was there 3 weeks before my lease took effect, her eyes glazed over when she saw this 20 page ironclad lease at this apartment community, lol. Once she spoke to someone on the phone and got direction though she created a new account for me from scratch and got me my equipment right there, saving an install truck roll and another trip to the office when I moved in 3 weeks which was great and worth my time/hassle on that trip to the office.
I guess I'm glad there was never mention of an unpaid balence or it would have been even harder.
And Comcast wonders why they are so disliked, it's crap like this where it is a LOT more work to legally get service than it would be to splice a line and steal service, or pay a neighbor downstairs for an extra box to use for your apartment upstairs. They make you jump through so many hoops to get legit service, it's insane.
Its not like comcast is any different than any other cable company. They all do this. Basically if they dont lose any money they are fine with ordering over the phone. Once they lose money things change. I dont blame them one bit.
reply to ak3883
She didnt make a new account from scratch. In fact a csr cant even do that. She looked at your proof and done what needed to be done. But neither a csr or a counter person at a comcast office can create a account from scratch. Accounts stay with the house or unit and just the third from last account number changes. Alomg with the name on the account.
I have set up new accounts for both Comcast and Time Warner Cable. A new customer (should) always be associated with the house screen, not a previous name or account number. Once that person has been added, the work order is created. I am not sure what you mean that a CSR cannot create an account from scratch? We are not adding an address, but it certainly is a new account.
That said, it is possible for a new CSR to make an error and restart an old account, and possible for risk assessment to be applied incorrectly.
reply to weinberk
Weinberk, you are stating your friend had ID theft 7 years ago and you disbelieve that the person might have used the name for an account, since he or she paid for 5 months. Anything can happen, so I wouldn't discount the prior id theft. As for the address, stranger things have happened. I just would not rule that out.
A new account from scratch means the account was created from nothing. Thats what the csr cant do. he can take a old account and cancel the sub out and create a new one. But no he cant create a account from scratch on a comcast system. You as a csr have the ability to view, open. and close accounts. But you cant create accounts.
reply to weinberk
Nonsense. Police departments, credit rating agencies... they're all there at the service of making Comcast's brilliant billing system "work".
She'll make a police report if necessary, but that doesn't sound like a particularly good use of the men in blue.
(What's next? Window stickers to tell firefighters how many cable boxes have to be saved??)
I gotta say -- telling a customer they're stuck unless they pay a complete stranger's overdue bills? Threatening them with a credit report ding? That takes brass ones.
reply to rody_44
Whatever they call it, she didn't complete the order that I started via online chat, she started over or something. Semantics
said by :I never said that, I said that it's NOT a case of ID theft. She's fortunate to never have been an ID theft victim, not now, not before.
Weinberk, you are stating your friend had ID theft 7 years ago...
I was hoping that someone from Comcast would actually ping in, be able to look at the account, recognize what was done in error and just fix the thing.
Mappa, sounds like you're the next best thing. You've got the experience with the Comast billing/ordering/provisioning system. So, can you tell me what I should tell her to tell the comcast rep? You know, something like "Look at the House Screen. You'll see the previous names by hitting F8 and blinking your eyes 3 times in rapid succession. Then look to history to see prior bills which won't have my name on them." etc etc.
I've worked at Comcast a long time. The chances of it being identity theft at the same address she just moved to is about zero. There not going to let that fly. Identity theft happens, but honestly, the person doing the identity theft at the same exact address?
said by chewch99:Who's "they"? The only person talking about ID theft is a Comcast rep who apparently wants to up productivity by getting off the phone and moving on to ruining the credit of other (potential) customers.
I've worked at Comcast a long time. The chances of it being identity theft at the same address she just moved to is about zero. There not going to let that fly.
As for the whole "I've worked at Comcast forever, and it's ALWAYS [X]...." argument, can't we put that to rest, now? Didn't the mysterious porn-on-demand orders by that account in Jersey - in which Comcast FINALLY publicly stated the customer wasn't at fault, and demanded non-disclosure - finally and forever put that conventional "wisdom" argument six feet under??
deleted, found what I was looking for.
reply to weinberk
Have you tried the »Comcast Direct forum here? I've had good results with a couple of issues I had.
I have not. THANK YOU. Looks like exactly what I was searching for.