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Tex
Premium
join:2012-10-20
kudos:2

[Rant] Bait and Switch

I'll try to keep this as short as possible.

Our daughter (a college student) recently moved into a house with two other roommates. Needing high-speed Internet because some of her classes are streamed online, she went to the Comcast website to set up service and to take advantage of reduced pricing for the first 12 months. As it turns out, Comcast was offering new customers special pricing for the first six months, with a bump in price for months 7-12. After 12 months, the price would increase again.

After trying and failing numerous times to get the site to recognize the address she was entering for service, she was forced to call Comcast. The online form kept changing the address. For some reason, the the first person she talked to couldn't find the address in their system. After numerous tries and being transferred back and forth, and after spending almost 3 hours on the phone, she was able to get service established. She asked, more than once, if she would still be eligible for the special pricing offer even though she didn't complete the transaction online. She was assured she would. Also, she informed Comcast that she did not need the Starter Kit as she had an approved modem and cables, however they sent it to her anyway and charged her for it.

After more phone calls and, eventually, taking the Starter Kit to a local Comcast office, she was told she would be credited for that cost. So, she calls Comcast in order to get the modem provisioned. When she gives them the MAC address, they claim there is already a MAC address associated with her account. After more than an hour on the phone, she was able to get the modem provisioned and the service was started.

Not believing she was being credited for the Starter Kit, she accesses her account online. Sure enough, the Starter Kit is on the bill. She calls Comcast again. After more time on the phone and more frustration by having to explain everything again, she was finally assured the Starter Kit would be credited on the next month's bill. While she was on the phone, she ask what the price increase would be at the end of the first six months. She was told the price would increase to full price and not the reduced price being offered for months 7-12. After more phone calls and more frustration, Comcast would not budge on the price. She was told to call back before the price was scheduled to increase to see if she could get the price reduced.

Hearing this, I called Comcast. I was told by someone in Colorado that a ticket would be created asking that the price be changed and to call back in 3-5 business days to check on the results of the change request, which I did. This person told me when her service was established online and that there was no such offer at that time, even though I have screen shots of the offer to prove otherwise. Again, she would not budge. I explained to her that my daughter was prepared to cancel service and that I, a long-time Comcast customer paying over $180 a month, would cancel, also. She said she was sorry to hear that and to have a nice day.

I am of the opinion that the online offers are there to bait and hook you and once you fail to establish service through the online method, they force you to call and they switch pricing plans. My daughter says she can't cancel Comcast because there are no other options for HSI in the area she lives, so she's stuck. I, however, do have other options and this week I will be cancelling Comcast and moving on with no regrets. Well, I do regret having been a Comcast customer for all these years, especially knowing they couldn't care less whether you're a loyal customer or not. After all, there's another sucker waiting to get screwed. Comcast sucks!

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Johkal
Cool Cat
Premium,MVM
join:2002-11-13
Happy Valley
kudos:9
reply to Tex

Re: [Rant] Bait and Switch

With the screen shots you took, did you get one of the "Terms & Conditions"?



graysonf
Premium,MVM
join:1999-07-16
Fort Lauderdale, FL
kudos:1
reply to Tex

Sorry to hear about these problems. As to your opinion that the online offers are a bait and switch scheme, I can say that in my case they are absolutely NOT.

I signed up online for one of these promotions, and decided to buy my own modem rather than rent one. And I also decided to do a self install and did not need the starter kit which only includes a splitter and a short piece of terminated coax cable.

When I called to activate the service and provide the modem MAC address, they turned it on and it began working within a minute. Also, since I was a long term cable TV customer, they decided to improve the provisional price by reducing it by 75%.

As to the unhelpfulness of the support staff, all I can say is it must be the luck of the draw.


ExoticFish

join:2008-08-31
Stuarts Draft, VA
reply to Tex

I've honestly had no real issues with Comcast's pricing. I've been receiving Blast! for $29.99 and then $39.99 for over a year now. All you have to do is call and they are usually more than happy to apply another promo to your account if one is available.

I could be wrong but I'm pretty sure the reps do not have an option to not send the self install kit AND decline professional installation. That would explain why she was still sent the kit and when it was returned, they were correct in saying the credit should be on the NEXT bill.

Now about the modem... If she attempted to sign up online and somehow provided them with the modem MAC that is probably where the confusion there came into play.
--
»www.VAJeeps.com



LGM

@comcast.net
reply to Tex

I had a similar issue where I could not sign up for HSI online because I purchased a modem but I did not want a starter kit. The promo online was 6months @ $19.99 no contract. I called them up and explained the situation to the rep..a few times I might add because he seemed new and wasn't grasping what I wanted..essentially just the service since I spent $80 on a modem. Anyway before I purchased I wanted to make sure the online promo would be honored. He assured it would and I have had the 19.99 promo price with no starter kit. And have never been happier

As an aside,the reps do not care how much money you spend a month or how long you have been with them. The only ones who do are supervisors at best. They hear the same thing 100 times a day that customers are going to switch so why should they care that you are going to. Just my opinion.

I too was going to switch when Fios came in my area but their prices and politics are not much better



Tex
Premium
join:2012-10-20
kudos:2

1 recommendation

reply to Johkal

Yes.






I appreciate that others have had no issues signing up for special pricing and offers. I had no issues when I first signed up with them 6 years ago. That's not the point. The point is that Comcast refuses to correct an issue that they created in the first place. It was not my daughter's fault she couldn't start service online. As far as the Starter Kit, there is the option to choose or not choose to receive one when signing up. I actually went through 4 of the 5 steps (Products, Customize, Customer Info, Installation, Review & Submit) online using the wrong address.

Anyway, I don't expect to get the issue resolved here. I just needed to rant about Comcast and to put the word out there for others. They are, in many cases, the only game in town as far as HSI and they know it. That's how they can get away with mistreating customers.


JigglyWiggly

join:2009-07-12
Pleasanton, CA

If it gets worse, try comcast steve in direct support on this site. That guy is a magician.


ExoticFish

join:2008-08-31
Stuarts Draft, VA
reply to Tex

In the end, I wouldn't call this "bait and switch" by any means.
--
»www.VAJeeps.com



PeteC2
Got Mouse?
Premium,MVM
join:2002-01-20
Bristol, CT
kudos:6
Reviews:
·Comcast

1 recommendation

reply to Tex

I don't see any bait and switch here...however, I do see plenty of confusion, and unfortunately, I think that it is a direct result of Comcast having different pricing, and special offers in effect in different areas, however, you often are not speaking with local area reps.

I am in CT and when I had some inital service questions I wound up speaking with a rep from somewhere in the mid west. I had to call at least a couple of times to ensure that the cost/service agreement was the best available for my location.

I also have to agree with LGM. Tex, if you can get an equivalent or better deal from a competing ISP, go for it, but beware that there are a lot of ISPs that have generated horror stories far worse than yours.

No offense, but threatening to cancel service is not going to particularly rattle anybody; that is what about 95% of all customers with a dispute say. (sigh, did that myself with more than one ISP over the years...never really accomplished anything)
--
Deeds, not words



JigglyWiggly

join:2009-07-12
Pleasanton, CA

When I threatened to cancel service with ATT
They just said: "Ok, sign here"

No complaints or anything. Of course when they called for feedback I gave negative feedback ofc.

So in my experience, yeah it's a bad idea.



NetDog
Premium,VIP
join:2002-03-04
Parker, CO
kudos:77
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to JigglyWiggly

said by JigglyWiggly:

If it gets worse, try comcast steve in direct support on this site. That guy is a magician.

Tex,

ping Comcast Steve he can take care of this for you, if not PM me


Tex
Premium
join:2012-10-20
kudos:2
reply to ExoticFish

said by ExoticFish:

In the end, I wouldn't call this "bait and switch" by any means.

Bait - Bait advertising is an alluring but insincere offer to sell a product or service which the advertiser in truth does not intend or want to sell. Its purpose is to switch consumers from buying the advertised merchandise, in order to sell something else, usually at a higher price or on a basis more advantageous to the advertiser.

Switch - Accepting a deposit for the advertised product, then switching the purchaser to a higher-priced product.

ExoticFish

join:2008-08-31
Stuarts Draft, VA

You can twist it around how ever you want but what you originally described was not a bait and switch, and I wasn't the only one to say that. What it boils down to is you're annoyed at the situation. So good luck after you cancel Comcast and hope your daughter is happy with her service. And like I said, all she has to do is call in and they will very easily renew her promo pricing.
--
»www.VAJeeps.com

Expand your moderator at work