Comcast Cares

On Nov. 2, my neighbor’s apartment caught fire. After it was put out, our whole floor was put off-limits and has remained so as of this post. I spend most of November waiting to see if I could get into my apartment again. I made some calls to my building manager and to Comcast, and was informed I’d need a copy of the DCFD fire report, which I went downtown to get for $10. Then I decided to try to settle my Comcast stuff and move on with recovering the rest of my life.

from Ben Turner
to [omitted]@cable.comcast.com
date Fri, Dec 3, 2010 at 12:24 PM
subject fire report for comcast equipment

[omitted],

Hello, I received your email address from the Comcast support phone number — the woman I spoke with was incredibly helpful and pro-active. A great experience.

The reason I’m writing is because I need to submit a fire report for my Comcast equipment which was inside my apartment — the apartment across the hall from me caught fire and our floor has been off-limits since November 2. We do not know when we will be able to re-enter the floor and because of my apartment’s proximity to the fire, my equipment is most likely destroyed.

I want to report my equipment as destroyed and I’ve attached the DC city fire report. I also have a copy of an environmental report saying the floor is off-limits due to asbestos sampling. I was told over the phone with Comcast support that you would be able to help me, as it is not easy for me to reach DC’s Comcast office.

My account number: [omitted]
Name: Ben Turner

Please let me know if there’s anything else you need for fulfilling this request.

Thank you for your time,
-Ben

from <[omitted]@cable.comcast.com>
to Ben Turner
date Fri, Dec 3, 2010 at 12:24 PM
subject Out of Office AutoReply: fire report for comcast equipment

All,

I will be out of the office Friday 12.3.10.

Please forward your request to:
Tri-DC_Collections_@cable.comcast.com

Have a Comcastic Day!
[omitted]

from <[omitted]@cable.comcast.com>
to Ben Turner
cc <[omitted]@cable.comcast.com>,
<[omitted]@cable.comcast.com>
date Sat, Dec 4, 2010 at 5:38 PM
subject RE: fire report for comcast equipment

Mr. Turner on behalf of [omitted] who is out of the office, we are in receipt of your correspondence. We would like to first express sadness in the lost of your home. I have reviewed your account and see that all services have been stopped. If in fact the cable equipment has been damaged in the fire we can only assume that the insurance company will be reimbursing you for your contents. The normal process is to provide you the cost of your equipment so that your insurance company can include this in the estimate of loss. We will add the equipment charges on your account and forward a bill to you. Thank you for providing us with the necessary information needed to implement proper procedure in handling this devastating situation Please provide a forwarding address.

Thank you,
[omitted]
Regional Collections Support
[omitted]-Desk
[omitted]-Fax

from Ben Turner
to <[omitted]@cable.comcast.com>
cc <[omitted]@cable.comcast.com>,
<[omitted]@cable.comcast.com>
date Sun, Dec 5, 2010 at 10:35 AM
subject Re: fire report for comcast equipment

[omitted],

Thank you for your response. I did not have renter’s insurance. Does this mean that I will be paying your bill for the equipment out of pocket?

Thanks for your concern,
-Ben

from <[omitted]@cable.comcast.com>
to Ben Turner
date Sun, Dec 5, 2010 at 10:35 AM
subject Out of Office AutoReply: fire report for comcast equipment

I am currently out of the office. I will return on Monday, Dec 6th.
Please forward your emails to:
Tri-DC_collections_@cable.comcast.com

Have a Wonderful Thanksgiving!

from Ben Turner
to <[omitted]@cable.comcast.com>
cc <[omitted]@cable.comcast.com>,
<[omitted]@cable.comcast.com>
date Wed, Dec 8, 2010 at 2:05 PM
subject Re: fire report for comcast equipment

Hi,

I just want to follow-up on this issue so I can get it resolved one way or another. Will I be paying this bill out of pocket?

from <[omitted]@cable.comcast.com>
to Ben Turner
date Wed, Dec 8, 2010 at 2:05 PM
subject Out of Office AutoReply: fire report for comcast equipment

All,

I will be out of the office Tuesday 12.7.10 and Wednesday 12.8.10. I will return on Thursday 12.9.10..

Please forward your request to:
Tri-DC_Collections_@cable.comcast.com

Have a Comcastic Day!
[omitted]

from <[omitted]@cable.comcast.com>
to Ben Turner
cc <[omitted]@cable.comcast.com>,
<[omitted]@cable.comcast.com>
date Wed, Dec 8, 2010 at 3:09 PM
subject RE: fire report for comcast equipment

I’m sorry Mr. Turner, Yes sir. I will have the equipment posted to the account and send you a copy once the account
has updated.
Thanks,
[omitted]
Regional Collections Support
[omitted]-Desk
[omitted]-Fax

from Ben Turner
to <[omitted]@cable.comcast.com>
date Wed, Dec 8, 2010 at 4:05 PM
subject Re: fire report for comcast equipment

[omitted],

I was told by a Comcast support person on the phone that if I submitted a fire report from the city indicating that there was a fire in my building (which was a) not in my apartment and b) accidental), then I would be able to get charges removed for the equipment.

Is this not accurate?

I also did not have renter’s insurance.

-Ben

from <[omitted]@cable.comcast.com>
to Ben Turner
cc <[omitted]@cable.comcast.com>,
<[omitted]@cable.comcast.com>
date Wed, Dec 8, 2010 at 4:20 PM
subject RE: fire report for comcast equipment

Mr. Turner I have been an employee for many years and never heard of that policy. I will need to check with a couple of Managers to see if that is the case. Please be assured that if I will work for your best interest.

[omitted]
Regional Collections Support
[omitted]-Desk
[omitted]-Fax

from <[omitted]@cable.comcast.com>
to Ben Turner
cc <[omitted]@cable.comcast.com>
date Fri, Dec 10, 2010 at 10:33 AM
subject RE: fire report for comcast equipment

Good morning Mr. Turner. Let me take this opportunity to apologize for you being misinformed. I have spoken with my Director and been informed that the equipment which was damaged in your home is in fact, your responsibility. I will move forward with the original plan to send you a copy of the bill once the equipment has been posted to your account and updated.

Thanks,
[omitted]
Regional Collections Support
[omitted]-Desk
[omitted]-Fax

from Ben Turner
to <[omitted]@cable.comcast.com>
cc <[omitted]@cable.comcast.com>
date Fri, Dec 10, 2010 at 11:13 AM
subject Re: fire report for comcast equipment

[omitted],

Just to clarify, if I am able to sift through the remains of all my material belongings and find your valuable Comcast equipment and return it to your DC office, will my charges be removed? I have not been able to go in to my apartment (since Nov. 2).

-Ben

from <[omitted]@cable.comcast.com>
to Ben Turner
cc <[omitted]@cable.comcast.com>
date Tue, Dec 14, 2010 at 6:01 PM
subject RE: fire report for comcast equipment

Hello Mr. Turner, the equipment charges will only be credit if the equipment is not damaged and electronically operational.

Thank you,
[omitted]
Regional Collections Support
[omitted]-Desk
[omitted]-Fax

from Ben Turner
to <[omitted]@cable.comcast.com>,
tips@consumerist.com,
brian_roberts@comcast.com
date Wed, Dec 15, 2010 at 7:44 AM
subject Re: fire report for comcast equipment

[omitted],

Thank you for the clarification.

I know you may not like being put in the position of being the one to tell someone whose apartment was rendered unlivable that he is responsible for paying for equipment damaged through no fault of his own, so this is not personal. Please forward to the appropriate Comcast entities (like PR, etc.). I do think you were professional in your correspondence, so thank you for that.

But I think Comcast’s policy on this is alienating and customer-hostile, and is part of the reason why no one will ever take the “Comcast cares” campaign seriously. It is why Comcast is rated the worst company in the U.S. according to Consumerist: http://www.myfoxphilly.com/dpps/news/comcast-named-worst-company-in-america-dpgoh-20100427-fc_7257407

I would like to receive my bill ASAP so I can pay immediately, as I am contractually obligated to. Not because I want to give Comcast more money, but because I need to move on with my life. Unfortunately I am not a for-profit entity that only worries about my bottom line.

I think it is sad that I WANT to switch to another provider to avoid paying Comcast more, but FiOS is not available where I live yet. I signed up for their email list for when service DOES become available. I will switch in a heartbeat.

Since I have no other choice, I DID sign up for new Comcast service, AND I am now paying you for MORE services (I added HD DVR). It is sad that I have been a customer of yours for many, many years, and I am now paying for more services than ever, yet there is still no flexibility on returning equipment that was destroyed through no fault of my own!

Lesson learned: always have renter’s insurance so the company and the insurance company can slug it out, while leaving the customer alone!

Merry Comcastic Christmas,
-Ben

from <[omitted]@cable.comcast.com>
to Ben Turner
date Wed, Dec 15, 2010 at 7:44 AM
subject Out of Office AutoReply: fire report for comcast equipment

Happy Holiday’s!

I will be out of the office Tuesday 12.14.10.
Please forward your request to:
Tri-DC_Collections_@cable.comcast.com

Have a Comcastic Day!
[omitted]

from <[omitted]@cable.comcast.com>
to Ben Turner
date Wed, Dec 15, 2010 at 5:17 PM
subject RE: fire report for comcast equipment

Mr. Turner, again I must apologize for this unfortunate situation. Thank you for your patience and understanding. I have mailed you a billing statement with a explanation of the charges. If I can be of further assistance or you require additional information, please contact me.

[omitted]
Regional Collections Support
[omitted]-Desk
[omitted]-Fax

So to sum up, I still haven’t received my bill yet. I have new Comcast service…sorry, XFINITY service, at my new place. And these folks are out of the office a lot. And finally, don’t let anybody tell you Comcast doesn’t care about customer service.

Merry Comcastic Christmas everybody!

  • Ben, do you think you should not have to pay for equipment destroyed while entrusted to your care? Renter’s insurance would cover this, but if a person chooses not to get insurance, that’s fine, but you will keep the risk instead of transferring it to the insurer.

    If you had renter’s insurance, would you have a problem with your insurer reimbursing Comcast? If not, WTF?

    But if this is just to say Comcast has poor customer service, we just assume that.

  • Ben, do you think you should not have to pay for equipment destroyed while entrusted to your care? Renter’s insurance would cover this, but if a person chooses not to get insurance, that’s fine, but you will keep the risk instead of transferring it to the insurer.

    If you had renter’s insurance, would you have a problem with your insurer reimbursing Comcast? If not, WTF?

    But if this is just to say Comcast has poor customer service, we just assume that.

  • delete one of those. :P

  • I understand how it works and how it’s supposed to happen. But in theory, no, I don’t think I should have to pay for the equipment, since it wasn’t my fault. I shouldn’t have to get insurance to cover someone else’s mistake.

    If I had renter’s insurance, would I still have a problem with it? Yes. It’s the last thing I want to do (a claim, following through on it, possibly having my rate raised as a result) when I’m putting my life back together.

    Again, I understand how it works (property owner isn’t liable, firestarter isn’t liable if it’s ruled accidental), but in my situation, even if I had renter’s insurance, it’d still be a massive pain for me one way or another (I can’t get my stuff checked since the floor is off-limits). I don’t need Comcastic being an asshole on top of all that by requiring that I return equipment that’s probably been lifecycled already.

  • Naterichmond7

    Hey this is Nate with DISH Network. I ran across your post and even though I work for DISH Network I felt like Comcast did do everything in there power to help you. If ever you decide that you do not want Comcast give DISH Network a try. We have excellent customer service in fact we were ranked #1 in Customer Satisfaction among all cable and satellite provider and we have beaten Comcast in that area ten years in a row! DISH Network subscribers can get up to three HD receivers for free and get HD free for life. We have the lowest all digital prices nationwide and twice as many choices as a TV provider. For those who are interested you can check this out at http://www.dish.com.