Sunday, July 4, 2010

San Jose Mercury News Action Line

I've just noticed that the Action Line of San Jose Mercury News can be effective.  At least solved this problem.  Here's how to contact them:
Contact Action Line at or 408-920-5796.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tulika's Comcast trouble

Tulika, another unhappy Comcast customer, got inspired by my example and also created a blog to document conversations with Comcast's customer service.  Good luck, Tulika!  The blog helped in my case.  I suggest that you also try contacting @ComcastCares on Twitter and point them to your blog.  If you don't have a Twitter account, let me know and I will do it on your behalf.

And enjoy your marathon training!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Comcast revisited

I've just read this thoughtful post by Dave Winer (of the RSS fame). It seems that he gave his problems even more thought than me. And he also found that blogging about his experience is the only way things may get fixed. Dave's previous post about Comcast problems (A new reason to hate Comcast) got 150 comments. Comments on that post (and the post itself) are a great read too.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Someone has just pointed me to  Apparently this is also a good place to publicize problems with Comcast.

Another story about Comcast

I just read a post titled "Comcast Lies".  Lying by Comcast was one of the reasons for my canceling their service, so I feel a lot of sympathy for Mikal.  There were other reasons:
  • their DVR had problems with playback,
  • there was no program guide information for one of the channels we watch and so we couldn't use the DVR to record any shows on that Channel,
  • the Internet connection didn't work with our setup and the tech support person I called was incompetent and rude,
  • the way they installed it, I couldn't use the Comcast phone service in the same room as the computer.
But the biggest reason was that when I ordered the service, the Comcast rep I talked to promised (and I asked multiple times to make sure) that the phone service they would provide would be standard phone service and not VOIP and yet it turned out to be VOIP.   I tend to blame incompetence over bad will but it's hard to believe that the Comcast rep who sells me service wouldn't know the difference (especially that he obviously knew the term "VOIP"), so in this case, lying is a much more likely explanation.  Or perhaps it is just misinformation since Comcast Digital Voice is different from VOIP in a subtle way.  But in any case, the assurance that I would get a regular phone line wasn't true and what's more the Comcast technicians who came to install the phone service, also referred to the technology as "VOIP".

Monday, October 13, 2008

My refund from Comcast arrives

The refund from Comcast has finally arrived today. I still haven't received my final statement by mail but Sandi who followed up by email to make sure that I received the check was nice enough to email the statement to me.  So, it seems that I was able to cancel my service with Comcast after all.  It was a very painful process and I hope that other Comcast customers are treated better than me but at least I'm done.

I should write another post later that summarizes all the advice I got about this issue.  But I can say quickly that complaining publicly is much better than trying to talk to customer service of Comcast because (at least in my experience) their customer service reps are not capable of doing something as simple as closing an account even after you talk to them month after month for 5 months.

So, if you're not having luck with the Comcast customer service, try @ComcastCares on Twitter and if at all possible, get a story on Consumerist .  This approach worked for me.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Comcast (intentionally?) provides incorrect mailing address

You may remember from my earlier post that I couldn't find any mailing address on the Comcast web site.  They provide 6 ways to contact Comcast but none of them by paper mail.

Well, at least the monthly statement provides a return address (1400 Middlefield Road, Mountain View, CA 94043).  You can see a copy of the statement dated 9/20/2008 in this post.  So, I can use the address to send Comcast a letter, right?  Sounds obvious?  This is what I thought and on 9/30/2008, I sent them a certified letter to that address.

Guess what!  The post office returned this letter to me today because Comcast moved and their forwarding expired on 10/1/2008 (I don't know when it actually expired, so more precisely it expired on or before 10/1/2008).  Here's what I get when I enter my letter's tracking number in the "Track & Confirm" box on the USPS web site (highlight is mine):
Label/Receipt Number: 7007 3020 0003 2435 9805
Detailed Results:
Delivered, October 07, 2008, 9:09 am, PALO ALTO, CA 94303
Notice Left, October 06, 2008, 2:06 pm, PALO ALTO, CA 94303
Forward Expired, October 01, 2008, 4:51 pm, MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA
Acceptance, September 30, 2008, 8:51 am, PALO ALTO, CA 94303

And here's the letter I got back with the "Forwarding Order Expired" box checked:

What happened?!

As far as I know USPS provides one year of free forwarding of first class mail and the address in question was still valid in June since I went to this office myself, so it seems that Comcast had to do something special to ask the post office to stop forwarding mail sent there.

Let me get this straight: on a statement sent to me on 9/20/2008, Comcast still used that address as the return address and they request that mail forwarding stops on or before 10/1/2008 before the free forwarding by USPS expires.  Can you think of any explanation other than that they intentionally do what they can to make it hard for customers to contact them by mail (especially in light of the fact that they refuse to provide a mailing address on their web site)?  Of course, as some people say, "for any given event that may be explained by either incompetence or conspiracy, incompetence will always be the correct explanation".  Or perhaps someone has a better explanation?