A Special Kind of Cluelessness

Yeah yeah: it's de rigueur (and so 20th century!) for folks to complain about awful service from cable television providers.

Here I go.

On February 15th, I called my local cable television provider—who shall not remain nameless, it was Comcast—to cancel my cable television service. See, I was moving. The representative was very gracious on the phone, took all the pertinent information, and asked what date the service should be cut off. I said anytime would be okay; she checked the dispatch schedules and slated the disconnect for February 17th. I said that would be fine. She took my new address and phone in case they needed to contact me.

On February 21st, I check the voicemail at my old telephone number to find a message from Comcast. They said they'd received a request to disconnect my service, but needed to confirm the request before they'd carry it out. I called Comcast again, and again a gracious representative took all the pertinent information and informed me the service would be cut off immediately. She also let me know I would be receiving a check for about $12 for service I hadn't used, and she took my new address for that payment.

Yesterday, March 8th, I received a bill from Comcast at my new address. The bill totalled $61.22 for pro-rated cable television service from February 17th through March 7th, then a full month from March 8th to April 7th. Check those dates: yes, Comcast billed me for service beginning at the date at which they allegedly terminated my service. Furthermore, they had begun billing me for cable services I didn't receive even when I was their customer.

I called Comcast again, waited on hold for 15 minutes, and spoke to another polite account representative. He attempted to explain that their technicians weren't able to get out there to disconnect my service until the February 19th (so why had they called me for confirmation the 21st?), and so that was the official cut-off date for my billing so far as they were concerned. However, their internal billing date was actually February 18th, so a bill was generated before service was cut off.

I asked the representative why, then, the billing date on the statement was March 2nd, some 12 days calendar days (7 business days) after they physically disconnected my old service, and not the 18th, the day he said the billing cycle ended? And why Comcast was billing me for services which had been cancelled, and why was Comcast also billing me for services I had never received or requested?

There was a noticable silence, and then I was assured this was just a glitch in the billing system: I should disregard the bill. Further, I would be receiving my check for about $12 shortly.

I'm holding my breath on that one, oh yeah.