Comcast: the only reason we're not ripping you off is that you recorded us



Need to OCCUPY the HQ.

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Back when I used to get telemarketing calls all the time, they would typically say “this call may be recorded for blah blah blah” (and I would reply “that’s OK, I’m recording this call too!” Most of the time they would insist that was against their policy, and abruptly end the call.)

So in this case I bet Comcast does have a recording of the call somewhere, and could verify that he was promised a free service call, but of course why would they do that.


If only we had a agency, federal maybe, that could do something about companies that abuse their customers this way. Unfortunately, we live in the US and no such agency exists.



Charming. I wonder how many more of these public customer service failures Comcast can afford? Even a monopoly like them might have to worry about the peasents getting restless.

Also, he mentions “dual party consent” if he records calls that they themselves are recording. I’d love to be able to pull the same trick, given how often I’m getting harassed for my student loans. Any suggestions/recommendations for an Android app?


They clearly state at the beginning “this call may be recorded for …” If that’s not clear permission that I may record their call, I don’t know what is.

(And, yes, I understand this verbiage actually uses a different meaning of the word “may”, but if they are going to twist language and semantics to their own ends, we can do the same).

I am so heartily sick of paying 2-3x what the rest of the world pays for shitty, dishonest service from these awful cable companies. Nationalize them already - it will be cheaper and the service could not possibly be worse.


Oh, I got that part. I’d just like recommendations for an app for my phone that’ll let me record my calls. Too many of the reviews in the Google Play store have statements like, “Did not record the other side of the phone call”.

But, yeah, believe me, I’m looking forward to being able to say in response to their “this call may be recorded…”, with “Understood. And for quality control assuarances on my own part, please be aware that I am, as of this moment, recording this call as well.”

As for nationalizing them, I’d be on board for that, but it’ll never happen. Too many of the credulous… (I was trying to think of another word to go with credulous, but then realized that that pretty much stands on its own) are convinced that any form of government, or charity, or any kind of cooperation between anybody that isn’t sealed by a contract that one party can use to screw over the other party, that any of those is somehow Satan/Marx’s ways of tempting them from the good and godly path. eyeroll

This seems to be a holdover from when recording ability was limited, it is now actually possible to record all calls, and I know of at least one ISP that does (I don’t know about Comcast thorugh). BUT! as I understand this, and maybe someone else can comment on this, all calls with sales reps are recorded precisely because they get disputes on charges and are sometimes asked to turn these calls over, there’s probably a legal requirement to hold them for a certain amount of time as well.

Given the history of how national monopolies have handled the Internet in other countries, I’m not positive it would be an improvement.

It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to figure how the government would react to pressure to (1) not allow certain content to be distributed via public owned lines and (2) cut costs by addressing the median voter (i.e. max out at a Gig or two of monthly bandwidth - after all, the government doesn’t exist to subsidize heavy bandwidth (i.e. wealthier) users like me.)

What I’d really like to know is how much would non-Comcast alternatives cost? (Not counting Google, who’s massively subsidizing theirs.) I’d love a few stories where Comcast got competition then got wiped out, but I’m not seeing a lots of examples. The municipal projects seem to need community spirit to survive, which indicates the economics is not in their favor, which is unhappy-making.

Are there at least examples of Comcast being much cheaper in the few regions where they’ve got viable, non-subsidized competition?

Route your calls through Google Voice. There aren’t any apps for Android that record both sides of the conversation that aren’t A: Terrible, or B: Require root. Usually both.

Good to know. Thanks for the advice!

I’m currently dealing with Comcast regarding a cable modem rental fee for a modem I’ve personally owned for over 5 years. I bought the thing from Best Buy in another city for a different cable network (Charter). My account with Comcast has been ongoing for over 3 years, and they decided January of this year to start billing me for Comcast equipment.

I went to the local brick and mortar and the CSR asked me for proof that I owned my modem, in response to which I asked him for proof that Comcast ever sent me equipment. He couldn’t produce any. They have a “trouble ticket” to have some crack team of technicians investigate my account for proof that I’m holding out on them. I’ve been told to expect a call back within 5 business days.

I also own a DSL modem through which I can get slower, but arguably more reliable service through a competitor. I doubt it will give me much bargaining power during this upcoming call.

Time Warner is no prize winner either, but at least they don’t charge for service calls (not in my area, anyway).

Android users - try Total Recall. I use that on a Galaxy S2 and it worked before and after rooting. SADLY however it didn’t work when I flashed my phone with Cyanogenmod - as apparently the developers of that purposely block this very important function. I put my phone back to the original Samsung T-Mobile build to preserve that functionality. Total Recall has kept some phone representatives honest where otherwise I’d have been unceremoniously screwed.

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I once called Comcast to report that a tree had fallen down tearing their wire off of my house and that I needed a service call for someone to come replace it. For the representative to schedule a service call she insisted on going through her procedure.

Comcast: “Please turn on your television and tell me what you see.”
Me: “I see a screen with a message telling me there is no connection.”
Comcast: “Please power off your converter box. Wait 30 seconds and power it on again.”
Me: “I see the same screen I saw before telling me there is no connection.”
Comcast: “I’ll have to check your converter box before I can schedule a service call.”
Me: “How can you do that if there is no wire connecting the box to the pole?”
Comcast: “Oh, I have a screen on my computer that will let me check it. I will call you back after I have checked it.”

About 1/2 hour later she called back to schedule the service visit.


So, so damn lazy. Creating a lmgtfy link takes mere seconds and adds an interactive component to your sarcastic blog comments!

Google Voice call recording only works on incoming calls, though.

We use DSL (Megapath) for internet, and DVDs for viewing entertainment. (We are not sports fans.) Screw Comcast and screw Verizon. If we ever get more competition (when hell freezes over), I might consider something faster. The news of the last few weeks about Comcast has hardened my opinion. What’s funny is finding a Comcast service rep business card stuck in our door a few days ago. No doubt attempted damage control. I would have loved to tell him what I think.

We used to have Comcast, then went to basic cable once we realized we were only watching Headline News (12-13 years ago?), then canceled that when Headline News went into “Dumbed-down Entertainment News Spouted By 20-Something Models” mode. I don’t recall having problems canceling back then. But I would NEVER, NEVER, NEVER get Comcast again.

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And yet this still happens? When will this ‘Bureau of Consumer Protection’ actually do something to protect the consumer?

To be fair, half of all users really are below average intelligence, so going through the fault diagnosis script is a good idea.