Comcast wouldn't cancel service for man whose house burned down



I don’t see a link to the story in the post.

1 Like

Here is what I found:


I get it. Someone might pretend to be you and call your cable service claiming that your house burned down as a prank. It’s incredibly unlikely, but there are people who pull some pretty ill-conceived practical jokes. And if that did happen it wouldn’t be too hard to get it turned back on. As noted in the story the man would have had his account number if his house hadn’t burned down.

Wouldn’t it behoove these assholes companies to err on the side of caution?

1 Like

It’s funny too, because companies like this screw up all the time when customers have common names. Like, Joe Smith in Cincinnati cancels his cable, and they shut off Joe Smith’s in San Diego instead. I’ve had emails from Best Buy and Blue Cross that were meant for other women with the same name, full of customer information. Being reliant on the computers seems to come at the expense of common sense way too often.


Exactly what they did. Oh sure, it might be the actual customer cancelling his service. But what are the odds of that? Much more likely it was 4chan - I notice the caller didn’t have his account number.


If you don’t have your account number, there is absolutely no other way to verify who you are…


Comcast: The Church of Scientology of cable companies.


I had a friend whose house burned. Comcast gave him the same hassle. It is not uncommon. They also wanted him to call from the phone attached to the account. (Which was problematic since that was involved in the fire.) He got it resolved, but not without a lot of unnecessary grief.


Other than the fact that people have successfully left Scientology…
This is also one of those reasons that I initiate bill pay myself from my bank and NEVER sign up for auto pay with anyone I do business with.
Because in this case, I’d make one call and send one email to cancel, and just not pay the bill.


And that’s just it.

Verifying by account number alone is stupid in the best of circumstances. All it takes is one jerk to read one of your old bills that you threw out, and they’ll have that information.

Much better to ask information the customer will know easily, but which is unlikely to be collected and stored in one place. And, of course, only require the customer to provide two or three pieces out of potentially five or six pieces of data that they’ll know.

1 Like

Up until the point that company admitted they knew the house had burned down (“we can’t send a tech because…”, but still refused to disconnect it.

That’s no longer erring on the side of caution - that’s erring purely on the side of shareholder value.


Oddly enough, I can’t get my Comcast account to auto-pay itself.

As a result, I usually get a “FINAL DISCONNECT NOTICE” every couple of months and I take care of it.

Or, rather, when the kids can no longer watch Disney Jr I am forced to take care of it.

I am impressed that an online payment results in service restoration in about 60 seconds.


Other than the fact Scientology at least has some “competition” you can “switch subscriptions” to, such as the Roman Catholic Church, Baptists, Hinduism, Buddhism, Pastafarianism, High Holy Church of Atheism, etc etc.


He should have asked Mona “The Hammer” Shaw for some help.

Company’s response, as reported by a journalist:

Comcast has safeguards in place to protect the privacy of our customers, including not allowing unauthorized users to make changes to a customer's account. "We do provide the option for customers to designate others, such as family members, to make authorized account changes and verifying an account can normally be done either over the phone or in person with a driver's license," the statement continued. "We will continue to stay in contact with Mr. Ware to make certain the issue has been resolved to his satisfaction."

Company’s response, as blogged by a Boing’er:

So when the Boing’ers say, “We’re bloggers, not journalists”, if you find yourself wondering what the difference is, well, now you know.

1 Like

“Here’s your choice; disconnect the service or send someone out to fix the cable, because it’s not working.”

I like this lady.


Yep. I prefer the blogger version, because it makes it blindingly obvious that it’s meaningless corporate babyspeak, and that BB are quite happy to call them on it.


I’m sorry you are disappointed with my account of Comcast’s response. I will continue to stay in contact with you to make certain the issue has been resolved to your satisfaction.


I wasn’t disappointed; I was entertained.

I hope you’re not disappointed that I’m not disappointed. :slight_smile:

1 Like