Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Comcast Consumer Fraud and What to Do About It

I have the bad habit of blindly paying my bills without going over them too closely. I actually read my Comcast statement today and realized I have been paying close to $50 a month for the better part of a year now in hidden fines and fees for services that I never requested and am not using. Additionally, I have had to pay fees and fines for service interruptions and modem failures that were not my fault. By my own estimation, Comcast currently owes me somewhere between $500 and $700 for hidden fees, false charges, fines and flat out fraud over the course of the past year alone. This is ignoring the poor reliability, rude and inefficient customer service and general shittiness of the company as a whole. I am hardly alone in my suffering. Adrianne Jeffries of TheVerge.com elaborates:

Comcast earned Consumerist’s “Worst Company in America” title twice, first in 2010 and again this year, 2014. It ranks at the very bottom of the American Consumer Satisfaction Index, underperforming even the rest of the cable industry, where “high prices, poor reliability, and declining customer service” are endemic.

http://www.theverge.com/2014/8/19/6004131/comcast-the-worst-company-in-america

Sadly, I live in the northeast, a.k.a. "Comcast Country," so I am used to this abuse as Comcast has monopolized the cable and high speed internet market in this part of the country for many years now. But I was horrified to learn recently that Comcast has expanded its market across the U.S. to the point where they are now the largest cable company in the U.S. in addition to being the worst company in America, possibly the world. And further, they are attempting to merge with Time-Warner to form a superpower that will enable still greater abuse.

Image courtesy of bgr.com

Make no mistake about it, this is a pretty bleak situation for all of us. Even if they fail to successfully merge with Time-Warner to form a super-monopoly, they are clearly a giant. No, a monster.

Well, even monsters have their weak spots. Today I reported them for consumer fraud to my state's Attorney General office. You can do the same by looking up your state's AG office and reporting their crimes against you. Almost every person I have ever known who has been a Comcast customer has been billed for services not rendered and charged multiple hidden fines for things like "renting" a modem, even when they are using their own. Laurence Kotlkoff of Forbes.com describes his experiences in this article and they're all too familiar to many of us.

Oh yeah, there's one other thing I'm doing to fight the good fight: suing the bastards. Hit them where it hurts and that's right in the purse. You can sue the bastards too by getting a free lawyer (one who will work on contingency) from Consumer Fraud Legal Services. They've successfully done it before. You get to sue Comcast and then your state forces them to pay your legal fees for you.

Fight the power.

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