Comcast Should Not Be Allowed To Merge With TWC Until It Gets Its House In Order

The possible merger between Comcast and Time-Warner is still looking like a possibility and I, for one, think it shouldn't happen. The last thing any of us need is and even bigger Comcast, particularly in light of their continued contempt for their customers.

How is it I can make the claim they have contempt for their customers? It's simple, really, as there are numerous examples of how poorly their customer service performs. One of the most recent was the poor guy who was put on hold for over three hours until the Comcast office closed. His crime? He wanted to cancel his subscription.

That's Aaron Spain of Chicago (holla!), who waited on hold with Comcast about as long as it takes some people to run a marathon, three and a half hours. Upon notifying Comcast that he was trying to cancel his service, he was in fact put on hold long enough that the Comcast offices had closed while the elevator music continued to play. Aaron confirmed this by calling back into Comcast with a different phone and getting the automated message that all the people tasked with helping him cancel his service had gone home for the day.

Now, you might be wondering why someone would wait on hold for three and a half hours with Comcast to begin with. I like to think that Aaron saw this as some kind of completely idiotic test of wills between a megalithic corporation and himself, and he'd be damned if he wasn't going to win. Call it the Chicago spirit. Call it boredom. Call it the opportunity for a great YouTube video.

Whatever you call it, don't call Comcast about it, because they'll put you on hold until they leave for the day.

He isn't the only one who has suffered at the hands of Comcast customer service while trying to cancel some or all of their services. While it is understood that any cable company will try to convince a customer canceling their service will try to convince them to remain as a customer, it appears Comcast takes this retention effort a little too far, with one customer service representative having gone so far as to insult and become belligerent with one customer trying to cancel his service. Even customers who are canceling due to a move out of a Comcast service area have a tough time of it, with Comcast charging them “Unreturned Equipment fees” for equipment they had already returned. More than a few commenters on the equipment fees have suggested a number of strategies to prevent this kind of abuse, running from making a video recording of the equipment being returned (including a return receipt from the customer service rep), demanding a “Retrieval Kit” (basically a pre-paid box for shipping your set-top box/cable modem back to them), or demanding that they send a tech out to retrieve the equipment since a tech had delivered and installed the equipment in the first place. (They hate the last one because a truck roll is always expensive and the equipment is probably worth less than the cost of a tech going out to retrieve it.)

Comcast has to get its house into order. If not, there's no way their merger with Time-Warner Cable should be allowed.