Comcast Cable Bait & Switch – Sales Tactic #8
October 24, 2007
Have you read my post on How 5 Minutes Can Save You $120? If so, beware the advice I gave because it may come back to bite you!
How 5 Minutes Can Cost You $180
Comcast just pulled a version of bait and switch on me today; don’t fall into the same trap. I didn’t give the details in my original post, but I was able to drop my cable bill $20 a month for 6 months by upgrading from Expanded Basic to Digital Cable. What I didn’t know is that I was actually setting myself up to lose money in the long run.
Comcast Baits the Trap
At the time Comcast offered several tiers of service: Limited Basic, Extended Basic, and Digital Cable. I felt I was paying more money for cable than I needed to be. We receive many, many channels we don’t watch and wanted something in between the Limited & Extended Basic plans in terms of channels available and rates. They didn’t offer such a package and wouldn’t give me a discount on Extended Basic but did make the offer to drop $20 a month from my current bill if I upgraded for “free trial” of Digital Cable. I wasn’t really interested in Digital Cable but wanted the discount so I agreed to the deal. I specifically asked the phone rep if I could switch back to Extended Basic after the 6 months ended and he assured me that I could.
The Trap is Sprung
My six months has ended so my cable bill jumped back up, not to the Extended Basic rate but the even higher Digital Cable rate. I took in my digital box today to cancel Digital Cable and revert back to Extended Basic and they informed me that was no longer an option. Comcast is phasing out Extended Basic and slowly moving channels over to Digital Cable in preparation for a 2009 change to all digital broadcasting.
Comcast’s Bait & Switch
Comcast knew what they were doing six months ago when they baited me into changing over to Digital Cable. They knew Extended Basic was going away and that I wouldn’t be able to change back to the service when my promotion ended.
I’m not sure what angers me more, the fact the phone rep lied to me last spring or the horrible customer service they offered when delivering the news today. Their only response to my protests about being lied to was:
“We apologize an uninformed associate gave you the wrong information but we can’t help you. We’re not allowing anyone to transfer to Extended Basic”.
A company that values their customers and discovers that one of their employees misled a customer will take the necessary action and correct the wrong in the eyes of the customer. The fact that Comcast isn’t willing to do that leads me to believe they knew exactly what they were doing when they made the offer and intentionally lied to me in order to convert me over to Digital Cable.
Now I’m faced with the option of paying an extra $15 a month for Digital Cable ($180 annual increase) or looking for an alternative. For whatever reason, Comcast is the only cable option in my part of the city so I’ll have to research the Dish network or DIRECTV. Be aware of this tactic since Comcast seems to be heavily promoting the Digital Cable route. As I stood in line today I heard the reps try and push the digital box on many other customers. You’ve been warned : )
All posts by Ben Edwards