Boston is a fairly major city, especially in the Northeastern U.S., and one would assume there to be a fair number of internet service providers. Competition. However that assumption would be incorrect. Boston really only has two one and half internet service providers: Comcast and RCN.
RCN is smaller and only in limited areas. They offer comparable speeds to Comcast, but are much, much cheaper (sometimes half the cost). Unfortunately, RCN isn’t offered in our neighborhood so our only option is Comcast. So, so unfortunate…
In places where both RCN and Comcast services are offered, Comcast’s prices are comparable to RCN’s. They’re reasonable. However, in places where the only option is Comcast, prices are higher and quite frankly unreasonable.
This is complete baloney, and we’ve filed reports with the AG’s office here in Boston (who apparently has a stack of very similar reports), but it would seem that either the AG’s office is moving slower than chilled molasses or Comcast has the AG’s office in their back pocket (which is my guess).
Anyway, my wife and I were getting some bundle deal with TV and “high speed” internet and when the promotional pricing ended the price jumped up like $25. Okay, makes sense… if you’re using the cable box (which we don’t) and getting outrageously fast internet (which we’re not). Paying close to $100 a month for 50 MB internet, a data cap, and a cable package we don’t use? Ridiculous, right?
I called their service representatives to see if there were other specials we could take advantage or, or just to see if paying for internet alone (no cable package) would be cheaper. It was, in fact, by about $20. And, by paying less we were actually going to get the 105 MB internet. Win-win for us.
But what galls me is that, rather than offering these better deals to its customers automatically (at the very least shoot me an email saying our current promotion is ending, here are some others) they purposely deceive customers into paying higher bills by just letting things expire and prices go up.
There are some things I’ll do auto-pay for, but Comcast is certainly not one of them for this very reason.
After calling their service representatives and let them know I wanted to remove my TV service and switch to an internet-only plan, I was transferred to what was called “a retention representative”. Thoughts went to Ryan Block’s recorded conversation he had with a representative a month or so ago. I was not looking forward to the call.
As expected, the gentleman I spoke with tried to “get me to see” the benefits of my current plan (you know, the one with the cable box that is still in its cardboard box, in a closet…), and bringing other things on the table. He was trying desperately to “retain” me. But it’s not like I’m going anywhere. I don’t have any other option. Unfortunately. The whole concept transferring customers to a “retention” representative is terrible. Let me do what I want with my account that I’m paying for.
In the end, after a 35 minute phone call (that really should’ve taken 5 at the most) we got things settled. It was certainly no “Ryan Block” session, but it was infuriating nonetheless.
What Comcast needs to do is get back in touch with its customers and with the statements it uses as selling points to get new customers. What Comcast needs to do is stop irritating their customers. What we as consumers need to do is stop feeling like Comcast has us by the hair and realize that Comcast wouldn’t be anything if it weren’t for us. We could all stop paying for Comcast – boycott, if you will – and bleed them dry. Make them appreciate us again.
Because it certainly doesn’t feel like customers are appreciated now.