Dealing with Comcast

Man. I hate internet service providers. I’ve hated them since my days in college when I had to deal with their stupid customer service for hours on end. Here in Seattle… Comcast and CenturyLink pretty much have a monopoly on internet services. This gives them the ability to increase your costs, provide you with awful service, and yet there’s nothing you can do about it (unless you can live without internet). While I’ve thought about completely cancelling our internet service, I’m not sure my wife would be too pleased.

Well a month ago, I realized that our Comcast bill went up from our promotional rate of $40/month to $70/month. Mind you this was after a year of receiving the $40 rate even though they initially told me it would only last for 6 months. With that being said, I wasn’t really interested in paying $70/month for internet that was inconsistent at best. Sure it gave me speeds of 50 mpbs… when it was working. We’d often have our internet go out and then come back on 30 seconds later. Pretty annoying. Especially when you’re trying to stream a movie on Netflix. All this to say, I wasn’t too happy with my Comcast service.

I decided to first use the online chat feature to see if I could get my bill reduced back to what I was paying before. I chatted with the Comcast agent who offered me a TV and cable package for $50/month. He pushed that me, but I wasn’t willing to budge. I don’t need TV service, but bundling it was the only way he could get a promotional rate. I went back and forth with him mentioned a couple times that I was thinking about discontinuing service with Comcast and switching to CenturyLink. He tried throwing in HBO with the TV package, but in the end I politely declined and he suggested I call the Comcast retention/customer specialist line. I hate talking on the phone, but I called and got a nice agent who basically offered me the same deal. I told him I’d need time to think about it and hung up.

About a week later, I figured I’d try chatting again, but pretty much got the same answer. On my current plan, I was receiving 75 mbps, but after doing some research online I was pretty confident that anything over 15 mbps would serve our needs. We don’t do any online gaming. We pretty much use the internet for emails, online shopping, and streaming Netflix. Since it is only my wife and I there rarely more than 3 devices connected at a time. I ended up calling Comcast again and stating that I wanted to downgrade my service. The Comcast rep on the other end of the line was friendly and chatty. We talked about my internet needs and other random things. In the end, I was able to downgrade my internet to the 25 mbps for $50/month. Saving me $20/month for the next 12 months… $240 over the course of the next year. We’ll see what next year holds in store. I may try calling again around October to see if they have any promotional offers.

How Comcast Gets You

So here’s what I believe Comcast does… They basically offer a one year promotional rate on a certain service. After a year or so, that specific service goes away. For instance, my promotional rate was $40/month for 50 mpbs. That internet service package is no longer available. When the promotional rate ends, they automatically upgrade you to the closest service since your service package was “discontinued”.  Then your only options are to stick with that new service or downgrade. However, there is such a large gap between their plans now that they make you feel like you’ll experience significantly worst service by downgrading. This is the main reason I didn’t want to add TV to my Comcast service. Who knows what kind of trick they might try to pull next year when the promotional rate is over.