Paul O'Brian writes about Watchmen, trivia, albums, interactive fiction, and more.


Paul vs. Comcast

I dunno, maybe this makes me look like a jerk. I hate to be Rude To The Waiter Guy. But this Comcast interaction really pushed my buttons, and not just because of the numerous grammar errors. (Though those do bring out my inner Strong Bad.)

The prelude is that we’re moving. (Hooray!) So I went to Comcast’s site to figure out how to switch my service to my new address. I found their moving page, filled out their form, and got an error message, because I didn’t fill in “Salutation” (Mr. or Mrs.) So then I filled it in, clicked submit, and got a “We’re sorry, something broke, please try again” message. So then I went back, filled out the form again, and was told that I needed to do a live chat to complete the transaction. Transcript of that chat follows, with my contact info ‘n such excised:

LiveAssist Transcript
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chat id : dcf53b2d-aa46-4389-a7e4-585f0a7a2900
Problem : Order Information
PAUL > Order Information

Sarah > Hello PAUL_, Thank you for contacting Comcast Live Chat Support. My name is Sarah. Please give me one moment to review your information.

Sarah > Hi there! How are you doing today?

PAUL_ > Hi

[loooooong pause]

PAUL_ > Are you waiting on me? I’m assuming your system has told you I’m moving. Right?

Sarah > Let me see on how can I help you today.

Sarah > May I know your concern, Paul?

PAUL_ > Didn’t I just say?

PAUL_ > I’m moving.

PAUL_ > I just filled out a form all about it.

PAUL_ > Did you get that info?

Sarah > We are having a system upgrade as of the moment. Your order information have been affected. I am afraid that it cannot be pulled up from my end. This is the reason I need to request all the details from you again.

Sarah > Do not worry, this will only take 10-15 minutes of your time to complete the transfer of service order. May we proceed with the process the transfer of your service/s?

PAUL_ > Sigh. Okay.

PAUL_ > What do you need?

PAUL_ > Also, may I suggest taking down your form if it’s not working?

Sarah > Thank you for understanding, Paul.

Sarah > I am sorry for the inconvenience you experienced with us this time.

PAUL_ > Thanks

Sarah > We are really working on it and updating it to serve you better.

Sarah > Do no worry, I will make this as quick as possible for you.

Sarah > I understand you are transferring your Comcast service to a new address. There will be information you need to provide and verify with. To check the serviceability, may I have your current address and the new address please?

PAUL_ > Sure, I get that. I’m in IT too. But when my site is broken, I put up a maintenance page.

PAUL_ > Anyway.

PAUL_ > Current address follows:

PAUL_ > [My current address]

PAUL_ > New address follows:

PAUL_ > [My new address]

Sarah > Thank you so much.

Sarah > I will surely take note on that and raise this customer concern with our order forms.

Sarah > For account verification and security, please provide the account holder’s name and last four of SSN. An account number can be an alternative. If you are not the account holder, please make sure you are an authorized such as spouse or as noted in the account.

PAUL_ > Thanks

PAUL_ > I’m the account holder. My name is Paul O’Brian. Last 4 is [xxxx].

Sarah > Thank you.

Sarah > Allow me to continue reviewing the account first so we can proceed.

PAUL_ > ok

Sarah > Thank you so for providing it to me. We have to check both addresses if these are ready for the transfer.

Sarah > One moment please.

Sarah > I have checked all the information. We can now process the transfer of service order. May I have your preferred date of disconnection and schedule you want to get the service/s installed please?

PAUL_ > I’d like to get the new service connected on the morning of 8/12.

PAUL_ > Do I need to be present for the disconnection?

Sarah > You do not need to be there on that day. The technician will only disconnect the connection from the pole.

PAUL_ > Great. Then let’s also do that on the morning of 8/12.

Sarah > Perfect!

Sarah > Let me check on that for you as I continue. Please provide a phone number for the technician to contact you and the nearest cross street name or intersection of your new service address.

PAUL_ > My cell will be the best bet during this moving process. That’s [my cell #].

PAUL_ > Nearest cross street is [blah blah]

Sarah > Thank you so much for that information.

Sarah > I would not like you to miss this one. Comcast offers a Service Protection Plan which covers customer’s inside wiring for all Comcast products, Video, High Speed data, and Digital Phone. If anything goes wrong with the inside wiring for any of our products—even if the you use a different phone service provider—a skilled service representative will fix the problem at no charge. I highly recommend you add this to your account. This will cover all your COMCAST services for as low as $1.45 a month. Would you like to add it up?

PAUL_ > No thanks

Sarah > Not to worry, you can always upgrade anytime though.

Sarah > I meant add it up anytime.

[Paul considers writing “’Upgrade’ is the more correct usage,” then thinks better of it.]

Sarah > As I can see here, your services are standard cable and internet.

Sarah > You are paying $105.94 a month, am I correct?

PAUL_ > yes

Sarah > Great!

Sarah > By the way, I just want to let you be informed of what promotion you can actually grab while you are transferring your Comcast services. You may actually get the offer anytime though, however, this would be the perfect time to add it while it is still at a discounted rate.

Sarah > We have a bundled package at $129.99/month only. This includes digital cable, high speed internet and unlimited digital phone service. The Comcast Triple Play delivers simplicity. When you are moving, this is what you need. There’s no more cost-effective way to tap into Comcast’s full range of services. How’s that sounds to you?

PAUL_ > No thank you

Sarah > That is not a problem. Comcast promotional packages and bundled offers are always here which you can just upgrade your service to anytime you want. However, in Comcast, we provide a 30-day money back guarantee to any of our bundled offers. You will get the chance to experience our best major services at your home. How about to re-consider the offer?

PAUL_ > Please. I am just trying to move. I would like you to stop it with the upselling right now.

Sarah > Sorry for that, I understand the hesitation for now. That is absolutely fine. I am going to proceed with the scheduling of your transfer.

PAUL_ > Thank you

Sarah > Let me just share this offer to you, $64.99 for 6 months with cable and internet.

Sarah > You may grab that anytime you want though.

[Snarky Paul can no longer be contained.]

PAUL_ > Really, anytime? Then why wouldn’t I grab it every 6 months and only pay $65 rather than $106 per month?

Sarah > You may grab this offer only once, Paul.

Sarah > This is not offered every 6 months to a customer.

PAUL_ > So the offer is you’ll charge me less for the next 6 months, for the same service I’m getting now?

PAUL_ > Is that because I’m moving?

Sarah > Promotional offers are created to give you an experience with our service for a lesser rate.

PAUL_ > But I already have an experience with your service. As you know.

Sarah > This offer actually has a higher cable package than what you are getting.

PAUL_ > Aha.

PAUL_ > I wondered if there was some hidden information.

PAUL_ > So basically I’d pay $65 per month for 6 months, but when it ended I’d be paying higher than $106?

Sarah > Please let me explain it further.

Sarah > $64.99 offer is good for 6 months with Digital Starter cable and High Speed Internet (same internet package). Right after the promotional period ends, it will be back to your same monthly rate at $106.

PAUL_ > And the cable package would drop back down as well, along with the price?

Sarah > You will still have Starter cable at that time.

Sarah > Standard and Starter has different channel package but the same regular rate.

PAUL_ > Is “Starter cable” what you were referring to when you referenced “a higher cable package” than what I’m getting?

PAUL_ > Oh. I was misled by the word “higher”.

PAUL_ > Also, I have to be in a meeting in 5 minutes.

PAUL_ > I was counting on the whole “10-15 minutes of your time” thing being true.

PAUL_ > Anyway, sure, put me on the $65 offer. I can back out of that at any time, correct?

PAUL_ > What else do I need to do to complete this transaction?

Sarah > There is no contract so you can cancel the offer anytime.

PAUL_ > Great.

Sarah > I will now complete this transaction, I am just waiting for your confirmation.

Sarah > I am now going to finish the transfer request for you, please allow me to summarized the order. For a moment please.

PAUL_ > Okay, yes, please complete it.

PAUL_ > Thanks

Sarah > Please give me a few minutes to summarize all for you.

Sarah > Will that be alright?

PAUL_ > Please hurry. I really do have to go.

Sarah > I will.

Sarah > One moment please.

[Another looooong pause. I send an email to the portal team saying, “I’m hung up and going to be 5-10 minutes late for the meeting I’m supposed to be running. Sorry!”]

Sarah > The disconnection will be remotely done on 8/12/2010. You do not need to be there on that day. The technician will only disconnect the connection from the pole.

Sarah > For the connection at the new address, a one time installation fee applies at a total of $40.00. This charge will be added to your new bill at your new address and will not be collected upon the installation day.

Sarah > The installation schedule will be on 8/12/2010, that is between 8-10AM. The technician will call you 15 minutes before the time of appointment.

Sarah > The transfer of service order has been completed. Please confirm the detailed summary. If you have some clarifications or inquiry, please do not hesitate to ask me.

Service/s: Double Play Starter/Performance
New Address: [They got it right]
New Account Number: [long string o’ numbers]
Job Order: [short string o’ numbers]
Schedule of installation: 8-10AM, 8/12/2010

Please take note of all the details of the transfer for your reference.

Sarah > Upon installation, please provide a Valid ID or provide authorization letter if a 3rd party (authorized person) will be present on your behalf. If you will not be there on the installation day, please have someone 18 years old or above who speaks English to be present. The equipment/s you have on hand can be taken with you at the new address, the technician will set up all the necessary installation for you.

Sarah > Would there be anything else you want to add to the service package?

Sarah > If you do not have any further clarifications, you may now end the chat session by clicking on END SESSION button. I really appreciate if you answer the quick survey later to know on how we can improve.

PAUL_ > So I should take my cable box from where I’m living now to my new house?

Sarah > Upon installation, please provide a Valid ID or provide authorization letter if a 3rd party (authorized person) will be present on your behalf. If you will not be there on the installation day, please have someone 18 years old or above who speaks English to be present. The equipment/s you have on hand can be taken with you at the new address, the technician will set up all the necessary installation for you.

Sarah > Please read the last sentence.

PAUL_ > Yes, I did read that. I was confirming my interpretation of it.

PAUL_ > Will you please verify that my interpretation is correct?

Sarah > You are correct.

PAUL_ > Thanks.

Sarah > You are most welcome.

Sarah > Enjoy your day and good luck with your move!

PAUL_ > Thanks for your help.

Sarah > Analyst has closed chat and left the room


The Beatles — Love


You have: A lamp (providing illumination)


  1. Have no fear, this does not make you look like a jerk.

    My only experience of Comcast is second-hand helping my parents with their cable internet. And that’s already enough experience to make me loathe them.

  2. I’m pretty sure her name wasn’t Sarah, either. 🙂

    I also hate Comcast. I had them when I had no choice, but both Time Warner and AT&T UVerse are way better. Have you checked to see if they are available in your new area?

    Yay new house!

  3. This doesn’t look like Rude To Service Person Guy to me… it looks like Service Person With Crappy Script to me.

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