Well, I thought I would make it to the end of 2012 without any more griping, but alas, this letter needed to be written. For those of you keeping track at home: Frontier responded positively and in a reasonable amount of time (link). I've yet to hear anything from TOMS (link). I'll keep you posted...
Dear Comcast (or Xfinity or whatever it is you like to be called these days),
I can't believe it's taken me so long to write, to be honest. Usually, I'm much more proactive with my consumer complaints. I guess I just kept thinking it had to get better.
We've been Comcast customers since the summer of 2009. From the beginning there were problems. Specifically, when I called to open an account I was promised certain services at a price that was agreeable to me, but my first bill was for an amount three times that. I called to resolve the issue and twenty hours and fifteen phone calls later, I finally found a customer service rep who agreed to give me the deal originally promised. It took 15 phone calls and 20 hours of my time. I should've run while I had the chance, but holes had already been drilled in my walls and boxes installed on my TVs, so I decided to stick with it.
Since then, my bill has increased by 35% despite the fact our overall services have not really changed. I've also had another child and entered the world of special needs parenting. In other words, I have even less time to spend on calling Comcast once every couple of months to negotiate my bill. So, I write today to beg you to rethink your company policy. Instead of consistently raising people's monthly rates and hiring more employees to work your phones and ensure us that they really do understand how frustrated we must be (that's a nice touch, by the way, training them to seem sympathetic to our plight), won't you please quit messing with our bills, instead (unless of course you want to lower it)?
The tipping point for me, what finally made me decide to write this letter, was a comment made by Delia*, one of your billing support reps, who I talked to yesterday. I called because my bill went up for the second straight month despite the fact I was assured by the rep I talked to two months ago that it would stay the same as it'd been for several months prior to that. During our 35-minute conversation, Delia told me that she could help get my bill back close to the amount I was paying before the rate increases, but that I would have to call again next month to renegotiate my bill. In other words, she was the first Comcast employee to openly admit that I would have to keep calling to keep my bill down.
For a working mother of three, with special needs kids and way too many family health issues to count, this feels like a combination of bullying and extortion. I know your bottom line depends on the fact that some folks don't pay attention to their bills or that they are too timid or too busy to fight with your reps to get the services they ordered at the price promised to them, but I wonder how this is honest business practice?
This is what I propose. You guarantee my rate and services for for 12 months, and I will be a grateful, timely-paying customer. I'll be happy to call and chat with your reps once a year to renegotiate my plan, but please stop requiring me to do more than that. If you continue to raise my rates without good reason, I will cancel my account and encourage everyone I know to do the same.
Thank you for your time.
*Name has been changed.