Consumerist Readers Vote Comcast 2014's Worst Company in America

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ohsnaps1104

I had almost every problem possible with Comcast, we were double billed monthly, (even their own tech support told us we were being double charged), our internet speeds would be inconsistent with speed tester sites, one of our tv cable boxes would not function properly (nobody would come fix it, they just kept trying to remote reset it), and last but not least, not only did they unhook the phone lines from the house but they dug up the cable in the backyard and spliced it too, (this is in-case you switch to another provider you have to pay fees to rewire your phones). Luckily when we switched to Centrylink they told us about Comcast slicing cables all over the area, but didn't charge us to fix it. Although Centurylink's service does suck, it's DSL and it's cheap, you can't expect too much unless you have a dedicated DSL line. Plus their tech service is actually fairly decent. When you sign-up they send a do-it-yourself modem package so you can setup your own modem settings.

Bottom line is that pretty much anything can beat Comcast.

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RUSENSITIVESWEETNESS

Their prices are absolutely insane, given the slow speeds, crappy channel selection, and "fuck you" service.

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ApathyCurve

Been using Comcast for years. Only problems I've had were a blown modem, which they promptly replaced, and a severed underground line (AT&T cut it while installing UVerse for my neighbor), which they also promptly fixed. I get a consistent 50+ mbps and can count service interruptions on one hand in over six years as a customer.

Maybe I've just been lucky. Or maybe -- and this is far, far more likely -- maybe The Consumerist is a neo-socialist rag populated by whiny Generation Me losers with an inflated sense of self-importance.

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vrmlbasic

Ragging on a magazine for being socialist while praising Comcast doesn't sound quite right to me.

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NavarWynn

Well, we reap what we sow, in 95 we (we being the bureaucrats apointed by our oh-so upstanding politicians) killed any competition in cable via the FCC decision (to let those who lay the cable, own it in perpetuity - killing any possible competition) is why the company voted worst is also the only cable choice for many customers.

I have DSL, and, yes, it's a bit slower than 40/100Mb /sec comcast service, but it costs a heckuva lot less, is more reliable, and frankly even with netflix on two TVs, and Hulu on the other, while I'm playing online, our service seems to be perfectly adequate - regardless of the time of day. Frankly, 99.5% of people don't need anything over 10-20MBps (even with multiple video streams) - it's only that they have been convinced (comcast clearly has good marketing) that it actually makes a difference...

Obviously I don't have cable - at all. Over the air gives a few local channels, and Hulu and netflix take care of the rest. Frankly, I wouldn't take their service if they offered it for free - no need for dangling 250GB limits (about 1.5 - 2 weeks use for us) over our heads, nitpicking over modems, and cable boxes (~$7/ TV here), throttling Netflix, etc. If you are willing to pay the bill (and those who gripe about it clearly do), you have only yourself to blame. It's kind of like bending over to be shafted. If you bent over for him, you can't really blame Bubba for providing the pain.

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Dorito Bandit

I'm with Comcast and have been with them since early 2012. My bill has slightly risen quiet a few times.

I pay $135 a month for the Double Play package (TV & Internet) 80+ channels (Non-HD) and 30Mbps Internet speed. My modem rental fee just rose to $8 from $7. I don't have any special channels like HBO or anything, either. My TV constantly freezes during fast paced action (usually when watching sports). No, it's NOT my TV, I know of others who experience this as well. Still, $135 a month is ridiculous. For what I am getting, I feel it should be no more than $100. Not sure how much longer I will stay with them, though. They are nickel and dimeing us to death!

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PCWonder

Be glad you're not in Canada. I have cable TV and Internet and pay $180 a month. I get about 70 HD channels, most are garbage, sports and other crap, and I have 100 mbps internet. The only other choice I have is priced the same so choices are two or none. Don't even get me started on our cellphone services here. I must say though the service has pretty much zero interruptions but I don't have any movie channels or other services. The HBO add on is $40 a month here.

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yammerpickle2

Comcast is overpriced, but since they have the politicians in their pockets they have a government supported monopoly. Thankfully after years of horrible service low speeds and high prices my local government finally allowed a competitor into the area. I switched and for the most part have been fairly happy with my much faster speeds and more channels for basically the same price. After bleeding customers Comcast has been forced to match the competition. I hope Google fiber goes global and wipes Comcast off the face of the earth.

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vrmlbasic

Sounds like Comcast got tired of bribing your local government. I'm sure that there are bigger crony capitalists out there, GE comes to mind, but Comcast is definitely in the running for biggest crony capitalist corporation in the US.

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carage

I actually want to get Comcast Business Internet but I couldn't.
The choices of my building is limited to DirecTV Cable or AT&T VDSL.

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slagz

Like the Wu-Tang Clan song C.R.E.A.M. says, Comcast Rules Everything Around Me.

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JosephColt

My condolences to Comcast users, and Time Warner customers.

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vrmlbasic

Evil as Comcast is, SallieMae is definitely the greater evil. Comcast is a huge crony capitalist but it only enslaves your internet access, and you can move out of bondage. SallieMae holds students in bondage for decades and there is no escape.

SallieMae also coerces its "lendees" into taking loans that have an uncapped interest rate. It is doing to student loans what the bankers were forced to do with the housing market with ARMs. That's Satan-incarnate level evil.

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MrHasselblad

The smarter decision for most americans would be to go the two year junior ACCREDITED college route first; regardless if it might be an associates degree, transfer degree, or even both combined.

Imagine how much one saves by going to a junior college for two semesters for just a few thousand dollars. Then the math gets even better for the two year option. Most four year school also are basically bound to accept any class above 102 depending upon grade level attained in the class. And noting how most regions are throughout the country, those teachers and also the subject material are exactly the same at the two year junior college, that exists at the four year college. Let me state that one again, typically same teachers at both school levels.

But a bit more about the student loan issue...

One would think that one would be more aware of that binding contract for loans. Because after all, one typically takes tests just to get into college. Why not study a bit more into loan options before signing ones life away.

Which is why, in america that even with the degree from one of the best four year colleges in america, that naturally it does not guarantee any type of a job prospect. america also happens to have the best rate of having college grads having to move back with their parents.

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vrmlbasic

SallieMae is rapidly becoming the only student lender in town. Private banks are getting out of the business.

SallieMae will give you a "fixed" interest rate loan, sure, but it is so hellish from the get-go that they're essentially strong-arming people into the "ARM" style loans.

I believe that you are a bit out of the loop regarding the relationship between community colleges and 4 year schools. Community colleges tend to bring in "associate professors" with actual current industry experience whereas 4 year schools have cloistered, dyed-in-the-wool academics and the two do not see eye to eye and the students lose. Also, community colleges aren't as cheap as they used to be.

The superior solution might be to go to a community college that has partnered with a "real" college in order to offer 4 year degrees.

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USraging

The one thing you did not take into consideration is the fact that not all classes will transfer to all colleges. So you end up taking a lot of your classes over again at the 4 year college.

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vrmlbasic

Too true.

I know that my local state schools had a row with my state's community colleges regarding Computer Science as the community colleges started students off with python and "advanced" java, getting them to the likes of C++, Objective C and functional programming by the time they hit the "low level" 200-level classes.

Meanwhile, the 4 year schools wanted to baby the students in CS, to treat them like a cash cow, by giving them elementary java and python until they reached the upper 300 level classes, whereupon Functional Programming and C would be suddenly forced upon them. Talk about sink or swim, 2.5 years of "baby's first programming language" and then the archaic and "diametrically opposed" stuff kicks in.

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AEM

Sadly AT&T is worse in terms of speed and price.

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Captain_Steve

Comcast is amazing; I pay only $28 a month, and if anything goes wrong I have a technician fix it within minutes. Please ignore the header on my paycheck.

TBH, Comcast, like any other company, lives or dies by the employees. If you are lucky to get the good ones you will probably have a good experiance. If you get some of the others; then you have to hope for the good ones to fix it.

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HenryT

I'm gonna have to disagree with you.

I've had nothing but good experiences with Comcast staff, and I still hate them. It's because of their corporate policies and decisions. And employee can only smile and apologize so much when their hands are tied. Their connections fail constantly. How is that an employee's fault. They give you $20 when they fail to show up for a 1/2 day window appt. Again, how is a smile and apology going to compensate you for the 4 hours you spent waiting for them?

Companies like Comcast (and Time Warner, my new cable provider) have management from the 70s in their blood. And all the seminars they attend basically train them to teach their staff to apologize for management mistakes. It obviously doesn't work, but they just can't accept that it's the management that needs to be thrown out and not the staff.

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TommM

I absolutely frickin' hate Comcast, but like many others, I don't have a choice but them.

It drives me insane that I have to call them every 4-6 months to find out why my bill just arbitrarily went up (never down, of course). And then argue it back down with someone from Pakistan to where it was before.

And then there's the modem "rental." Their website says you can use your own modem as long as they approve of it so you don't have to pay $7 rental from them each month. Guess what? They don't approve of any modems (even though there are plenty that will work fine), so you're stuck paying $84 modem rental a year for a $40 modem.

I ACHE for the day when I can go to a different provider.

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Incognito

I'm certainly no big fan of Comcast but the last part of your post is just mis-information. I've had internet service with Comcast since 2000 and have never leased a modem from them and I've gone through 4 modems during that time. Also, you don't need to call them and get the modem approved. In fact, you don't need to call them at all. Once you hook up the modem and it's not provisioned to an account you'll get a walled garden screen asking you to log into your Comcast account and then the modem will automatically be provisioned to your account. My old modem died a few months ago and I replaced it with a Motorola SurfBoard SB6141 and didn't have to call them. I went through the same process on the modem before that (without calling in) about 6 years ago.

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TommM

Let me clarify because it most certainly isn't misinformation.

I have the "triple package" (or whatever they call it). That gives me the internet, cable TV and IPtel phone. I don't want the phone, I don't even have a landline phone to use for it. But in order to get the discounted price on the internet and cable tv I HAVE to sign up for this triple package nonsense that includes the phone.

So I bought a cable modem to replace theirs and went to one of their service centers to return it so I could get rid of the $7/month rental. Their response? "The modem you bought isn't qualified to handle IPtel usage. You must have a modem that will also do voice, because that is the package you have." It was all I could do to stop from reaching over the counter and ringing the customer service agent's neck. So even though I don't want, nor have I ever used the voice portion, this is their modem policy.

Guess what? No such modem exists. Or at least none that they have approved. So here I am using my own modem for my internet connection, that POS renter modem from Comcast is in my closet and I'm paying $7 a month for it's non-use.

Nice, huh?

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wolfing

I've been a Comcast customer for like forever. Personally, no major complaints. In fact, sometimes they pleasantly surprise me (like, once in a while I get an email saying my speed was increased, without an increase in price). I do have a problem with their monopoly practices, but that's a general problem in the USA and cable companies, it's not really Comcast's 'fault' that our politicians are so easily bought. I'd probably do the same thing if I was Comcast.

I do have a problem with EA, and how they keep acquiring games I love, and destroy them in their sequels, or just cancel them.

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PCWolf

Being a Comcast Customer is like being in a abusive relationship that you don't want to leave. Comcast is a perfect example of what happens when a Company has no competition, & does not care about it's customers. Comcast is Garbage & it will spread it's garbage to Time Warner if the merger is allowed to proceed. Sadly, the only way to change a worthless company like Comcast, is to turn off your service and leave. If enough customers do that, they will change their ways.

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Obsidian

I have used Comcast for almost a decade now. I get speeds that I don't even know what to do with 'most' of the time, 20 to 40 Mbps at any given moment and I pay dearly for that speed at the tune of $68 per month. Increases in cost every 6 to 12 months, usually without explanation.

Comcast is the only game in Saint Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota above 10 Mbps on a regular basis, so you are forced to pay if you want the speed.

It's not as though I'm using it to run a web farm, but there might be three concurrent Netflix streams and web browsing during household-heavy-usage moments.

They were kind enough to lift the download caps of 250GB / month about two years ago. A cap I would occasionally come close to with Steam, MSDN and Netflix.

However, I began using their service when it was $39.99 ... and now it's nearly $70, for essentially the exact same tier of internet. I used to 'bundle' with super-basic TV but then they sent out set-top-boxes that I didn't ask for, nor need and charged a monthly fee for each one! HA! I took them back and canceled all TV. I'm strictly over the air now and the picture is much clearer.

The two times I've even bothered to call Comcast support to get credit for downtime of 10-hours or more they actually sent me to a call center in the United States. I was pleasantly surprised.

Their service is FAR too expensive, but that's the only complaint I really have about it. It works 99% of the time, it slows down only during super-peak hours in my residential neighborhood, and I've had little need for support.

I'd still rate Sprint cell phone (dis)service higher on the frustration/screw-customers scale of dissatisfaction. My phone calls often sound worse than $20 kids toy walkie-talkies, often get dropped without notification, text messages arrive only when I interact with my device (regardless of power settings) I sit in the middle of a metro area and watch the bars fluctuate from zero to 3 out of 6. I can get 4G LTE in certain suburbs, but not in the city proper areas which are barely 3G speeds. Ultimately I'm paying for something that is being advertised, but I'm not receiving, in regards to Sprint.

At least with Comcast super-expensive internet comes with super-fast speeds (currently). But for the price we're still way behind other countries for no reasons other than greed and lack of accountability.

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MrHasselblad

Why are mot ISP's and a majority of internet service in general throughout america so far behind most of the rest of the G20 countries.

Anyone in america ever happen to talk with people throughout Western Europe, most of Asia, etc... Compare their internet service (especially customer service) speed rates, and best of all - cost

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PCWolf

Because America is a country of 0 competition & greed. So we are stuck with paying top dollar for lame speeds as compared to the rest of the world. & with our worthless government doing nothing but giving them more tax breaks in exchange for promises the ISP's never keep (Verison Using the Fios tax to upgrade their cellular network is the best example), We, the American Internet User, gets the shaft. 0 competition breeds 0 innovation.

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Incognito

Sure, lack of competition has a small part to do with why speeds in the US don't match up with SOME other countries, but a larger part of the problem is that the population in the US is very widespread whereas the areas in EU that have these crazy internet speeds are tightly packed into a small geographical area. It's going to cost a lot of $$ to lay fiber throughout the entire US. Verizon made a go at it and then had to stop. They laid fiber in my neighborhood but it costs more than my Comcast service for lower speeds. Google has their toe in the water in select cities / towns and hopefully they will continue.

I'm read other PC tech related forums every day and there are always people from the UK and Canada complaining about their crazy-low bandwidth caps (usually 25 Gigs per month), which Comcast was smart enough to suspend the 250 Gig cap that they had in place for a while.

One of the main reasons that Comcast is a monopoly is that no other company wants to spend the crazy amount of money it would cost to build infrastructure. Hopefully Google will be changing that in the future and lay down a ton of fiber and lease what they're not using to third party companies.

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vrmlbasic

...the crazy amount of money involves bribing politicians more than Comcast already has. I'm not sure that anyone can do that, given how massive Comcast is.

Are you implying that you, despite having access to up to 300 Mbit/sec fiber through Verizon, are paying into Comcast? :(

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JCSFBAY81

Comcast is horrible. I'm not surprised by this vote and agree with. You call there customer service dept and get some 3rd world country then the support they provide is a joke at best. I use there service but would gladly move on if only another provider such as att (whom also sucks) had a superior Internet offering.