This morning we woke up to an ominous email from Comcast, threatening us with a partial account suspension. Here’s the email, sans all the Comcast graphics etc.
Dear Comcast Customer,
Our billing system has detected errors in your payment information. This usually occurs when your payment method on file has expired or declines a payment charge.
Please be aware that your access to Comcast Services will be restricted, if these errors are not corrected.
Click here to get started.
The email was perplexing because our account is up to date. For years, our bill has always been paid like clockwork on the same credit card, with a current expiration date years out. Our payment record is pristine.
I eyed the email suspiciously. Worried that it might be a cleverly disguised phishing expedition, I didn’t click through any of the provided links.
Also, the mere mention of “service restrictions” is somewhat anxiety producing, since internet and cable access isn’t an adjunct or a luxury any longer. It’s an essential utility in our household. (We’re triple play, meaning that Comcast is our cable, phone and internet service provider.)
I’m still smarting from my last tangle with Comcast billing. A few years back (also around the same time in September) we had a big problem with Comcast billing who claimed that our payment was rejected by our credit card company - a notion they scoffed at. (Our credit card company voluntarily contacted Comcast on our behalf.)
At any rate, that problem took weeks to resolve, so I was having black visions of weeks of unhappy wrangling with Comcast.
This morning, after slogging though Comcast vmail and waiting on hold for about four minutes (not bad), I was assured by the billing department that all was well. Since the email was distributed from what appeared to be a legitimate Comcast email server/addy, I was still a bit uneasy. The customer service agent routed me to a supervisor who picked up almost immediately.
The supervisor assured me the email was indeed a legitimate Comcast communication. He said the email was sent out by mistake and he apologized profusely for the inconvenience. He couldn’t tell me how many other customers may have mistakenly received the same email.
Comcast deserves props for honesty and the apology. We’ve been Comcast customers for a loooong time. Back (back, back, back) in the day, the company was often loath to admit mistakes or acknowledge a problem. So, it’s always refreshing when a company says, “hey, we made a mistake,” and apologizes.
It’s no fun to wake up on a Monday morning to the prospect of account suspension/restriction, and to have the problem eat into 30 minutes of an already busy day.
But the satisfying experience with Comcast customer service softened the sting.