Open Letter

An Open Letter to Washington's Attorney General, Who Is Suing Comcast

We live to underserve you.

September 20, 2016 Published in the October 2016 issue of Seattle Met

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Image: James Boyle

Hello, my name is Zeke, and I’ll be happy to assist you with your request for injunctive relief, dated August 1, 2016. We here at Comcast take deceptive business practices very seriously, and we welcome any opportunity to reevaluate our methods of incorporating them.

Our records indicate that among other things, you believe we “deceived” many of our 1.2 million Washington customers by selling them a service protection plan that, for the low monthly rate of $4.99, covered only a fraction of the service calls it purported to cover. 

At Comcast we do not use the word deceive; we prefer creative upselling. Now as to your complaint, that particular service protection plan is handled by a separate department with which I am unable to communicate, so I’m afraid I can neither confirm nor deny the terms of its coverage. However, if you believe that coverage is inadequate, what I can do is offer you our Gold Level service protection plan, which, for an additional $9.99 per month, will cover the service calls that our standard service protection plan doesn’t. And just between you and me—I really feel like we’re bonding here—I’ll throw in HBO free for three months.

In addition, I understand you’ve identified some issues with our service call fees, particularly that it’s not always clear which services will incur a fee? I do apologize for that. To be honest, I can’t quite keep them straight myself. But if you’d like, I’d be happy to send out a technician who can review them with you. It’s possible that you will be charged a customer education fee, but if you contact me afterward with the ticket number, technician’s name and badge number, time the technician arrived, and the serial number on your street’s cable box, I may be able to waive that fee this one time. Or not. We’ll just have to see.

Mr. Attorney General—may I call you AG?—I’d like to take this opportunity to let you know that Comcast is committed to providing the best mediocre service to all of our customers, including you and the people of Washington. And that’s why I’m happy to escalate your allegations to someone in our Legal Complaint Division, who will have the obfuscation and evasion tools necessary to see that this matter is resolved in a manner that benefits us. 

Before I do that, though, I’d like to address one more portion of your judicial correspondence, namely the assertion that Comcast has “repeatedly engaged” in conduct that you apparently deem to be exemplary, at least in terms of the efficiency with which the company “deceives” its customers. Your suit suggests that repeatedly engaging in these practices constitutes a breach of ethics and/or the law. Frankly we take exception to that interpretation and instead encourage you to consider it an example of our dependability: While our customers may not know what they’re getting or how much they’re paying for it, they can rest assured that it will remain consistently subpar.

Please feel free to reach out again should you decide to upgrade your service,

Zeke Adams
Comcast Customer Support

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