Long story, but I will try to shorten it.

I have been a Comcast customer for two years in the regions (northwest Indiana) for approximately two years before all this happened.

For the past year, my Comcast was in my mother's name and I paid the bill. I canceled my service (Jan 3rd) and moved out of state to Tennessee for a job opportunity. So amidst the moving process, I didn't really think twice about my Comcast account which I had canceled (or so I thought). After I am more settled in, I am leisurely checking my credit card statements, and surprise surprise there are two charges for the service I had canceled.

I called in to get the usual run around. Come to find out they put in a cancelation request then uncanceled it. I am fuming by this point. I know it's not the poor guy's fault, but every subsequent experience with comcast my tolerance for their BS drops.

Finally, after 3 calls and maybe 4 hours, I get someone willing to issue me a refund. They want to send me a check in my mother's name, which is more of an inconvenience. I tell them to refund it to the card, but they say they don't have the ability to do that. They said they had to do "calculations" and would send me a check, which at the time was for an undisclosed amount. After hours of giving them the benefit of the doubt, I was sick of it and decided to file a dispute with CapitalOne.

Now they sent my mother to collections for more than the original amount. I would like to have the debt transferred to my name because I don't want her to deal with this. I don't owe them the money, if anything they owe me money for wasting my time and then putting it to claims. I guess knowing how to proceed in a situation like this is somewhat confusing, because I am the payor and my mother held the account.

I have thought about filing a claim through DONOTPAY.com, but if it ends up having to show up the court date I don't know if my mom could make it. I definitely don't know if I can file on her behalf. Anyone have recommendations on how I should proceed?

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    You said there are charges on your credit card for the last several months, but they are sending your mother to collections. What are they sending her to collections for if the bill has been paid? – lizziv Apr 29 '20 at 21:56
  • @lizziv "I was sick of it and decided to file a dispute with CapitalOne". Likely Capital One responded to his dispute by reversing the charges. If Comcast still thinks the debt is legitimate and wants to collect, they have no choice but to sue. – David Schwartz Apr 30 '20 at 16:57

In my neck of the woods, Comcast is notorious for improper billing and incompetence when it comes to resolving issues. One would think that the 1,000s of wasted man hours (salary costs) and customer dissatisfaction would be a poor business plan but I surmise that for them, the benefits of overcharging outweigh the cost.

While I never had an unresolvable problem with Comcast, on two occasions I had problems with AT&T. Each time after multiple calls, several hours spent on the phone and the run around, I contacted the FCC. Here's a post of mine with more details. Consider this route if you believe that you are right and you can prove it with documentation.

EDIT: Another war story...

Some years ago I got pitched a 3rd party new cell phone deal with MCI which offered a significant savings per month. I said yes. A few days later the phone and contract arrived with a contract. However, the contract's terms were not what I was pitched. I returned both via UPS, never having initiated service.

At the end of month one comes a bill for say $60. I called MCI and explained the situation. The rep promised to resolve the problem and requested my personal info, including my SSN. She can't get into my account and indicated that it's the wrong SSN. Nooo, it's not I said. I've had that SSN for 50+ years. Sorry but without your proper SSN, I can't get into your account. I call again, speak to another rep and get the same answer.

Month two the bill is now $120. I wrote a detailed explanatory letter and sent it back with the bill, unpaid. Month three it's $180 plus added penalties and interest with a threat of turning me over to collections. I ignored it because I've made my best effort to resolve this.

Month four they turned me over to collections. I explained the situation in detail to the first collections caller. Resolution? Squat. From this point forward I tell each collections caller to take me to small claims court and bring a signed contract and evidence of cell phone usage, and then hang up.

I'm fortunate to no longer need credit for anything so I could tell them to go pound sand (and other unmentionable acts). But for anyone caught up in such a meat grinder, it's a frustrating endless loop that you can't get out of. After 9 months of billing me, someone at MCI finally caught on and they released their grip and moved on.

  • Hey thanks for the advice. I will try calling the FCC if they don't get it resolved. I did a 3-way call with my mom and them. They said they were going to remove the charges! But then again, this is the 3rd time they've told me that. I will call the FCC. If they have the wrong SSN they can't properly report it to the credit bureaus correct? – Dustin K Apr 30 '20 at 18:02

To directly answer your question, you are stuck in a war of attrition you have to grind at to win. I would bet good money they would not make any change (moving the debt from your mothers name to yours) easy. I would suggest getting a notarized authorization from her to act on her behalf (although i don't think this would ever make it to court since lawyers cost real money compared to cheap call center labor).

Bob's old post linked in his answer is your best bet. Unfortunately, you just have to make a habit of calling AT&T and the FCC as often as possible. Show them you're not going to give up...the faster you get that message across, the earlier they fix things. Record as many interactions as possible because they would sound so clueless about your problem you'll find yourself doubting whether you actually had the last conversation you had. I eventually had the collections item removed from my credit, but it took way too long because i'd make a call, think it was fixed, forget about it and there it was waiting for me months later.

I wrote a note-to-self little tongue in cheek dialogue about a very similar experience I had in 2011. The whole saga was just so ridiculous over several months, that I felt I had to write stuff down so I wouldn't forget. Reading your question brought back bad memories (and anger) and luckily i could find that note to share. The quotes are not verbatim, but are a very accurate paraphrasing of my conversations with the cable company.

Me: Hi, I am calling for the third time to cancel my internet service. I called in October to cancel and was told my service had been cancelled, but then I got a bill in December after which I called to receive apologies for the mistake and told to disregard the bill. I just received another bill and a letter offering me discounts on my existing service and would like to ask again for you guys to please make sure my service is cancelled. For the record, the last time I moved with you guys and called to change my address a new account was created instead of moving the existing one resulting in a final bill I didn't find out about till you sent it to collections and it appeared on my credit (while I was still an up to date customer in the new account created).

Customer Service Rep: Oh my God! I'm really sorry to hear that. It must have been a horrible experience and we really apologize for the inconvenience..... I'm going to make sure we correct this today... (After checking details). i see records here of you calling to cancel your service twice. Hmmm....Ok, please disregard the bill you received. We would be sending you another final bill showing a zero balance

Me: But why do you have to send another final bill showing zero? Can't you just close it out so i never get another bill? I've heard the exact same things you're saying before and I still end up calling again. Is something wrong with your system?

Customer Service Rep: No, we'll take care of it this time. The last reps mustn't have been paying attention and we apologize again for that.

Me: Ok....well. I hope this is the last of it. Thanks for your help.

Customer Service Rep: But before you go, could I ask you a couple questions about your service and how you're enjoying it?

Me: (Seriously?!?! WTH!!!!!!!!!!!) I don't have any service with you guys, that's what we've been talking about.

Customer Service Rep: Oh!? So you don't have any service with us? Could I interest you in some of our specials?

Me: .....................(speechless)

PS: Its not by accident that they only pay refunds with checks. I'm confident they do that knowing that some percentage of the checks they send would never be cashed.

  • I have lost my temper with them quite a few time, but now that I am recording my calls I don't. I have been keeping notes and have been dealing with this for a while. I have also been taking screenshots of our chat logs. The whole thing has been ridiculous for me as well. I might just preemptively take them to small claims court, because they can't get their story straight and a judge will never go for this kind of debauchery. I might take them to small claims court for punitive damages such as wasting my time. That experience mirrors mine. They tried giving me a discount after I canceled. – Dustin K Apr 30 '20 at 18:07

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