In these times of economic hardship; it seems that customer service and customer loyalty are falling by the waist side. Many families are forced to cut back on the luxury services such as cable and cell phones. However, these companies are more than aware of the strains families are in, yet they are not willing to help out their loyal customers.

Today I was talking with a very irate loyal customer of Comcast Cable. Due to a recent lay off at work, this two family income has been forced to “make do” with just one income. Some juggling of bills happened and when forced to choose between food on the table or paying the cable bill a few days late…well food won.

So, the cable bill started piling up and a notice of termination was sent. The customer called up the customer service center and the cable company assured this customer all that was needed was a payment received by November 3 and there would be no disruption in the service.

The customer hung up the phone and breathed a sigh of small relief. At least now this customer knows   one small problem will be solved soon because the paycheck will be in the bank tomorrow and all she needs to do is go to the building and pay the bill.

About a half an hour later, her husband says something is wrong with the internet. The TV she was watching suddenly goes off.

Apparently, Comcast wanted the money today.

The customer calls the cable company and the first service representative she gets on the phone gives her no explanation other than the bill needs to be paid. The customer says she just got off the phone with another customer service representative who said she had until November 3rd to pay. A supervisor was placed on the line and all the supervisor could say was the billing department changed the date and the service could not be turned on until a payment was received.

The customer and her husband go down to the Comcast building with a postdated check. They look around the parking lot and see an unusual amount of cars. Once they enter the building, a long line of customers greeted them. In the long line, they pick up pieces of the conversation.

They weren’t the only customers who the billing department decided to change the billing date to today.

 The lobby was filled with customers who had the same problem. They were told they needed to pay by November 3rd; yet their services were cut today. Now they have to pay the balance of the bill and a reconnection fee.

Because Fios isn’t available in most areas, Comcast is the monopoly. These customers have been with Comcast for years and now they know people are stuck. They are having trouble paying because of the economy. If they want to change their services to lower the bill, they get hit with all types of fees.  

Why keep hitting people when they are down? When these people get back on their feet, what will happen then? Most likely they will cancel their services and pay the fees associated with it because they will remember the day they had to go ask a family member or a friend, or pull more money from their credit cards in order to pay a bill they thought they had a few more days to pay. It isn’t because they want to watch the latest VH1 show; it is because their internet and phone are tied to their cable bill. If a call came in about a job; they would miss it. If an email came through about a new job lead; it would go unanswered.

All of this for what? So Comcast could get their money six days earlier.