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Cable Company Bait and Switch
Old 09-10-2015, 04:19 PM   #1
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Cable Company Bait and Switch

I'm livid at the moment. After carefully negotiating a "triple play" package with a major phone/cable company last month--and getting a confirmation of all agreed upon charges in writing--I received my first bill. The bill does not AT ALL reflect the agreed upon package price. 1.5 hours on the phone to the company today and all I am told is that "the sales rep was wrong; we will make sure we will train our reps better in the future."

I will not pay a bill for something I did not agree to. What can I do? A quick check on the internet confirms that this company frequently uses bait and switch tactics.
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Old 09-10-2015, 04:26 PM   #2
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You can tell them to return to uninstall everything, cancel the outstanding invoice, and file a complaint with your state Attorney General.
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Old 09-10-2015, 04:46 PM   #3
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I would be upset also.

Do you have anything in writing?

You have limited choices:
- bundle everything up and return it, in the meantime secure new service providers. That can be tricky for cable and internet, depending on your area and if you have other options.
- Get on the phone with customer service - be willing to wait. Insist on escalating it to a senior person. The next point is key - be willing to cancel all service (see previous point) and let them know that. Eventually, if you're lucky, you'll be switched to someone who has the authority to make an equivalent deal or offer a refund. Do not try this in a brick and mortar office - there is no-one with authority to make a deal working there.
- pay the bill and chalk it up to craptastic customer relations.

If you decide to escalate it by phone have the following: pen/paper (for recording names), a charger for your cell phone, snacks, bathroom access, and a place you can shout if necessary without disturbing anyone.

When I called with the specific intent of canceling video service it took over 90 minutes before I was switched to someone who could actually issue the cancellation order. Two reps offered crappy alternative offers prior to getting to this person. This person was able to "magically" come up with an offer that I accepted and I ended up not cancelling. Being determined to cancel made it easier to sit through the non-offers that wasted my time, because my intent was to cancel, not improve my deal.
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Old 09-10-2015, 04:51 PM   #4
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And the name of the Offending cable co ??
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Old 09-10-2015, 04:55 PM   #5
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Thanks rodi. I did escalate it to the so-called "loyalty department" where I was told there was no such package as that offered to me: that the sales rep must have been mistaken. I asked for the highest level supervisor and was told she would call me in 48 hours. She has not called me. And yes I do have the promised package in writing. But now I'm told the sales rep was merely mistaken.

To cancel and move to the only other competitor will entail installation charges and the whole miserable issue once again. That company is even worse. Thus I am frustrated beyond measure with having been forced into scam with no options.
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Old 09-10-2015, 04:55 PM   #6
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I purposely did not name the company, unsure whether my post would get yanked. It is not Comcast.
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Old 09-10-2015, 05:06 PM   #7
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Most cable TV co's have a " Franchise agreement " with the city / county. If this is the case, and you have the offer in writing, you may be able to cause then enormous regulatory grief, so much, that a logical thinking manager would honor the terms, but being a cable tv company, logical thinking might not apply
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Old 09-10-2015, 05:07 PM   #8
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I've found that they will stonewall you until you say "cancel my service". Then you go to a customer retention specialist who will actually do something. When I switched to ATT a year ago, they promised one price verbally, but when I went on line to review my next bill, it was more. So I called and was told it would take 30 days to correct the error. Since the installer had not been out yet, I asked to simply forget the whole thing. Like magic, the original rep called to say it was all fixed, which it was. One year later, the special rate expired and I got no offer of relief until I cancelled the service.
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Old 09-10-2015, 05:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marita40 View Post
Thanks rodi. I did escalate it to the so-called "loyalty department" where I was told there was no such package as that offered to me: that the sales rep must have been mistaken. I asked for the highest level supervisor and was told she would call me in 48 hours. She has not called me. And yes I do have the promised package in writing. But now I'm told the sales rep was merely mistaken.

To cancel and move to the only other competitor will entail installation charges and the whole miserable issue once again. That company is even worse. Thus I am frustrated beyond measure with having been forced into scam with no options.
I think the frustration and/or tactics of the companies are why many here choose to cut the cord when we can. At least we don't feel captive to the ever increasing rates or confusing charges.
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Old 09-10-2015, 05:32 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Marita40 View Post
I purposely did not name the company, unsure whether my post would get yanked. It is not Comcast.
Go ahead and name the offender. I promise I won't yank the post.
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Old 09-10-2015, 05:42 PM   #11
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Don't pay them. That should get a reaction from them


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Old 09-10-2015, 05:50 PM   #12
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Since it wasn't comcast - I assume it's Time Warner. They're the two biggest players.
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Old 09-10-2015, 05:53 PM   #13
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The first thing you need to know is that every cable company has crap service... also the dish companies....

Every year (and sometimes not even a year) prices go up... I originally went to with Dish and was paying $32 per month.... it was a small package, but had HD.... then the price went up.... then I found out that package went away and they moved me to another that was higher... went to the mid $40s... then the $50... then almost $70!!!

I complained and they are still giving me a $15 per month credit, but that will go away soon... OH, and the rate magically went up $5 per month just after I agreed to the $15 per month credit...


I only look at the OTA channels and maybe 5 to 10 other channels.... and if they cost me a big number I would do without some of them.... I wish I could be a cable cutter... cannot wait for the time to come that will allow me to do so... might have to look at Netflix or Hula to see if I can see 80% of what I watch for cheaper...
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Old 09-10-2015, 06:01 PM   #14
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Since it wasn't comcast - I assume it's Time Warner. They're the two biggest players.
Could be Verizon FiOS. They're major too. Third I think after your two.
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Old 09-10-2015, 06:21 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Marita40 View Post
I'm livid at the moment. After carefully negotiating a "triple play" package with a major phone/cable company last month--and getting a confirmation of all agreed upon charges in writing--I received my first bill. The bill does not AT ALL reflect the agreed upon package price. 1.5 hours on the phone to the company today and all I am told is that "the sales rep was wrong; we will make sure we will train our reps better in the future."

I will not pay a bill for something I did not agree to. What can I do? A quick check on the internet confirms that this company frequently uses bait and switch tactics.
I would call them back and tell them that their choice is to either conform to the terms that they agreed to in writing or if they are not willing to do so then there was obviously not a meeting of the minds and there was no contract and you will leave their stuff on the curb for them to pick up.

Then file complaints with the BBB and any relevant state authorities that license them in your state and provide your documentation.
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Old 09-10-2015, 06:33 PM   #16
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Sorry, none of the guessers win. The company is Centurylink.
I have had my landline phone service, which I want to retain, with them since 1988. They had a different name then, but talk about loyalty!
When I moved into my new place recently it came with a satellite dish. Centurylink partners with DirectTV, so I went that route rather than Comcast. In my experience, Comcast is equally horrible.
I really want all three: internet, landline phone, and TV. At this point I have so little energy to try to negotiate elsewhere for these things. But I do understand that the only way to get any action is to threaten to cancel. On the other hand, I did this once awhile back with Comcast--and they said, well ok then! We will cancel you. In short, it didn't work and caused more headaches than not.
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Old 09-10-2015, 06:38 PM   #17
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I would complain to the Minnesota Attorney General. Here is a link to do so:

Consumer Complaints | The Office of Attorney General Lori Swanson
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Old 09-10-2015, 06:54 PM   #18
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I am indeed going to pursue this and I appreciate the advice. I will call Centurylink back tomorrow and prepare for another 1-2 hours of bull****. I just checked out the MN Attorney General site and will also start there. This is clearly a bait and switch.
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Old 09-10-2015, 07:05 PM   #19
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Where I live, comcast and verizon fios only offer "triple plays". All I want is an ordinary single play consisting of internet. So I stay with my old Verizon DSL. I supplement my entertainment with an antenna and a Roku device. Still, I have to pay about $75 per month because I have to have phone service with the DSL.
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Old 09-10-2015, 08:31 PM   #20
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I would complain to the Minnesota Attorney General. Here is a link to do so:

Consumer Complaints | The Office of Attorney General Lori Swanson
I tried to work with that office back when I had problems with telemarketers. My humble opinion is they don't give a rats a**

But hopefully the original poster has better luck
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