A new homeowner is being forced to put his dream house back on the market after Comcast promised they could provide internet service to the property and then refused to provide it.
Seth, who at this time is only going by his first name on his blog and the Consumerist’s report, is a computer engineer who works from home. Having internet access is absolutely necessary for his work, so when he was deciding to purchase his first house in Kitsap County, Washington, he contacted Comcast. They confirmed that they could provide Comcast service to his address. He asked for confirmation in writing, but they told him they don’t provide written confirmation and assured him again that they could provide service.
Everything seemed perfect, until it came time to actually set up their internet service:
On Jan 31, as soon as the Comcast tech arrived at Seth’s house, he noticed a problem — no Comcast box on the outside of the house or anywhere near it. He gave Seth the bad news that the only way he’d get service was if Comcast ran cable from the road to his building.
“He called to set that up for us, and told us he was going to do something called a ‘Drop Bury Request’ to bring in service,” writes Seth. “He filed a ticket and went on his way.”
But that request seemed to vanish into the ether. Seth made repeated follow-up calls to Comcast but — in spite of having a ticket number, and in spite of being made promises that people would call or e-mail him back — no one seemed to have any idea what was going on with his account.
After weeks of calling Comcast and numerous technicians dropping by, both scheduled and unscheduled, Seth was no closer to getting internet service. They eventually said that they could set it up, but the job would be expensive. In the meantime, they could set him up with a “temporary drop,” but Comcast again changed their minds overnight:
Seth answered the door the next morning to hear a Comcast tech telling him, “I hate to tell you this, but I don’t think you have cable!”
The situation became even more confused later that day when yet another Comcast sales rep claimed that the work had been successfully completed that morning and Seth now had service and the ticket had been closed.
Seth had to open yet another service appointment and an Engineering request, but in a baffling display of incompetence, Comcast closed the request as an “invalid ticket.” Worse, a Comcast representative even called Seth to ask him why he had cancelled the appointment.
At this point, he gave up on Comcast and tried CenturyLink, a competitor in the area, but CenturyLink informed him that they were not adding new customers in his area and charged $100 for their service. His only other viable option is through the Kitsap Public Utility District, but Washington state law prohibits municipal broadband services from selling internet service to consumers.
To sum up this whole messy situation, Comcast will not provide Seth with service, despite promising to do so. CenturyLink will not provide Seth with service, despite their website still stating that they service his area. The Kitsap Public Utility District could provide him service if it wasn’t against the law. As a result, Seth will have to sell his house and probably take a huge loss:
“I’m devastated…This means we have to sell the house. The house that I bought in December, and have lived in for only two months.”
“Comcast has lied. I don’t throw that word around lightly or flippantly, I mean it sincerely,” continued Seth. “They’ve fed me false information from the start, and it’s hurt me very badly…Three months of equity in a house isn’t a lot of money compared to sellers fees, excise taxes, and other moving expenses.”