Just came across this story in the Consumerist (it was shared by a Facebook friend) about a horrible experience with Comcast that not only involves being charged for services and equipment not provided or requested, and bad customer service but ends with the customer being fired from his place of employment after Comcast contacted them.

You can read the first article, here, which describes the customer's ordeal with the cable company. Highlights below (although it's hard to cherry pick because there's so much to choose from).

Conal began subscribing to Comcast service in early 2013 after he says he was sold a 9-month promotional pricing offer. But from the start, there were issues with his service, as he was being charged for set-top boxes that had yet to be activated. Additionally, someone at Comcast billing had misspelled Conal's last name, meaning some of his bills were not being delivered.

He says he met with a Comcast rep in May 2013 about the billing issues and promised they would all be sorted out, but things only got worse.

A few months later, the promotional discount shrunk and Conal's monthly bill increased by $20, in addition to still being charged for unactivated devices in his house. Comcast also twice charged him an additional $7 for a second modem he did not have.

But wait, it gets worse...

But things didn't just continue as they had before; Comcast somehow managed to sink even lower than it had before, sending Conal about a dozen pieces of equipment that he didn't order.

"There were a few DVRs, modem, standard boxes and equipment that I was unfamiliar with," he says.

Making matters worse, Comcast billed him $1,820 for all this stuff he'd never requested and had no use for.

...

And even though it wasn't yet past due, Comcast sent Conal's account into collections in Feb. 2014.

And when he tried to escalate things to get them resolved, including mentioning that issues like this were deserving of official invegistation, Comcast took the asshole route and complained to his company and got him fired (allegedly, but I believe it).

At some point shortly after that call, someone from Comcast contacted a partner at the firm to discuss Conal. This led to an ethics investigation and Conal's subsequent dismissal from his job; a job where he says he'd only received positive feedback and reviews for his work.

There's been a couple updates on the story, including the customer speaking out.

Comcast has since issued a public apology but only for the horrible customer service experience, not the firing after they called his employer to tell on him. But the customer (identified as Conal O'Rourke) was smart enough to hire an attorney who released this statement regarding the apology, calling it out as just a PR move, and including some appreciated (by me) sarcasm in the last paragraph.

We view this apology as more of a public relations strategy than a public apology. Comcast has yet to contact Mr. O'Rourke through his lawyers at Dhillon Law Group Inc. with this apology, which calls its sincerity into doubt. Furthermore, we would note what is missing from the apology.

First, Comcast has not promised to investigate its involvement in Mr. O'Rourke's termination, or to release the emails or taped calls that would prove that he is telling the truth and that Comcast defamed him to his employer.

Second, Comcast's claim that "nobody at Comcast asked for him to be fired" does not resolve the matter. While we disbelieve this statement, even if it were true, the Controller's office at Comcast knew when it made the ethics complaint to PWC that if PWC believed the complaint, Mr. O'Rourke would be terminated.

Comcast made false and defamatory statements about Dhillon Law Group Inc.'s client to his employer, knowing the outcome would be termination, and we will not allow that to stand.

Mr. O'Rourke does appreciate that more than eighteen months after Comcast first made errors on his bill that it is willing to investigate the matter. Mr. O'Rourke and his attorneys hope that this investigation will be productive, unlike the other investigations Comcast repeatedly promised to perform over those eighteen months.

Here's hoping his lawyer can get someone to release details on the ethics violations they're alleging he commited and that he files a successful lawsuit.

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I'm not a fan of TimeWarner Cable (since first signing up I've canceled all cable service with them, and bought my own cable modem so as not to pay a monthly rental for one) but I've never had anything this bad happen with them. I really don't want them being bought out by Comcast.