Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Comcast Hounded By Collections Agency

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the turnabout-is-fair-play dept.

Businesses 142

Bob the Super Hamste writes "According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Comcast is being taken to court for non-payment by a bill collection agency it used to collect past-due payments from customers. The suit alleges that Comcast agreed to pay $5 for each account it closed and that for each account the collection agency handled Comcast would pay 33% of the collected funds. The suit is seeking $314,210 for account cancellations and estimates Comcast owes them $50,000 for delinquent funds collected."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

What is next? (0)

CTU (1844100) | more than 2 years ago | (#35916924)

Will they forget to pay the power bill next? OR maybe there employees?

Re:What is next? (1, Informative)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 2 years ago | (#35916940)

OR maybe there employees?

I think you meant "OR maybe their employees?"

Emphasis mine.

Re:What is next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35917014)

Whose emphasis could it otherwise be?

Re:What is next? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35917082)

Whose emphasis could it otherwise be?

The emphasis would have been by the /. code for anyone typing "their" or "they're" instead of "there."

Good show (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35917030)

Excellent catch. By pointing out the spelling error, you not only proved your intellectual superiority (which is the only kind of superiority that really matters), but you also made a valuable and insightful contribution to the discussion.

Bravo.

Re:Good show (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35917080)

Hypocrite

Re:Good show (2, Insightful)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | more than 2 years ago | (#35917200)

I for one, appreciate it. After all, if the Slashdot crowd--supposedly a little brighter than the average Joe--can't get it together enough to know the difference between they're and their then we are indeed in trouble.

I suspect that the same people who complain about spelling and grammar 'Nazis' are the same ones who would deride a liberal arts major for not knowing calculus. Perhaps next time I write down an equation I'll just substitute some of the "+" signs for "-" signs and then deride anyone who corrects me as a math Nazi.

Re:Good show (2)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 2 years ago | (#35917298)

If English required technical accuracy to work, your analogy would make more sense.

Re:Good show (2)

by (1706743) (1706744) | more than 3 years ago | (#35918196)

If English required technical accuracy to work, your analogy would make more sense.

English requires technical accuracy to work well, just the same as math. If I start Taylor-expanding something for a few more terms than necessary, but mess up the signs on the higher order terms, my answer could still be qualitatively right; however, it introduces some ambiguity -- "is this dude doing something tricky that I don't understand, or is he just wrong?"

Both "OR maybe they're employees?" and "OR maybe their employees?" make sense, but mean very different things (I realize the original mistake used "there," but still...).

Personally, I just find it difficult to "decode" certain botched sentences. For example, "on sundae I went two the store and wile I was they're aye red a book (vary suite!) and blue my knows," is...well, tricky to read (reed?). I know, an exaggerated example...

Re:Good show (0)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 3 years ago | (#35918252)

You actually demonstrated how one can be totally ungrammatical but still convey the information, which maybe you intended to bolster my point? Thank you!

Re:Good show (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35918378)

So, Endo Daze, I guess ewe liek schit english than? lol. your the won hoo suxx.

Re:Good show (1)

by (1706743) (1706744) | more than 3 years ago | (#35918512)

You actually demonstrated how one can be totally ungrammatical but still convey the information, which maybe you intended to bolster my point? Thank you!

Certainly. By returning the favor, please fork GCC such that any syntax error is automatically fixed with something syntactically valid. No one should be bothered with semicolons, matching parentheses and braces, etc.

Re:Good show (2)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 2 years ago | (#35917320)

I for one, appreciate it. After all, if the Slashdot crowd--supposedly a little brighter than the average Joe--can't get it together enough to know the difference between they're and their then we are indeed in trouble.

Agreed, these discussions are far too rife with self-righteous stupidity like that. If you make a mistake and don't want to know about it, you probably don't belong on slashdot -- real nerds care about knowledge and would rather know the truth even if it means they are wrong!

I suspect that the same people who complain about spelling and grammar 'Nazis' are the same ones who would deride a liberal arts major for not knowing calculus.

Yes, the same ones who call gentoo users "ricers" because belittling is easier than doing. The tyranny of the moronic has become ubiquitous on slashdot.

Re:Good show (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35917468)

N.B. - I'm a different AC, not the GP.

I for one, appreciate it. After all, if the Slashdot crowd--supposedly a little brighter than the average Joe--can't get it together enough to know the difference between they're and their then we are indeed in trouble.

If you, as a member of said brighter-than-average crowd, cannot distinguish between an honest-to-goodness typo and an inability to distinguish between "their" and "there", I think that's a much bigger sign that we're in trouble.

The GP really has a point, though. Pedantry really doesn't buy us anything. Somebody made a mistake, but everybody else knew what was meant, so the correct course of action would've been to simply let it rest and focus on the important issues. That some of us here are apparently unable to do THAT is also cause for concern; what's more, it's evidence that while we may indeed be brighter than the "average Joe", we're not making good use of our above-average intelligence. We're losing sight of the big picture, fail to see the forest for the trees, and get bogged down in unimportant details. All that reflects pretty poorly on us - at least those that do these things, like the GGP (and you).

Re:Good show (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35917932)

environments without pedantry breed txtspeak

Re:Good show (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 2 years ago | (#35917486)

I complain about spelling and grammar 'Nazis' because they are always hypocrites. 100% of the times that I have called them on it, and carried the conversation long enough, they have made a spelling or grammar mistake. Why? Because sometimes people make spelling and grammar mistakes.

Re:Good show (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | more than 3 years ago | (#35918596)

After all, if the Slashdot crowd--supposedly a little brighter than the average Joe--can't get it together enough to know the difference between they're and their then we are indeed in trouble

Exactly right. If you're unsure of your grammar, write your reply in your favourite "word processor," correct the grammar and spelling mistakes, then paste it to Slashdot and click the preview button. Once you've confirmed your tags and links are correct, submit the sucker and you're off to the races. How hard is that?

Re:Good show (4, Funny)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 2 years ago | (#35917326)

I beg to differ. Penis-length superiority is the only kind of superiority that really matters!

Re:Good show (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35917394)

I beg to differ. Penis-length superiority is the only kind of superiority that really matters!

It's the girth that matters most, not the length.

Re:Good show (2)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35919034)

Yeah, sure it is, Tuna Can Tommy...

Re:Good show (1)

Delarth799 (1839672) | more than 2 years ago | (#35917618)

And by showing his intellectual superiority on the internet, the most important of all places, his e-peen has also grown by another .5 points!

Re:What is next? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35917404)

You have to be the biggest fag in the world. Find more interesting things to do with your time besides being an anal pest with a bigger grammar brain than all those stupid other people.

Re:What is next? (0)

CTU (1844100) | more than 3 years ago | (#35918082)

OK mister English Nazi...I was going to write something else, but changed my mind and forgot to change the spelling of that word...my bad

the teams that are part owns of there RSN's (0)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 2 years ago | (#35916946)

the teams that are part owns of there RSN's

Re:the teams that are part owns of there RSN's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35917130)

Durka durka.

Re:the teams that are part owns of there RSN's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35917662)

Is this the ESL thread?

nt (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 2 years ago | (#35916926)

Ha ha

Re:nt (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#35917712)

Yeah, I can't decide whether to rejoice because a collection agency got stiffed, or bust out the champagne because Comcast has been sued. Win-win!

As much as I hate... (3, Insightful)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 2 years ago | (#35916930)

As much as I generally hate the practices of various collections agencies (and I've worked collections), I'm rooting for a Comcast loss on this one. Serves them right with the way they treat customers, and their attempts to destroy the Internet.

Re:As much as I hate... (3, Insightful)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | more than 2 years ago | (#35916968)

Agreed.

Collections agencies behave immorally but legally, and companies sell to them because it gives them some money from past due accounts and the immorality is not directed at the company.

But Comcast sending its past-due customers to a collections agency and then refusing to pay its own bill (simplifying the facts but taking the alleged facts to be true) is the height of hypocrisy.

Comcast is run by (0, Flamebait)

Dainsanefh (2009638) | more than 2 years ago | (#35916992)

penny pinching Jews.

Mod Parent Up (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35917062)

The truth shall always be marked as troll by the henchman of the evil race.

Re:Mod Parent Up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35917602)

Actually, it was me, a fellow member of the evil human race.

Have a nice day.

Re:Mod Parent Up (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35918188)

whatever, jewbag.

Re:Mod Parent Up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35918884)

Whatever, Jewhaterbag.

Re:As much as I hate... (3, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#35917036)

I disagree, collections agencies aren't inherently immoral, it's just that many do end up crossing the line both ethically and legally speaking. Without collections agencies the only reason that anybody would ever pay their bills would be because it was the ethical thing to do. Consequently the cost of just about anything would likely sky rocket.

That's not to say that there aren't a sufficient number of collection agencies that do behave illegally, but I do think that to some extent you have to recognize that it's a service that's needed and just make sure that you know your rights.

I'm not sure about the rest of the country, but they do have to prove that they own the debt and that you are indeed responsible for paying it, if they can't do that then there are penalties for harassing people. There is also typically a statute of limitation on debt, and one shouldn't believe them when they claim that they're going to collect old debts by going to court. Collection Practices [wikipedia.org]

Re:As much as I hate... (1, Interesting)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 2 years ago | (#35917138)

I'll agree - collection agencies are a necessary evil. But, necessary or not, they are still evil - or most of them are.

Oh yeah - the statute of limitations. We were given one of those damned credit cards, years ago. Didn't ask for it, didn't want it - should have just cut it up, but we ketp it laying around. One day, we NEEDED some auto repairs, and used that stupid card. Then, I got laid off, only weeks later. The bill came, and the wife sent them a letter, explaining that I was laid off of work, and we wanted to take advantage of thier sales point in the brochure that came with the card. "If you lose your job, we'll waive three months payments" yada yada yada. They stopped sending bills, but a few years later, some collection agency took it to court. The wife looked at the summons, and laughed. She took a day off of work, went to court, and told the judge that the statute of limitations had expired. I'm pretty certain that the collection agency ASSumed that we would ignore the summons, and that they would win by default.

My wife is pretty smart, sometimes. But, don't anyone tell her that I said that!

Re:As much as I hate... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35917334)

What evil thing happened in your story? You and your wife are clearly immoral in it but I don't see any evil.

Re:As much as I hate... (2)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 3 years ago | (#35917954)

Apparently trying to collect the debt is evil. You know, the myth of the noble poor and all that.

Re:As much as I hate... (4, Insightful)

Gordo_1 (256312) | more than 3 years ago | (#35918272)

How could anyone think it makes sense to mod this up? The initial premise (that collection agencies are evil) is not even remotely supported by the relayed story.

P.S. Statute of limitations my ass. You and your wife are the kind of folks that make things more expensive for the rest of us.

Re:As much as I hate... (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 3 years ago | (#35918738)

No, the people who offered the credit card were in breach of contract. They PROMISED to do such and such, and instead, did thus and so. Had they made those three month's payments THAT WERE IN THE CONTRACT THAT THEY WROTE, there would have been no debt to take to court.

It's their own fault they decided to renege on the contract, and it's their own fault that they waited for years to send the thing to collection and it's the collection agency's own fault that they didn't spot the statute of limitations thing.

Immoral? If you think that we were immoral for getting over on the credit card company for a few hundred dollars, I don't know what to say.

Re:As much as I hate... (2)

Thalagyrt (851883) | more than 3 years ago | (#35918928)

They did exactly what the contract says and exactly what they said they'd do: they waived the monthly payment for three months. They didn't waive a portion of the balance, they didn't pay it for you, they waived the minimum monthly payment. As such, if there was interest, you'd have interest charges, and the balance would increase a bit over those three months. There isn't any way whatsoever that "we will waive the monthly payment for 3 months" equates to "we will pay your balance for you."

Re:As much as I hate... (2)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | more than 2 years ago | (#35917176)

They aren't inherently immoral, but generally there is an attempt to get people to pay something toward debt when it is no longer required that they pay it, to reset the statute of limitations. This is basically a trick, to make them legally responsible for paying the debt. This is immoral, because it is a practice done to make someone do something very much against their interests, in a way which punishes more moral behavior, under the pretext of doing something that is both morally preferable and that seems to be doing them a favor.

Similar to many police interrogation techniques. Like asking first offenders who don't know better not to admit their guilt, but to write apology letters which are then used to convict them. You may call these necessary evils, but they are not moral--they trick suspects and punish the more moral among them, who actually feel they've done something wrong.

Re:As much as I hate... (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#35917756)

but they are not moral

Morals are subjective. But I'd say that it's more corrupt than anything else (since apparently they never had any evidence to begin with).

Re:As much as I hate... (1)

pitterpatter (1397479) | more than 2 years ago | (#35917226)

Without collections agencies the only reason that anybody would ever pay their bills would be because it was the ethical thing to do. Consequently the cost of just about anything would likely sky rocket.

No, without enforced collections, you'd have to pay for everything before you received it. Consequently the cost of many things would plummet, some of them dramatically. And that's before counting the effects of the resulting global depression.

Re:As much as I hate... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35917668)

No. The corporation owed money would have to pursue the debt themselves. Yeah, corporations don't want to treat people like crap. They need to in order to prevent the world's collapse. Sheesh.

Re:As much as I hate... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35917808)

So, what part of "without enforced collections" got by you there, Sparky?

Re:As much as I hate... (3, Insightful)

Stray7Xi (698337) | more than 2 years ago | (#35917242)

I disagree, collection agencies whole intent is to be immoral (keyword being agencies, there's nothing wrong with collections). The only reason it's profitable to pay an outside company to collect debts is because they can cross those lines of morality and decency that would have landed Comcast in a PR nightmare. It's a shell game to avoid the consequences of their actions.

Customers should be responsible to pay their debts and companies should bear scrutiny for how they treat their customers.

Re:As much as I hate... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35917562)

You're an idiot. Seriously...you think the only reason people pay their bills is because of collection agencies, or otherwise because it's the moral thing to do?? Holy shit, man, wake the fuck up. Most people pay their bills because they want the service they are paying for.

Duh?

Re:As much as I hate... (2)

Your.Master (1088569) | more than 3 years ago | (#35918166)

He's talking about a bill for a service that is not ongoing.

If you had a contractor come and install air conditioning, you could bilk him on the bill because you already got the service you didn't pay for.

Collection agencies and morality are two major reasons why you'd pay. The third, which the GP did miss, is credit rating, which affects your ability to get services for bills in the future.

Re:As much as I hate... (3, Insightful)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#35918606)

Without collections agencies, there would just be less credit and more security deposits on monthly billings. Creditors don't want to go that way because it would make the potential buyer give more thought to how they will pay the bills later and perhaps talk themselves out of purchases they can only marginally afford.

Most people DO pay their bills for 2 reasons. Because it's the right thing to do and because they don't want their credit rating to go down the toilet. By the time a collection agency gets involved it's generally because there is a legitimate dispute or because the person actually cannot pay the bill.

Fortunately (sort of), my contact with collection agencies has been of the third sort, when they call repeatedly because they refuse to believe that the person they are looking for does not and has never lived here or had that phone number and that nobody who does live here has ever heard of the person.

The problem with that is that I am not the debtor so I have no standing to insist they only contact the person through a lawyer or that they send evidence of the debt. Meanwhile, they don't believe me and are by nature asses so they keep calling from different numbers claiming to be different companies, but all with the same script.

Since this has happened quite a few times, *I* for one would be happy to have them outlawed. They cause way too much trouble for people who are not even imagined to owe a debt.

Re:As much as I hate... (2)

ptbarnett (159784) | more than 3 years ago | (#35918904)

The problem with that is that I am not the debtor so I have no standing to insist they only contact the person through a lawyer or that they send evidence of the debt. Meanwhile, they don't believe me and are by nature asses so they keep calling from different numbers claiming to be different companies, but all with the same script.

I had the same problem. I sent them a certified letter, noting exactly what you said: since I wasn't the debtor, I couldn't demand they stop calling me under the Fair Debut Collection Practices Act [wikipedia.org]

But, if they continued to contact me after being informed that I wasn't their target and didn't know their target, I would consider it harassment. I cited the specific state law that described the offense of harassment. And I stated flatly that the next time they called me, I would be calling the police in their jurisdiction and filing a complaint.

I also sent copies of my letter to the Attorney General's office in my state and in their state.

I never heard from them again, and the case was never sold to anyone else, either.

Re:As much as I hate... (1)

DCFusor (1763438) | more than 3 years ago | (#35918624)

So you think a tiny amount of people are ethical? Wow, I guess refusing to allow schools to teach right from wrong worked out great! And due to everything being everywhere these days, the threat of "I won't do any more business with you" isn't much of a threat anymore. I didn't realize y'all city boys were getting so degraded. Out here if you forget your money at the store, you just say so and pay next time. Still. Get away from that kind of "civilization" where ethics are unknown while you still can, is all I can say.

But here's what's evil. In two cases (both involving phone companies) I've been hit by collections people who try (but in my case failed) to make your life a living hell. No, they don't have to prove they own the debt unless you sue them -- which you can't do in your jurisdiction, so get out the wallet anyway.

And in both cases the phone companies had admitted I was right, they were wrong, I didn't owe them anything -- that's hard enough to get, anyone else here ever done that? But once that debt is sold, it's a Pyrrhic victory at best -- the calls keep coming.

One was from AT&T about tens of thousands of dollars of phone calls supposedly made to psychics -- on a dedicated line that had a modem on it 24/7 (remember those days?) -- this psychic setup owned its own collection agency. They're gone (jailed) now, but I still here from the agency that bought this "debt" a few times a year. Dream on, suckers -- I have logs from the sysadmin at my ISP, but it's too pita to take those suckers to court, I have a life.

The other was a cancellation fee Verizon admitted they didn't owe me, for allowing me to buy a phone in an area where they had exactly zero coverage within 25 miles of my house. Phone was nice at the store...and I paid for over a year for a phone I could only use about once a week while grocery shopping. That one is still calling and sending letters and threats, and DID mess up my credit rating.

If I wasn't rich -- I'd care -- have no use for credit, thanks. You should care though. How many people here could deal with a screwed credit rating by one of these guys. Yeah, a pragmatist would just pay them and forget it. I will never do that. Some of us do have principles. And it's not exactly like I'd be ripping off Mother Teresa, eh?

The laws are written such that correctness of the collector is assumed, in other words, you are by law, explicitly assumed guilty unless you prove otherwise, and in a court and jurisdiction of the other guy's choosing. Go check -- I'm not making this up, and paid a lawyer to find it out.

Sure, people who don't pay for what they get are a drag on everyone. I'm just upset that this is how they deal with it, since not everyone who is not paying is one of those -- some are being ripped off and extorted with "credit rating damage". That's not morally any different than some legal firm sending out thousands of "settle up or go to court" letters to random addresses for the RIAA -- no different at all.

Re:As much as I hate... (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 2 years ago | (#35917066)

Some collection agencies behave morally. Many do not.

When I was eleven or twelve years old, my mom was being hounded by a collector. One day, we discovered that the outgoing/greeting on the answering machine had been changed to something absolutely repulsive about my mother. I was blamed for it, because my family had no idea that there were default codes to let you set your answering machine voice remotely and the idea that someone could have done this without physical access to the answering machine seemed impossible to them. It was assumed that I was just being a dick and had a friend leave the greeting (because eleven year old kids always have close friends who sound like 45 year old deep voiced guys with a speaking style that clearly indicates they spend all day talking to people on the phone). (And yes, it was obviously a bill collector, because you could tell from his manner of speaking as well as the content of the message).

I know things were different in the late 80s, but I'm pretty sure that action is neither moral nor legal.

Debt collectors break the law all the time (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35917154)

Maybe you should check the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act [ftc.gov] and listen to some calls [youtube.com] . A fun game is seeing how many violations they can squeeze into those few minutes. If Section 813 did not make these cases so hard to prove, I guaranty there would be a ton of cases and class actions.

Re:Debt collectors break the law all the time (1)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 3 years ago | (#35918492)

Yes, debt collectors will absolutely behave legally, once they understand that you know your rights under the Fair Debt Collection Act. Unfortunately, they can only be penalized if they continue to behave illegally after you have told them that you wish them to stop harassing you at work, on your cell phone or whatever.
Also, debt collectors (and lawyers) seem to have a problem with their mail delivery. Apparently, they only are able to receive mail that has been sent signature verified. If you get a letter in the mail that says you have 30 days to dispute a debt, and you mail them a response via first class mail AND call them to explain that this is not your debt, then the next month you will receive another letter that says "Since you did not respond to our initial letter, you admit that you are responsible for this debt...".
And I love the messages I keep getting on my answering machine, saying "This message is for . If you are not hang up now. By continuing to listen to this message, you admit that you are ....". As if they can change who I am by just saying so on an answering machine.
Or the half a dozen calls that I got on my cell phone for a person that used to rent a house from me and who actually still owes me money. The recording on the phone told me to press 2 if I was not this person. I did press 2 every time they called for about a half a dozen times before finally pressing 1 (which means I was admitting I was this person, even though I am not). But by admitting I was this person that I was not, I finally got to talk to a human and tell them that they had better stop calling me, or they would face financial penalties. The calls stopped.
Unfortunately, the Fair Debt Collection act does not offer the same benefits to people who are merely mistaken for being the debtors as it does to the debtors themselves.

Re:As much as I hate... (1)

cecom (698048) | more than 2 years ago | (#35917192)

I don't understand this irrational hate. How is Comcast trying to destroy the Internet? They have clearly defined caps, they are one of the first trying to deploy IPv6 to consumers, they offer one of the best speeds. No, they are not perfect, and they are not cheap, but as an ISP they are better than AT&T, for example.

Re:As much as I hate... (3, Informative)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 2 years ago | (#35917248)

I don't understand this irrational hate. How is Comcast trying to destroy the Internet? They have clearly defined caps, they are one of the first trying to deploy IPv6 to consumers, they offer one of the best speeds. No, they are not perfect, and they are not cheap, but as an ISP they are better than AT&T, for example.

I've got Cablevision. I'd never give ATT a dime. As for Comcast and their faster speeds, there are odd throttles and caps on those and a plethora of other issues (research it if you dont believe me - a lot of people are already complaining about the uselessness of their Extreme105 service) making those faster speeds that cost more, not really worth it. Their customer service is horrendous. IPv6 rollout is irrelevant - it's something that has to be done. They do their damndest to filter traffic every way they think they can get away with (and that too, like the odd throttling on their fastest services, is NOT clearly spelled out anywhere).

And for me to say that Comcast doesnt treat their customers well (which is what I consider the above to mean) has nothing to do with whether or not ATT does or doesnt either. They can both fit in the same boat with plenty of room to spare... for instance, for companies like RoadRunner or TimeWarner Cable. Remember, I never said they were the only one who fit in that category. I simply exclusively mentioned them, as the others are not relevant to this discussion (as they are not the ones being sued).

Re:As much as I hate... (1)

cecom (698048) | more than 3 years ago | (#35917822)

Well, I am a Comcast customer (have been for several years) and I really don't have issues, especially in the last couple of years. Before that there were service outages for about an hour every week, which was annoying as hell. The speed is reliable 5up / 20down and I haven't ever hit any throttling or caps, considering that my usage pattern is hardly typical (remote access to different machines, shared document editing, VPNs, transferring large amounts of data over SSH, etc). The only time I remember needing a Comcast technician - when I moved in my current place - he was on time and did his job.

Of course that is just my personal experience, but it is the only one I have :-) It may depend on where you live - I am located in the Bay Area - but it bothers me to see Comcast constantly being vilified, when my personal experience with them has been consistently good, and as far as I can tell they are actually better than some other ISPs.

My only real complaint is that 5up/20down should cost like $10 a month, and it should be the only kind of service I need from Comcast :-) (With Netflix and, say, Vonage).

Re:As much as I hate... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35917982)

Just because you haven't had a bad experience with Comcast for your use cases doesn't mean that Comcast is a good corporate citizen. You stated you have had very little interaction with them. They have really bad systems in place and just because you got lucky for instance when a tech showed up on time (half the time they don't show up at all) doesn't mean that it is typical.

Re:As much as I hate... (1)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 3 years ago | (#35918346)

Ah... well, try their Extreme105 then, since that's what I am talking about when it comes to weird throttling and caps. Or try a bunch of bittorrent and see how fast you get throttled. I could never use them... I use bittorrent a lot (in bursts every few months for weeks straight). Oh, I should clarify, I use it for LEGITIMATE purposes, such as helping to seed our newest Star Trek Phase 2 Episodes [startreknewvoyages.com] , or to grab copies off the torrent to check out what speeds our viewers should be seeing (ie: how the seeds are handling it, etc).

I had Comcast down in MD for a while... switched to one of the dish providers. I was much happier (I already had high speed Internet from elsewhere, so that loss that most people would feel didn't apply to me - though for a while, we were using them, and could never get rated speeds, to which they kept pulling out the "up to" clause while our connection was down at dial-up speeds). Glad to hear they're at least treating you well, but contrary to the "hardly typical" usage patterns you think you have, you don't fit the criteria for the points I made - not being an Extreme 105 customer - nor being someone who uses a protocol that fits within their regular throttling scheme.

Re:As much as I hate... (1)

luther349 (645380) | more than 3 years ago | (#35917948)

they also charge the most and the only reasion there caps are defined was due to a class action lawsuit. before they got forced to define a cap they would just pick on peple at random. ccomcast is the worst company to deal with. and comcast is not the fastest yes you might get better speed but enjoy it when you hit the cap and they cut your ass off. ill still be downloading happly on my uncapped dsl.

Re:As much as I hate... (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 3 years ago | (#35918874)

Comcast sucks.

I have, a supposedly "high speed" capability on my line, and yet, I cannot watch Netflix or YouTube without substantial delays in playback. While I'm having trouble with these services, I can load up a DSL Reports Speed test and it clearly shows that my throughput is just fine, for that.

Now, can you tell me that Netflix and Google don't have the servers to fill my pipes, while DSL Reports can?

Mind you, on my virtually unlimited network at work (CA HSN) I NEVER seem to have these problems.

Next is VOIP telephony, which has similar problems as Netflix and YouTube. VOIP is such a low bandwidth usage, that plain old slow DSL should be able to handle it. However, I cannot use Vonage or similar services because the quality just sucks. In fact, AT&T DSL, with slower speeds is faster than Comcast in many ways.

The problem is that the boarder routers of Comcast are prioritizing packets based on destination. That is the ONLY way this shit happens.

Finally, Comcast and AT&T must be taking customer service tips from each other, because both are pure garbage.

Re:As much as I hate... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35917304)

Oh yes, all 300-375K will really serve them right. Get serious - they deserve to be liquidated in full and the board members shot, not to get a relatively tiny fine they recoup in a month.

plese give them the sci-fi channel (1, Offtopic)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 2 years ago | (#35916938)

please give them the sci-fi channel so some one can save it from what NBC did to it!

Re:plese give them the sci-fi channel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35917064)

please give them the sci-fi channel so some one can save it from what NBC did to it!

wtf does this have anything to do with this article, really...

Instead of taking them to court (5, Funny)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 2 years ago | (#35916974)

Why doesn't this debt collector just use normal debt collection tactics, and call Comcast several times a day every day with threats of legal action? It's a lot cheaper than actually filing a lawsuit.

Re:Instead of taking them to court (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35917044)

Because debt collectors have no legal standing to collect from you nor sue you unless you sign a contract with them to pay your debt. They assume that debt at a loss. On the other hand, the debt collection agency does have a contract with Comcast. That's why they can legally sue Comcast.

Re:Instead of taking them to court (2)

socsoc (1116769) | more than 2 years ago | (#35917076)

wooosh

Re:Instead of taking them to court (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35917100)

Do you really think this is correct? I work for a collection law firm and we sue people all the time on behalf of our clients. Not all debt is sold debt and even when it is depending on the contract the consumer signed their soul into they still may be sued by the debt holder(see MBNA, CAPITAL ONE and AMEX) just to name a few.

Do not assume every agency is the same and we promise not to assume you are an idiot.

Re:Instead of taking them to court (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 2 years ago | (#35917158)

Yes, but with very rare exceptions, getting a court judgment doesn't change anything.

Re:Instead of taking them to court (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 2 years ago | (#35917204)

Yes, but with very rare exceptions, getting a court judgment doesn't change anything.

Once you have a court judgement, you can do asshole things like attach a lien onto their assets and get a sheriff's levy.
The only time a court judgement doesn't change anything is when you sue someone with no assets or income.
Corporations OTOH are perfect targets for lien's and levies.

Re:Instead of taking them to court (1)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 2 years ago | (#35917188)

On the other hand, if I get a call from a collection agency and I inform the person I speak with that the charge is illegitimate and I intend to challenge it, it is harrassment if the collection agency keeps calling you.

Depending on jurisdiction, at least. But I have successfully sued a collection agency for far more than the debt in question was (and also successfully sued the company that sent me to the collection agency because, surprise surprise, it was actually their fuckup and I could prove they'd been paid in full the day I received the first bill).

Re:Instead of taking them to court (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#35917376)

Depending upon jurisdiction that might not be the case. Some jurisdictions a verbal warning to stop is sufficient, but even there it's advisable to send a written notice by registered mail requesting proof that the debt is owed and that they are targeting the correct person. Makes it a lot harder to pretend that they didn't get it or weren't told.

Re:Instead of taking them to court (1)

luther349 (645380) | more than 3 years ago | (#35917966)

you might work for one of the better ones. many of them lack any real paper work to acully sue and just showing to court is enough to get jugment in your favor due to lack of evdance. they just shoot for people not to show and get defult jugments.

Couldn't get anyone on the phone... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35918156)

> Why doesn't this debt collector just use normal debt collection tactics, and call Comcast several times a day every day with threats of legal action?

Because even calling them that often, they still haven't figured out how to get an actual human to answer the phone.

On the plus side, they're supposed to get a tech out there to look at their cable service sometime between June and November.

Serves them right (3, Interesting)

grapeape (137008) | more than 2 years ago | (#35916986)

I had Lindy's collection service calling my house with a robodial at all hours multiple time a day for over year...even after I explained to them that I have never had comcast and never will because they aren't even available where I live. Apparently that was some kind of confirmation to them that it was my debt. I ended up having to get an attorney friend of mine after them to get them to stop. It turned out to be someone with the same first and last name that lived in the same area code but not the same town.

Re:Serves them right (1)

socsoc (1116769) | more than 2 years ago | (#35917084)

Your lawyer friend wasn't aware of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act?

Re:Serves them right (1)

grapeape (137008) | more than 2 years ago | (#35917642)

Umm yes my attorney friend was quite aware, which is how as I stated in the original post that he was able to get them to stop.

chosens, royals; hounded by escaping skeletons (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35917072)

these boneheads can't wait. so typical of the unchosen. not even unproven to be dead yet, & already wanting everybody to know all about stuff that there's absolutely no need for anyone at all to know about, no matter what allegedly happened, to cause the skeletons to stay in the closet for so long, 4000 years or more, in some cases. could be the new weather is making the skeletons feel even more dry & creaky than usual, this time of year, in southern hillary.

I always assumed the agencies worked differently (1)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 2 years ago | (#35917126)

I had always assumed that they would collect whatever they could, take their cut, and then pass the rest along to the client. Seems odd to me that the agency doing the collecting didn't have their money upfront on each collection.

Re:I always assumed the agencies worked differentl (1)

GNU(slash)Nickname (761984) | more than 2 years ago | (#35917152)

The 33% is out of any money that people paid Comcast directly after their accounts had been turned over to Lindy's.

Re:I always assumed the agencies worked differentl (1)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 2 years ago | (#35917216)

Ah. That makes sense then, thanks.

Re:I always assumed the agencies worked differentl (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 2 years ago | (#35917230)

I had always assumed that they would collect whatever they could, take their cut, and then pass the rest along to the client. Seems odd to me that the agency doing the collecting didn't have their money upfront on each collection.

Collection agencies generally work one of two ways.
1. They buy the debt outright (from Comcast) and whatever they can nag out of you is 100% theirs
2. They are contracted to nag the hell out of you for a cut of whatever you pay to the company you owe (Comcast).

In the first case, if you pay Comcast instead of the collection agency, the collection agency gets nothing.

On the subject of Comcast and collections (0)

stopacop (2042526) | more than 2 years ago | (#35917186)

I'm like 2 months late on my Internet bill (In before "just pay your bill" - hey man, it's the economy..) and they sent my account to a collections agency already. This company ACS Collections has called me 7 times this week, with two times in one day. I looked up my state law regarding the Fair Debt Collection Act and have discovered ACS is violating the terms of how many times they can communicate with me. I called yesterday to ACS Collections about their process of calling me every day, including twice in one day on two days, and the woman "Vanessa" said she was well within her rights!

All of this over $100!

I notified her that I'm filing a claim with my state official about the incident. The civil remedy is $1000 in personal damages, plus my court costs and attorney fees covered. I'll pay that $100 with my judgement and probably prepay about a year's worth of Internet service with this judgement. Thanks Comcast! If there was another viable alternative in my area, I would leave the service but I'm locked in as having Comcast as my Internet provider since my apartment has TV service supplied through them, even though I do not own nor watch a TV, so I got the Internet at a cheaper price.

Re:On the subject of Comcast and collections (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35917372)

You said: "I'm like 2 months late on my Internet bill" ... followed by some stuff about them contacting you about paying that debt ... then "All of this over $100!"

It doesn't matter how little you think this is - is it your money, or is it their money? If you've used their service (and don't have any reason do suggest you did not get a good service in good faith from them), then it's theirs, so just pay it already.

If this were some other big corporation (I don't know, let's say Sony or Microsoft, depending on which way you lean) who owed _you_ $100, would you think it was just a small amount of cash or would you be demanding they pay up immediately what was rightfully yours/stolen from you etc?

Just asking.

I think Comcast might have had their reasons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35917234)

I was recently contacted by a collections agency on behalf of Comcast for an unpaid internet bill from 2007. It was the first I'd heard of it. I'd switched apartments with my brother and he apparently didn't pay the bill. I was surprised that it had taken them so long to track me down when my phone number was still the same, and the clerk from the collections agency said that they'd been getting that response a lot lately, and apparently Comcast had employed a different collections agency before this one which had never bothered to actually contact any of the debtors. So that might explain why Comcast didn't want to pay up.

I hope (1)

Wireless Joe (604314) | more than 2 years ago | (#35917266)

I hope they call every VP and above at home 3-4 times a day to try to collect.

Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35917282)

I always thought that would be a sign of real trouble, when the debt collectors can't get paid. Once it's not worth it to go after people for debts, what do you do? If everyone's FICO is equally crap, who cares?

Re:Trouble (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 2 years ago | (#35917748)

Not necessarily trouble - it could be arrogance.

There's a trend going on lately that says "Aggression Wins", in that some entity that makes aggressive moves either wins or "cancels" with no penalty, thus rewarding aggression.

Fun Fact: One of the Anniversary Editions of Stratego changed the rules from either "two equal pieces destroy each other" or even "defensive piece wins" (I forget) to "in an equal matchup the attacking piece wins". I didn't understand it 10 years ago, but I do now.

Re:Trouble (1)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 3 years ago | (#35917962)

If by lately you mean since the dawn of time, I agree.

Having dealt with MN collections agencies before.. (2)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 2 years ago | (#35917366)

I can tell you they hold all the cards. They can call as often as they want and say damned near anything they want. There is even a state law that specifically allows the people making the calls to use false names to identify themselves, as long as the company name is legit. One effect of this is that after you are called by "Elvis" or "Kirby Puckett" or any other bogus name, you try to call them at the number they left and you'll never get ahold of that person because whomever answers the phone won't know who used that false name.

Who are these Comcast people you're talking about? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35917432)

...we're Xfinity. Come on, let's sing the Xfinity theme song! It's fun for you! It's fun for me! Everybody do... so you're not buying it, eh? You say we're the same damned service with no quantifiable differences except a different logo and higher monthly bills? Well damn, does that mean you're going to rectally ream us out in court still?

I know raise the bill by $365 ! Te heh heh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35917456)

This crys for it, it screams do it, it loves being, it oozes with interest

By my calculations... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35917522)

That means about 5% of people pay, when the collection agency comes a calling. And, about 62 thousand people told them to f off, and their accounts were closed. This means $2.5 million dollars was owed to Comcast by customers (at $40/mo, let's assume they were only collecting 1 month worth of dues), of which Comcast only received only about 150 thousand owed. These are all rough guesses, but probably not far from their target.

These guys deserve each other (1)

sk999 (846068) | more than 2 years ago | (#35917524)

Comcast is the biggest source of junk mail (paper) that I receive. Guess that's what happens when you are in Comcast territory and not a customer.

Collection agencies are the biggest source of unwanted calls on my phone. It's a wrong number - they're after someone else. Do you think these guys would figure it out and correct their records? Of course not.

Go for it! Sue that pants off each other! Next stop - Chapter 7. Well, I can dream.

Re:These guys deserve each other (3, Interesting)

seanvaandering (604658) | more than 3 years ago | (#35918296)

No, because they assume that it is the right number and your probably the people they are looking for; your just not admitting it.

I had a collection agency almost a decade ago now actually call my inlaws and say "I'm looking for Sean Vaandering, i'm actually an old relative of his and just looking for his current phone number so I can call him up and wish him a happy birthday and send this present to him? Did you happen to have his current phone number?"

Oh that was brilliant. Here I am, unlisted number and they come calling one day and i'm racking my brains on how the hell did they all of a sudden get my phone number!? Then my wife talks to her mom that evening and she admits that someone called earlier today asking for our phone number and wanting to ship us a gift. Thanks mother-in-law! Appreciate that. Needless to say, we settled that debt, but we were so damn close to 7 years, that it literally would have dropped off and became unreported on my credit report and a noncollectable debt. I actually had someone who used to work at a collections agency tell me in confidence that I shouldn't pay it back because once the debt falls off your credit report, the collection agency legally cannot collect it and cannot enforce any legal action against you to collect it.

That little act cost me 7 more years of low credit score because once I actually paid it, the collection agency updated my credit report stating the R9 was paid in full - but that now means the R9 remains on my file for ANOTHER 7 years, needless to say I paid dearly when I financed a car I absolutely needed at the time (new baby, taking the bus was not in the cards).

Today, the bank who originally sent the file to the collection agency over 15 years ago now just sent me another mailing asking me to sign up for a pre-approved Platinum $10,000 credit card. Please. Never ever in a thousand years, and i'd love to be able to blast someone there for sending me this crap, but alas, I don't want to blow a hole through some front line lackey, for something that happened probably when he was in diapers. Things are different today, and it was a very long and expensive lesson on collection agencies, but the moral of this story is:

Do not fuck with collection agencies, they are paid for one thing and one thing only: To collect unpaid debt at any cost.

Pay your bills on time and every time - especially if the company updates your credit report. It really is that simple. Not paying at all should NEVER EVER be an option your considering.

The enemy of my enemy . . . (3, Insightful)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 2 years ago | (#35917550)

I will never patronize Comcast (ATT, Xfinity, or whatever) unless I have absolutely no choice. They try to get a monopoly and then they exploit it (by jacking up prices) for all they are worth.

Support your municipal cable company!

Re:The enemy of my enemy . . . (3, Interesting)

FLEABttn (1466747) | more than 3 years ago | (#35918006)

Support your municipal cable company!

Who? No, really, who is that? I have Comcast and...Comcast. I opted for neither.

Not surprised (2)

headhot (137860) | more than 2 years ago | (#35917578)

Comcast is notoriously slow to pay its vendors. If it weren't for return business I'm sure the majority would love to sue them. This vendor probably lost a contract, and doesn't want to wait the normal amount of time to get paid.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?