Comcast XFINITY Wifi Pass: Shady Billing Practices


Truly shady – we know we didn’t rightfully earn the revenue, but we’ll only give it back to you if you ask.  Thankfully there’s the #FCC to stand up to such shenanigans. If not for me, then next time Comcast is pleading for a favor.  I had $1500 wiped off my AT&T iphone Rome roaming charges.  I wonder if anything C-suite-originating will happen now.

Text of my FCC complaint

For various reasons, from time to time I have had to purchase WiFi access from Comcast Xfinity. The onramp to do so on my Android is a little buggy – sometimes when you think you’ve completed the transaction, you’re redirected the the start page process. My complaint with that phenomenon is, honestly, more easily directed at google and android.  That said in early September 2016, I found myself deciding to purchase their 30 day pass for $55.  Same pattern: redirected to start page of process – and hating to type on my phone I gave up.  two weeks later I noticed though I had not been granted service, there was a charge on my credit card from XFINITY WiFi for $55.

Worse still, when I called customer service, she was very polite -and didn’t even disagree with me: she told me, I can see here that you were charged but your subscription WASN”T ACTIVATED. She’d organize the refund process. And for that I’m glad. And they confirmed the credit the next day (today). But that isn’t the point.  It should not have taken my pointing out to them the issue; their systems should have a logic built in to notice that.

I work in software integration. So after I hung up the phone, I got exceedingly angry: a company that size KNEW it took my money for a service it KNEW it had not rendered.  They should have had an automated workflow rule and update to process the refund.  It’s simply by luck that I noticed this row (in the horizontal rectangle) among the post-statement transactions depicted in the vertical rectangle.

BELIEVE ME: I need the money more than Comcast does.  I have an MBA from Columbia, and it appalls me that this company would a) treat its customers like this and b) plead for anti-trust and deregulatory agenda when I can think of no more compelling a reason that such company wishes should be, if not thwarted, inspected very, very closely.

Please feel free to cite my case in public. This is disgusting.

For the record, the FCC site is thoroughly modern and pleasant (based on ZenDesk). I don’t know where this idea of inept government lingers so. Oh, right. Ideology.

#FCC #Rules They Matter

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NYT Interactive Data Watch


Neil Irwin’s

How to Become a C.E.O.? The
Quickest Path Is a Winding One

in the New York Times is an interesting interactive data widget. It’s surprising how much predictive impact geography has. It’s not too much of an exaggeration to say: it’s New York or Nothing. And the other places they’re talking about aren’t Peoria — Los Angeles, Washington, DC.

NYT CEO Data