Just over a week ago, a St. Paul, Minn., man told Comcast he'd like to cancel his cable service. It's never as simple a process as it should be, but 66-year-old Jimmy Ware had a pretty good excuse: His entire house had burned down, and everything inside—including TVs and cable box—was destroyed in the fire.
Unfortunately for Ware and his daughter, Jessica Schmidt, the Worst Company in America always seems to find a way to turn leaving into a lengthy, dramatic ordeal. In this case, the problem was that Ware's documentation of his account number had been lost in the fire, along with everything else he owned.
Over the course of a week, Schmidt talked to Comcast four or five times, even putting her dad on the line to verify the last four digits of his social security number, but the company wouldn't cancel the service to the house—which no longer exists—without an account number.
"I've said to Comcast, 'Here's your choice, disconnect the service or send someone out to fix the cable, because it's not working,' The (Comcast) guy said, 'That doesn't make sense, because the house burned down.' I said, 'Exactly, shut the service off.' "
Schmidt finally got the service canceled Tuesday, a week after the fire. A Comcast rep admitted to the Pioneer Press that the situation hadn't been "handled properly," and said the company won't charge Ware for the cable equipment that was damaged when the house he grew up in went up in flames. Mighty big of them.
For what it's worth, Comcast's response to these situations has been inconsistent. The company said they gave Ware the runaround because of their strong account security policies, but his neighbors, also victims of the fire, were able to walk into a local Comcast office and cancel right away.