Broken Thermostat Causes Comcast Customer Grief

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Gary O'Reilly and his family had just moved into their new home. They set up Comcast service. They didn't skimp, they decided to get the whole shebang; Internet, cable and Xfinity Home, which included an alarm system and the ability to control their thermostat remotely.

It took two Comcast technicians more than eight hours to complete the installation, including installing alarm sensors on four exterior doors and two digital thermostats. Almost immediately there were problems. At 2 a.m. the next morning, the bedroom area thermostat began beeping.

"It was defective, and because the thermostat was digital, I could not control the temperature in that half of my house", O'Reilly said. "My pregnant wife and two year old son were freezing in their own home."

Several days later Comcast technicians came out to replace the thermostat. However, O'Reilly was billed for new equipment and a service call. He spent almost 10 hours on live chats and phone calls before Comcast removed the charges. Unfortunately his troubles did not end there. Less than a month later, the same thermostat stopped working so a third thermostat had to be installed. And surprise, he was again charged for new equipment and a service call. Once again many hours were spent getting those charges once again removed.

The new thermostat seemed fine except is drained its AA batteries every two or three days. When O'Reilly called to question the short life of the batteries he was told that batteries were his responsibility. Then it went out again. Comcast came yet again and installed a fourth thermostat. Two months later that thermostat failed as well. Needless to say rather than try a fifth time O'Reilly called to cancel service.

"When I was finally done with the cancellation process, the last man I was speaking with said 'Keep an eye out for the termination charges' and started laughing."

Several weeks later the final bill arrived charging O'Reilly $1,000 for early termination. The next few months were spent in chats and phone calls trying in vain to get the fees dropped. O'Reilly stated that Comcast had not lived up to its end of the contract by not providing reliable equipment. Comcast replied it had replaced broken equipment. O'Reilly refused to pay and Comcast sent him to collections which dinged his credit score, he went from 800 to 650. He was told to pay in full or go to court.

O'Reilly contacted the "problem solver" for help. They contacted Joe Trost, who is the Comcast spokesman. The following is an email sent by Trost.

"We're providing Mr. O'Reilly with different package options and composing a letter to overnight to Mr. O'Reilly with the information we discussed over the phone detailing their compromise."

Comcast first offered to remove him from collections, erase the $1,000 termination fee and clear up his credit history if he agreed to reestablish all of his previous services, including that pesky Xfinity Home thermostat. O'Reilly held fast and refused the thermostat.

"I'm just pinching myself, I've been dealing with this for 13 months and it's finally resolved," said O'Reilly.


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