If you needed another reason to not like the cable company, Comcast seems to be giving Capitol Hill apartment dwellers a good one. Its practice of contracting sales to people who use pushy, aggressive and sometimes illegal tactics to enter area buildings may have finally gone too far. There were no arrests Friday night but the actions of two of these contractors riled up the wrong person, spread through Twitter and caught the attention of the local TV crews.
CHS and other neighborhood news sites have reported on situations involving sales contractors and run-ins with residents over the years but the problem continues. In August, we posted this note from Toby to our Facebook page:
“Earlier today a guy in a comcast jacket and hat rang the buzzer at my building and claimed to be letting me know about a free cable box that was being shipped to me on a trial basis. He said he just needed to confirm with my ID. I refused to show it to him, because it sounded strange, but he eventually left and continued down the street. Later, I contacted comcast online and they were unable to confirm this offer, and when I asked whether it was a scam, they thought that perhaps it was. I reported it to the police, who were going to cruise the neighborhood (near 12th and John) to see if they found anyone matching the description. Unfortunately, it had been 30+ minutes by the time I contacted them, so they didn’t think they’d find anyone. “
What followed was a series of “me too” responses and email about the rough behavior. And a police incident on September 1st:
OMG. The evil Comcast dude just accosted my next door neighbor. My neighbor called our landlady to tell her this guy was in our building again and the Comcast dude tried to wrench the phone out of his hand! My neighbor called the police and everything…. Drama.
Here’s how Capitol Hill resident Valerie Bauman, a reporter for the Puget Sound Business Journal, described the incident to KING 5 News:
“They said they were contractors for Comcast and had the authority to be there and showed me this card and I mean, I’ve got a deck of cards, I can pull out the queen but I’m not royalty,” she said.
They eventually left, but came back.
“One of them smiled at me and said, are the police on their way ma’am?” said Bauman.
Valerie, who had seen our posts about the problem, says her complaints to Comcast got a response this weekend:
She also said Comcast is working to track down the other contractor so he, too, is no longer authorized for sales by the company. You can expect more on the Comcast problem from her PSBJ reporting, too.
Here is a statement from a company official on the incidents:
On behalf of Comcast, I want to offer my apologies to our customers. We are taking these complaints very seriously. As a policy, we do not tolerate overly aggressive, inappropriate behavior from the door to door sales people employed directly by Comcast or by our contractor companies and will take steps to ensure that incidents like this do not happen again. If anyone witnesses unacceptable behavior from any door to door sales person representing Comcast, we encourage you to call 1-800-COMCAST to lodge a complaint.
We’d suggest letting @comcastcares know if you have any reports of similar behavior.