Author Topic: They forgot to cancel autopay, now Comcast Owes them $5800!  (Read 9127 times)

Stashaholic

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They forgot to cancel autopay, now Comcast Owes them $5800!
« on: December 10, 2015, 01:30:05 PM »
It's crazy that the lady didn't notice this long enough to have overpaid $5800 in cable bills, wow!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christopher-elliott/hey-comcast-wheres-my-mis_b_8771398.html?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592

arebelspy

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Re: They forgot to cancel autopay, now Comcast Owes them $5800!
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2015, 02:43:02 PM »
Even at a monthly cable bill of $200, that's over two years of payments!

Crazy.
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Re: They forgot to cancel autopay, now Comcast Owes them $5800!
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2015, 02:44:58 PM »
How in hell do you not realize you're missing $5800????

zephyr911

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Re: They forgot to cancel autopay, now Comcast Owes them $5800!
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2015, 02:47:30 PM »
If you're used to wasting thousands a month on other shit, it's plausible.

Dollar Slice

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Re: They forgot to cancel autopay, now Comcast Owes them $5800!
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2015, 05:37:09 PM »
When I canceled Comcast, I was freaking out the first month when they "forgot" to stop the autopay! They sent statements showing that I owed them a negative amount of money and continued to add to their debt to me every month until I finally convinced them to knock it off and refund it to me.

I suspect they frequently "forget" to stop autopay, and who knows how often it doesn't get noticed. What a scam.

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Re: They forgot to cancel autopay, now Comcast Owes them $5800!
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2015, 06:01:13 PM »


I suspect they frequently "forget" to stop autopay, and who knows how often it doesn't get noticed. What a scam.

She might have arranged the autopay with her bank, rather than having Comcast pull the money out. If she was getting monthly statements it sounds like she didn't bother to open them for several years.

franklin w. dixon

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Re: They forgot to cancel autopay, now Comcast Owes them $5800!
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2015, 10:04:43 PM »
I work for a test prep company where the courses cost ~$2000. Typically families pay a $200 deposit and then the balance when the course starts. A few days in advance we call and say to either have the kid bring a check or credit card to the class, or if we have a card on file, we'll charge that. Well anyway one time like 2 months on a mom called me and was like "oh I should pay you," and I said actually we charged your credit card two months ago. Naturally she was like Well I Never AuthorizeD That because it is normal to get weirdly angry about everything at all times but the point is that an $1800 mystery charge to her credit card was so insignificant that not only did she not call about it, she didn't even notice. And thats what it's like to be rich.

Kalergie

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Re: They forgot to cancel autopay, now Comcast Owes them $5800!
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2015, 04:29:24 AM »
How in hell do you not realize you're missing $5800????

I'll give you one better. When I met my (now) wife 3 years ago, she didn't know she had been signed up for the employee stock plan which had deducted 5% of her pay each month for half a decade. She told me to help her "finally" sign up for it, thinking she never signed for it in the first place. When we called the broker her company was working with, they told us she had already opened an account and that the current balance is 10,000$+. nice surprise but it could have been the other way around.

johnny847

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Re: They forgot to cancel autopay, now Comcast Owes them $5800!
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2015, 06:34:17 AM »
How in hell do you not realize you're missing $5800????

I'll give you one better. When I met my (now) wife 3 years ago, she didn't know she had been signed up for the employee stock plan which had deducted 5% of her pay each month for half a decade. She told me to help her "finally" sign up for it, thinking she never signed for it in the first place. When we called the broker her company was working with, they told us she had already opened an account and that the current balance is 10,000$+. nice surprise but it could have been the other way around.

Well for the sake of the argument, you didn't tell me how much of the current balance was because of her contributions, and how much was from the gain in the stock's value (if any) ;)

Kalergie

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Re: They forgot to cancel autopay, now Comcast Owes them $5800!
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2015, 07:26:54 AM »
Johnny: true, but 5% more or less in your pay every month, I think you'd notice. :) I think it was a good time to buy when she did (unknowingly). She probably did better than some guy from Wallstreet over the same period of time. :D

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Re: They forgot to cancel autopay, now Comcast Owes them $5800!
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2015, 12:25:53 PM »
I'll give you one better. When I met my (now) wife 3 years ago, she didn't know she had been signed up for the employee stock plan which had deducted 5% of her pay each month for half a decade. She told me to help her "finally" sign up for it, thinking she never signed for it in the first place. When we called the broker her company was working with, they told us she had already opened an account and that the current balance is 10,000$+. nice surprise but it could have been the other way around.

Somewhere, I think on this forum, I saw a post that when a major brokerage studied which of their customers had the best returns, #1 was dead people, and #2 was people who had opened accounts then forgotten about them.  Neither customer panicked and sold when the market dropped. 

I had a fellow coworker some years back, when AOL was a thing, who told me that despite using a new internet service provider he was still on autopay with AOL, and had been for several years.  While admittedly at the time it was a pain to get them to stop billing you, it wasn't worth his time to argue with them to shut it off, it was only $20/month. . .

Kalergie

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Re: They forgot to cancel autopay, now Comcast Owes them $5800!
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2015, 01:32:16 PM »
Somewhere, I think on this forum, I saw a post that when a major brokerage studied which of their customers had the best returns, #1 was dead people, and #2 was people who had opened accounts then forgotten about them.  Neither customer panicked and sold when the market dropped. 

That I believe in a heart beat! :)

BarkyardBQ

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Re: They forgot to cancel autopay, now Comcast Owes them $5800!
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2015, 01:48:06 PM »


Somewhere, I think on this forum, I saw a post that when a major brokerage studied which of their customers had the best returns, #1 was dead people, and #2 was people who had opened accounts then forgotten about them.  Neither customer panicked and sold when the market dropped. 


http://www.businessinsider.com/forgetful-investors-performed-best-2014-9

Sibley

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Re: They forgot to cancel autopay, now Comcast Owes them $5800!
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2015, 01:51:21 PM »
I'll give you one better. When I met my (now) wife 3 years ago, she didn't know she had been signed up for the employee stock plan which had deducted 5% of her pay each month for half a decade. She told me to help her "finally" sign up for it, thinking she never signed for it in the first place. When we called the broker her company was working with, they told us she had already opened an account and that the current balance is 10,000$+. nice surprise but it could have been the other way around.

Somewhere, I think on this forum, I saw a post that when a major brokerage studied which of their customers had the best returns, #1 was dead people, and #2 was people who had opened accounts then forgotten about them.  Neither customer panicked and sold when the market dropped. 

I had a fellow coworker some years back, when AOL was a thing, who told me that despite using a new internet service provider he was still on autopay with AOL, and had been for several years.  While admittedly at the time it was a pain to get them to stop billing you, it wasn't worth his time to argue with them to shut it off, it was only $20/month. . .

I found out recently that my mom still pays AOL. She does use her AOL account, and doesn't want to risk losing it. I got her to switch to a less expensive payment at least, but she won't cancel it entirely.

Kalergie

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Re: They forgot to cancel autopay, now Comcast Owes them $5800!
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2015, 12:53:19 AM »


Somewhere, I think on this forum, I saw a post that when a major brokerage studied which of their customers had the best returns, #1 was dead people, and #2 was people who had opened accounts then forgotten about them.  Neither customer panicked and sold when the market dropped. 


http://www.businessinsider.com/forgetful-investors-performed-best-2014-9

Isn't that proof against rebalancing at all? Just wondering...

arebelspy

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Re: They forgot to cancel autopay, now Comcast Owes them $5800!
« Reply #15 on: December 13, 2015, 02:10:58 AM »
No, because if you're using them as the control, you don't have a "rebalancing only" sample. Just the sample of everyone else not dead or forgot about the account. And those people did the normal irrational buy high on hype sell low on panic stuff.
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Kalergie

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Re: They forgot to cancel autopay, now Comcast Owes them $5800!
« Reply #16 on: December 14, 2015, 05:48:22 AM »
Good point, arebelspy. What would be interesting is a comparison:

Average investor (fearful, greedy) vs dead investor vs. rebalancing investor staying the course

Tom Bri

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Re: They forgot to cancel autopay, now Comcast Owes them $5800!
« Reply #17 on: December 14, 2015, 10:19:59 PM »
Got a call at work from a lady, her daughter had a charge on her card and they were trying to figure out what it was. I told her it was a dental insurance policy that she had started paying for in 2006. This was in 2013 or thereabouts. She had been paying $30/mo for over 6 years and never questioned it! My wife would ask me about a single unexplained charge.

slugline

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Re: They forgot to cancel autopay, now Comcast Owes them $5800!
« Reply #18 on: December 15, 2015, 08:27:39 AM »


Somewhere, I think on this forum, I saw a post that when a major brokerage studied which of their customers had the best returns, #1 was dead people, and #2 was people who had opened accounts then forgotten about them.  Neither customer panicked and sold when the market dropped. 


http://www.businessinsider.com/forgetful-investors-performed-best-2014-9

Isn't that proof against rebalancing at all? Just wondering...

The emotions experienced by the average active investor leads them to buy high and sell low. If you're rebalancing, you should be more likely to be buying low and selling high.

MgoSam

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Re: They forgot to cancel autopay, now Comcast Owes them $5800!
« Reply #19 on: December 15, 2015, 08:49:25 AM »


Somewhere, I think on this forum, I saw a post that when a major brokerage studied which of their customers had the best returns, #1 was dead people, and #2 was people who had opened accounts then forgotten about them.  Neither customer panicked and sold when the market dropped. 


http://www.businessinsider.com/forgetful-investors-performed-best-2014-9

Isn't that proof against rebalancing at all? Just wondering...

The emotions experienced by the average active investor leads them to buy high and sell low. If you're rebalancing, you should be more likely to be buying low and selling high.

That reminds me, it's almost that time of the year to look at my funds to rebalance them.

JAYSLOL

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Re: They forgot to cancel autopay, now Comcast Owes them $5800!
« Reply #20 on: December 15, 2015, 09:33:34 AM »
The real sad part will be when they go "yay, $5800 in free money" and blow it all on something because hey, it was "free" money!

MgoSam

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Re: They forgot to cancel autopay, now Comcast Owes them $5800!
« Reply #21 on: December 15, 2015, 09:45:58 AM »
The real sad part will be when they go "yay, $5800 in free money" and blow it all on something because hey, it was "free" money!

It's like people that put more towards withholding so that they can get a bigger tax refund. I think this is silly because

a. You just gave the IRS a tax-free loan
b. Suspect that most people that do it will blow the money.

iris lily

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Re: They forgot to cancel autopay, now Comcast Owes them $5800!
« Reply #22 on: December 15, 2015, 10:06:43 AM »
We have an opposite story. Somewhere along the way our electric meter stopped working and the monthly bill dropped to a few dollars.

A year or more later the electric company came by, tested it, and put on a new meter. We owed a couple thousand dollars. The electric guy brought pulled out his spiel about how we can arrange for timed payments on this big debt and etc, but I said no worry bro, we owe it, we'll pay it.

This kind of thing is kinda of common, I think. One neighbor had no sewer bill for decades. Turns out her neighbors had been charged for it. She didn't know that sewer bill was separate from water bill and that seems reasonable to me since in some municipalities, they are one and the same.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2015, 02:42:43 PM by iris lily »

JAYSLOL

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Re: They forgot to cancel autopay, now Comcast Owes them $5800!
« Reply #23 on: December 15, 2015, 10:58:03 AM »
The real sad part will be when they go "yay, $5800 in free money" and blow it all on something because hey, it was "free" money!

It's like people that put more towards withholding so that they can get a bigger tax refund. I think this is silly because

a. You just gave the IRS a tax-free loan
b. Suspect that most people that do it will blow the money.

Yeah, I've never understood that either.  This is more of a overheard at work story, but since you brought it up...

A few months ago new coworker that started an entry level job with us told me about his financial situation.  He is 60.  No savings.  He owed $24k on a 2012 F150(underwater), which he can't drive due to DUI.  $20k in credit card debt.  Been on employment insurance for a year, after loosing job in the oil patch.  He told me he used to have over $500 a month withheld on his pay check when he was working so that he would get $10k+ refund at tax time. 

robartsd

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Re: They forgot to cancel autopay, now Comcast Owes them $5800!
« Reply #24 on: December 15, 2015, 11:59:59 AM »
We have an opposite story. Somewhere along the way our electric meter stopped working and the monthly bill dropped to a few dollars.

A year or more later the electric company came by, tested it, and put on a new meter. We owed a couple thousand dollars. The electric guy brought pulled out his spiel about how we can arrange for timed payments on this big debt and etc, but I said no worry bro, we owe it, we'll pay it.

This kind of thing is kinda of common, I think. One neighbor had no sewer bill for,decades. Turns out her neighbors had been charged for it. She didn't know that swear was separate from water agencies.

I'd be asking for documentation supporting their claim of your use. I imagine that it is possible for the meter to stop transmitting, while accurately maintaining a record of use; but if the meter didn't record your use, how can they know how much you owe them?

iris lily

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Re: They forgot to cancel autopay, now Comcast Owes them $5800!
« Reply #25 on: December 15, 2015, 02:44:02 PM »
We have an opposite story. Somewhere along the way our electric meter stopped working and the monthly bill dropped to a few dollars.

A year or more later the electric company came by, tested it, and put on a new meter. We owed a couple thousand dollars. The electric guy brought pulled out his spiel about how we can arrange for timed payments on this big debt and etc, but I said no worry bro, we owe it, we'll pay it.

This kind of thing is kinda of common, I think. One neighbor had no sewer bill for,decades. Turns out her neighbors had been charged for it. She didn't know that swear was separate from water agencies.

I'd be asking for documentation supporting their claim of your use. I imagine that it is possible for the meter to stop transmitting, while accurately maintaining a record of use; but if the meter didn't record your use, how can they know how much you owe them?

I think they estimated and DH looked at our past use and it seemed reasonable. Also, I was wrong about how much we owed for back use, it was closer to $1,000 not $2,000.

MgoSam

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Re: They forgot to cancel autopay, now Comcast Owes them $5800!
« Reply #26 on: December 15, 2015, 03:12:49 PM »
The real sad part will be when they go "yay, $5800 in free money" and blow it all on something because hey, it was "free" money!

It's like people that put more towards withholding so that they can get a bigger tax refund. I think this is silly because

a. You just gave the IRS a tax-free loan
b. Suspect that most people that do it will blow the money.

Yeah, I've never understood that either.  This is more of a overheard at work story, but since you brought it up...

A few months ago new coworker that started an entry level job with us told me about his financial situation.  He is 60.  No savings.  He owed $24k on a 2012 F150(underwater), which he can't drive due to DUI.  $20k in credit card debt.  Been on employment insurance for a year, after loosing job in the oil patch.  He told me he used to have over $500 a month withheld on his pay check when he was working so that he would get $10k+ refund at tax time.

I'm shocked, SHOCKED, that he doesn't have any savings....

Sid Hoffman

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Re: They forgot to cancel autopay, now Comcast Owes them $5800!
« Reply #27 on: December 15, 2015, 03:19:36 PM »
This kind of thing is kinda of common, I think. One neighbor had no sewer bill for decades. Turns out her neighbors had been charged for it. She didn't know that sewer bill was separate from water bill and that seems reasonable to me since in some municipalities, they are one and the same.

Oh wow.  Yeah where I live the city does trash, water, and sewer all in one combined statement.  I never even see the itemized bill for that matter, I signed up online last time I moved and as long as the email says this month's bill is about the same as last month's, I assume everything is OK.  I really only looked at it in detail the first month or two to make sure it looked right.  I don't think I've looked at the detailed statement ever since.

Making Cookies

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Re: They forgot to cancel autopay, now Comcast Owes them $5800!
« Reply #28 on: December 17, 2015, 07:19:05 AM »
We have an opposite story. Somewhere along the way our electric meter stopped working and the monthly bill dropped to a few dollars.

A year or more later the electric company came by, tested it, and put on a new meter. We owed a couple thousand dollars. The electric guy brought pulled out his spiel about how we can arrange for timed payments on this big debt and etc, but I said no worry bro, we owe it, we'll pay it.

This kind of thing is kinda of common, I think. One neighbor had no sewer bill for decades. Turns out her neighbors had been charged for it. She didn't know that sewer bill was separate from water bill and that seems reasonable to me since in some municipalities, they are one and the same.

The first summer here I planted a bunch of trees and watered them alot. Got a huge sewer bill too. Argued with the city about it and got educated. I grew up in the boonies with a septic tank.

iris lily

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Re: They forgot to cancel autopay, now Comcast Owes them $5800!
« Reply #29 on: December 17, 2015, 11:03:32 AM »
We have an opposite story. Somewhere along the way our electric meter stopped working and the monthly bill dropped to a few dollars.

A year or more later the electric company came by, tested it, and put on a new meter. We owed a couple thousand dollars. The electric guy brought pulled out his spiel about how we can arrange for timed payments on this big debt and etc, but I said no worry bro, we owe it, we'll pay it.

This kind of thing is kinda of common, I think. One neighbor had no sewer bill for decades. Turns out her neighbors had been charged for it. She didn't know that sewer bill was separate from water bill and that seems reasonable to me since in some municipalities, they are one and the same.

The first summer here I planted a bunch of trees and watered them alot. Got a huge sewer bill too. Argued with the city about it and got educated. I grew up in the boonies with a septic tank.

Oh yeah, when I lived in Ames, Iowa I had a choice to either have air conditioning or water my garden, I couldn't afford both. So I watered the garden.

Imagine my delight living now where I do,where water bill and sewer bills are a flat fee per property depending on a few features of each house.

We water our multiple gardens whenever we like. Love  it!

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Re: They forgot to cancel autopay, now Comcast Owes them $5800!
« Reply #30 on: December 17, 2015, 11:20:38 AM »
On the topic of "auto-pay" in general: it's a trust relationship. I trust my cell phone provider. (they're very service oriented)

I do NOT, however, trust my electrical utility company. They are notorious for being officious, bureaucratic and error prone.

While they haven't screwed up a bill yet, I don't let them auto-charge me because it's plausible they will misread a meter and bill me for the electricity consumption of a small aircraft carrier, completely oblivious of the fact that the wires leading to my house would melt instantly if I attempted to draw that much energy.

This has happened to some customers, despite the fact that the laws of physics didn't support the level of consumption the utility company was claiming.

So, they go on manual pay and I audit them every month. They can take it up with a arbitrator or judge if they pull any shenanigans.

Comcast? Sounds like a company nobody should trust.

I only trust my bank to a point and set my bills to auto-debit the day after payday because of payment re-ordering scams banks are notorious for.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2015, 11:29:20 AM by cjottawa »

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Re: They forgot to cancel autopay, now Comcast Owes them $5800!
« Reply #31 on: December 17, 2015, 01:18:04 PM »
A colleague of mine got a $1000+ water bill for a vacation property he owns. He argued with the water company that his property would have to be completely saturated if he had used that much water in a month, but they wouldn't budge, saying that he probably had a leak in his pool. He begrudgingly paid it eventually, made sure his pool wasn't leaking, and eventually forgot about it. A year later the same thing happened AGAIN. He noticed that it happened whenever one of the digits on the meter rolled over from 9 to 0, it took the next digit with it farther than it should (i.e. it went from 199 to 300). The company replaced the meter and waived the huge charge for that month but never paid him back for the previous time it happened.

geekette

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Re: They forgot to cancel autopay, now Comcast Owes them $5800!
« Reply #32 on: December 17, 2015, 02:38:45 PM »
Oh, man, I would have fought that to the end of time!