Comcast Turns Dream House Into Nightmare

Comcast reportedly turns dream into nightmare

Seth Morabito is at the end of his rope, and he’s blaming it all on Comcast. The software engineer purchased his dream house in Kitsap County, a rural area in Washington state, last December with hopes that he could work from home. According to an article by Gawker, Morabito checked repeatedly with Comcast prior to purchasing the property and was assured he could connect to the Internet as per the requirements of his job. He was even told by Comcast Business that a previous resident had an account with the company.

Gawker reported that after buying the home, Seth learned the house actually is not wired for cable and that it would cost around $60,000 to install buried cables and wire the house for connectivity. He considered shouldering a good deal of the financial burden on his own just to get the job done but later learned that Comcast would not be willing to assist him at all, despite their allegedly erroneous assertions regarding the property.

Morabito discussed the matter via his personal blog, explaining that he does not have any other options for Internet connectivity in his area. Chris Morran, who penned an extensive story on Morabito’s situation for Consumerist, noted that Seth’s problems actually compounded when he looked into alternatives with a Comcast competitor called CenturyLink.

“After that very first Comcast tech told Seth there was no cable infrastructure to his house, he contacted CenturyLink,” wrote Morran. “The company promised to get him hooked up right away … But then the next day he got a call informing him that his area was in ‘permanent exhaust’ and that CenturyLink wouldn’t be adding new customers. Of course, that didn’t stop CenturyLink from billing Seth more than $100 for service he never received and will never be able to receive. Seth then had to convince someone with CenturyLink’s billing department to zero out the account that should have never been opened.”

In a lengthy soliloquy on posted on March 20 to his personal blog, Seth Morabito summarized his woes and discussed his remaining course of action:

“We got bad news on Wednesday, the 18th. At about 3:45 PM, Robert called and told me that Comcast will not do the extension. No ifs, no ands, no buts, they just won’t do it. They wouldn’t even give me the chance to pay for it. Too much effort on their part.

I’m devastated. This means we have to sell the house. The house that I bought in December, and have lived in for only two months.

I don’t know where we go from here. I don’t know if there’s any kind of recourse. I do know that throughout this process, Comcast has lied. I don’t throw that word around lightly or flippantly, I mean it sincerely. They’ve fed me false information from the start, and it’s hurt me very badly.

This whole thing would have been avoided if only Comcast had said, right at the start, that they didn’t serve this address. Just that one thing would have made me strike this house off the list.

I don’t know exactly how much money I’m going to lose when I sell, but it’s going to be substantial. Three months of equity in a house isn’t a lot of money compared to sellers’ fees, excise taxes, and other moving expenses.

So, good bye dream house. You were the first house I ever owned, I’ll miss you.”

An “FAQ” section, which covers many of the details behind the controversy, is included in his blog post.

Technology news site Ars Technica reports that they attempted to contact Comcast regarding this story but did not receive any response prior to their press time.

Customer dissatisfaction isn’t really a new issue for Comcast. According to Money, CEO Neil Smit recently pledged to drastically improve the company’s relationship with its patronage and earlier today, Comcast announced they are adding 40 new social media experts to their ranks to increase response time to problems and complaints. Money also notes that the company has launched an app and charged other specialists with the task of improving Comcast’s “broken method of interacting with customers.” There’s no direct information suggesting that these moves are related to Morabito’s problems.

The company’s new efforts aside, if Seth Morabito’s reports are accurate, it’s clear that he’ll be left holding the bag for Comcast’s errors and shortcomings. It’s a hard lesson to learn, for sure, but sometimes the best advice comes from old sitcoms. Remember that episode of The Brady Bunch where Mike Brady tells his teenage son Greg about the principle of caveat emptor? Hey, who knew that the Bradys had Comcast as their Internet service provider? After all, they really seemed like more of an AOL family.

[Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]