Why you can’t always trust your cable (or phone) company

Cable installers nightmare

In the latest installment of “Why we hate the cable company and some unethical practices”, these recent articles I read underscore the importance of being wary of who you let in your home and what the cable company might try to upsell you

While you should always be careful of who you let in your home (all our techs are given thorough background checks and are bonded and insured) I read this news story and felt sick to my stomach as to how much of a violation of customer trust this is and how easy the scam was. Customers leave technicians with their computers all the time without thinking not just what information the technician has but what they might do with your internet connection. If they used your phone or rifled through your drawer, you’d see that, but would you see them using their laptop to do something illegal that would then be traced to you? Best to work with people you know and trust.

Even if they aren’t using your Internet without your consent, cable technicians may be using their relationship with you to sell you stuff you didn’t request or want. This recent story is about how Comcast is upselling customers into a tech support plan without notifying them. We’ve been seeing this quite often with AT&T Uverse customers in Lawrence. Even with the most basic of questions, now customers are both being charged for and enrolled in a service plan without their consent. That “service plan” is anything but. They offer remote support which makes even the simplest of problems take hours and if they (via you) can’t fix it remotely, you’ll still have to pay for a technician to come out, which is contracted out (see above story for the risks on that). Ironically, the request for onsite service call may come to us anyway and you’ll pay more and we get less.

Next time you call for support from your cable (or phone company) be sure you know who you let into your home, keep an eye on what they are doing, and never get sold something you don’t need.

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