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Unreturned Equipment fee issues

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Unreturned Equipment fee issues

I have cancelled service and turned in all  Comcast owned Equipment. I was told that I also owe them a Cable Modem. I explained that the reason I was canceling all services is that Comcast had started charging me rent again for a Modem I owned and I no longer wanted to go through the month long hassle of having the problem fixed. I had been through this outrage several times over the last 6 years. I was told my final bill would have a $149.00 unreturned equipment fee. I explained I simply would not pay it. So what happens next? Goes to collections? Credit worthiness threatened? What if I actually paid them for it? Would it now really be mine? Could I sell it to someone else? Could they in turn use it on Comcast. I dont think so.


The bottom line is Comcast does not have its Cable Modem inventory system under control and this problem has happend to me 5 times and to thousands of others. Comcast buys its modems in bulk and in less than one year of "Rent" every modem is 100% paid for. Even the unreturned modem fee exceeds its replacement cost. There is no economy in the customer renting a modem from Comcast unless yours breaks.


Comcast apparently has no interest in its customers owning their own equipmentbecuase they are a massive revenue stream and apparently it does its best to discourage customer ownership even to the extent of repeatedlly falsely charging them for the same piece of gear. If i am wrong in this assesment , please would someone explain and get me to a person who will actually fix my bill. On line chat and phone agents have repeatedly told me they cant get this charge removed and 2 escalation tickets were issued with no results. Buehler? Buehler?

Bronze Problem Solver

Re: Unreturned Equipment fee issues

Unfortunately, you're right in that this happens a lot.  It's happened to me, as well, three years running, although I do believe it's finally been resolved.  As it was explained to me, the modem ownership status "switch" needs to be flipped in two places by two different departments, which often doesn't happen.  Then, when an automated audit happens, the AI thinks the modem belongs to Comcast and generates the letter.  A Comcast employee here will need to address this;  they answer problems in the order they are posted, so it may take a while.


Re: Unreturned Equipment fee issues

I think it is wishful thinking to presume anything is resolved. The last time i went through this management assured me this was fixed, that I indeed owned the modem and it would not happen again. Now the front line agent is saying that it was likely stolen. So with all the problems I had this and several other owned modems, I am now a thief? Or I bought it from a thief?


How could it ever have been activated if it was stolen?


All that research the last time would have proven this would it not? 


Even though this it the case with this modem, what if a previous customer failed to return it, paid the $149.00? Woukd they not own it and could they not then sell it to me and it would now be mine? Or does it always belong to Comcast , evenn when it doesnt?


I worked in cable for 27 years as an engineer , manager and partner in several companies. This sort of thing happens only when there is bad inventory set up, porr training and an attitude that the customers is less important than the company. Been there seen it, i know how it happens.

Official Employee

Re: Unreturned Equipment fee issues

Hello randyhouse. I can assist with researching the modem you are being charged for. Please send me a private message and include your full name, service address, and account number so I can assist you. 


Re: Unreturned Equipment fee issues

For the readers following this thread:

I sent Comcast Joe the requested information. I also provided him the previous numbers for outstanding escalation tickets which were never resolved while i was still a customer and were part of the reason I dropped the service altogether. What came back was a repeat of everything I already know and surprise, a new escalation ticket. These are notoriously a dead end from my experience. While the agent may honestly believe something is being done higher up, from my experiences previousy,  they are a black hole. A way to blow off the customer. Last thing I wanted to hear.


After several years of my modem being activated and provsioned as a customer owned modem with out rental charges,according to Comcast Joe, it is now "their" modem according to their "records". Just like my experience with my previous customer owned modems. Pure Inventory system screw ups.


He did however state that the fee was not $149.00 as the agent who checked the other equipment in  but is actually $80.00. More inconsitent bad information coming from the source.


I immediatly wrote back to Comcast Joe and disputed the Final charges including the modem rental prorates which were added as a potentially illegal negative option to my bill.

The math by the way  works out to less than 8 months rent covers the cost of this modem and the rest is gravy to Comcast.


I also asked more questions for which I would  like some answers. If any readers know to these answers please add them to the discussion.


1. If indeed the modem I bought is somehow really theirs , why would they not have identified this immediately when I activated it through them years ago?


2. I have often had numerous internet issues , high error rates etc and was repeatedly in touch with their "experts" including service visits to my house where they examined the modem asked if it was mine, I said yes and they reverified this. Why again was the ownership of this modem always considered to be mine if it wasn't ? Because their own records at those times indicated it was? So what changed? According to one agent I talked to they had run some sort of automated cleanup. Exactly as before.


3.I have also asked Comcast to prove it is really theirs. After all, if they treated it as if it was mine for so long, and that is now an error, and historically they have also been error with two other modems I owned, what makes anyone sure they are not now in error again?


In order to prove to me it is theirs, they basically would have to say it it is stolen, which one agent has implied and admit there are serious flaws in their system that somehow alllows these to work for years depriving them of eneourmous amounts gouging rental fees.


4.In order to prove it is stolen, they would have to be able to prove when they bought it, when they entered it into their inventory system, who last had it and why wasnt it returned?


5.Also, did that last person pay an uncollected equipment fee? If they did, would that person not now own it? If they own it, cant that person sell it? Or, is it somehow Comcast's forever no matter how many fees they continue to collect.


Given my previous experiences, the bottom line for me is, this I am not paying any prorate rentals for this, nor will I pay any uncollected equipment fees for it since I bought it, they activated it and for a number years Comcast always considerd it mine and agreed it was mine even when asked. It is hard to believe they sudenly have their inventory fixed. Their track record is so poor 


If i were to send it it back, they would have to fully prove to me it was always theirs, they had not collected previous fees for it and were not simply gouging me for an renturend eauipment fee they have already charged someone else.  Maybe the right thing for them is to pay me for "retrieving" their hopelessly lost piece of gear and through losing me forever as a customer realize that somewhere in all this, there is a learning experience that might help them become better at working with customers.



Frequent Visitor

Re: Unreturned Equipment fee issues

As someone going throught the exact same scam, I hope you get it worked out.    



I'm seiriosuly considering starting a  business and website soley dedicated to exposing and combating Comcast on this issue.   


Re: Unreturned Equipment fee issues

I agree with you. The other thing we all need to realize is there really is life after Comcast.( unless of course you are in a billing hassle over a final billl ) By the way, once you disconnect you cant even access your old account so if you need a record of your bills, print them up before you tell them to take a hike.


I have sucessfully cut the cord. I get the same channels that I actually watch from a streaming service and an attic antenna, internet is from a  competitor at the same speed and it is half the price of Comcast's stand alone which they jack up on purpose to discourage dropping the other services.


My local broadcast channels are free and look better than they ever did with Comcast simply by using a $50.00 antenna in my attic. This is attached to $50.00 network device and any device in the house, streaming box, smart TV , Smart Phone or Pc can get these through the wifi system. It also has DVR capabilties on these and the streaming channels.


Also No more Broadcast fee, Hd Technology Fee, Regional sports fee or ever changing rented equipment fees. Yes to great extent I am on my own but as my expereinces with Comcast  got worse, I realized I was anyway. All the taxes on these extra fees go away to. No more packages of services that claim to lock in rates and in fact really dont. I even got a free landline through Google Voice.


The new equipment I needed was paid for in two month's from savings from the bloated Comcast bill. I dont miss anything they provided  and even my wife can easily work it all. 

Official Employee

Re: Unreturned Equipment fee issues

randyhouse, I have responded to your message to Joe.


Re: Unreturned Equipment fee issues

I thought I would let everyone know that the Comcast folks have removed all the modem charges and have agreed that the modem is mine.


Thanks !