Man's House Burns Down, Comcast Repeatedly Refuses To Cancel His Service

Dealing with cable companies on the phone can be intensely frustrating. Many of us have dealt with lengthy phone exchanges in the past, oftentimes in the attempt to accomplish relatively simple transactions. Recently, a Comcast subscriber dealt with one such experience when attempting to cancel his cable following a house fire.

You would think that cancelling your cable subscription would be a relatively easy process, but there are a few things you need in order to accomplish such a feat. Namely, you need an account number. When Comcast subscriber Jimmy Ware dealt with a horrible fire that quite literally tore through his St. Paul, Minnesota home, his daughter thought she would help him out by cancelling his cable subscription while he took care of other matters. Instead, she says she was firewalled by the service, who said she couldn’t cancel the account without the account number, a number which had been lost when the home burned down.

The level of incompetence here is a bit astonishing. Ware’s daughter, Jessica Schmidt, said she had to speak with the service four to five times before they were able to actually resolve the problem. It’s clearly not funny that Ware and Schmidt were treated this way, but the responses she had to resort to while dealing with the company are farcical--not in a haha way, but in an incredulous one. Here’s what she had to tell the Twin City’s Pioneer Press.

I've said to Comcast, 'Here's your choice, disconnect the service or send someone out to fix the cable, because it's not working. The guy said, 'That doesn't make sense, because the house burned down.' I said, 'Exactly, shut the service off.'

Eventually, Comcast’s corporate office was notified, although we don’t really understand how it took a higher pay grade for the Ware family to be able to cancel the service. (Comcast may not even get it; others report they had no trouble canceling the service after a fire.)Losing your home is a horrible tragedy and for this to be what the family had to deal with afterwards must have been more frustrating than most of us are really able to envision.

This isn’t the first time we’ve reported on cable companies botching issues with customers, and sometimes even flagrantly insulting the people that subscribe, and we highly doubt it will be the last. There’s a reason that Comcast has been cited as the worst company in America and the company would need to do so much to clean up the company’s reputation at this point, that people barely notice when Comcast does something nice for customers. But even if we do hear from some disgruntled customers in the future, hopefully we'll never have to deal with another heartbreaking story about a customer having to deal with this sort of service after literally losing everything to a fire.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Jessica Rawden is Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. She’s been kicking out news stories since 2007 and joined the full-time staff in 2014. She oversees news content, hiring and training for the site, and her areas of expertise include theme parks, rom-coms, Hallmark (particularly Christmas movie season), reality TV, celebrity interviews and primetime. She loves a good animated movie. Jessica has a Masters in Library Science degree from Indiana University, and used to be found behind a reference desk most definitely not shushing people. She now uses those skills in researching and tracking down information in very different ways.