How to Cancel Comcast Without the Pain

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I did it. I escaped. I faced (well, voiced) down a “Customer Loyalty Specialist” (helllloooooo Orwell!) and made it out of the phone call without raising my voice, pulling my hair, or (worst case scenario) ending up extending my contract. And all it took was being willing to do one simple thing:

Lie through my teeth.

With all the amazing stories of painful experiences trying to cancel Comcast service we’ve been hearing (not to mention them kindly changing people’s names on their bills), I was not looking forward to this call. However, it had to be done. We’d found (to our shock and awe) that we had a new option for internet service, a local company offering equal-to-better bandwidth at a slightly lower price, with excellent one-to-one customer service (I know, hard to believe!). It was time to make the switch. In fact, we made the switch, and waited a week to make sure everything was working before I was ready to make the call.

Then, I came up with my plan.

The thing to remember is that the people you call have a script with planned responses (drafted by psychologists for maximum effectiveness) all crafted to do everything they can to keep you on contract. They’ll do almost anything–offer better service, price discounts, car washes (not)–to keep your money rolling in each month. So, you have to be ready with a story that makes it as inappropriate as possible for them to try to keep you.

I decided we were moving. But, of course, they’d ask where, just in case we could just move our service with us. England! We’re moving to England! I’d gotten a transfer to a project in London for a year, and we had to stop all our services. No chance they could follow us there! With that story firmly established, I made the call. And almost ruined everything.

Because, the scripts are good. There are questions that can (or are designed to?) trip you up. How soon were you going? Oh, uh, next week–so we’re cancelling all our services now! Will anyone be staying in the residence who can use the service? Oh, no, nobody. Do you have a forwarding address for the final bill? Um, no, send it to the house–we’re having the mail forwarded. Are you sure? Sometimes they won’t forward bills. Yes, we’re sure.

I was sweating near the end there, thinking on my feet, trying not to trip myself up. But after just a couple of minutes of perjury, bobbing and weaving through the interrogator’s–er, Customer Loyalty Support person’s–grilling, I was out the other side with cancelled service and a final bill on the way. But my lesson-learned info dump to you is to have your story straight before you call. I thought I did, but hadn’t thought through all the details, and by the end I was on the edge, and only a little quick-thinking saved me from a complete meltdown. But it’s also important to be cheerful, confident, and professional about the whole thing. You’re just taking care of a little chore in advance of your big journey. Make them believe it!

Now, I know, it seems risky to share this info. But I’m relying on Comcast being as unresponsive in changing their retention scripts as they are about actually improving their customer service overall. And if this helps just a few of you to save yourselves some time and emotional distress, then I’ve done my job.

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85 thoughts on “How to Cancel Comcast Without the Pain

  1. Been looking for a place on their website for 3 hrs to cancel every thing ….. just suspending page
    couldn’t ever find out how/where the darned location was that they refer to in their “help” section.
    Me thinks that that is what was supposed to happen in their online site, they never let ya get past “go”, only wind up @ “go to jail” 😉

  2. I had to say “operator” and/or “agent” about 18 times. “I’m moving out of the country” seems to have worked. I asked how much I owed and they asked me how much my last check was for. And I asked how much I owed and I asked how much was due on my account. Wash, rinse, repeat. They’re really awful.

    One small upside, I never accepted their modem, so nothing to return.

  3. I do feel sad that this level of frustration is such a waste of time and mental energy, that could be used for other, REAL, problems also caused by corporate greed and misbehavior.

  4. I am yet another dissatisfied customer of Comcast. We will be looking for another provider but are unable to do so at this time. This company can not even help properly with the dissolution of emails. How can two emails on the same account be deleted/changed to new ones in the exact manner and yet one never fully got deleted. The mail notification delivery fail never came through even after it was brought back up the 2nd time. I spoke to 3 people on 3 calls and on supposedly 2 levels of security importance. Of course I got no where.

    My solution is to return the equipment when the contract is up so we do not get taken. We have many months to go. Triple play at that.

  5. Do your research before your contact is up and prepare to leave them.

    The stories of the hang ups are true and the aggressive tactics to hold your account hostage is happening.

    It is interesting to think the company took over the market and also one of the biggest Time Warner picked them up, but I have been in corporate buy overs and usually they get bought because the market for them is turning down, down with numbers, revenue, and ultimately laying off people. The door to door selling has already been dropped and the small competitors have awesome incentives, there are seminars out there helping people leave the beast by educating them on options like streaming or building your own package with basic and adding or sharing stuff like Netflix, Chromecast..so guess what, it is a matter of time, and actually after my experience it’s happening, and I say good diddens.

    My plan with Comcast was 120.00 & was to go up to 211.00 with less the package of I didn’t take the b.s. deal of 149.00..do the math, I cancelled and happy to say I am shopping and for a better package I can get DirecTv fios internet for 96.00, or I can do basic cable with Amazon prime & Netflix for 30.00 since my phone has internet and I can use my phone as hot spot, or their is prism with century link 69.00, or dish with 400.00 Amazon card just to get you business..

    Basically, you are not crazy you are not alone, you should not have to lie to a company to get out, and most of all while in contract educate yourself on all the possibilities because there are so many better deals so don’t be afraid to change.

    Plus, after what I experienced I would like the satisfaction of empowering others to find better, your money is no different then mine. Thank you

  6. Simply reply with “please cancel my account.” It’s none of their business and they know they’re awful. If they say “I need a reason” tell them that they may choose whatever option they like. It may take a while and a few attempts but you can get them to acknowledge a cancellation.

    If they follow through with the cancellation? That’s another story! Don’t forget that Comcast is a nightmare of a company and that’s why you’re leaving, right? Good luck!

  7. I just did this and from the moment I dialed the number to the moment I hung up it only took 9 minutes. The lady was very friendly and helpful and didn’t prod or anything. She just asked if anyone was staying behind, how long we would be gone for, and where to send the last bill. Thanks for pointing this method out. I was preparing all my complaints before I read this!

  8. Just called XFinity as I’m moving out in a just over a month’s time. (17 Jan 2017)
    Mimi there stated that Retention Dept is not called the Customer Solutions Department and they handle the cancellation. They only take notices within 2 week from the disconnect time so I should call back int he new year. As it happens, I am English and stated that I’m moving back so that was easy 🙂
    I questioned about notice required and billing dates and was informed that if billing cycle starting on 24 December 2016 is paid, then a refund of unused prepayment will be returned as a credit on the account. I’m not holding my breath on that one!

  9. I cancelled my service last week after getting yet another bill that was more than I wanted to pay. I was so sick of calling them up every so often to haggle with them about packages and price. When prompted by the automated system, I immediately said “cancel service” and after some wait time was transferred to the Customer Solutions Department. The agent was friendly and did try to offer some solutions, but nothing worthwhile ($10 off DVR- GRRRREAT!). I politely listened to the few options and ended up saying that it looked like they did not have much to offer me and that I would just like to cancel. She put up no fuss and we set up a disconnect date. To be honest, I was a little shocked that they did not try to do more to keep me because if they brought me in at a reasonable price I think I would’ve stayed. But, I can’t tell you how happy I am to have cancelled service. I have been overpaying for too long and there are so many other options in this day and age.

    1. Ken, I see that this is a resurrected old discussion but your Comcast cancellation is recent. I’m about to switch from Comcast (after 12 years at this location and about 5 years before that at others) to WOW cable which I’ve never used and hoping I don’t regret it. I was happy with Comcast for a long time, but recently the price tag is getting too much, and I couldn’t resist the first time customer deal WOW was offering despite my reservations about whether I’m going to be happy with internet speeds, consist connections and service after reading more than a few negative reviews. What did you end up switching to after canceling Comcast? We aren’t ready to cut the cable TV cord and just stream, maybe next year.

  10. I’m coming up to the end of a 2-year contract on a new house move, and I have had my fair share of dealing with this group over the last 12 years. There are other options in my area, and we don’t need 275 channels (of which we watch 20), a landline (WTF, WHY?), and internet that is admittedly the best out there, at least in my area. They have some of the best SERVICES, but despite the recent public shaming and promises, I still fear they have not improved their CUSTOMER SERVICE. Dialing ANY number expecting to talk to a Comcast “representative” is also on my list as favorite things to do above replacing a toilet. Does anyone have an update now as to what to expect? I agree about not needing to lie, or explain a reason for cancelling for any reason. But this GROUPTHATWONTTAKENOFORANANSWER is a different breed that has historically bordered on egregious business practices. I have pulled my hair out dealing with these people.

    I understand that my “Discount” will end at the end of the contract, and I have been hit with exorbitant fees in the past as a result: “Oh, that was the discounted bundle price, you are now paying the actual price.” Nice business model.

    Anyone have advice for my options before my “Discount” runs out?

    Thanks

  11. LOL. Just tell them I just feel like I want to cancel it and I don’t have a good reason to tell you. Please get it done. I will not be paying anything else from here on out. That was it for me.

    I don’t have to lie. I just have to be an ass. And it works. Was real quick to get disconnect.

  12. I’d like to add my experience as well…I JUST walked out of the xfinity store, equipment in hand, and it literally took a total of 3 minutes to cancel…no joke…It was so fast that I asked if they were sure that they completely cancelled it correctly…The associate confirmed, gave me a receipt for the equipment, said to expect a final bill, and wished me a great weekend…True story

  13. Sharing my fresh experience. Looks like things are changing at Comcast. Maybe it’s the shaming of “the cable company” on South Park, or the polls telling them they are among the most hated companies in America. I don’t know, but I think they are actually taking notice.

    I feared having to talk to them, and was procrastinating for weeks, but eventually I made the call today to downgrade service. The voice prompts could definitely be improved — got a feeling that they don’t want me to reach anyone — but in the end the word ‘cancel’ helped me get through. The guy on the other side of the line couldn’t be nicer and we were done after a few minutes. I will now be paying half the monthly price.

    I would have switched to another provider if it were a viable (same speed internet for similar or lower price) option in my area but AT&T is not close and are about obfuscated and sleazy as Comcast. Their promotions are always lacking the most basic information needed to make a decision. There not even a simple up/down speeds and a clear price list.

    Anyway, glad it is over for now. There’s no need to fake a reason. Just say what you want.

  14. So, I managed to cancel my Comcast service today. If you ever have the pleasure of doing this know they still want to stick you at the end.

    So, there is some kind of 2 month warning, you can’t get out of. So, I am being charged for 2 more months, but I downgraded my account as I already have another service.

    Verizon seems to understand this game as they are offering some kind of rebate for the cost of the transfer. I did not understand why. I am going to ask them about this.

    They seemed to automatically stop my phone fees when I ported the phone numbers to another service. I had a Comcast business account. However, it seems they bumped up my charges right near the end for the phone service. I don’t remember the fee being this high.

    They do seem to have preset psychological script that tries to get you to stay. The key is to just keep repeating “I just want to cancel my service” in whatever question they ask. Except when they say they will send you a cancellation document. You need to receive this and sign it electronically. They will send it to email and you have to open it in Docusign.

    Just in case, I instructed my accountant to not pay any bills after May. We pay by mail so their is no automatic bill pay.

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