How do I switch cable companies ?
January 15, 2015 7:18 AM   Subscribe

I am considering switching cable companies. In this case, it would be from Comcast to UVerse. Having never done this before, I need help with the logistics.

How does the process work? Do I schedule an install with the new provider and then notify my existing one that I'm canceling? How do I ensure that I'm not going to be paying both of them for a month? Do companies give prorated refunds when you cancel mid-month? I am not on any contract with Comcast (just pay month to month). Any other considerations I should keep in mind?

Thanks for any input.
posted by eas98 to Shopping (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Contact the new provider. They might have some special incentives for switching, and they definitely have experience with this that should answer your questions.
posted by jozxyqk at 7:29 AM on January 15, 2015 [1 favorite]

1. Schedule uverse installation
2. Wait for installation to be complete. Confirm you are happy with your new set up before installer leaves.
3. Call Comcast after the installation person leaves. Say you want to cancel your service effective immediately.
4. Comcat might try to give you the run around in keeping their service. Let them know you've switched to a different company. Get a confirmation number of your cancellation.
5. Return the cable boxes/modem/etc to a comcast store ASAP.
6. Comcast should bill you only for the days that you had service that month. If you can time it so that the uverse installation happens on the day your comcast bill cycle ends, you'll probably only end up paying for that day's service.
posted by royalsong at 7:51 AM on January 15, 2015

Don't call Comcast to cancel, it's a goddamned nightmare and you'll want to cry.

Just show up at the Comcast service center with your equipment.

I haven't actually done this with Comcast, but I've done it with Cox cable twice, and it was a 5 minute, completely painless process.
posted by empath at 8:24 AM on January 15, 2015 [2 favorites]

5. Return the cable boxes/modem/etc to a comcast store ASAP.

Get a receipt or some other proof when you do this. They are notorious for claiming you never turned equipment in. Also keep an eye on your comcast bills. They are also notorious for continuing to charge you.

Another alternative to calling is using their chat. I'm not sure if you can cancel through it, but I used it recently to troubleshoot some things and it was much better than having to call, and you can keep the transcript.

The overall advice is document everything with comcast. Trust me.
posted by BStrummin at 9:13 AM on January 15, 2015

Wait for your U-verse to be installed and working correctly. Once it's done, take all of your Comcast equipment to the customer service (ha) center and cancel then.

It took days to install U-verse because we were the first in the neighborhood to get it. Glad we did it the way we did it.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:35 AM on January 15, 2015

It's a pain, but generally worth it to get the best rates. Seconding everyone who says get receipts for everything when returning equipment and watch your bills carefully over the next month or so.

When I cancelled U-Verse I'm pretty sure I got three different sets of directions on how/where to return everything depending on whether I was looking at the website, talking to a rep or on the chat. In the end it was simple because the UPS store did everything, but I had a lot of trouble reconciling the different sets of instructions and had no luck getting them to send me an email with a specific list of what to return and how.

Watch your bills afterwards, it can take a month or more to get your final reconciled bill from the old provider, make sure it matches what you expected and you haven't been charged for extra time or equipment. When I cancelled Uverse they cut off my online access to my account immediately so I had no way to view my bills online to verify the balances/charges/credits

By the same token, watch your first Uverse bill to make sure you haven't been charged for unexpected installation fees. I swapped the default Comcast box the installation guy brought for a newer/smaller model at the comcast store and somehow got charged for a second box installation fee.
posted by TwoWordReview at 1:08 PM on January 15, 2015

If you are using Comcast for your email address, have a plan set up for how you're going to move all your mail to your new ISP email address. Better yet instead of using your new ISP, go with fastmail or gmail - or another company that doesn't need you to subscribe to their cable service to use their email. That way if you decide to go to Verizon in a few years, you don't need to move your email stuff again.
posted by NoraCharles at 1:40 PM on January 15, 2015

Get a receipt or some other proof when you do this. They are notorious for claiming you never turned equipment in. Also keep an eye on your comcast bills. They are also notorious for continuing to charge you.

my friend got sent to collections for like $600 because of this for a cablebox and modem. and comcast wont ever give him service again unless he coughs it up. he returned the stuff, they just refuse to believe it. i've gone through this nightmare with multiple companies with cable boxes, phones, whatever.

save that confirmation number/ticket number/whatever in multiple places. you will likely need it more than once. and yea, drop it off in person, don't mail it or anything. cancel in person too.
posted by emptythought at 5:05 AM on January 16, 2015

Thanks for all the replies! Much appreciated.
posted by eas98 at 7:55 AM on January 16, 2015

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