How Xfinity Stole $23.34 From Me, A Low-Income Oregonian

Somehow I’ve not mentioned this at all despite having been fighting my internet provider for an entire month now. I’m getting it out of the way here so that I don’t overly rant about it on Bluesky.

Last month when I looked at my cable bill, it had gone from $4.99 to $29.99. It had been $4.99 because I was on a plan most of which was covered by the Affordable Connectivity Program out of the Federal Communications Commission. I’d forgotten, though, like I usually do, that Xfinity plans come with a one-year promotional period, after which prices go up.

In itself, not a huge deal, because you basically always can contact support and get a new plan that once again reduces your bill, as long as you agree to a new two-year term.

What didn’t happen is that we didn’t get my plan switched in time to prevent the $29.99 payment via ACH, so once that completed I needed to contact them again and arrange for a refund based upon pro-rating around my new plan’s pricing. This is where everything went completely squirrelly.

First, despite specifically asking for a refund by that name, they processed it not as a refund but as an account credit.

As a low-income Oregonian, whose new $9.95 internet plan will be covered in its entirety by ACP, this wasn’t at all helpful. What I needed was my money.

Over the course of June, I contacted Xfinity every several days for an update. Every agent I talked to assured me that things were in process and it would get resolved. Then I was told that there’d been “a website glitch”. Then a bit later I was told there’d been “a delay”. Then a bit later still I was told that the refund needed to come in the form of a check.

Nowhere in this was an escalation ticket created until June 14.

As of today, during two hours in which I talked to, I think, five different agents—most of whom were low-tier and couldn’t actually do anything, made me repeat the entire damned story from scratch, and then would state their understanding of the issue which always was completely wrong, and one of which was in the entirely wrong region of the country to be able to do a single thing with my account records—I ended up with someone who, in theory at least, might be to tell me something useful.

Except that after going away for what might have been half an hour, they returned to say that even their manager can’t make the refund happen and they would need to schedule a callback.

Before ever getting any information about for when they’d scheduled the callback, my Xfinity internet went down.

I shit you not.

My laptop then asked if I wanted to join the T-Mobile hotspot from my phone, which I did, because I was scrambling to see if the chat connection would persist. I mentioned that my internet had gone down, and I wasn’t sure if the chat was still active, hoping to be told that it was.

What I got was someone who might or might not have been the same person up and transferring me to another department to fix my internet connection. I’ve no idea if a callback was scheduled and if so for when.

I’ve since, in part to try to stave off an oncoming sobbing collapse because this has been going on for a month now and today I already was spoon-depleted due to getting up early to go help with a delivery at the goats, sent the following inquiry to the Oregon Public Utility Commission.

Where do I file a complaint against Xfinity? I’ve been fighting for a month for a $23.34 refund due to me after changing my service that they incorrectly issued as an account credit.

As a low-income Oregonian whose internet service is covered by ACP, an account credit does me no good but the lack of refund caused major issues for me at the end of June.

In addition, I’ve now been through something like a dozen or more agents at various levels both by chat and telephone without resolution or full explanation of the delays, but with repeated reassurances that it’s “in process”, although it never seems to actually…process.

Further, as an actually-autistic adult with generalized anxiety disorder and OCD, this now has become an ongoing mental health issue for me.

So, where do I file a complaint?

Thank you.

In my last two support chats today, I expressly outed the fact that as an autistic, anxious, and obsessive-compulsive adult, Xfinity literally at this point is damaging my health. I’ve had to spend time in therapy on this that could have been spent, and would have been better spent, on other things.

(To be clear: I’ve no shame about playing these cards, especially given that they are body-shakingly valid. I will play these cards any fucking time I need to against anyone or anything with unwarranted power over me.)

I’m so tired. I don’t know what else to do.

It’s as much about the fucking principle of the thing as it is about the actual $23.34—although that’s an enormous amount to someone who is unemployable, not financially self-sufficient, still adjusting to the rescinding of the emergency SNAP allotment from the pandemic, and doesn’t want to be impacting a parent’s finances any more than he already is.

I’m just so fucking tired.