Can someone please help me understand Comcast's logic about this billing issue?

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Oct 26, 2015
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sas80 said:
If you firmly believe this was Comcasts mistake, open a police report. the truth will come out.
That is easy for you who live in the US to say. I would have done it in a heartbeat if both me and my friend are still in the US.

However, now that we live outside the US, there are a lot of uncertainty that could go horribly the wrong way. As I mentioned, my friend currently live in a rural area, it is normal to not be able to contact him for months. If the police could not reach him, what would happen? If the communication was cut during the investigation, what would happen? etc.

So you think I am asking too much from Comcast to provide one single piece of evidence that the account was opened under my name, before officially accusing my friend of crime (and create a huge burden on him)?
 
Feb 9, 2016
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That is easy for you who live in the US to say. I would have done it in a heartbeat if both me and my friend are still in the US.

However, now that we live outside the US, there are a lot of uncertainty that could go horribly the wrong way. As I mentioned, my friend currently live in a rural area, it is normal to not be able to contact him for months. If the police could not reach him, what would happen? If the communication was cut during the investigation, what would happen? etc.

So you think I am asking too much from Comcast to provide one single piece of evidence that the account was opened under my name, before officially accusing my friend of crime (and create a huge burden on him)?
I think Comcast believes you were complicit in the opening of the account, and that is why they are not helping you.

Have you tried calling Comcast/emailing Comcast and asking for a copy of the contract, and/or any document showing your signature, in reference to account #24588? You don't need to tell them there is a dispute going on, just simply ask for the document(s), plain and simple and see what they say.

You can learn what documents you may need to request (the technical name they use to refer to them) by calling and pretending to be a new customer looking to set up service and, at the appropriate time, asking when your signature will be required, and on what document(s) that will be.

I dont know about visa stuff. If you open an identity theft and the police are unable to speak with your friend to resolve it, if he reapplies for a visa the situation may show up. I would think you could determine that by referencing visa information.
 
Feb 9, 2016
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That is easy for you who live in the US to say. I would have done it in a heartbeat if both me and my friend are still in the US.
Well then, let it go if it's too much to deal with.

Am I wrong in wondering if this credit ding/issue might affect your ability to re obtain a visa to come back to the US?

before officially accusing my friend of crime (and create a huge burden on him)?
your friend should have straightened this out asap. when the 'documents were never received by comcast', in the effort to change name on the account, he should have cancelled the account and opened a new one in his OWN name.

your friend committed the crime of identity theft and has left you holding the bag
 

Neil Maley

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Put yourself in Comcast’s place- they had no issue with this account until the last bill. Now suddenly Joe Smith says “this was never my account”.

How do they know YOU are who you say you are? They don’t.

That’s why I do not see a way out of this without filing a police report - that’s the only way to prove who YOU are and that you truly never did open the account.

You have a quagmire that I can’t see getting fixed unless you prove to them you are who you say you are and file a police report.

Have you used our contacts as I suggested to write to Comcast Executives?

This would be an interesting case for our writers(although I think it might be a Case Dismissed story because you won’t file a report) to look into but you need to be willing to disclose your real name and your friends for a story. Are you willing to do that and have it publicized on the internet?
 
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Feb 9, 2016
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you could always say to Comcast/ask - if I fax/email a pdf of my drivers license, will you pull the original contract and compare signatures and let me know what you think, do they match?
 
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ADM

Apr 10, 2017
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The account being in your name is no accident. I know you say it was impossible for him to have your SSN but it could be much easier than you realize. I have a theory. You opened your own account in 2012 and he opened his (in your name) in 2014. Since both of you were international students could there have been an immigration/visa issue preventing him from securing a Comcast account in his own name? Just because he had been in the U.S. longer than you doesn't mean he couldn't have run into that or other issues. His credit might have gone downhill and he needed your info in order to get cable. He may have thought it was no big deal because he intended to pay the bill and he never thought it would affect you adversely. As for trying to get the account moved into his name it's possible he did make an attempt but whatever kept him from doing so in the first place was still a problem. He figured he would keep paying the bills (which you say he did) and everything would be fine. I'm not surprised that he apologized profusely and paid the $37 promptly. In his mind he really didn't think what he was doing was truly wrong because he never considered it identity theft in the malevolent sense.

Here's a real life example with some similarities. There is a dental office and one of the assistants had access to the money. She was running a little short on cash and needed a loan for a short while. She volunteered to be the one who made the daily deposits. The same person "borrowed" money from the cash deposit and paid it back in full a few days or a week later. She got caught because it took her longer and longer to pay it back. Even though she always repaid the money it was still stealing because he/she had no right to any of that money at any time. The dental office wasn't her own interest-free personal bank. But she didn't think of it that way, much like your friend doesn't think what he did was identity theft.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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That is easy for you who live in the US to say. I would have done it in a heartbeat if both me and my friend are still in the US.

However, now that we live outside the US, there are a lot of uncertainty that could go horribly the wrong way. As I mentioned, my friend currently live in a rural area, it is normal to not be able to contact him for months. If the police could not reach him, what would happen? If the communication was cut during the investigation, what would happen? etc.

So you think I am asking too much from Comcast to provide one single piece of evidence that the account was opened under my name, before officially accusing my friend of crime (and create a huge burden on him)?
You have two choices: continue to deny that your ID was stolen by your friend and keep trying to get ComCast to cooperate with you, or just walk away and hope that your credit report will not reflect any negativity. There really aren't any other paths. ComCast is not going to handle the situation the way you want them to, they are going to handle the situation per their policies and procedures. The choice is yours.
 
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May 17, 2016
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There is no way this was done "accidentally" - your friend had to have used your name to open the account. Did you ever call Comcast yourself and ask them to open an account at that address? Comcast could not pick your name out of thin air - someone gave it to them.
And he also purposely never told you - in essence, he stole your identity.

Get your friend to repay the money owed. This wasn't an accident.
Absolutely! Comcast didn't just make up a name. The "friend" must have done this and then denied responsibility. This so-called friend must pay ASAP. That'll be the end of it. And ditch the friend.
 
Nov 23, 2019
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I know this is very late and you've probably moved on, but I stumbled across this because my girlfriend had a hard inquiry from Comcast come up and we were trying to determine whether it was Identity Theft or there was some other explanation. Anyway, based on what I've read about your experience, I think you may have been misunderstanding what Comcast was asking of you in order to get more cooperation on their part.

I don't think you had to file a police report, at least not initially, I believe the first step (and what Comcast was instructing you to do) would have been to file an identity theft claim with Comcast. This can be by following the instructions here https://www.xfinity.com/idtheftclaimform . It seems that if you follow this process Comcast will investigate the issue and hopefully be able to show you evidence one way or another, this is not legal action and should not jeopardize your friend but hopefully get some answers. Hope this helps someone at least.
 
Nov 2, 2019
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I had a similar issue regarding an outstanding balance. I was told my name was added to the account, but the account holder now deceased obv. couldn’t pay, we shared an apartment but at home certain bills were paid entirely by me, but NOT cable/internet/ phone. I told the representative No, not my bill, never gave permission, not my account.
There has to be a way to fix this... In case you ever want credit in the USA again.
 
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Mel65

Mar 23, 2015
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No, he did not admit that he opened the account under my name. He claimed that he opened an account under his name, using his ID. It was until the first bill came that he realized the name was not his (i.e., it was mine). He tried to correct it a few times but it ends up too annoying for him (for example, he was asked to fax in some documents, he did, but they claimed they never received them) so he decided to let the bill be under my name since (from his perspective) there was no downside to him that way.
This all sounds entirely too implausible. Sorry. I've opened too many cable and utility accounts to believe this happened this way. Far more likely he either tried to get it in his name and couldn't, or just said my name is "your name" and when/if they asked for a SSN, he said "I don't have one" which explains the lack of a credit hit at that time. They PREFER to run a credit worthiness check but if they can't, they often charge a hefty deposit with the first bill, etc... I'm sure your friend didn't intend anything nefarious; he did faithfully pay the bill, after all. BUT HE USED YOUR NAME. There is simply no getting around that. They had no way of knowing that name unless it was GIVEN TO THEM. And to change the name on the account, they probably demanded to speak to YOU on the phone with him, which is why he didn't do it, because he'd have had to tell you what he did in the first place. When we switched the cable at my Dad's house from his name to mine, when I moved in for a year, we BOTH had to be on the phone with the agent--he to agree to initiate the switch and me to agree to accept the responsibility for the bill. What on earth these random mystery documents they were "asking him to fax" (fax, seriously?) that so annoyed him, were I cannot imagine. You are fond of your friend, but you need to also see the situation clearly. Identity theft is not always guys in dark hoodies in basements hacking our credit cards, It's often people we know and love, family and friends... YOU WERE a victim of identify theft... like it or not. Now you need to determine the level of impact this has had on your credit score $37 maybe not a lot? And whether it's worth filing that report or letting it go...
 
Nov 25, 2019
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This is entirely plausible. OP friend called yo open account. They asked if anyone else should be listed. OP says, yes my roommate. Agent sees roommate already has Comcast service and simply creates account under roommate name as they've already established an account. There would be no reason for a credit check, thus no record of it.

Nothing nefarious on part of friend. Although I do believe he should've told OP once he noticed it.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
9,730
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San Francisco
This all sounds entirely too implausible. Sorry. I've opened too many cable and utility accounts to believe this happened this way. Far more likely he either tried to get it in his name and couldn't, or just said my name is "your name" and when/if they asked for a SSN, he said "I don't have one" which explains the lack of a credit hit at that time. They PREFER to run a credit worthiness check but if they can't, they often charge a hefty deposit with the first bill, etc... I'm sure your friend didn't intend anything nefarious; he did faithfully pay the bill, after all. BUT HE USED YOUR NAME. There is simply no getting around that. They had no way of knowing that name unless it was GIVEN TO THEM. And to change the name on the account, they probably demanded to speak to YOU on the phone with him, which is why he didn't do it, because he'd have had to tell you what he did in the first place. When we switched the cable at my Dad's house from his name to mine, when I moved in for a year, we BOTH had to be on the phone with the agent--he to agree to initiate the switch and me to agree to accept the responsibility for the bill. What on earth these random mystery documents they were "asking him to fax" (fax, seriously?) that so annoyed him, were I cannot imagine. You are fond of your friend, but you need to also see the situation clearly. Identity theft is not always guys in dark hoodies in basements hacking our credit cards, It's often people we know and love, family and friends... YOU WERE a victim of identify theft... like it or not. Now you need to determine the level of impact this has had on your credit score $37 maybe not a lot? And whether it's worth filing that report or letting it go...
SUCH an excellent summary of this situation, Mel. While there could be a dozen "explanations", the friend just walked silently away and left our OP holding the bag, why that was done doesn't matter. No excuse for this behaviour.
 
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Mel65

Mar 23, 2015
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This is entirely plausible. OP friend called yo open account. They asked if anyone else should be listed. OP says, yes my roommate. Agent sees roommate already has Comcast service and simply creates account under roommate name as they've already established an account. There would be no reason for a credit check, thus no record of it.

Nothing nefarious on part of friend. Although I do believe he should've told OP once he noticed it.
Not how it works. They don't create accounts that way. That's like me obligating my neighbor for an account without his/her consent simply by giving Spectrum his name. *I* cannot obligate another person to an account. If it were done the way you said, the roommates would BOTH be on the account, but they were not.
 
Jan 10, 2019
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You mentioned not communicating with the collection agency. That was a mistake.

You should have disputed the debt within 30 days of receiving notice of attempt to collect from the collection agency. The agency then has the responsibility to provide proof that the debt is yours... including SSN (which you never provided) and that you signed on the dotted line (which you never did). That said, if you did not dispute the item - and clearly received no traction from Comcast, which mirrored my own experience with them - you have options. Once an account is placed in collections, it is usually fruitless to continue fighting with a company like Comcast... ESPECIALLY Comcast. At that point, communicating directly with the collection agency should, one way or another, lead to either a successful end to the process or further options to dispute the item.

I hate to tell you this, but paying the bill, in essence, represented your taking ownership of that obligation. At that point, of course, collection activity stops, and your next job involves direct contact with one or more credit bureaus.

You mentioned a credit report in 2014. Have you pulled your credit since 2014? Did you, or did you not, find this collection item in the derogatory remarks section on your report? If so...

There is hope for removing this item IF it is still present. I'm not bragging b/c I learned most of this through Chris, but within the last 60 days, I've successfully petitioned for removal of three items from my credit reports through my Credit Karma profile. Full disclosure: Credit Karma makes money if you click on links that take you to advertisers' consumer products and services, but there is no cost to the end user, and there is always risk of security breach involving your data (the bureaus themselves had a costly hacker attack in which the criminals cracked bureau security and stole highly sensitive information, so any web activity might end up Credit Karma also publishes the process one can take if one wishes to deal directly to the credit bureaus:
https://www.creditkarma.com/credit-cards/i/dispute-error-credit-report/
When your dispute is resolved, the worst thing that can happen is a notation on your report that the alleged collection item has been satisfied.

I wish you tons and tons of a happy ending to this long and tortuous experience.
 
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