For more than a decade, Glenn Anton had Comcast phone, cable and Internet service at his business.
"It was terrific. I loved everything about them," he said. "If I ever had a billing problem, they resolved it immediately."
In preparation for moving his business to Naperville from Downers Grove, Anton called Comcast in mid-June requesting service at the new location.
"We explained our move and needed service by July 1," Anton said. "To my surprise, the young lady told us they did not have service to our (new) building."
The Comcast customer service agent told him it would cost him thousands of dollars to put in the infrastructure that would enable the communications company to serve the Naperville building.
"I asked what we were supposed to do? She said, 'Locate another service,'" Anton said.
So he signed up with AT&T.
On July 1, he called Comcast again and asked to disconnect his service at the Downers Grove location.
"We were given a different story," Anton said. "They wanted to come out to our site and check it out to see if they could do service. I said it was too late. Since they had already told me no, I signed with someone else and already had service."
He was advised to sign an online authorization to allow a Comcast technician to come out to his new location in Naperville. Anton said he signed the form thinking it was necessary for him to disconnect from the Downers Grove location.
After several weeks he got a call from Comcast, which told him that it could, in fact, provide service to his building in Naperville. Because he was bound by the service contract he had signed in Downers Grove, he would be charged an early-termination fee if he canceled. Anton said he was told there were two years remaining on the contract, meaning he would have to pay roughly $2,700 to leave Comcast.
He was stunned. By then he had also signed a long-term contract with AT&T, which also carried a hefty early-termination fee.
"I told them they, Comcast, put us in this situation when they initially told us they did not have service," Anton said. "We had no reason or interest in changing to another provider. … We loved their service."
Anton asked to have his case expedited.
It took several weeks for Comcast to respond, he said.
Finally, after calling repeatedly one day, Anton reached a representative who looked up his case and told him Comcast decided the early-termination fee would stand.
"We tried calling their headquarters in Philadelphia, and you get an answering machine that transfers you and then hangs up and disconnects you every time," he said.
So he emailed What's Your Problem?
Anton said he's been paying for Comcast service to his now-defunct Downers Grove address while also paying AT&T for service to the Naperville location.
"The bottom line is I was terrifically happy with (Comcast). There was no logical reason for me to switch to somebody else," he said. "I can't imagine what they were thinking."