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Comcast Arbitration


DCY030
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Hi,

I have been working with Comcast Corporate Office but it looks like I hit the wall. So I have decided to initiate arbitration against Comcast. I will also include the Credit Collection Service as the agent of Comcast. Should I be seeking any monetary amount aside from fees and most importantly retraction of unlawful consumer reporting? I did lose on a business application due to this CA.

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Let me share what I wrote.

STATEMENT OF CLAIM

 

1-      This dispute arises out of a Xfinity (Comcast) service agreement that pertains to the account number referenced above. The Consumer seeks:

 

a-     Fees associated with research and administrative work related to this arbitration,

b-     Deletion of CCS’s entry from the Consumer’s credit reports,  

c-      Damages for loss of opportunity.

 

2-     Xfinity Service on this account was terminated around Nov 17, 2020.  This dispute stems from a disputed final bill of the account referenced above. The final bill had unjustified late fees of $21.25, and an erroneous Early Termination Fee of $110.  Upon returning the equipment, the customer disputed the final bill.

 

Comcast did not resolve the dispute and placed the bill with its agent-CCS for collection. While acting on the direction of Comcast as an agent, CCS did not fulfill its obligations under FDCPA Section 809 (a), (b) and (c) respectively and reported a disputed final bill to consumer reporting agencies[1]. As a result of this coercive tactic, the Consumer was forced to pay a disputed debt to Comcast.

 

[1] 12 CFR §1006.30 Other prohibited practices.

(a) Required actions prior to furnishing information

(1) In general. Except as provided in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, a debt collector must not furnish to a consumer reporting agency, as defined in section 603(f) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681a(f)), information about a debt before the debt collector:

(i) Speaks to the consumer about the debt in person or by telephone; or

(ii) Places a letter in the mail or sends an electronic message to the consumer about the debt and waits a reasonable period of time to receive a notice of undeliverability. During the reasonable period, the debt collector must permit receipt of, and monitor for, notifications of undeliverability from communications providers. If the debt collector receives such a notification during the reasonable period, the debt collector must not furnish information about the debt to a consumer reporting agency until the debt collector otherwise satisfies this paragraph (a)(1).

 

BACKGROUND

 

1-      In Oct 2019, the consumer subscribed to a Comcast Consumer Service Agreement, a 24-month contract with a package aka “Signature Triple Play.” Comcast service (service) was maintained under an Account Number: XX87.

 

2-     This agreement, among other things, also required that Comcast deliver an internet speed of 600 Mbps.

 

3-     In the end of Feb of 2020, the consumer moved his Xfinity services to his new(current) residence. As a result, Comcast merged the Account Number ending in XX87 into a new Account Number: XX39.

 

4-     As a continuation of the Consumer Agreement initiated in Oct of 2019 (XX87), Comcast have restarted service at the new address with a new Account Number (XX39).

 

5-     On April 27, 2020, Comcast Cable Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Dave Watson announced Comcast’s COVID-19 response policy. This policy specifically sought to waive late fees of customers who were experiencing financial hardship and they had contacted Comcast and requested this relief. Following the faith of Mr. Watson, Consumer had also requested hardship relief from Comcast. 

 

6-     Around May of 2020, Consumer noticed a significant lag in the connectivity and internet speed that Comcast agreed as a part of the Service Agreement (XX87) and (XX39) respectively. Despite a technician’s home, the issue remained unsolved- throughout the period of service. This renders the Service Agreement (XX87) breached.

 

7-     In Nov 2020, the Consumer terminated the Comcast Services. He returned the equipment at a Comcast Center near his place of residence. Once the equipment return has been processed, he inquired about the final bill.

 

8-    The Representative at the Comcast Center informed the Consumer that his final bill will have Late Fees in the amount of $21.25, and an Early Termination Fee of $110. The Consumer disputed the charges because 15 U.S. Code § 1692g(a)(3) permits an oral dispute[1].  

 

9-     The Consumer argues that Comcast made a billing error when it imposed an Early Termination Fee of $110, Comcast is computing required subscribed period using the Service Agreement (XX39). He adds that the contractual subscribed period must be computed using the original Service Agreement (XX87) with the start date of Oct 2019 as this is the parent agreement that regulates his contract with Comcast. As per the original contract, the Consumer have fulfilled 14 months of contractual obligation.

 

10- On December 3, 2020, the Consumer left for (Overseas Country) to attend funeral of his brother (Passport Stamps and Air travel Itinerary attached). Once he settled there, he attempted to access Xfinity website to see and pay the final bill, but his access to Xfinity website was denied and he could not access Xfinity account to see an adjusted final bill and pay. By restricting access to its website, Comcast hindered my ability to access and pay the adjusted final bill before it was placed for collection[2].

 

11-  In March of 2021, due to the second surge of COVID-19 in (Overseas Country), air travel operations were suspended to and from (Overseas Country). This would last until June of 2021. On June 28, 2021, the Consumer was able to fly back into the US (Passport stamps and Travel Itinerary attached).

 

12- The Consumer soon discovered that Comcast had not resolved his dispute on the final bill. He visited the local Xfinity Center to follow up on his dispute. He was informed that they have limited capabilities and Customer Service has more access and that someone would reach out to him.

 

13- Xfinity center has also notified him that Comcast has placed that final bill with an outside collection agency- Credit Collection Service. The Consumer then immediately reached out to Comcast and requested that Comcast recall the debt so he can pay. Comcast accepted the payment and issued the receipt[3].

 

14- For an example, On Aug 17, 2021, when the Consumer made payment, he requested an email confirmation. The agent lied and said an email is just sent and asked to check the email. Agent knew that no email was sent. As soon as the Consumer replied okay, the Customer Service Agent cutoff the call.”

 

15-  At another incident, “the Consumer called and asked to speak to a supervisor. A Supervisor named Juan came on the phone and started off with a conversation on resolving the issue. Mr. Juan asked the Consumer to explain the issue. Mr. Juan then put the Consumer on hold to create a case number. When Mr. Juan returned, he said he had already created a case and it would be resolved. The Consumer knowing about their lies, insisted that can the Consumer be provided a case number for future reference and follow up. Mr. Juan then told the Consumer, “Wait please I will get it for you.” After a hold of about five minutes, Mr. Juan returned and claimed that a case number will be created in two days. The Consumer then asked, could he be provided an email or some sort of reference for this, Mr. Juan then again put him on hold. Upon return, Mr. Juan told the Consumer to check the email and then cutoff the call.”

 

16- By promulgating regulations, the Congress intended to achieve transparency and accountability in the delivery of service for American. Resolving a dispute through an outsourced Customer Service that routinely lies, misleads and fabricates cases and stories is a challenge thousands of Americans are facing. When agents of Comcast routinely lie, mislead and fabricate cases and stories, how, then, a customer achieve billing transparency and subsequent remedies.

 

17-  Despite me paying this to Comcast directly, Credit Collection Service is currently reporting this account as a “Paid Collection’ to consumer credit reports. The Consumer had contacted the Credit Collection Service requesting that they delete their reporting because,

 

a-    They have reported a disputed final bill to the consumer credit reporting agencies in violation of 12 CFR § 1006.30,

b-     Upon request, they did not validate the debt and continued collection activity§ 1006.38(d)(1)&(2),

c-      Upon notification that final bill was disputed, and subsequently return of the account to the original creditor, did not delete their reporting.

 

18- The Consumer alleges that at the specific instruction of Comcast, CCS’s furnishing of information to consumer credit reporting agencies and subsequent update is deceptive and misleading as it indicates a “Paid Collection” though no payment was ever made to Credit Collection Service.

 

19- The Consumer notes that, in today’s thriving market, business and personal financial decisions are made using FICO scores. Since this erroneous collection of Comcast through its agent CCS has suppressed the Consumer’s FICO Scores in excess of 120 points, he has suffered significant financial setback due to the loss of business opportunities.

 

For the forgoing reasons, the Consumer holds Comcast and its agent CCS; responsible for damages. He respectfully seeks a grant of loss of opportunity damages, fees associated with this arbitration and an immediate deletion of Credit Collection Service entry from his consumer reports.

 

[1] While overturning Graziano v. Harrison, 950 F.2d 107 (3rd Cir. 1991), Third Circuit held that after “reading the statutory text with fresh eyes,” and reviewing intervening Supreme Court statutory interpretation case law, it is clear that § 1692g(a)(3) permits oral disputes.

[2] There are countless reports of Xfinity denying access.

[3] For the record, Xfinity Customer Service Agents routinely lie, misinform and mislead customers. Every time I reached out and requested an email confirmation of the payment or a

 

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1 hour ago, DCY030 said:

Despite me paying this to Comcast directly, Credit Collection Service is currently reporting this account as a “Paid Collection’ to consumer credit reports.

 

You don't say what state this is in but in many Federal jurisdictions reporting to bureaus is not collections activity.  They can report it as a paid collection as the account was turned over to them prior to your paying Comcast.  Many of the contracts creditors enter into with CAs specifically states that once they turn the account over to collections it remains that way even if the OC accepts payment and they cannot recall it as the CA is paid on percentage of collections vs. flat rate hiring.  This is how the CA stops losing out on money for doing the collections work while the OC gets paid and they don't.  As long as CCS reports a zero balance and paid collection it is correct.

 

1 hour ago, DCY030 said:

Upon request, they did not validate the debt and continued collection activity§ 1006.38(d)(1)&(2),

 

 Did they send you a dunning letter and did you send a DV letter to the CA within 30 days of receiving it?  They are not required to send you a collections letter prior to reporting or respond to a DV letter sent because you found it on your credit report or the OC told you it was sent to collections.  

 

1 hour ago, DCY030 said:

c-      Upon notification that final bill was disputed, and subsequently return of the account to the original creditor, did not delete their reporting.

 

They aren't required to delete because you paid Comcast.  They are only required to update it as a paid collection which they did.

 

Your being overseas doesn't change anything because it was for personal reasons and not part of the Soldiers and Sailors Relief Act.  Had you been on military orders that would be protected.  I don't think you have a case but my guess is that Comcast will fold in the interest of not spending a lot of money dealing with you and arbitration.  Though they are a multi-billion dollar company and might think this is a good exercise and ride it out.  Let us know what they decide to do.

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16 minutes ago, CreditSucksNot said:

 

You don't say what state this is in but in many Federal jurisdictions reporting to bureaus is not collections activity.  They can report it as a paid collection as the account was turned over to them prior to your paying Comcast.  Many of the contracts creditors enter into with CAs specifically states that once they turn the account over to collections it remains that way even if the OC accepts payment and they cannot recall it as the CA is paid on percentage of collections vs. flat rate hiring.  This is how the CA stops losing out on money for doing the collections work while the OC gets paid and they don't.  As long as CCS reports a zero balance and paid collection it is correct.

 I am in CT. I agree that they dont delete. However, I believe CCS did not follow reasonable procedures. 

Can they collect on a bill that is disputed?

 

 Did they send you a dunning letter and did you send a DV letter to the CA within 30 days of receiving it?  They are not required to send you a collections letter prior to reporting or respond to a DV letter sent because you found it on your credit report or the OC told you it was sent to collections.  

 

I was overseas. They claimed they did mail something when I was overseas but I did not find any mail from them. I did send them a DV and they never responded to it. I found it on my Credit Report.

They aren't required to delete because you paid Comcast.  They are only required to update it as a paid collection which they did.

 

Your being overseas doesn't change anything because it was for personal reasons and not part of the Soldiers and Sailors Relief Act.  Had you been on military orders that would be protected.  I don't think you have a case but my guess is that Comcast will fold in the interest of not spending a lot of money dealing with you and arbitration.  Though they are a multi-billion dollar company and might think this is a good exercise and ride it out.  Let us know what they decide to do.

My intent is to make Comcast force CCS to delete the entry. Rest I can agree to not seek anything. Lets hope it works out.

 

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35 minutes ago, CreditSucksNot said:

They aren't required to delete because you paid Comcast.  They are only required to update it as a paid collection which they did.

Don't believe you are correct. It's certainly not the case for many (most) real life scenarios. 

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7 hours ago, shifter said:

Don't believe you are correct. It's certainly not the case for many (most) real life scenarios. 

 

It is 100% dependent on how their contract with the collection agency is laid out.  The terms of the contract govern whether or not they can pull it back and the CA has to delete it.  I have seen this WAY too many times in the medical field.  CAs inked contracts to be paid on a percentage of the account they collected actual money on.  When consumers started bypassing them and going back and paying the OC the OCs told the CAs they didn't have to pay them a percentage because they didn't collect the funds the OC did.  That is when CAs stopped doing those contracts and they wrote them to say once turned over to collections it stays there and the OC cannot pull it back and all payments are forwarded to the CA and recorded as a paid collection to avoid the first scenario.  Feel free to call a few CAs and inquire if you wish to confirm.  

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7 hours ago, DCY030 said:

I believe CCS did not follow reasonable procedures. 

 

"Reasonable" is a subjective term and open to interpretation.  They do not have to do what YOU believe is reasonable only what complies with the law(s) on collection.  

7 hours ago, DCY030 said:

They claimed they did mail something when I was overseas but I did not find any mail from them.

 

Unfortunately all they have to do is produce a copy of what they say they sent.  They are not required to prove you ever received it.  Your being overseas favors them not you.

7 hours ago, DCY030 said:

I did send them a DV and they never responded to it. I found it on my Credit Report.

 

If you sent a DV based on finding it on your credit report they were free to ignore the request and continue collection efforts without violating the FDCPA.  While many CAs will still respond to a DV regardless it doesn't mean they can't continue collection efforts.

 

7 hours ago, DCY030 said:

Can they collect on a bill that is disputed?

 

Yes.  Your dispute was based on finding their trade line on your credit reports.  Your disagreement was based on billing procedures not it being identity theft/fraud, included in BK, your being the wrong consumer or any other legally supported reason.  Any billing dispute you had needed to be settled with Comcast.  ALL the CA is required to do is verify with Comcast the amount is accurate.  Comcast says it is you say it isn't then you deal with Comcast and work it out.  THEN if you prevail the CA has no basis to collect.  Until a court or arbitration rules in your favor the debt is valid and collectable.  

 

The biggest factor that is going to trip you up on this is your being overseas for months and not being in a physical location to actually address this aggressively.  I stand by my original assessment that I don't believe you have a case but that in the interest of expense Comcast is likely to fold and wipe it off your report(s) vx the expense of dragging it out.  

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You need to read Trina. That is a governing 2nd Circuit decision. Your third circuit decision is not binding. They may invoke it if they arbitrate, which will mean the collection agency may be dismissed from the case.

 

chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/https://www.cahill.com/publications/firm-memoranda/2020-04-22-second-circuit-invokes-standard-contract-provisions-to-limit-the-use-of-agency-and-estoppel-to-bind-non-signatories-to-arbitration/_res/id=Attachments/index=0/Second%20Circuit%20Invokes%20Standard%20Contract%20Provisions%20to%20Limit%20the%20Use%20of%20Agency%20and%20Estoppel%20to%20Bind%20Non-Signatories%20to%20Arbitration.pdf

 

They will probably offer to refund the fees and delete rather than pay for arbitration, but you never know. They may decide to make an example out of you for invoking agency as to the debt collector when the 2nd Circuit has made it clear that it is not allowed. 

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16 hours ago, CreditSucksNot said:

 

"Reasonable" is a subjective term and open to interpretation.  They do not have to do what YOU believe is reasonable only what complies with the law(s) on collection.  

 

Unfortunately all they have to do is produce a copy of what they say they sent.  They are not required to prove you ever received it.  Your being overseas favors them not you.

 

If you sent a DV based on finding it on your credit report they were free to ignore the request and continue collection efforts without violating the FDCPA.  While many CAs will still respond to a DV regardless it doesn't mean they can't continue collection efforts.

 

 

Yes.  Your dispute was based on finding their trade line on your credit reports.  Your disagreement was based on billing procedures not it being identity theft/fraud, included in BK, your being the wrong consumer or any other legally supported reason.  Any billing dispute you had needed to be settled with Comcast.  ALL the CA is required to do is verify with Comcast the amount is accurate.  Comcast says it is you say it isn't then you deal with Comcast and work it out.  THEN if you prevail the CA has no basis to collect.  Until a court or arbitration rules in your favor the debt is valid and collectable.  

 

The biggest factor that is going to trip you up on this is your being overseas for months and not being in a physical location to actually address this aggressively.  I stand by my original assessment that I don't believe you have a case but that in the interest of expense Comcast is likely to fold and wipe it off your report(s) vx the expense of dragging it out.  

Though "Reasonable " is a broad language, I believe law sets the parameters on what a CA can do. I disputed the bill prior to it going to CA.

[1] 12 CFR §1006.30 Other prohibited practices.

(a) Required actions prior to furnishing information

(1) In general. Except as provided in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, a debt collector must not furnish to a consumer reporting agency, as defined in section 603(f) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681a(f)), information about a debt before the debt collector:

(i) Speaks to the consumer about the debt in person or by telephone; or

(ii) Places a letter in the mail or sends an electronic message to the consumer about the debt and waits a reasonable period of time to receive a notice of undeliverability. During the reasonable period, the debt collector must permit receipt of, and monitor for, notifications of undeliverability from communications providers. If the debt collector receives such a notification during the reasonable period, the debt collector must not furnish information about the debt to a consumer reporting agency until the debt collector otherwise satisfies this paragraph (a)(1).

 

It was assigned to the CA on June 7, CA was required to mail a letter and wait at least two weeks. But CRA states that it was reported to them on June 18. 10 days is far less for a CA to comply with the procedure set at 12 CFR Sect 1006.30. 

 

My claim is that Comcast sent a bill to CA without resolving it. CA did not fullfill it obligation under the law  and reported it and that too on a disputed bill.

Comcast now want to send me a refund. but I refused to accept it.

 

 

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6 hours ago, legaleagle2012 said:

You need to read Trina. That is a governing 2nd Circuit decision. Your third circuit decision is not binding. They may invoke it if they arbitrate, which will mean the collection agency may be dismissed from the case.

 

chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/https://www.cahill.com/publications/firm-memoranda/2020-04-22-second-circuit-invokes-standard-contract-provisions-to-limit-the-use-of-agency-and-estoppel-to-bind-non-signatories-to-arbitration/_res/id=Attachments/index=0/Second%20Circuit%20Invokes%20Standard%20Contract%20Provisions%20to%20Limit%20the%20Use%20of%20Agency%20and%20Estoppel%20to%20Bind%20Non-Signatories%20to%20Arbitration.pdf

 

They will probably offer to refund the fees and delete rather than pay for arbitration, but you never know. They may decide to make an example out of you for invoking agency as to the debt collector when the 2nd Circuit has made it clear that it is not allowed. 

In Trina, though Jasmine was not a party, (The Second Circuit also dispensed with the direct benefits theory of estoppel analysis. Explaining that the “guiding principle” of this theory is “whether the benefit gained by the nonsignatory is one that can be traced directly to the agreement containing the arbitration clause,” the Court found dispositive the third-party beneficiary clause discussed above. Id. (citations omitted). The Court reached this conclusion despite its recognition that “Jasmin surely benefited from the contractual relationship between Trina and JRC, as it ultimately received solar panels sold by Trina to JRC.” Id.),  I believe in this case CCS is a party because they acting on behalf od comcast in a)- furnishing information to consumer reporting agencies, b)- they are beneficiary of collection activity. If a Negative credit mark was not the issue, I think CCS could not have been designated as a party.

 

I may just name Comcast and get it over with!

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Thank you. I have attached an image of CCS reporting on EQ for your kind review. Please note DOFD is wrong because account was not delinquent until after Dec 24, 2020 when I failed to pay due to them not resolving the dispute and locking me out of the Xfinity web access.

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