Comcast bills customers for losing their equipment in Hurricane Ike

When Cheryl Clemons and her husband were scrambling to evacuate their Galveston home, their focus was on her father’s paintings, a cherished carved chest, the pets and of course themselves. The cable equipment was the farthest thing from their minds. Just when Clemons thought it couldn’t get any worse than moldy furniture, she got a bill for $931.72. She says it was like adding insult to injury.
“With all the devastation and everything going on I thought it was over the top, just too much,” she said.

It’s her first Comcast Cable bill since Hurricane Ike flooded her Galveston home more than five weeks ago. There’s a $66 credit for not having phone service, but also a $1,000 charge for not returning her DVR, modem and other equipment.

“That’s a lot of money right now,” Clemons said.

She thought she could straighten it out with a phone call, she was wrong.

“She told me basically we were responsible for that equipment,” Clemons told us.

Comcast told us the same thing, because Cheryl and her husband did not dig through their dirty debris pile to retrieve the equipment and return it.

“That was far down on my list of priorities,” she said.

Now she’s responsible. She should file the loss with her insurance provider and Comcast promises to give customers, “plenty of time, over 90 days, to be reimbursed before restitution needs to be made.”

They say they understand this is a difficult time, but Cheryl isn’t so sure.

“[I] never missed a payment. Cut me some slack,” she said. “A lot of people are in a bad place right now so they should think about that.”

Cheryl and her husband rented their home. They have renter’s insurance but she says it won’t cover the Comcast equipment.

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