A Comcast customer says he was mortified to find out — through his pre-teen son, no less — that, according to the Comcast website, the set-top box in the family’s master bedroom has the delightfully profane name of “F- Palace.”
The customer tells the Philadelphia Daily News that his wife had asked their son to go online and look up the status of their Comcast service after experiencing some connectivity issues. That’s when he saw that the family’s various cable boxes each had a nickname.
All but one had an expected name like “Living Room” or “Media Room,” but the master bedroom — one of the rooms where Comcast techs had just visited to upgrade the boxes — had obviously been changed to indicate that that room is indeed where the magic happens.
Given Comcast’s history of employees and contractors taking out their frustration by changing customers’ names — again… and again — you can’t really fault the customer for thinking that Comcast techs had decided to play a juvenile prank on his family.
But Comcast says this wasn’t a matter of Comcast renaming a customer’s set-top box; it was an instance where the previous owner of that set-top box had renamed the device and Comcast apparently failed to change that name when it installed the box in the new home.
In fact, the customer says he has since spoken with a Comcast investigator who confirmed with the previous owners that they had christened their set-top box with the “F- Palace” name.
By way of an apology, Comcast offered the customer two free months of cable service and a $25 voucher, but he just really wants a face-to-face meeting with Comcast CEO Brian Roberts.
That’s not going to happen, but he may be able to get a few minutes with Dave Watson, CEO of Comcast’s cable division.
Aside from any embarrassment at having to explain to your pre-teen kid the implications of “F- Palace,” this incident raises concerns about Comcast’s failure to properly process used equipment. Comcast says it is taking steps to make sure an incident like this never happens again, but it’s another argument for breaking up cable companies’ strangleholds on the equipment their customers use to access pay-TV and internet service.