NEED YOUR OPINION: Am I being difficult?

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I received this email from Comcast today (I verified it with a rep — see below — that it was from them and not a phishing scheme). It arrived in my Spam folder and had a misspelling in it, so I thought it was fake. Apparently not.

I’m not trying to be antagonistic here, I just want an outside opinion to make sure I’m not crazy. Read through and leave your comments on this page, then I’ll Tweet the link to them and let them work it out. Tell me (A) does this email look like a phishing scam to you or not and (B) do you think it’s appropriate to advertise this way? Personally, it gives me the same feeling I get when a magazine I don’t subscribe to sends me an advertisement in the mail that looks like a bill in the hopes that my wife will send them money without checking with me. It’s shady, and those companies are way too big to be making money on petty cons. I mean, at the very least, it’s a flat out lie, right? There was no problem with my information.

All that aside, here is the EXACT text of the email:

From: “Comcast Billing” <billing@comcast.net>
Sent: Friday, September 17, 2010 9:50:34 AM
Subject: IMPORTANT: Billing Problem

Billing Information

Dear Comcast Customer,
We were unable to process your billing details. Did you recently change your bank, phone number or credit card?

To ensure that your service is not interrupted, please update your billing information today by clicking here https://cspay.comcast.net, After a few clicks, just verify the information you entered is correct!

Sincerely,
Comcast Member Services Team

P.S. The link in this massage will be expire within 24 Hours . You have to update your payment information

Please do not reply to this e-mail  as we are not able to respond to messages sent to this address.  Copyright 2010. Comcast. All other trademarks are properties of their  respective owners.

Comcast Corporation
One Comcast Center
1701 John F.  Kennedy Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2838

CONVERSATION WITH COMCAST REP:

Rowena > Thank you for the information. Please give me a minute or two while I pull up your account.

Matthew_ > if that email is legit, you need to get your people to run a spell-check on it.

Rowena > I understand, Matthew.

…20 minutes pass while my account is accessed…

Rowena > Are you enrolled in automatic payment, Matthew?

Matthew_ > no

Rowena > I see.  The message is actually a marketing strategy for you to enroll in automatic payment.

Rowena > I was able to check that since your account is current and active, you may have that email disregarded.

Matthew_ > okay. it went direct to my spam folder and had that misspelling in it (‘Massage’ instead of ‘Message’) so I thought it was phishing and that you would want to trace it

Rowena > By the way, I am sorry for the typographical errors on the email.

Matthew_ > i don’t care, it just makes it look more suspect

Rowena > Please accept my sincerest apologies on behalf of my email colleagues, Matthew.

Matthew_ > 😉

Rowena > Thank you so much for understanding.

Matthew_ > so this is a ploy to get me to sign up for something? “We were unable to process your billing details. Did you recently change your bank, phone number or credit card?”

Matthew_ > doesn’t that look shady to you? like there’s an emergency that is going to affect your bill or service or both?

Rowena > It was actually to double check as well if your email is a working address.

Matthew_ > okay, thanks for the information.

Rowena > I am happy to be of service, Matthew.

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7 comments so far

  1. ComcastMark on

    Hi Matt – looking at the email, this looks like a phishing scheme. We are currently investigating the source of this email to prevent any recurrence. I’ll also make sure that your experience is shared with the appropriate person(s).

    Thanks,

    Mark Casem
    Comcast Sorp.
    National Customer Operations
    We_can_help@cable.comcast.com

    • matweller on

      So it is phishing and your rep told me it was legit? It might be time to get some better customer service training in Mumbai. My confidence is not inspired.

  2. James on

    The way that’s worded would lead anyone to believe a payment couldn’t be processed which would lead to an interruption in service unless it’s corrected. But it’s just a marketing ploy? And yes, red flags go up with me reading that email. There is no way I’m going to click on that link. It’s way too easy for anyone to get a url with “comcast” in it and have it redirect to a phishing site. I honestly don’t even know if I should be angry or sad that their marketing is that pathetic.

  3. Allison on

    Hello Matt – I JUST got the same email that you shared here. I immediately checked my checking account, and since my payment cleared yesterday, I knew this had to be fake. So I did a google search on it, and sure enough, you have shared your story! I swore it seemed strange that I would get an email the day after my checked cleared. Of course, I panicked and believed my service would be interrupted. The email just looked way too fake and if that is a marketing ploy…what kind of fear factor are they attempting? Unbelievable!

    Thank you for sharing your story…I share in your lack of confidence. 🙂

    • matweller on

      I love how the rep said he would look into it too, and then never came back. And now their company is buying NBC. Can you imagine that mess?

  4. Linda on

    Hi Matt. I just received the same email as yours…only now it is April. Like you, I spoke by phone with their representatives who told me everything in our account is fine and they had no idea why we would have received such an email. It seems the responses you got explain that part! Looks like they have no plans to alter their strategy of misleading their customers anytime soon. Very annoying!

    Thanks for sharing!

    • matweller on

      Wow…that’s…encouraging… Good grief. So many reason’s to hate Comcast right now between this and their bid to kill ‘net neutrality and their purchase of NBC. Dark days for consumer America lie ahead.

      Sorry, I’m a little grumpy today, and really disheartened to see that nothing’s changed.


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