Ralph J. Roberts, Founder of Comcast, may have passed away, but that doesn’t mean he can get out of his cable contract!
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – Suzanne Roberts has a problem. Her husband, the founder of Comcast who passed away in on June 18, 2015, left her left her with a sizable fortune and a tremendous legacy. Sadly, he also left her with an active cable account, a cable account in his name.
A cable account in his name with Comcast.
“I don’t really watch television,” Mrs. Roberts said in an interview last fall. A thoughtful look crossed her face and she continued, “Other than the seasons of Breaking Bad and old episodes of Storage Wars I can find on Netflix.”
The death of a spouse is difficult at best, and heartrending for most. But Comcast added insult to injury when Suzanne called to cancel her husband’s cable account the week after his passing.
“They asked for his birth certificate,” she claimed. “Of course, I understand the precaution – one doesn’t want their customers skipping out on their contracts by faking their own deaths.” Faxing his birth certificate was a bit of an annoyance, the widow claims, especially considering who he was, and the public availability of the news of his death.
“It’s company policy,” said Comcast support supervisor Tandy Wilkins. “You can’t just say you’re dead, no matter who you are. You have to prove you’re really dead.”
One might think hundreds of news articles around the internet might be proof enough.
“You can’t believe everything you read on the web,” Wilkins stated.
But faxing a copy of Ralph’s death certificate in to Comcast customer support proved futile. Suzanne Roberts has been billed for both July and August in the weeks following her conversation with support. After another call to Comcast, she was promised the service would be cancelled once she brought the equipment in to a local shop. She did ask they requested, only to be met with another bill and the unexpected delivery of one of Comcast’s new DVR units.
“They even added HBO and Cinemax to my husband’s account,” she claimed.
Third parties have contacted Comcast on Suzanne’s behalf, only to be told they couldn’t share information without express permission of the account holder. While evidence of Mrs. Roberts’ consent was provided, the one precocious customer service representative refused to speak with anyone but Ralph concerning the issue, as he was technically the account owner, not his wife.
Comcast claims to be willing to cancel the account, should evidence of his demise be provided. Further demands by the cable company have included additional copies of the death certificate, a scan of Roberts’ driver’s license along with one other form of identity, hair and nail samples for DNA testing, his underwear size, and a moderated séance through which a medium could contact Ralph directly. (We would recommend our own Rare Medium, the spectacular Andromeda Kiskadee, but we fear her fixation on Elvis Presley might cause her psychic aura to stray.)
Mrs. Roberts has finally resorted to calling her son, current Comcast CEO Brian Roberts, to have the account cancelled.
“He said he can’t make any promises,” Suzanne said.