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If you have ever paid for cable service there is one name in particular that probably haunts you: Comcast. Holding the distinction of being America’s most hated company, Comcast has grown fat thanks to a lack of competition and a bullheaded refusal to easily let customers leave. The company’s retention employees have a vested interest in keeping you with Comcast—their salary reportedly depends on it.
Comcast does not want to let you go. The only easy way to cancel Comcast service is to move somewhere Comcast doesn’t provide service.
The good news is, if you get your story straight in advance, there’s a way to do it. It just won’t be easy and some might consider it slightly amoral. We’re sorry. It’s not our fault. And we’re not advocating that you cancel your Comcast service. But if you’re in need of help of navigating the process, these tips, culled from various forums on the internet, should help.
How to cancel Comcast service
Step 1: Get your story straight
We all wish it were as simple as saying “It’s not you, it’s me,” but Comcast will likely fight with you tooth and nail when you say you just want to cancel just because. That’s why it’s so useful to move. You may or may not be moving. That’s not for us to decide. But a change of location is your best bet out of your agreement.
Before you call Comcast to make sure you know what you are going to say. Don’t volunteer information and be prepared to say “I don’t know” when you don’t want to share information.
Keep your story simple and don’t offer more details than are needed. “I’m moving to a new city, and the place I’m staying already has internet” should suffice. Or “I’m moving in with my partner, and they already have service.” Comcast doesn’t need to know any more than that.
Step 2: Contact Comcast customer service
This is surprisingly easy part of working with Comcast. The best way to get in touch is to call Comcast at 1-800-XFINITY (1-800-934-6489). Follow the prompts to cancel service. Or just keep repeating “cancel service.” You can email a cancellation request as well and have Comcast call you. If you don’t want to wait on the phone, that’s a good option.
When Comcast calls you, ask if this is the department that can cancel your request. If they say no, ask to be transferred.
Step 3: Record your call
The first thing to remember is you’re mad at Comcast—not the person you’re speaking with. Their job likely requires them to make it difficult for you to cancel. That being said, record you call. If something should go wrong with your cancellation, having a record of what the original representative said to you can save you time and stress. Here’s an example of why you should record your call.
You probably won’t go through this hell, but why risk it? Just make sure you let the representative know at the beginning of the call.
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Step 4: Don’t volunteer information
It bears repeating: When you call, simply say, “I am moving, and I need to cancel my service. The place I staying already has internet included, and I no longer need my Comcast service.” That’s all you need to tell the company, and that’s all it needs to know. When the rep asks, “Where are you moving,” you can say, “In with some friends/family/my partner. They already have service. I need to cancel.” Don’t offer any more information than that.
If they ask for details, it’s OK to say “I do not know.” If they say they need a forwarding address to send your last bill, go paperless and pay it online.
If you are under contract, you may need to pay the penalty to Comcast to cancel. Make sure to check your account in advance to see if you truly are under contract, and when it expires. If you’re not under contract, you should not face any penalties for canceling.
Step 5: You can also try the truth
Sometimes you will find a Comcast representative who gets it, will let you go easily, and only gives you the sales pitches they need to give. It’s worth trying. Otherwise, your best bet is to move (or at least, pretend you are).
John-Michael Bond is a tech reporter and culture writer for Daily Dot. A longtime cord-cutter and early adopter, he's an expert on streaming services (Hulu with Live TV), devices (Roku, Amazon Fire), and anime. A former staff writer for TUAW, he's knowledgeable on all things Apple and Android. You can also also find him regularly performing standup comedy in Los Angeles.