The bill for January was back up at $115. I voiced my frustration on Twitter (my new favorite way to lament issues to customer service reps), and immediately received a response from Detreon. Per his request, I emailed the details of the trouble (below).
"Back in January of last year, I spoke with a representative on the phone (Raul, in the cancellations department) who gave me a discounted rate ($68 a month, pre-taxes) on my internet and phone service. My bill went from being approximately $115 a month (which I could not afford) to approximately $75 a month (more affordable!). I asked him multiple times if this was a promotional rate, if the rate would eventually expire, etc. and each time he said no. His exact words were, "Well, it's not a promotional rate because we're not promoting it." He said this would permanently lower my monthly bill, and that it would never expire.
This month, I received my bill for $114.38, and when I contacted the billing department, I was told that my previous rate was a 12-month promotion. According to Customer Service Agent Rowena, there was nothing she could do because my promotion had ended.
Needless to say, I am incredibly disappointed with this news. Our Comcast service has not been stellar, especially since the digital upgrade (multiple outages, switching between digital channels is very slow, frequent pixellation, frequently dropped internet), and I do not feel it is worth $115 a month. At this point, I am starting to research alternate cable/internet options.
I don't know why I was misinformed, but like I said, it is a big disappointment."
His response was:
"Unfortunately, the representative you spoke with provided mis-information and for this I apologize. I have asked that our regional office look into why you were not provided with accurate information and the representative you spoke with will be coached. In terms of pricing, we were able to lock you in a second 12 month promotion for cable service at $39.99 and a 6 month promotion for internet at $24.99. This does not excuse the poor service that you received, but I do believe it is a step in the right direction."
So this is where we stand now. We have cable for $39.99 for the rest of the year, and internet for $24.99 for another few months (at which point it will go up to about $50 a month). It is very frustrating that service is not more affordable, and that (like nearly every person I've talked to about this) we just keep looking for ways to hook into promotions and special deals, and complain to customer service until our rates are (temporarily) lowered. I don't understand why cable companies charge so much (ok, I do, it's because they can). And every other place I've looked (DirectTV, DishNetwork, etc) is the same, so it's not worth dealing with the hassle to switch. You can get the "low price" for a year, and then your rate nearly doubles. We'd like to try out ATT U-Verse, because we've heard good things about it, and its DVR seems better than TiVo (as much as I love TiVo and its cute little mascot).
Anyway, there it is. An update.