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Last month, the Pioneer Press in Minnesota wrote a great piece detailing how residents of St. Paul were unable to receive contractually obligated discounts from Comcast. When St. Paul agreed to a franchise agreement with Comcast several years ago, one of the requirements by Comcast was that they guarantee seniors, disabled and”economically disadvantaged,” a 10 percent discount off all cable-related services.

Except, as the Pioneer Press found out last month, those eligible residents who tried to get this discount were finding out that Comcast simply wouldn’t give them the discount. Some residents was told that the discount didn’t exist while others were told that the discount only existed in other states. I think my favorite story has a Comcast rep telling an eligible resident that she would need to write to an Oregon address and only then would she begin to receive just $1 off a month.

Not to worry though as Comcast told the newspaper that they would be “circling back with our customer care group so we can provide some additional context to the issues raised.”

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So, how did Comcast actually respond to this story? Well, according to a story today from the Pioneer Press, Comcast has responded in very typical Comcast fashion……by continuing to make the situation as massively screwed up as possible.

Now, instead of simply denying that the discount exists, Comcast is telling residents that they don’t qualify for the discount…..even though they do qualify.

When Ruby Fabian called Comcast cable for a St. Paul resident senior discount, customer service reps informed her of a few restrictions. They said the 10 percent savings applied to low-income seniors and low-income disabled residents, but not to seniors in general. – Pioneer Press

But the city franchise agreement says nothing of the sorts. Seniors and the disabled do not need to prove that they are low-income residents. Essentially, Comcast is now denying discounts unless that person is a senior, makes a low amount of income and has disabilities.

Oh, but not to worry. It gets better. The official form that Comcast sends to those looking for the discount states, “I understand that I will not be eligible for the discount if I am receiving any promotional offer or my services are incorporated into a digital value package.”

Except, again, this is not anywhere in the franchise agreement. Nowhere does it state that receive additional discounts in anyway invalidates the senior/low-income/disabilities discount. You can check it out yourselves at http://www.stpaul.gov/cable.

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Then there are seniors being denied the discount because they must “have certain equipment” in their home. Others are told that they must visit an Xfinity store to ask about the discount. Sigh.

At what point will people realize that this is being done intentionally?