Veteran charged for Internet, doesn’t own computer

Michael Delsman says he doesn't know how to use the Internet

Vietnam veteran Michael Delsman said he's been charged for Internet, but he doesn't even have a computer. March 25, 2015 (KOIN 6 News)
Vietnam veteran Michael Delsman said he's been charged for Internet, but he doesn't even have a computer. March 25, 2015 (KOIN 6 News)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — A Vietnam veteran discovered he was being billed for Internet service for months, even though he said he never signed up for it. He reached out to KOIN 6 News for help after he said he had a difficult time getting a refund from Comcast.

Michael Delsman served in Guam, often aboard submarines. Now, he survives on a fixed income.

“It’s social security disability,” Delsman said. “I worked among the silos and the big bombs.”

Because of memory issues, he gets help paying his bills from a payee service. He doesn’t look at the paperwork that often, but after working to recertify his low income housing, he noticed his monthly basic cable bill had grown dramatically.

“$72.16,” Delsman said. “It should only be about $15 to $20 at the most.”

Delsman has been trying to get a refund from Comcast. (KOIN 6 News)
Delsman has been trying to get a refund from Comcast. (KOIN 6 News)

Delsman said he was shocked because he doesn’t even own a computer — he doesn’t trust them. He also doesn’t know how to use the Internet.

“Comcast said I signed up for it,” Delsman said. “I never had.”

He called customer service and explained his situation, hoping they would send him a refund.

“They owed me $388 and another time, they told me they owed me $367,” Delsman said.

That refund was supposed to come by March 6. When it didn’t arrive, he said Comcast representatives told him it would be another four weeks until he received his check.

“They’ve been dragging their heels for about two-and-a-half months,” Delsman said.

KOIN 6 News reached out to Comcast for a statement. Spokesman Walter Neary said his check should be arriving any day now.

“The sequence of events is he was paying for TV. He then received a less expensive promotion price with both Internet and TV. He clearly must have just watched TV. Then the price returned to a more normal price. The payee called to express concern. We agreed to the refund because even though he’d been watching TV, the payee said he had not used the Internet,” Neary said in a statement.

Delsman responded, contending he never wanted to sign up for anything with Internet. Regardless of the confusion, he has been switched back to a less costly plan that just includes TV.

“Give me a fair shake, pay me what they owe me,” he said. “At one time I called and said, I want to talk to your supervisor. They said, our supervisor is unavailable.”

In an effort to improve customer service, Comcast recently announced they will triple the size of their social media care team so they can be more responsive and helpful to customers. The communication for that team would take place on Facebook or Twitter.

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