I had Comcast for cable and Internet but never had a contract with them. My monthly bill was $115. That promotional rate was ending, however, and I was planning to move to a new place in three months, so I called Comcast to close my account.

They offered to keep my monthly bill at $115 a month if I didn’t shut off my services. I agreed to this over the phone and specifically confirmed that it was a no-contract promotion.

Three months later, I moved. I paid my final bill, returned all their equipment and closed the account. But then I received a mysterious bill for $176.42. Comcast claimed I had agreed to a two-year contract and this included an early termination fee.

I never agreed to a contract. I never signed anything, I never agreed to this over the phone, I never got a letter or email about this. I am furious and I feel as though I am being taken advantage of and have no rights in this situation.


- Artem Gutin, Gurnee, Ill.


Got a consumer problem? The ABC News Fixer may be able to help. Click here to submit your problem online. Letters are edited for length and clarity.

Dear ARTEM:

This could have easily devolved into one of those tricky he-said-she-said arguments, but you were incredibly organized and wrote down the name, date, time and identification number of every person you had spoken to, along with detailed notes of the conversations. (Yay, Artem!)

You had made it clear that you did not want a contract, and the funny thing is when you canceled your service, no one said anything about a contract or a termination fee.

We got in touch with Comcast and asked them to take another look. They reviewed your account and quickly found their mistake, calling you to apologize and removing the early termination fee from your account. They’re also making sure this does not appear on your credit report.

One more bit of good news: They discovered you had overpaid $43.58 on your final bill for service, so you’ll get a check for that as well. As for how this happened in the first place, Comcast told us it’s true that there’s no record of you agreeing to a contract and they’re investigating how this mistake occurred.

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Stephanie Zimmermann

Most people groan at the thought of spending hours on the phone with a customer service call center, but Stephanie Zimmermann relishes the chance to slice through red tape.

Before joining ABC News, Stephanie untangled consumer problems at the Chicago Sun-Times, where her popular column recovered more than $1.4 million in refunds, credits, and merchandise for consumers in the Windy City.

Stephanie, who lives in Chicago, has also worked at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, and has bachelor's and master's degrees from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. But most of all, Stephanie is a consumer who hates to see anyone else get ripped off.