SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Comcast wrongfully listed 74,000 unlisted phone numbers, a CBS13 Investigation has learned. We first reported on the case of Kim Jason of Rio Linda in 2012. Despite paying each month for an unlisted number, she called 411 in front of us to show it was in fact listed.
“I paid for a service. I want my service,” she said.
At the time, Comcast told us, “This was a highly unusual case, and we are taking internal steps to ensure that it does not happen again.”
Comcast has since admitted over a 2 1/2 year span between July 2010 and December 2012, it listed 74,000 unlisted phone numbers by mistake.
“We’re not just talking about annoying telemarketers. We’re talking about potential safety threats,” said Mindy Spatt with The Utility Reform Network.
A California Public Utilities Investigation found some customers had, “…domestic violence concerns or other personal safety issues.” One customer complained to the Federal Communications Commission, “I testified in a murder trial. Now, my wife, children, and I are all in danger.” Another told the P.U.C. “…How am I suppose (sic) to protect myself from a man that has threatened to kill me with an ak57.”
Comcast claims it first uncovered the issue of unlisted numbers getting listed eight months after we reported on Kim Jason’s problem. They then reported the problem to the California Public Utilities Commission three months later.
CBS13 has obtained a P.U.C. document which claims, “there does not appear to be any essential difference” between Kim Jason’s case and the 74,000 Comcast customers affected. Comcast now tells us Kim’s issue was “not the same”. They could not explain why.
“Comcast wasn’t listening to its customers,” Spatt said.
The P.U.C. is scheduled to hold hearings on the case in October. Spatt says our CBS13 story may be brought up as evidence showing Comcast knew about the problem months before they claimed they did. If Comcast is found to have acted inappropriately, it could face fines.
Comcast has apologized saying it’s “notified impacted customers…credited customers, offered refunds” and “took steps to correct and prevent it from happening again.”
After we got involved in 2012, Comcast refunded Kim and stopped listing her number.