Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Redwood City, CA
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What likely really happened (technically)
Comcast and other cable companies use a software product written around 20 years ago. It runs on a mainframe, and dozens if not 100's of other very old programs are hooked to it, because it is the central customer database.
You might think that a tech support call goes into a special tech support database, but you would be wrong. A field service call goes into the Orders database as a new order. So in essence this guy "bought" a field service call, which could have a price of $0.00, but since when is anything from Comcast $0.00?
The part number in the order was a field service Technician visit. The Comcast order system sends the "order" to another "scheduling/dispatch system". This system optimizes the drive time and work time of each tech, and incidentally assures that no Tech will show up when promised. [sarcasm].
The field tech has a smartphone/tablet app that is used to record when he arrived, when he left, and what he did. If he decides he did x and y and you think and requested z, it goes into the billing database as x and y. The original order is "overwritten", by this information.
This is why the 2nd level manager was unresponsive and evasive. There was no way to "backout the transaction" because the ancient cable company order systems don't support it. They had to get a software specialist do some add/delete/replace database operations in the order system query language.