1. Can I really claim a credit from a service outage?


Most, if not all, cities or counties maintain a franchise agreement with cable service provider. Take Seattle for example, residents who are Comcast customers have recourse under the City of Seattle’s Cable Customer Bill of Rights.


2. Do I have to claim the credits through Outage Refund?

The short answer is no, but...

Unless you enjoy dealing with customer representatives from Comcast – which probably include navigating multiple layers of menu tree and being put on hold for long time before you even get to talk to a human, you might want to consider the alternatives.

Another reason to use Outage Refund is that a lot of time you aren't sure if there's an ongoing outage or if it's just your home router acting up. You probably wouldn't bother calling to confirm. Other times, you might not remember exactly when the outages had occurred but you are required to tell the Comcast representative before they issue a credit to you.

We make the whole process easy and painless for you. Our community of Comcast customers actively report outages to us. That, together with public information from social media and local news, enabled us to build a clear picture of what, when and where outages occurred. If you sign up for our service, we would keep track of outages that happened in your area and initiate a refund for you. You might be surprised how often outages happen.

3. Why wouldn't they automatically gives credit back to customers?

The short answer is because they don't have to. According to this article in 2015, Comcast spokesperson Steve Kipp said the following:

Customers should call the company to request a credit "because outages impact customers differently—one customer may not even be home during an outage while another customer may have lost valuable work time—we prefer to work with customers individually to satisfy their concerns.

ISPs in other parts of the world, like the UK, actually started automatically compensating customers for service outages in April 1st 2019. Unfortunately there's little signs that Comcast and its counterparts in the US will do the same any time soon.

4. How much credit can I expect?

You shall receive 1 day of free service for each day in which there is an outage.

For example, if your bill is $150 a month and outages occurred across 3 different days – even if it lasted for a very short period of time each, you should expect to receive $150 * 3/30 = $15 credits for the next billing cycle. It might not sound like much but it adds up over time and it's money that you are entitled to get back.

5. Will you sell my information to 3rd parties?

No. We are not an advertising based business and we will never give or sell your data to anyone, period.

Even though the first refund is free, we do charge a 25% service fee for subsequent refunds. Your data is securely transmitted and stored in our servers. Regarding your credit card information, we won't be storing them directly. Instead we are using Stripe which is a PCI-certified payment service provider used by Lyft, Salesforce, Under Armour, Target, npr, OpenTable etc. You can look at their security policy here.

6. Why is the cable service in US so unreliable?

I'm glad you asked.

Growing up in Asia and having lived in Japan for a few years, I've never experienced any internet outages. So I had the same question and did some research. This article explains the best. In short the lack of competition through heavy lobbying by the internet service providers leaves them very little incentive to upgrade the network infrastructure.

The last mile infrastructure is controlled by an oligarchy—three big cable companies: Comcast, Time Warner Cable (renamed to Spectrum in 2017), and Verizon. You know this well. One in three Americans only have one choice for broadband service; most of the others only have two internet providers to choose from.Without competition, there's no incentive for internet providers to improve improve infrastructure. These massive telecom companies create a bottleneck in the last mile of service by refusing to upgrade critical infrastructure. And they can charge exorbitant prices for the sub-par service while they're at it.

There's very little we can do to improve the situation. But at the very least you shouldn't have to pay for the service when there are outages.

7. Do you support outage refund for Spectrum, Verizon or other internet services?

Not at the moment. We do plan to add support for them in the foreseeable future, it's a matter of prioritizing for the service that has the most demand.

8. How do I report an outage?

Please send an email to report-outage@outagerefund.com

In the email, please include:

1) The dates of outage, time is optional
2) The address that outage was experienced
3) The services affected by the outage. It can be one or more of the following – Internet, Voice or TV

9. How long could I expect a credit on my account should an outage occurred?

The time for Comcast to process a refund request is 2-3 days. However, to reduce the work load of our staff, we might aggregate a few outages over the span of 7-14 days before calling for a refund.

10. How do I pay for the service?

You don't pay anything for the first refund, it's free. For subsequent refunds, you will receive an invoice by email after we successfully requested refund on your behalf. You have the options to pay by credit card or ACH. If you do not pay for the invoice within 10 days, we'll stop the service automatically and you don't need to do anything.

You can restart the service any time by repaying the last invoice we sent. However we won't be able to process the funds that might have been collectable during the time lapsed.