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I recently saw this update from Comcast's XFINITY. This is mostly a question out of curiosity, but also borne out of skepticism at Comcast.

Under the new agreement we require you to notify us of changes to your telephone number and other contact information so we can ensure that we are contacting the correct person in accordance with applicable laws.

My first question is this: if we fail to update Comcast with our contact information (particularly if not on purpose, say, we change phone # but forget to update), are there legal consequences?

My second question is this: What are these "applicable laws" that Comcast is referring to? This is where my skepticism comes into play - is this appeal to the law merely a "power play" by Comcast in the TOC to get compliance?

FWIW, I am all for keeping my service companies updated with my info, particularly if there are updates. I just find this section kind of 'coercive' [1] - it seems quite natural that we customers would want to keep our service companies updated, and so "requiring" this for the purpose of "lawfulness" seems kind of weird.

[1]: not sure if this is the right word, just the first word that came to mind

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The relevant paragraph of the Customer Agreement For Residential Services (which is basically your core contract with Comcast) which is 15(c) states:

c. Additional Representations and Warranties. . In addition to representations and warranties you make elsewhere in this Agreement, you also represent and warrant that:

i. Age: You are at least 18 years of age.

ii. Customer Information: You represent and warrant that you have provided us with information that is accurate, complete and current, including without limitation your legal name, address, telephone number(s), the number of devices on which or through the Service(s) is being used, and payment data (including without limitation information provided when authorizing recurring payments). YOU AGREE TO NOTIFY US IMMEDIATELY IF THERE IS ANY CHANGE IN THE INFORMATION THAT YOU HAVE PROVIDED TO US, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION ANY CHANGE IN YOUR TELEPHONE NUMBER OR MOBILE TELEPHONE NUMBER. FAILURE TO DO SO IS A BREACH OF THIS AGREEMENT. IF YOU OWE ANY OUTSTANDING AMOUNTS FOR THE SERVICE(S) OR HAVE ANY UNRETURNED EQUIPMENT, THIS OBLIGATION SHALL SURVIVE THE TERMINATION OF THIS AGREEMENT AND SHALL CONTINUE UNTIL YOU PAY ALL OUTSTANDING AMOUNTS IN FULL AND RETURN ALL EQUIPMENT. YOU AGREE THAT YOU SHALL INDEMNIFY, DEFEND AND HOLD US HARMLESS FROM ANY CLAIM OR LIABILITY RESULTING FROM YOUR FAILURE TO NOTIFY US OF A CHANGE IN THE INFORMATION YOU HAVE PROVIDED, INCLUDING ANY CLAIM OR LIABILITY UNDER THE TELEPHONE CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT (47 U.S.C. SEC. 227), AND ANY REGULATIONS PROMULGATED THEREUNDER RESULTING FROM US ATTEMPTING TO CONTACT YOU AT THE MOBILE TELEPHONE NUMBER YOU PROVIDED.

The referenced statute prohibits robo-calls and junk faxes directed to someone with whom you do not have a pre-existing business relationship.

So, basically, Comcast is worried that if you don't keep your phone number updated and someone who is not a Comcast customer gets your phone number that they will violate the anti-robo call laws and be fined.

If that happens, you must pay all fines, damage awards and legal fees that Comcast incurs as a result of not keeping your contact information updated, resulting in punishments under this law or any other trouble Comcast gets in because your contact information is not updated.

Since not keeping your information up to date is also a "breach of this agreement" they can also terminate your Comcast services (paragraph 9) for failing to keep your contact information up to date (which can be enforced in a binding arbitration forum (paragraph 13) rather than a real court, even though those dispute resolution forums are notoriously unfair).

Of course, you are right to be skeptical. While errant robocalls may be the official justification for enforcing the policy strictly (and quite likely may be a term of a class action robocall lawsuit settlement of some kind), another primary reason that Comcast wants you to have up to date contact information is to facilitate debt collection if you don't pay your bill on time. This is supported by the following language in paragraph 15(c)(ii):

IF YOU OWE ANY OUTSTANDING AMOUNTS FOR THE SERVICE(S) OR HAVE ANY UNRETURNED EQUIPMENT, THIS OBLIGATION SHALL SURVIVE THE TERMINATION OF THIS AGREEMENT AND SHALL CONTINUE UNTIL YOU PAY ALL OUTSTANDING AMOUNTS IN FULL AND RETURN ALL EQUIPMENT.

In practice, however, if Comcast doesn't get hit with fines for robocalling your old number, and is just requiring you to update information so that its debt collectors can pursue you more easily, your damages would be at most the cost that Comcast incurs for a skip-trace service to locate your new number so that it can harass you again until you pay your bill.

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