This Chatbot Will Argue With Your Cable Company for You—and Might Lower Your Bill

Let a bot argue over your cable bill.
Let a bot argue over your cable bill. / Reza Estakhrian/The Image Bank via Getty Images

What if you could deploy your own bot to converse with a customer service bot or human? That’s the general principle behind a new feature coming from consumer advocate service DoNotPay, which is set to launch a browser extension that may be able to lower your cable bill and make mild legal threats.

According to Simplemost, DoNotPay, which launched in 2015, just completed what it maintains is a genuine negotiation with cable company Comcast using software that engaged with the company’s customer service chat. In the exchange, which you can view below, the DoNotPay bot was successful in knocking $10 a month off an internet bill.

In the test, DoNotPay’s advocacy gets a little aggressive, with the bot claiming it suffered workplace disruption as the result of outages. Later, it suggests legal action may be taken if Comcast doesn’t cooperate, though it stops short of threatening to break the rep’s legs.

Previously, DoNotPay’s features were limited to using email templates to contest charges. The bot marks the first time the service has had a back-and-forth in real time. “We’ve trained this AI to be like a robot lawyer for consumers, and I imagine that the disputes that we can handle have now gone up significantly because we can handle cases where you can respond rather than just sending one template,” CEO Joshua Browder told The Verge. He added the final version may be less prone to embellish details: “We won’t allow for exaggeration of facts.”

The discount bot feature is set to be released in the near future. DoNotPay charges $3 a month or $36 annually for its services, which includes disputes for traffic tickets, subscription cancellations, and marriage annulment. Some consumer reviews on the Better Business Bureau website have complained DoNotPay is itself a little too quick to bill users, alleging that the company didn’t make charges for its services clear. If this happens to you, perhaps the bot can mediate a solution.

[h/t Simplemost]