Comcast Careless

16 12 2013

comcassWhat does it say about a company when customers DREAD calling them with a problem? I think it speaks volumes. I’ve had many conversations about Comcast with friends. Everyone I know has had similar bad experiences with this company. The refrain is the same… “Service is great, but if something goes wrong it is usually a nightmare.”

This past weekend I had a very minor issue, and that feeling of dread crept into my head. It was resolved with only a small amount of pain, but it caused me to relive one of the worst issues I’ve ever had with a company.

My Comcast Nightmare…

Several years ago, I was having problems with my cable television. The picture was pixelating. I phoned Comcast, and after a seemingly endless trip through automated hell, a customer service rep assured me that someone would be there between 4:00pm and 8:00pm the following day. The next morning I woke up to find all was well with my cable feed. “Maybe the rep did something to fix it,” I optimistically wondered. Being a stand up citizen, I called Comcast and let them know that all was well and that there was no need to come out that afternoon. However, by noon the cable was acting up and getting worse, so I called Comcast again. More automated hell got me to a different rep – in the Philippines – who had no idea about my history with this issue. I stated that I wanted them to come out and fix the problem, honoring my original appointment window. Sorry Mr. Langan, that is impossible because “those assets have been redeployed.” I tried to explain to General MacArthur (who had apparently returned to the Philippines) that this was unacceptable, but the best he could do was assure me that a technician would be out between noon and 4:00pm the next day.

Wait… it gets better! The next morning I go to work, then come home around 11:30am to meet the Comcast guy. There is a message on my answering machine from Comcast saying that the technician is on his way and will be there at 9:00am. WTF!!! Another call, more auto hell, and then another rep who has no idea what is happening with my account. I now learn that the tech came to my house at 9:00 and when no one answered he left and canceled the ticket. Of course they could not re-deploy any assets to get to me for the noon to 4:00pm window. At this point I have blown my stack… finally, a supervisor in Pennsylvania gets on to tell me that the best they can do is get someone to me around 5:30pm. That time passes, then 6:00, then 6:30, then 7:00… and then I call. Guess what… ANOTHER rep who has no idea what I’m talking about, then another supervisor who assures me that someone is enroute.

Then… at 8:30… a dispatcher from Comcast calls to tell me that no one is coming tonight. This poor guy… I really did feel bad for him. I’m sure he wasn’t prepared for the steady stream of expletives that were hurled his way. And I know that there was nothing he could do regarding my threat to “trash your fucking company to everyone I come in contact with.”

That night I began my trashing campaign with a scathing email to the VP of Customer Care, assuring him of my intention to leave Comcast as soon as I have an alternative in my neighborhood. Bright and early I get a phone call from his assistant, informing me that a technician is enroute. I said thank you and hung up. Ten minutes later a technician is at the door, followed minutes later by another technician. Fifteen minutes later… a third technician. “LOTS of assets have been deployed today,” I murmured. Then a supervisor showed up to make sure I was being taken care of sufficiently. I was truly blessed that day…

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I’ve been a Comcast customer for over 25 years. To this day I shiver with dread if there is a service problem. I feel dirty every time I get off the phone with them. Last weekend’s issue was minor – a new cable box solved the problem. It was an early Christmas gift that I didn’t have to schedule a service call. But I still had to deal with that ever expanding automated system, and when I finally get a live rep on the phone… I’m pretty sure I know more than they do!

Putting on my business hat… A customer complaint isn’t a problem, it’s an opportunity. And customer service shouldn’t be something you have to do. It should be something you can’t wait to do!

I’m sure Comcast would rather that I be using my massive blogging powers for good, instead of telling this ugly story. So… get a real person to answer the phone, give him/her a CRM, and stop being the problem and start solving them.

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3 responses

26 01 2014
Carolyn Dombrowski

I too like a lot of people have a nightmare story. A few years ago I had triple play & all 3 never worked at same time. I am a single mom & would leave work early to meet with tech. Over a month of problems it took tech #13 to fix problem. I kept all the service slips to prove my claim. Tech #13 went in to my garage & said who did this with wires? I said you guys! He was so nice & spent 5 hours correcting problem. I told him he should report this to his boss that all other techs just passed the problem on. He said off the record nothing would be done. I then sent certified letter to them with copies of all my slips with techs names. I got 2 months free service.

16 12 2013
Bernadette O'Brien

Hi John,
I enjoyed reading your blog! This is not so much a customer service complaint but more of a complaint about being treated rudely as a guest/visitor to my daughter’s college graduation yesterday. It’s on my mind so I thought I would rant here a little…..I brought along my parents, my Dad who is 93 and my Mom who is 90. God love them. They both had special tickets for handicapped seating. My Mom uses a walker, too. We were escorted into the gym and taken to bleachers on the bottom row. My parents were told to sit on the bleachers. I said, “this is not handicapped seating – my parents need a chair to sit on.” She said, “a chair?” Yes, I said – so they can be more comfortable and lean back, you know? “Oh”, she said, “I’ll have to call my supervisor.” The supervisor came over and I explained the situation to her. She said, “Then you’ll have to walk to the last row of chairs (where graduates were going to sit) and find a seat there. She then pulls out a chair smack in the middle of the last row of about 18 chairs and asks my parents to sit in there. I said, “There is no one else in this row. Why are you asking my Mom and Dad to sit in the middle?” I added, “They may need to get out and use the bathroom. My Mom uses a walker (obviously) and would need to get around people. They would like to sit on the end of this row, if that’s ok.” She says, “on the end? Everyone else is going to need the bathroom, too, so they’ll have to move for them anyway.” OMG! I added, “no one else is here right now. They are here first and want the end.” She gave me such a rude look I wanted to smack her. She then says, “and can I see the two special seating tickets (I had shown the tickets to staff when we entered but now have to prove that I, indeed, have two special tickets? Are you kidding me? My parents were treated unfairly and it was disgraceful coming from a University that should know better. I was so annoyed and wanted to say something to the staff but didn’t want to upset my parents so I kept quiet. Thank you for letting me blow off some steam!! Hope all is well with you!!

17 12 2013
Gr8JohnL

Thanks, Bern… that is astounding! It goes beyond bad service, all the way to ignorance. Wow… I saw some of the pics and it looked like you still had a great day! Happy Holidays!

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