Archive for January, 2009

I know you’re listening, Comcast

This week I finally broke free from cable TV. I bought a nice antenna, upgraded my Tivo, and decided to ditch cable since 90% of what I watch isn’t on it. I don’t care for reality TV and don’t get a kick out of watching other people make fools of themselves whilst drunk. At least not on TV I have to pay for.

I thought canceling cable with Comcast might be easy. I also thought it might interrupt my internet service, also purchased through Comcast. [After all, I had experience to back up this theory. My first cell phone was through Qwest. When I called to cancel my Qwest land line, the CS rep also canceled my cell phone. I had to call them back from a payphone in Perkins.]

The CS rep canceling my Comcast “video service”, as they like to call it, was very friendly and did not pressure me into anything. She warned me that my internet price would go up $15 since I was not bundling with another service any longer. Although the pricing is beyond unfair, I stuck to my guns.

A couple minutes after hanging up with Comcast, I went to my computer. My internet was down. I did all the things the reps have you do when you call in for help, but nothing worked. I knew it was something on their end. I wasn’t getting a signal from the wall jack. The nice lady fucked up my account.

So I called back. Unsurprisingly, the rep had me try all the stuff I’d already tried. I told her that everything worked until my video was canceled, but it fell on deaf ears. Instead, she had me turn off my antivirus. She insisted that she was sending signals to my modem. I told her that the correct lights were not on. Again, she ignored my information.

She continued to tell me that the last course of action will be to send someone out. I was fine with that because I figured at least that person might have a brain capable of listening and making intelligent decisions based on the information provided. I asked if I’d have to pay for the visit and she says that yes, there is a $24 fee. I insisted that I was not paying for a visit for a problem caused on their end. We went back and forth for a bit, then she graciously granted me a free month of the service plan so the tech visit would be free for me.

The next day, I tweeted about my issue to @comcastcares. Just a few minutes later, I received the following reply:

i apologize please emial we_can_help@cable.comcast.com your experience so we can not make this happen again.

Despite the horrible typos, I sent a message explaining everything I wrote above. I received a reply quite quickly. I emailed back and forth with Bonnie in her pink font and typos galore. She asked some good questions and pretty much admitted Comcast’s fault in the matter.

Little did I know that Bonnie escalated my ticket to Deb at the local Comcast office, who left me two voicemails in the afternoon. I don’t even remember what the first one said, but the second one said that she changed something on my account and can now get a signal to my modem. She asked that I call her back at a special number (not the number on the caller ID). I got home, futzed with the modem a bit, and miraculously got a signal. My internet was back up, as good as ever.

I called the special number (a line just for local escalations, from what I could tell) and got some dude. I said my name and explained why I was calling and the dude said, “Oh yes, Deb told me about you. I’m glad to hear everything works now.”

The moral of this story is clear. Actually, there are two morals.

1. Comcast needs smarter CS reps who actively listen and make smart decisions based on what the customer is saying instead of trying to fit everything into a troubleshooting tree. If they aren’t tech savvy, fire them. One size does not fit all when it comes to tech issue resolution.

2. To get Comcast’s attention, all you got to do is tweet about it. Set up a Twitter account now, Comcast customers, just in case you ever need to bitch about them. Comcast is obviously aware of their poor image enough to know that they can curb issues quickly via social networking sites. Now they just need to see the patterns in these issues, and turn them into information to improve their customer service.