As many companies know, Customer Service used to be something they strived for, but now some get so large they forget that. Comcast has been on the firing line for poor customer service for years, and as they continue outsourcing and shrinking their workforce, they seem to be striving for the worst service in America. Here’s our experience with them to give you an idea of what to keep expecting from them.
Here at Best Movies Ever News, we’ve been Comcast users for many many years, and we also provide full package service to all of our writers. Normally, you expect a few issues here and there over the years with any service, but this past week, we didn’t realize just how bad Comcast Customer Service actually was.
For nearly a decade, there’s been people complaining, but after our experience this week, I looked online and was rather astonished at how many websites have cropped up about them. Not for being capitalists raping and pillaging the land, but for having such awful Customer Service. Many companies will work to better problem issues, but from this vantage point, that doesn’t seem to be a concern for the ever growing company.
Ours was a very simple issue that had been fixed several times over the years, but this week, 8 of our writers had the exact same problem. In the past we’d call and get the local Customer Service and literally within 2 – 5 minutes, the issue would be fixed. This time, I noticed that every tech call we put in took us to Manila. I assumed that since it was an evening call, that was normal, but today, we spent hours putting in calls only to be continually sent to the Philippines. I have no issue with talking to someone in another country, but when they have no clue of what to do, then I have a major problem. Especially since our bill for Comcast each month is very high for 8 people and you do expect reasonably good service. This tech kept telling me we had to set up service calls, and when I explained that we only needed to have a signal sent to each of the boxes, he said they couldn’t do that. They could only set up service calls.
I even tried calling other departments like billing since I figured Comcast would definitely keep those numbers local, but Jackie, the woman I spoke with promised me that she was connecting me to a local tech only to hear a voice trying to sound Midwestern. When I asked him where he was located, he tried to tell me Arizona, and when I continued, he admitted that he was in Manila and his ‘American’ accent suddenly disappeared. That to me was just ridiculous and reminded me of that NBC show, Outsourced, from a few seasons back, but it sure as heck wasn’t funny.
This happened to all 8 of us calling from different parts of the country, and that’s when I realized something was definitely off. Even when we asked to be connected to a local Customer Service person, we were told that there was only one number and that wasn’t possible. I had explained that I had no problem waiting for one, but our Manila friend informed me that Comcast wouldn’t allow that since they didn’t want customers waiting on the phone too long. Even when I mentioned that I would much rather wait for a good resolution than be sent to another country where they had no idea of how to fix a very simple problem.
After 6 hours of this silliness, I drove over to the local office just to have them send a signal to our cable box. Sounds crazy, but that was the only way to fix the issue. The Support person there had obviously heard this same complaint hundreds of times as they said “You gotta love Comcast.” The person (who understandably wanted to remain anonymous) said that customers were going to see this continually happening as part of the ‘shrink’ that Comcast is currently doing. They said that right now they were working on a center in Denver, but all the calls were being sent overseas even though they are more than aware of customer dissatisfaction.
I asked the person if the years of customer complaints about service would ever be dealt with, they said it wasn’t going to be likely. So, each of our writers had to drive over to their local Comcast Office to get a signal sent. That fixed the problem, but how crazy is it that something that used to only take minutes to fix, now takes hours and days?
The support person also informed me that the Customer Satisfaction Survey that they offer when you call in only reflects on the person you dealt with. They said that Comcast sees the overseas Support people as expendable so if they get a back survey, it only hurts them and the company doesn’t see it as a reflection on themselves, just a reason to either fire that person or put it in their file.
Below is a letter from another customer which can give you an even better idea of how silly so much of this is, but yet a company this large still allows it to continue without seeming to be bothered. All it takes is another good company to come along and customers will easily jump ship. Right now Comcast has grown so large they can afford to be this arrogant, but as history shows, it never lasts long.
[callout title=Comcast Customer Letter]
I swear, I didn’t mean for things to turn out this way. I wanted to give you a chance to make things better; I really did. But after spending my entire adult life dealing with your shit, it’s time I got a few things off my chest.
The Start of the Problem
The most recent set of issues with my service began the weekend before Christmas 2011. My small town was hit with an internet outage that lasted nearly 2 full days. At a time when my heart should have been filled with joy and good cheer, I was stuck watching reruns of Toddlers and Tiaras and trying not to throttle my son for asking, “Is the internet back NOW?” for the 800th time.
From then on, my internet connection began dropping multiple times per day. And when I say “multiple times,” I mean like 30-40 times. Every. Single. Day. I called 1-800-COMCAST almost weekly, and during those fun chats I received helpful tips like these:
“Can you make sure the power cord to your modem isn’t loose?” Yes, because clearly leprechauns are unplugging it when I’m not looking, then plugging it back in.
“Is the power cord frayed or damaged in any way?” Oh damn, you mean I’m not supposed to let my friends’ babies use it as a teething ring?
“Maybe your power is blinking, causing the modem to reset.” I had no idea my electricity could blink so fast that nothing but the modem was affected. That’s amazing!
I feel like I went above and beyond to try to resolve my connection issues myself. I replaced my modem twice. I got a new router. I even got a new computer (though I won’t give you credit for that one). I tried moving the modem to another room, using it with and without the router, and even toggling my DCHP settings. Finally I decided to have you guys send a technician to my house to find out what was going on.
On the day of my appointment in April, I was expecting a visit between the hours of 1 and 3 PM, with a courtesy call before the tech came to my house. At 4 PM, my dogs began barking furiously and I spotted a Comcast truck in my driveway. I appreciated the advance warning – then again, since my phone doesn’t work when my connection is down, maybe the tech did try to call and (like everyone else) got my voicemail.
After about 30 minutes there was a knock at the door. “We couldn’t find anything wrong outside,” the tech said. “But we did replace some connectors just in case.”
“So what am I supposed to do now?” I asked.
“Just call us if it happens again. We can’t fix it if we don’t know about it.” Gee, you want to stick around for a few minutes?
But wait! That’s not the best part! The next morning (a Saturday no less), my phone rang early.
“This is [name] from Comcast. I’m sorry none of our technicians made it to your house yesterday.”
“Um, then who were the guys in the Comcast truck?”
“Oh, someone did come out? Okay, great. Have a nice day!”
Yeah, that totally happened. Just another example of the excellent customer service you’re providing, Comcast. And as a bonus, when I complained on Twitter and sent an email to the Comcast Cares (LOL) email address, the voicemail I received was so garbled I couldn’t hear the number to return the call. I guess the person was using your phone service, which must be just as reliable as my internet connection. When I emailed again to let “Comcast Cares” know that I was unable to hear the voicemail, I never received a response.
The Month of June
For a week or so after your techs came out, my connection was slightly better, meaning it only dropped maybe 15 times a day. I actually allowed myself to hope that the connectors outside were the problem and I would now be able to use the service for a change. Then this month happened.
Not only did my connection start dropping like crazy again, but we also started having random outages in my area every few days. I tried to call every time to leave a record of the problems with my account, but since my phone doesn’t work without a connection, it was kind of difficult to do so. When I did get through, I was usually assured that my service would be restored soon, and several times I was promised a credit on my bill (which I never saw). Since these outages affected my entire county and not just me, I assumed that something was being done to fix the underlying problem.
Then came the Level 2 outages that lasted for days on end. My internet service was usable, but instead of the “lightning fast speeds” I pay so much for, my download speeds were often less than 2 Mbps. Yes, that’s two. Files that should have taken a few minutes to download were now estimated to complete in days. No one could explain to me what the hell a Level 2 outage was or when it would be fixed.
This is probably a good time to mention that I work from home and depend on my internet connection to make a living. I have missed deadlines and even lost clients because of my connection issues. Because when it comes down to it, no one can believe I have this many problems with my internet service.
This past Wednesday, my connection dropped again, this time during a Skype conversation with a brand new client. Another outage. Yay! I had no way to contact my client to let her know what happened. And thanks to the one bar of cell service that I get without my internet connection, I could only read her emails, which went from concerned to angry over the span of several hours with no response from me. Yeah, I ended up getting fired. Thanks for that.
For 27 hours, I could do nothing but frantically refresh my browser and attempt to call 1-800-COMCAST to see when my service would be back. I couldn’t work. I couldn’t email my clients or make phone calls. My son (who is autistic and doesn’t deal well with changes in his routine) couldn’t play the internet game that he loves. No one would give me any information about the cause of the outage or when it might be fixed.
Oh, and let me tell you about the customer service gems I received when I managed to get through (please note that this involved standing on my kitchen counter by the window to achieve one bar of cell service):
“Our records show that you’ve only called 3 times in the last 14 days. Your service can’t be that bad.” And this was after I explained that I usually can’t make or receive phone calls when my connection is down.
“Would you like to add cable or phone service?” Oh, two more things that will never work? SIGN ME UP!
“Maybe you should change your business so it doesn’t rely on the internet.”Web design minus the web. What an interesting concept! I’ll just draw the websites on notebook paper instead. That’s the same thing, right?
When my connection finally came back yesterday, I was thrilled. That is, until I needed to download a large backup file for a client last night and saw Estimated time remaining: 8 days at the bottom of my browser window. An internet speed test showed me getting 1.47 Mbps down and just over 2 Mbps up.
Like a good citizen, I called 1-800-COMCAST yet again. (No, I do not want to order UFC 148, and I wish your automated system would stop asking.) After pinging my modem and asking me if my power cord was plugged in all the way, the rep informed me that another tech would have to come to my house. Two weeks from now. Because obviously I won’t need to do any work between now and then.
Comcast, You Suck
I feel I have been extremely patient with the incompetence you’ve shown me, Comcast. This letter only provides a snippet of the bullshit I’ve dealt with as one of your unfortunate customers. And believe me, the SECOND there is another option for broadband in this area, you will never see another dime from me. I already cut off my cable. So did my parents and many of my friends. But because of your monopoly in this county, we’re stuck with your internet service. For now.
There are so many things I don’t understand. Like why your phone support workers are such idiots. And why you pay people to troll Twitter for negative mentions and offer to “help” when you know damn well you aren’t going to do anything about my connection problems. And how you can advertise blazing fast internet speeds when your service never works.
I don’t ask for much. All I want is to receive the internet service that I pay for, so I can earn a living and feed myself and my child. I could understand an occasional outage or temporary loss of connection – those things happen with any provider. But you’re the only company I know who seems determined to suck the most, the hardest, and the longest, with no consideration whatsoever for your customers.
You SUCK, Comcast. Your employees suck and your customer service is piss poor. I would recommend smoke signals before I would recommend your shittastic internet service to my worst enemy. And I long for the day when I can tell you to kiss my ass for good.
These may sound like isolated incidents, but once you do a little searching, you quickly find out it’s just a couple out of tens of thousands. A quick glance at their forum will give you an idea. This article will give you an inside look at the company. This was written in 2010, but things have only snowballed and gotten even worse.
If you’ve got a Comcast horror story (or even a good one) post it below.