Or… You’re (not) ready already with Comcast…
The reason I wrote this article, in full detail: I hope Comcast reads this. I hope it’s passed around in their halls quietly. I hope they look at this and it gets slipped under each and every VP’s office door. I hope they all see that these are the systemic problems plaguing their customer service perception. If they don’t, they’re destined to replace Sprint in the halls of companies with permanently-poor customer service opinions amongst consumers…
I had a fun 79 minutes on the phone with Comcast today. No, that hour and nineteen minutes of my life wasted is no exaggeration.
For months now, seven in fact, I have been trying to get Comcast to activate my modem in the Silicon Valley. Brace yourself, I own my own cable modem. Not shocked? Well, the folks at Comcast seem to think I’m from another planet.
Here’s the issue, in a nutshell. I bought a DOCSIS 2.0 modem, and used it with service in the Sacramento Valley. I then moved to Silicon Valley, where I tried to activate the modem. Enter the disaster…
Comcast, from day one of my relocation was unable to put the modem on my account. Comcast first claimed that my modem was leased. Uh, no. Then they claimed it was on another active account. My old “active” account. I told them to check the old account. Sure enough, the modem wasn’t leased and the account was closed and paid in full.
Then Comcast blamed (Comcast) Sacramento’s billing market for not releasing the MAC ID of the modem. Okay, fine right? Hand me a leased modem and waive the lease fee for the couple of days to get the issue fixed? And, to their credit they did. The problem is, they didn’t fix the issue.
Every month, I would call in and ask for an update on the issue. Nobody would know there was an issue. They would then just issue a leased modem credit for the next month and say “we’ll handle it.”
Well, nobody has handled it. Lather, rinse, repeat the next month. I tried all the paths, even going so far as to have the store manager put his hands in his face and apologize for Sacramento’s market not doing their job.
Eventually, after getting a leased modem credit month after month (all six months of my reduced service rate), I cancelled and switched to U-Verse.
Much with other dysfunctional-company deployment issues, every department or team has a different name for similar processes. Some say the Billing Department, some say “another system”, and others say “the warehouse.” In reality, it’s all the same location, but when people in your own company can’t understand the terminology of another department… that has me running for the sell button on my portfolio. And no, I don’t and never have owned shares of Comcast.
Now, four months later Comcast came back with a new offer: They’re finally discounting a tier above the entry 6 or 12 mbps tier (that speed depends on if your market has gone DOCSIS 3.0 yet) and they offered me 16 mbps (pre-PowerBoost) for $34.99/month, for a full year. So, I cancelled U-Verse and switched back.
And, that brings us to today’s Comcastic debacle. I tried desperately to get someone at technical support to “own” the issue. Basically, the tech was sympathetic, going as close as he could to admitting this was a disaster, knowing he was being recorded. Finally, his supervisor (after many pestering, and being put back on hold after getting refusals) did indeed agree to own an issue. I had to dig deep, call them drones, stuff I don’t like to do to other people to get their attention.
Still, seven failures in a row shame on you. Eight failures in a row, shame on me. I expect them to fail at this effort yet again, at which point I’ll wrangle another store manager to fall flat on his/her face. My next final step is an FCC complaint. I am no fan of the FCC telling companies how to be capitalistic… but Comcast has a monopoly on the cable lines, and I’m more than fine with the FCC forcing a company to resolve internal company issues.
The fact that two billing departments, over seven months, can’t talk to one another, is about as insane as having regional billing departments in the first place.
I hate to be crass here, but please, if you work for Comcast, don’t post here telling me how bad you feel, and how you see this all the time. I’ve stopped caring. If you do really care, contact me and either own the issue, or get someone in Comcast to own the issue.