How to Lose a Customer – The Comcast Way

In a blog earlier this year, I mentioned the problems I was having with Comcast as related to the account with the fraternity house.  Thanks to a helpful customer service rep, that situation was resolved.  I was actually happy with Comcast and their customer service.

That happiness did not last.

About a month ago, Mrs. Cutter and I started having problems with our home internet service.  It seemed that our connection was slow or sporadic (the signal would fade in and out) at nights.  I called Comcast techincal support, and they said that the signal seemed inexplicably weak, so they’d need to send someone out.  A few nights later, the service went completely out, and when Mrs. Cutter called them, they said that our modem must be bad and we’d need to have it replaced.  So we were already getting mixed messages as to what the problem was.

Mrs. Cutter was home from work on a Friday, and the Comcast technician was scheduled to come between 2 and 5 that day.  A little before 5, he calls and says he’s running two hours late.  Keep in mind that he could have called earlier in the service window to inform us of this.  But instead, Mrs. Cutter had to waste all of that time.  Another two hours pass, and he still hasn’t arrived.  We call to inquire, and because it was after the service window, the person I spoke to had difficulty in tracking where the technician was.  Finally, he located him, and told us it would be another hour.

We never got a visit, so we called back, and were told that the technician came to our door, but nobody was home.  We figured that he must have accidentally gone to the apartment above us, which has happened a few times in the past.  We were assured that in addition to the credit we would receive for the internet service being out, and the standard $20 which is owed if a technicican misses his window, we would get an extra $20 since we were so badly inconvenienced.

However, upon leaving that night, we found a slip from Comcast in front of the door.  There has never been a case where we did not hear someone knock on the door or the doorbell, so we’re guessing that the technician was so far behind that he didn’t want to be bothered, and just left the slip without knocking.

We scheduled another appointment for the following Saturday, and once again, the technician arrived an hour after the given service window.  When he arrived, his explanation for our slow and sporadic service was that it was too hot out, and that the cables in our apartment were split poorly.  Keep in mind, that the setup was originally done by Comcast technicians, and that we’ve had the same setup for over two years, and never had a problem due to heat before.  It seemed clear that the guy had no real clue what was going on, and simply was throwing any explanation out that he could. 

When asked if there was anything he could do, he recommended that if we wanted optimal internet speed, we disconnect our TV so that we are getting the best signal.  I’m not sure why he thought that disconnecting our television was an acceptable answer, but that’s what we were left with.  Apparently, we’re just supposed to accept the fact that if you’re a Comcast customer, you should not expect good internet service when it is hot out.

Anyway, for no apparent reason, our internet connection did seem to improve (without disconnecting our TV).  But then I got the next bill.  Not only did we not get credit for the time that our service was slow or non-existant, we also had a $24.95 charge for a truck visit.  This prompted me to give the Comcast billing department a call.  They did give me the credit for the lack of service.  (In theory at least, since I haven’t gotten the next bill yet and it wouldn’t surprise me if that credit is still missing)  But I was told that since the technician determined that our problem was an “internal cause” we were to be charged for the service visit.

I had thought I was angry before.  Now, I was really pissed off.  I tried to ask how it was an internal issue when the problem (as explained to us) was due to either heat (Last I checked, not an internal issue) or poor setup (Done by a Comcast technician) and wasn’t even corrected. 

They said that because it “wasn’t a problem with their service,” the policy is to charge customers for the service visit.  I was told that if I didn’t want to be charged for future service visits, I could sign up for their protection plan for an additional $3.95 a month.  So what they were telling me is that we don’t pay them enough as it is.  Apparently, we need to also pay an extra fee a month to ensure that we actually get good service.  I made it clear that I thought this was a ridiculous policy.

I eventually had to be transferred to a supervisior, and I’m not going to pretend that I was exactly pleasant while talking to her.  But instead of defusing the situation, the supervisor got an attitude, and then verbally attacked me when I told her I was going to cancel my service and blame her personally.

After some of the screaming subsued, I was told that if I signed up for the service protection plan now, the first three months are under a trial basis, and the service visit charge would be retroactively removed.  I eventually agreed to do so.

My next call was to Mrs. Cutter, and I told her to schedule an installation with Verizon FiOS.  I realize that any large cable corporation will have problems, but I’m tired of dealing with Comcast.  Between the poor service, the unreliability of their technicians, their failure to fix the problem or even give a suitable explanation (but still charge us), their failure to give us the proper credit, and then the unwillingness to work to ensure that their customers stay happy, it was almost like they wanted us to leave.

So goodbye, Comcast.  Maybe this will help you learn to treat your customers a little better next time.

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About The Cutter

I am the Cutter. I write some stuff. You might like it, you might not. Please decide for yourself.
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2 Responses to How to Lose a Customer – The Comcast Way

  1. Pingback: Farewell, Sports Illustrated | The Cutter Rambles

  2. Pingback: Who won the internet? – Ryan Block | The Cutter Rambles

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