Another Open Letter

Dear Comcast,

While it’s tempting just to write “You Suck” and end, that’s too easy. Your customer service deserves SO. MUCH. MORE.

Here’s an idea. When a customer calls in and makes it through your labyrinth of button-pushing (“Push 1 for English”?? REALLY?!? Am I NOT in America?) in order to talk to an actual human being, you might want to try this novel, experimental idea. Listen to what they’re saying. Don’t nod and smile on your end of the line while just punching in random computer keys like a chicken playing a game. Because while many customers may be calling in for reason A, it’s possible that a customer needs reason B, C or X, and your non-listening will muck things up for everybody involved and waste an entire day.

What’s that you ask? “What’s ‘listening’?” That means that you stop talking long enough to hear what the other person is saying. Note the bolding on the word “hear”. Because it’s not enough just to wait for the other person to stop talking and then go, “uh-huh”. It means hearing and understanding what they’re asking or telling you they need.

Another thing. When you go on and on and on to the customer about “you’ll receive 2 phone calls regarding this appointment…” and then continue with some sort of apocalyptic scenario that will happen if you miss one of these calls, you might want to make sure those calls actually happen. Because, honestly? The Apocalypse goes both ways, baby.

Now. You have these people you’ve hired to call customers to confirm appointments and such. Here’s a thought. Train these people in the correct way to use a phone and how to talk to a customer. And, maybe, make sure they know how your company works, mmmmkay? Because when Snippy McUnprofessional called me today to confirm the appointment I did have for the service I didn’t need, (Just needed a cableCard for my TiVo – that’s it) and I tried to correct the mistake, Missy almost got a beatdown. Here’s the conversation I had:

Me: I’m sorry, no, it isn’t that my cableCard isn’t working, I actually just need the cableCard installed.

Snippy McSnottypants: Oh. Well….oh, okay. That’s not what it says here.

Me: Okay. Well….that’s what I told them when I called for the appointment.

Little Miss Can’tBeBothered: <sigh> Okay. Well, that’ll be an additional $1.99 per month charge.

Me: Um, no. That’s not what it says on your website. It says that ONE card is free as part of the outlet charge, but more than one has a fee.

Pissy von RollyEyes: No – there is a $1.99 per month charge. There is.

Me: I’m sorry, but no. On your website……

Ms. I’mTooGoodForThisJob: <INTERRUPTS ME AND TRIES TO TALK OVER ME>

Me: …it says… CAN I FINISH PLEASE?? Thank  you. I’m reading what’s on your website where it says that the first cableCard is free. That’s what it says.

Attitude O’Rudely: <begins her sentence talking over me AGAIN> Do you want to talk to my supervisor?

Me: Oh, yes. Yes, I do.

Impolite McBrusque: It won’t make any difference, but all right.

Me: ….. o_O <makes a snorty laughing sound of disbelief>

Churlish O’Snappish: LAUGHS AT ME.

SHE LAUGHED AT ME AND PUT ME ON HOLD.

I sit, listening to their ridiculous music on hold for about 2 minutes. I hear a click as if someone picked up, then back on hold. Then, suddenly, I’m back at the main menu as if I had called them myself. So I get to start all over with someone new. This representative, however, was not horrible. I told her what I had been discussing with that other person. When I mention the $1.99 charge, she says, “Oh, no, there’s no additional charge for the card.”

VICTORY IS MINE. I informed her of my interaction with the other human and how she laughed at me. She said, “Wow, that’s totally unacceptable. I’d be mad, too.” She said there would be a record of who that person was and she’d make a note of the poor service – which, who knows if she will. But vindication was MINE.

Anyway, dear Comcast, back to business. Your service tech arrived 30 minutes after the given window had closed (10am-1pm) and was completely misinformed as to what he needed to do. Not only did he not know, he did not HAVE any cableCards and he did not know HOW to do it anyway. After trying to get a hold of someone who could help him, he finally told me that someone would bring him a card.

ONE HOUR LATER, said card arrived and the tech attempted to figure out how to do the installation. Again, no one seemed to be able to help him and, of course, everytime you power down TiVo, it takes about 10 minutes to power back up. So he’s getting more and more peeved as the minutes tick by. He finally gets done what he’s told needs to be done and takes his leave. 1 hour and 45 minutes after his arrival. For a job that only should have taken minutes. Because he didn’t have the proper information, training or support.

The capper? I received my bill today. You know…the one where you sneakily attempted to keep charging me for the cable box I returned to you at the beginning of October? I bet a lot of your customers don’t notice stuff like that. Where you try to rip them off with little charges here and there that we’re all too busy to notice or check out. So, again, I get to sit on hold to speak to someone named “Penny” somewhere south of Amritsar. Who cannot, for the life of her, understand that I have returned both the regular digital box and the HD box, but have kept the HD DVR. But, she promised a credit for the charge and that the next bill would show the return of box #2. How much you wanna bet I gotta call again??

So, Comcast. This love letter became a little long, I know. But your delightful customer service and trustworthy business practices filled with honesty and sparkly rainbows make it difficult to be brief. My love for you is pointy and sharp and I hope I don’t accidentally pierce your skull with it. Keep up the fantastical, magerrific, splendiferous, craptastic work. I’m sure everyone who deals with you does not want to punch you in the neck.

Me.

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