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Monday, July 19, 2010

Comcast - Still the Devil

Many of you may have seen the new commercials that Crapcast (sorry, Comcast) is airing about their dedication to customer service.  Needless to say I was a bit skeptical when I first saw the commercials considering my past experience with them.  Really its not just Comcast, about every "BIG" company out there has issues with customer service except for maybe a few (Apple, Google, etc.)  Comcast though is definitely top of their class when it comes to disappointing its customers.

My wife says I am not very good at giving people (or restaurants, businesses, etc.) second chances if they give a bad first impression.  She's right, but occasionally I will give a chance for a second first impression if someone/somewhere says they've changed (hired new chefs, come under new management, changed business practices).  So today I gave Comcast that second chance.  Unhappy with the amount we are paying for cable service I surfed over to their website and looked at the packages they offer.  After choosing the one that fit us best I started a chat session (part of the process in upgrading a package online) with a "customer service specialist".  Below is what ensued, enjoy.

user Christopher_ has entered room

Christopher(Mon Jul 19 2010 15:38:01 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>Order Information

analyst Ronald has entered room

Ronald(Mon Jul 19 2010 15:40:46 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>Hello Christopher_, Thank you for contacting Comcast Live Chat Support. My name is Ronald. Please give me one moment to review your information.

Ronald(Mon Jul 19 2010 15:40:54 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>
Welcome to COMCAST! You have reached the Order fulfillment department. We appreciate your time and interest in signing up with Comcast. I will be happy to complete your order today.

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 15:41:11 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>Will do,I already have HD triple play service through comcast, will you waive the one time installation fee considering this?

Ronald(Mon Jul 19 2010 15:42:13 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>I apologize, Christopher. As much as I want to waive the install fee for you, but I cant.

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 15:42:30 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>What does the installation fee cover?

Ronald(Mon Jul 19 2010 15:43:44 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>I understand you are interested in HD Preferred XF Triple Play with iPod touch for $119.99 for 12 months, Am I correct?

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 15:44:21 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>Mostly I'm interested in what the installation fee covers.  Do you know?

Ronald(Mon Jul 19 2010 15:45:13 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>The install fee will cover putting up the service by our technicians in you address.

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 15:45:35 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>What if I already have service?

Ronald(Mon Jul 19 2010 15:45:50 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>May I have your account number.

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 15:46:24 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>I don't know it off the top of my head and don't have a bill in front of me.  What if I already have service?

Ronald(Mon Jul 19 2010 15:46:51 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>What is your current service?

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 15:47:01 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>Triple play

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 15:47:17 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>HD basic triple play that the promo expired a while ago

Ronald(Mon Jul 19 2010 15:47:33 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>Then there will be no install fee, I'll just upgrade your service.

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 15:48:00 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>will it change my phone number?

Ronald(Mon Jul 19 2010 15:48:24 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>No, since that number is from Comcast.

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 15:49:28 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>Since Comcast bills one month in advance how will billing be handled if I changed my service?  Would I get a refund (pro-rated) for what we currently have and then billed for the lesser amount of the new or what?

Ronald(Mon Jul 19 2010 15:50:21 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>That will be pro-rated.

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 15:52:13 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>As in a refund would be pro rated?

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 15:54:32 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>?

Ronald(Mon Jul 19 2010 15:55:31 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>By the way, you are not eligible for I pod touch since its for new customers only.

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 15:56:45 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>Well that sucks.  What about my question...will a pro-rated refund be issued for what amount of service I have paid for but not used this billing period?

Ronald(Mon Jul 19 2010 15:59:15 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>Christopher, if there will be any changes made on your account that will affect your bill. We only billed the service that you have used. We don't do give out refunds. We apply it to your next bill if there are any amount unused.

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:01:41 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>okay.  Another question - We have a TiVo (using 2 Comcast cable card decoders) currently.  If we change our service will the TiVo be affected in any way (i.e. will it stop working and I have to call customer service 10 times like I did to get them working the first time?

Ronald(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:02:13 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>Yes, you are correct.

Ronald(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:02:43 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>Since the cable service you have ordered is an upgrade.

Ronald(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:02:57 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>So, shall we proceed with the order?

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:03:00 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>That it will work or that I will have to call customer service?

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:03:30 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>  in reference to your reply "Yes, you are correct"

Ronald(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:03:41 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>If it still doesn't work in 24 hours, you have to call customer service.

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:04:10 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>So are you saying that it is not going to work?

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:05:11 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>?

Ronald(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:05:33 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>No, the service will still work.

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:06:22 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>My TiVo will work as it does now without having to call "customer service"?

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:06:43 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>Sorry I keep repeating, it just seems that your answers are a little vague.

Ronald(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:06:45 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>Yes, Christopher. You are correct.

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:07:03 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>okay, thanks

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:07:16 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>What is the total cost (taxes & fees) for the service we are talking about?

Ronald(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:07:35 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>Shall we proceed with the order?

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:07:43 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>And what all does this include?

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:09:43 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>Total Price & what is included for that price?

Ronald(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:11:08 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>One moment please.

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:11:29 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>10-4

Ronald(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:13:39 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>Christopher, after checking your account I see here that you already have the three Comcast services. We can upgrade you to the HD Preferred XF Triple Play, however, you will be getting it in a regular price.

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:14:39 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>What is the regular price?

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:15:49 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>Like you said though... I have "basic service" so I would be upgrading and therefore should be eligible for the promotional price, right?

Ronald(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:17:06 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>But you already have the three services, thus you cannot have the promotional rate anymore, instead you will be having the regular price of HD Preferred XF Triple Play.

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:18:20 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>But I have the basic level triple play, not the XF preferred or whatever this is that we're looking at, right?

Ronald(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:19:16 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>You have Starter Triple Play, and it includes the 3 services in a promotional rate.

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:19:46 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>but i'm not getting a promo rate

Ronald(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:20:31 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>The regular price of HD Preferred XF Triple Play is for $144.99/ month.

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:21:15 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>Would this not be an upgrade from what I have now?

Ronald(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:22:11 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>Yes, you can upgrade it to HD Preferred XF Triple Play in regular price.

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:23:07 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>Your website says I can upgrade for the promotional price

Ronald(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:25:06 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>Offer ends 8/15/10 and is limited to new residential customers or current customers satisfying eligibility criteria. Not available in all areas. Requires subscription to Digital Preferred with HD and Starz, Performance Internet and Comcast Digital Voice® Unlimited service. After first 12 months, monthly charge goes to $134.99 for months 13-24. After 24 months, or if any service is cancelled or downgraded, regular rates apply. Comcast’s current monthly service charge for the HD Preferred XF Triple Play is $149.99. Free HD equipment and access, TV service and Internet service limited to a single outlet. Equipment, installation, taxes, franchise fees, the Regulatory Recovery Fee and other applicable charges (e.g., per-call or international charges) extra. May not be combined with other offers. TV: Basic service subscription required to receive other levels of service. On Demand selections subject to charge indicated at time of purchase. HD choices include HD channel lineup and HD programm

Ronald(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:25:06 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>ing available On Demand. Not all programming available in all areas. Internet: Speed comparison between Comcast 6 Mbps or 12 Mbps (where available) service and standard 1.5 Mbps DSL (downloads only). Actual speeds vary and are not guaranteed.

Ronald(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:25:17 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>That is the terms and conditions.

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:26:51 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>so what is the "eligibility criteria" for us "current customers"

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:27:02 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>?

Ronald(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:27:42 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>We can upgrade your service, however you will get the regular price.

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:28:30 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>but what is the eligibility criteria for current customers?

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:29:22 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>i.e. -- you must have service for 12 months prior, payed your bill on time, own a golden retriever with a purple tongue, etc...

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:29:46 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>are there rules like that?

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:29:53 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>that you can tell me

Ronald(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:30:17 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>For current customers you must only have 1 or 2 service to be eligible for the HD Preferred XF Triple Play in its promotional price.

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:31:04 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>by the way - I was being factitious about the Golden Retriever...I'm partial to German Shepard's anyway.

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:31:43 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>one or two as in only phone & internet or only tv & phone or some other combo?

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:32:03 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>or you must have at least one or two services already?

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:32:35 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>Where does it say that?  I didn't see that note.  Just wondering.

Ronald(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:32:50 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>Yes, you are correct, Christopher. To have the promotional price of HD Preferred XF Triple Play, you must have either 1 or 2 services.

Ronald(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:33:25 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>That is the company policy, Christopher.

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:34:03 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>I have one or two...i have phone & internet, and I have phone & cable.

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:34:21 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>Where is the policy stated or is it an "unwritten rule"?

Ronald(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:34:32 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>But all in all you have 3 services, Am I correct?

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:35:18 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>Yes, but I also have 2 services, correct?

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:36:04 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>j/k, but seriously, where is that policy written (link to it?)?

Ronald(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:36:16 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>Christopher, that's why you are routed to use to see if you are eligible for the services that you ordered.

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:36:51 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>So its your call as to whether I'm eligible?

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:37:18 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>There are no written eligibility requirements I can read?

Ronald(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:38:25 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>I'm just following the companies policy, Christopher. I understand your concern, as much as I want to give you the promotional price of HD Preferred XF Triple Play, but I cant.

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:40:21 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>So are you saying there is no written eligibility requirements that I could look at?  Is it just your call?  If it's just your call I would think you COULD give me the promo price...that is if you WANTED to.?

Ronald(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:41:28 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>I apologize, Christopher. I cant give you the promotional price because you are not eligible.

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:42:09 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>It doesn't say anything like that in the "terms and conditions".  Can I please see the eligibility requirements?

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:43:10 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>you don't have to type them,  if you will just give me a link or point me to them I will switch over and look real quick

Ronald(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:44:32 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>One moment, I will double check on that.

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:45:00 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>Thanks Ronald

Ronald(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:46:19 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>If you have any questions regarding that, Christopher. You can call 1-800-COMCAST.

Ronald(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:46:48 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>They will certainly help you with your concern.

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:47:03 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>So you don't have any eligibility requirements on hand?

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:48:06 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>I seriously doubt that 1-800-comcast would help...have you ever had to call them?  Talk about getting the run around.

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:49:20 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>Always trying to avoid answering questions and pushing you off on someone else because they "are just peons" and don't know anything.  Seriously I was told that by more than one person.

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:50:05 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>So, you don't have or know the eligibility requirements?

Ronald(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:50:59 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>Christopher, as much as I'd like to give you the promotion. However we have a policy to follow. I can only do as much.

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:52:06 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>I understand that...but I'm just asking to see the "policy" or the "eligibility requirements".  Am I not allowed to see these or do they not exist?

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:53:22 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>Ronald, you still there?

Ronald(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:54:19 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>Yes, Cristopher.

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:54:44 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>So....Am I not allowed to see these or do they not exist?

Ronald(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:55:27 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>1-800-COMCAST will give you all the information that you need.

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:55:54 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>Why can't you?  Since I'm talking to you now?

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:56:28 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>I would assume you have the "policy" you spoke?

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:56:51 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>but you know what they say about assumptions

Ronald(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:56:59 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>I only have limited information on my hand. 1-800-COMCAST will satisfy all the information you need.

Ronald(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:57:45 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>Please do call 1-800-COMCAST to satisfy all your concerns.

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:58:13 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>How did you know about the eligibility requirements if you don't have that information on hand?

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:59:05 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>What is the difference between you and 1-800-Comcast? 

Ronald(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:59:16 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>I already informed you about that, Christopher.

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 16:59:50 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>Sorry, i must of missed it, would you mind reiterating?

Ronald(Mon Jul 19 2010 17:00:02 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))> They cater to existing customers if they have questions on eligibility.

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 17:00:19 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))> you don't?

Ronald(Mon Jul 19 2010 17:00:26 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))> For current customers you must only have 1 or 2 service to be eligible for the HD Preferred XF Triple Play in its promotional price.

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 17:01:14 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>Yes, i remember you saying you remember me asking for where the eligibility requirements are written??

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 17:01:39 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>Ronald, I feel like we're spinning our wheels a little...

Ronald(Mon Jul 19 2010 17:04:06 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>Christopher, I already informed you of the eligibility of the promotion. I do understand your concern, however if giving you these promotion will not cost my job, I already give it to you. I'm only following company policy. Again, I can only do as much.

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 17:06:07 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>Ronald, I'm not concerned with getting the promotion as much as I am seeing the eligibility requirements.  I feel like they should be listed to avoid wasting both yours and my time talking back and forth about something that seems not to exist other than in your mind.  Do you agree?

Ronald(Mon Jul 19 2010 17:07:27 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>Yes, I do understand.

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 17:09:17 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>Okay Ronald, time has expired on this exercise.  My name is Rachel Johnson, I work in Comcast customer service and part of our new initiative to revamp our image involves auditing the online help sessions we are participating in.  Overall you did well following your training but there are a few things we need to work on.  Your supervisor will get a copy of my report by Thursday and will sit down with you at the next available time to discuss.  Thank you for your cooperation in this exercise!

Ronald(Mon Jul 19 2010 17:10:19 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>You are most welcome, Rachel.

Christopher_(Mon Jul 19 2010 17:10:27 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>Have a great rest of your day and please cancel any order you had started under the name Christopher Cole.  Thanks again.

Ronald(Mon Jul 19 2010 17:10:59 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>You too. Thank you. Take care.

Ronald(Mon Jul 19 2010 17:11:05 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time))>God bless!

Hopefully you see the humor in this and don't just think I'm an A-hole to customer service people.  I thought of a few different ways to end the conversation but decided the way I left it would keep him wondering for at least a week or two when his boss was going to come talk with him.