Why “Customer Service” Isn’t

I got my August Comcast (Cable, Internet, and Phone) bill today.   My bill is normally $148, but today it was $209.   That is quite a big jump…

On the bill, there is an explanation of the pro-rating, and change in service.  It says, based on your change in service.. blah, blah, blah.   It also says that I changed from plan “A” to plan “A.”   Hmmm, I didn’t call to change anything, but my service changed to the same service that costs $40 more a month, with a $30 pro-ration charge…. fail.

So I called.   The first guy tried unsuccessfully to convince me that I had agreed to a 12 month promotional rate.   Seems odd, because I have been a customer for 19 months now, and didn’t sign up for any promotions.

I explained that my previous bill didn’t tell me that my rate was going to go up, and my current bill did not tell me why my bill went up, and why this is an unacceptable and disappointing customer experience.

Anyway, I talked to the first customer service guy for 5 or 6 minutes with no success.   I had him walk through all my options, but all of them were either a substantial reduction in service, or not much savings at all.  Eventually, I had to get mad, loud, and threaten to switch to satellite.    Well, those are the magic words.

I was transfered to a higher level of customer service.  This new person game me all kinds of excuses.  She tried to explain how they transferred all their good-paying customers to this extra level that is $10 more and then took the $10 off, and then, oh-no that’s not what happened.    So, I had to get mad, loud, and complain and complain and complain.    Eventually, I was able to get 12 months of $10 more a month.  I will also be returning my second cable box to get it back down further.

So, not an exciting story.   But what am I really trying to say?

Comcast did not want to keep me happy until I threatened to not do business with them any more.   I don’t feel like they care about me as a customer, but just want to keep my checks rolling in every month.   This is the problem, customer service is dead.

As long as I was calm, nice, and reasonable, I got no traction.  I had to become audibly angry in order to get results.

Note to Comcast, and everyone else out there.   Treat your customers with respect, and like people.  When you screw up (or sometimes even if you didn’t) a happy customer will stay with you longer than one than one who you temporarily appease after they express their anger.