Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Variety is Not Always Available: Their is Not Always More Fish in The Sea

Comcast Customer Service (also fondly known as Crapcast, Comcrap, and the people with inconsistent pricing- they also charge you to pay your bill if you have to talk to someone)

For every inconvenience I've ever complained about regarding Comcast, I want to throw them some unsolicited random props (please don't let this bite me in the ass later).

Fighting can sometimes build relationships

Over my past year of service with Comcast I've been inconvenienced multiple times, sometimes my fault, most of the time my service providers fault. Take fault out of the picture and I'll recognize that with any long term relationship their are ups and downs. Yes, it would be nice to avoid them but often the little inconveniences make a relationship stronger or allow you to realize that the juice isn't worth the squeeze and then you move on.

Variety is Not Always Available: Their is Not Always More Fish in The Sea

Sometimes their just isn't a lot of options in life, with service providers like this my other options are Qwest, mobile internet and satellite. My building wont allow satellite and Qwest offers very slow internet and no cable. Mobile internet caps at 5GB per month (for ALL service providers including AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and so on). I'm in the web design business, I could use 5GB of download in a few hours. Needless to say, as long as I live in Minnesota and Comcast is a monopoly in this region our bond is going to be like extra strength glue.

Maybe it is the Process to Blame

The goal of great project managers and customer service people is to offer you solutions to problems before you, the customer, can think of them. As business owners we want you to be happy, we do, and getting into your mindset is not easy. I'm sure their are a lot of things that Comcast knows bothers their customers (more then one), but since they are the alpha dog they don't have to change. I'm sure they have thousands if not millions of relationships to manage, so making us all feel special is even harder. Besides some people, like me (only some days I swear), like to complain when my cable company over bills me, shuts off my service because they use my money to pay someone else's bill, set's up my internet or cable wrong and wants to charge me to come back out, or has better online customer service then phone service (I'm just saying). If some of this is repeatedly a problem, their ARE people you can hire. They are like relationship therapists for your business.

The Shout Out

I know large parts of this post where about what the company did wrong, but those things are the catalyst to what they do right. I've NEVER been able to complain about comcast online without one of their FRIENDLY and overly helpful representatives wanting to help me. They offer to CALL ME, want to calm me down, fix the problem and send someone out in a timely manner (often waiving the massive service fees). Why does this process only apply to twitter? I wish it applied to the telephone, emails, and Facebook. Granted every time I have called in wanting to CANCEL my service (yes I've gotten to that point more then once) then the customer service people are very nice, caring and helpful (minus one time). When I'm ready to leave they bring out the A game, and often I end up leaving that phone call with more services then before. All I'm saying is, if you know what they A game looks like, why settle for a B game other times?

Action Items for Comcast

  • Why have a customer service survey option at the end of the calls? To make me feel better? They are predetermined questions on one person? Is it to decide whether to fire them? I want to write it all the problems with your service, I'm not mad at the representative (unless they are mean), I'm mad at the brand (if and when I am mad).
  • Don't make me push 50 buttons to get to someone and I've timed my waiting before (on an upward of 30+ minutes). 
  • If I can't pay my bill via the phone, after the second try don't keep redirecting me back and don't charge me for wanting to pay you.
  • If I call and want to talk to someone and I'm more then second in line, why not do what Homestead does? They offer to let you put your number in and they will call you back asap. No waiting with elevator music.
  • Fix your website. Hire a UX designer. You have the money. I know, I pay you enough monthly.
  • When I run out of the discounted services (especially HBO and other movie channels) - I wont be a cable customer. That is a statement. Doubt you'll improve that, because reeling people in with discounts and then screwing them over is your thing. I will break up with you (cable wise).
  • Net Neutrality. I support it. I pay for my internet, Google pays for theirs. Don't try to silver tongue that, you are a greedy brand. Visit save the internet > (I have zero affiliation with this site, but I believe in what they are about)
  • Don't charge me (or anyone) set up fees for internet and cable the first time and if you didn't do it right the first time, that is not my fault. Fix it.
  • Can you hire someone to fix your billing process? Too many problems here to name.
  • I don't mind paying you, where payment is due but flat rate pricing? Your discounting is... fake and expensive.
  • I pay my bills online or by phone. Why do we have to waste paper and make me send in coupons if you want to give me free movies? Nice gesture, sort of.
  • I don't watch sports unless I'm there, in person, with a beer and hot dog. I don't want sports. Can we note this somewhere? I refuse to watch commercials, I paid for the cable. If you want to add commercials (this is not Comcast this is to all non-movie channels) then don't charge me to see that channel. I can't wait until online television takes over. I like product placement or commercials in the television (bottom of screen). I think HBO does this right (minus the fact that they repeat the same content for 3 weeks at a time). HBO makes content for content sake not to get you to the next commercial. I was told the other day that most television is made to get you to the next commercial, take pride in your work. I hope someday products are placed in tv (doesn't have to be blatant or brand facing), but I want to be able to click anywhere on my tv screen and be able to buy the actresses clothing, furniture or cereal type.
A Quote From Seth Godin

I've never once heard someone say, "things are really lousy, but I got a chance to really devastate someone today, deliver some choice barbs, some personal attacks, some baseless innuendo and ruin their day, perhaps even their career. Boy, I feel great."

People don't remember how you behave when everything is going great. They remember how you behave when you're under pressure, stressed out and at wits end.

As always you are more then welcome to use any of my content, repost it, rewrite it, and broadcast it all I ask is that you link back to where you found it (

I would also love to hear YOUR comments, questions or concerns of my posts and reviews! What do you think, its ok if our opinions don't match up! Leave a comment or let me know what you would like to learn more about and maybe it will become my next blog post or video blog.

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Thanks for reading!

--Desarae A. Veit
Agency Couture

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