5 Confessions Of A Comcast Customer Service Rep

“I am writing this because I feel more and more as I work there that I can’t sit back and watch Comcast fall flat on its ass when it comes to customer service. I hate to say it like that but Comcast’s customer service is amazing. I am going to tell you a few things that you may not believe happens in a call center but it does. I am leaking this information in hopes that Comcast will know that their customers are fully aware of what is going on and that their screwed up actions should be stopped in their tracks.”

5. SUPERVISORS WILL ONLY STEP IN IF YOU REFUSE TO BE MOLLIFIED

Ever wonder why anytime you request a supervisor that the CAE tells you that we will need to get your information and have one call you back, or we ask if you allow us the opportunity to assist yo.? The reason for this is that we have escalation measures set in that a customer cannot speak to a supervisor unless the supervisor feels that he or she must take the call. Beyond that, it’s the CAE’s problem to calm down and take care of the customer. Usually the call may be taken away if the supervisor is listening to the CAE’s phone call and see how irate the customer is, and that no matter what the CAE says a customer refuses to get off the phone unless they speak to a supervisor. So if anyone was wondering why they can’t just request a supervisor…then there is your reason. I actually think this is horrible and deplorable. If a customer wants to speak to a supervisor then they should do so…but only having one supervisor maybe a problem as well.

4. CUSTOMER SERVICE HAS NO IDEA WHEN A TECH WILL SHOW UP

You guys ever wonder why the person you speak to about your tech’s expected time arrival is a mystery most of the time? That’s because to the customer service rep at Comcast, it is. Only dispatch knows where a tech is and when a technician is on its way. Thanks to the bureaucratic way Comcast works, your CAE that you are screaming at must send an email to dispatch and wait for dispatch to send a reply, which can take about a minute to nearly thirty minutes. Now, they will always tell you that dispatch or the tech will call you back. More than likely, they will not. There is a chance that they may do it, but chances are pretty slim. So next time you call and ask where is your tech and when is he coming to fix your problem or do your installation, just relax and know that since there are so many customers and so few dispatch people capable of answering phones you will not get any good answer off the bat. Just be nice and ask them to fill out a resolve form and give you a reference number for later. It will make everyone’s job easier.

[ed. Here are the numbers for dispatch so you can call directly, even if your Comcast rep can’t.]

3. IF YOU DON’T PICK UP THE PHONE WHEN THEY “CALL’, YOUR APPOINTMENT IS CANCELED, EVEN IF THEY NEVER ACTUALLY CALLED

Let’s also stay on the subject of dispatch and phone calls. I know that many of you notice that when you wonder why your tech isn’t showing up and you find out your appointment was canceled. They consider that if you don’t pick up your phone…even if they never called you…you are not home verified. That means the tech does not have to go to your house because your appointment was canceled. Please don’t ask your CAE about these calls… the CAEs don’t make them, dispatch does. No matter what you tell your CAE, the chances of a technician going to your home after your appointment was canceled and you were not home verified is slim to none and you WILL have to reschedule. Issues like these creates arguments with my supervisor in ways you can never believe. When your appointment gets canceled and your CAE says your appointment was cancelled with a claim that dispatch called you and they didn’t just stop, breathe, and count to three and ask to reschedule. That’s really all that can be done. I am sorry, guys.

2. DON’T GET COMCAST PHONE IF YOUR AREA HAS LOTS OF CABLE OUTAGES

The next thing I want to cover is your services. Due to the monopolistic ways of cable companies I cannot say if a problem like this plagues other cable companies but beware of their phone service. Not that it’s a bad product mind you but there are some caveats that will not be explained to you, until its too late. First thing you must ask yourself…does Comcast in my area suffer from lots of outages.? If your area does, then stay clear of it. When there’s a cable outage, you will not have a phone. Also, I must mention that with the phone service, do not be delinquent with your payments. If you get to the point that they will disrupt your services (phone, cable box, and modem is deactivated) you will have to pay for your phone to be activated again. Hope they change that one.

1. COMCAST IS A GIANT, UNCARING MACHINE

I don’t want to say much else but just know there’s a very important thing I want to impart to the readers is that a business is only around to make money and charge you for the services they contain. When a business gets large enough it turns into a machine and the only thing that makes it seem human is the people they hire. Unless you really can’t control yourself, keep your anger in check. For Comcast, your screams and your cries are not heard anymore. There are so many people screaming that Comcast has become tone deaf. They will start listening again soon when the money stops rolling in. That’s how you put a company in check. You leave them and make them lose money in any way possible. Comcast needs a wake up call and the consumer needs to give it to them.

UPDATE: Another Comcast insider writes:

The REAL tips here? ALWAYS ask the rep where they are located geographically. If it’s not your local office you’re talking to, then it’s most likely a craptastic 3rd party center you’re talking to. Ask to be transfered to your local office. Also, be nice. If you call up screaming at me and calling me names, I’ll do my job, but only what I’m REQUIRED to do. Most reps I know are this way, be it at Comcast or anywhere else. If you’re patient and nice to me in spite of your frustration, I will go to the wall for you, and call in every resource and asset at my disposal.

RELATED:
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Convergys Call Center Sucks Because Agents Are Stabbing Each Other And Making Out In The Halls

(Photo: SpooSpa)

Comments

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  1. namenomore says:

    I had an “emergency” set up that didn’t go through when the College Football season started (yes, missing a game qualifies as an emergency), and experienced much of numbers five, four, and three with Time Warner. So for what it’s worth, this sounds like it’s pretty much “policy” with Time Warner as well…

  2. DAK says:

    I can personally verify #3. When I moved, the tech wasn’t going to make it to the new house to do the install on time (I believe they get graded on this). He claimed that he tried to call but I didn’t pick up, so he cancelled. Problem is, at the time he claimed to have called, I was on the phone with Comcast asking where he was and they couldn’t find him either. They made him come back out right after his next appt.

  3. agb says:

    What information was “leaked,” exactly? I already knew that Comcast supervisors avoid me at all costs, that the CSRs cannot communicate with dispatch, that appointments are randomly cancelled, that Comcast phone service sucks, and that Comcast doesn’t care.

    I would be much more interested in tips to circumvent these problems. How can I get to someone who can do something the fastest? How do I contact dispatch directly? Etc.

  4. dragonpup says:

    Speaking of a dispatcher who works at Comcast, this is certainly not the way dispatch handles customers in the New England region. I have no idea what region the leaker is referring to, but it is certainly not New England’s.

  5. Buran says:

    Excuse me, but if you tell someone that you are going to call them back YOU CALL THEM BACK, or if you tell someone that someone else will call them back you MAKE SURE THAT THEY WILL CALL BACK, and if you say that you didn’t call someone and they call you and complain YOU FIX THE PROBLEM INSTEAD OF MAKING THEM WASTE THE DAY THEY TOOK OFF WORK.

    It’s just that simple.

  6. DashTheHand says:

    This was a “leak?” I knew all this stuff from basic interaction with Comcast. Hell, a squirrel living in the tree outside my window would know this. Very weak when it comes to any kind of confession.

    And by the way, the only option outside of Comcast in many locales to prevent the money from “rolling in” is satellite TV, and thats just as bad if not worse.

  7. bnet41 says:

    I think the supervisor thing makes sense for the most part. When I worked in a call center so many people who didn’t get the exact answer they wanted would ask for a supervisor. I was 3rd shift so we didn’t have one which just upset them a whole lot more. Sometimes people wanted impossible things, and they thought for some reason the supervisor would give it to them.

  8. DarthSensei says:

    I don’t think there are tips to circumvent these problems other than the Rep said. The only option is to take your business elsewhere.

  9. remthewanderer says:

    I am with AGB. This is all common sense stuff. “oh the poor customer service reps, they are powerless to help…”

    I want info on how to fight comCRAP and it’s bureaucracy, not excuses from someone so low on the totem poll they have no power to affect change.

    As soon as I can I will be taking my business to satellite. That is really my only option since comcast will not listen to me about a problem with the wiring at their pole that causes my digital cable signal to crap out.

  10. freshwater says:

    @ Buran:

    I agree. I just hope you don’t send Comcast a check every month, to
    make your point known to them. Right now, subscribers with CS problems
    are telling Comcast that these behaviors are appropriate.

  11. RoCJester says:

    You can’t contact dispatch directly. There’s a reason that these numbers aren’t given out to the general public. They don’t take customer calls, that’s what CAE’s are for.

  12. QuirkyRachel says:

    I had Comcast for a year. Then I moved to a building that has a contract with RCN.

    *does happy dance. dances around the living room. does a few pirouettes and arabesques for good measure and then sits down to enjoy digital cable that actually works.* (BTW, I’m really happy that I don’t have to deal with Comcast anymore. It’s expensive crap that doesn’t work properly.)

  13. jaredgood1 says:

    Well, I’ve honestly never had a problem with Comcast. My internet is fast, and my cable picture comes in fine. Guess I’m one of the lucky ones.

    Anyone with horror stories from the Denver area?

  14. jak312 says:

    “I hate to say it like that but Comcast’s customer service is amazing.”

    Umm… no. It sounds like the Comcast Customer Service Department does a pretty good job given a company structure that is inexcusable and utterly backwards, but the customers don’t care. We don’t care if you’re Customer Service or Dispatch. You’re all just Comcast to us, and the WHOLE COMPANY sucks when things go wrong. We really don’t care if all these issues are the fault of Dispatch. If you want us off your back, let us call Dispatch.

  15. Starfury says:

    I’m going to have to call Comcrap this week. ATT has *finally* upgraded the phone lines on my street so I can get their top end DSL. It’s $7 less per month than comcrap and my self install kit is on my desk ready to go. Once I verify that the DSL works I’ll be canceling their internet service. Next stop: Satellite. Have to decide between Dish and DirectTV….unless they offer me a VERY good deal on a digital cable upgrade.

  16. Kerkira says:

    Baloney.
    Look at her picture – no collar on her shirt! The problems in Customer Service are obviously caused by dress code violations.

    Kerkira

  17. swalve says:

    @jaredgood1: Me too! Of all the cable companies I’ve had, Comcast is by far the most reliable and has the most advanced features.

  18. swalve says:

    @Kerkira: You should know by now that the pictures rarely relate to the story at hand. It’s just a gawker style thing. Search google or flicky for photos that match the theme.

  19. gemski says:

    I work for a Mediacom call center . Basically all of this applies. There are no “tips” to get around these problems. These cable companies are a huge mess.
    The dispatchers hate the CSRs, the techs are sub contracted out and depending on the mood just simply don’t do the work.
    The “supervisors” you speak with are typically just a different agents with no real authority.
    If you do get definitive times on tech orders you are typically just being told a lie that will shut you up.

    • magnoliasouth says:

      @gemski: This is not encouraging at all. I have severe complaints against Mediacom that I’m dead serious about. I have grounds for a lawsuit even and if they continue to push my buttons, they’re going to find one.

  20. Mike_ says:

    How are these confessions? They’re facts that are familiar to any Comcast subscriber. All I gathered from this post is that at least one CAE is aware of how poorly Comcast customers are treated.

    (5) I’ve never been able to get a supervisor on the phone. On numerous occasions, I’ve been promised a call-back, but it’s never happened. Obviously, supervisors rarely (if ever) interact with customers.

    (4) Since most of us have had to follow up on missed appointments, we’re familiar with the separation between customer service and dispatch. (In the past, I’ve been able to get the CAE to put me on hold and call dispatch.)

    (3) Again, the pre-appointment call is familiar to anyone who has had to sit around 4 hours waiting for a tech. And anyone who has had an appointment canceled because of it knows how it works.

    (2) IP phones require IP connectivity. If your modem is offline, your phone is offline. And we all know what happens when we don’t pay our utility bills.

    (1) Duh.

    So how about some actual dirt? Or some useful information perhaps?

    • Anonymous says:

      Comcast has the worst customer service I have ever seen!! We are a business and we called on Wed. June 10 because our internet was going on and off constantly. Somone came out Thursday morning and said that he could not fix it and he would have to get someone else and that someone would be here by 5:00 p.m. By 5:00 pm no one had called so I called them and requested that someone be here on Friday morning as early as possible. I was then told that they were on there way 3 or 4 different times – still no one. After calling numerous times on Monday morning we were told that someone would be here that morning – someone came but it was the wrong type of technician – they said someone would be here by 5:00 pm. At 8:00 Tuesday morning – still no internet….finally after talking to supervisors and threatening to go to the regional office we have someone here. HORRIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE. – DO NOT RECOMMEND.

  21. Kaisum says:

    I’ve had good and bad experiences with comcast.

    When I lived with my parents, all I wanted that summer was a cable internet connection (no land line in the house) Comcast came out a week after we called to set it up, the guy waltzed around, said he’d have to do a bunch of crap outside in the street and would have to dig and he would have to come back. Two months later my cable was finally set up. Turns out that guy could have done everything that day by himself he just didn’t want to climb into our attic.

    For #3, when I missed the phone call the guy left a message, I called him back, and he came out that day.

    When I moved back into my parent’s house after the hurricane, they had to set up a new line coming in to the house, the guy did that the same day (thank God.) but left the line running across the street, I called Comcast multiple times complaining about how my neighbors were running over my coax. Before it was finally buried it was pretty much flat. Still worked though.

  22. karmaghost says:

    It all comes down to management. Unless a service rep is blatantly rude or has clearly made a mistake, it’s useless to get mad at them if they’re doing nothing but following the rules or if a problem is totally out of their hands. Sounds like a typical customer service-related problem, with CSRs getting yelled at and then they get angry with their supervisors. At my part-time job, whenever I’m short staffed due to manager mistakes, lines back up at the registers and customers get angry at me. This turns into me getting frustrated with management. If the system itself is inherently broken, as seems to be the case with Comcast, getting mad and yelling at the first person you talk to/see isn’t going to help, you’re just likely to get more angry.

  23. mistaketv says:

    I worked as a rep scheduling Sears home repair service calls, and the process was eerily similar. The front-line reps had very little knowledge of when or why the technicians did anything. Almost any problem other than voluntary rescheduling required messaging another department and promising the customer a call back, and we all know how often the customer actually gets called back; it’s a classic get-them-off-the-phone-and-hope-they-don’t-call-back tactic, which is central to their customer service philosophy. That and encouraging the rep to “take ownership” of issues, which means “apologize a lot,” because reps don’t have the actual tools they need to be able to resolve problems.

  24. Skeptic says:

    These aren’t “confessions.”

    These are instructions for the customer to suck it up and be nice to the poor, poor CSR.

  25. GenXCub says:

    I have always thanked the Lord that Las Vegas is Cox Communications. I get tv, internet, and phone through them and it has always rocked my socks off on how good they are (it was good in San Diego too).

    Can Consumerist create a map of where you’re better off doing sattelite+dsl than cable?

  26. Thaddeus says:

    As I am typing this I am still waiting (From 10am -12 noon Thursday) for someone to show up to take a look at the explosion of wires in the cable box outside that is likely the cause of our many outages. Seeing that it is now 12:12, I think I’m out of luck.

    This post did give me some closure.

  27. com132 says:

    Here’s a few tips about getting through with Comcast’s customer service:
    1. The best time to call is 1am – 6am if you don’t want to wait a long time. Any other time after 6am, you will be put on hold.
    2. If you want a tech to be on time for an appointment, grab the earliest appointment possible. The first one of the day if possible. They will be on time, fresh of mind and mostly in a good mood at that point in time. Always request to get a Cocmast Tech and not a contractor.
    3. If you know someone who works for Comcast, give them any problems that you have with your service to take care of. Even if they cannot fix it, they will know someone who can. This is how your problem will get shown to Managers and Vice Presidents in a positive way – not because you were the nusance on the phone – and taken care of the best. I know that many of you don’t know anyone on the inside, but if you do, use them, they have been instructed to do whatever they can to help with service issues. Some areas also have a VIP friends and family line set up just for this.
    4. Sometimes, but not all of the time, calling and getting another CAE on the phone will help. They may be having a better day than the last one.
    5. When all else fails, switch or threaten to switch. It strikes the fear into them when you mention AT&T or Dish. Remember, they are a big machine with lots of lawyers and people who don’t care, so there is not much that you can do to directly hurt them except not be their cutomer anymore.

  28. Echodork says:

    This isn’t a “confession of a Comcast CSR,” this is “desperate plea from a Comcast CSR to make people stop yelling at me.”

    Yeah, we know that Comcast techs are lazy and useless. That’s the problem, not the solution. The solution is telling us how to get a tech to our house… not telling us that we shouldn’t even bother trying to escalate.

  29. Echodork says:

    Yeah, none of this is specific to Comcast. See, we know that Comcast techs are lazy and will often cancel calls. That’s the problem, not the solution. The solution is telling us how to get a tech to our house once the call’s been cancelled. The solution is not telling me to calmly and politely call my local Comcast Representative to schedule a follow-up call.

    If the tech doesn’t show up, and the CSR has no way to verify his location or ensure the tech can do his job, then you’re going to get yelled at. If you refuse to put your supervisor on the phone, you will get yelled at again. No, I will not give you my number so the supervisor can “call back.” I already know this is code for “you are killing my handle time and I need to terminate the call to save my own metrics.”

  30. Echodork says:

    Ah, I see comments are borked again. Thought my first comment got eaten, so I logged in and posted the second, then both appeared. Soo… yeah.

  31. leftistcoast says:

    @dragonpup: Where exactly are you in New England, Drago? I live in South Boston and I can confirm that this is EXACTLY how dispatch has worked for us.

    When we first moved in to our place last year, our internet was down for most of a month. We had techs out no fewer than a 8 times and had at least 3 ‘phantom’ cancels happen to us. Oh, and my personal favorite tech: the guy that said “it’s your modem” and proceeded to burn through 5 brand new modems until he found one that would work (“must be a bad batch” was his excuse). There didn’t seem to be any continuity in our ticket escalation so we got to go through the same basic ‘protocol’ with each CSR and supervisor we spoke with. The only thing that got us a resolution (a fix at the pole that we suspected after the second tech visit) was a phone call to Clark Howard’s people to get the phone number for local executive customer service manager. Problem resolved the next day…

  32. leftistcoast says:

    Oh, and Comcast is our only option in our area (aside from satellite)…even though we live 3 blocks from an RCN dispatcher, the way the market’s carved up, we can only get dial up from them. Which is all sorts of awesome…if you’re living in 1989.

  33. mac-phisto says:

    it seems like the biggest problem they have is the “handoff”. this is not uncommon for large companies that have multiple independent departments. these guys seemed to have made an art out of it though.

    i would imagine they have 20 different divisions using 20 different software apps – i bet a switchover to something similar to lotus notes would solve most of their problems.

    even setting up company-wide usage of IM could help.

  34. modeps says:

    I’ve gotta say, I’ve never had anything but good service with Comcast. Perhaps I’ve just been lucky but take this for example:

    A few weeks ago I had Comcast Digital Voice installed (now I have all 3 services) and soon after it was installed, my lower numbered channels (local mostly) would be nearly unwatchable on the weekends… Sunday in particular was bad and when there’s football to be watched, I’m not a happy person. Anyways, it would clear up by Wednesday then start again on the next Sunday.

    I was having issues with my DVR at the time as well as it would lock up, so I decided to get it replaced. I drove 5 minutes to their billing center and no questions asked 5 minutes later I had a brand new unit. Hooking it up fixed the lockups, but did not fix the reception.

    At work this past Tuesday at 12pm, I used Comcast.net’s live chat and told them my problem. They said they needed to send a tech out to check it out and that they had an opening between 2pm-5pm that very day. A 2-5 hour problem resolution? I was speechless but because of all the ‘issues’ I had heard about, was a bit skeptical.

    The tech showed up as promised in the rather small time window, did some tests, replaced a splitter that the phone installer originally put in and my service was restored back to what it was.

    Before this minor issue happened, I went 3 years with uninterrupted Digital TV and Internet service. Maybe I’m just lucky but I can’t talk ill about them.

  35. brookalina says:

    Number 3 is true to form. No answer, no appointment, no matter how many hours you’ve been home from work waiting on Comcast to show up for an appointment you had to wait 7 days to get while living without the benefit of cable or internet.

    I did find the MASTER comcast “executive customer care” line where you can speak to a real person, with a direct extension, who will actually call you back personally to 1. resolve the issue and 2. check up a week later to see if all is still well. Miracles do happen.

    Here it is…best of luck: 888-309-2583

  36. julewob says:

    Do what I did, learn to live without cable or dish. After fighting with Comcast for months over our DVR, I finally had it removed and canceled cable all together. Guess what, I still have a pulse. TV shows are not worth this much trouble.

  37. Phantom_Photon says:

    Throughout this article the rep in question constantly re-iterates that it is not the fault of the customer service reps that these problems exist, and then exhorts the customer not to complain about it to the customer service rep.

    I’m sorry, but as the customer service rep you are my contact with the company. It is your job to listen to me, and rectify the situation. If you are not given the tools you need to do this, you need to get the other reps together and ask management for those tools. You must persevere until you are able to do your job; otherwise you must sit and listen to complaints.

    I, and others, have done this before at many jobs. However, companies like Comcast like to keep the average age of their employees low so that this will not happen. Either make it better or leave, but do not expect me to make your job easier for you.

  38. Trauma_Hound says:

    When I was with Comcast, one of they’re techs disconnected my cable for no reason, other than they think he did the wrong address. So they sent tech out to see what was wrong, no signal coming to my drop so he runs a new drop. After threatening to file a complaint with the local telecommunications commissioner finally got a real supervisor who pinned down the issue. I’ve moved since then and I’m with Wave Broadband. It’s actually faster than comcast was, and consistently has better bandwidth.

  39. Anonymous says:

    I was told by a tech to check the footwear of any tech that comes to your home. If they aren’t wearing work boots, they are a contractor and should be avoided. If they are wearing boots, they work directly for Comcast. I’ve experienced both, and the contractors were definitely not as helpful and seemed to just want to get in and get out.

  40. Mary says:

    @Buran: “Excuse me, but if you tell someone that you are going to call them back YOU CALL THEM BACK, or if you tell someone that someone else will call them back you MAKE SURE THAT THEY WILL CALL BACK”

    EXACTLY. I called my local office to try to get my cable hooked up when I moved last month. I kept being told I had to talk to “Rhonda” and that there was nothing I could do but talk to this ONE person.

    I was told once that she’d call me “as soon as” she was done with the customer she was talking to. The next day, I called the direct line I’d been given and got her voicemail. I left three messages over the course of the day, listening to a message saying she’d call me back as soon as she could.

    I called the main line again and asked for her. They said she was on the phone with a customer and would call me back. I replied that I wasn’t hanging up unless they could PROMISE that she was calling me back when she was done with the next customer. They said of COURSE she would.

    Four hours later, I left her a message saying that I’m sorry it’s taken her three days to get rid of one customer, but if she didn’t call me back in the next hour that I’d be canceling my account instead of upgrading.

    Thirty minutes later she was on the phone. Completely unprepared and without the information that various people had ASSURED me was sitting on her desk, but nonetheless, she got it worked out for me in the end.

    I liked the tech much better to be honest, he actually was helpful and nice, and only 20 minutes late.

  41. dantsea says:

    I’m confused. Point #5 tells me that unless I’m a screaming asshole, my call won’t be escalated. But Point #1 tells me that being a screaming asshole does no good. Clearly it does something, as loathsome a tactic it may be, and Comcast is reinforcing the behavior.

    Also: Amazed that anyone still falls for the “we’ll call you back” routine. That’s when I laugh and start asking for a supervisor.

  42. majortom1981 says:

    You forgot that with cablecompanies and phone companies the person answering the phone has a small what to do list that basically includes restart cablebox or modem.

    besides that theyt can’t help you. you have to ask for a higher level of support of get a technician to your house.

    Even whe nthe tech gets to your house it will be some contractor and they will only handle inside your house problems.

  43. kimsama says:

    @Kerkira: Not pictured: her skort

  44. Skeptic says:

    New Post Title:

    Comcast CSR ‘Confesses': “It’s all somebody else’s fault!”

  45. faust1200 says:

    “It’s not our fault it’s the company’s.” Was also the favorite defense of Nazi war criminals. No I’m not saying you are like a Nazi but I’m just trying to illustrate how ridonkulous that crap sounds. If you are so great and the company sucks so much ass, why do you work there?

  46. KisstheCook says:

    Thank you for validating our switch to satellite. True, the satellite providers have their own set of problems, but honestly, the tech and customer support have been great, in our experience. What a relief to never ever ever have to pay another dime to underwrite the incompetence and arrogance that is Comcast.

  47. dragonpup says:

    @leftistcoast: Left, the dispatch policy states that the tech attempts contact and if they can not reach the sub, they call into dispatch to make the call and leave the message if no one answers and note the account with the time(CAEs should be informing you of this policy when you set up your trouble call, but you can also request what number to call, or if there is no working phone to be reached at). For no dial tones, accounts with no working phone number or installations, the tech must go to the door and knock and ring the bell first.

    As for bad batches, it can happen, although 5 would say to me that there was something wrong at the same time.

    I’d type more, but I am meeting a friend for dinner and need to get going.

  48. matt1978 says:

    @faust1200: Because people need jobs. And please don’t reply with “There’s other jobs out there”. It’s not that easy to change jobs, and you know that.

  49. harshmellow says:

    I’m with a couple commenters above that have said that this is no confession, but a plea to “be nice to the person on the phone…” Either that, or it is a company leak posing as a CSR to try to stem the flood of bad Comcast press on Consumerist…

    So far, I haven’t had a problem with Comcast (after the initial problems when they bought Time Warner RoadRunner in my area and we switched over).

    It’s good to know that when I need to call them, they will either ignore my needs, waste my time, or basically do nothing for me. Thanks for the heads up!

  50. coffee177 says:

    Im skipping some comments here to post what I know.

    Im filling my terabyte server with all the tv shows and movies I can fit on it and then Im going to call comcast to stick their service and cancel everything. Then I will call At&t and cancel my phone too. I have a cell phone provided by work so I dont care anymore. Figure I will be done and ready by the end of the year. Ill just do over the air HD tv for as long as that lasts.

    Probably start another server in the basement for another terabyte server or so. Eventually I will not need anything. Eventually I will just have a connection at work to get what I need.

    Yep, Im buggin out!

    coffee

  51. bnpederson says:

    I like my brother’s method for getting good customer service: call back until you get a female service rep on the phone. I’ve found it works surprisingly well.

  52. Thain says:

    To whomever said don’t hang up until you get the person who is supposed to call you back:

    What happens when the person/manager with whom you wish to speak is not in that physical location? Do you keep hounding and harassing the CSR? One of the ISPs the call center I work in supports has almost no actual staff. Instead, we do very basic troubleshooting and take messages for the owner/sales adviser/repairman. We have no idea what this man does beyond maintenance on the wireless towers, and we must tell all customers who ask to speak with him that he is “out in the field,” as if that answers anything. Nine times out of ten, he does not respond to the emails we send requesting service or sales for the customers calling in (one of the most memorable calls involved this guy taking over a month to return a call to someone who wanted to sign up for service).

    If a customer screams at us, it won’t do them any good, and it will just get us angry at the customer AND the company. A customer can demand all they want that we have this guy call them immediately, but it does no good. He doesn’t care. If we call him, we get voice mail (to which he doesn’t respond). If we email him, we never hear back. We MIGHT get a phone call from him notifying us that a storm has knocked out one or more wireless towers. So what good will it do for a customer to prove their parents raised them to be imbeciles who scream until they get their way? None at all. It will just get them a swift disconnect as we silently curse the root cause.

    We can’t just demand the power to take care of these customers, either. For one thing, they’re several states away from us, for another, it wouldn’t do any good. We need the money he gives us much more than he needs the glorified answering service we are forced to be for him. Considering I’m being paid $7.50 an hour for this, don’t you dare take spout self-righteous tripe like, “You’re the only point of contact I have with the company,” as if it gives you the excuse to make my life a living hell while we both know full well it can’t do any good.

    Another company we support forwards all their lines except for one obscure extension to our TECH SUPPORT office around billing time so that we end up having to deal with the wrath of a hundred people who have been turned off for non-payment (and they just get pissier when the number we give them – which is SUPPOSED to take them directly to billing – just brings them right back to us).

    Next time you start screaming at a wage-slave trying to support his family, try talking to the CSR about how the company works, instead. Most of us know it and hate it already, and we will gladly drop little hints about workarounds, even if we can’t comment directly on the state of things or directly give you a specific person’s number. Hell, if you luck out and land on a call that isn’t being recorded, you might even get the owner’s phone number if you’re kind to us and swear on threat of death never to reveal your source.

  53. Thain says:

    @bnpederson:

    That sounds really sexist, and my own experiences make me doubt its efficacy. Given my choice, I’d much prefer to deal with a kind, soft-spoken tech like myself (I can have the patience of Job if I have to) than the ladies I work with, who will actually get angrier at YOU for YOUR accent than you will get at THEM for THEIRS.

  54. Anonymous says:

    quick question-
    If we are nice to the CSR’s all the time, they won’t quit over stress…
    Comcast will have lower turnover.
    They’ll think they customer service is awesome.
    Nothing will change.
    Am I wrong?

  55. mikecolione says:

    @Starfury:

    check w/ ATT before u go get satellite. They are offering a combo deal where u can get satellite and DSL and get a discount……… just sayin :)

  56. SVreader says:

    I’m surprised by how many people replying to this post seem to believe that CSRs are simply claiming they can’t do certain things because they don’t feel like doing them. Being able to fix a problem (or transfer the customer to someone who can) is much easier and less draining than being yelled at.

    Stating that someone is like a “Nazi war criminal” because they don’t do something for you that they literally cannot do (no access) or will get fired for if they attempt to do (like transferring to a higher-up when they’re not supposed to) is ridiculous. If you’re trying to make a living and being a CSR is the only way to make it at the moment, you do not have a moral obligation to quit and be unemployed simply because someone is mad about the cable service the company provides.

    Suggesting that minimum-wage workers risk their jobs by “demanding” that management give them more access/abilities is ridiculous as well. You really think if a few Comcast CSRs started a “we need to be able to better serve customers” rally the company’s policies would change? No. They would probably be fired.

  57. stenk says:

    Very simple to get them (Comcast) back on track and that is NOT to use them.

    I think Customer Service Rep put it best when heshe in the end said

    “They will start listening again soon when the money stops rolling in”

    Remeber Old Coke vs New Coke. The People have the Power!

  58. mtxblau says:

    So, I was a CAE with comcast. Worse still, I was one of those CAEs who handled HSI and CDV. Here are a few thoughts I’d like to add.

    1) The reason why Comcast relies on dispatch is because Comcast basically went out and bought a bunch of mom and pop cable companies, but didn’t change their infrastructure. So, how things work in one area may not apply to another area, even if they’re only geographically apart by a few miles. Major suckage for people who were in Adelphia’s areas before – the joke is on you!… Comcast isn’t going to upgrade that shoddy cable. Please, just get satellite.

    2) For all the crap that CAEs take, it’s worse on dispatch. They work with minimal resources and training is basically OTJ. Then there are the contractors… oh, the contractors.

    3) Contractors get paid by the job, not hourly. So, it behooves contractors to go to homes and do work quickly instead of thoroughly. Further, they aren’t Comcast contractors, but usually through a third party company which trains the employees in cable basics. You see, technician demand ebbs and flows, so instead of keeping a sizable workforce, Comcast goes to the pool of contractors periodically.

    4) The field technicians get paid less than CAEs.

    5) I tried calling back every single person I promised I would call back. No, seriously. The problem is, call backs tend to be frowned upon since they affect team stats (re: supervisor bonuses). There’s a couple states that your phone can be sitting in while at work: active (waiting for a call), on call, on hold, in wrap, and idle. Idle is a huge no-no. Wrap is the time between calls, finishing up documentation and such, not a no-no but definitely frowned upon. In order to make a call back, you have to be in wrap, choose an outside line, and dial… if it is a particularly busy night, and the call doesn’t go through, you immediately get placed on the next call. As you know, call lengths are unpredictable. If it’s an extremely busy night, then wrap is automatically terminated and trying to call out for anything is almost impossible. Finally, if you’re calling for a number that isn’t in the approved area code list, the call will be blocked and you need special permission from a supervisor to make the call. Again, if it’s a busy time of day, that isn’t happening.

    6) The digital phone service will work when the power goes out, surprisingly enough. Of course, if the cable goes out, it goes out. Further, never, ever EVER let a technician install a CDV modem past the first splitter. That’s asking for all sorts of call quality issues. The CDV modem is extremely sensitive. If you have any picture quality issues at all, expect phone issues without fail.

    7) Finally, that CAE you’re yelling at has almost no rights to solve your problem. Before I had left, they had taken several tools away from CAEs and replaced them with a level of bureaucracy to handle customer problems. Why? Some of the tools were expensive, poorly trained CAEs ruined it for the rest of us, etc.

    All this is not to say that every CAE is trained and equipped to solve your problem fully. Most of the training is OTJ, which varies from time of day, supervisor, quality of the team members.

    The most important thing I can pass on to anyone dealing with Comcast is that if you make yourself so annoying that fiscally it makes more sense to serve your needs than to take your repeated calls, things will get done. An hour of a CAEs time can be between 10-15$, a trouble ticket handler between 12-17$, and to roll a truck (service call) is $90. If you’re on the phone for two hours and two techs come to your house, suddenly Comcast will be very interested in figuring out why the hell you’re costing them so much. And in the end, you can probably get a month or two of credit plus free Showtime.

  59. robynsmiley68 says:

    This post applies to Cox cable as well. I am a five year veteran at Cox so I know all these tricks and then some.

    Some examples are that $99 bundle package is really $135, most times there isn’t a supervisor available to speak with, most CAE just get another CAE to pretend to be a supervisor to shut the customer up, they make the bills difficult to understand on purpose, most CAE have a criminal record and should not be handling anyone’s sensitive information (i.e. credit card, social security numbers, etc.), the phone service is useless and most CAE’s don’t have it in their own homes, CAE’s work off commission and will add things to your account you didn’t order….

    Sometimes this is the price you pay for having cable, high speed internet and phone!

  60. SuckerPunch says:

    This is hilarious. The original post was good, but there is a lot of misinformation going on.

    The “insider” update? He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He most likely works at a local office. I work in an outsourced call centre for Comcast. Guess what? We CAN’T transfer customers to the local office. There is no number. If you want someone locally, call during business hours and hope your call gets routed there.

    RobinSmiley68? No, CAEs do not have criminal records. We have to get criminal record checks before being hired. And our bosses are hardasses about security to a fault.

    Svreader is correct. We have computer programs we use to get things done. We can’t just call someone. If someone is telling you they CAN’T do something, most likely it is literally because they CAN’T do something. I know everyone wants appointments immediately. I’ve heard sob stories about missing their wedding, funerals, everything. WE CAN’T DO ANYTHING about it.

    For everyone getting cranky that the reps are saying “don’t blame us, it’s comcast’s fault,” guess what, IT IS. It’s a big bureaucracy, and everything has to go through the proper channels, everything is slow, and everything is difficult. You may feel frustrated and want to yell, but it won’t do any good.

    If you want something done immediately and the CAE says it can’t be done, sorry. It can’t be done. Deal with it.

    If you’re after credit, stay calm and be polite, but be persistent. If the CAE won’t give you what you want, request a supervisor.

    In my centre alone, there are hundreds of CAEs, and a dozen supervisors at any one time. It is our job to try to de-escalate the situation and try to resolve it without a supervisor needing to get involved. Fact of life, get over it. We are not allowed to outright refuse a request for a technician, unless the customer is being ridiculous (like one guy wanted $50 credit because his streaming porn stuttered, and I wasn’t able to fix it).

    Be calm, continue to politely ask for a supervisor. When you get one, again, stay calm, and continue to ask persistently for what you want. Do not get off the phone. In my centre, we don’t do callbacks, so under no circumstances will we ask you to wait for a call, but I’ve heard it happens elsewhere.

    One last thing. I don’t know about other places, but where I am, there is nothing a supervisor can do, that a CAE can’t. If you’re looking for credit and the CAE won’t give it to you, get a supervisor. If you’re calling about a missed appointment, or want an earlier one, and the CAE can’t help, you’re shit out of luck.

    Lifes unfair, and big businesses suck. Deal with it. CAEs aren’t being jerks on purpose, they’re simply doing their best.

  61. SuckerPunch says:

    Oh, and one last thing, Robynsmiley. CAEs, at least at outsourced centres, don’t get commission.

  62. Anonymous says:

    I was a supervisor for a company called Affinitas who takes calls for Comcast, TimeWarner, Cox and a few other smaller companies. They take calls for all over the country.

    I’m sure Comcast (and the like) outsource all over the country to other small centers. Often (most of the time) I had no choice but to “wing it” with little to no information.

    “Stage 2 outages” were automatically declared by the system whenever 3 calls would come in from the same node (up to 600 homes are on a node) within 10 min. Any time a stage 2 outage is declared agents are told to tell customers “they’re working on it” even when they may not be. Little to no information was ever given by the client (comcast) to the department (those people actually answering the phone for them).

    Dispatch was sometimes unreachable for hours on end then sometimes they would finally answer only to hang up on you when attempting to do a tech check. Techs were sometimes 3rd party which means they weren’t subject to even comcast’s lax rules and regulations.

    The system used to take calls crashes so often its a wonder anything works.

    Affinitas specifically is run back crackheads and the people who worked under me were deplorable.

    I could write a book about how terrible that place was/is… I will however leave you consumers with this. Cable is not an emergency… go for a walk or something.

  63. Kerkira says:

    @kimsama: Well played!

    @swalve: Watch and learn.

  64. ne0shell says:

    I have to call an average of 3-4 times to get anything resolved. Calls 1-3 are usually a black female with a attitude who says they “can’t” help me and to call back the next day. Never a reason, just that I need to call back. Usually I’ll keep trying until I get someone who sounds semi-intelligent and what do you know – they “can” help me.
    It took me two weeks to get my extra IP’s working again after the switch from Time Warner (No vonage during that time and that one took 20+ calls, I switched out my modem 3 times, etc, etc, etc. I kept telling them it had to be the extra IP’s not working and finally got a tech who listened and was able to see it, enable them and boom).
    Other than Vonage I’ve never had such RETARDED tech support. I fucking hate Comcast and can’t wait to move somewhere with a different provider.

  65. chrisfromnl says:

    “Also, be nice. If you call up screaming at me and calling me names, I’ll do my job, but only what I’m REQUIRED to do. Most reps I know are this way, be it at Comcast or anywhere else. If you’re patient and nice to me in spite of your frustration, I will go to the wall for you, and call in every resource and asset at my disposal.”

    As someone who works summer jobs in AT&T slave centers, this is most definitely true. Only one more summer….

  66. StevieD says:

    Asking for or demanding a supervisor is really pointless. I don’t care what business you are calling. Asking for a supervisor is tantamount to calling the entry level employee incompetent. The supervisor was once an entry level employee.

    Give the entry level employee a chance. Then, when the employee is obviously failing, offer to be placed on hold to give the employee a chance to “review other options”, which is a nice way of saying “ask your boss”. Most of the time the employee comes back with “I checked with a senior employee” or the “product specialist” and I can do A, B or C. Simple truth is you have gotten the assistance of the supervisor without stepping on the employees toes.

  67. RvLeshrac says:

    @SVreader:

    Bra-f’ing-vo. I was paging through the comments waiting for someone to ‘get it’.

    I work on the non-retail side of a retail store, and I see assholes screaming at our CSRs all the time. Fortunately, we have one member of management that will tell them straight-out that we absolutely will NOT do ANYTHING to help them until they calm down.

    All you do when you scream and whine at the CSR is cause them to quit and tell other people not to work at [insertcompanyhere], which just makes your service THAT MUCH MORE DISMAL, since it gets harder and harder to find replacements.

    That’s not to say that there’s never a time to get angry, but it isn’t the FIRST TIME YOU HAVE A PROBLEM, and it isn’t AT the individual who is supposed to be helping you. Are *YOU* likely to help someone who immediately launches into a tirade at you? No? Then why the hell do you expect the CSR to help you when that’s the first thing you do?

  68. RvLeshrac says:

    @ne0shell:

    My previous post notwithstanding, that’s just poor service. If the employee is obviously copping an attitude with you and refuses to do their job, that’s a good time to get angry.

  69. crashman2600 says:

    I am so glad I work in support for a small ISP. I have access to the tools I need and if I cant solve something I can call the person who can. I have had a few “screaming customers” who want to speak to my supervisor who is 6 feet away and has heard my whole conversation. If someone has a problem with their DSL I can call an actual human at VZ that will solve the issue or dispatch a tech. Its nice to work in CSR and actually have some power to help customers. I’m sure life as a Comcast CSR sucks.

  70. h1bernate says:

    I’d honestly be surprised if anyone here hasn’t dealt with something like this before or if they didn’t know that some or all of these policies are in place. Until there are competitors we just have to deal with this.

    I have a long list of how Time Warner has screwed someone I know, and you can’t even imagine what I’ve had to deal with.

  71. bleedseason says:

    Guys, I think the author is trying to explain how to get a large corporation in the private sector to change: don’t buy their service. Complain as much as you want about no new information, but it’s not going to change anything until the corporation’s bottom line is hurting and their executives are either forced out due to falling profits, or they go under and another company steps in and cleans up… If you’re surprised, then take this as a lesson: it’s how big business works. Consumers have to learn how to apply leverage that the executives can hear…

  72. mechanismatic says:

    Good thing Comcast wasn’t offering decent wages when I was looking for a job recently. I applied to be a dispatcher but they called me back after I had already been offered a job that paid more and involved being employed at a company I actually enjoy working for.

    They don’t pay enough for dispatchers or customer service reps to give a damn.

  73. manus manum lavat says:

    This actually makes me feel much better about my job as a call rep with Verizon Fios. To wit:

    5. If you ask for a supervisor, the first thing the rep will do is try to mollify you. But if you ask again, they will get you a sup. This is standard proceedure. So if you’re talking to Fios and you feel that a supervisor is absolutely necessary, all that you have to do is ask twice (you don’t even have to get angry). You may have to wait on hold for a bit until a supervisor can be found, but you WILL get one.

    4. Customer service has a commit window for when the tech will show up. And if they tech missed his or her commit, the rep can call dispatch and find out where the tech is. They can also ask dispatch to have the tech call you (sometimes dispatch will oblige on that point, and sometimes they won’t. It depends on the dispatch rep and the area of service.)

    3. Hmm, Fios doesn’t have anything similar to this one. In place of this, I will say: Most of the software used to dispatch and create install tickets is very, very poor. If you don’t get your tech, it could mean that your order was never created. Or your repair ticket was created, but the agent didn’t realize that he had to manually “hand off” the ticket for the dispatch to happen. Or your tech might arrive, but then have to leave again because the fiber drop was never placed. One week while working there, the main program used for creating tickets kept crashing every 5 minutes. And the program that makes new orders still crashes once a day at least. Also, don’t make orders through the website, most of the time they don’t work at all. Best advice I can offer here is, on the day of your dispatch, call tech support to find out if you’re actually getting a tech. If your dispatch is an install, call support a couple of days before the install.

    2. Fios phone is on it’s own circuit, but it’s running on your home’s power. Your phone has an 8hr battery backup. I’m on the fence about this. If I was able to get Fios, I think I would stick with a copper phone, just to be sure that I would never be without phone service, even in case of a power outage. And that is partially because the battery backup can have problems with it – electrical storms seem to take them out occasionally. Hopefully this system will get better with time.

    1. Verizon is a giant, uncaring machine. It totally is. However, it is a giant, uncaring machine that pays a bit more money for good tech support than some of the other companies. And that is a very good thing. Especially as the “entrance exam” to get the job is actually pretty challenging. It reminded me a bit of a short verison of the SAT, with networking thrown in. This really does translate into better service for you. Just remember that there are things those agents can do, and things they can’t. If they tell you they can’t, they’re not just saying that to get rid of you (really). Although they *might* be saying it because they don’t realize they can do it. In which case it’s time to ask for a supervisor (who might tell you they can’t, either).

  74. Artliquide says:

    I have held two telephone customer service jobs. One was with a very large corporation (around 8000 reps for one product alone), and the other was with a very small company (approx. 120 employees in the entire company). I think you can guess which job supplied more irate calls. I feel your frustration. Is it every CSR’s dream to change corporate policy to better serve its customers? Unfortunately, those who make the decisions for large companies usually have no idea what’s going on at the direct consumer contact level. On the flipside, the CEO of the small company knew all of the issues and customer complaints and responded to them appropriately. Unfortunately, in larger companies, CSRs are the voice of the company and are treated as such, especially when things go wrong. I remember someone telling me that for every irate call, there are ten satisfied customers who never call to praise the company. I question that statistic, but maybe it’s still a consolation. Hang in there!

  75. Anonymous says:

    I get results from these companies by going to the CEO’s office. There is often an “executive customer service” rep. who will repond and resolve your “issue” very quickly. This has worked for me with Verizon, Amex, Amazon, and out local cable company. You can often get the email address by contacting the office that handles “investor relations” since stockholders are more important to them than lowly customers.

    I usually tell them I am considering increasing my position in their stock in my IRA and have some questions. Then I get the key to their email address system (e.g. first initial last name @ company.com). I know now how to email the CEO.

    So far this has worked for me.

  76. imsati says:

    Well I feel I really must share my Comcrap story!
    I had Adelphia (which was ever so much better than Comcast – note sarcasm).
    I noticed on my bill they were charging me for my modem.. the one that I bought myself lol so I called Adelphia and they fixed their problem.

    Then Adelphia was aquired by Comcast.. weee
    I was going to move and Called to see if comcast was available where I was going to move.. yes it was
    Ok make appointment.. check
    a week later call to change the time of appointment.. check
    3 days before the appointment call to verify I still have an appointment check

    The day of the appointment I go to the new house.. wait 4 hours and no one shows up.. WTH!

    I call comcast and they say cable is not available at my location so the appointment was canceled.. LOL errrr uhh ok
    At this point I am pretty sure I made the customer service guy hate his life because I proceeded to give him an earful for at least 45 minutes. (I’m sure he really couldn’t care less and probably just layed the headset down for a while and walked around while I was ranting)

    So I still had my last bill to pay from where I was moving from. I get the bill and they are charging me 40 something bucks for MY MODEM. I call them and say that I purchased the modem.. blah blah blah

    they won’t take the charge off.. So I have never paid my final bill from comcrap and I NEVER WILL!
    Every month they send me a bill from the collections agency and I call comcrap and the collections people and tell them I will not pay them for a modem I purchased (and still have the receipt for)

    But now I have Directv and DSL and am finally free of the comcrap cable.
    Anyway I truly hate Comcast and I will never use them again.

    I think if more people go to satelite tv and dsl and Comcast starts loosing customers and money they might actually start listening to people. Until then they will just sit and laugh at you while they take your money. Here is your Comcast contract:
    You will – pay a monthly fee
    Comcast will – treat you like shit

  77. Anonymous says:

    Maybe if the customer service representative actually did what they are supposed to do and actually stay in touch with the customer to give them updates, things wouldn’t be so bad?

    When I say that the CSR’s should do what they are supposed to do, I mean that they should stay in contact with a customer until the problem is resolved and work the issue until the problem is resolved. Now I can hear the CSR’s balking, saying “Oh, my time is tracked! I can’t get off the phone, they won’t let me!” Total garbage of an excuse. It would literally take 30 seconds after writing down a note to walk it to your supervisor/manager. It would take another 30 seconds to walk over at some point and say, “I promised to call back Mr. Customer by such and such time, did we get an update?” Document the time you spend doing this, trust me when I say it won’t be held against you.

    It’s call being proactive and taking ownership for your customer. If your supervisor isn’t getting it done, go to your manager. Comcast has a “Think Customer First” policy, believe it or not and I’ll guarantee you that if a CSR walked up to their supervisor or manager and said “Hey, I’m trying to get this situation resolved for this customer and I’m trying to “Think Customer First”, I will guarantee you that something will get done.

    As for there not being any supervisors available, if they are on customer calls, that’s one thing, but if you can’t FIND any in a call center, that’s a problem. Comcast call centers have a supervisor for every 12 CSR’s. The bigger call centers will a couple hundred of CSR’s on duty at peak hours…trust me, there is a supervisor there. They might not be available right at that second to talk, but there isn’t a reason why they can’t call back in a realistic amount of time. Customers should write down who they are talking to, who is going to call them back (get a name, not just “a supervisor”) and the time frame. If you don’t hear from anyone, call back and ask for a manager. If you don’t get a call back in an hour, call back and ask for the phone number to the corporate offices and give them all of the names of people that you talked to and who were supposed to call you back. Trust me, what ever your issue is, it’ll get resolved.

    As you may or may not be able to tell, I work for Comcast. There are things that we as a company need to work on, I fully admit that, its no secret. But I will tell you that I worked in a call center with Comcast for two years and I never had a customer that didn’t get an answer and a resolution. Some times it took some extra effort. Some times it took a bit of being a pain in the neck of my supervisors and managers. But I can’t tell you how many people told me “Man, I wish I got to talk to you first. You’re the first person there that seems to know what they are talking about”.

    That’s also the reason why I don’t work in a call center anymore, because I got promoted out of it. Ooooh, there’s a concept. Improve some processes for the call center, do a good job and get promoted for it! I have NO sympathy for CSR’s that don’t take care of their customers. Yes, there are unreasonable customers (“My internet was out for an hour, I want credit for a YEAR!” — one of many true, unreasonable requests), but guess what? Taking care of your customers is YOUR JOB. And they are YOUR CUSTOMERS. As another poster put it, when a customer calls, you ARE Comcast.

  78. shortcandi says:

    Ok… I work for Comcast and I LOVE my job. I am a CAE as well as this young lady. I have one question for her. Do you follow through with what you tell the customer? That makes a huge difference. If people would do what they say and call the customer back when they tell them they will, then you wouldn’t have so many customers calling in upset. Maybe that is why she is so unhappy. She is probably one of those reps. that she is complaining about. Come to New Mexico and see how great our Customer Service is!
    Have a nice day!

  79. sharkbomb says:

    Most of these things are true of any broadband service provider. At least the 3 I have worked for, and the several others that friends have worked for.

  80. mtxblau says:

    @Hammerforce,

    I’m assuming you were a sup. You probably know intimately well that not every supervisor looks at the situation the same way you do.

    I worked at the DE call center (serving Phila., suburbs of Phila., and DE), and the stories, the stories! The corruption, too.

    I wish we didn’t have differing opinions of Comcast, but I knew a sup exactly like you, my last sup – he definitely wasn’t getting promoted. It killed me because he was the kind of guy who belonged in upper management, fixing problems. The people that got promoted past him knew very well how to kiss @__… and not much else. There are case res still doing the same thing, many years later, simply because the CC can’t afford to promote them *because* of their competence.

    I’ve heard of call centers run right – the variances between CCs is astronomical. Heck, you can see that when they release the stat sheets for call centers.

  81. RvLeshrac says:

    @HammerForce:

    CSRs are not allowed to make outgoing calls without the express permission of a supervisor. They are not allowed to send emails to customers without the express permission of a supervisor.

    Exactly how do you propose that they “keep in touch” if the supervisor doesn’t allow them to do the above? Keep in mind that you’re one of a thousand mid-level managers.

  82. TheBadPhotographer says:

    @postcableguy: “Cable is not an emergency, take a walk.”

    It’s easy to say that when you’re at work and can’t watch it anyway [and in many cases get it for free as a perk], but we’re not paying up to $100 a month [or more if you like movies, sports, or porno] to go take a walk.

    I got sick of the shenanigans, but not sick enough to go to rabbit ears [called satellite people — they said my neighbors to the south have too many trees, and I like trees]. So we cut back from right about $100 to about $45 a month. It took some work to get them to give us the bare-minimum cable package [pretty much the broadcast networks, ESPN, and TNT] and the “economy” high-speed internet, which is fine for the stuff we do these days. I’m not a zero-dayer any more.

    When fiber comes around this way I would love to have a chat with whoever lays it first. Pulling for Verizon.

  83. VodkaAvenger says:

    I have been a CSR for a cable company, a DSL company, two cell companies and a computer manufacturer. I can verify all the above, especially for the cable company (not Comcast, in the US).

    Oft-times, outsourced vendors are horrid to deal with. Supervisors do not want to talk to you — one told me bluntly to throw a $100 credit on a customer so he wouldn’t have to talk to him.

    As far as Comcast goes, my experiences have been OK with them. I won’t pay $40 extra to have my video served over a cable plant, so I can’t speak on their TV service. Internet service was gold with them, though… I only had to call them twice, got Canada Tier 1 both times, and had to go to Tier 2 both times — and their Tier 2 was both knowledgable and cordial. I’ve never had to have an appointment for repair, but you can bet installs and discos are usually spot-on as expected for direct revenue related issues.

    At the cable company I worked at, the customer was never right in the eyes of the company. Credits were rare. Repairs were rare. Stable service was an impossibility. They sent our jobs to Mexico and the Phillipines shortly after I quit. Glad I didn’t stay for the carrots they dangled at us!

    In larger companies, the management prays 5x a day in the direction of the bank. Praise be to profits! These publically traded juggernauts%

  84. HeHateMe says:

    I’d like to interject for a moment regarding this post. Let me preface this with this: The following information is relevant for Comcast in a West Coast Comcast Market, so YMMV as Comcast is primarily handled on a local basis (a large amount of campaigns and procedures are developed in your local market). Now… as a Comcast Supervisor, I would like to tell you that all of our CAE’s are given the authority and power to do just about as much as a Supervisor at Comcast can. The exception being the amount of credit that can be applied and the use of certain discounts. Supervisors deal primarily with HR related issues, hiring and firing, and keeping the CAE’s on the phone. Most of the time, speaking to a CAE calmly and professionally will get you quick answers and if you continue to act polite and professional the CAE will do everything they can to get you what they want. They are graded on their ability to leave a call with the customer satisfied and the issue resolved. If they aren’t doing this they are coached and if they continue to fail they are fired. In MOST cases, speaking to a Supervisor will only take more time out of your day (waiting on hold or waiting for a call back) and chances are that when the CAE tells you “my supervisor is going to tell you the same thing,” they are probably right. Generally you will have 1 supervisor per 14-17 CAE’s. Now if every CAE is on a call, you have to realize that chances are their supervisor is probably already helping one of the other CAE’s. Also, in our market the CAE has the ability to call our dispatch office immediately and check on the status of your technician. They may come back and tell you that the tech will call you with an ETA. This usually happens if the dispatcher cannot get a hold of the tech or the tech is working on another job. Our market has an on time guarantee, so if our tech is late you get either a $20 credit or free install (up to $50), whichever is greater. If you are already getting a free install with a promo, then you get the $20 credit. Sadly, most of Comcast’s issues with techs being late, not showing up, or horrible CAE experiences are when it is a contractor or outsourced call center (Convergys… *cringe*). We would love to have all of our techs and CAE’s in house, but with the huge fluctuation in business it is hard to do this without having to seasonally lay off employees. So we use contractors instead, which we can stop using when business slows down. I hope this helps a little, as the CAE that wrote the info above seems to either be an outsourced agent or recently fired, because the things that she/he is saying definitely isn’t true for my market.

  85. HeHateMe says:

    @fejjnagaf:
    Very interesting way to look at it. You think that by being mean to CSR’s you can bully them into quitting so that Comcast has a higher turnover, thus causing them to see that their customer service is sub-par? This sounds like some form of a Rube Goldberg device. Instead, this is not only abhorrent and completely the wrong way to go about it. Think of it this way: If Comcast has a high turnover rate, then they will have to hire new employees often, to replace the ones you ran out of town. This means that when you call in you have increased odds at getting a CSR that doesn’t know what the hell they are doing, thus creating a sub-par customer service experience for you. Not to mention Comcast will have to increase the cost of their service to cover all of the training and rehiring expenses for all of their new employees. It’s a lose – lose situation my dear fejjnagaf. How about you just attempt to be as polite as you can and work with the CAE. Or, if they aren’t helping you as you see fit, talk to a supervisor and let the supervisor know that the CAE is ignorant and incapable of performing their duties, so they need to be fired.

  86. Comcast can’t go broke soon enough. For eleven years, I’ve been begging them to take $100 a month from me. They have a cable line that ends at my mailbox. No one in my neighborhood of 20 homes has cable because Comcast has decided in its infinite wisdom to not offer service. Even though there’s a cable right at my mailbox.

    They don’t offer cable to 40% of the residents in my county, where they are the only allowed cable franchisee. And I live less than 2.5 hours from Baltimore and DC! I figure over the life of my house so far, at $100 a month for 11 years, they’ve lost about $13,000 just on me that they could have added to their coffers.

    And they hang up on me during my yearly call to ask for service. Every time.

  87. dirk1965 says:

    Tell us something we didn’t already know about Comcrap!

  88. cristanka says:

    I, as well, work for a cable company. Mediacom, in fact. If a customer service representative cannot solve your problem that you are encountering then they are not doing everything that they have to the power to do. If you scream and you shout and you threaten or personally insult a customer service representative then your quality of customer service decreases dramatically. Anyone who believes differently has never been in customer service or is very delusional. If a customer is losing their mind over a tech being late, then I will place them on hold and call around everywhere I possibly can to track information pertaining to their work order and return as quickly as possible to let them know. If you hang up, you lose that information unless I had enough time between calls to note it on your work order. We are rarely allowed to make outbound calls, so how can we call you back if you hang up? How can we keep track of every single work order to call you back and let you know that your tech is going to be late? We can’t. It’s impossible. If you have problems with poor customer service then get the representative’s name and extension number and file a formal complaint about them when you call back in again. And ask them where they are located!

    A few words of advice:
    If you ask to speak to a supervisor then be sure you know the information regarding the representative who is transferring you just in case you don’t successfully get transferred.

    If you wait on hold for more than 15 minutes to get to us, that means that we are overloaded with calls and complaining about the hold time is not something that we have any control over. If the company you are calling is capable through company policies to apply courtesy credits, then ask for a credit for waiting patiently to reach a rep. Asking for months of free service will only make the rep less willing to listen to your concerns.

    If you complain that you took time off of work and you lost money because of us, that won’t get you anywhere. We don’t want you to take off from work. If this is a problem and you insist upon being present for the install instead of a friend or relative then this is the risk you are taking.

    Companies, regardles of their policies or their guarantees have issues in customer service more often in relation to human error, not the actual services. A tech is late because his kid got sick and your job had to be given to another tech, he had an accident, he’s running late because he overslept, etc etc… this is out of our control.

    The best that we can do is do our jobs and reschedule, give you credits for your inconvenience, find as much information as possible to reassure you, and tell you what you need to know.

    Everything other than those few things is out of our control. And if you want to speak to our supervisor, then you’d better count on waiting because supervisors are more reluctant to take the calls that we are to give them. In the two years that I’ve been with the company, my supervisor has taken two of my sup-requested calls. The rest I have solved on my own.

    nothing is beyond our power to solve, except when it relies on someone else getting back to us about something regarding your issue. we have to wait too, keep that in mind.

    I can only vouch for myself and trust me, we don’t get any recognition for solving complex issues. I’ve had someone’s modem software redesigned remotely through our headend so that they could get a dial tone once (took 7 hours on and off the phone with other customers) because he was kind enough to say thank you.

    the point is that we’re here to help and we want to help. Much is out of our control but we do the best we can. I hate my job and I’m currently looking for another but that’s my problem. I’m not going to complain about it to my customers that I talk to because that won’t solve anything. So don’t threaten me or treat me like shit because that won’t solve anything either. it just may make you lose a perfectly good rep who was willing to help and would have done anything if you had just listened for a moment.

    and I’m sorry, missing a football game is not an emergency. if a car mows down a utility pole causing an outage and you’re freaking out because you’re going to miss the game then go to a BAR. they’ll have it on big-screen.

  89. comkizzle-is-the-shizzle says:

    do you work in sarasota?? you sound like one of us!!

    for corp 15515, our help desk reps and (most) supervisors REFUSE to take a call until theyve argued with you for 20 minutes over what the call was regading. the “get a supervisor to call you back” line is very well known around here, and customers are getting hip to it — its starting to not work for us…

    we also did away with our WMT procedures and replaced them with “email help desk for tech’s eta” – i once had a customer totally disconnect service because of a late tech. she called in after the tech had missed the timeframe by an hour, and, by the time i got the email back from help desk telling me to reschedule the T/C, it was 2 and a half hours after her original call. needless to say she was pissed — and is no longer with us.

    the 3 call rule has always been a laughable procedure here in our offices, but we’ve done better on that. now (according to procedure guidelines — which doesnt mean shit), the tech makes the first two calls, and before he can list the job as “not done” or “cancelled”, a dispatch rep has to make the third call to verify that there is no one home.

    number 2 is a great point. i get all comcast services free — but you will never catch me with CDV in my house. we have verizon and ive advised all my friends to stray from CDV, however tempting the advertisements make it seem. atleast stay away from it for the next two years while we work out the kinks…

    and comcast IS a giant, uncaring machine — for both customers AND employees. we customer account executives (or CUSTOMER SERVICE REPS) do not get graded on our customer service… we’re considered great reps if we can squeeze 7 calls into one hour and sell you something while we’re at it. and the above point made about “our reps have all the authority blah blah blah” – TOTALLY not true of comcast as a whole. in training, we’re told we are fully empowered to do what we need to do for the customer… but half the time ive made customers happy – i’ve gotten “corrective action” for it.

    we comcasters would really love to help all you comcast customers out there… but the company we work for makes it reeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaally hard! please direct your anger toward corporate — not your local phone service rep!

  90. top-notch-service says:

    first of all let me just say that as an employee of the company i do not agree with any of the other reps that have posted. When a customer call’s in angry it is YOUR choice as to weither you are going to provide good service or not. Most times, if you own, the call then your customer does not need to escalate the issue because they know that they are dealing with a rep that is capable of doing their job. And we can find out where your tech is. trust me i have made many a call to dispatch to find out an eta for my customer. you just need to own up and DO YOUR JOB. stop blaming it on “the company” because by not helping you are not making it any better. by not taking action your are just feeding into the bad service. You make up a part of this company, and imagine, if you stopped playing the victim and stated doing your jobs? and sups do call customers back. in most centers in my area we have an escalation process. and again, make sure you relay the message to your sup when your customer is upset. I can say that most of my calls never get to that point. when a customer is angry do them the justice of letting them vent. that’s what they pay us for. don’t try to argue and talk over your customer because that is only going to make it worse. As long as at the end of that call you know that you did what YOU were supposed to do then you did your best. I’m so sick of people saying “yeah i know, it’s not me it’s the company” well at the moment that customer is put onto your line you are the company. Now don’t get me wrong, i know there are true horror stories out there. some times techs do run late, some times jobs don’t get routed, but that happens with any company. the world is not perfect and anyone who thinks it is is just plain crazy. to the customers that are reading this, I am sorry for any service you received that was not up to par. And i want you to know that there are those of us who are willing to go the extra mile to ensure your service is up and running. the call is not about how fast we can get you off the line. We actually have what is called CQE’s they taped calls that are reviewed by customer care to ensure that the customer’s are being treated fairly and that the rep isn’t being rude because he or she “had a bad day” if you feel as though your rep provided you with poor service just ask for thier name and write to the local comcast in your area. give them the time and date of your call. most times we can pull that up and then deal with the rep in question. Again, CAE’s lets do our jobs the right way or move over for someone else that will!

  91. matadora says:

    This is not a confession. This is a CSR wanting you to feel bad for them and not scream at them. I found out over the time that the more screaming you do and the more harrasing you are the better results you will get. Most of the time there are things that the CSR can do but they are too late and too worry about getting you of their phone to actually do everything they can do.

  92. matadora says:

    Don’t let that CSR fool you there are tools they can use to help you. They just don’t feel like taking the time to help you. Also the CSR that is blamming Dispatch should also inform you that half the time they put the incorrect information on your account and thats the reason why things aren’t done the way you please. Most of the times I have noticed that the customer is telling the CSR they have a problem with their internet and since that CSR is too lazy to put in all the information you get a regular cable tech that is not even train on internet because that CSR pick the first option instead of taking 2 seconds to put in that is an internet problem and what your problem is exactly.

    As far as the Supervisor is concern. A supervisor doesn’t have any more power than a CSR. The supervisor is going to do the same thing that CSR could have done is just they don’t have to worry about a STAT like the CSR does.

  93. wyldmagyc says:

    It is amazing how many people actually think that the CSRs still have some form of power or tools that can do the job.

    To implament the use of all these tools would cost the company way too much in fees, as they are license per computer/login. With many 1000s of employees that would require the access (in local and 3rd party offices) they would rather just give this access to the select few that actually require it.

    As far as asking to speak to someone in your local office. That is not going to happen. If you do, we customer service reps love to transfer you back into the awaiting queue.

    Yelling will always get you nowhere. Give a company a call sometime. Ask for a credit in a nice, calm, gentle, happy voice, and see how far you get. Then try calling and yelling. You get way more service that way.

    Although it may take a few calls to get an issue fixed, there is not much that a CSR can do, as they can only (de)activate, credit and schedule service. After that, it is out of their hands. The reason for this is companies make NO money on calls for information, just calls for sales and up sells.

  94. anasmartypants says:

    That’s really sad. I hope these are not the people that give Customer Service reps a bad name in general. Unfortunately, not all people from the 3rd world countries are as insensitive or uneducated as most of us think.

    Being a service rep myself (in a technical support department to be exact) we CARE for our customers. We do not transfer them back to the queue if they are being difficult. We immediately transfer them to a supervisor if they request to speak to one. And we will continue to strive in changing our reputation by providing the best service we can every time and to everyone :)

  95. comcastsallie says:

    I happen to work for Comcast Cable. My Coworkers and I are convinced the author of this piece does not. If he,she did they would know a few things.
    1. Supervisors at Comcast are not there to talk to the public. They are there to see that the reps do their jobs. The reps are professionally trained and have long training and are quite capable of doing their jobs. We very seldom transfer to supervisors for the simple fact that they do not have the time to take the calls.
    2. No, we don’t know the exact time when a tech will show up, that would be impossible. We are not chained to their side and they do not have the time to take from their busy schedule to call and tell us when one job is done and they are going to another. A job can take longer than planned. Duh. Unnecessary communication would only slow their work down more.
    3. This is also true. We are a buisness. We tell you several times when setting up the trouble call that you must be home and you must answer the phone so the tech knows you are home. You would be surprised how many people forget that we told them that. And the techs do call. They have to. I have rode along with the techs many times and they always call and you would be surprised how many people went shopping when they told us they would be home.
    4. This is true also but it is true with any voice over internet. We are not traditional phone service but we are great voice over internet phone service because we use our own cable and have much fewer problems than other companies, even in outage.
    5.This is absolutely untrue. I have worked for several national companies and I have never worked for a company that 1)treats its employees like gold and 2) treats its customers the same way. I am an avid comcast fan for having worked for them. Their integrity is outstanding and they make the perfect buisness model. This is one of the reasons why we feel this person could not work for Comcast. He doesn’t seem to have the Comcast philosophy of treating the customer well. My bet is he was fired for attitude,if he worked for us at all. I might add to that our customers are always, for the most part, very happy. As with every other buisness you can’t make everyone happy but we make a concerted effort to do that.
    I wanted to comment on a few other reasons why we feel he couldn’t work for Comcast.
    a) He would know that dispatch does not talk with the public and if you try to call them they for the most part will turn you away, they are busy doing their job, they cannot be slowed down doing someone else’s job.
    b)We are always local. Very seldom will you talk to another area unless we become extremely busy in the area you are calling from. If it is that busy you will be put in overflow to facilitate your call.
    c) We are well trained and no one has ever given us the answers to tests.We are expected to know the answers and unfortunately there are some people who don’t pass the tests and don’t get the job.
    This person is not ringing true.

  96. tracy_mom220 says:

    I work for a cable company that is becoming Comcast after the 1st of the year. I am in the dispatch dept. I dont want to sound rude but dispatch does not have time to answer phone calls from customers. we are also not trained for that. My phone rings almost consistently with calls from our techs-closing work orders, putting equipment on accounts etc… Also I spend the day monitoring the trouble call pool and contacting techs to get out the service calls that come in throughout the day. We are also spending alot of time answering questions from the csr’s. Even dispatch cannot tell you when a tech will arrive at your home. Most of the time they are at another job-probably someone that has old 59 wire and cant understand why there stuff wont work, so that tech has no idea when they will get there. Sure there are some techs that just dont give a crap about their jobs but our company weeds them out.
    I dont know for sure about how comcast does it yet-but our company does the three call cancel. NOt a once call cancel-we attempt to call three times. The reason techs miss time frames is because of the people that dont answer their phone calling back in AFTER their time frame demanding the tech there. If they had answered their phone in the first place we would have come then. Now we are going to b e late to another appt. Because you are too “bothered” to answer your phone or wont answer a blocked call-when you know that you are expecting a call from the cable company.
    I should probably stop right here because I am getting fired up now.

  97. Dubstep says:

    Originally posted by another insider:

    “The REAL tips here? ALWAYS ask the rep where they are located geographically. If it’s not your local office you’re talking to, then it’s most likely a craptastic 3rd party center you’re talking to. Ask to be transfered to your local office. Also, be nice. If you call up screaming at me and calling me names, I’ll do my job, but only what I’m REQUIRED to do. Most reps I know are this way, be it at Comcast or anywhere else. If you’re patient and nice to me in spite of your frustration, I will go to the wall for you, and call in every resource and asset at my disposal.”

    Dubstep’s reply:

    Sadly it’s just not possible for most “craptastic” outsourced agents to transfer anyone to the local level. It is the same reason why we can’t get in touch with dispatch or any other immediately useful people. Please understand the circumstances of our positions before you begin to assume that none of us know what we’re doing. Any tech support at our centers will be the same as that at a local level. So if you’re a customer, just stay calm, act rationally and we’ll do what we can to help.

  98. Quasimojojd says:

    I am writing this letter to the Executives of Comcast. If you want to remain competitive and have your churn percentages increase I recommend you take my email seriously.

    I have been lied to, a total of 4 times, promised things that were never done, I have exhausted all avenues of support from your Email care, Instant messenger chat help, normal customer service and Retention. I have spoke with Kammi, Albert, Andrew, and Gerald, and numerous others that did nothing but transfer me around because they had no ability to give me what was promised.

    I don’t agree with analysis and weak solution to my problem.

    When you as a company promise me something, you have to uphold it. On top of that, I was lied to 4 times and nothing was fixed except a very small discount on my monthly bill which doesn’t do anything for me.

    Dish network has a better package for a lot less and they don’t lie to their customers like you do. I want the 268 for the initial problem plus another credit for 4 more months for all the lies, deceit and out right dismissal of my problem.

    I have serious issues with how your retention department handles calls, never giving them a solution and shuffling them between reps.

    On top of that, your solution to my issue is to fire Kammi the rep that lied to me, but do nothing to actually help me, Albert did nothing to help, nor did Andrew or the other person who called me yesterday.

    If my sales staff or myself make a mistake on a Quote and it turns out that it actually costs more to install the product, we have to eat that cost, not lie to the customer and say its their fault. You and your company need to uphold its mission statement and I plan to forward this email to all of your executives and make sure that other customers don’t have to go through all the hours of calls, emails and headaches that I have.

    It’s a slap in the face to say that some one lies and gets fired, but you as a company don’t fix anything, Face the facts, help your customers or they will leave.

    I have added your names to Ripoffreports.com and will talk to the PUC, Public Utilities Commission for the lack of ethics of your company.
    Jonathan Govette

  99. Comonopoly says:

    @Quasimojojd: I served my time in Comhell. It was the WORST call center I had ever worked in. Not only lies and deceptive practices towards the customers BUT also to the CAE’s as well. There are LOTS of decent call centers in this world, it struck me odd after going through the Mickey Mouse training session that I was one of only about 3 other persons who had experience in the field. 2 quit before the class even ended and 1 resigned a week after, I held out as long as possible. This company is not only a monopoly to the public but makes it a practice to hire ex- McDonald’s employees who are so grateful and scared that they will have to flip burgers again that they will let management at Comonopoly treat them like dirt.

  100. Comonopoly says:

    Comcast “call centers” give electronic sweat shops a bad name! I thought it odd when I was hired that I was only one of about 4 persons in a training class of 40plus that had customer service experience. After getting out on the floor and “on the phone” and seeing how things are ran I knew instantly why they tend to hire exMcDonalds burger flippers. The management at these call centers want “kool aide” drinkers who are scared to death of questioning anything this crooked company does both to the customers and the employees. I got out and back to a REAL customer service center where they actually take care of the customer and the employee.

  101. NewsReader says:

    First off all I want to start by commenting on some previous comments:

    “You forgot that with cable companies and phone companies the person answering the phone has a small what to do list that basically includes restart cablebox or modem. besides that theyt can’t help you. you have to ask for a higher level of support of get a technician to your house.”

    You couldn’t be more wrong there, as a person that once worked as a tech support rep for comcast I can tell you first hand that there is one level, and one level only of tech support, asking to speak with another level is going to get you no where.

    Thain – “Another company we support forwards all their lines except for one obscure extension to our TECH SUPPORT office around billing time so that we end up having to deal with the wrath of a hundred people who have been turned off for non-payment (and they just get pissier when the number we give them – which is SUPPOSED to take them directly to billing – just brings them right back to us).”

    You may want to check with you supervisor there Thain because you are TECH and BILLING support, Comcast implemented this a few years ago to achieve first call resolution.

    “most CAE have a criminal record and should not be handling anyone’s sensitive information (i.e. credit card, social security numbers, etc.)”

    You should get your information right on that, all of our employees must complete a criminal record check, if they have a criminal record then they will not be hired.

    “Asking for or demanding a supervisor is really pointless. I don’t care what business you are calling. Asking for a supervisor is tantamount to calling the entry level employee incompetent. The supervisor was once an entry level employee.”

    Yes the supervisor was once an entry level employee…think about it, you have to know the business to manage it. I mean come on use your head here.

    “I had Adelphia (which was ever so much better than Comcast – note sarcasm).
    I noticed on my bill they were charging me for my modem.. the one that I bought myself lol so I called Adelphia and they fixed their problem.”

    Thats funny…do you realzie that the person you were speaking with is actually a comcast employee? When comcast bought out Adelphia the Adelphia employees were out of jobs, Comcast trained some of their reps to go into a queue handling the Adelphia customers, although they branded Adelphia they were comcast. And while we are on the Adelphia thing, customers complaining about how connection issues started when comcast bought out Adelphia…well sorry to tell you but we didn’t switch networks, its the same on that Adelphia was using.

    “When I say that the CSR’s should do what they are supposed to do, I mean that they should stay in contact with a customer until the problem is resolved and work the issue until the problem is resolved. Now I can hear the CSR’s balking, saying “Oh, my time is tracked! I can’t get off the phone, they won’t let me!” Total garbage of an excuse. It would literally take 30 seconds after writing down a note to walk it to your supervisor/manager. It would take another 30 seconds to walk over at some point and say, “I promised to call back Mr. Customer by such and such time, did we get an update?” Document the time you spend doing this, trust me when I say it won’t be held against you.”

    I wish that all of the reps did this, I do have a number of my reps that email me with information from customers accounts that we need to follow up on, if they cant’ do it because of a large number of calls then I will. But sadly enough this does not happen enough and again its a break down in the company, the upper management will not let us do so in most cases, yes if a call drops you can call them back but explain that you needed to research the issue and then call the customer back with the information they are then told that they should be resolving the issues on the call. And yes they do complain about the call length, I will not tell my rep to lower their call time unless I know that it was caused by avoiding the customer or lack of understanding for the issue, if my rep is doing their job and addressing all of your issues then I don’t care how long their call time is.

    “Comcast call centers have a supervisor for every 12 CSR’s”

    HA I wish, each supervisor has about 25-30 reps reporting to them, and not all are scheduled at the same time, there are times when you have 200 reps in and only 3-4 supervisors.

    I personally worked my way up to Supervisor from a Technical/Billing Support agent so can speak on both points of view. As a supervisor we deal with a number of escalated calls, and yes that says something about the business that I will get to. But a large number of those calls are pointless and a waste of time, customers with stupid requests. No we will not credit you for the time that you speant on the phone, what company would???? If the rep you are speaking with tells you they can’t get an earlier appointment then guess what they CAN’T. Trust me if they could they would if for no other reason then to avoid having to hear you complain. I mean come on people think about it, do you think that the reps want to argue with you? Do you think they want to be yelled at? No they don’t so if they could resolve your issue they would. A supervisor’s main duty is to manage their team, you complain about the CAEs well its difficult to properly coach the rep if we constantly get escalated calls with stupid requests that should have and could have been taken care of by the rep but you wouldn’t let them becuase you didn’t like their answer.

    If my reps have a complaint from a customer or even from themselves regarding processes or systems I DO send this off for resolution but the unfortunate thing is I can send it off as much as I want but its up to the higher ups to address and resolve it. I would love to say that they will fix it but chances are they won’t.

    And please don’t say that the reps don’t care, I have dealt with many of them that are downright frustrated with the obsticals preventing them from fixing your issue. I wish that there was more we could do for the customer but our hands really are tied, sad but true.

    If you do experience bad customer service ask the rep for their name, center ID and employee Id, ask to speak with a supervisor, DEMAND one and issue your complaint, it will be addressed. There is a supervisor in the building at all times, it is very rare for us all to be in meetings at the one time, we have to have someone there to help the agents and deal with escalated calls. If you ask for a supervisor and the rep refuses get their information, name, center id, and employee id and hang up and callback. I know its bad to have to callback but at least you will get through to someone that will help you get in contact with a supervisor as you requested.

    As for callbacks, I can’t speak for other centers but we DO call customers back, it only makes sense, if you have a CDV phone and we are troubleshooting we have to reset the modem causing us to loose the call, so we will call you back to complete troubleshooting. Unreal that some centers won’t call customers back, again a problem with the business, have set guidelines for all of your centers!!

    Yes there is an issue with training, without a doubt, we do have very compitant reps, the ones that have been here longer. Why is that? Because they learned things on their own from taking calls, that is a bad thing, they should not have to learn on their own, thats what training is for.

    Its a give and take situation here, the reps want to help you, please let them. Yes there some bad reps, but there are also some unreasonalble customers, is it fair to lump them all into one? Work with us and we will work with you.

    Anyway enough with that…you wanted tips on how to get the issues resolved…wish I had them :-(

    -Dispatch – We do not have customer contact information for dispatch, they don’t deal with customers, its not their job. Hey we are lucky if we have updated contact information for them. If you want an earlier apt ask the rep to submit the information to dispatch and someone will call you back either with an earlier time or to let you know that there is nothing sooner.

    Don’t demand a smaller timeframe, we don’t have it, if we did we would offer it to you. Sorry that you have to work but we can only sch for the time frames that we have. Ever notice why are rep is reluctant to put on a work order please come after 10 when the time frame is 8-12? Its because the tech (the contracted ones) see this and will purposely call before 10 knowing that you won’t be home. This way they can cancel the appointment and get their money, after all they do get paid by the job noth the hour. So theres a hint in there, have the rep note “Call after 10″ you will most likely get your appointment earlier if thats what you want.

    For NDT issues, we have to get a tech out within 24 hours, FCC regulations, demand it if you are not offered it.

    NBS general timeframe depending on the region is usually a next day if not same day appointment.

    Intermittent Connection 3 day turn around, sorry but people without service have priority. Want a tip: unless you are using an EMTA for CDV service unplug your modem, that way they will think its offline and get you a tech sooner. This will not work with the CDV modem as the system picks up that it is unplugged. And remember don’t plug it back in, the modems are checked before a tech arrives to make sure that one is needed, if they see your modem online then your appointmemt will be cancelled.

  102. g2g says:

    Yup, pretty much sums up the experience here. The frustrating part from the customers POV is that we know that it is not the reps fault, you are just the poor schmucks that Comcast use as a buffer between us and them.

    We know that you do not have the information to help us but we are the ones losing the last 10 minutes of a movie, a contract due to an email not getting sent, a vital phone call from overseas etc.

    Also, when we do get service we are bombarded every 10 minutes with Comcast commercials which begs the question why cannot some of this expenditure go into infrastructure but hey, that’s a whole ‘nuther rant.

    Bottom line – you people have my undying admiration for putting up with the crap that you do, talk about stuck in the middle!

  103. Winnipagan says:

    Greetings from a Comcast Customer Service Representative (Residential)… given a lot of the comments posted, I thought I might write to give you an agents perception from the other side of the phone.

    Firstly, and most importantly, when I (and the majority of the agents I work with) receive your call, I(we) truly do want to resolve you problem to the best of my ability, but that isn’t always possible. I will use all my training and the tools available to me to get your phone/internet working (I don’t do tech support for video or billing services so can’t really comment on those services).

    I work for a contract company (in Canada) and work the sunrise shift (10:45 pm – 7:15 am CST). While there are many resolutions that I can offer – there are some that I can’t offer because I don’t have access to some branches of the company because they aren’t open.

    To make your call more successful I would like to make a few observations and suggestions.

    1/ My job is to do my best to get you a dial tone or and/or internet connection. As much as I would like to (and I have the call time to prove it) it is not my job to clean the viruses from your computer, set up your numerous email accounts, record your phone messages, teach you how to use your computer, set up your router, make long distance calls, call your friend because you can’t reach them, etc. The point I am trying to make is that sometimes when customers call their expectations are not realistic, and while I can sympathize with your plight, I am only suppose to assure that your services are working (a dial tone and that your modem is working and that you have a connection).

    The rest will be listed in point form;

    1/ When you call and we ask for your phone number/account number – it is so that we can look up your account information and check the status of your equipment. If you are not willing to give me that information there probably is very little I can do for you.

    2/ I know that having your services out is frustrating and honestly, if there is a way that I can get your services working I will do everything within my power to make that happen. Yelling. cursing, threatening me isn’t going to correct your issues any faster, all it is going to do is make my night that much more ugly. To be honest 95% of the customers I speak with are wonderful, kind, patient people… but here are also those that spend 10 minutes telling me how they are going to have me fired because they can’t get online.

    3/ Please read your service agreement – when you call and tell me how much money you are losing for your business (or gambling bets) because you can’t get online it isn’t going to change how I can help you resolve the issue, I will do what I can to help resume your services. If you have a residential account it isn’t meant for business and if there is a loss of connectivity the company is not going to reimburse you for loss of business. If you are using your internet/phone account for business then get a business account it will save you a very large amount of grief (and possibly money) in the long run.

    4/ If you are calling and your services are disconnected because of an outstanding balance, regardless of what emergency is happening in your life – unless you are able to make a credit card payment (those are the only payments I can take) there really is nothing I can do to get your services back up and running. Again, yelling and cursing at me isn’t going to get your internet/phone connected and in all fairness, it isn’t me that didn’t pay the bill.

    5/ Just something all Comcast (and any other utility customer) should know – from time to time your service will go down for maintenance (I know that Comcast doesn’t have the best notification policy). Please understand that any/all equipment needs to be maintained from time to time. As a rule if maintenance (generally) is planned it will happen after midnight and can take from 3 – 6 hours (in general). The reason it happens after midnight is that is when the least amount of customers will be affected. The purpose to maintenance is keep your service running to the best of it’s ability. To put it in perspective – would you buy a car from someone who told you it would run forever without ever needing to be serviced? Any/all equipment needs to be serviced at some point and Comcast is trying to service the equipment when the least number of customers will be affected.

    Lastly, I can only appologize if you have had a bad experience with another agent who didn’t resolve your issue, dropped your call, put you on hold forever but I do assure you if I can resolve the issue I will (In all fairness, it may take some time but I will try everything I know to to get your services up and running. If I can’t resolve the issue I will schedule an appointment for a technician to come out and get things working – when I give you an appointment date/time that is the earliest available appointment that I have to offer (the computer generates the next available appointment) and if the appointment time seems unreasonable – I will be the first to recommend that you call back during regular office hours for your local office hours (usually 8:900 am to 5:00 pm) to see if there is a technician available before the date/time I gave you.

    I hope that these points have helped to explain some of your experiences with Comcast services representatives,

    Thanks for your time

  104. AliceNuddletits says:

    I have a screenshot of being number 121 in the queue for chatting online
    with a representative:

    http://www.igottheconch.com/index.php?title=Comcast#Comcast_customer_service

    Tonight I was on hold with comcast 29 minutes 30 seconds before the battery
    on my phone went dead.

    The previous call when I tried to call I was on hold for over 20 minutes.

  105. ThurstonJibo says:

    Went from Verizon 3 mos. ago for Comcast “Triple Whatever” pkg., been an absolute horror story. Verizon may not be warm and fuzzy, but their stuff worked. This deal with Comcast is like a comic opera, ‘cept it ain’t funny. I’ll go back to Verizon/Direct TV shortly, and if any Comcast salesmen show up in future, I’ll throw ‘em out in the street.

  106. Anonymous says:

    We winter in Florida. Each year I call before heading home to cancel service..and each year I get billed for additional months because “Comcast has no record of your call…”
    The last customer service rep I spoke with was a real hardass..not a way to run a business.

  107. Anonymous says:

    Today is Tuesday AM (1/0609) in southwest Michigan. I have been without Comcast service since last Thursday PM (1/01/09) That’s no TV, no phone and no internet. The Comcast service representatives keep telling us that there should be no problems in my area. They don’t understand why we have a problem. I’m typing this at work to warn other potential Comcast customers. My wife has spoken to ten different Comcast service representatives and she continues to get the run around. She has used all her minutes on her trac cell phone in a fruitless effort to get our Comcast service (that”s an oxymoron) operational again. A Comcast service tech finally arrived yesterday and said our system was back up. However, when we returned home from work, we discovered that the cable to the TV is still not working. I’m a big football fan but I missed all the bowl games this year, thanks to Comcast. I’ve read the other customers complaints and I want to assure you that from my own personal experience, they’re all true. It’s the worst service I’ve ever seen. Look at all your options before committing to Comcast. Consider yourself warned.
    Rick from Paw Paw, MI

  108. Anonymous says:

    If you are having a terrible time with Comcast, each and every time you don’t get an answer or a supervisor or the response you need or the repair done that you need, pick up your phone and call you local State Attorney General. They have complaint forms you can fill out and I know in Illinois, they follow-up on all complaint forms. You still may not get a response that you like form Comcast but they will be so innundated with having to answer the AG’s questions, in writing, that it will really be a problem and an inconvenience for them. If they don’t answer, they get a visit from the AG’s staff and they have to stop and answer on the spot and provide any paperwork requested. Just make their life a misery.

    • Anonymous says:

      Does anyone know about Tuition Reimbursement. does anyone at all, know if Comcast Tuition Reimbursement will pay for school, if the CSR is paying the school through grants and loans? Or is it only if the student is paying out of pocket? Not much of a benefit, for all you have to put up with.

  109. magnoliasouth says:

    I’m coming in late to the game, but I was searching for keyword: mediacom and this comment
    [consumerist.com]
    caught my attention.

    I’m presently having another round of issues with Mediacom. I am past angry and need a way to escalate my complaints.

  110. Anonymous says:

    Ive been here for 2 months, and the customer service is decent. But heres my REAL BEEF with comcast. At NO time was I told when I was interviewed, in training, or the first day i hit the floor that is, that I had to sell products to KEEP MY JOB. Im being threatened of being fired because I don’t sell comcasts bullshit products over the phone. I get 30-40 calls a day about services NOT WORKING due to outages, or a bad pc, yada yada. What makes you think that I can sell TV phone and Internet to someone whos services aren’t working? My supervisor HANGS over my shoulder until i ask on a call. EVERY CALL I HAVE TO SELL. I am INTERNET TECH support, not Retention. Im slowing begining to dislike comcast and its ways. Its ALLLL about money, no about customer satisfaction. Go to verizon, go far far away to verizion. Dont ever turn back…

    ditch comcast, all they want is your money

  111. Anonymous says:

    My most recent Comcast customer service experiences involved an attempt to get my weak internet signal strength fixed, which required the installation of another outdoor cable. I learned that when dealing with Comcast, one does NOT catch more flies with honey. Here’s the run-down of what I learned from the experiences:

    They don’t keep their appointments within the 12 hour window that is given, and if you ask to be contacted by the technicians before they come (so you can be there), you are told that they will make that request, but there is no guarantee. Lovely! I guess we’re supposed to be “understanding” of this. So I was, and thanked the person for their help, with a smile in my voice.

    When the technicians came, one guy was very polite and professional, but the other one was trying to get me to tip him to upgrade my channel offerings that he could “fix” at the cable box up the pole. All hail to the powerful cable technician. Of course I said no because 21 channels of basic cable is good enough for me. I’m not a big TV watcher.

    When they have to come back a 2nd time after the first sloppy installation attempt (I’m no cable installation expert, but even I know that loose cables are dangerous!), you will be given another 12 hour window during which time you’ll be waiting captive and vigilantly in your home to listen out for their arrival since there is no guarantee they will call to give you a heads up. In my case, they did not call.

    There is no “supervisor” call back ever, even after REPEATED polite requests. The surefire way to get a call back, is to take more of your precious time to fill out the automated customer survey following each Comcast phone interaction. When you do eventually get that call back, be sure to keep your voice even and don’t let it show that you are upset that it’s been over 20 days (two of them being PTO days) since the first phone call with only a partial resolution, because if you do, the person calling you to resolve the complaint, will turn on you. You should suck up to them until the bitter end if you want to keep things pleasant. Just as long as you know that when dealing with Comcast, you do NOT catch more flies with honey. This is no guarantee that things will get done smoothly and efficiently (did I just use those words in the same paragraph as Comcast? Blasphemy!!!)

    There is NO accountability. When the “technicians” come out to do the work, it is a free for all. If it’s not done correctly and you have to call the “customer service reps” back yet again, you will hear that the technicians are contracted and since they are not Comcast employees, there is not much control over the quality of the work.

    The harder one tries to get the issue(s) resolved, the longer it takes.

    And lastly, I’ve heard of “going postal”. I wonder what the comparable phrase would be here for Comcast haters? Any suggestions???

    Under the circumstances of the pervading issues with this company, I think that employers should include “waiting for Comcast” as standard PTO employee requests.

  112. Anonymous says:

    Our final revenge! After having 3 appointments cancelled by the technician (without telling us), the morning of the 4th appointment we changed the service and no longer required a service visit. When the tech showed up we said we cancelled the appointment. He was not happy at all and said he would report us to his supervisor. Our county government has a contract with Comcast and has an office to field complaints. If your county/town has a similar set up, contact them so they’ll put the squeeze on Comcast…no service, no contract!

  113. Anonymous says:

    This makes twice that I’ve had a ‘Chat” with Comcast. The CSR both times was in Manilla, Phillipines!!!!!!!!! ALL Customer Service has been of exceptionally POOR quality. I pay an outragous amount for cable and internet and the least they could do is employ people in MY OWN COUNTRY let alone locally!

  114. Anonymous says:

    I guess diff’t areas work differently. We have a variety of time windows for appointments some 2 hr, some 4 hr, some all day. Tech time gets split into a compilation of these windows to allow them flexibility while doing their route, if a home needs more work they hopefully will be able to get it done while they are there and still make their next appointment. Some homes and buildings are truly a wiring nightmare: Cousin Cletus who once worked with an electrician added a couple cable outlets for you, now his ‘quality’ work needs to be redone; maybe the builder used antenna wire for cable and the landlord refuses to have it (or allow it to be) upgraded, the tech and customer are both screwed; your neighbors house is feeding back so much junk into the system that no ones internet works and they refuse to allow a tech to fix the problem. Oh by the way, your 2 to 4 appointment wants to know when you will be there since they are leaving at 3 and your 8 to 10 just called and they didn’t hear you knock because they were in the backyard/shower/neighbors house/asleep and wants you to come back. (At one time we noted the customers door color on the job to verify a techs door tag.)

    Yeah, techs get a little cynical after a while. All have been lied to, lied about, accused of and cursed at by customers. Never mind the dog bites, shocks from bad electrical wiring, lice, rats, feces and just general filth. But then there is J. who I check up on when I am in the area, brews a pot of coffee and tells me the latest about her friends and family and ‘could you check this for me while you are here since the guys have been wondering if we could…’

    Never did like the no answer on the phone then cancel. The person called for a reason. Stop by, maybe the person was in the backyard/shower… (your get the picture) and check outside, maybe you can find the problem. Do a couple quick checks and leave a door tag explaining anything you may have found and fixed. Of course, every tech visit costs money so I see the reasoning.

    Ah time to go home!! ‘City just called and some guy ran a backhoe through us, power, phone and water. Power will be done in an hour, see if you can get into the hole before phone otherwise we’ll be down all night while they do their work.’ Call the wife, cancel dinner plans, stop at mickey d’s for a bite on the way and hope the mud isn’t too deep.

    As techs we would just love to be able to show up at exactly the moment you expect, fix all the problems you have or are ever going to have and then leave. And no, I am not coming by at 10 p.m. because that is when your internet seems to get slow, did it once and not again.

  115. Anonymous says:

    We use to have comcast. We decided to tyr comcast phone also. The rep. that came to our house gave us the wrong info on the special they were having at the time. So when we got our first bill we realized we got screwed. Its funny how know one could help us untill we called our local comcast office to cancell both tv and phone that then they wanted to help.
    Well too late. We went to dish. Now we are getting phone, dish,and internet for the same price our nabers are paying comcast for oonly two of there services. And no we are not paying on a special right now.
    The specials all sound good with comcast untill you get hit with that first bill when it goes up.
    I beleive in bad service no bussiness. The economy is too bad right to be messing arround with customer service.
    So wake up comcast we are tired of your excuses.
    You tell us to be nice and be patient while you give us the run arround. To me thats just another run arround statement.

  116. Anonymous says:

    Why have mailing in a payment as an option to pay for service? I mailed one payment because I could not get to my local office during business hours and did not know there was a depositery box. The payment I mailed is God knows where and has not been credited to my account nor has the check passed through my bank yet. Now I get a final notice before suspension and termination of service letter. Now I know why I have gotten the run-a-around with customer service. Comcast customer service is like all other customer services out there. It sucks!

  117. Anonymous says:

    Comcast retention employee actually started screaming at me – I pointed out that during the phonecall he had broken every customer service rule in the book, especially for someone working in the ‘RETENTION” department!! He absolutely refused to allow me to speak to a supervisor.

    All of local customer service is beneath primitive (third party customer service is pretty informative – it’s just their information isn’t always accurate for our region).

    The local customer service offices DO use common talking points though — I have had 2 CSRs tell me that the government broke our cable. We used to get digital display from our cable input on our digital TV. It’s gone since June 12 transition — everything’s analog now — Comcast actually converts digital broadcasts to analog and sends them to us!!! The so-called “converter boxes” only offer on-demand and other revenue producing services — but NO DIGITAL.

    I believe it is a federal crime to use the US Mail to fraudulently charge for fictitious services so I’m using the online FTC and FCC forms to file formal complaints. They have been billing me for digital TV (increase rate) and admitted they don’t plan to roll out digital TV in our region until September.

    I called the state Public Utilities cable TV complaint line. The guy really made a lot of excuses for Comcast, sounded like the PR person they wished they had — until I pointed it out – and then the guy stopped. Afterall – he works for the agency that is supposed to regulate Comcast.

    Someone suggested the AG’s office, too. Will do.

  118. juspeachy says:

    Comcast values your business so much that the company allows the cae a full five and a half minutes to resolve your problems. If that cae call time at the end of the week exceeds 350 seconds, the cae is subject to disiplianary actions and possible, eventually, termination. For this and a variety of other reasons, cae’s don’t last long. Within six months of coming on the floor, fifty percent of a training class will no longer be on the floor, at year’s end, ten percent of that class might still be on the floor. This revolving door results in a larg number of newbies who really don’t have a good grasp on the job versus a few seasoned employees who really know what they are doing and can provide good customer service that will loose their jobs eventually for providing good customer service because their call time will be over the 350 time allowance.

  119. Debbie says:

    I had an appointment with Comcast for today. I was scheduled to have 3 additional boxes installed. The cost was a flat $16 for standard installation and $7.99/mo monthly charge per box. If, when the tech arrived, it was discovered that any additional work needed to be performed there would be a one time charge of $17.99 per each box that required the additional work (wiring etc..). The appointment was scheduled for sometime between 11 and 2. This meant that I had to stay at home for 3 hours and wait. Not such a big deal, right? Well, when 2pm came and no tech had arrived I phoned Comcast. I was told that my appointment was rescheduled because the tech called my home at 1:30pm and no one answered the phone and so they assumed I was not here and canceled the appointment. This absolutely infuriates me because for one, myself and my entire family was home waiting the entire time. Also, they NEVER called here. I even doubled checked myself and looked at the caller I.D. and there was no phone call from them, or anyone else between the hours of 12 noon and 2:15pm. This can only mean one thing….they lied. My new appointment is scheduled for 5 days from now between 8am and 11am. I am contemplating canceling the additional service because I am extremely upset and to be frank, pissed off! To be honest with you I am actually a bit shocked that Comcast even dares to treat their customers this way with all of the competition they have now a days. In the past they were basically ones only option for service, but that has changed and in my opinion Comcast better smarten up quickly or more and more people will be canceling not only additional services but general service altogether. Wake up Comcast!