Fortune magazine has an Q&A with CEO Brian “Bad Install” Roberts in which he expresses his hope that Comcast’s reputation for horrific customer service isn’t “universal”:
Q: As a CEO you must be aware of your company’s horrific reputation regarding customer service. How do you plan on improving it? — Eric Sodee, Arlington, VA.
A: I hope that reputation is not universal, and we are working very hard to improve where we have made past mistakes. We do 250 million phone calls a year between orders and services, and, inevitably, with that many calls, you are going to have failures. We have added 11,000 technical and customer-care employees just in the past 18 months. And we are beginning to call customers before and after service appointments to make sure we did the work properly. It is a major goal to continue to improve.
Is Comcast’s bad reputation universal?
If you’ll allow me to get a little personal for a moment, let me tell you that I once went to dinner at a (fairly expensive) restaurant where the waitress never took my order. She came to the table, asked my date what he wanted, took his order and left. All attempts to politely flag the waitress down were in vain. Eventually she brought my date’s order. She dropped it on the table and walked away as both of us were trying to ask her why I wasn’t allowed to eat.
It was so creepy and awkward that my date just gave me half of his food rather than try to talk to her. Eventually she came back to slam the check down on the table before she walked away without a word. To this day, I have no idea why she wouldn’t let me order. I’ve always sort of assumed that her pet had just died or that someone had just broken up with her. Maybe I look like some girl she hated in high school.
That was the second worst customer service I’ve ever experienced, Mr. Roberts. Guess what the first was.