Chris gave Comcast a heads up that he was moving and wanted to arrange a transfer date ahead of time, and they disconnected his present internet access instead. Gahhhhhhh! Ahhhh!!! When he made various calls to various Comcast departments, various employees agreed it was messed up, but all refused to actually solve the problem. So Chris, using some email addresses we posted, sent out a well-crafted executive email carpet bomb…
He made a rational business argument. He calmly laid out the problem and course of events. He rationally argued it was both foolish and unacceptable to treat a a high-value Comcast customer in this manner. In an artful and subtle flourish, vaguely referred to how solving the problem would be a good way to avoid more negative publicity for the company.
It got results. A Comcast exec who got the email forwarded to him called the executive customer service department, from his house, and told them to get this solved, pronto. That’s the power of the executive email carpet bomb. Just one of your recipients needs to realize how completely stupid and unacceptable it is for a business to be run in the way that caused your complaint.
Chris’ complaint letter and followup email below.
To Whom It May Concern:
Last evening I called 1.800.COMCAST in order to set up a transfer service appointment for my impending move from one county to the next. I have been a loyal Comcast customer despite more than one instance of dissatisfaction over the last year (over billed, poor service, empty offers, followed by more inaccurate bills, etc.). I currently subscribe to the “Triple Play”, HBO, HD service, as well as the Center Ice package in the winter time. I have also called and left a message with the executive customer service department, office of the President (215.640.8960), without response. The following, is what transpired happened yesterday
I called the 800 number and navigated my way to the the transfer service department. I spoke with Tony, operator ID UP4. I first asked him if I moved and took Comcast with me, would I be eligible to receive the free 19″ HD TV offer that is currently being advertised in the Philadelphia area. He said that I was. We then proceeded to verify addresses, and set up the appointment time for the tech to arrive at the new address to set everything up. This request was put in on Wednesday, June 11, 2008, with service to be disconnected here on the 27th, and reconnected at the new address between 3 and 5 PM on the same day. This was by far my best and easiest interaction with Comcast, ever. I made extra sure to let Tony know this, as I was thoroughly pleased with how easy this process was, as advertised.
I spoke way too soon.
Moments after hanging up with Tony, I realized my internet was not working. I tried fixing it locally on my end first, by restarting my computer and resetting my modem and router among a few other fixes that usually work. Neither worked, so I called back (reference number CR127432486).
To make an extremely long story short, I spoke with Janet, operator ID 29842, who told me that because the transfer service request went in, it put a flag of some sort on my internet account which deactivated it until the transfer date. Because I notified Comcast that I was moving, they disconnected my internet for what was to be over two weeks! I asked to speak with her supervisor, as this answer was highly unacceptable to me. I then spoke with Janet’s non-technical supervisor Adam, operator ID 29858 (he was not positive this was his correct ID, and also gave me ID NATG01). He only reiterated what Janet had told me earlier, twice. What I fail to understand is if he is a non-technical supervisor, how is he qualified to answer these types of questions, let alone instruct others? Further more, all he was able to do was reiterate what Janet had told me, which is what he told her. He had no solution, new information, or most importantly, help.
Adam the non-technical supervisor then proceeded to tell me that there was absolutely nothing he could do, and that it was most likely a simple glitch in the system that your IT department would have to look into. He did not offer to escalate this problem to the IT department for resolution. My favorite part of this horrible experience is when Adam actually agreed with me how extremely absurd that this situation was, that my internet was disconnected because I called in advance and notified Comcast of the move. To have a supervisor agree with a complaintant, but not have an ability or initiative to fix the problem, is truly amazing.
I was then transferred back to Janet in order to cancel my transfer service request. After being on hold for what seemed an inordinate amount of time, she informed me that the transfer service department told her that they could not cancel the request, it wasn’t their fault, and she had to call the digital phone department in order to resolve. This confused me even further, considering my phone was working fine, as I had been on it for over 45 minutes so far on this call alone. If neither my phone nor my cable were affected, I don’t understand how the phone department would be able to cancel this request. Tony, in the transfer service department, never informed me that my internet would be disconnected as a result of the original request.
I feel at this point, I should be able to request a transfer of service for the time and date originally requested (June 27, 3-5PM). I also feel that my internet at my current residence should not be disconnected as a result of this request. I’m paying for the service, I should be able to use it. Additionally, I (according to Tony) am eligible for the free 19″ HD TV giveaway. I expect to be eligible for this still, despite what transpired. And most importantly, I expect an apology for more of my wasted time trying to correct my service with Comcast.
I hope a speedy resolution is in your interest, as I’m sure that it will cost far less then even more bad publicity than your company has already endured. I not only ask this for myself, but for what I’m sure are many, many other unhappy customers who have faced the same brick wall in trying to transfer their services to a new address. This is border line false advertising – Comcast has made moving services near impossible, not easier! For as much as I pay every month, Comcast should be very interested in keeping my business, and not losing it going forward. Telling people that the problem is their fault, that there is nothing Comcast can do to fix it, being generally unhelpful and unresponsive are traits which I do not consider good business practices. I believe that one business day is more than ample time to return a call of an unhappy customer. Comcast, obviously does not.
I eagerly await your reply.
Account Number: [redacted]
Cell Phone: [redacted]
Home Phone: [redacted]
[home address redacted]
It took Comcast exactly 1 hour and 7 minutes to call me after I sent this email last night. I heard from Courtney, who worked at corporate, who had copy of email in hand. Her boss called her from home, and asked her to contact me ASAP, which she obviously did. Her boss wasn’t even on the original email, so the email must have circulated the company very, very quickly. Courtney proceeded to give me her direct number, her boss’ direct number, and her boss’ assistant’s direct number, and assured me that either her boss or his assistant would call me today with resolution. As promised, Michelle (the asst.) called me mid afternoon today. This must be all that Michelle does, because she moved with exceptional accuracy, efficiency, and speed. I think she might actually be a robot. She promised the problem was fixed, that there is indeed a workaround to this massive glitch in their system, I have my original appointment time, and will receive the HD TV offer. And as you can tell from this email, my internet continues to work. So, everything seems to be on course now. Michelle said she would check in with me a day or two before moving day to make sure nothing has changed, and will continue to follow up until everything is done. I was unimpressed that 24 hours was not long enough time for someone to call me back after leaving a v/m at corporate, but the efficiency in solving this in the last 24 hours since, has been impressive when compared against all previous Comcast encounters. It’s unfortunate that this sort of service cannot be obtained via normal channels. But, a huge thanks to the Consumerist (I’m an avid work-time-reader-because-there-is-nothing-better-to-do) I got the answer I was looking for.
If you want to send an executive email carpet bomb of your own, here’s how to do it.