John’s wife used Cox’s online customer service chat to negotiate a better deal on their cable service. Usually, this is an effective tactic. Twenty minutes after concluding the chat and signing up, she received a phone call from Cox–canceling the appointment to upgrade service and rescinding the deal. “Technology only goes so far. We are all only human,” the representative told her. Which proves, at least, that the Internet representatives aren’t robots. So that’s something.
Today, my wife negotiated a new, lower price with Cox Cable over their internet chat service. As you can see in the opening lines of the chat, and repeatedly stated throughout the chat, she stated that we were existing customers seeking an upgrade. After spending over 2 hours chatting and researching, she followed the steps to sign up for the deal. She gave her thanks to the internet representative and called it a day at 3:55PM.
At 4:18PM, she received a phone call from another representative from Cox, who informed her that the scheduled appointment for the new services was cancelled because we were “existing customers”, and the deals were for new customers only. She then transferred my wife to sales, where she was promptly hung up on. My wife immediately called back, and attempted to explain that she had clearly stated she was an existing customer when she negotiated the new package and pricing.
An admittedly long transcript of my wife’s first internet chat with Cox is below. In short, Cox gave us a deal, and then called back and took it away after they “realized they made a mistake.” The representative kept blaming the computer system for the error, and told my wife “Technology only goes so far. We are all only human.”
My view is that if actual human beings worked at Cox’s [redacted] office, they would think about treating us like customers, rather than piggy banks.
Here is a small piece.
You: I’m thinking about expanding our cable. We only have the basic I think with only 100 channels and limited ondemand.
You: We are interested in having Showtime and HBO back again.
You: I also want internet but we don’t need anything fancy.
CSR: Okay Premium Channels are usually $14.99 each; however, we do offer one cable packages that comes with your choice of 3 Premium Channels and free DVR service.
You: How much are we talking about?
CSR: Cox Advanced TV Ultimate is our top video package, and it comes with up to 306 channels, 3 TV Paks, DVR service, your choice of 3 Movie Paks, and provides access to Cox OnDemand and Pay Per View service. This package gives you the best of programming options and is $116.48 per month. However, when you order online today, that rate is only $95.99 per month for 2 years!
This deal would have saved the couple $491.76 over the two years of the contract, so it’s understandable that they’d like to get it back. John sent the entire transcript to Consumerist, but the rep clearly acknowledges several times that she knows that she’s speaking to a current customer.