Confessions Of A Comcast Video Repair Agent

In the wake of that embarrassingly desperate Comcast customer retention call, and statements from current and former Comcast workers who claim that such behavior is par for the course, one of the company’s video repair agents has sent us some inside information about what it’s like behind the scenes at Kabletown.

“M.” says that his purpose for sharing this information was to hopefully shake things up at the nation’s largest cable and Internet provider.

• According to M., Comcast doesn’t actually care if video repair agents — the people you eventually get passed to when you call to gripe about your service not working — actually fix your TV-related problem. He says there are only two metrics that matter to his bosses: “Did you sell the customer something? And how fast did you got the customer off the phone?”

• M. claims that video repair staffers are told the only way to get a higher wage is to successfully upsell more products and services to the customer.

• You know when you ask for a Comcast supervisor and get passed to someone who doesn’t seem to have any more authority than the first person you spoke to? M. says that’s because you’re likely just being passed to another agent who has been designated on that day to take “supervisor” calls that day and who will claim to be a supervisor on the phone call.

“Rarely will there be a supervisor available for anything,” says M.

• Your install or in-home repair tech is a no-show? M. says there’s not really anything that anyone in the Comcast call center can do about that.

“The gap between the call center and local dispatch is miles apart,” explains M. “Anything a representative says about getting another tech out for a no-show is a lie and you’re better off rescheduling. Technicians will tag doors and run back to their vehicle or just drive by and describe the house like they’ve been there.”

• One problem that M. claims to constantly come across is customers who have inactive cable boxes on their accounts that they are continuing to pay for.

“Comcast does very little to get rid of these devices and it is a long, drawn-out process if a customer catches it,” he reveals. “Experienced repair agents will never proactively bring up how many boxes you have on an account for fear of starting an argument about it.”

• “The majority of our tech scripts require that customer wait 30 minutes and call back,” claims M. “Some scripts even tell a customer to call back, then when they do, the next step is to do one small change and ask them to call back in 30 minutes again.”

• The folks in Retention are a real pain to video repair agents like M., he says. First, the Retention agents frequently try to pass unhappy customers to repair agents so that the Retention agent’s stats aren’t dinged by a lost customer.

Then, according to M., Retention agents — in an effort to cut down customers’ bills — will remove codes from the customers’ accounts, even if these codes are needed for set-top boxes to function.

M. gives the example of removing the code for HD/DVR service, which will cut a chunk off the monthly bill, but which will eventually render the set-top box inoperable.

“Then you call back, we add it back on, and you’re back where you started, except we don’t tell you that,” he explains. “We don’t give out what we’re doing to fix your box because we have been told long ago that we are to fix your equipment, not talk about your billing.”

• Because of this pro-sales, anti-customer environment at Comcast, M. claims that “Everyone in the call center is always looking for a new job at all times.”

M. also provided us with the following “Customer Interaction Policy Reminder” e-mail that was sent to employees:

Comcast is committed to delivering outstanding service to each and every customer. It is our goal to ensure that each customer with whom we interact has a quality experience.

Each encounter we have with the customer defines Comcast in that particular customer’s eyes. Favorable interactions yield favorable impressions and unfavorable interactions yield unfavorable, or negative impressions of the Company.

Therefore, we require that all employees refrain from any form of rude, inappropriate or unprofessional behavior. Please remember to treat all customers with the utmost respect.

Recently, an unfavorable phone call into Comcast has been circulating on the Internet.

Our Senior Vice President of Customer Experience for Comcast Cable posted the following apology on our company’s website – Comcast Voices blog and spoke directly to the customers.

Action Required:

Please read the statement below to customers for this particular call.

“We are very embarrassed by the way our employee spoke with Mr. Block and Ms. Belmont and are contacting them to personally apologize. The way in which our representative communicated with them is unacceptable and not consistent with how we train our customer service representatives. We are investigating this situation and will take quick action. While the overwhelming majority of our employees work very hard to do the right thing every day, we are using this very unfortunate experience to reinforce how important it is to always treat our customers with the utmost respect.”

Action Required:

If you receive a call from the media regarding this incident, please refer to the Media Inquiry Policy to transfer them to your local media contact.
For more information about the Customer Interaction/Interface Policy, please view your Employee Handbook in the HR/Benefits section on TeamComcast. Note, this policy may be visible to internal employees only. All others should review their local policies or speak to their training teams for more information on acceptable customer interactions.