We all know that time is precious, and for once it seems like Comcast is agreeing with consumers on that point. The company, which has a decidedly checkered consumer relationship, unveiled a new attempt to project a more consumer-friendly appearance by beginning tests of a new app that allows people waiting on a service call to track where a technician is currently located.
The service, Comcast’s latest attempt to project a more consumer-friendly appearance, was announced on a blog post titled “Your Time Is Valuable; We Don’t Want To Waste It.”
Although the company says in the post that it has whittled down the service call window to two hours instead of four, more could be done to recognize consumers’ valuable time. And so they created the “Where’s My Tech” feature, which is currently being tested in Boston.
Customers with a scheduled appointment will be alerted through the feature, available on the MyAccount app, when a technician is about 30 minutes away. At that time, the customer can track the technician’s progress on a map.
“We’re hoping this will prevent our customers from just needing to sit at home and wait,” the post says. “They can check the app from the office, or wherever they are, and head home when they see we’re on our way.”
While the intention seems all well and good, the company doesn’t appear to consider the fact that some people have to commute more than 30 minutes to work. So even with notice that a technician will be at their door in a half hour, some consumers still have to waste at least two hours of their time waiting at home.
Additionally, in the situation that the technician gets tied up at a previous appointment, the app will alert waiting customers of the delay and continue to send real-time status updates.
But such alerts are double-edged swords for Comcast. Yes, it keeps customers up to date about their appointment, but people who rush home to only then get a delay alert may be even more annoyed to find out there was no reason to hurry.
Also, the company isn’t specific in how they determine when the technician will arrive. The app’s insistence on a 30 minute window could potentially rush the technician’s work, which means your cable, internet or phone problem might not receive the attention it needs and then you have to repeat the cycle again next week.
There’s also no assurance that techs won’t try to game the system to make it seem like they have arrived on time.
We’ve seen this before at Sears, where employees were stopping the “5 Minute Guarantee” clock early, and we’ve heard countless reports of drivers for UPS, FedEx, and even Domino’s falsely declaring a delivery was made just to juke their stats.
It’s great to see Comcast attempting to be more transparent, but until we see the app in action and see actual customer feedback on it, we’re keeping the champagne on ice.