Sources: Comcast “VIPs” Automatically Pushed To Front Of Phone Queue

Last week, it was revealed that a Comcast office in the power epicenter that is the D.C. suburbs maintained a “VIP” list of local politicians, business leaders, and other bigwigs. However, Comcast claims that in spite of the VIP label, these folks received no special treatment. Not so, multiple sources tell Consumerist.

One source worked for a company contracted by Comcast to maintain its automatic call distributor (ACD) system, which routes customer phone calls as they come in. This person says that the Comcast system was set up so that when one of the people on the VIP list called in, it would identify them by their phone number and jump them to the front of the line.

“My understanding was they were not told they were receiving preferential treatment,” says the source, “so in my opinion Comcast was deceiving them into thinking the service was better than it actually was.”

This particular person stopped working on the Comcast system several years ago and acknowledges that — at least when he was there — Comcast phone operations could vary greatly from site to site so it’s possible this was just a localized program to the Montgomery County, MD, area.

Another source — a former Comcast frontline support employee who worked with the company more recently — independently confirms what the first person told us.

This person tells Consumerist that during their years in the Maryland office that VIP calls — which also included local pro athletes and customers with substantial monthly bills who paid regularly — were indeed automatically pushed to the front of the queue.

They say there were situations where the system wouldn’t identify VIP callers correctly because they called from a phone that was not associated with the account.

But once the account was looked up, “we could see that status on their account and escalated them to the Platinum group,” says the source, who claims that frontline support people were never given the “We’ll make it right” cards that Comcast supposedly hands out to all employees.

When Consumerist asked Comcast to comment on the sources’ statements that VIPs were pushed to the front of the caller line, a rep for the cable giant would only repeat the statement originally given regarding the VIP list: “Comcast does not and has not offered special service, perks or free upgrades to lawmakers or public officials. Comcast does not and has not operated a dedicated VIP phone number or Web site in any market including the Beltway region.”