Comcast Customers Will Get $20 When Tech Shows Up Late

While many opponents of the Comcast/Time Warner Cable merger were primarily concerned about putting too much control over the pay-TV and broadband markets in one company’s hands, some just really disliked Comcast for its history of abominable customer service. Now that this acquisition has failed, Comcast is promising to invest some of its money in turning that we-don’t-care image around. The company says it will be hiring thousands of new customer service staffers and customers whose Comcast techs don’t show up on time will receive $20 bill credits.

“We’ll be successful when our customers see and feel this change in every interaction with us – from the first time they order and use our products to the way we communicate with them or respond to any issues,” explains Charlie Herrin, the guy who Comcast promoted last year to fix its customer service problem.

Comcast announced yesterday at the National Cable & Telecommunications Association annual show in Chicago that it will begin the process of hiring 5,500 new customer service employees. Around 2,000 of them will work at the three new customer support centers Comcast plans to open in Albuquerque, Spokane, and Tucson.

And because many consumers now bring their customer service gripes to social media, Comcast says it will be tripling the size of its social care team.

Comcast also says that starting in the fall, it will automatically credit a customer’s account if a technician is late for an appointment.

The company has been testing its Tech Tracker app in the Boston area since late 2014. It allows users to get an idea of where their tech is and whether they will show up within the appointed window. The app also gives customers the ability to rate a tech.

In addition to the merger failure, the last year has not been a good one for Comcast’s reputation. The company was caught ratting out a justifiably upset customer to his employer (which happens to be a consultant to Comcast), getting him fired in the process. Numerous customers recorded their disastrous customer service calls with Comcast and shared them with the public. And a former high-profile exec at the company raked it over the coals in an open letter after multiple customers revealed they had been the victim of rude pranks by surly Comcast staffers.

“It is unacceptable some of the individual instances that have been well-documented,” Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said at Tuesday’s event. “It was a rallying cry inside the company.”

Now we can only wait and see if Comcast makes good on its promise.