Comcast Will Continue Using Overseas Call Centers

Image courtesy of Mike Mozart

After being slammed by a string of high-profile customer service disasters, Comcast has made investments in recent year — like putting guarantees on appointments and increasing the size of its social media response team. However, one of the more annoying aspects of customer service calls isn’t going to change: The use of outsourced, overseas call centers.

Comcast’s head of customer service, Tom Karinshak, tells FierceCable that the company has no plans to shift these calls back to the U.S., even though Charter — which recently merged with Time Warner Cable to become a company nearly as large as Comcast — has plans to return 20,000 call center jobs back stateside.

Karinshak says Comcast is “constantly evaluating what the mix should be” between domestic and overseas call centers.

“Our partners do play an important role in supplementing our work force based on factors like seasonal volumes.”

Aside from the issues of accents and cultural differences, the use of third-party call centers in general can be problematic because the person taking the call is not an employee of the company they represent. These service providers often traffic in volume, not quality — repeating prescribed responses and unable to resolve anything but the most basic issue.

Having the provider and the customer service rep located on the other side of the world only makes it more difficult to hold them accountable.

Comcast says it has hired about half of the 5,500 new employees it planned to bring on when it announced a $300 million in customer service. Many of these new staffers are being put on the social media front, as more consumers turn to Twitter and Facebook to air their grievances about Comcast and every other company.

“We still have a lot of work to do, but we’re seeing significant progress across all of our metrics,” Karinshak told FierceCable.