In June 2014, a Comcast customer recorded a frustrating call with a customer service representative and posted it to the internet. The story touched a nerve. Comcast has notoriously poor customer service and little competition in most of its markets, so unhappy customers can't switch. At the same time, Comcast is preparing for an acquisition of Time Warner Cable, something critics say would worsen problems at both companies and reduce choice for consumers. The Verge interviewed more than 100 current and former employees as part of an investigative series about the cable giant.Disclosure: Comcast Ventures is an investor in Vox Media, The Verge's parent company.
Sep 26, 2014Read Article >
Charlie Herrin, formerly a special vice president of product design and development, is now special vice president of customer experience, reporting to Smit and COO Dave Watson.
Many of the more than 150 current and former employees interviewed for The Verge's Comcast Confessions series cited excessive sales pressure as one of the main reasons the company gets poor customer satisfaction ratings.Read Article >
Despite the fact that Comcast has departments devoted to both inbound and outbound sales, the company encourages its employees in customer service, tech support, and other departments to make sales as well. This often puts the employee's interests at odds with the customer, who may be calling in to report a technical problem, billing issue, or to downgrade their service.
Comcast’s corporate headquarters, Comcast Center, is the tallest building in Philadelphia. It’s covered in mirrors, which makes it the perfect metaphor for the company, one former employee says; no matter where you go, the glare is in your eyes.Read Article >
It seems a lot of people share that sentiment.
One Comcast customer and YouTube user is the latest to go public with his tale of injustice at the hands of the cable company's customer service agents.Read Article >
Yesterday, Tim Davis (a pseudonym) posted a 14-minute video detailing how the company promised him he wouldn't be charged for something, charged him anyway, and then refused to undo the charges until Davis revealed that he had recorded the initial call.
The now-infamous “Comcast Rep from Hell” recording recently sparked a conversation about the largest player in the cable industry, and it’s a timely one: Comcast is in the process of acquiring the second-largest cable provider, Time Warner Cable. Both companies are plagued by low customer-satisfaction ratings.Read Article >
Comcast and Time Warner have agreed on a price, but the deal isn’t done. The Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice must decide whether a new consolidated company — with an aggregate 30 million subscribers — is in the public interest. The review process will take months.
Aug 7, 2014
For years, Comcast has been giving its employees special cards to hand out to customers who had "a negative or unpleasant experience that is unresolved."Read Article >
Once called "Make It Right" cards and recently rebranded as "We're On It" cards, the cards are printed with a unique ID number and a "no wait" hotline that connects to a dedicated team of 250 customer service agents. Employees receive 12 cards a year, which they can hand out at their discretion.
Remember that Comcast customer service representative who just wouldn't let Ryan Block cancel his service? That employee was in Comcast's retention department, which is a customer's last stop on their way out.Read Article >
Retention specialists are trained to persuade a customer to stay, or at least not cancel all their lines of service.
The recording of the “Comcast Rep from Hell” has now been listened to more than 5 million times, sparking a conversation about the largest player in the nation’s cable industry. That debate is a timely one: Comcast is in the process of acquiring the second-largest cable provider, Time Warner Cable, and both companies are plagued by notoriously low customer-satisfaction ratings.Read Article >
Comcast and Time Warner have agreed on a price, but the deal isn’t done. The Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice must decide whether the existence of a new consolidated company — with a projected aggregate of 30 million subscribers — is in the public interest. The process could take months.
Jul 30, 2014
It's now been two weeks since AOL executive and former Comcast subscriber Ryan Block published a recording of his insane dialogue with an overly persistent customer service representative, and we finally have the memo that the company sent out immediately afterward.Read Article >
"Recently, an unfavorable phone call into Comcast has been circulating on the Internet," the memo says. "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."
Jul 28, 2014
When AOL executive and Comcast customer Ryan Block recently tried to cancel his internet service, he ended up in a near-yelling match with a customer service representative who spent 18 minutes trying to talk him out of it.Read Article >
Rep: I’m just trying to figure out here what it is about Comcast service that you’re not liking.Block: This phone call is actually a really amazing representative example of why I don’t want to stay with Comcast. Can you please cancel our service?Rep: Okay, but I’m trying to help you.Block: The way you can help me is by disconnecting my service.Rep: But how is that helping you? How is that helping you? Explain to me how that is helping you.Block: Because that’s what I want.Rep: Okay, so why is that what you want?
Jul 16, 2014
In 2006, a man named Vincent Ferrari called AOL and tried to cancel his internet service. It took him 21 minutes as an increasingly desperate customer service rep named John tried to talk him out of it. "You used this quite a lot," John says, in a recording Ferrari made of part of the call. "Last month was 545 hours of usage."Read Article >
"I don’t know how to make this any clearer, so I’m just going to say it one last time," Ferrari says. "Cancel. The. Account."
Jul 15, 2014
Almost anyone that has tried to cancel cable service, wireless service, or a gym membership knows how difficult it can be to do over the phone, but a recent call to Comcast by one customer might take the cake for the worst of them all. Ryan Block, formerly of Engadget and now at AOL, called Comcast to cancel his service, but instead of politely obliging and going ahead with his request, the representative on the line insisted on taking him through a circular argument to find out the reason why he was canceling service.Read Article >
Block was able to capture about eight minutes of the call and has posted the audio to his Soundcloud account for the rest of us to enjoy (or sympathize with, if you've been in that situation before). It's pretty painful to listen to, and even though it sounds like something straight out of a hidden camera TV show, Block insists that it was not a prank (he even asked the rep during the call if it was indeed a prank). Grab a cup of coffee and give a listen to the call below.