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Comcast: honestly, 'it may take years' to improve our reputation

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The company has appointed a new executive in charge of reforming customer service

Comcast, which makes more money than Goldman Sachs despite being voted Worst Company in America twice, may be getting serious about improving customer service.

Today, president Neil Smit reiterated that customer service is Comcast's number one priority, appointing an executive to a new position focused on "reimagining the customer experience."

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.

"It may take a few years before we can honestly say that a great customer experience is something we’re known for."

"Transformation isn’t going to happen overnight," Smit says in a blog post. "In fact, it may take a few years before we can honestly say that a great customer experience is something we’re known for. But that is our goal and our number one priority… and that’s what we are going to do."

Herrin will be working across all of Comcast's departments, including customer service, technical operations, sales, marketing, training, and product development. Herrin "will listen to feedback from customers as well as our employees to make sure we are putting our customers at the center of every decision we make," Smit writes.

Comcast is taking heat for its lousy customer service in part due to its controversial proposed merger with Time Warner Cable, which would merge the nation's two largest cable companies. AOL executive Ryan Block also called attention to the issue over the summer when he published a particularly exasperating Comcast phone call on SoundCloud.

The company says it has been making an effort to improve customer service, pointing to efforts to integrate the fragmented company and shorten technician visit windows (although there is evidence that the latter choice may have actually caused more customer frustration).

The Verge recently examined Comcast's customer service issues in a four-part series, Comcast Confessions, which involved extensive interviews with employees.

Disclosure: Comcast Ventures is an investor in Vox Media, The Verge's parent company.