Saturday, October 20, 2007

Comcast Must Die

Victor Yuschenko said...

Here is a letter I sent to David Cohen, executive VP of Comcast, this summer. I am amazed at how similar my experience is to others on this board.

I am writing to tell you about the Single Worst Customer Experience of My Life, courtesy of the fine men and women of Comcast.This story has it all – shocking lack of competence, outright lies, and a customer service system that can best be described as Soviet in its hopeless ineptitude and ability to drain time and destroy souls. Mr. Cohen, I write to you because you are a man whom I respect, and who has tackled the Philadelphia city budget, which may be the only structure west of the Iraqi parliament which is more brazenly dysfunctional than the Comcast customer service system.

Mr. Dougherty, I write to you because you apparently have the unenviable task of herding the motley collection of dispatchers and technicians in the Wilmington, DE area.Let’s cut to the highlights, shall we?I have had no digital voice service for 4 ½ weeks. More important to me, except for maybe 1-2 days of isolated connection, I have also had no Internet service. Given that my girlfriend and I both work from home upon occasion, this lack of service directly affects our ability to earn a living.

To say that I have made an effort to have you resolve these issues would be like saying that Jeffrey Dahmer has a few minor personality issues. To be more specific, I have spoken to Comcast twenty times. Two-zero. That’s not puffery – that number was confirmed by Brian (ID #9FN) in your (Kafka- or Orwell-esque) “retention” department. But here’s the really infuriating part. Over the past week, Comcast technicians have failed to show up for four scheduled appointments. No call, no rescheduling – just flat-out didn’t show.

A quick recap of your efforts from the week of June 18, 2007 looks like this:

• Thursday, June 21 – I’m scheduled for first block of appointments in the morning. The technician was supposed to call my cell phone 30 minutes prior to arriving. The technician never called and never showed. When I called back the evening of the 21st, I was told that there was never any appointment in the system. I rescheduled for the following day, June 22.

• Friday, June 22 – Scheduled for first block of appointments (again). Tech never showed (again). I called that afternoon, and was told that a technician could come out between 5:30 and 7:30. The technician shows up at 8, does some work, and tells me the problem is fixed.

• Saturday, June 23 – Internet and phone are out again. I call customer service and am placed on hold for almost 40 minutes. A representative tells me he’ll send someone out tomorrow (Sunday) between 5:30 and 7:30. I give them my cell phone number so they can call 30 minutes in advance.

• Sunday, June 24 – At 5:45, I call customer service to confirm the appointment. I’m told the appointment has been cancelled… because the technician tried to call me and no one was home. The problem? He called the (broken) home phone line! I say fine, send him out now, since I still have plenty of time in my designated 5:30-to-7:30 “window.” I’m placed on hold for 20 minutes while the representative talks with his supervisor (or surfs for porn on the Internet, or whatever it is he does). At about the 21-minute mark, I’m disconnected.

• Sunday, June 24 (continued) – I call back and talk to a nice young man named Amir. He sincerely apologizes, but all the technicians have been sent home for the day. Amir informs me that he spoke to the dispatcher in my area, and that dispatcher claimed he tried to call both my home and cell phone numbers. This is a blatant untruth. The best he can do, Amir says, is to set me up for a new appointment tomorrow, between 10:30 and 12:30. I give him my cell phone number, and make him read it back to me. The tech is supposed to call 30 minutes in advance on my cell phone before showing up.

• Monday, June 25 – Given past history, I call customer service at 10:45 a.m. to confirm my “window” of 10:30-12:30 and that the dispatcher has my cell phone number. Their response? “That appointment was for yesterday. We don’t have anything today.” Jesus weeps.• Monday, June 25 (continued) – I receive a callback from the local dispatcher, who informs me that the technician will “probably try to be there by 1:00,” but he can’t make any guarantees. I inform the dispatcher that my time frame was 10:30-12:30; he responds that that is the best he can do. To his credit, the dispatcher does show up around 12:45.

The problem is fixed … for now.I have spoken to Michelle in your office and informed her of this twisted chronology. She was kind enough to credit my account for my difficulties. However, even by the distressingly low standards of today’s customer service systems, this entire episode stands out as being truly exceptional – exceptionally bad. Indeed, once-in-a-lifetime bad. I sincerely hope your company is able to improve its customer service and dispatch systems. If not, you’ll lose a lot of customers – myself included.

Sincerely,[name redacted] October 18, 2007 8:56 AM

From Comcast Must Die