Comcast Customer Service

Posted on October 25, 2010

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A week after I first mentioned it, here’s a report on some customer service interactions that I had with Comcast.

About a month ago, I noticed that our cable box/DVR was not responding to our remote control very well. I had to hold down a button for several seconds before the light on the DVR blinked, indicating it had received a command. I tried cleaning the signal emitter and replacing the batteries. That didn’t help. First I went to Comcast.com and interacted with customer service using online chat. Although the tech assisting me obviously didn’t speak English like a native, he was easy to understand. He did not waste my time with irrelevant issues. He told me I could replace my remote at any service center, then he figured out where I could find the center nearest my house. Grade: A. I felt that his use of required, copy-and-paste, courtesies actually distracted from helping me and made him harder to understand. Also, he never checked to make sure I had done everything I could at my end to fix the situation, like resetting the DVR.

Then I drove to the service center. There was someone available to help me when I walked in. As soon as I pulled my remote from my sweatshirt pocket, he pulled a replacement from behind the counter. Then he confirmed I was there to replace my remote, and even offered to return my batteries from the old one. Grade: A. A business that truly cared about customer service would keep track of how long people have used the service. It would provide that information to the contractors who travel around trying to up-sell Comcast users, along with boxes of remote controls. Those contractors could offer free replacements to appropriate customers. That would suggest that Comcast was looking out for its customers.

Of course, then I got home and found out that a new remote only slightly improved things. What I really needed to do was reset the DVR by unplugging it. I watched DVDs for a few hours, and then plugged the cable box back in. Voila. Everything works well again.

About a week later, our cable Internet connection went out. I called Comcast. They were busy (no surprise). The automated phone system gave me the option to schedule a call back. I did not take the option. I have in the past, and Comcast never calls me back. Coincidentally, last week I called Employment Security with a question and they gave me the same option. I took it, and it worked. With Comcast’s record, I did not take the option. I stayed on hold. 23 minutes later, Comcast hung up on me. I called them back. The automated phone system then said that there was an outage in my area and they were working to fix it (which they did). Grade: D. Never, ever hang up on your customers. Even if that person has to wait 30 minutes to hear a live human say there is an outage in the area, that’s better than hanging up. Also, in my opinion, Comcast should keep track of outages and pro-rate bills appropriately.

So there you have it. Overall, about a B.

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