Comcast Rewards You for Complaining Publicly

ComcastGood ol’ Michael Arrington of TechCrunch had an interesting weekend in which he learned how to minimize the classic ISP runaround (i.e., the customer service you get when your Internet stops working). He had 36 hours of downtime before, as he puts it, he lost his cool and posted to Twitter this message: “I am going to expend significant energy over the next three weeks trashing comcast.”

It only took 20 minutes after his Twitter message for a Comcast executive in Philadelphia to call him asking the “how can I help” question. The executive explained that he monitors Twitter and blogs to get an understanding of what people are saying about Comcast. Soon after the call, a team was dispatched to Arrington’s place and the issue was resolved. This sure beats what he experienced earlier with the automated phone system and misleading customer service.

The whole episode reminds me of the time last year when I had to go without Internet for two months. Lots of factors were to blame, but Verizon did not handle the situation very well. Next time anything like this happens, it seems that I should know exactly what to do. I’ll give them one chance to fix it and then start blogging / tweeting from a friend’s house.

When you use the Internet more than practically anything else at home (it’s my phone book / maps / weather / driving directions / calendar / dictionary / encyclopedia / banking / movie show times / reviews / credit cards / bills / shopping / streaming movies / music downloads / pictures / email / news / order tracking), the lifestyle change even for a short period of time is a huge pain.

But before I get too excited with this new found ISP customer service solution, I wonder, will it work for those who aren’t big shots? And even if it does, how sustainable is that kind of model? If only the regular customer service were good enough in the first place so that this kind of work around wouldn’t be necessary…

*Update* Paul Ellis has his own Comcast tech support story, which I think tops Arrington’s.

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  • http://www.techconsumer.com Paul Ellis

    I am actually in the middle of a Comcast fiasco that I already started writing up. I was going to wait for the fiasco to finish, but maybe it would be best to voice it to the public first. Although I’m sure the fact that it was Michael Arrington played into why he got an executive to call him that quick.

  • http://www.techconsumer.com Bob Caswell

    Paul, maybe you should throw up your post here on TechConsumer today or tomorrow. I can put in on Twitter, and we’ll see what the difference is between you and Arrington. His service would be tough to beat, though. I mean, 20 minute response time on a weekend? Wow.

  • http://www.comcast.net Scott

    You don’t have to be an A-lister to get special treatment from Comcast. Our local teams almost always can help you quickly and effectively. But if the normal chain of command isn’t working for you, send us a note here: http://tinyurl.com/68rku5

    Scott Westerman
    Area Vice President
    Comcast Southwest

  • http://www.techconsumer.com Paul Ellis

    Scott,

    As you’ll see in my up-coming post, I have already been to that link. And the “local team” was completely, and I literally mean completely incompetent. Both “techs” (from the multiple calls I made) were literally the most under-qualified support personnel I have ever encountered; far worse than even my worst Dell story. To top it off, my problem still hasn’t been rectified, and I was supposed to get called back by Comcast a week ago to make sure everything is ok, but that didn’t happen. The only reason I haven’t completed and posted my story is because I’ve been extremely busy.

  • http://www.comcast.com ComcastCares

    Bob,
    I can assure you that we do not do this for ‘A list’ individuals. We apply very similar treatment to everyone that we interact with on the internet. We look at this as another form of communication with our Customers.

    Paul,
    I did pull up your file regarding the slow internet you are experiencing. I do show that we attempted to contact you on 3 occasions based on the email that you sent to the link above. I will be reaching out to you via email tonight. I will provide you my contact information. I will be happy to help get this rectified for you.

    Thank you both!

    Frank Eliason
    Comcast

  • http://www.techconsumer.com Paul Ellis

    Frank,

    Obviously I would appreciate any help getting my connection back to normal, but what you (and all of the Comcast people) have missed so far is that we shouldn’t even have to talk to you or blog about your company. That is the failure. I have called (or tried to but the system was broken) about a dozen times now, half of those were after I completed the online form linked above (which did get people to call the next day), and only now after the blogosphere mention is there a chance of things getting fixed for me. That is a complete systematic failure, and I’m not talking about your IT systems.

    The people I have talked to have been eager to help, but have been completely and utterly under-qualified (you know, like when a 2-year-old wants to help you cook). Honestly, I couldn’t believe how little these people knew about IT, broadband, and the internet in general. It was so bad that I started outlining the blog post about it while I was waiting on hold.

    This really is the type of thing that people will switch service providers for. I know, I have already checked out DirecTV “packages” and the availability Verizon’s FiOS plans in my area.

  • Pingback: It’s Comcrapstic! My Comcast Tech Support Story | TechConsumer

  • http://www.techconsumer.com Paul Ellis

    @Frank and Scott,

    I posted my story here.

  • Pingback: It’s Comcrapstic! My Comcast Tech Support Story : TechPolymath

  • Pingback: Comcast Rewards You for Complaining Publicly | TechConsumer

  • Pingback: Comcast Screws Up But Then Makes It Up To Me | Bob Caswell

  • http://www.globalracingschools.com Motorsport Experience

    Wow interesting theory. I must start complaining more or start a blog dedicated to complaints on ComCast. ;-)

  • danielle

    comcast screws up but never makes it up to me! I would have considered an apology note anything would have been better than nothing at all . My phone , cable & internet all were shut off at least 3 times in one month. There mistake they shut off mine instead of the persons who was moving out in the next apt. They never did anything to make up for all those total outages! They did agree with me how much it sucked to have been with no phone t.v. ,or internet all that time.I 'm not sure what is fair? Also they gave me a price for the month and it has never been the price they assured me it would be. Is this not even worth getting upset about? Please anyones thoghts thanks daniellevincent02@comcast.net

  • richardpuleo

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR GIVING ME FREE H.B.O. FOR A YEAR ALL I HAVE TO DO IS REGISTER AT http://www.MyComcastRewards.com/339 AND GUESS WHAT. THE FILE DOESN'T EXIST.
    YOU REALLY P_ _ _ ED ME OFF !! PLUS,I CAN'T GET THRU ON THE PHONE

  • richardpuleo

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR GIVING ME FREE H.B.O. FOR A YEAR ALL I HAVE TO DO IS REGISTER AT http://www.MyComcastRewards.com/339 AND GUESS WHAT. THE FILE DOESN'T EXIST.
    YOU REALLY P_ _ _ ED ME OFF !! PLUS,I CAN'T GET THRU ON THE PHONE

  • Azib

    Don’t totaly believe the promo I recieved in the mail for preferred xf tripleplay for $109.99/mo for 12mo.I was told that since I was in the second year and only had the starter xf tripleplay I was’nt eligable to up grade for that price. Seems very misleading, of course thats Comcast.

  • http://twitter.com/m_guire Melinda Allums

    My dad is 87 years old, has untreatable leukemia, and very poor vision. He let a homeless man move into the RV behind his welding shop three years ago just till he could get on his feet. The man ordered a bundle of phone, internet and cable TV in my dad’s business name. When he was finally asked to leave about eight months ago, Dad discovered he’d been paying for all this that he didn’t know he had. His welding shop is a little rusty metal building with no insulation, no TV certainly and no computer. He called Comcast repeatedly to ask that services be terminated. They told him the homeless man had every right to open an account in my dad’s name because he was “employed” by dad and that dad was bound by that contract. Employed? He lived in the RV and got money from dad for food and cigarettes on a daily basis. It is a three year contract. Dad can’t even turn a computer on, certainly doesn’t own one but repeated calls from my mother and myself were to no avail. Dad gets social security and a pension from serving in the navy. Do you think Comcast cares even remotely? They don’t. During my fourth call today, I asked to speak with a manager. I was told the managers had no authority to terminate contracts and anyone could order comcast services for any business and the owner would be bound to that contract for the duration. I was also told that if dad wants out of the remaining year, he’ll need to pay just over a thousand dollars. I asked what happens (as in dad’s case) when the owner knows nothing about the contract and Comcast’s employee told me  it didn’t matter. Really????????????????????????????????????????????????? Use ANY provider so long
     as it isn’t COMCAST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • jim

    Who has info on the chain of command and how to contact them in the South East region? These people are sooo frustrating. After dealing with Comcast I have lost hope in humanity!