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Comcast Confessions 234

Posted by Soulskill
from the beancounters-shouldn't-run-the-show dept.
An anonymous reader writes: We heard a couple weeks ago about an incredibly pushy Comcast customer service representative who turned a quick cancellation into an ordeal you wouldn't wish on your enemies. To try and find out what could cause such behavior, The Verge reached out to Comcast employees, hoping a few of them would explain training practices and management directives. They got more than they bargained for — over 100 employees responded, and they painted a picture of a corporation overrun by the neverending quest for greater profit. From the article: 'These employees told us the same stories over and over again: customer service has been replaced by an obsession with sales, technicians are understaffed and tech support is poorly trained, and the massive company is hobbled by internal fragmentation. ... Brian Van Horn, a billing specialist who worked at Comcast for 10 years, says the sales pitch gradually got more aggressive. "They were starting off with, 'just ask," he says. "Then instead of 'just ask,' it was 'just ask again,' then 'engage the customer in a conversation,' then 'overcome their objections.'" He was even pressured to pitch new services to a customer who was 55 days late on her bill, he says.'
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Comcast Confessions

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  • by smooth wombat (796938) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @08:27AM (#47564813) Homepage Journal

    I cancelled my Comcast cable service last week. Walked into the office, handed them my equipment and told them I wanted to cancel my account. The person behind the counter checked in the equipment, had me sign a form indicating I had returned all the equipment and pay the prorated amount I owed.

    The only thing he asked me is if I was going with someone else to which I said no, I could no longer justify the cost.

    I was in and out in just over a minute. I waited in line significantly longer than that.

    Sidenote, I received a notice in the mail from Comcast that for a small additional monthly fee I could upgrade my service to one of the following. Obviously my cancellation hasn't worked its way through the system yet.

  • Nothing New (Score:5, Informative)

    by realsilly (186931) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @08:33AM (#47564845)

    Lots of companies have engaged in this practice over the years. I've worked for a Credit card company in the past, and they did the same exact thing. It's basically preying on the weak. Those who tended to overspend and could never pay off a debt were the most vulnerable to the sales pitch to keep the card open and active. This used to be called the "sub-prime" market, but that term fell out of good graces back in 2004 - 2006 when the word "sub-prime" referred to poor people; which was true. The original intent of sub-prime was to help people with bad / no credit establish a foundation for building good credit. Just like everything else, it got corrupted by corporate greed.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @08:37AM (#47564871)

    They are calling people on cable-modem only and offering a cable box for 5 dollars more a month.

  • by timholman (71886) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @08:55AM (#47564963)

    I cancelled my Comcast cable service last week. Walked into the office, handed them my equipment and told them I wanted to cancel my account. The person behind the counter checked in the equipment, had me sign a form indicating I had returned all the equipment and pay the prorated amount I owed.

    I was in and out in just over a minute. I waited in line significantly longer than that.

    You're not an outlier, but you did do exactly the right thing. You cancelled in person, instead of over the phone.

    The people you call on the phone are highly incentivized to keep you as a customer. The ones working behind the counter are not.

    If you want to quit ANY cable service, then disconnect all the equipment, load it in your car, take it down to their local office, and tell them that you wish to drop their service immediately. No one will argue with you; at that point you have bypassed their normal customer retention script.

  • by Lumpy (12016) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @09:09AM (#47565079) Homepage

    Comcast is closing those customer centers in most towns to avoid this.

  • Re:I wonder when... (Score:4, Informative)

    by i kan reed (749298) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @09:40AM (#47565335) Homepage Journal

    They'd discover the same thing phone companies did in the 1990s. Direct calling your customers for an upsell is a good way to create a cancellation.

An Ada exception is when a routine gets in trouble and says 'Beam me up, Scotty'.

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