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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 From the article: 'These employees told us the same stories over and over again: customer service has been replaced by an obsession with sales, technicians are understaffed and tech support is poorly trained, and the massive company is hobbled by internal fragmentation.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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  • I wonder when... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ggraham412 (1492023) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @08:19AM (#47564765)

    I wonder when customer service will start being more proactive by calling customers.

    "Hello, this is Comcast. How may we upsell you?"

  • by Strahan (1027774) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @08:38AM (#47564873)
    Hell, they do that already, at least for their business accounts. I wanted static IPs so I bought a business account for my home. Every month or two I get a letter in the mail from Comcast offering "a free account review!" How kind of them to offer to upsell me for no extra charge, lol.
  • ...painted a picture of a corporation overrun by the neverending quest for greater profit

    Or for short, just "a corporation".

  • by benjfowler (239527) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @08:42AM (#47564897)

    The US has always been fatally weak on control fraud and white-collar crime. Dumb people are impressed by rich people, and never ask how those people got rich, nor how many dead bodies they needed to step over to do it.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @08:47AM (#47564923) Journal
    Not really an outlier, its a difference between cancellation on the phone and cancellation in person. The phone drones (or "the lost and the damned") are extraordinarily closely scrutinized and their paychecks and/or not getting shitcanned are directly dependent on 'retention'. The in-store people, apparently, are paid to be in store but not directly induced to hassle you.

    I'm not quite sure why Comcast hasn't emiserated the in-store situation yet; but apparently they haven't, and it's not as though the front-line peons are fucking with you for their pleasure, so if they aren't forced to they generally won't.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @08:49AM (#47564927)

    Snatch up one Comcast and one Time Warner exec. Saw their heads off on YouTube.

    Great, the solution is to become the Taliban of the Internet. Like that's going to help anything.

    Rather than being an asshat, why not ask folks to contact their elected officials.

    GOVERNMENT WARNING:
    WARNING: Left to themselves, governments can become extremely dangerous. Please, contact your elected representatives regarding the matters that are most important to you (unless you are an asshat that advocates sawing people's heads off on YouTube, in that case STFU). http://www.contactingthecongress.org/ [contacting...ngress.org]

    See how easy that was?

  • by ajegwu (1142365) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @08:54AM (#47564957)
    See how effective that was?
  • by sinij (911942) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @09:00AM (#47564989) Journal
    I understand that above suggestion to "saw their heads off" was likely made in jest, but there is grain of truth to it.

    We live in an era where people in charge have very little accountability to the masses. "The Mob" no longer puts fear into politicians or business community. As such "maybe I shouldn't do this nefarious yet legal deed because it could end up with guillotine" check is no longer there.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @09:00AM (#47564997)

    See how effective that was?

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @08:49AM (#47564927)
    by ajegwu (1142365) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @08:54AM (#47564957)

    You're right, trying for more than five minutes was too much to ask. Off with their heads.

  • by Lumpy (12016) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @09:11AM (#47565095) Homepage

    Watch out, they may have accidentally reactivated your account and you are being charged for something. your only warning will be a credit collections company contacting you.

    It was a very common thing back in 2006 that Comcast did to customers that successfully cancelled their service.

  • by ATMAvatar (648864) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @09:29AM (#47565241) Journal

    I'm not quite sure why Comcast hasn't emiserated the in-store situation yet; but apparently they haven't, and it's not as though the front-line peons are fucking with you for their pleasure, so if they aren't forced to they generally won't.

    That's easy. Someone deliberately screwing with you to prevent your cancellation in person could escalate the situation to violence. Over the phone, the most that can happen is a shouting match, and if the customer gets frustrated enough, they hang up, which is a win.

  • by Dega704 (1454673) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @10:02AM (#47565535)
    At first glance this may seem completely irrelevant to debates about Net Neutrality and data caps, but now I think it tells us a lot about just how unscrupulous Comcast and other big ISPs are. When their greed trumps even the most basic tact and professionalism, how can anyone in their right mind expect us to believe that the best thing for everyone is to let them run amok unchallenged and unregulated with a virtual monopoly? It boggles the mind.

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