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  (Source: cmorran123/Flickr)
After throwing its employee under the bus, internal memo indicates Comcast looked to mislead media about protocol

Comcast Corp.'s (CMCSA) embarrassment continues over the case of the published call in which customer Ryan Block is harassed by an "overly needy" Comcast retention specialist. The specialist goes to seemingly insane lengths to redirect the conversation and ignore the customer's requests to cancel his service.  The call was posted to SoundCloud and quickly picked up steam after The Consumerist highlighted it.
 
In a statement to NPR News, Comcast appeared to throw the employee under the bus, suggesting:

We are very embarrassed by the way our employee spoke with Mr. Block and are contacting him to personally apologize.  The way in which our representative communicated with him is unacceptable and not consistent with how we train our customer service representatives.

We are investigating this situation and will take quick action. While the overwhelming majority of our employees work very hard to do the right thing every day, we are using this very unfortunate experience to reinforce how important it is to always treat our customers with the utmost respect.

Call center
In an internal memo Comcast acknowledges it does train employees to harass customers to try to "save" them, when they call to cancel. [Image Source: prialto]

However, The Consumerist today published a leaked internal memo from Comcast COO David N. Watson which sheds more light on the matter. Mr. Watson reportedly posted the memo to Comcast's internal TEAM Comcast webpage.

Comcast COO
Comcast COO David Watson

The real truth, he reveals, is that the employee wasn't derailing -- he was doing precisely what he was told.  He comments:

You probably know that there has been a fair amount of media attention about a recording of a phone call between one of our Customer Account Executives (CAEs) and a Comcast customer. The call went viral on social media and generated news headlines. We have apologized to the customer privately and publicly on Comcast Voices, making it clear that we are embarrassed by the tone of the call and the lack of sensitivity to the customer’s desire to discontinue service.

I’d like to give you my thoughts on the situation.

First, let me say that while I regret that this incident occurred, the experience that this customer had is not representative of the good work that our employees are doing. We have tens of thousands of incredibly talented and passionate people interacting with our customers every day, who are respectful, courteous and resourceful.

That said, it was painful to listen to this call, and I am not surprised that we have been criticized for it. Respecting our customers is fundamental, and we fell short in this instance. I know these Retention calls are tough, and I have tremendous admiration for our Retention professionals, who make it easy for customers to choose to stay with Comcast. We have a Retention queue because we believe in our products, and because we offer a great value when customers have the right facts to choose the package that works best for them. If a customer is not fully aware of what the product offers, we ask the Retention agent to educate the customer and work with them to find the right solution.

The agent on this call did a lot of what we trained him and paid him — and thousands of other Retention agents — to do. He tried to save a customer, and that’s important, but the act of saving a customer must always be handled with the utmost respect. This situation has caused us to reexamine how we do some things to make sure that each and every one of us — from leadership to the front line — understands the balance between selling and listening. And that a great sales organization always listens to the customer, first and foremost.

When the company has moments like these, we use them as an opportunity to get better, and that’s what we’re going to do. We will review our training programs, we will refresh our manager on coaching for quality, and we will take a look at our incentives to ensure we are rewarding employees for the right behaviors. We can, and will, do better.

Thank you for your support, and many thanks to the thousands of exceptional employees all around the country who work so hard to deliver a great customer experience every day. I am confident that together we will continue to improve the experience, one customer at a time.

Thanks to Comcast's COO, we know that the employee was in fact mostly sticking to the script, although he could he could have used a little more tact.
 
Comcastic day
[Image Source: cmorran123/Flickr]

Comcast's almost evangelical way in which it proclaims the importance of "the act of saving a customer", should be eye-opening to anyone who believed this was a one-off incident.  Comcast is clearing training its reps to behave as belligerent hard sellers.  While it says it must try to win them back with "the utmost respect", the memo seems to clearly imply that its script requires its agents to deflect customer requests, and waste their time trying to share facts about how great Comcast is and sales pitches to win them back.
 
In other words, Ryan Block's experience -- tone of the rep aside -- was an ideal call from Comcast's perspective.
 
So to recap, Comcast was caught harassing and not listening to its customers via rude retention calls.  It then lashed out at its employee saying they were violating their training.  Then after pointing the finger at the working man, it turned around and told its workers that the employee actually was following their training, and that they shouldn't feel bad.

Comcast doesn't care
Comcast doesn't appear to really care about its customers' wishes and is happy to deflect blame to its employees who are following its policies/protocol. [Image Source: Silence Breakers]

No wonder Comcast beat out a packed field of rivals to earn the distinction of "Worst Company in America" in a public poll by The Consumerist.

Of course for those appalled at such glaringly dishonest business practices, the fun has just begun as Comcast is in the process of acquiring Time Warner Cable, Inc. (TWC) for $45.2B USD.  Time Warner Cable was the second most loathed in 2013 ISP customer satisfaction surveys, behind only Comcast.

If the deal -- currently under scrutiny by U.S. antitrust regulators -- goes through, Comcast will own a dominant stake in the U.S. cable television market just under 30 percent, and a dominant stake of just less than 40 percent in the U.S. cable internet market.  With roughly 2 in 5 Americans connected by Comcast, and with Comcast and Time Warner being the only two options in some regions a deal would leave many Americans with no other option for service.

South Park -- Comcast
Many Americans could soon be forced to use Comcast. [Image Source: Viacom's Comedy Central]

But with corporate America encouraged by the U.S. Supreme Court in recent rulings to exercise its "free speech" by paying off America's elected officials, hope of overturning the deal -- widely acknowledged as anticompetitive -- is waning.  Comcast has started a political action committee and is looking to make key payments to both individual candidates and the Democratic/Republic National Parties, looking to lubricate the deal and slide it through the backdoor.  As the saying goes, money speaks.  Thus many Americans may soon have to begrudgingly deal with this kind of antics.

Sources: Consumerist [1], [2], NPR News



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I think you're reaching here
By Bunkei on 7/22/2014 5:50:27 PM , Rating: 5
I have very little sympathy for Comcast as a company who clearly operates as a monopoly. Their customer serivce is dismal, and fortunately for me, I hardly ever have use for it.

With that being said, Jason, this memo doesn't really support what you're implying. The executive said that while the agent was doing his job of trying to retain the customer's business, he did not do so in a respectful way prompting him to say (and I quote): "but the act of saving a customer must always be handled with the utmost respect". He also stated that there must be a balance between selling and listening.

There's nothing in the memo that I see that can even remotely be viewed as objectionable or inflammatory. It makes me wonder if this truly was a "leak", as in, unintentionally being made public. This could have posted on a public forum or blog and probably would get very little or no attention.

This article definitely does not merit the sensationalized title you've attributed to it.




RE: I think you're reaching here
By retrospooty on 7/22/2014 6:00:19 PM , Rating: 3
Yup... Comcast is as bad as it gets, but I am sure this rep was just way over the line and not in policy. No matter what incentives he gets, after the first 3 or 4 times the customer asked to please just cancel the service, the rep should have realized by then the guy was not going to change his mind and just give up and cancel it. "He's just not that into you" comes to mind here.


RE: I think you're reaching here
By JasonMick (blog) on 7/22/14, Rating: 0
By retrospooty on 7/22/2014 6:22:06 PM , Rating: 2
"Certainly this is a far cry from Comcast's initial claim that its employee's approach was wholly inconsistent with "how [Comcast] train[s their] customer service representatives."

OK point taken. Obviously there are incentives to not let them drop.

"Had he "saved" the customer via his persistence/obnoxious "education" attempts, do you think Comcast's internal review would condemn this kind of behavior?"

I see your point, but it's a hypothetical that could not have happened. Even following a forceful policy, the guy needed to realize much sooner that this customer was already lost and there was absolutely no changing his mind. I said after 3 or 4 times he should have realized, so maybe that was too soon. After 8 times? 15 times? It was too many to count but I am guessing that recording I heard had the guy saying please just cancel my account at least 30x, and we didn't get even get the beginning of the call. We only got the part where the customer was already fed up and started recording it.


RE: I think you're reaching here
By rudolphna on 7/22/2014 7:33:17 PM , Rating: 3
Short answer: Yes. QA IS a thing, and attitude and interaction with the customer is a huge part of what happens when they QA a call.


RE: I think you're reaching here
By MrBlastman on 7/23/2014 11:27:46 AM , Rating: 2
In Comcast's case, it is them trying to take advantage of the customer. I feel for some of the service employees working for them. They are basically told to follow a script. If they don't follow the script, they are fired.

I just got off the phone with them, actually!

I was checking my monthly account debits and noticed my Comcast one. See, over a year ago I cancelled Cable from them. I don't watch television much so it doesn't matter to me. Antenna is all I need IF I watch it. (I'm one of those rare people that prefers to read all their news). Back in May I found a way to reduce my bill, increase my internet speed AND managed to convince them to remove my modem surcharge (i.e. "persuaded them" to give me the modem I had been leasing). Since then, I've been watching my bill like a hawk. Comcast is known for pulling sneaky things with these.

So lo and behold, my most recent debit went up by $1.75. Yeah, not a lot of money, right? $1.75 is what it costs me to see a movie at the "dollar" theater. But still, that's an increase for no reason and is above and beyond what we agreed upon.

That should be simple to fix, right? Comcast is nice--they verify your account when you call in automatically. The system detects my phone and references it with my account. Then they verify my name.

At least, this is how it has always been done. I call in, tell them about the rogue bill increase and all of a sudden... everything I normally give them is not good enough! They now want an account number!

Look, I don't read paper bills. I don't bother logging in to get account numbers. I've never had to give it to them before. I didn't last month. I shouldn't now, right? Well, they insist I give it to them. The guy is nice enough. I being angry, let him know it isn't him--it is the company he works for. Basically they wouldn't let me talk to them without jumping through lots of unusual hoops I normally wouldn't have to contend with, just to dispute a $1.75 charge.

My answer--I told them I want to talk to management. I'm now waiting for a callback. We'll see if that happens. Yeah, I could look up my number on a computer, but why should I? Their system verifies me automatically like it always has. I've always only had to give them my full address and zipcode, maybe date of birth and I'm in. Why, all of a sudden, do they need the account number, and only the account number when they have it on a screen to verify I am me when I am calling from my personal cellphone which they verified already as being authentic?

Comcast sucks. I refused to give them a number out of principle. Yes, I'm being a bit of a douche but so are they. I hate Comcast. Don't ever support them.

Oh, and sign the petition here with the FCC to block their merger:

http apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/comment_search/execute?proceeding =14-57


RE: I think you're reaching here
By Ahnilated on 7/23/2014 1:54:58 PM , Rating: 2
I would bet money that you will never get a call back from someone claiming to be management, I haven't in over 20 yrs of working with these companies. You see, you are still paying for the same crappy service no matter if they call you back or not.


RE: I think you're reaching here
By MrBlastman on 7/23/2014 4:05:28 PM , Rating: 2
To their credit, they did call me back. They also informed me the CSR agent should have been able to verify the last four digits of my social instead of insisting I give them the account number. He said he couldn't see the number on his screen but his boss said he should have been able to.

As for the 1.75... well, in all due fairness, it was because I had a credit applied to my previous bill.

Oh well. You have to stay on top of this stuff!


RE: I think you're reaching here
By JDHammer on 7/23/2014 7:58:19 PM , Rating: 2
Can i just facepalm? =P


RE: I think you're reaching here
By MrBlastman on 7/24/2014 2:26:10 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah. :P


RE: I think you're reaching here
By sorry dog on 7/24/2014 12:13:27 PM , Rating: 2
I am familiar with the software that Comcast uses. All he had to do was click on another tab that would show personal info including the last four of your social (if you ever gave it, BTW- it XX's out the first 5 digits). Either your guy was a complete novice to using CSG or he was trying to stonewall you. I leave it up to you to decide which.


RE: I think you're reaching here
By Labotomizer on 7/22/2014 9:46:10 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, they would condemn this type of behavior if the customer still complained. I've been transferred to these retention agents before. They're not so bad. It is absolutely no different than any other salesman on the planet. If I go to a car dealership they're going to do their best to make the deal before I walk out the door. If I go look at furniture, same thing. In fact, I talk to the retention agents every year when my first half of my contract is up. I tell him the service has gotten too expensive and that I'm okay with paying the ETF and they always, always make a better deal and start it over and keep my rate about where it was.

Also, people are blaming Comcast for one guy. I don't leave a restaurant where a waiter was awful and think "Well, I guess Olive Garden trains their waiters to be douchebags". There are people like this everywhere. Blaming Comcast for this is insane. Yes, they try to convince you to stay with them. Do you expect a company to say "Oh, that's fine. We're okay with you leaving. Have a great day!"


RE: I think you're reaching here
By Piiman on 8/16/2014 10:18:58 AM , Rating: 2
" Do you expect a company to say "Oh, that's fine. We're okay with you leaving. Have a great day!"

YES!
Or they could offer some sort of incentive to stay. Not send you to a person that doesn't take no for an answer


RE: I think you're reaching here
By W00dmann on 7/23/2014 4:21:47 PM , Rating: 2
Good grief Jason! I've seen you reach before, and I've seen you sensationalize before, but holy cow... I've never seen you this desperate. You state something as fact in your headline when it clearly is NOT fact, no matter how hard you may wish it.

Read it again: "The agent on this call did a lot of what we trained him and paid him — and thousands of other Retention agents — to do. He tried to save a customer, and that’s important, but the act of saving a customer must always be handled with the utmost respect."

Did you catch the part where he said "did A LOT OF..."? In other words, he performed his basic job of trying to save a customer, he just went about it in a hyper-aggressive way. And the memo carries on to talk about being respectful, courteous, and resourceful.

If you think the memo from Mr. Watson somehow admitted fault, sit down and ask yourself - what is it exactly you think people do in the customer retention department? Why, they try to retain customers. How do they do that? They try to engage the customer in a conversation to find out what they are unhappy with, and hopefully solve the problem and keep them as a customer. Hence, "customer retention".

Honestly Jason, I hope Comcast sues you for libel. Your time has come. You've earned it.


By NellyFromMA on 7/25/2014 9:44:04 AM , Rating: 2
Seriously, the "leaked" memo is actually well written, addresses the concern, and respectfully tries to reaffirm the purpose of many peoples jobs while also reiterating that respecting the customer is key.

I re-read the memo several times and there isn't ANYTHING to support this article.

I dislike virtually all telecoms for the anti-competitive industry they have lobbied and established for themselves, all while harming consumers, but this is probably the single most pointless and misguided article I've ever read on DT. In fact, it's straight up misleading IMO.

There isn't anything in that memo that implies that what went on in the original incident is in any way "exactly what they are trained to do".

The memo was professionally written and doesn't state or imply anything you suggest. If you don't like Comcast and want us all to know, perhaps delete the contents of this article and just put "I hate Comcast" and I'm sure everyone here would respect the contents of the article exponentially that much more.

It's kind of embarrassing, actually.


RE: I think you're reaching here
By JasonMick (blog) on 7/22/14, Rating: 0
RE: I think you're reaching here
By FITCamaro on 7/22/2014 6:55:57 PM , Rating: 2
You're wrong here. You're taking the words and making them mean what you want them to mean. He didn't mean "save" as in, save them from how perilous life is without Comcast service. He meant save as in retain. He completely says that that kind of badgering isn't right and shouldn't be done. That employees should try to offer better solutions to customers if they don't know about them but also listen to what they're saying. IE - if the customer says "Cancel it now, I don't care what you have to say", just go ahead and cancel it. Don't have waste their time for 20 minutes otherwise trying to convince them how stupid they are.


RE: I think you're reaching here
By someguy123 on 7/22/2014 7:00:16 PM , Rating: 5
You're still reaching. He clearly says they paid him to save a customer, and he says they did not pay him to annoy the customer into submission nor patronize the customer. "Educating" the customer is a garbage term, but it doesn't imply harassment either. If you've ever worked tech support or sales you'd know that plenty of people NEED to be educated and many demand to be educated. I've had plenty of people come up to me wanting to buy something, only for me to tell them that didn't need it or already had it (e.g. I had one person ask me about speakers. Eventually I found out that all he really needed was a 3.5 to 6.3 adapter). I've had a few people show me instagram videos recently at work while claiming it was a new iphone feature. These are executives in charge of hundreds of employees that think android is a korean knockoff of iOS and that they'll lose all their personal information the moment it turns on.

Unsurprisingly, many people have no idea what the hell they're paying for when they buy comcast packages, and many people probably call in due to seeing advertisements from competitors with "features" that they've already paid for through comcast. Comcast is an awful company in general, but in this very narrow, tiny, meaningless instance they are doing what any good business should.


RE: I think you're reaching here
By rudolphna on 7/22/2014 7:39:05 PM , Rating: 2
You are 100% right. Nobody who has never worked for an ISP or one of these companies truly understands how things work inside. They THINK they know, but they truly don't. And everytime something happens that they don't like, they are quick to blame the evil company for doing it on purpose just because they can.

How unreasonable can people be? I worked for TWC for 2 years in sales, and I never once pestered or badgered a customer into doing what I wanted. Nor was that the company line to do. I had friends in retention, and they weren't told to do that either.

There are tons of different packages and ways to configure them in the billing system (I'm familiar with the billing systems Comcast uses, because they were the same ones we used at TWC) and if an agent tells you they can't do something, they are more than likely not lying to do, the system will not let them do it.

One other thing. People constantly complain that the reps are rude to them because they know they don't have another choice. False. They don't for sure know that, and even if they did, that isn't something they really think about. Just more misinterpretation by people who are upset that they can't get exactly what they want.


RE: I think you're reaching here
By someguy123 on 7/22/2014 10:19:40 PM , Rating: 2
People definitely have a skewed perspective of these types of corporations. Companies like comcast tend to be evil in ways not related to customer service. They will ALWAYS side with the customer on a corporate scale, even if the customer is insane. Things slip through depending on the people behind the desk, but the fact is that guys like comcast care more about the customer than they do about their own low level employees (very little vs legally obligated).

From my experience these large companies/chains will smother prospective customers with obnoxious ads until they submit (almost always referred to as a "numbers game"), and once they get a bite they will simply move on to the next target while adding the new customer to their routine spam system. They do not care enough about you to force you into staying. The staff you talk to are making minimum wage or slightly above unless you specifically call for the head manager, which you will almost never talk to because these companies employ a "manager on site/duty" system using supervisors or "qualified" employees as managers so they can avoid paying multiple manager salaries. If they could just push a big red button that canceled the subscriptions of incoming callers they would do it.


RE: I think you're reaching here
By GotThumbs on 7/23/14, Rating: -1
RE: I think you're reaching here
By Schrag4 on 7/23/2014 1:01:52 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
How unreasonable can people be? I worked for TWC for 2 years in sales, and I never once pestered or badgered a customer into doing what I wanted. Nor was that the company line to do. I had friends in retention, and they weren't told to do that either.


Honest question: Do people in sales earn more if they make more sales? You may think you weren't pushy, but if your bottom line depended on making more sales, you were likely more aggressive than you would have been otherwise. Maybe you weren't told to badger a customer, but you were incentivized to.

I have had VERY few interactions with phone/ISP sales or support, but I can honestly say that I've never had an experience where they weren't trying to screw me out of every cent possible. I'm not talking about one company, I'm talking about them all. Things like claiming I signed a 2 year contract when I signed a 1 year contract (I still had a copy or else they wouldn't have honored it), arguing to get the promotional price I signed up for (still within the promotion period) just to have it return on the next pay period, etc. Everyone I work with has had the exact same experiences. Maybe we don't truly understand what's going on inside these companies, but I refuse to believe that our collective experiences is merely the result of incompetence.

quote:
One other thing. People constantly complain that the reps are rude to them because they know they don't have another choice. False. They don't for sure know that, and even if they did, that isn't something they really think about. Just more misinterpretation by people who are upset that they can't get exactly what they want.


Are you honestly telling me that if there wasn't another cable company with the same service for the same price, except that it listened to and respected its customers above all else, that the crappy ISPs that we have today wouldn't lose their customers in droves? It's like you don't understand the first thing about how incentives drive behavior - unbelievable.


RE: I think you're reaching here
By rudolphna on 7/22/2014 7:34:32 PM , Rating: 1
Comcast is wrong to have a retention department that does exactly what every single retention department for every single provider, cable, DSL, phone company, satellite, and cell phone companys, do? Once again, stop being sensationalistic and irrational, and ignorant.


RE: I think you're reaching here
By GotThumbs on 7/23/14, Rating: -1
RE: I think you're reaching here
By Ahnilated on 7/23/2014 1:59:08 PM , Rating: 1
You realize if I want to cancel a service that I am PAYING for, I don't need to give you a reason AT ALL. If you choose to keep bugging me, I will just hang up and consider my account closed. You have been notified and it IS recorded.


RE: I think you're reaching here
By chimto on 7/23/2014 3:40:25 PM , Rating: 1
If you read the blog then you would know the first 10 minutes of the call is not in the recording. The customer gave various reasons during the first 10 minutes of the call and the CS rep would not accept those reasons for cancelling. So the last few minutes of the call he just stopped giving reasons and was asking the rep to cancel the service.

Also if I want to cancel a service I shouldn't have to make up any excuse (i.e. I'm moving..., etc...). I understand that I might have to put up with a couple minutes of the CS rep's retention tactics but I should not have to lose 18 minutes of my life over it! Sheesh!


By NellyFromMA on 7/25/2014 9:48:15 AM , Rating: 2
That's a gross distortion of what everyone else gets from reading the memo.

The whole point of retention is to retain customers. That's not in and of itself a bad thing. In fact, I've received MANY great deals from retention at various companies and was treated quite respectfully.

The only problem is the way that one called was disrespectful of the customer. The problem isn't that he tried to retain the customer.

It's one thing to interpret the memo to mean something heinous when its clearly a message for employees to do their job respectfully, but you're also unwillingly to see that no one agrees with your interpretation.

I think I'd enjoy DT a lot more if this weird bias wasn't present in your articles. Off the ExtremeTech I go now.


RE: I think you're reaching here
By someguy123 on 7/22/2014 6:16:15 PM , Rating: 2
Seriously...how exactly is his memo proof of "sticking to the script"? The COO clearly said it was "painful" to listen to and disrespectful.

The only thing this proves is that their support lines try to talk customers into staying. What kind of god awful business wouldn't try to retain customers by informing them of features or offering them incentives? As long as they shut up the minute you tell them you definitely want out then all is fine in my eyes. There's no winning with this type of tabloid reporting. If they added a no questions asked unsubscribe button to their website we'd be seeing "Comcast admits it's awful. Adds an unsub button to their homepage."


By NellyFromMA on 7/25/2014 9:49:05 AM , Rating: 2
In Jason's mind (and only in his) this is awful and the COO has just admitted to wanting to punch your mother.


RE: I think you're reaching here
By Florinator on 7/22/2014 11:23:20 PM , Rating: 1
Cut Jason a break, he's not the only one who feels that way.

http://www.theverge.com/2014/7/22/5926565/comcast-...


Jason...
By rudolphna on 7/22/2014 7:31:45 PM , Rating: 3
I worked for Time Warner Cable for close to 2 years. All I can say is that you are extremely ignorant and arrogant, in regards to how this actually works. All ISPs train retention agents to ask questions, to try to find out why the customer is leaving, and do what they can to help save the customer. They don't train them to "be belligerent sales reps" and I'd like for you to for once actually be reasonable, instead of being the usual sensationalistic writer you usually are.

It was the same in inbound sales. We were trained to ask questions, and try to find the right package. We were never trained to strong-arm customers,nor were our retention counterparts. This agent was flat out being rude, and inconsiderate, and I garuntee he would have been coached, had this call been listened to- even if it didn't make the national news.

Contrary to what you might believe, these companies don't train their agents to be evil and assholes. That's not how it works. Just because one person is an asshole, doesn't mean the company trained him to act like that. Sure, do these companies do questionable things? Absolutely. Do they usually not put the customer first? Are sales agents and retention agents sometimes pushy? Absolutely. But in this particular instance, Comcast isn't patting this employee on the back and posting his picture as a "this is what to do" all over the place. And if you truly believe that, you are not just ignorant, but naive and deluded.




RE: Jason...
By Florinator on 7/22/2014 9:11:45 PM , Rating: 2
Oh puh-lease, give me a break! I was a TWC customer for 2 years and every 6 months or so I'd get a call trying to upsell me. Every single time I told them the same thing, that I only want Internet. Here are the questions they would ask me every time I got a call:
- How do you use your internet connection?
- What websites do you like to visit?
- Do you stream media?
- Do you play online? Have you noticed any lag?
- Do you watch TV?
- What kind of shows do you like to watch?

For crying out loud, what difference does it make if I browse Facebook or DailyTech all day long? Wouldn't a faster plan be faster no matter what? What's up with the creepy questions? Besides, they can look at the logs and see exactly what websites I go to...

So I'd tell them I want ONLY Internet and they would just follow their stupid script - we have a great deal for Triple Play (which includes home phone and cable - that's TWO extra-products I do not need!!!). So I can double my bandwidth for twice the money, including two services I don't want. Yaaay, sure, sign me up!

How hard is it to "find the right package" when I explicitly say "I want ONLY Internet"?

Not even once did they try to actually convince me to upgrade my bandwidth. The call would inevitably end with "well, in that case we cannot help you".

And about a month after I quit and returned my modem (so my account was completely closed) I got the regular e-bill for the following service period. I called support and they told me to ignore it. A couple of days later I got the paper version of the same bill. Called again, was told to ignore...

How do such enterprises manage to become multi-billion dollar companies is beyond me...


RE: Jason...
By Florinator on 7/22/2014 9:18:32 PM , Rating: 2
I will admit that quitting was easy though. I only got an email a few days later from a retention manager offering to "work with me on any problems I may have", which I didn't reply to because I had already switched to the AT&T Gigapower, so there was nothing that could be salvaged.

The point I was trying to make is that these companies have aggressive sales tactics which make most customers uncomfortable. Or maybe it's just me...


RE: Jason...
By Labotomizer on 7/22/2014 9:52:09 PM , Rating: 2
That's not what a retention agent does. They don't actively engage customers and try to upsell. TWC used to do the same when I lived in SA. I eventually told them I would call them if I wanted to change anything and not to call me again. They stopped. It was that simple.

When I moved I called, they did the normal thing about trying to save the customer and I informed them I as moving to an area they don't offer service and it was a done deal. It's really easy to avoid engaging people if you give them a reason for leaving that they absolutely cannot argue with.


RE: Jason...
By FITCamaro on 7/23/2014 11:29:20 AM , Rating: 2
How hard would it be to say "Thank you but I don't want to upgrade my service" and hang up?


RE: Jason...
By NellyFromMA on 7/25/2014 9:52:53 AM , Rating: 2
Even more important, retention has nothing to do with cold calls. The OP is misunderstood.

EVERYONE hates cold calls (when randomy someone calls you trying to sell you more crap that you don't want).

The OP doesn't understand retentions purpose.


How is this even a story....
By Drafter on 7/22/2014 9:11:36 PM , Rating: 1
You would have to be an epic retard to quit Comcast without feeding them an excuse up front which will make them lay off their retention tactics. The same applies to cell phone companies and a lot of subscription based business services. When I quit Comcast for U-verse, I fed the agent a lie that I was moving to Czechoslovakia... one, two, three seconds and I'm out!




RE: How is this even a story....
By Florinator on 7/22/2014 9:26:52 PM , Rating: 2
I told them I had already switched to U-Verse she repeated that, to confirm and closed my account without asking any more questions.

Here is another thing that puzzles me. As a result of customer loss to U-Verse and possibly Google Fiber, TWC has been silently upgrading their customers bandwidths (while keeping the price unchanged), which I applaud. But some of my neighbors actually found out accidentally that their bandwidth had doubled, yet they were still using old cable modems that did not take advantage of the faster speeds. SMH...

Why not go all the way and inform the customers of the free upgrade? Send them an email and offer them to come to the office and replace their modems (to keep costs as low as possible), since that's what they did anyways once they found out they had been upgraded months before...


RE: How is this even a story....
By Boze on 7/22/2014 11:09:39 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, the guy who started Engadget and is a multi-millionaire is an epic retard.

Maybe, like myself, he doesn't feel like he owes a fuckin' explanation to anyone, especially his Internet Service Provider. I want Internet access. You provide it. End of transaction, end of discussion.

When I want to cancel, I stop giving you money, you stop giving me access. Easy to understand.


RE: How is this even a story....
By atechfan on 7/23/2014 8:47:31 AM , Rating: 2
If they ask why you are moving to a foreign country, say "I'm not at the liberty to discuss that, citizen."


RE: How is this even a story....
By eBob on 7/23/2014 3:51:19 PM , Rating: 2
That's a good one. Just tell the agent that you are moving to a country that no longer exists!


By NellyFromMA on 7/25/2014 9:54:46 AM , Rating: 2
That's unfortunate, because you chose a worse service and also screwed yourself out of potentially keeping your service for substantially cheaper.


Who exactly are these people?
By Belegost on 7/22/2014 5:38:44 PM , Rating: 2
"[...] should be eye-opening to anyone who believed this was a one-off incident."

I have to assume these are also people who may need to be informed that there is in fact NOT a jolly rotund man living at the north pole with a collection of elves and reindeer making toys to distribute to good children.




RE: Who exactly are these people?
By atechfan on 7/23/2014 8:48:52 AM , Rating: 2
There isn't?


Only one in town soon...
By The0ne on 7/23/2014 5:26:33 PM , Rating: 3
And soon they will be the only one in town here for internet. If this isn't a monopoly I don't know what is. This is pathetic.




a great and wonderful day
By DocScience on 7/22/2014 6:54:47 PM , Rating: 2
As a Comcast monopoly victim from the early 80's, I can say that the day that the FiOS fiber was installed at my home and I returned the cable gear to the Comcast office to be THE most pleasant experience of the entire Comcast experience.

Not to mention my HD video quality on FiOS is superb compared to the over-compressed cartoonish HD on Comcast.




By zerocks on 7/22/2014 6:55:35 PM , Rating: 2
this comment was my favourite. well done haha.




We can save bills also
By alizawill on 8/9/2014 5:18:59 AM , Rating: 2
Only cable companies are not responsible for increase in bills . We should also take care about these . Many things we can do to lower our bills like I just give them a call after my contract expired.The problem is that we forget about our subscriptions and loose our money .




"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain














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