In general, people seem to hate their cable television carrier. In particular, they seem to hate Comcast, the biggest and baddest of the cable carriers.
The Curmudgeon is among those who have a beef with Comcast, although it’s not serious. The internet signal he receives, and to a lesser extent the television signal, is very weak, resulting in frequent but usually brief service interruptions. When he calls about interruptions Comcast customer service personnel always inform The Curmudgeon that the lines through which he receives service were purchased from another carrier and not laid by Comcast – as if this should matter to a customer. Because the signal is weak, it really won’t accommodate a high-quality cable modem, so The Curmudgeon has to settle for Comcast’s own cheap modems, which generally last no more than eighteen months. This means frequent trips to the Comcast store to swap modems: trade in the old, cheap modem and leave the store with a new, cheap modem.
And to be fair, The Curmudgeon has had a few recent and spectacular conversations with Comcast customer service employees in which they quickly diagnosed complex problems he explained to them and then talked him through detailed, step-by-step instructions to fix those problems. The Curmudgeon was impressed – very impressed. (And by the way: on the first of those two problems the customer service person was in India and on the second she was in the Philippines. The moral of this part of the story seems to be that you’ll get much better service from the overseas staff.)
But sometimes something happens that can destroy the kind of goodwill such excellent service can engender, and that very kind of disaster went viral last week when a poor Comcast customer had the audacity to attempt to cancel his service and was hassled and tormented by a Comcast customer service representative for an amazing eight minutes. If you haven’t heard this, clear a few minutes from your busy schedule and listen here (scroll down and hit the white arrow inside the red circle; make sure the sound on your device is on).
Now THAT’S customer service hell.