The following is the letter I sent to Comcast back on August 12th, portions of which have been redacted for obvious reasons and to protect the identities of the poor bastards who work for Comcast, each of whom was very polite, even though none of them could do a damned thing about a ten-day wait for a modem replacement.
***** ****** Street
********, New Jersey
Telephone: (***) ***-****
August 12, 2006
1500 Market Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19102-2148
Re: Internet Cable “Customer Service”
Account No. ******
Service Reference No. *********
“Customer service?” You must be joking.
I have been a Comcast Cable Television subscriber longer than I can remember, and I have been a Comcast Internet Cable subscriber for something approaching six years. I, therefore, clearly qualify as a “customer”.
As a “customer”, I do not think that I am receiving anything resembling “customer service” when I am told that I must wait ten days for a technician to come to my home for a service call , which service call will, in all likelihood, require a simple modem replacement.
A review of the information contained in Comcast’s file with the above reference number should show the following:
August 6, 2006
7:46 pm:: I called Comcast when, after a day or so of spotty internet service, I lost internet access completely.
The representative did the necessary troubleshooting to verify that I was completely off-line, and she noted that there did not seem to be a problem in my geographic area. She stated that a visit by a Comcast technician would be necessary, and she placed me on hold while she tried to arrange for an appointment.
A few moments later, she returned to the phone and stated that I would have to call the following morning and make the appointment myself. She provided me with the above reference number and indicated that by my referring to the reference number during my next call the problem would be identified and that and everything that had been done to that point would be available to whomever I spoke with.
August 7, 2006
9:01 am: I called Comcast and reached a representative named L***. I gave her the reference number but still had to explain the problem again. She again verified that I was completely off-line. She also confirmed that a visit by a technician would be necessary and told me that the earliest that a technician could be at my home is August 17th.
I expressed my astonishment that I would have to wait ten days for a service visit, particularly one that would likely involve only a modem replacement (I’ve had a couple in the past and I have a pretty good idea of how a dying and ultimately dead modem looks.) She stated that she would “call dispatch” too see if she could arrange for an earlier appointment (she used the term “additional quota”). She said that she would call me back as soon as she got off the phone with dispatch.
9:45 am: No call back from L****.
9:50 am: I called Comcast again and was connected with a representative named M******. He asked me what the problem was and I indicated that all the information should be in the reference document, but I explained much of it yet again, including L***’s failure to call me back as promised. I explained that I needed to find out if an earlier appointment was possible, possibly for that day, because, if not, I had to go to my office to work.
9:55 am: He put me on hold, and in a few minutes he returned to the phone and told me that he “just spoke with L*** who was on the phone with another customer” and that Lisa would call me back “in five or ten minutes”. I asked if he could make an appointment for a service call, and he indicated that the first person I spoke with (the August 6th call) should have made an appointment. I explained that the person told me that she was not able to make an appointment. M****** repeated that L*** would call me back “in five or ten minutes”.
10:30 am: No call back from L***.
10:35 am: I called Comcast and was connected with a representative named J****. I explained that she was the fourth person with whom I had spoken that morning (including one person who failed twice to make a promised phone call), and it would be the fourth time I explained the problem. I stated again that I was trying to arrange for an appointment with a service technician – hopefully an appointment that would occur sooner than in ten days.
10:40 am: J**** placed me on hold and returned a few minutes later with an “Online Supervisor” named H**. I reviewed the facts for the fifth time and stated that I what I really needed at this point is someone to make an appointment for a service call, preferably one sooner than ten days away!
H** put me on hold while he called the “local office” about an appointment.
H** returned to the phone and confirmed that the earliest available appointment was for August 17th. When I again expressed my astonishment that the earliest possible appointment was ten days in the future, he noted that it did seem like an unusually long wait and asked if I would like to reserve the date. Having absolutely no other choice, I booked the date.
August 8, 2006
2:35 pm: More aggravated than ever, I decided to call the “local office,” which is listed as being the office to call for repairs and which happens to be located in the town in which I live.
I spoke with a representative named A****. I gave A**** the reference number and again explained the problem. I told him that I was calling the number listed for “repairs” because I wanted someone to absolutely confirm to me that the next possible date that a technician could come to my home was August 17th. A**** confirmed that there were no earlier dates available.
A**** suggested that I try disconnecting the modem and bring it to the “payment center” for an exchange. However, he could not confirm that the people in the “payment center” customarily exchange modems, or that they would exchange mine. He agreed that, absent any assurances from Comcast that the modem would be replaced, it might well be a waste of my time to try that.
I think the foregoing speaks for itself, and it speaks volumes.
Quite simply, when it comes to customer service, Comcast richly deserves a failing grade.
Very truly yours,
[Note: The original looked nicer with Word formatting, which I am incapable of duplicating here. I also added a couple commas, which were not included in the original — errors, no doubt, born of burning rage.]