Comcast Must Die

Seeking Ideas for a Consumer Jihad

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Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4

HELL ON EARTH, Md. (Sept. 9, 2007) -- Comcast must die.

-- Mid-August. Triple Play (TV, phone, broadband) service ordered. Phone ported from Verizon. 11-2 p.m. installation window set for Sunday, August 28th.

-- August 28. Installer does not show up at 11. Or 12. Or 1. Or 2. Or 3. Or 4. Or 5. After a call to customer service and 15 minutes on hold, Comcast promises to investigate and call back. Comcast does not call back. In second subsequent call, Comcast promises to call back to reschedule. Three calls in all. Total time on hold: 40 minutes. Nobody ever calls back. Total time waiting for installer: 6 1/2 hours. Sunday squandered.

-- August 29. On 4th call to customer service, Comcast reschedules installation for Sunday, September 9, between 8 and 11 a.m.

-- September 9. Installer shows up on time at 9 a.m. At 12:30, installer leaves to get a drill bit from a nearby service tech's truck. Five hours later, he is still missing. He has failed to connect one TV, and 2 of 4 phones do not operate. He has also cut off half of existing DirecTV service.

-- Comcast customer service asks for "a quick moment" to investigate. Fifteen minutes later, they return to ask for "one more moment." I am on hold for another 32 minutes. During that, I use another line to call customer service. I ask for a supervisor. I am not permitted to speak to one. I am told somebody will call me back. Nobody calls back. Customer service operator on first line takes me off hold in minute 50 to tell me a tech is on the way. I tell her I have been on hold for a total of 48 minutes. She says I haven't been. I ask for a supervisor. I am told I'm not permitted to speak to one. One will call me back. Nobody calls. I miss a 4:30 p.m. appointment. I have a dinner commitment at 6:30 p.m. At 5:40 the installer shows up. I am leaving the house in 34 minutes.

-- Incredibly, Comcast calls to ask if he showed up. I learn that the installer has lied and told his boss my job was finished when he left. I say he arrived after a 4 hour and 10 minute disappearance, but he can't finish the job in time. I ask to have the job rescheduled. No, I can't. She can only make sure he's arrived. She can't reschedule. I beg. I plead. I am placed on hold.

-- Finally, a supervisor gets on the line. Her name is Carol Webb. She is the first Comcast employee to volunteer an apology. "I am dumbfounded by what has happened to you," she says. She says first thing in the morning she'll make everything right. She sounds sincere. But mark me down as skeptical.

In any event, the damage has been done. They have ruined two weekends and screwed up half of my telecom services. I will shake them down for as much free service as I can get, then drop them at the first opportunity. And they deserve it. They deserve much worse.

Is this company so frantic to seize market share on voice and broadband that it is willing to disrupt customers' lives, fail to appear, repeatedly lie to them, walk out on them and then treat the customer as if he or she is a nuisance?

Well, we shall see. This is the Listenomics age. We will not take it quietly.
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