Comcast Gets A Lesson in Customer Service

In Customer Engagement, Customer Experience, Featured on App, Social media by Vaughn Highfield


Comcast realises it can’t fight the internet after a customer services call goes viral

Comcast may well be the US’s number one provider of cable TV and Internet, a point a customer services rep regularly seems to point out, but its reputation for providing decent customer service has been thoroughly tarnished after one user posted online a phonecall he had when trying to cancel the service.

Ryan Block called Comcast to cancel his account, but the ‘retention specialist’ who’s job it is to ensure customers stay with the service wasn’t having it. So, having become disgruntled with the probing questions, and “belligerent” attitude after being on the phone for 10 minutes, Block decided it was time to record his conversation. Now, just two days later, it’s already been listened to more than 4 million times. You can listen to the call below, and I recommend you do.

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As you can imagine, that’s immensely damaging to Comcast’s reputation. After all, they now seemingly have a terrible set of customer values. This probably isn’t the case though, and in an apologetic public statement Comcast are mostly pointing a finger at the representative as the one in error here. However Block raises a good point on his Twitter account about Comcast and the employee in question.

Keeping the employee identity secret, and requesting he isn’t fired, Block said he can understand why he was so against cancelling the account. It basically boils down to how Comcast pay their customer retention employees, giving them pay or bonuses based on the amount of customers who stay.



Obviously, this reputation – which is now cemented into the Internet’s collective conciousness is more damaging than someone talking about their bad customer experience. It’s something that’s fundamental to how a company works, and no amount of apology tweets are going to help solve that problem.

Now if Comcast wants to revise its image, it actually has to change how it does business.

What we can take from all of this is that it genuinely pays to be careful with social media. By all means it’s worth swooping in and creating some damage control, but it’s also worth ensuring you don’t put your employees out on the line in the process – especially when it’s company practice that got them into such a situation in the first place.

[Image: Mr.TinDC – Flickr]