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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Dissatisfaction, Thy Name is Comcast

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One of the myriad things I'll miss about living in Arlington is our Verizon Fios Cable/Internet service. Honestly - in almost two years, I've not had ONE SINGLE ISSUE with them.


We've never lost service.
Never had unexplained down-time on the internets.
Never had to deal with customer service.
Never had a failed DVR.
Never had a problem changing premium channel subscriptions.


Not. One. Issue.


When we go back to Knoxville next month, we will be forced to give up that luxury and sign up with Comcast again, because that's the only provider available in our area. It's what we had before we moved up here, and it will probably be what we have until the day we die or the day that internet connectivity streams over the air and you can just connect via brainwave.


We had plenty of Comcast customer service issues before - including several internet and cable outages, DVRs that magically terminated all service right at the moment they were supposed to be recording shows (including at least one that had to be replaced outright, if I'm recalling correctly.) We had On Demand movies that were not rented, but charged for anyway, ones that were rented and never worked and charged for anyway and some that we watched that we never saw on our bill.


In short...Comcast is run by evil idiotic monkeys.


And I can prove it.


When we set up our internet and cable here with Verizon, it was a simple matter of filling out some online forms and scheduling a service date for installation, which cost us absolutely nothing. The Verizon technician showed up on time, hooked us up, handed me the secure connection information, tipped his hat and rode off into the sunset.


Okay. He didn't have on a hat.


To reinstate our internet and cable in Comcast, we started out the same way. I filled out all the appropriate online forms, selected a package, chose an installation date (for the low, low price of $49.95...to hook a cable to the wall...) entered the info for a credit check, etc. When I got to the end, I had a choice to "Go Back" or "Go to Online Chat." 


Uh. I don't want to chat. If I wanted to chat, I could have called. I just want to to finish, get a confirmation code and be on my merry way.


Nope. "Go to Online Chat" was my only option, so I selected it.


What follows is the actual text of the chat. I'm playing the part of "Ronald."


That would be Dr. SmartyPants, in case you were wondering. He was sitting next to me, alternately laughing uncontrollably and fuming at the moronocracy of monopoly-based corporations...

No, moronocracy isn't a word. But it should be...


Comments in italics are not part of the original online chat...just part of my own personal thought process...
****************************************************
user Ronald_ has entered room

Ronald>
Order Information

analyst Husain has entered room

Husain>
Hello Ronald_, Thank you for contacting Comcast Live Chat Support. My name is Husain. Please give me one moment to review your information.

Husain>
Glad to have you on chat today.How are you doing ?

Ronald_>
Fine, thanks. How are you?

 
See - I started out polite.
 
Husain>
I'm also fine. Thank you for asking.I'm glad to hear that you are doing good.

 
Really? It takes that many words? Shouldn't you be doing something on your computer like hooking me up with the cable?
 
Husain>
Ronald,may I ask you if you are an existing customer with Comcast?

Ronald_>
No



Irritated much? I'm not sure if I'm answering the "May I ask you" part or the "existing customer" part...

Husain>
Then,welcome to Comcast services first.

Ronald_>
thanks

Husain>
You are welcome.

Husain>
If I understand you want services at ADDRESS ,City: KNOXVILLE,Zip: xxxxx, Am I correct ?

Ronald_>
yes



I've already input that information into the very detailed form that came before the chat session...

Husain>
Thank you for confirming.

Husain>
I am pulling up your address in our database.Please allow me a moment.

Husain>
Thank you for your patience.I have found your address in our database.

 
WooHoo! We exist!
 
Husain>
Now I will be creating Comcast account for you.Please stay online with me.

Husain>
We would require your full SSN to see if there is deposit required or not.
Your personal information is also to ensure that we do not allow unauthorized parties access to your account as we know how important customer security is to many of us.


 
Many of us? Are there people in your organization that don't care about customer security?

Husain>
This is also done for your protection to prevent service from being placed in your name without your authorization.

Ronald_>
i already entered that information into your online form



Ooohhh...Ronald's feeling snippy, now...but seriously...why ask for it in the form if I have to give it here? Because you know, people love to give out their social security numbers in chat windows. It's like candy at a parade...here you go Husain! Enjoy!

Husain>
I can understand your concern.

Husain>
Due to your personal information security it's not show in web order.

Husain>
Please provide me right now.



Husain needs some English grammar training. Plus? He's a little bossy.

Husain>
I can assure you that our chat is secure and that your information will not be retained.  

Husain>
*showing

Ronald_>
I don't understand your last line, *showing

Ronald_>
SSN xxxxxxxx

Husain>
Thank you.

Husain>
In above sentence I did typo mistake.



I think maybe his real name is Yoda.

Husain>
Congratulation! I'm happy to inform you that you are not required to pay anything as a result of your credit check.

Husain>
I must say you have a great credit standing.

 
Gee - thanks for the props, man...
 
Ronald_>
will this take much longer? i was hoping that by handling this online it would be a quick process.

Husain>
I will make it very fast for you.

Husain>
Please do not you worry.



But I am you worrying, because this is already not a fast for me process. This is a slow for me process and the worry is for me happening now.

Husain>
If I understand you are requesting for  Digital Preferred with Performance - Special Offer, Am I correct ?

Ronald_>
yes

 
AS I ALREADY ENTERED IN THE ONLINE FORM, YOU TWIT.

Husain>
Thank you for confirming.

Husain>
I will be fulfilling your order now, Ronald.Please allow me few more minutes to complete this.

 
At this point, an interminable wait began, where I would periodically type and erase asinine and non-complementary phrases directed at Husain, Comcast and customer service representatives in general. I cannot print them here as I run a G-rated establishment, people...

Husain>
In case you have questions,feel free to send a message.

Husain>
At the end of the chat sesion I will provide you account number.

Husain>
Please bear with me.

Husain>
Thank you for your patience and time.
 
The time since Husain said it would be a "few minutes" is about 20 here. Perhaps a few in his native language is much different than a few in English. In English, a "few" is around 3. Am I wrong?

Husain>
A technician would be visiting at your place to install these services.What would be appropriate date and time Or will you go with your schedule date as per order information.

Ronald_>
original scheduled date as i already entered earlier this afternoon

 
That's why I entered it into the order information. Because that was the time I wanted. Is that hard to understand? Why do you have the option of entering the information in the first place?

Husain>
Okay.
 
Is Husain beginning to sense my irritation? Nahhh...

Husain>
 Your installation date is set this 11/xx/2010 between 8AM-11AM.Please take note of the installation date and during that time someone 18+ and who speaks English should be present.Our technicians will be calling you 15 minutes before the installation takes place.

Husain>
Is that fine with you ?

Ronald_>
yes.

Husain>
Great !!

 
Oh, look! He's excited!
 
Husain>
Last minute,I will be providing you account number .

Husain>
When we create new account it takes time, however, I did my best for you.

 
Now he's just sucking up. I could get a mortgage faster than this.
 
Husain>
Congratulation your account has been created with us. Your account number is XXXXXXX.

Husain>
I have added you e-mail address in our database so you will get confirmation mail from Comcast.

Husain>
I hope that I was able to resolve your concern today .


I didn't have any concern. I just wanted to fill out an online form.

Ronald_>
thank you. are we finished with everything, now?

Husain>
Yes.We are all finished

 
About freakin' time.
 
Husain>
You are most welcome ! If it's not too much to ask, please take the 3-question survey at the end of this chat by clicking on the "END SESSION" button. We truly appreciate your feedback.It's very important for me.

 
Oh, there will be feedback...
 
Husain>
Have a good time ahead !

Husain>
Take Care,

Husain>
Please take the short survey for me.

 
pushy, much?
 

Ronald_>
may i please have your full name or employee number for my records?

 
We always ask for this information, just in case there is a misunderstanding - I wasn't picking on Husain... I've never had anyone turn me down.
 
Husain>
You will get it everything in mail.

 
Actually, that turned out to be a lie. I got nothing in the email that pertained to Husain. In fact, the email was completely useless and of no help to me at all. If a technician shows up at my house to install my cable and internet, it will be a miracle.

Husain>
No need to worry.

Husain>
Is that fine with you ?

Ronald_>
how long before my email should be received?

Husain>
You will receive it after 1 or 2 hours.

Ronald_>
I would like it before we end the chat session.

Ronald_>
your employee info. This is just for my personal records, so I can refer to it if there are any problems.

Husain>
You will get e-mail after completing the procedure by clicking "End Session " .

Husain>
Ronald, we have some own limitation.We are not allowed to share our employee ID on over the chat.

 
I have some own limitation, too. 
 
Husain>
I hope you can understand.

Husain>
No worries.

 
What, are you Crocodile Dundee?

Husain>
I will always happy to assist you.

 
So...I can just call up Comcast and ask for Husain and I'll get to talk to you?

Ronald_>
I gave you my SSN over chat. How about an extension number for a telephone or a last name or anything that can refer back to you.

Husain>
Sure.

Husain>
Please stay online with me.

Husain>
Chat Initialized:bunch of crap letters


Husain>
Chat script records.

 
Basically he sent me this transcript of our chat history. With no last name, no extension number, no nothing...
 
Husain>
Is that okay ?

Ronald_>
No. Not really, but I can see that it's all I'm going to get from you. I'll be sure to fill out the survey.

*******************************************************************************


And I did.  It had absolutely nothing to do with the process that we went through. It was a survey that asked if my concern was dealt with appropriately...I didn't have a concern. It asked if I was satisfied with the process...

I'll let you figure that one out for yourselves...

PS:  Just to elevate my confidence in Comcast, I saw this tweet from a Knoxville tweep today...




So long, Verizon...I'll miss you...