Comcast just doesn’t get it

The other day I get on knock on my door. I opened it to see a representative form AT&T. He goes on to inform me that they just finished laying fiber optics in the neighborhood and can now offer a substitute to Comcast which is my only option when it comes to cable television. I take the fliers he offers, say thanks, and tell him I will read over them.

Later that day I flipped through the information and see that they offer more for less than I am currently paying. Interesting from two perspectives. One, I can get channels that I currently don’t get for less money and two, AT&T obviously did their homework and is offering just a bit more for just a bit less than Comcast. Very smart.

Now, I hate the idea of going through all the trouble to switch cable providers. So, I call Comcast and explain to them what AT&T is offering and ask if there is anything they can do. More channels? Lower my monthly bill? Anything? “Nope, sorry,” the guy from Comcast tells me. “I wish I could do something but I don’t have anything I can offer you. Would you like me to schedule a time to disconnect your service?”

What?!? The guy actually offered to get rid of me as a customer before I even asked him to. I was shocked and really didn’t know what to say.

“Umm, not yet. Let me see when AT&T can come out and install their service. I’ll call you back,” was my reply.

To make a long story short. I got AT&T’s service installed and its been great. But the real shocker came when I called to cancel the Comcast service. The conversation went like this.

“Hi, this is Brian. Thank you for calling Comcast. How can I help you.”

“Hi Brian, I’d like to discontinue my service.”

“I’m sorry to hear that. Was there a problem with the service.”

“No, I’ve just decided to go with AT&T’s cable package.”

“That’s unfortunate. If I take $20 off your bill or offer you more channels could I get you to change your mind?”

Despite having lots to say to Brian, I simply said “no thank you” and had him discontinue my service. I’m not sure what is going on over at Comcast but they better put together a cohesive strategy for dealing with customers that want to switch to competitors or they’re not going to be around much longer.

So the moral of the story is:
1) Know your competition.
2) Don’t offer to “disconnect” your customers.
3) Have a cohesive message across your organization.