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.


4 Responses

  1. I am sorry to learn that we have lost you as one of our customer. I also wanted to extend my apologies. I know we could have offered you a better deal when you first called us. Unfortunately, that did not happen.

    I know you are with AT&T now, but I wanted to let you know, I am here to help in case you change your mind in the future.

    Mark Casem
    Comcast Customer Connect
    National Customer Operations

    • Mark,
      I appreciate you stopping by and offering your help. Its a great sign that Comcast is monitoring the web and responding to complaints. The only bit of advice I would offer is this. If you are offering your personnel help to someone, don’t provide them with a generic email address.

  2. Jeff,

    I wonder if Comcast requires their phone agents to hold fast on offering discounts or adding channels for free until the customer says the magic words “disconnect my service.” Maybe the first guy you talked to was trying to get you to say that so he could make the offer.

    • Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

      You would think that would be the case. But what I left out of the story was that the first guy I spoke with actually transferred me to the “Retention Department”. The Retention Department was the one that said they had nothing to offer me and asked me when I’d like my service disconnected. Seems that they should rename that department if they are making no effort to actually retain customers. Something is wacky over at Comcast.

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