Comcast apologises for beating up customers, all the way to the bank

23 July 2014 by Steve Blum
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You want to cancel? Squirt a few first.

Comcast’s senior management had a mommy/daddy moment this week. On Monday, COO Dave Watson sent a memo to employees saying basically that the viral recording of a Comcast customer service rep browbeating a subscriber who wanted to cancel was a wee bit over the top, but hey, we understand…

The agent on this call did a lot of what we trained him and paid him — and thousands of other Retention agents — to do. He tried to save a customer, and that’s important, but the act of saving a customer must always be handled with the utmost respect.

He wrote about about how important it is to listen and be sensitive to customers. Doggone it kids, we can do better. Here’s your juice box.

Then yesterday, daddy-in-chief Brian Roberts spoke to Wall Street analysts and said, yeah, but we’re getting results…

We firmly believe that our operating improvements are rooted in providing customers a better experience. And while we are making progress with better service tools and online tools and improved service levels, we are also very cognizant that there is ample room for further improvement and this is a top priority for us.

We do feel confident that there are measurable improvements in the experience we are offering customers, this includes faster broadband speeds, best in-home Wi-Fi, more content choices on more devices and what we believe is the best user interface and guide experience in the market and maybe in the world.

Translation: what that CSR-from-hell said was what we told him to say, and what we’re still saying and that’s why we’re making beaucoup bucks. His mistake was to get caught, and we’re making damn sure that never happens again.

Comcast has an aggressive culture and attitude, remarkably so even for a major corporation. That was highlighted yesterday in a letter to the FCC from the California Emerging Technology Fund that documented the abusive way in which the company treats low income families in California. It’s time to take a hard look at whether it’s in the public interest to give Comcast near-monopoly control of the California cable market.