Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Customer service from a cable TV provider?


On Monday morning the business section of the Boston Globe included this morsel:
Competition from satellite dish companies has led cable companies to put more emphasis on customer service, said Steve Effros, a Virginia cable industry analyst.

“The competition is hot and heavy,’’ he said, “and at the moment at least, all of the programming is in essence equivalent. Customer service is one of the ways to differentiate yourself.’’
With this in mind, I share this edited transcript of a live internet chat generated in this Massachusetts household with Comcast's cable service yesterday. While watching television, we saw a screen message that our longstanding cable service now must be upgraded with a digital box. As you'll see, that caused some confusion.

I've tried to be fair in cutting this to a moderate length. Some of the Comcast "analysts" might even deserve commendations -- others not so much so. The actual online process took about 45 minutes.

Live Chat
Status: ... your issue status is: working


user SALLIE has entered room

analyst Reygie.28399 has entered room


Hello SALLIE, Thank you for contacting Comcast Live Chat Support. My name is Reygie.28399. Please give me one moment to review your information. ... Thank you for choosing Comcast, where we are proud to offer our Customer Guarantee. You have reached the Order Entry Department. .. I am so happy to have you here on chat. How are you doing today?

SALLIE
Just fine. I'm helping my elderly stepmother get a cable box.


Reygie.28399
I am happy to know that your day is doing fine so far....I understand that you will order a digital box and a technician will be the one to bring and install it for you.


SALLIE
Yes, that is right. What will the fee be for this service?


Reygie.28399
Thank you.

Reygie.28399
I know how important it is for you to have your cable TV working, so let's go through ordering your digital box so that you can enjoy watching your favorite shows without interruptions.


SALLIE
Fine, but first I want to know what it will cost.


Reygie.28399
Thank you for the information.


SALLIE
You still haven't told me what the fee will be for the installation.


Reygie.28399
Rest assured that I will check the cost of technician visit right here.


SALLIE
Great. Thanks!


Reygie.28399
I am trying to check the system that we use to locate the cost of technician visit however the system is not allowing me.


SALLIE
How frustrating for you!


Reygie.28399
Could you please ask the account holder if she enrolled her account to seasonal program?... It seems like the account is not active.


SALLIE
It must be active. We have been watching television! ... She received a bill for service in July.


Reygie.28399
Here is what I will be doing to help you out with the appointment as well as knowing its cost: I am going to connect you to the billing department for you to be better assisted. Please wait, while the problem is escalated to another analyst


analyst Christian has entered room

Christian
We offer the Comcast Customer Guarantee.


SALLIE
Hello, Christian. What on earth is the Comcast Customer Guarantee?


Christian
For starters, Sallie, superb Customer Service is one of the them...if tech will found out the problem is a Comcast issue, there is no charge. Otherwise, its $30-$45.


SALLIE
That's fine. Let's schedule the installation. Then I have another issue I'd like to raise with you. ... It appears we've been paying for a digital box and remote already, but we don't have one.
...

Christian
Thats interesting, I will check on the account right after I'm done with the scheduled tech appointment. ... For this, I need to transfer you to the Retentions Office to remove the provisions of the remote and box and then credit you appropriately. No worries, I will notate our interaction so you wont have to explain again.


analyst Christian has left room

analyst Rowena has entered room


Rowena
Welcome to Comcast Order Entry department. I am glad to have you on chat. This is our sales department supporting Comcast.com and Xfinity.com website. How are you doing today, Sallie?


SALLIE
Hello, Rowena.

I'm fine, but I'd like to fix a problem with my bill. I've been being billed for a cable box and remote control, but I don't have either one. (Someone is coming to install the box on Tuesday, but in the meantime, I'd like the charges reversed for the period when I didn't have it.)


Rowena
Thank you for bringing this concern to us. I will be more than happy to assist you. I have here your account and I am seeing here that you have cable service.


SALLIE
Yes, I have cable service. The cable goes directly into my television.


Rowena
May I ask if you mean by the Digital Remote and box charge at $1.95/month, is that correct? ... Actually that is needed for the package that you have now as the equipment.


SALLIE
Yes, but I don't *have* the equipment!


Rowena
The regular box we have cost $8.95/month. ... That is the remote that you have now.


SALLIE
But I don't presently have any digital box at all. And you cannot mean that you are charging me for the remote control made by the Sharp company that came with the Sharp TV.
...

Rowena
Currently you are using your own remote, correct? ... Thank you for confirming. ... Sallie, my apologies for the inconvenience. I may be needing to connect you to our Billing Department for the charges. Will this be all right with you?


analyst Rowena has left room

analyst John Michael has entered room


John Michael
I understand that you have a problem with your the equipment charge on your bill. I am happy to help you. Our goal is to provide you with a consistently superior customer experience – that’s our guarantee.

John Michael
I checked your account inventory and see a cable box listed on the account with the serial number XXXXX


SALLIE
How odd. Because it's not here. The cable runs directly into the television.


John Michael
I noticed that the $1.95 charge started on 04/30. I will remove the charges starting from that date up until Tuesday. ...It’s been my pleasure to have assisted you, Thank you for choosing Comcast as your service provider and have a great day! ...Good bye for now. Take care!


SALLIE
Perfect. Thank you so much.

All's well that ends well?

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