Tonight, I've called 1-800-COMCAST with two goals: to downgrade our cable package and to sign on for their new, very fast Internet service.
This is actually my second call. Last night, I called Comcast with the same goals. After sitting on hold for twenty minutes, I gave up.
I may give up tonight, too. Here's why: if I set out to design the worst possible on-the-phone customer experience, I don't think I could surpass what Comcast dishes out.
First: while waiting for a rep these past fifteen minutes, I've been subjected to the same blobby, tinny loop of bad harmonica jazz music at least thirty times. From what I can tell, the loop never changes, and it's only about fifteen seconds long. It's remarkably bad. It's remarkably loud. It's on-hold music conceived and performed by the Devil himself.
Second: if someone's calling to disconnect or downgrade, is it the best idea in the world to bombard them with messages about value bundles and additional services? The caller is already unhappy; that's probably not the best time to push for a sale.
Third: if you're going to subject me to ad after ad, you could at least not interrupt your own ads ... with more ads. In the middle of an ad about voicemail, for example, the same pre-recorded female voice (only much louder) breaks in to tell me how important my call is. (Note to Comcast: if my call really is important to you ... staff accordingly.) During ads about the Comcast Xfinity Triple Play bundle, the same pre-recorded female voice breaks in to tell me I'd better know my social security number before speaking with a rep. Just now, while I've been writing this blog post, I've heard an ad be interrupted by another ad, which was, in turn, interrupted by yet another ad. It's madness.
What mood, exactly, is all this -- another twenty-minute wait, blobby music, and a barrage of ads interrupted by other ads -- supposed to put me in? Has anyone from Comcast ever called this number, to experience the wait and the noise first-hand?
There should be a law: when customer service call center waits go beyond five minutes, little speakers in the ceiling of senior management's officers begin to play the same on-hold loop that callers are subjected to.
Do that, and I'll wager that answering my "important call" would suddenly be considered a lot more important.
Update: Last night's wait was also twenty minutes, but customer service did resolve the first part of my issue. A helpful MadeByMark.com reader suggested using Twitter as a way to get service from now on. (Thanks, Brian!)
Meanwhile: none of this would be a problem if Comcast would allow customers to manage their own account online. It's odd to me that their ads brag that customers can do that very thing ... but the truth is, while their online account management tool allows customers to add new services or upgrade existing ones, it doesn't allow you to downgrade or drop services. I know why they do this ... but it would be a gesture of faith in customers to give us full account management functionality (especially when you're trumpeting account management as a feature of your service!).