I've been dealing with a dead high-speed Net connection all day today, so this strikes a chord with me.
Comcast Corp. is taking steps to improve customer service -- long a point of criticism for the cable industry -- as it prepares to put its name on the local operation.
A review of complaints to the Better Business Bureau since Comcast took control of Time Warner Cable in Houston and surrounding areas on Jan. 1 shows little change in the level of complaints. It does show customers fed up with waiting all day for technicians who never showed up, sales staff who didn't apply credits correctly and customer service representatives who promised one thing and did another.
Comcast, which is rebranding the service under its own name on June 19, is vowing to do better by making service calls more convenient for customers, monitoring its network to spot problems before customers do and providing new channels customers have requested.
"We are investing more than $200 million this year in the Houston market to upgrade our network, enhance our customer service and launch our products and services," said Tony Speller, Comcast's senior vice president for the Houston region, which includes 750,000 customers in Houston and more than 60 surrounding communities.
In an effort to limit the number of customers who say goodbye to Comcast, the company is trying to eliminate the friction points, Speller said.
A common complaint in the BBB records was customers' having to wait around an entire day for an installer to show up. Under Time Warner -- and currently under Comcast -- service windows have run from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Speller said Comcast will narrow service windows to no more than four hours, and customers will be able to ask for two- or three-hour windows. Comcast technicians will make service calls seven days a week. There is no timetable to implement the changes, Comcast spokesman Ray Purser said.
Sometimes, according to the BBB records, a salesperson on the phone promised the customer would get a call when the technician was 30 minutes from the home. When no call came, the customer missed the technician and had to reschedule, sometimes days later.
Under the company's new courtesy-call policy, if a customer asks for it, a company representative will phone 30 minutes before a technician arrives.
Comcast also said it will hire more call center employees and increase pay for new workers. It declined to reveal specific wages, citing competitive concerns.
(If we had citywide WiFi in place today, I'd at least have a backup option for when this sort of thing happen. Someday, someday...)Posted by Charles Kuffner on June 05, 2007 to Technology, science, and math