Comcast comes through — eventually

Malvina Nicoll was frustrated with Comcast to the point of tears.

Get in line. There’s a reason it’s been called the worst company in America.

Her email account, along with critical medical data, went up in smoke. After days of aggravation, no one at Comcast had fixed her problem.

Desperate and hopeless, Nicoll finally stumbled onto a caring and highly skilled rep that patiently sleuthed through her problems, solving them all along the way.

So why is this good news? Hold on a minute — I’m thinking.

I’m done. If Nicoll thinks this is good news, then I do, too.

Should the one rep who knew what they were doing, exhibiting patience and empathy the whole way, be overlooked because of others who may not seem to care? Equitable advocacy dictates we need to compliment as vigorously as we complain. Even bad companies can do good.

Reams of Comcast fiascos slam our help forum, and this is my favorite.


Motley Fool, Huffington Post, Salon, and Verge appear to agree. Other competitors are not far behind.

Why Comcast? And why so often? Maybe too much complacency in an absence of vigorous competition and free market forces? Maybe insufficient regulation and penalties? Or something about the corporate culture and morale?

Let’s leave that for another column. I don’t want to get you started. Or do I?

“I want to tell you of a spectacular tech person who stayed with me for over two hours to restore my email at last,” Nicoll begins. “She was magnificent. If I could have sent her flowers, I would have.”

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We’re all ears.

Nicoll relies on her email account to manage her and her spouse’s medical records and deliberative communications. All of you back-up-your-data folks give it a rest for a moment. The problem was also with her actual POP (post office protocol) account disappearing.

I can relate. Configuring my own Comcast email POP settings more than once has made me…well, not so nice.

“Changing user information over from my husband resulted in losing my account access and emails, with me calling Comcast three times a day,” Nicoll continues. “Each time I spoke to a representative I was told the same thing: ‘it will take 24-72 hours to restore your email.'”

Why? No one knows.

“After seven days I reached Marta (Agent # 3682891) and broke down hysterically crying on the phone and she stayed with me all the way to finally reclaim my email address account again,” she said.

Gosh, Comcast, now you are making customers cry? Nice. But Marta also restored all of Nicoll’s critical medical information and contacts.

While things ended well, Nicoll shouldn’t have had to wade through others’ incompetence to get there. I, too, experienced this in my previous story as a Comcast customer, but am unable to provide the link that fell victim to the forum’s server outage earlier this year.

“The whole experience with Comcast was a nightmare,” Nicoll exclaimed. “I was a day away from changing providers and did not even get any compensation for all the aggravation.”

Nicoll also shared her story with us to publicize the need for better qualified and trained reps, as well as to tell us how her persistence was the key to success. Good for you Nicoll.

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The Good News Guy’s mission is to be positive, and note that problems can be solved when done the right way, and once those who have a true stake in the company really know what is happening in the front lines.

There really are skilled and empathetic reps eager to help who want to do a good job at the end of the day. Perhaps we can coax them out, and companies along, just a little.

Nicoll agrees. “Please recognize Marta’s excellence as a Comcast employee,” she asked.

Despite everything, Nicoll found it within her to give credit where it is due.

And so should we.

Andrew Der

Der is an environmental consultant and travel journalist specializing in water science, nature, eco-travel, and cultural destinations

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