Comcast gets it right, and that’s no mistake

It has been called the worst company in America. But even bad companies can do good.

I know, because it happened to me. I stumbled through consecutive and excruciating tales of incompetence. But, I hung in there long enough to locate a high level manager who instantly fixed everything — and was really sorry.

You’ll see.

Just writing about this makes the Good News Guy…well, not so nice. But I pulled myself together to give credit where it is due.

My Comcast cable snafus are a “first world problem” in light of past stories I’ve featured in this column, and I’m grateful for the privilege of even having the amenity. But my road to resolution was, nevertheless, paved with some prolonged pain along the way. I’m exhausted.

(Comcast adventures — or misadventures — are no stranger to our forum, either. Oh, where to begin? I do not want to get you started. Or do I? This is my all-time favorite. And our most recent does not disappoint.)

“I use my cable primarily for high-speed Internet and the most basic cable TV line-up comes with it regardless,” begins Der. Wait – what am I doing interviewing myself? I’m losing it. And I am way too difficult and uncooperative, so let me just tell you about it.

For various reasons, Comcast is the only hardwired cable provider available in my residence area, and a dish outside my condo window is just not going to fly. After a few years of acceptable service, I came home one day to find both my TV and Internet out.

My first service technician never showed. What a shocker.

The second service technician showed up on time but could not find the problem. He even admitted he gave up and suggested I would likely need to hire a private “cabler” for additional cost to diagnose the problem – and gave me the cabler’s business card. Don’t get ahead of me.

Wouldn’t it be embarrassing if I had not followed the Elliott.org proactive approach of firmly yet politely escalating to written email communication with corporate office contacts? Yes, it would.

So I contacted the regional customer service office for my area, and was pleasantly surprised to find a manager who really seemed to care and knew what he was doing. He gave me his direct number. Let’s call him Ken.

He said he would send a highly experienced technician, and set up another appointment. The specialist arrived and was surgical in his precision, finding a loose connection in ten minutes that was simply not screwed in behind the common lobby hallway ceiling tile. How it got that way, we will never know.

Wait, isn’t this “cable repair 101″ that the first technician should have gotten?

It gets better. Two more technicians showed up, knocking on the door in subsequent days after the problem was solved, for service calls neither I nor Ken arranged or requested, and one even talked himself past the front desk. Wow. But good luck with getting a scheduled appointment. They insisted I had made these requests, but when I asked for documentation, no dice.

Nevertheless, I thanked Ken with a personal note (always a must), and so began the start of a beautiful friendship. A few minor unrelated but effectively attended-to issues later, he remained my go-to guy, fixing problems quickly and efficiently. And then came the obligatory digital box upgrades Comcast now required for all basic cable customers as more TV stations moved to digital HD – at no extra cost.

Since my basic TV lineup was thrown in for the same minimum Internet package price, I ordered the two necessary upgraded boxes online. When they showed up, repeated failed attempts to activate them remotely revealed they were inadvertently assigned to another account.

But Ken said he had this. I waited. I sent seven emails. What happened?

Then, a response: He started from the beginning and asked for the correct account address to send the boxes to, again. In the meantime, I got an online alert that my billing was unusually high. It turned out I was charged some nebulous additional service charges for the free boxes.

Ken corrected the billing error, but asked for a third time what account addresses the boxes should be assigned to. Sigh.

Two replacement boxes finally arrived – but they were the old, obsolete “non-HD” type I already had when I signed up. This is the best part. I also received a completely unrelated new Internet modem/router combination called a gateway, which I never asked for or needed, and also showed up on my bill.

Sigh, again.

I could not reach Ken, so another service rep said (incorrectly) that a technician must personally come by and retrieve this gateway modem I never requested in order to get full credit back, so reluctantly I agreed. No one ever showed and I didn’t get the $20 no-show credit Comcast promises. Even Ken was puzzled.

More emails, and Ken and I were back together. He credited back the gateway fee, and finally delivered the two new HD digital boxes correctly assigned to my account. One powered up and worked, but the power cord to the other box was actually severed – not torn – with some sort of sharp cutting instrument.

I now had the following grand total of new equipment I did not need or request, which I was eager to send back in their prepaid shipping box as soon as I could: one defective box of two HD DTA boxes; two HD DTA boxes mistakenly assigned to another account; two unnecessary older “non-HD” DTA boxes that I never requested; and a gateway I never asked for or needed. Exhaling, again. All this equipment was surely worth hundreds of dollars.

And all I needed was one more working HD DTA box. So close, and yet so far.

Email responses stopped. Nothing. Ken dumped me; he didn’t even want to be…just friends.

My Elliott.org approach needed to be ramped up, so I did a deep Internet search for even higher corporate contacts (at that time, the contact page was having technical issues).

My email landed in the lap of Chavis Robinson, Executive Customer Relations Supervisor, Comcast Northeast Division. He called and gave me his direct number.

“Please let me know when you are available and I will be more than happy to assist. I look forward to hearing from you,” he said.

He listened. He was pleasant. He cared. I was polite (wasn’t easy).

After months, he fixed everything at once, easily and immediately. He corrected any remaining inconsistencies on my billing record. Even though I never expected it or asked, he even reduced some past bills with good will credits back to my account. I thanked him. I was verklempt (look it up).

“No problem. Glad I could help,” Robinson concluded.

Why was this so hard until now? We will never know.

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.

So, have Comcast and I kissed and made up? Are we again sharing the sandbox? Maybe. For now we have learned to play well with others, and not run with scissors.

About the Author
Der is an environmental consultant and travel journalist specializing in water science, nature, eco-travel, and cultural destinations
Posted in The Good News Guy Tagged ,

Underwritten by

Underwritten by AirHelp

AirHelp is the world’s leading flight delays compensation company, helping passengers apply for compensation following a delayed or canceled flight or when boarding has been denied. It is AirHelp’s mission to fight for passenger rights by holding airlines accountable for flights disruptions that are out of passengers’ control. AirHelp has already helped 5 million people, taking the stress out of applying for compensation and making it as hassle-free as possible for travelers around the world.

Underwritten by Allianz Travel Insurance

The Allianz Travel Insurance company has built its reputation on partnering with agents all around the world to provide comprehensive travel insurance for their clients. Contact Allianz Travel Insurance for a comprehensive list of coverage.

Underwritten by Chubb

Chubb is the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance company, and recognized as the premier provider of insurance for successful individuals and families in the U.S. and selected international markets, offering coverage for high-value automobile, homeowners, recreational marine/aviation, valuables and umbrella liability coverage. As an underwriting company, Chubb assesses, assumes and manages risk with insight and discipline, and combines the precision of craftsmanship with decades of experience to conceive, craft and deliver the best insurance coverage and services to individuals, families and business of all size.

Underwritten by Enterprise

A family-owned, world-class portfolio of brands. A global network that spans across more than 85 countries. Some 97,000 dedicated team members sharing common values. And more than 1.9 million vehicles taking our customers wherever they need to go.

Underwritten by Fareportal

Fareportal’s portfolio of brands, which include  CheapOair and  OneTravel, are dedicated to helping customers enjoy their trip. Whether you want to call, click, or use one of our travel apps, one thing is clear: We make it easy to take it easy.

Underwritten by Insuremyrentalcar.com

An independent provider of low cost CDW/LDW insurance for use with rental cars. Up to $100,000 cover with no deductible. Policies available on a per day, per trip or per year basis. Also works with overseas rentals. Try  Insuremyrentalcar.comnow.

Underwritten by InsureMyTrip

It’s simple. InsureMyTrip finds you the right travel insurance plan, every time. InsureMyTrip is the authority on travel insurance. Rated A+ for travel insurance by the Better Business Bureau. All travelers that purchase a policy through  InsureMyTrip have access to Anytime Advocates® for claims assistance.

Underwritten by Mediacom Communications

The nation’s fifth-largest cable operator, serving the smaller cities and towns in the Midwest and Southern regions of the United States. We are a high-performance broadband, entertainment, and communications company that brings the power of modern technology and quality customer experience to life inside the connected home by combining ultra-fast gigabit speeds with personalized local and over-the-top entertainment choices that fit your lifestyle. Details at  Mediacomcable.com.

Underwritten by SCOTTeVEST

An innovative apparel brand for people who want easy access to everything they need. For those who live for every second, SCOTTeVEST lets you maximize your life. Ditch the carry-on bag and pick up a  SCOTTeVEST.

Underwritten by Virtuoso

The leading global network for luxury and experiential travel. This invitation-only organization comprises over 1,000 travel agency locations with 17,500 advisors in over 45 countries, and holds preferred relationships with 1,700 of the world’s finest travel companies. Virtuoso advisors collaborate with their clients to create personalized itineraries featuring exclusive perks, while also providing advice, access, advocacy, and accountability. For more information, visit  Virtuoso.com.

Underwritten by VisitorsCoverage

As a company that is constantly striving to simplify travel insurance, VisitorsCoverage, is on a mission to help travelers make the better decisions about purchasing travel insurance, quickly. VisitorsCoverage has helped millions of travelers globally to buy the suitable travel insurance and explore the world with confidence. Get insurance for your next trip at  VisitorsCoverage. Lowest Price Guaranteed.

Underwritten by MedjetAssist

Medjet is the premier global air-medical transport, travel security and crisis response membership program for travelers. With a MedjetAssist membership, if you become hospitalized more than 150 miles from home, we will get you from that unfamiliar hospital all the way home to the hospital you trust. All you ever pay is your membership fee. MedjetHorizon members add 24/7 personal security and crisis response benefits. Elliott.org readers enjoy discounted rates. Travel safer with  MedjetAssist.

Underwritten by Southwest Airlines

The mission of Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit. We are committed to provide our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth.

Underwritten by Sungard Availability Services

Leveraging more than 35 years of experience, Sungard AS designs, builds and runs critical IT services that help businesses manage complex IT, adapt quickly and build resiliency and availability. A leading provider of critical production and recovery services, Sungard AS partners with customers across the globe, delivering resilient IT systems, infrastructure and recovery services tailored to achieving desired business outcomes.

Underwritten by TravelInsurance.com

TravelInsurance.com makes it fast and easy to compare and buy travel insurance online from top rated providers. Our unbiased comparison engine allows travelers to read reviews, compare pricing and benefits and buy the right policy with a price guarantee, every time. Compare and buy travel insurance now at  TravelInsurance.com.

Underwritten by Squaremouth

Squaremouth helps travelers easily and instantly compare travel insurance policies from all major providers. Only companies that meet the strict requirements of Squaremouth’s Zero Complaint Guarantee are available on the website. Compare policies on  Squaremouth.com to save over 70 percent on your next purchase.

Underwritten by Travel Leaders Group

Travel Leaders Group is transforming travel through its progressive approach toward each unique travel experience. Travel Leaders Group assists millions of travelers through its leisure, business and network travel operations under a variety of diversified divisions and brands including All Aboard Travel, Andrew Harper Travel, Colletts Travel, Corporate Travel Services, CruCon Cruise Outlet, Cruise Specialists, Nexion, Protravel International, SinglesCruise.com, Travel Leaders Corporate, Travel Leaders Network and Tzell Travel Group, and its merger with ALTOUR. With more than 7,000 agency locations and 52,000 travel advisors, Travel Leaders Group ranks as one of the industry’s largest retail travel agency companies.

Underwritten by Travelers United

If you’ve been mistreated by the airlines, Travelers United is your voice in Washington. Join the #1 travel advocacy organization working with Congress to improve and protect travelers. Plus, get $400 of annual benefits you can use for travel for only $29/year. Add your voice to ours. Make travel better.  Join today.

%d bloggers like this:
This free newsletter will save you from scams.