Just when you thought Comcast employees couldn’t get any scummier, they have to go and top themselves with even more rude and childish behavior. On Thursday, we brought you the story of Lisa Brown, who simply called into Comcast to downgrade her service, as her family was undergoing financial hardships. Instead of promptly complying with Mrs. Brown’s wishes, a retention specialist attempted to persuade her to sign a new two-year contract and continue paying for service that she couldn’t afford. And to make matters worse, a Comcast employee changed her husband’s name on the account from Ricardo Brown to Asshole Brown. Talk about “courteous” customer service.
Even though Comcast has been notorious for shoddy customer service over the years, we could seemingly chalk up an instance like this as being a fluke — perhaps it was a rogue employee that was simply trying to blow off some steam or simply have some fun at a customer’s expense. However, Christopher Elliot, the consumer advocate that first blew the lid off Mrs. Brown’s story, has received more stories from Comcast customers over the past few days that suggest harassing customers is simply a part of Comcast culture.
In once instance, a woman’s name was changed to “whore” out of the blue by a Comcast employee. According to Comcast customer Julie Swano, her name was changed to the offensive term on December 6, 2014. This was odd to Swano, as her most recent contact with the Comcast was on December 16, leading her to remark to Elliot, “So whoever chose to re-name me picked my account out of a hat.”
Another target of Comcast employees was Carolina Heredia, whose first name was change to “dummy.” How would you like it if you were to login to your online Comcast account and see the greeting “Hello, dummy” instead of your proper name? After numerous attempts to have the “glitch” fixed, Comcast eventually reverted the account name, but offered no sort of apology.
Stories like these are really unnerving to say the least. Here you have innocent customers that are being treated poorly by their cable company. Sure, many of these customers were attempting to downgrade their service, but they were still staying onboard as Comcast customers in some capacity. Why would employees stoop so low to mock customers in such a brazen and highly visible way?
For its part, Comcast says that it is investing the earlier case involving Mrs. Brown. Charlie Herrin, Comcast’s Senior Vice President of Customer Experience, took to the company’s corporate blog to address the matter, stating, “We have apologized to our customer for this unacceptable situation and addressed it directly with the employee who will no longer be working on behalf of Comcast.”
As for preventing idiotic incidents like this from happening again, Herrin says, “We're also looking at a number of technical solutions that would prevent it from happening moving forward.”
In addition, Herrin said that Comcast is basically giving its employees a crash course on how to treat customers. It boggles the mind that employees need to be retold to respect customers first and foremost, but these latest incidents meant that a refresh course was definitely needed. “We took this opportunity to reinforce with each employee just how important respect is to our culture,” Herrin adds. “In every interaction we have with a customer, we need to show them respect, patience, and enthusiasm to provide them with an excellent experience.
“We're working hard to transform the customer experience and all of our employees play an important role in making that happen. We'll take every opportunity to learn from our mistakes and fix issues to make their experience better.”
Let’s hope that the “Comcast culture” changes for the better following this latest bout of bad publicity. After all, Comcast is trying its darnedest to make sure that its acquisition of Time Warner Cable passes muster with federal regulators, which means that a whole lost more people could be subject to the “joys” of being a loyal Comcast customer.