Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Not my department

Customer service "online chat" with Comcast rep:

Me: Hello. Back in late December I spoke on the phone with Comcast about transferring service to my new address. I spoke with a nice woman who told me service was not available at the new address. She gave me the number of someone to call the next day. I was on the phone with her for more than 30 minutes as she searched for information. The next day I was again on the phone for 30 minutes. The second person—a male—advised me again that Comcast had no service capabilities at my new address. I asked him to cancel my service effective in February. He said that was no problem. He said I should return my equipment within six months of the cancellation. He said he was sorry they could not transfer my service, but that he would put in a service call and alert me if they installed cable at my new address.

Now it is May and I just received, forwarded from my old address, a bill for two months service.

Hi. I am sorry. You will have to call Comcast. I cannot help you in online chat.

Me: I refuse to spend another 30 minutes on the phone with a new person.

Lynda: You have no choice.

Me: I have no choice?

Lynda: You have no choice.

Me: I was billed for service at my old address, where I no longer live. Just look at my account, see that I called Comcast in the past as I said, and cancel my service.

Lynda: I can only answer customer service questions.

Me: So billing complaints are not customer service questions?

Lynda: No. They are billing complaints.

Me: Actually, I emailed customer service from your website. They told me to chat, and gave me this link to do so. They sent me to you after I told them what my problem was.

Lynda: Customer service made a mistake. They should have sent you to billing.

Me: Is there a billing chat?

Lynda: No. There is only the phone number.

Me: I told you, I am not calling again. I was told this was resolved months ago. It was not. This is YOUR mistake, not mine. I should not be troubled any more than I already have been.

Lynda: You have no choice.

I have no choice? I already made my choice. I got DirectTV.

Lynda: I mean about your bill. You must contact us by phone.

How about if I continue to allow you to bill me at my old address, for service that does not exist, at an empty house that is undergoing renovation?

Lynda: Then we will continue to charge you and your file will be referred.

Me: My file will be referred to whom?

Lynda: Collections. Collections uses third-party contractors to coerce payment.

Me: Is there a collections chat?

Lynda: No. This is the only chat. We answer customer service FAQs. We do not answer billing or collections or maintenance or equipment.

Me: What do you answer?

Lynda: Questions about who you should call.

Me: So the chat is functionally useless? You only exist to tell me I have to call anyway?

Lynda: You would have to ask complaints.

Me: Let me guess.

Lynda: There is no complaints chat. You have to call Comcast.

Me: What are you wearing?

Lynda: A Comcast shirt and black jeans.

Me: I read this Kafka story.

I ended up driving to Comcast in White Marsh at lunch. It took 20 minutes to get there, and I was yelled at by some guy for calling TOO SOON to cancel my service. “You should call the same week, not six weeks ahead,” he screamed. I told him that the customer service at Comcast was beneath contempt, and asked him who I should complain to. He gave me the link for the online chat. They are still trying to bill me for two months' service at the old house.


Felicity said...

I effing hate Comcast.
There are no words for how effed up this is.

geoff said...

They suck! I mean, we both know how customers suck, and how many customers are stupid. I ALWAYS try and keep that in mind when I'm confronted by shoddy customer service, and figure I can be gentle and understanding and get some resolution. I know how horrible dealing with the herd can be.

But man: incompetent, rude, and continuously frustrating! And then to get yelled at by some slovenly jerk because I gave them PLENTY OF NOTICE? Bizarre. He had a list of my phone calls and chats up on a computer screen, and he kept pointing at it. "Who asks about transferring service six weeks early? WHO?! NOBODY!"

Livia Labate said...

That's really unfortunate. Comcast just created this service, which makes moving easy and painless:

I don't understand why you were not just directed to this. I guess it's one of those unlucky events where your area is serviced by a thid party vendor...

Pepper said...

I don't have Comcast here; but I did hear this from my on-line pharmacy:
"Since your doctor wrote the prescription wrong, it is not our fault and we cannot refund your money. It is your doctor's fault."

Yeah, because she wrote the prescription for 600mg, instead of two 300mg capsules! Argh! I am so sick of Big-any-kind-of Business.

I am actually hoping the stars will be right pretty soon!

geoff said...

Nightmarish. Nobody's accountable for anything anymore.

Bad cable TV servie is merely an annoyance; bad medical and pharmaceutical customer service ought to be a crime!

geoff's mom said...

And you wonder why we don't spend the money for cable? I think you convinced me to stay with my rabbit ears for a while longer.

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