Sent to Rick Germano – SVP Customer Operations, Comcast
and Investor Relations.
July 5th 2007
Dear Mr. Germano,
I cannot tell you how angry I am this morning at Comcast. There are no words to describe my complete and total dissatisfaction in not only your customer service, but the lack of customer support I have received from your company in the past several years and especially in the past month.
I have been a Comcast customer since 2001 when I bought and moved into my house in Caroline County. I have paid my bill on time and more often than not, have a credit on my account. I have done my part and held up my end of the contract between Comcast and myself. But Comcast has seriously fallen way short of holding up it’s end of that contract.
This is exactly why your stock has fallen so sharply in the past year down to the near $18 per share. It’s why Dish Network and DirectTV are now running ads attacking cable provider services and encouraging your customers to switch. It’s also why if you had any competition in our county, we’d have canceled our service years ago. But we like the oak trees in our front yard and decided at that time nature was more important than TV. We’re regretting that choice today. So I’ll tell you why and then you tell me why I shouldn’t just chuck this Comcast cable box out into the lake behind my house.
Our dissatisfaction started in 2005 when we had an outage, called to schedule repair and we were told digital service would be available in our community in December of that year. Turns out that wasn’t true. Turns out that no plans had been designed for our neighborhood because the expense of upgrading our area wasn’t justified by the number of subscribers that would sign-up once it was available.
In 2007 we experienced SEVERAL issues with Comcast. The first came with a notice that said works would be laying digital lines in our neighborhood and that we might experience an outage of service. We didn’t realize that meant an outage of electric and water. But On July 3rd Comcast contractors cut our lines and we lost both of those. Only to discover that no one had called Ms.Utility or our Water company to inform them of the work and areas of digging. So no at the utility companies had marked the area where our water and electrical lines were and the Comcast contractors cut those. How wonderful. We also discovered that it wasn’t the contractors who notified the water company when they cut the lines, but rather us. The contractors knew they cut the water line, but all they did was turn off the line before the break and continued with their digging. They never called anyone to come and fix it.
Several days later, we lost electrical power again. And again we found out it was thanks to the Comcast contractors. We haven’t seen a Comcast construction truck since that day. The under ground cables are still sticking out of the ground and leaning up against a phone poll.
The second issue occurred in August 2007 when a lightening hit our house and caused a fire. It also took out our cable. Everyone we called to schedule service for repair showed up and did their job within a week of the outage of service. Except Comcast. The first guy who did show up over a week later, came with a digital box to fix our analog problem. Even after I told the customer service rep that we do not have digital service in our neighborhood. I made sure the rep understood what I was saying. WE DO NOT HAVE DIGITAL SERVICE! But even after my insistence, the tech shows up with the wrong box. When that technician left, we called customer service to complain. Again we had to wait 2 more days for another tech to come out. Again he arrived with a digital box. He said he was going to upgrade us and it was ok. After 30 minutes he came back to our door and told us we don’t have digital service here. Really? Wow..I didn’t know that! How wonderful that he told US! We called and seriously complained to customer service. That tech gave us the number of his area boss and I called him and complained for a good 10 minutes with little satisfaction or assurance that our service was going to be fixed. My 4 year old son was terribly traumatized by the lightening and the fire. All he wanted to do was watch Sponge Bob and forget about his fear for a while. I don’t think that was too much to ask. But you explain to a little boy that the complete incompetence of a service company is keeping him from the one thing he has asked for. It was another few days before a tech came out with the right analog box and the where with all to bring our service back online.
Since the fire we have experienced the worst reception on several channels that I’ve ever seen since I watched TV via an antenna. But we decided after all the problems, we’d simply be patent and wait for digital service. That is until last month. We wanted to watch NASCAR on TNT. But we couldn’t, because that particular channel rolls, and the snowy reception is so bad you can’t even see what you’re watching. And when you could see through the roll or snow for a brief second or two, you were watching a black and white picture. So we called, complained and schedule service.
On June 17, a very nice lady who told us she usually works in Spotsylvania came to check our service. She hooked our box up to a monitor and said we were getting a very low and poor reception to our house. She went out to the street and checked the box out there. She got the same result. She stood on my front porch and called her boss letting him know about the problem and that she wasn’t equipped to fix it. She told us that we would receive a credit until the problem was fixed. Ok, we assumed that meant someone was going to fix it. ..evidently we were wrong…
Now being that I’ve always paid my bill on time, I was glad to hear I didn’t have to pay for this crappy service. She informed me not to pay the bill and she would put in a report about the situation. Great. I did as instructed.
Today, July 5th, we lost service and called it in. We were told our service was canceled because we had an outstanding bill. Huh? We were told not to pay the bill, that we would be receiving a credit and the problem with our reception was being worked on. The phone rep then tells me that we scheduled service on the 15th, but we canceled the appointment for the service on the 17th. WHAT?! First we never canceled the service appointment and if we did, who the heck was the lady that showed up at our door? I heard her talk to her boss on the phone. So did he decide we were going to be screwed and to cover his butt he said we canceled the service? I was so angry I hung up.
After calming down I called Customer Service back. After reaching my limit with that service rep, I demanded to talk to her supervisor. After 10 minutes on hold, I am told I’m talking to the Center supervisor. I told her this entire story and that I demanded customer satisfaction today. This woman tells me that her records indicated that the tech showed up on the 17th but reported no one was home and no entry was possible. Really? Then when the lady who did show up on the 17th, put little blue booties on to cover her muddy boots when she came into my house; that was just my imagination I guess? When she called her boss in front of me, I guess I just dreamed that up. The supervisor tells me that the tech never filed a report. Ok, what am I supposed to do about that? Do I assume she didn’t do her job? The lady seemed pretty competent to me, but who knows. Maybe she didn’t file a report. Or she filed it and because she usually works in Spotsylvania the report went some where else. Or may she filled the report and the area boss in Caroline tossed it in a drawer because he didn’t want to deal with the problem. Or do I assume that in order to keep his reports to his boss, clean he decided that we were never available for the appointment and it never really happened?
So now I find out that not only do we have to WAIT AGAIN for a tech to come to our house, but that we still may not receive service because we have refused to pay for the most lousy customer service and cable reception on the planet. I demanded to know what Comcast was going to do for me today! And I’m told nothing. I’m told I have to pay for the bad reception, for the bad customer service, for the bad and total incompetence of the phone support representatives, the area boss, the digital contractors who cut our water and the total lack of consideration to my family. And I’m supposed to be happy about it.
So you tell me Mr. Germano – You tell me why I shouldn’t cut down the trees in my front yard and replace this total incompetence with DirectTV? You tell me what YOU are going to do for ME to keep MY business.
Regards – Rev. Spring