I'd like you to know that it has been 11 years since we first came together as cable provider and cable subscriber. In those 11 years a lot has changed. Today we have DVRs, HDTV and the wondrous On Demand feature that had lived in our sci-fi dreams since childhood. However, some things haven't changed. You're still terrible at the customer service game. This letter is intended to let you know how much you still suck in that department.
I guess my first complaint would be the fact that you can't keep your shit working consistently. We can put an RC Car carrying 15 cameras on Mars, drive it over mountains and send pictures of the trip back to earth and you can't even get On Demand to work for more than three days straight. What's your problem? If it takes a rocket scientist to figure out - hire one. You made $1.22 billion in the first quarter of this year, it's not like you couldn't slice off $400 or $500 Gs to pick up one of the many out of work NASA scientists out there to fix the problem. If it's a nerd you need, go get one.
Because you can't keep things like your On Demand service or your internet service working, we customers have to call you to find out what the hell is going on with our very expensive cable provided entertainment. And this is where you really drop the ball. I can't stress enough how truly shitty you are at this part of the game. Wait, I think I can.
You are so shitty at customer service that satellite TV exists and makes a profit. Think about that for a second. People would rather buy a product that doesn't work in the wind, rain, when birds fly over, during the Harvest Moon or when someone is flying a kite within a mile of their dish because they hate you that much. Satellite TV is the worst product for delivering television programming since the invention of television and people happily pay for it because they hate you that much. And not only will they happily pay for a shitty product, they'll fist fight others in defense of it! You see, satellite TV customers are happy because they at least know exactly why their shit doesn't work. They don't have to call and get lied to like they did when they were Comcast subscribers - they already know the answer! And that's your biggest problem - you're a bunch of damn liars. Lies of omission, granted, but lies nonetheless.
What's worse than your lying? The process I have to go through to get hear your lies.
When calling you I have to go through a shitload of unnecessary options and it only adds to my anger and frustration. People only call you for one reason - THEIR CABLE ISN'T WORKING! I would venture a guess that upwards of 99 percent of the calls you get are on that subject. So, why do I have to go through a long list of options I'll never choose? Do you think it's funny to piss me off? I think you do.
Once I spend 15 minutes punching in just the right sequence of numbers in order to get a live person on the phone, you ask me for my account information. This wouldn't be so bad if weren't a complete waste of my time. You see, after I type in my phone number, my customer ID number and the last four digits of my social security number, I'll be asked to provide each of them again when your support person picks up the phone. Why in the hell do I give you all the information once, only to have to repeat it? Again, are you doing this to us because you think it's funny? Are the top executives at Comcast sitting around a speaker phone in conference room somewhere drinking Scotch and giggling at our frustration? Is that why you run that disclaimer "this call may be monitored" every nine seconds? If so, just let me know - I'll feel a little better about the whole shitty situation knowing that at least someone is enjoying the experience.
After we get the account formalities out of the way it's time to do the reset dance with your customer service representative. Asking me if I have reset the box is like a flight attendant warning passengers that they're on a nonsmoking flight - completely useless. I've unplugged the box for ten seconds and plugged it in back in, alright. I've done it 50 times hoping I didn't have to call you so you would tell me to do it again! Before I call your customer service I've unplugged the box, shut off the power to the house, gone to confession, sacrificed a goat to the pagan God of communication, held a seance, thrown salt over my left shoulder, asked everyone on Facebook to pray for me and had a Wiccan priest burn frog eyes and lizard tails near the box. Believe me, I've already played your little bullshit game of unplugging the box before I call. And you know what - IT HAS NEVER WORKED IN THE ELEVEN YEARS YOU'VE BEEN TELLING ME TO DO IT! Please stop asking me to do that - it only wastes my time.
The next step with costumer service goes one of two ways. They either suggest that there's something wrong with my equipment (cables, splitters etc. et al) and a technician will need to come out, or they promise to send a "signal" to my box to fix the problem. Either scenario lets the customer service representative dump me back into oblivion rather quickly so they can repeat the process with another angry customer.
When I pick the scenario where a technician comes out, it predictably ends with the problem solving itself moments before he knocks on my door. I spend most of my time with the technician trying to convince him that just moments before he got there that nothing was working and that I'm not crazy. Again, this is insanely annoying and if someone at Comcast headquarters is listening to me defend my sanity to a stranger and getting a kick out of it - let me know so I can at least make sense of the charade.
Once the technician tires of me defending my sanity, he checks my signal and tells me that my equipment seems to be just fine, which infuriates me every single time they tell me that (three times in two months, if you're wondering). For good measure he calls someone at Comcast and has them send a "signal" hoping that prevents any future problems. The end results is nothing different than a doctor writing a prescription for a placebo to placate his hypochondriac patient.
What the whole visit doesn't solve for me is the mysterious outages in services that were supposedly due to my equipment that has been now deemed in perfect working order by the technician. Obviously the problem isn't with me! And if this damn signal is needed to make my cable work; why don't they send it every night at 3:00 a.m. just to make sure it's working when I get up?
Now, if I want to skip the technician part the costumer representative will promise to send my cable box a "signal" within the next 30 to 45 minutes. Why you can not do it any quicker is beyond my understanding. If you can beam me Monday Night Football in HD in real time, why can't you send a signal telling my cable box to get its shit together in same time frame? (See my note above on the rocket scientist.)
Inevitably I spend the next three hours waiting for something to happen and nothing does. Again, if there's someone at Comcast headquarters laughing their ass off watching me through my box sitting there like a f*cking idiot waiting for a miracle to happen - let me know, at least I'll know I'm usefull to the world in some way. This let down leads me to calling back and going through all the bullshit above again and having a technician sent out who will... you know the how it goes - read above again if you've forgotten. I hope it makes you laugh so hard you piss your pants. And I hope it's the fifth pair of pants you have pissed through today and have run out of spares.
Here's the part where I'm supposed to tell you that you're fired. Well, that's not going to happen. Because I live in a neighborhood that was built shortly after the people in Roanoke disappeared, I don't have access to AT&T Uverse. My parents have Uverse and like everything else they've had in their life (most notably me) it's awesome. And I've already explained why I won't subscribe to Satellite TV. So, you are not fired.
Although, you can bet your granny's panties I've already dug the trench for the Uverse cable in front of my house and sent pictures to AT&T with a promise to dig up the rest of the block if they'll just buy the fiber optic cable and plug into their magic box. Luckily for you they've not gotten back to me. By God when they do - I'm going to wrap my house in their logo and spend my weekends holding their sign at a busy intersection in Clarendon (you don't know where Clarendon is, but if you did, you'd be very worried).
Here's what I need from you. I need you to have your customer service representatives start being honest. When I tell them the cable box tells me an "error 14" has occured, I need them to tell me what that means and what it is going to take to fix it. If one of your dipshit IT guys forgot to feed the hamster that powers the computer that runs On Demand - f*cking tell me that! Don't have me do the cable box hokey pokey three times a night only to have a technician come out and do the exact same thing three days later. Just be honest! I won't understand, and I'll still be mad, but at least I'll know what's going on and I'll stop bothering your customer support representatives with my dumb little concerns about being ripped off to the tune of $110 a month.
You must also stop pulling this bullshit of telling customers that On Demand is a free service and therefore we should shut our stupid little mouths and go play in traffic if it doesn't work all the time. If you're going to offer something, whether or it's free or not, make it work because if it doesn't, your customers will assume that all of your services suck. I'd gladly pay for On Demand if you made some guarantee that it would work consistently.
I'm sure you're having a good laugh at my expense right now blotting tears of laughter away with hundred dollar bills and such, but Karma is a spiteful little bitch and I'm pretty sure you're on her list these days. If you don't watch out, your profits will fall and you'll be kicked off the peak of Management Mountain with only a $23 million golden parachute to save you. Don't say I didn't warn you.
Now gentlemen, if you'll excuse me I have to go reset my cable modem so that I might upload this letter to the internet.