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Sunday, April 21st, 2024 4:49 PM

Comcast Customer Service: Incompetence, Gaslighting, and Lies

This is a letter I just e-mailed to Comcast's CEO and its top two customer "service" executives. As I mentioned in the letter, I'm also posting it here.

April 21, 2024


[Edited: "Personal Information"]


RE: Comcast Customer Service: Incompetence, Gaslighting, and Lies


Dear [Edited: "Personal Information"],

I have been a Comcast customer for decades, having first subscribed to your cable/TV service and then, over the years, adding internet provision and home security services. As my monthly bills have ranged from $150 to over $250, depending on which specific products or channels I have used at any given time, I estimate that I have spent at least $25,000 on Comcast products and services.

 

Despite the loyalty—and revenue—I have given your corporation, I, like all too many other Comcast customers, have been treated with contempt. And so, like many other former Comcast customers, I am ending my relationship with you.

Before I pull the plug, which I will be doing later this week (see below), I wanted to let you—and everyone else reading this letter, which I will also be posting to the Xfinity Community Forum, on my Facebook page, on your Facebook page, and on the “I Hate Comcast” Facebook page (the existence of which should tell you almost all you need to know about how your many customers, past and present, feel about you)—know why, specifically, and in great detail, I am doing so.

First, I am tired of the contempt with which your company treats all of its customers, not only me. As you surely must know—and, yet, evidently, care little about—your company is notorious for making it nearly impossible for a customer who’s having a technical or billing issue to reach a live human being on the phone. Your automated message system first forces a customer to deal with an automated text-messaging system, which is maddening. If a customer manages to maintain his or her sanity while dealing with the automated system, and asks to communicate with a live agent, that agent too is available only to text, not to talk. Only after texting with that human for about 30 minutes is a customer allowed to request an actual phone conversation with a speaking customer service agent. Again, maddening.

 

But I’m sure you know about that because you have designed the system to work this way, bringing the degree of actual voice-to-voice content to the absolute minimum.

 

I have become used to this expression of contempt from your customer “service” arm, so let’s think of my reaction to that “service” as my baseline level of hatred and frustration from which I am operating even before any specific problems occur.

 

Let me tell you now about my most recent experience with the newer (I assume) forms of customer torture that you have instituted and that you have inflicted on me in the last month; that is, those that have brought me to my decision to end of my relationship with Comcast.

Friday, March 23, 2024

This is the date that marks the beginning of the end. On the evening of March 23, I sat down to watch a number of programs that I had recorded on my DVR earlier that week. Most of the recording were just fine, as usual—in fairness, I must note here that I rarely have problems with the technical aspects of Comcast service—but I discovered that all the programs I’d recorded on a particular channel (USA Network) during this particular week were unwatchable: filled with pixels and glitches; no audio whatsoever.

 

I called (and texted and called) customer service and was eventually connected with a very nice, very helpful technical support person who tried to troubleshoot and fix the problem with me while we were on the phone together. After about an hour, we were ultimately unsuccessful, so she, the tech support person, offered to schedule an appointment for a local technician to come to my house on Sunday March 25, between 2:00 and 4:00 PM. I stress that it was one of your support people, not me, who proposed and then scheduled this in-person appointment. I thanked her for her help and looked forward to the live technician’s house call.

Saturday, March 24, 2024

At several times on March 24, the day before my scheduled appointment, I received phone calls from Comcast’s “advance team” (phone number 855-226-6408), offering me a way to solve the DVR problem quickly and easily over the phone—that is, without my having to wait for my March 25 technician appointment. I did not take or respond to these calls, because the over-the-phone troubleshooting that I had gone through for an hour on the night of March 23 hadn’t worked. Further, I had previously (last year) received such calls before after scheduling live appointments to address problems I was having with my home security system, and I found the process frustrating.

Moreover, I did not want to spend any more of my time on the phone with a disembodied voice. I wanted a live technician to pay an actual house call, see the DVR with his own eyes, and fix the problem with his own hands. Clearly, though, this—sending your live technicians to people’s homes to solve their technical problems—is precisely what Comcast does not want to do.

Meanwhile, I also received an automated text message from “Xfinity Assistant,” confirming my appointment for March 25 between 2 and 4 PM, and directing me to click on a link to confirm, which I did.

 

Sunday, March 25, 2004: House-call appointment day

This was one of the most maddening days of my life.

 

Knowing that your technician was scheduled to come to my house between 2:00 and 4:00, I blocked out my afternoon.

 

Shortly after 2:00, the lies and gaslighting began:

 

At 2:08, I received an automated text message saying “Your Xfinity tech is on their way and will be arriving soon!”

 

At 2:19, I received an automated text message saying “Your Xfinity tech is arriving and will be with you as soon as possible.”

 

At 2:52—that is, fully 33 minutes after getting the “your tech is arriving” text—I received an automated text message saying that the Xfinity tech was pulling up to my house and that it might take a few minutes before he was ready to come to my door for the appointment. I looked outside. There was no Xfinity vehicle in my driveway or on the street in front of my house.

At 3:00, I received an automated text message saying “Your tech is onsite for a scheduled appointment. Please greet them as soon as possible.” I opened my front door. There was no technician on my front porch. There was no Xfinity vehicle in my driveway or on the street in front of my house. There was no technician on my back porch, or anywhere else on my property. I walked out to the street. There was no Xfinity vehicle to be seen anywhere, in any direction.

 

At 3:12, I received an automated text message saying “We’re sorry we missed you. Your appointment is now cancelled. Reply APPT to reschedule your appointment.”

At this point, my head exploded.

 

Despite your automated service sending me four text messages claiming that your technician was on his way or at my house, there was no such technician. There was never a technician.

Your company was gaslighting me. Your company was lying to me.

 

If you had actually sent a technician—which I suspect was never Comcast’s intention—he never called or texted me to tell me personally that he was on his way, or that he was running late, or that he was lost and couldn’t find my house, any or all of which would have been perfectly acceptable. (If he’d been lost, I simply would have told him how to find me.)

 

But I have no reason to believe that Comcast ever had any intention of actually sending a live technician to my house. After all, your company had called me multiple times from the 855 number the day before my appointment, with the express intent of getting me to cancel the appointment. No technician ever made direct contact with me on the day of the appointment. The only entity—not a human—that did contact me was your automated Xfinity Assistant, which had sent me a series of lying, gaslighting text messages claiming that a technician was on his way, pulling up to my house, and, ultimately, at my door.

 

Anyway, at 3:37, I received another automated text from “Xfinity Assistant,” saying “Sorry we missed you! It looks like we recently missed you on a scheduled appointment. If you still need this appointment, you can select the button below.”

As you might expect, this did not make me happy.

I called your customer service number and, after being forced to first text with an automated assistant, and then text with a live chat agent, I finally (after 25 minutes) got connected with a speaking human with an actual human voice.

I told that person everything that had happened. We confirmed the address of my home.

She was very kind (as are all of your live agents, if one can ever reach them) and offered to elevate my case to a supervisor. I then spoke to a very nice supervisor, who apologized profusely and offered to arrange a technician visit for the next morning (Monday March 26). I asked why the technician who had (allegedly) been scheduled to come to my house in the first place couldn’t come to my house right then, as we were speaking on the phone, as it was only a few minutes after 4:00; that is, just moments outside of the original 2:00-4:00 appointment window. After all, I said, that technician must be still available, because he never came to my house in the first place.

I was told that all such appointments for house calls must be made 2 days in advance. At this, my head exploded again. After all, I told the supervisor, the original appointment had been made 2 days in advance, on Friday March 23rd!

Alas, I was told, it was too late to get someone to come to my house on that same day. However, the supervisor personally scheduled (or so she claimed) an appointment for 8:00-10:00 AM on the next day, Monday March 26. She also promised that she would speak with the technician directly—and that she would tell him personally to call or text me as he was on his way to my house.

Monday March 26, 2004: Rescheduled appointment day

At 7:30 AM—that is, 30 minutes before the beginning of my 8:00-10:00 appointment window—I received an automated phone call from a Colorado phone number (area code 303) with a pre-recorded message reminding me about my appointment and telling me to secure my pets and to remove any obstacles that might be impeding the technician’s access to my equipment. This was not the personal call or text message from the technician himself, which I had been told to expect, but at least it was something.

At 8:00, no one had arrived, and I had not received a call or text from the technician.

 

By 8:30, no one had arrived, and I had not received a call or text from the technician.

By 9:00, no one had arrived, and I had not received a call or text from the technician.

By 9:30, no one had arrived, and I had not received a call or text from the technician.

At 9:37, I called customer service to inquire about the technician’s arrival, as I needed to get to my office and was already quite late. I reached a human fairly quickly, somehow, explained all of the above, and asked if she could tell me when the tech might get to my house. She told me that the technician had showed up (another lie!) but since no one was home (more gaslighting!), my appointment was cancelled.

As you might expect, my head exploded yet again.

As I told this customer service person, I had been home all morning, sitting by my front window, with a full view of my driveway and the street in front of my house, watching and waiting for the Comcast technician. No one had come to my house. No technician had called or texted me to either confirm his impending arrival. No technician had called or texted to tell me he was running late, or that he was lost, or that he needed directions to my house.

 

Yet again, for the second time in less than 24 hours, an appointment that had made by your customer service team did not materialize.

Yet again, for the second time in less than 24 hours, your automated text messaging service told me that *I* hadn’t been at home, despite that fact that I was indeed at home the whole time, sitting by my front window, watching my driveway and the street in front of my house, waiting for a Comcast technician.

Yet again, if your technician—if in fact there had ever really been one—who was scheduled to come to my house never called or contacted me while en route (or while lost).

 

I told the very nice customer service person that this was the end: I was going to cancel all of my Comcast services and subscriptions.

 

And that is what I am doing.

 

Since March 26

Over the last few weeks, I have done the following:

 

  1. On March 27, I purchased a subscription to Fubo. Fubo has all of the TV channels that I need, and then some, at a lower price than Comcast. They also provide 1000 hours of DVR recording storage as part of their basic package, something that Comcast does not.

    Thus, I no longer need Comcast’s TV/cable/DVR products.

    2. On April 9, I purchased a home security subscription through Vivint. Their installer called me personally as he was on his way to my house to confirm his arrival. He arrived on time (at 8:09 AM, which was pretty darn great, given that my appointment window was 8:00 AM – 12:00 noon). He was professional, clear in his communication about how to use the security system, friendly and helpful.

    I am very happy with the Vivint security system, which is much easier to use than Comcast’s, is much more intuitive and user friendly than Comcast’s, and has all sorts of bells and whistles as part of its basic package that my Comcast system does not. Also, Vivint’s price is identical to yours.

    Since getting the system installed, I’ve had to call Vivint with questions about how to use or adjust some of the system’s features, or to inquire about automatic billing—and when I did, I was connected to a live human being, with an actual speaking voice, within seconds—every time I’ve called. Every time. I have never been shunted off to an automated text messaging “assistant,” or a text-messaging live assistant. Never.

    Thus, I no longer need Comcast’s home security system.

  2. On April 22 (tomorrow), CenturyLink will be coming to my home to set up new internet service for me.

 

Assuming all goes well, I will no longer need Comcast’s internet service.

And this means that I will no longer need any of your services.

On April 23, I will be packing up all of my Comcast TV, cable, security, and internet equipment and returning it to the local Albuquerque store, where I will end—in person, with live human beings—my relationship with your corporation.

 

*          *          *

 

I have told you all of this not because I want you to offer me a discounted rate on your services in order to keep me as a customer or, really, to do anything else.

 

I have told you all of this because I want you to know just how badly you treat your customers, the people whose money is your lifeblood, and how we (or at least how I) feel about you.

 

I want you to know that you customer “service,” which is now marked not only by incompetence but by repeated bald-faced lies and gaslighting, is not acceptable.

And I want not only you to know this, but I also want the people who contribute comments to or read comments on your Xfinity Community Forum page, my more than 1,000 Facebook friends, the more than 2,000 members of the “I Hate Comcast” Facebook group, and the more than 125,000 people who (inexplicably) follow your Facebook account to know this.

 

Perhaps then, the way you treat your paying customers will change.

But somehow, I doubt it will.

Yours no longer,
[name redacted]

Accepted Solution

Official Employee

 • 

661 Messages

2 months ago

@user_1mdy3n Hello and welcome to the Xfinity Forums. I regret that this is the situation that brought you to this community. Dissecting your post, I see that your major pain points are our automated system and the technician visit process.  First of all, I am forwarding your feedback for review. We are constantly working to update our processes to be as efficient and easy-to-use as possible. We do try to resolve as many issues as we can remotely to help save you time. This also helps customers prevent a service charge if the issue is configuration-related or due to in-home wiring.

A technician showing up beyond the appointment window or not showing up at all is not acceptable in our books. I would love to open an investigation into those visits, so we can get to the bottom of this. I understand that you have already made your decision to move on, but that is no excuse for us to let this slide. Please, send a DM to Xfinity Support with your name and address, so we can start looking into this. We can also help you process your disconnection if you would prefer.

Here are the detailed steps to direct message us:

 

• Click "Sign In" if necessary

• Click the "Direct Message” icon (upper right corner of this page) or https://forums.xfinity.com/direct-messaging

• Click the "New message" (pencil and paper) icon

• Type "Xfinity Support" in the to line and select "Xfinity Support" from the drop-down list

• Type your message in the text area near the bottom of the window

• Press Enter to send your message

2 Messages

I received a phone call and several emails from a member of the Executive Customer Relations Office. He worked with me to close my account.

Official Employee

 • 

1.1K Messages

 

user_1mdy3n That is great to hear the Executive Customer Relations is a great team we also help to support so I am glad you were able to get the help you need. It is always sad to see a customer go but our job is to help make sure you get taken care of so we appreciate the update! 

 

I am an Official Xfinity Employee.
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