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(The Consumerist)   One week after being embarrassed by their phone rep, Comcast now pays lip service to better employee training. "Our customer service rep did what we trained him to do"   (consumerist.com ) divider line
    More: Followup, Comcast  
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2171 clicks; posted to Business » on 22 Jul 2014 at 2:26 PM (1 year ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-07-22 01:23:59 PM  
Anyone who's ever worked in a call center already knew that.  He was handling the call the way he had been coached to, using the policies they had put in place.  And the pressure is probably compounded by having to live up to stats that probably seriously adversely affect his pay if people do cancel.

In short, he learned it from you, Comcast.
 
2014-07-22 02:02:52 PM  
Good that they're admitting it. They'll be back to the same old tricks soon enough though.
 
2014-07-22 02:03:15 PM  
Wasn't Comcast's first reaction "over zealous staffer" and he will be canned? Then everyone said bullshiat, it was your training.
 
2014-07-22 02:31:39 PM  
"I know these Retention calls are tough, and I have tremendous admiration for our Retention professionals, who make it easy for customers to choose to stay with Comcast."

Sounds like the Mafia collecting protection money.
 
2014-07-22 02:38:49 PM  
Sounds like some over-zealous staffer took home his phone scripts and lawyered up.

I wonder if the over-zealous staffer was one of these guys


thepostculture.files.wordpress.com

/burning through this on Netflix...18 minutes at a time
 
2014-07-22 02:42:30 PM  

Jiro Dreams Of McRibs: Sounds like some over-zealous staffer took home his phone scripts and lawyered up.

I wonder if the over-zealous staffer was one of these guys

/burning through this on Netflix...18 minutes at a time


Gawd that's a terrible show.
 
2014-07-22 02:43:33 PM  
Which just reaffirms what a shiatty company you are!  Thanks, Comcast!
 
2014-07-22 02:44:06 PM  

jake_lex: Anyone who's ever worked in a call center already knew that.  He was handling the call the way he had been coached to, using the policies they had put in place.  And the pressure is probably compounded by having to live up to stats that probably seriously adversely affect his pay if people do cancel.

In short, he learned it from you, Comcast.



Yep.  I'm guessing that every "Retention" employee is judged on a single statistic, which is the percentage of customers they allow to actually cancel.  The higher the percentage, the worse they look.  The amount of time they spend on the call is probably irrelevant.  So this guy, and no doubt many others, has realized that if he just sits there and argues endlessly with the customer, the customer will eventually give up and hang up.  He was probably one of the stars of his department, almost never letting anyone cancel.
 
2014-07-22 02:47:35 PM  
I recently discovered RCN was available in my building, so I decided to switch and save a bunch of money. I called Comcast to cancel my services and determine how that process works so I can minimize the amount of time I'm without internet. Apparently Comcast is sending me an empty box, I'll put my equipment in there, and send it back. I asked 7-10 times what determines when my contract is determined to be over (when I send in the stuff, when they receive it, do I need to call again, etc) and still didn't get a straight answer. Might have to call again tonight to confirm that they're actually sending me the box...
 
2014-07-22 03:03:36 PM  

mcreadyblue: Jiro Dreams Of McRibs: Sounds like some over-zealous staffer took home his phone scripts and lawyered up.

I wonder if the over-zealous staffer was one of these guys

/burning through this on Netflix...18 minutes at a time

Gawd that's a terrible show.


buddingculture.com

My show!
 
2014-07-22 03:06:06 PM  

Car_Ramrod: I recently discovered RCN was available in my building, so I decided to switch and save a bunch of money. I called Comcast to cancel my services and determine how that process works so I can minimize the amount of time I'm without internet. Apparently Comcast is sending me an empty box, I'll put my equipment in there, and send it back. I asked 7-10 times what determines when my contract is determined to be over (when I send in the stuff, when they receive it, do I need to call again, etc) and still didn't get a straight answer. Might have to call again tonight to confirm that they're actually sending me the box...


It's been a while since I cancelled my Comcast service, but for me the last day of service was whatever date I gave them. They then sent me a box for the equipment and I had 2 weeks or whatever to send the equipment back via FedEx. If they don't get the equipment in the allotted time,they charge you for the equipment.  I had to call 3 times before they sent me the box. Tip: Keep your tracking info for the equipment. I sent mine back and a month later they billed me for it. I called and they told me that they did not have access to the FedEx tracking info and I had to fax in all the info. Again, I had to do this more than once before they figured out what the hell was going on.
 
2014-07-22 03:07:01 PM  
That COO is a complete corporate tool who wouldn't last the morning working the retention queue.

"I  have tremendous admiration for our Retention professionals, who make it easy for customers to choose to stay with Comcast. We have a Retention queue because we believe in our products, and because we offer a great value when customers have the right facts to choose the package that works best for them. If a customer is not fully aware of what the product offers, we ask the Retention agent to educate the customer and work with them to find the right solution."

You see, it's just that the customer is uneducated [dumb] and needs to be made aware of the right solution [brow beaten and worn into submission by a telephone rep who has been trained to always get the last word in or be fired]
 
2014-07-22 03:29:01 PM  

jake_lex: Anyone who's ever worked in a call center already knew that.  He was handling the call the way he had been coached to, using the policies they had put in place.  And the pressure is probably compounded by having to live up to stats that probably seriously adversely affect his pay if people do cancel.

In short, he learned it from you, Comcast.


If he spends 20 minutes per customer, he won't get many per hour (it was 20 minutes total).
 
2014-07-22 03:29:30 PM  

mcreadyblue: Jiro Dreams Of McRibs: Sounds like some over-zealous staffer took home his phone scripts and lawyered up.

I wonder if the over-zealous staffer was one of these guys

/burning through this on Netflix...18 minutes at a time

Gawd that's a terrible show.


hear, FARKING hear!

/horrible farking show
 
2014-07-22 03:39:20 PM  

Car_Ramrod: I recently discovered RCN was available in my building, so I decided to switch and save a bunch of money. I called Comcast to cancel my services and determine how that process works so I can minimize the amount of time I'm without internet. Apparently Comcast is sending me an empty box, I'll put my equipment in there, and send it back. I asked 7-10 times what determines when my contract is determined to be over (when I send in the stuff, when they receive it, do I need to call again, etc) and still didn't get a straight answer. Might have to call again tonight to confirm that they're actually sending me the box...


I wasn't sure if DSL would be fast enough me since I got their 12 Mbps package, so I had that installed first.  It was fine.  Then I was able to call Comcast up and tell them to cancel it NOW!

And make sure you keep the tracking number and stuff for the box.  They didn't try to screw me on that, but I have the receipt just in case they ever try.
 
2014-07-22 03:48:58 PM  
Fark Comcast.  Once this dies down, they'll be back to the same garbage.
 
2014-07-22 03:54:47 PM  

spawn73: jake_lex: Anyone who's ever worked in a call center already knew that.  He was handling the call the way he had been coached to, using the policies they had put in place.  And the pressure is probably compounded by having to live up to stats that probably seriously adversely affect his pay if people do cancel.

In short, he learned it from you, Comcast.

If he spends 20 minutes per customer, he won't get many per hour (it was 20 minutes total).


Great, even less people who have the chance to cancel.
 
hej
2014-07-22 04:06:35 PM  

mcreadyblue: Gawd that's a terrible show.


It's awesome.
 
2014-07-22 04:15:45 PM  
Oh, FFS, is there ANY better source than the farking Consumerist? It's to the point where they spend so much time hammering on the same 3 or 4 companies, I don't even buy their bullshiat anymore. The CEO of Home Depot could eat babies live on a worldwide broadcast that EVERYONE saw, and I'd doubt it ever happened the next day if I read it on The Consumerist.
 
2014-07-22 04:26:26 PM  

Car_Ramrod: I recently discovered RCN was available in my building, so I decided to switch and save a bunch of money. I called Comcast to cancel my services and determine how that process works so I can minimize the amount of time I'm without internet. Apparently Comcast is sending me an empty box, I'll put my equipment in there, and send it back. I asked 7-10 times what determines when my contract is determined to be over (when I send in the stuff, when they receive it, do I need to call again, etc) and still didn't get a straight answer. Might have to call again tonight to confirm that they're actually sending me the box...


We switched from Comcast to Fios earlier this year and the process was simple. Disconnected all Comcast hardware, went to local Comcast customer center (storefront in a local strip mall), waited in line for 15 minutes, handed over equipment, received receipt for returning equipment as well as termination of service notice.

Do you not have Comcast stores near you? We've got a FIos one a couple of towns over too.
 
2014-07-22 04:54:24 PM  

Mikey1969: Oh, FFS, is there ANY better source than the farking Consumerist? It's to the point where they spend so much time hammering on the same 3 or 4 companies, I don't even buy their bullshiat anymore. The CEO of Home Depot could eat babies live on a worldwide broadcast that EVERYONE saw, and I'd doubt it ever happened the next day if I read it on The Consumerist.



This was an internal memo that was leaked and passed on (probably exclusively) to Consumerist. Hence their story about it.

It's okay to be tired of the sometimes juvenile Consumerist stories, but in this case your outrage is misguided.
 
2014-07-22 05:00:02 PM  
Here's a plan, Mr. CEO -- DO NOT HAVE "RETENTION" EMPLOYEES.

Simply put, there's no reason why ANY business should have a fleet of people whose sole job is to prevent customers from leaving. It's an underhanded, slimy practice. If someone wants to stop using your service, the way you keep them is by MAKING YOUR SERVICE AND YOUR PRODUCT BETTER, not by badgering, offering temporary 'deals', and nagging.  People will stay with you if they like the product and service you offer. They don't need to be "retained" -- They need to be treated well in the first place, you asshole.

If you go to a department store and decide they don't have the products you want, or the service you desire, does the department store have employees who  stop you at the door  and prevent you from leaving until they've exhausted all efforts to "retain" you? Wouldn't you be PISSED OFF if they did?

Retention agents are NOT good business. If people want to cancel your business it is because they have a legitimate reason (moving, out of money, etc.) or because  you already failed to impress them with your service or product.

How about trying to retain the customer by offering good prices, good service, and good products so they never consider canceling in the first place?

No matter how you try to dress it up, retention departments are examples of corporate BULLYING tactics. Nobody likes them. Nobody wants them. Nobody wants to deal with the people who work there. They give your customer a VERY bad impression on the way out, which makes them even LESS likely to come back.

Stop being a jerk. Change all your retention agents to customer care specialists who DO NOT argue with customers about their choice to cancel service. It's none of your damned business why people leave, so stop asking.

You'd be much better served by letting exiting customers take a short survey explaining why they're canceling, and then giving them a $10 gift card for their efforts.
 
2014-07-22 05:22:15 PM  

Principal Clarinet: Mikey1969: Oh, FFS, is there ANY better source than the farking Consumerist? It's to the point where they spend so much time hammering on the same 3 or 4 companies, I don't even buy their bullshiat anymore. The CEO of Home Depot could eat babies live on a worldwide broadcast that EVERYONE saw, and I'd doubt it ever happened the next day if I read it on The Consumerist.


This was an internal memo that was leaked and passed on (probably exclusively) to Consumerist. Hence their story about it.

It's okay to be tired of the sometimes juvenile Consumerist stories, but in this case your outrage is misguided.


Ars Technica has a story and the full text of the memo as well.
 
2014-07-22 05:33:51 PM  
Unauthorized Bratwurst:

Ars Technica has a story and the full text of the memo as well.


Taken from the Consumerist site.
 
2014-07-22 05:41:57 PM  
FTFA: In the message, Watson admits that "we are embarrassed by the tone of the call and the lack of sensitivity to the customer's desire to discontinue service," while also taking the opportunity to position the incident as a teachable moment.

Please. This call was the culmination of the pressure-driven call center environment combined with the ridiculous policies that typically come from high-up from managers who have absolutely no clue of what the typical customer or call center employee has to go through. It's stupid and telling that it took a public airing of this kind of phone call to finally get the people at the top to stop and listen about how stupid and insensitive their customer service paradigm is. Even now, there are probably people in the management structure who don't see the problem with the call that went viral.

Here's something you might want to try: Hire reasonably intelligent people with good people skills and train them well so that they know all the ins-and-outs of their jobs. Pay them a good wage and stop micromanaging them to the point that they are prone to having strokes. When a customer calls in, have the customer service reps actually LISTEN to what the customer wants, and then directly address the customer's issues. Don't waste the customer's time and test their patience by running them through a script of unrelated material when all they want to do is stop their service.

REP: Thank you for calling Comcast. How can I help you today?

CUSTOMER: I would like to discontinue my service.

REP: All right. I can help you do that. May I ask the reason for the discontinuance?

CUSTOMER: I'm moving to another service.

REP: I'm sorry to hear that. Is this something that we can rectify?

CUSTOMER: No. I just want to discontinue my service.

REP: Okay. We'll create an order to cut off service. When does this need to happen?

...and that should be the extent of it. If the customer calls you to cut off their service, just make a polite inquiry and move on. If the customer engages you and tells you his specific reasons, don't argue with him. Type everything into the computer and keep going. You can always send an email for an after-action survey to ask the specific reasons if they don't give them to you over the phone. The worst thing you can do is exacerbate the situation. It kills me that customer service managers and corporate execs don't understand this. The Golden Rule definitely applies here. How would YOU want to be treated in a situation like this? It's not rocket science, and it certainly doesn't take an MBA or a sophisticated study to figure this out.
 
2014-07-22 05:46:55 PM  
Let me let you Freedom Lovers in on a little secret.  you'll find out in 10 to 20 years anyway, but i'll give you a heads up: your ass is owned by big business and the wealthy in 'murica.  you don't know it yet, but you'll find out as time passes.

that is what happens when Democracy goes bye bye.

the reason Cumcast did what they did is because they, as a large company, view you folks as their children.  your ass is theirs to "raise" and "take care of".

oh, and any value you add to the labor market is theirs too.
 
2014-07-22 05:47:56 PM  

DivorceWar Veteran: Fark Comcast.  Once this dies down, they'll be back to the same garbage.



BINGO!   you won.
 
2014-07-22 05:48:34 PM  
oh, btw, how's that 'merger' going?    it'll be great for the customer in 10 years or so.  snicker.
 
2014-07-22 05:49:38 PM  
it is now time to Pray to the Google Gods of Fiber Optic Internet at 1Gbps up and down.
 
2014-07-22 05:51:08 PM  

EvilEgg: Wasn't Comcast's first reaction "over zealous staffer" and he will be canned? Then everyone said bullshiat, it was your training.



no, they are called "brainwashed by cumcast staffer".   they can't take a sh*t without getting approval. that is why most of them sh*t in secret before they come to work.
 
2014-07-22 05:51:55 PM  

Principal Clarinet: Mikey1969: Oh, FFS, is there ANY better source than the farking Consumerist? It's to the point where they spend so much time hammering on the same 3 or 4 companies, I don't even buy their bullshiat anymore. The CEO of Home Depot could eat babies live on a worldwide broadcast that EVERYONE saw, and I'd doubt it ever happened the next day if I read it on The Consumerist.


This was an internal memo that was leaked and passed on (probably exclusively) to Consumerist. Hence their story about it.

It's okay to be tired of the sometimes juvenile Consumerist stories, but in this case your outrage is misguided.


I'm tired of all of the shiat that comes from there, we should really find new sources.


Unauthorized Bratwurst: Ars Technica has a story and the full text of the memo as well.


Such as this one... Perfect timing.
 
2014-07-22 06:40:04 PM  

EvilEgg: Wasn't Comcast's first reaction "over zealous staffer" and he will be canned? Then everyone said bullshiat, it was your training.


The guy was probably fired. That has me wondering who leaked this memo. Was it a coworker of his who was mad that he was fired? Because depending on the terms in his employment contract regarding termination, he should be able to sue since this guy just admitted that he did what he was trained to do.
 
2014-07-22 07:44:14 PM  

mcreadyblue: Jiro Dreams Of McRibs: Sounds like some over-zealous staffer took home his phone scripts and lawyered up.

I wonder if the over-zealous staffer was one of these guys

/burning through this on Netflix...18 minutes at a time

Gawd that's a terrible show.


But it talks about drugs and ladies. Why don't you love it? You just have to love it. It really sticks it to the man.
 
2014-07-22 10:37:40 PM  

2chris2: I'm guessing that every "Retention" employee is judged on a single statistic, which is the percentage of customers they allow to actually cancel. The higher the percentage, the worse they look.


No doubt.  I just cancelled one service with them recently, and once the first three CSRs found out what I wanted and that I couldn't be easily swayed into a deal, I was disconnected.  Like click.....dead air.... dial tone.  Three times in a row.  At exactly the moment that their next move would have been just take off the service.

The fourth guy got me asking his name, his ID#, and me making it obvious I was writing those things down.  Then we moved on to the cancelling.  No disconnection that time, but I did have to cut his sales pitch off like 5 times.
 
2014-07-22 10:48:49 PM  

Mikey1969: Oh, FFS, is there ANY better source than the farking Consumerist? It's to the point where they spend so much time hammering on the same 3 or 4 companies, I don't even buy their bullshiat anymore. The CEO of Home Depot could eat babies live on a worldwide broadcast that EVERYONE saw, and I'd doubt it ever happened the next day if I read it on The Consumerist.


So, I see you're familiar with Mr. Nardali's dining preferences...

/Yeah, I know he's no longer there
//He's still a douche of the highest order and an example of everything that's funadmentally broken in corporate America
 
2014-07-22 11:21:37 PM  

RoyFokker'sGhost: Mikey1969: Oh, FFS, is there ANY better source than the farking Consumerist? It's to the point where they spend so much time hammering on the same 3 or 4 companies, I don't even buy their bullshiat anymore. The CEO of Home Depot could eat babies live on a worldwide broadcast that EVERYONE saw, and I'd doubt it ever happened the next day if I read it on The Consumerist.

So, I see you're familiar with Mr. Nardali's dining preferences...

/Yeah, I know he's no longer there
//He's still a douche of the highest order and an example of everything that's funadmentally broken in corporate America


That was one I just threw out there, but all I remember is that he farked the company up and then floated off in a $120 million golden parachute.

I thought the true douche was the Sears guy... Either way, these guys really do piss me off. Never get held accountable for their actions...
 
2014-07-22 11:31:22 PM  
Cudos to them for admitting it. Usual SOP is to fire the "rouge" employee for this "isolated incident." Remember that AOL one from years back?

/They are still dicks who should have their dicks cut off.
 
2014-07-22 11:57:25 PM  

Mikey1969: RoyFokker'sGhost: Mikey1969: Oh, FFS, is there ANY better source than the farking Consumerist? It's to the point where they spend so much time hammering on the same 3 or 4 companies, I don't even buy their bullshiat anymore. The CEO of Home Depot could eat babies live on a worldwide broadcast that EVERYONE saw, and I'd doubt it ever happened the next day if I read it on The Consumerist.

So, I see you're familiar with Mr. Nardali's dining preferences...

/Yeah, I know he's no longer there
//He's still a douche of the highest order and an example of everything that's funadmentally broken in corporate America

That was one I just threw out there, but all I remember is that he farked the company up and then floated off in a $120 million golden parachute.

I thought the true douche was the Sears guy... Either way, these guys really do piss me off. Never get held accountable for their actions...


 Then new Sears guy that turned each of the departments into independent contractors? Absolutely, he's a massive tool and a-hole. The problem with Sears is that they had expanded way too much (auto repair, portrait studio, taxes, optical...) and the 90's recession hit them hard. By the time they had reorganized and started getting stronger again, the online shopping revolution had pretty much made the mall anchor store concept obsolete. They're really in a no-win situation here unless they convert more space into warehousing for online shopping. They have the infrastructure and network to do it and compete, they don't have the corporate culture to pull it off.

Nardali...this man is all kinds of special. He essentially ignored Lowes, thinking that the HD brand name would win out in the West Coast. He cut the in-house brand Christmas lighting shelf space by half and added GE lights that competed and sold at a lower profit margin (guess where Nardali previously worked...), and metrics....dear, sweet FSM, he has a hard on for metrics like Michael Bay has for explosions. If I had been a cashier for the year and a half I worked at HD, I would have snapped and gone on a shooting spree. I think there were 5 different metrics implemented to measure cashier performance while I was there. And he'd never even finish a metrics program before switching to another one. So, one month, cashier performance is rated on number of customers per hour. A couple month's later, it's switched to items per transaction. Two month's later, it's average ticket value.  next month, we're back to customers per hour. The turnover rate in cashiering was ludicrous  by any corporate standard.

And the kicker? Christmas bonus at HD. No extra cash, nothing special to reward store performance...we got a 30% off discount card for the Home Depot. Not a gift card with a certain value on it; a single use discount card that didn't apply to appliances, home design, installation, carpeting, or really anything other than basic building and tool supplies. I just gave that to my sister and her family; save them about $500 when they bought everything to make their new fence.
 
2014-07-23 12:15:42 AM  

RoyFokker'sGhost: Mikey1969: RoyFokker'sGhost: Mikey1969: Oh, FFS, is there ANY better source than the farking Consumerist? It's to the point where they spend so much time hammering on the same 3 or 4 companies, I don't even buy their bullshiat anymore. The CEO of Home Depot could eat babies live on a worldwide broadcast that EVERYONE saw, and I'd doubt it ever happened the next day if I read it on The Consumerist.

So, I see you're familiar with Mr. Nardali's dining preferences...

/Yeah, I know he's no longer there
//He's still a douche of the highest order and an example of everything that's funadmentally broken in corporate America

That was one I just threw out there, but all I remember is that he farked the company up and then floated off in a $120 million golden parachute.

I thought the true douche was the Sears guy... Either way, these guys really do piss me off. Never get held accountable for their actions...

 Then new Sears guy that turned each of the departments into independent contractors? Absolutely, he's a massive tool and a-hole. The problem with Sears is that they had expanded way too much (auto repair, portrait studio, taxes, optical...) and the 90's recession hit them hard. By the time they had reorganized and started getting stronger again, the online shopping revolution had pretty much made the mall anchor store concept obsolete. They're really in a no-win situation here unless they convert more space into warehousing for online shopping. They have the infrastructure and network to do it and compete, they don't have the corporate culture to pull it off.

Nardali...this man is all kinds of special. He essentially ignored Lowes, thinking that the HD brand name would win out in the West Coast. He cut the in-house brand Christmas lighting shelf space by half and added GE lights that competed and sold at a lower profit margin (guess where Nardali previously worked...), and metrics....dear, sweet FSM, he has a hard on for metrics like Michael Bay has for explosions. If I had been a cashier for the year and a half I worked at HD, I would have snapped and gone on a shooting spree. I think there were 5 different metrics implemented to measure cashier performance while I was there. And he'd never even finish a metrics program before switching to another one. So, one month, cashier performance is rated on number of customers per hour. A couple month's later, it's switched to items per transaction. Two month's later, it's average ticket value.  next month, we're back to customers per hour. The turnover rate in cashiering was ludicrous  by any corporate standard.

And the kicker? Christmas bonus at HD. No extra cash, nothing special to reward store performance...we got a 30% off discount card for the Home Depot. Not a gift card with a certain value on it; a single use discount card that didn't apply to appliances, home design, installation, carpeting, or really anything other than basic building and tool supplies. I just gave that to my sister and her family; save them about $500 when they bought everything to make their new fence.


Wow, you're right, that is a walking turd...

The cashier thing reminds me of when my BIL worked for Fry's Electronics. Everything is commission, it's why the only time you can get assistance is when you want to drop some cabbage. Otherwise, you're on your own. They paid the cashiers on commission, too, because we all know how much control the cashier has by the time you get up front. He got lucky because he usually worked the register that would be like the Contractor's one at HD, so he would often get big clients, otherwise he would have been farked.

Cashiers should really only have 3 metrics to observe. How fast transactions are, how often their drawers even out and how often they get complaints or compliments. Otherwise, as long as they are doing their share if the labor, they have nothing to 'measure', really. The stuff you mention is ridiculous. Hell, the speed of the transactions is really only important if customers start to complain or mistakes get made. Otherwise,thats not even that critical.
 
2014-07-23 05:55:42 AM  
"Retention calls are tough, and I have tremendous admiration for our Retention professionals, who make it easy for customers to choose to stay with Comcast. "

This is Orwellian stuff. I'm so glad I stopped paying Comcast years ago.
 
2014-07-23 10:58:24 AM  
While my job functions are more aligned to handle contract renewals (not like month-to-month billing) in a non-call center B2B environment, I work as a "relationship manager" for my firm (yes that's corpspeak for retention rep).  I understand the pressure the poor Comcast guy is under.  He is trying to resell Comcast - and is doing it quite badly I might add - but by the time the customer is asking to cancel and they are already worked up and frustrated, the retention process is far too late to save it.  Definitely needs a revamp not only at retention level but general customer service level too.

When I have a client that requests to cancel (alas, none of us are perfect), I don't just say "Why?"  Do the open-question query and don't try to reinvent the wheel.  Say, "hey is there something about the product or service you don't like that I can report back to the development team?"  If there is an issue I can resolve or offer a legit solution to, I will.  But getting down on my knees and begging doesn't do anyone any good.  

And from the transcript of the call:

C: As a company that is a cable and internet provider primarily, that is our business. If we don't know why our customers are leaving, how can we make this a better experience for you next time?
R: That's a fantastic question and something that you can hire a firm to figure out. ...

Dear Customer - THAT'S WHAT A RETENTION DEPARTMENT IS FOR!!!  As rightfully pissed off as you are and as late in the call as said company query comes, retention is not just about keeping customers but also trying to find out why customers leave, even if that reason is an ugly one that is totally the fault of the company.  If that firm you suggested was indeed hired to find out why, would you be every bit as reticent as to your reasons for leaving if the third party firm asked as opposed to the retention rep on the other end?

/Wishful thinking that Comcast will change
//TL;DR - Save time, money, and bad PR and do it my way
 
2014-07-23 11:38:37 AM  

chemrebel: R: That's a fantastic question and something that you can hire a firm to figure out. ...
Dear Customer - THAT'S WHAT A RETENTION DEPARTMENT IS FOR!!! As rightfully pissed off as you are and as late in the call as said company query comes, retention is not just about keeping customers but also trying to find out why customers leave, even if that reason is an ugly one that is totally the fault of the company. If that firm you suggested was indeed hired to find out why, would you be every bit as reticent as to your reasons for leaving if the third party firm asked as opposed to the retention rep on the other end?

/Wishful thinking that Comcast will change
//TL;DR - Save time, money, and bad PR and do it my way


Stating the missions as a "figure out why customer left" vs. a "retain the customer" is good if your people actually want to perform their job description.  It's the pressure to stay that's the problem with every cable company.  Hiring a separate company to evaluate why people are leaving might clarify that responsibility.  Especially since Comcast pays their retention people on commission based on the number of callers they successfully retain.  Strong incentive to be a dick, no incentive to find out why a customer is actually leaving.

I mean, I kind of get it.  Most people are calling to cancel because they see a cheaper deal at the other company.  So if you just offer to match that rate, they'll stay.  Any retention badgering beyond that is stupid though.

/ When AT&T rolled out their 300 mbps synchronous service, I called TimeWarner to cancel and the guy kept trying to upsell me to their 75/25 service at twice the cost.  I had to say "Dude really?  No.  I did my research and AT&T is a better deal" 5 or 6 times before he finally confirmed that everything was canceled and good to go.  Seriously, the guy should have realized he was only wasting both of our time.  I look forward to having the same conversation with AT&T once Google Fiber is finally up and running....
 
2014-07-23 03:03:59 PM  

chemrebel: Dear Customer - THAT'S WHAT A RETENTION DEPARTMENT IS FOR!!!


That is utterly irrelevant from the customer's perspective.  If they want his opinion on the matter, they should hire him as a consultant.
 
2014-07-23 03:20:02 PM  

The Man With Crazy Super Animal Powers: Here's a plan, Mr. CEO -- DO NOT HAVE "RETENTION" EMPLOYEES.

Simply put, there's no reason why ANY business should have a fleet of people whose sole job is to prevent customers from leaving. It's an underhanded, slimy practice. If someone wants to stop using your service, the way you keep them is by MAKING YOUR SERVICE AND YOUR PRODUCT BETTER, not by badgering, offering temporary 'deals', and nagging.  People will stay with you if they like the product and service you offer. They don't need to be "retained" -- They need to be treated well in the first place, you asshole.

If you go to a department store and decide they don't have the products you want, or the service you desire, does the department store have employees who  stop you at the door  and prevent you from leaving until they've exhausted all efforts to "retain" you? Wouldn't you be PISSED OFF if they did?

Retention agents are NOT good business. If people want to cancel your business it is because they have a legitimate reason (moving, out of money, etc.) or because  you already failed to impress them with your service or product.

How about trying to retain the customer by offering good prices, good service, and good products so they never consider canceling in the first place?

No matter how you try to dress it up, retention departments are examples of corporate BULLYING tactics. Nobody likes them. Nobody wants them. Nobody wants to deal with the people who work there. They give your customer a VERY bad impression on the way out, which makes them even LESS likely to come back.

Stop being a jerk. Change all your retention agents to customer care specialists who DO NOT argue with customers about their choice to cancel service. It's none of your damned business why people leave, so stop asking.

You'd be much better served by letting exiting customers take a short survey explaining why they're canceling, and then giving them a $10 gift card for their efforts.


I like the cut of your jib.
but they will never listen to you.
 
2014-07-23 05:11:36 PM  
I had a similar experience when cancelling my TWC TV service. My wife used to work in retail and had pressure put on her to push gift cards and store credit cards, so she has a lot more patience for this kind of shiat than I do. She also hates it when I come across as short or impolite with someone just doing their job. I kept this in mind while on the phone with the rep since she was within earshot and I didn't want to get into that argument again. I was okay until the rep started implying I was unintelligent for not wanting to have 250 channels at my fingertips (of which only 5 were watched with any regularity, 4 since Game of Thrones ended). At that point I clammed up and kept repeating "cancel my service" every time she asked me something increasing the volume a little bit each time. She eventually got the message. I can stay civil through a lot of bullshiat, especially when I'm prepared for it to be aggravating like with this call, but I'm not going to sit there and be called stupid by someone who couldn't get a better job than "retention specialist" at a farking cable company.

If you're thinking of cutting the cord just go in person. They don't incentivise those people to badger you into staying.
 
2014-07-23 07:05:48 PM  

mcreadyblue: Jiro Dreams Of McRibs: Sounds like some over-zealous staffer took home his phone scripts and lawyered up.

I wonder if the over-zealous staffer was one of these guys

/burning through this on Netflix...18 minutes at a time

Gawd that's a terrible show.


it's so bad, it's actually kind of great.
 
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