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(The Verge)   Calling Comcast for customer support? "The customer is calling in to tell you what's wrong, and you're looking for ways to sell them service"   (theverge.com ) divider line
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1682 clicks; posted to Business » on 01 Aug 2014 at 10:36 AM (1 year ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-08-01 09:28:33 AM  
As if we didn't know Comcast sucks hard...now we know why.  They could only be worse if they sold Ebola-infested toys to babies.
 
2014-08-01 10:08:41 AM  
If you don't like Comcast, you should move to a capitalist country that imposes competition on internet and cable businesses.

Once Comcast finishes buying Time Warner, their suckage will increase by an order of magnitude.
 
2014-08-01 10:11:45 AM  
Heh, I work for a telco. About 3 years ago, management gave us a scripted sales pitch for customers who we had to call for their phone troubles. Luckily, we are union and that steaming pile of stupid went away real quick.
 
2014-08-01 10:54:52 AM  
"I didn't know that I was going to be selling things," he says. "The customer is calling in to tell you what's wrong, and you're looking for ways to sell them service."

I can forgive somebody who goes into a job expecting to do one thing and actually doing another. I can't respect somebody who then sticks with the job that has them doing something they don't care for.
 
2014-08-01 10:58:30 AM  

The My Little Pony Killer: "I didn't know that I was going to be selling things," he says. "The customer is calling in to tell you what's wrong, and you're looking for ways to sell them service."

I can forgive somebody who goes into a job expecting to do one thing and actually doing another. I can't respect somebody who then sticks with the job that has them doing something they don't care for.


Nobody works in a call center because they want to.
 
2014-08-01 11:00:42 AM  
Ah, yes. Capitalism America-style. Where the public bears a hefty chunk (or, in some cases, the entire chunk) of the cost of developing infrastructure and technology that is turned over to private entities which then use it to abuse the public as monopolies.

It would be a little easier to swallow this bullshiat if not for the fact that almost all of what makes Comcast work is at least partially the result of public money spent developing, trenching and otherwise building up the infrastructure that underpins the entire enterprise.

/ ask some of these companies what they did with the tens of billions of tax dollars they were given back in the 90s to roll out fiber to their customers...
 
2014-08-01 11:17:49 AM  

wxboy: The My Little Pony Killer: "I didn't know that I was going to be selling things," he says. "The customer is calling in to tell you what's wrong, and you're looking for ways to sell them service."

I can forgive somebody who goes into a job expecting to do one thing and actually doing another. I can't respect somebody who then sticks with the job that has them doing something they don't care for.

Nobody works in a call center because they want to.


Which is why he mentioned keeping this job while he looks for something else.

No wait, no he never mentioned that. The job has him doing tasks that he was not hired to do, yet he's going to stick around and do it anyway. No pity for this fool.
 
2014-08-01 11:23:04 AM  

The My Little Pony Killer: Which is why he mentioned keeping this job while he looks for something else.

No wait, no he never mentioned that. The job has him doing tasks that he was not hired to do, yet he's going to stick around and do it anyway. No pity for this fool.


From the very next paragraph:

He quit after 10 months.

Now, if you want to talk about the next guy they mentioned who stuck around for 10 years before getting fired for low sales, you'd be justified.
 
2014-08-01 11:26:48 AM  

skozlaw: Ah, yes. Capitalism America-style. Where the public bears a hefty chunk (or, in some cases, the entire chunk) of the cost of developing infrastructure and technology that is turned over to private entities which then use it to abuse the public as monopolies.


It really is galling when you compare how this works in pretty much any other first world country, where you'd choose between a dozen competing ISPs and so ones that dick over their customers or overcharge or have shiatty speeds go bankrupt.

But no, that's socialism, somehow.
 
2014-08-01 11:39:39 AM  

The My Little Pony Killer: "I didn't know that I was going to be selling things," he says. "The customer is calling in to tell you what's wrong, and you're looking for ways to sell them service."

I can forgive somebody who goes into a job expecting to do one thing and actually doing another. I can't respect somebody who then sticks with the job that has them doing something they don't care for.


You literally don't know anyone in your entire life who has had to stick out a shiatty job for a few months? Are you a member of a European royal family or something?
 
2014-08-01 11:44:16 AM  

The My Little Pony Killer: I can't respect somebody who then sticks with the job that has them doing something they don't care for.


So how's your job at the Video Game and Beer Testing Institute coming along?
 
2014-08-01 11:56:05 AM  
This shiat is not unique to Comcast.  It goes on in just about every call center for every service provider.
 
2014-08-01 12:00:13 PM  
Dickhead executive reads one of those schlocky business books written by a dickhead former executive of another company saying all employees should participate in selling their product. He pitches it to the other dickhead execs, who all agree, and the practice of all front-line employees having to sell shiat is implemented. Some managers do it in a way that is manageable for their staff, some are dicks about it because they hope one day to rise to the level of dickhead executive.
Actual customer service and tech support (a great sales tool), suffer, as does public perception of the company.
 
2014-08-01 12:05:41 PM  
I have a new plan for dealing with the call centers:

Me: State what I want.
Them: Do you want to buy more crap?
Me: No. I want this.
Them: Do you want to buy more crap?
Me: No, this is an unresolved call. - and hang up.

And continue this process until I start driving down their success number across the board. So the phone rep gets dinged for no sale and not resolving my problem. Keep at them by intentionally driving their percentages down by increasing their call volume and reducing their success rates.
 
2014-08-01 12:18:29 PM  

Elfich: I have a new plan for dealing with the call centers:

Me: State what I want.
Them: Do you want to buy more crap?
Me: No. I want this.
Them: Do you want to buy more crap?
Me: No, this is an unresolved call. - and hang up.

And continue this process until I start driving down their success number across the board. So the phone rep gets dinged for no sale and not resolving my problem. Keep at them by intentionally driving their percentages down by increasing their call volume and reducing their success rates.


All you accomplish is to get people fired quicker.  Way to go.
 
2014-08-01 12:28:50 PM  
I don't understand the Comcast hate.

They're a super-annoying near-monopoly that screws over customers and is trying to ruin the internet.  Okay.

But how are they more hated than a company like Halliburton that is actively ruining the world?
 
2014-08-01 12:38:42 PM  
As I posted in the last time this thread got started, I have no idea how people have so much trouble quitting Comcast.  Maybe I'm just lucky but all I did was box all their equipment up, take it to their brick and mortar, tell them I quit, and that was that.  As the woman behind the counter was taking serial numbers and preparing my receipt she politely asked why, and I told her it was because I could get the same (triple-play) deal from FIOS for around $40 less/month than Comcast would offer me even after having been a Comcast customer for more than 20 years.  And that was that.  The only thing she said to me upon my departure was that I'd be back.  Not likely.  Getting a consistent 60/down and 40/up with FIOS and a better TV picture than I ever got with Comcast.  Don't hear any difference in the phone.
 
2014-08-01 12:38:59 PM  

wxboy: Elfich: I have a new plan for dealing with the call centers:

Me: State what I want.
Them: Do you want to buy more crap?
Me: No. I want this.
Them: Do you want to buy more crap?
Me: No, this is an unresolved call. - and hang up.

And continue this process until I start driving down their success number across the board. So the phone rep gets dinged for no sale and not resolving my problem. Keep at them by intentionally driving their percentages down by increasing their call volume and reducing their success rates.

All you accomplish is to get people fired quicker.  Way to go.


People who are actively trying to get me to spend more of my money (when I have made no indication that I am interested in any sort of new product/service) deserve to get fired. I don't care if it's a required part of their job. I will fark with them and waste as much of their time as I desire. If this bothers them, they can either get over it or find a new job.

Some job positions do not need to exist, and "upselling CSR disguised as technical help" is one of them. Stop trying to get these people to be salesmen. No one wants to buy more unnecessary shiat when they're already pissed off enough at the quality of your service to call the company. That is just a recipe for spittle-flecked rage.
 
2014-08-01 12:45:10 PM  
Oh.  And the $250 gift card incentive to switch didn't hurt.  (I think it's up to $400 now.)

Yes.  It's nice to have a choice.
 
2014-08-01 12:56:19 PM  

Plastic Trash Vortex: wxboy: Elfich: I have a new plan for dealing with the call centers:

Me: State what I want.
Them: Do you want to buy more crap?
Me: No. I want this.
Them: Do you want to buy more crap?
Me: No, this is an unresolved call. - and hang up.

And continue this process until I start driving down their success number across the board. So the phone rep gets dinged for no sale and not resolving my problem. Keep at them by intentionally driving their percentages down by increasing their call volume and reducing their success rates.

All you accomplish is to get people fired quicker.  Way to go.

People who are actively trying to get me to spend more of my money (when I have made no indication that I am interested in any sort of new product/service) deserve to get fired. I don't care if it's a required part of their job. I will fark with them and waste as much of their time as I desire. If this bothers them, they can either get over it or find a new job.

Some job positions do not need to exist, and "upselling CSR disguised as technical help" is one of them. Stop trying to get these people to be salesmen. No one wants to buy more unnecessary shiat when they're already pissed off enough at the quality of your service to call the company. That is just a recipe for spittle-flecked rage.


You beat me to it. If the CSR is going to intentionally waste my time instead of helping me I am going to make sure it starts affecting the people on the other side of the line as well.
 
2014-08-01 01:10:30 PM  

Elfich: Plastic Trash Vortex: wxboy: Elfich: I have a new plan for dealing with the call centers:

Me: State what I want.
Them: Do you want to buy more crap?
Me: No. I want this.
Them: Do you want to buy more crap?
Me: No, this is an unresolved call. - and hang up.

And continue this process until I start driving down their success number across the board. So the phone rep gets dinged for no sale and not resolving my problem. Keep at them by intentionally driving their percentages down by increasing their call volume and reducing their success rates.

All you accomplish is to get people fired quicker.  Way to go.

People who are actively trying to get me to spend more of my money (when I have made no indication that I am interested in any sort of new product/service) deserve to get fired. I don't care if it's a required part of their job. I will fark with them and waste as much of their time as I desire. If this bothers them, they can either get over it or find a new job.

Some job positions do not need to exist, and "upselling CSR disguised as technical help" is one of them. Stop trying to get these people to be salesmen. No one wants to buy more unnecessary shiat when they're already pissed off enough at the quality of your service to call the company. That is just a recipe for spittle-flecked rage.

You beat me to it. If the CSR is going to intentionally waste my time instead of helping me I am going to make sure it starts affecting the people on the other side of the line as well.


I understand your frustration with the practice of upselling on a service call, but all you accomplish is hurting the minions, many of whom likely share your frustrations, but would rather not be unemployed.  It's like being enraged that a mechanic tries to get you to assent to "optional" repairs or a "deluxe" oil-change when you only had a flat tire.  He's doing what he was hired to do, no sense taking it on him.
 
2014-08-01 01:19:41 PM  

wxboy: I understand your frustration with the practice of upselling on a service call, but all you accomplish is hurting the minions, many of whom likely share your frustrations, but would rather not be unemployed.  It's like being enraged that a mechanic tries to get you to assent to "optional" repairs or a "deluxe" oil-change when you only had a flat tire.  He's doing what he was hired to do, no sense taking it on him.


Did he fix the tire before attempting to sell these other services?
 
2014-08-01 01:22:52 PM  

wxboy: Elfich: Plastic Trash Vortex: wxboy: Elfich: I have a new plan for dealing with the call centers:

Me: State what I want.
Them: Do you want to buy more crap?
Me: No. I want this.
Them: Do you want to buy more crap?
Me: No, this is an unresolved call. - and hang up.

And continue this process until I start driving down their success number across the board. So the phone rep gets dinged for no sale and not resolving my problem. Keep at them by intentionally driving their percentages down by increasing their call volume and reducing their success rates.

All you accomplish is to get people fired quicker.  Way to go.

People who are actively trying to get me to spend more of my money (when I have made no indication that I am interested in any sort of new product/service) deserve to get fired. I don't care if it's a required part of their job. I will fark with them and waste as much of their time as I desire. If this bothers them, they can either get over it or find a new job.

Some job positions do not need to exist, and "upselling CSR disguised as technical help" is one of them. Stop trying to get these people to be salesmen. No one wants to buy more unnecessary shiat when they're already pissed off enough at the quality of your service to call the company. That is just a recipe for spittle-flecked rage.

You beat me to it. If the CSR is going to intentionally waste my time instead of helping me I am going to make sure it starts affecting the people on the other side of the line as well.

I understand your frustration with the practice of upselling on a service call, but all you accomplish is hurting the minions, many of whom likely share your frustrations, but would rather not be unemployed.  It's like being enraged that a mechanic tries to get you to assent to "optional" repairs or a "deluxe" oil-change when you only had a flat tire.  He's doing what he was hired to do, no sense taking it on him.


Do you have a practical alternative beyond affecting their sales numbers?
 
2014-08-01 01:36:43 PM  
Handy tip for people dealing with pushy sales people who refuse to deal with the problem you called about: Tell them you'll find them and burn their house down.

You'll get put on hold and passed on to a supervisor, and likely have your account flagged and maybe a restraining order placed on you, but from what it sounds like, it is better than the alternative of dealing with them.
 
2014-08-01 01:38:29 PM  

Elfich: Do you have a practical alternative beyond affecting their sales numbers?


No, but if you're not cancelling service completely, nothing you do over the phone is likely to change their practices unless you can get the entire customer base to go along with it.  They'll just continue to assume it's the CSR's fault you're not upgrading, and not their policy's fault for pressing you to upgrade at an inappropriate time, and just put up with what is probably already a high turnover rate among the call center employees.  Nobody in a position to change anything will do it just because you're wasting the lowly CSR's time.

As long as the customer remains a customer, there's always the chance they could get you to spend more, and they're going to take it.  They won't stop unless you stop giving them money.  And that probably won't stop until there's competition, which is the main problem.

A massive, persistent (e)mail/PR campaign against the higher-ups, or picketing Comcast offices, might get them to change their policy, but I doubt it.
 
2014-08-01 01:39:57 PM  
So what would it take for the government to actually regulate an industry that's harming it's customers?

Would Comcast have to start going to customers houses and shooting them before they would get a fine?

Remember when the government broke up monopolies instead of encouraging them?
 
2014-08-01 01:45:09 PM  
"I'm moving overseas" cuts through a lot of this bullshiat pretty quickly.
 
2014-08-01 01:57:11 PM  

Target Builder: "I'm moving overseas" cuts through a lot of this bullshiat pretty quickly.


"But why have you decided to become a heathen communist and how can Comcast help cure you of your desire to not give us all your money?"
 
2014-08-01 02:38:25 PM  

JRoo: Remember when the government broke up monopolies instead of encouraging them?


That was before they got crafty and found more hidden and legal ways of buying them off. Now, when you look at a politician, you should be viewing them as NASCAR cars, with the labels of everyone who is a sponsor stuck on the politician's suit.
 
2014-08-01 02:44:39 PM  
FedEx Office is the exact same way. The management doesn't care about the gobs of money being spent on printing, if you don't sell X flash drives/stationary/pens then you get written up. Other side of the coin: sell 1 pen, get .10 commission! WOW! That's totally worth the constant threat of being fired!

Then they wonder why the average worker leaves after 10 months. And why everyone hates going into a FXO.
 
2014-08-01 08:57:44 PM  

Gunther: skozlaw: Ah, yes. Capitalism America-style. Where the public bears a hefty chunk (or, in some cases, the entire chunk) of the cost of developing infrastructure and technology that is turned over to private entities which then use it to abuse the public as monopolies.

It really is galling when you compare how this works in pretty much any other first world country, where you'd choose between a dozen over two hundred competing ISPs and so ones that dick over their customers or overcharge or have shiatty speeds go bankrupt.

But no, that's socialism, somehow.


FTFY in the case of the UK. The old 'phone company' owns the network but must allow any ISP or telco full access on the exact same terms as their own customer facing business. I could start a ISP tomorrow from my bedroom and cover the whole country and be competitive on price. Fibre is rolling out nicely and existing fibre is due a major upgrade in a year or so.

/Of course the UK is a lot smaller than the US. But when even the citizens of a major US city or densely populated area don't have any significant choice then you know that the problem isn't just down to national landmass. In fact the much larger area of the US would make the UK system of one network/equal access to all the best solution.
 
2014-08-01 09:02:52 PM  

Elfich: I have a new plan for dealing with the call centers:

Me: State what I want.
Them: Do you want to buy more crap?
Me: No. I want this.
Them: Do you want to buy more crap?
Me: No, this is an unresolved call. - and hang up.

And continue this process until I start driving down their success number across the board. So the phone rep gets dinged for no sale and not resolving my problem. Keep at them by intentionally driving their percentages down by increasing their call volume and reducing their success rates.


Actually that would make their metrics go up, not down. Every call to the cancellation/retentions department is a potential lost customer. If you hang up without cancelling that CSR has won. The stats will show he "saved" your account.

I wondered in an earlier thread where you would stand legally if after the CSR confirmed your identity and that you were the account holder if you could simply say "Please cancel my account. I do not need you to agree or answer because the matter is not up to you. I have cancelled my account and I consider my account now closed where you verbally agree or not. I have recorded this call for use in court in the event this is not actioned. Goodbye."

Why would you need them to "agree" to close your account? Why would they have any say in the matter?
 
2014-08-02 01:06:22 AM  

Flint Ironstag: Elfich: I have a new plan for dealing with the call centers:

Me: State what I want.
Them: Do you want to buy more crap?
Me: No. I want this.
Them: Do you want to buy more crap?
Me: No, this is an unresolved call. - and hang up.

And continue this process until I start driving down their success number across the board. So the phone rep gets dinged for no sale and not resolving my problem. Keep at them by intentionally driving their percentages down by increasing their call volume and reducing their success rates.

Actually that would make their metrics go up, not down. Every call to the cancellation/retentions department is a potential lost customer. If you hang up without cancelling that CSR has won. The stats will show he "saved" your account.

I wondered in an earlier thread where you would stand legally if after the CSR confirmed your identity and that you were the account holder if you could simply say "Please cancel my account. I do not need you to agree or answer because the matter is not up to you. I have cancelled my account and I consider my account now closed where you verbally agree or not. I have recorded this call for use in court in the event this is not actioned. Goodbye."

Why would you need them to "agree" to close your account? Why would they have any say in the matter?


Because they'll report your account to the credit reporting agencies as delinquent if you don't, as the call center tellers' computers aren't set up to handle a call which doesn't follow a predefined script, thus leaving your account officially uncancelled.

So unless you have the $€£¥ to spend on credit atttourneys, you're better off canceling properly.
 
2014-08-02 01:43:19 AM  

poorjon: The My Little Pony Killer: I can't respect somebody who then sticks with the job that has them doing something they don't care for.

So how's your job at the Video Game and Beer Testing Institute coming along?


It's farking sweet, thanks for asking.

Tigger: The My Little Pony Killer: "I didn't know that I was going to be selling things," he says. "The customer is calling in to tell you what's wrong, and you're looking for ways to sell them service."

I can forgive somebody who goes into a job expecting to do one thing and actually doing another. I can't respect somebody who then sticks with the job that has them doing something they don't care for.

You literally don't know anyone in your entire life who has had to stick out a shiatty job for a few months? Are you a member of a European royal family or something?


No, I don't know anybody who went to the media to whine about how the job they stuck with wasn't what they expected.
 
2014-08-02 08:10:25 AM  

Sim Tree: Flint Ironstag: Elfich: I have a new plan for dealing with the call centers:

Me: State what I want.
Them: Do you want to buy more crap?
Me: No. I want this.
Them: Do you want to buy more crap?
Me: No, this is an unresolved call. - and hang up.

And continue this process until I start driving down their success number across the board. So the phone rep gets dinged for no sale and not resolving my problem. Keep at them by intentionally driving their percentages down by increasing their call volume and reducing their success rates.

Actually that would make their metrics go up, not down. Every call to the cancellation/retentions department is a potential lost customer. If you hang up without cancelling that CSR has won. The stats will show he "saved" your account.

I wondered in an earlier thread where you would stand legally if after the CSR confirmed your identity and that you were the account holder if you could simply say "Please cancel my account. I do not need you to agree or answer because the matter is not up to you. I have cancelled my account and I consider my account now closed where you verbally agree or not. I have recorded this call for use in court in the event this is not actioned. Goodbye."

Why would you need them to "agree" to close your account? Why would they have any say in the matter?

Because they'll report your account to the credit reporting agencies as delinquent if you don't, as the call center tellers' computers aren't set up to handle a call which doesn't follow a predefined script, thus leaving your account officially uncancelled.

So unless you have the $€£¥ to spend on credit atttourneys, you're better off canceling properly.


But if you then took them to court the court would not give a damn about their "procedures". Companies have to obey the law. Saying "Computer says no" or trying to convince you to stay are irrelevant. A court would say "Your customer cancelled. Why did you not action that instruction?" and it is an instruction, not a request. "We hadn't agreed to do so" would not be a valid defence. There are no legal grounds for them to be able to refuse to cancel such a contract (outside any two year contracts) Cancelling such a contract is a right. Their "consent" is not required.

That's why I wondered if anyone has tried this and seen what happened.
 
2014-08-02 05:37:06 PM  
Comcast raised my bill by $25 for no reason.  So I got fed up and called to downgrade.  They kept pushing different plans at me for $99.  I hung up and went to the local office and in ten minutes I had limited basic and the fastest internet for $71.

Sure it's 'only' $28 more for the 'Triple Play' but I'm trying to wean myself off of cable.  So far it's working great.  I have local channels (got to for bad weather updates) and I have Netflix and Amazon Prime.
 
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