Last week we had dinner with good friends. Somehow during the conversation Comcast came up. Who has not had a problem with Comcast at some point in their television or internet days? They have a monopoly in most local areas. I know we have had no luck in our area. We either have Frontier (an offshoot of Verizon Fios) and Comcast. Frontier was not any better than Comcast in terms of customer service. If you do not use Frontier or Comcast, you have to go with a television service (like DirectTV) and a different company for high-speed internet.
In any case, my friend shared this hilarious story, about a Comcast customer who received their bill and the name on the bill read: “Asshole Brown.” Crazy! Take a peek at the link for an image of the bill. It makes me laugh because it is what I have wanted to say back to Comcast. While we do online bill pay, I wish I could make the payment to Comcast say: “Asshole Comcast.” We have called every month over the past year because every month our bill is not correct.
If you do an online search for “Comcast customer service issues” you will find over 3 million results. Such as this one where a customer recorded the phone calls he had with Comcast. I wish we would have done the same thing!
At the moment Comcast is trying to purchase Time Warner Cable, which would make the worst cable provider (customer service wise) have that much more control. Hopefully, if the deal goes through, Time Warner has some sort of interest in the customer. In an era where the customer comes first, Comcast has a lot to learn.
Hopefully Comcast figures out how to stop calling their customers assholes. It will not help their already pissed off customers. A few items to note, Comcast, you: 1) need better customer service 2) should not call customer’s assholes 3) should fix their bills, and follow through with what you say you will do. Not too tall of an ask, right?
I am so, so sad. I really do not know what I am going to do. It is the end of an era. “Daily Candy” an online email newsletter is closing down as of April 4. Subscribers (I being one of them) were notified last Friday via email. They had a dedicated and loyal fan base.
Daily Candy is an online newsletter that started 14 years ago (2000) by Dany Levy. It started in New York, as an email newsletter about fashion and the insider scoop. I, myself, signed up for Daily Candy because I lived in Boston at the time and wanted to keep up with what was happening in New York. Gradually more cities were added. While Portland never made it on the Daily Candy map, I still kept up with their Daily Candy Seattle, and Daily Candy Everywhere newsletters.
Daily Candy was profitable in their first year. Almost unheard for an email newsletter at that time of the Internet. In 2008, Daily Candy was sold to Comcast for $125 million. Over the years, I learned about new movies, TV shows, books, beauty products, recipes, fitness ideas, you name it, from my Daily Candy emails. It makes me wonder if Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks have made some online email newsletters a blast from the past? Are we so used to having content so immediate that when we see email newsletters in our inbox we no longer pay attention?
It is hard to say. Or maybe for a company the size of Comcast, they were not making enough money to be considered part of their portfolio. Local, creative, insider content would cater to a specific group of users. Of course advertising is what keeps companies such as Daily Candy afloat. If users saturated with online advertising begin to tune out banner ads, will that be the end of such companies in the future? Will our purchasing power dictate who can deliver us such customized news?
How often do you call your cable company, or your credit card company and either have to listen to a zillion annoying little prompts to get to where you want to go, or you wait on the line for what feels like eternity only to listen to their hold music?
I can adamantly say that I have never once said to anyone: “Oh, xxxx company has the most amazing hold music.” Why is that? Why is waiting on hold to be helped so excruciatingly painful? Do they hope that most of us will hang up the phone out of boredom, anguish, and insanity and instead go online and send them an email? I try to do that as much as possible, but there are just certain things that need to be handled by a live person. I will give you a few examples:
_When your cable company (ahem, Comcast) continues to screw up your bill every month since you moved in 10 months ago. No email will ever be able to truly shed light on your true frustration, only duking it out with a live person will hopefully grant you the discounts and offers you deserve.
_Anything having to do with financial information, credit cards, and bank accounts should be handled online. Yes I am old school. I prefer a live person to mess up my account, then a live person behind an email. At least I can ask for my phone call to be escalated, and hopefully my phone call was “recorded for quality purposes.”
_You enjoy connecting with other people, making their day, and generally being the world’s nicest customer. I know a few people who fit that description, and they are the cream of the crop. If only we could have their patience.
I digress. This all started out being about hold music. I still do not understand why they have not invented hold music that connects you to Pandora or Spotify and lets you jam to your current selection. Maybe customer service representatives will find their customers happier, more patient, and generally not going insane by hearing the same song for the 37 minutes they waited on hold. Of course that song was interspersed with a few ads for lower interest rates, or how you could be saved money, with the additional message of how many other customers are in front of you in the queue.
I have a rant. So our contract is almost up with our Internet/TV/Phone provider. We called today to find out if our rates would increase. They are. By $50. Gulp. Seriously. It does not make sense. We have been a customer for over 3 years and they (ahem – Frontier FIOS) are doing nothing to keep us as a customer. It makes no sense to me. We are researching other companies, and we could move to Comcast, Century Link, or some sort of arrangement with satellite (Dish or Direct TV). So with so many competitors, why would Frontier do nothing to keep us as loyal customers? Their response was that their system no longer allows discounts and the only way to get a deal is to sign a new contract for new service. Again, this makes no sense to me. Why should I have to sign a new contract to continue paying what I am currently paying?
I have had an iPhone for years. My rates have never changed. I was grandfathered in with the unlimited data plan, and yes AT&T I will not leave you, because my unlimited data plan I believe is golden. I never think about how much I am on my phone, using my apps, the Internet, doing email. AT&T never changes my rates from year to year, and I appreciate it. Thank you, AT&T.
So, Frontier, we are looking to change companies. Wouldn’t you? Why should we stick with a company that has always given us bad customer service, messed up our billing for over 9 months, and has done nothing to keep us as a customer? Does anyone have any experience with Century Link or satellite? We have had Comcast before and might switch to them. We will most likely cancel our phone plan and just stick to Internet/TV. I would like to find a TV/Internet provider that actually cares about their customers. Is that even possible? (Frontier could really learn something from Zappos). To find a TV/Internet provider that cares about their customers? I would love to be happily surprised.