Tag Archives | Customer Service

At Comcast, You’re Not Just a Valued Customer–You’re Also an Indentured Servant

My friends Ryan Block and Veronica Belmont decided to cancel their Comcast service and switch to Astound, a smaller cable company available here in the Bay Area. So they called Comcast–and talked to a rep whose job was clearly not to help them cancel but to prevent them from canceling.

Here’s audio of part of the conversation. If you’ve ever had to deal with a recalcitrant rep at a giant pseudo-monopoly, it’ll leave you speechless, but not surprised. (Ryan shares more details here.)

My blood boils just listening to this, but all through it, Ryan is remarkably calm. It’s all reminiscent of a famous 2006 encounter with AOL support which was remarkably similar, except that the customer was less serenely polite than Ryan.

Anyone want to make any guesses about how often encounters like this happen? Or whether they’ll be more or less common if Comcast’s merger with Time Warner Cable goes through?

As Dan Gillmor said on Twitter…


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A Little Less Lenovo

LenovoThe crummy state of the economy continues to bring crummy news for the tech industry: Lenovo announced today that it’s letting 11 percent of its workforce go as part of a broad restructuring. It’s also reducing executive compensation by 30 to 50 percent (sorry, guys!).

Buried in its press release is one tidbit that might be a plus for Lenovo customers: It’s relocating its customer-support call center from Toronto to Morrisville, North Carolina, the company’s main North American site. If this involves Toronto staff losing their jobs, it’s regrettable for the folks who are impacted. But I’m a big believer that tech support staffers provide the best help when they work most closely with the rest of a company’s team. And it’s good to see that Lenovo isn’t reacting to economic pressures by relocating tech support to another country where language issues could stand in the way of solid tech support.


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