National Consumers League

Neither rain nor snow nor gloom of night: my experience with @ComcastCares


By John Breyault, Vice President of Public Policy, Telecommunications and Fraud The cable industry in general, and Comcast in particular, is not generally associated with robust customer service. From technicians sleeping on couches to lackadaisical service calls, to full feature films, it seems everyone has their own horror story to tell about dealing with the cable giant. Add to this a history of anti-union practices, rate increases, and an impending mega-merger, and Comcast has rarely been a darling of the public interest community. But this isn't a story of how Comcast failed the public. Rather, it is a recounting of how judicious use of Twitter turned a frustrating customer service experience with Comcast into a less-frustrating one. This February was a doozy for the Washington, DC area (where NCL is based). We were hit with no less than two major blizzards dumping 75 inches of snow on the region. The first snowstorm knocked out cable service to my home in Virginia (a snow-heavy branch knocked the cable wires off the box on the pole behind our house). Since I have the triple-play bundle (TV + telephone + Internet) through Comcast, I was left clinging to the information superhighway via my cell phone. Given the historic snowfall, I put in a call for repair to Comcast and hunkered down to wait. Three days later, despite clear skies, relatively snow-free streets, and a promise from Comcast customer service that a technician would arrive that afternoon, no one arrived. Why? Because no one picked up our (inoperable) phone when the Comcast technician called ahead to find out if we'd be home. With the second blizzard on the way, my hopes for a speedy resolution to the problem quickly turned into frustration. So, I tweeted. Within minutes, I had received a reply message via Twitter from Comcast's customer care team (@comcastcares@comcastBill@comcastdete). A few short emails and a call from a supervisor later and I was on my way to getting the problem resolved more quickly than I had originally been told would be possible by regular Comcast customer service. The moral of this story? Don't be afraid to leverage social media, and Twitter in particular, when traditional customer service isn't getting you the results you were hoping for. Take the extra step of finding out if the company in question has a Twitter account that they monitor (a quick search engine query with of "[company name] Twitter" should produce a decent list. If the company has a Twitter account, direct your tweet at them via the "@" function. Finally, if using Twitter got you the results you wanted, be sure to tweet about that too. It's just good karma. And be sure to follow NCL_tweets online!