Thursday, September 30, 2010

Turning Bad Service Into a Good Experience

We recently moved from one apartment in DC to another.  Part of the process is obviously the ceremonial transferring of the utilities, to include the beloved HD cable service and broadband.   I mean what the hell would I do without that, read ?  Forget it.

In any case I made my first call to Comcast to get the service transferred to the new apt.  I was told that the previous tenant had never called to disconnect the service so I would not be able to have service at the new address until they did ... and how I was supposed to go about that was a mystery.  I was told by the support person that she would look into it and call me right back.  Yes, you guessed it, no call back.  I got busy packing and called back a few days later to chat with a gentleman who told me if I could fax him a signed copy of the lease, we could get the ball rolling.  Fax?  I said ... hmm i dont have a fax but I can email you the signed copy.  (This is where I almost lost it) follow along with the rough transcript of the conversation

Me:  I have a signed soft copy I can email you right away

Comcast Rep:  Oh no sir, we cannot accept emails

Me:  So I cant just save a lot of time and email it to you right now ?

Comcast Rep:  Oh no, our email system is not capable of accepting email from outside the company

Me:  What ?!  Are you kidding me?

Comcast Rep:  No I am not.  Actually no bog companies accept email from the outside.  Call Verizon or DirectTV and they will say the same thing ..

At this point I was floored and ended the call in sheer disgust.  I decided to call right back and see what the support roulette wheel landed on this time.  I got a nice man who told me he didn't need to signed lease, I could simply give him the phone number of my rental manager and he would call and verify and we could move forward.  I gave him the number and he said he would get back to me in a matter of minutes.  Guess what ?  You got it, never heard from him again.  So at this point you are probably thinking, "How can this get better".

I turned to Twitter of course.  I popped out a quick tweet to @comcastcares about the trouble, or atleast as much as I could fit in 140 characters.  In a matter of minutes I had a reply from @ComcastMelissa asking me to email her the lease and my info.  I obliged and not 1 hour later I was called by someone on her team to set up the service appointment !  I was floored.  But it did not end there.

Today was my service appointment.  I did  not have huge expectations, but was once again pleasantly surprised at the turn from terrible service to a great experience.  The tech, Bill, came early and proceeded to knock out the work in no time, making sure I had future outlets ready for tv's.  At the end though, he told me that he noticed that the signal to the junction box was very weak and it concerned him that would affect my service.  He climbed back up a fire escape to the roof to trace the issue.  He found that the service line from their pole was undersized and needed replaced.  He had already called and set up a two man crew to take care of the work on Saturday so that our service would be consistant and improved. Wow !  Before leaving he made sure to leave his phone number along with his supervisors in case I had any issues.  Wow!  It was like a modern day twilight zone.

We live in a service society today, yet the service we get .. well it mostly sucks.  Sadly we have come to expect the example i reference in the beginning.  This was one example though where a few people took a horrible negative, and with very little extra effort turned my experience into a good one.

Thank you