Total read time: 3 minutes
Like baseball, hotdogs, and apple pie, denouncing Comcast is innately American. Its ability to unite disparate groups of customers in collective loathing is unmatched. (Need proof? Google “f*** Comcast” and browse the approximately 482,000 results.)
I’ve had my own share of frustration with their “business model” of poor customer service and inconsistent pricing, so when people complain about Comcast, I’ve been the first to pick up a pitchfork and join in.
But as a teacher and an optimist, I never stop looking for opportunities to praise, and yesterday morning, I found one in a most unexpected place.
Monday, March 7
In an attempt to address a connectivity problem with my iPhone, I rebooted my router and “lost” my network. (Turns out that had I examined the network list more carefully, I would have realized that our network had simply re-appeared in the list as “NETGEAR,” but in the moment, I panicked.)
I had to confront the truth and accept the consequences; I needed to call Comcast.
After an astonishingly short wait of under 3 minutes (800-COMCAST), “Leia” greeted me, performed a few diagnostics, and identified a weak signal between my modem and router.
“Ms. Hershey, I’m going to send a technician to fix your signal issue.”
Sigh + eye roll.
I knew exactly how the experience would unfold: The tech would show up late, look under the hood, and tell me I needed some new equipment or service to restore my WiFi. At his mercy, I would have no choice but to empty my pockets.
Leia continued, “There will be no charge for the visit. Will you or someone over 18 be at home tomorrow morning between 7 and 8? ”
Gobsmacked (and expecting Allen Funt to spring from the coat closet), I confirmed the visit.
- hooking up some device to the modem and router to test their performance;
- determining that the cables outside could be vulnerable because of their exposure;
- installing a weather-proof box;
- tucking the now-tidied cables neatly inside the new box;
- walking the perimeter of the fence both inside and outside our yard looking for – I don’t know what he was looking for, exactly, but he was being very thorough;
- replacing our outdated modem with a king-size dual-band 802.11ac wireless router with built-in modem; and
- setting up the new network while I asked him some critical questions:
- Would you like some coffee? (“No, thank you.”)
- Do you have dogs of your own? (“Not anymore.”)
- Why did Comcast send you out here to do all of this for free?
Having taught for 13 years, I like to think my BS detector is finely tuned, so I am confident that Brett’s response was 100% Grade A truth–but because I was so shocked, I didn’t absorb his answers verbatim. What follows, therefore, is paraphrased:
“I want to do the job right, no matter how long it takes. Since I don’t know for sure what’s causing the issue, I want to cover all the bases to be sure the problem is fixed.
(No, he didn’t answer my question directly, but he did confirm later that I would not incur any extra charge for or as a result of his visit.)
Investment? Transparency? Commitment to service? I was paralyzed.
“By the way, this service call includes lifetime unlimited access to premium channels; a filter for your devices that prevents news of all 2016 presidential candidates AND the Kardashians from crossing your threshold; and private dance lessons from Kevin Bacon.”
Fine. That last part did not, in fact, happen. But with the customer service magic Brett uncorked that morning, it seemed inevitable.
While their lousy reputation is not unfounded, Comcast can be proud of at least one bright star of promise: Brett Fields. To you, sir, I say chapeau.
Now it’s your turn: Tell me about a positive customer experience you’ve had recently, especially if with a company or person whose reputation is historically negative. C’mon…it feels good to put down the pitchfork and throw sunshine instead of shade!