A large company with thousands of employees and multiple regional offices is going to have some missteps at some point. Call it the law of large numbers. Somewhere, someone will make a mistake. Comcast, however, seems to operate under Murphy’s Law in regards to customer service.
This time, the telecommunications giant changed a customer’s name on a bill. Imagine his surprise when Ricardo Brown got a bill from Comcast in his mail addressed to Asshole Brown. Yikes!
A bit of background. Ricardo’s wife, Lisa, called Comcast to cancel the family’s cable service. The representative she spoke to transferred her call to someone else -- a person that consumer advocate Christopher Elliott, who first reported the story, called a “retention specialist.” This person attempted to convince Lisa to not only keep her cable service but to also sign a new contract that would make her a customer for another two years. She insists that while she stuck to her guns and refused to keep her cable service, she wasn’t rude to the Comcast employee.
Later, when she received the expletive bill, she tried to fix the issue to no avail. “She’s visited her local Comcast office and phoned higher-ups in the Washington region. But she wasn’t getting anywhere and needed help,” Elliot writes. Only after Elliot contacted Comcast and asked that they check their records for the error did he receive a response. Steve Kipp, Comcast’s vice president of communications for the Washington region, called to express the company’s displeasure.
“We have spoken with our customer and apologized for this completely unacceptable and inappropriate name change,” Kipp told Elliot. “We have zero tolerance for this type of disrespectful behavior and are conducting a thorough investigation to determine what happened. We are working with our customer to make this right and will take appropriate steps to prevent this from happening again.”
Comcast also released a response on their website.
The employee responsible for the name change has been fired, and Brown was compensated for the mistake by being reimbursed for the bills she paid as a Comcast customer over a two-year period. Comcast also waived the $60 fee that is usually applied when canceling a service. Of course, Ricardo's proper name has been restored on Comcast’s records.
This is not the first time Comcast has endured public embarrassment for impressively bad customer service. Perhaps this is why the company consistently ranks poorly on the University of Michigan's American Customer Satisfaction Index.