August 16th, 2014
If you thought the customer service rep heard around the world was all that Comcast was worrying about this summer, think again. The incident was just a string of many recent high profile issues that have plagued the Goliath of a company for over 18 months–claims of slowing down customers’ speeds, monopolistic deals with time warner cable, lobbying congress to an alarming degree are just a few of the problems execs have been dealing with in limbo before an all out PR catastrophe broke out this summer.
In the meantime,Â The VergeÂ interviewed more than 150 current and former employees in an effort to understand Comcastâ€™sÂ lousy reputation. We heard the same stories over and over again: customer service has been replaced by anÂ obsession with sales; technicians areunder staffedÂ while tech support is poorly trained; and the company is hobbled by internal fragmentation.
The VergeÂ will be publishing excerpts from these interviews over the next few weeks as part of our Comcast Confessions series.
Internet not working? Confusing charges on your bill? Moving, and need to cancel your service? It doesnâ€™t matter why youâ€™re calling Comcast â€” get ready for a sales pitch.
Dozens of current and former Comcast employees toldÂ The VergeÂ they had to constantly push products, even if they worked in tech support, billing, and general customer service.
Mark Pavlic was hired as a customer account executive at Comcast in October 2010 after graduating from a technical institute. He figured heâ€™d be troubleshooting TV, phone, and internet service, but most of his month-long training focused on sales. Every day when he walked into the call center, heâ€™d see a whiteboard with employee names and their RGUs, or revenue generating units.
“I didnâ€™t know that I was going to be selling things,” he says. “The customer is calling in to tell you whatâ€™s wrong, and youâ€™re looking for ways to sell them service.”