Chris Graham: Ba-a-a-d customer service

To make a long story short: We’re changing cable and Internet providers.

How we got there …

Well, for starters, we weren’t unhappy with Comcast/Xfinity until the past couple of weeks, though actually we could’ve been unhappy customers dating back a little while. Ever since the company changed its on-screen menu, about a month ago or so, we’ve had problems with the TV service – screen freezes being one issue, another, bigger issue being the inability for us to access on-demand TV.

We finally broke down last week and scheduled a tech service call, and when the guy knocked on the door and asked the problem we were experiencing on his way in, we could tell something was up. The issue that we were experiencing was something common to customers in Waynesboro, we were told, and unfortunately there wasn’t much we could do about it because Comcast still hadn’t figured out the issue.

OK, we decided, life goes on. And then on a whim on Sunday night I decided that I needed to order WrestleMania 28 on pay-per-view, which turned out to be a big mistake, but I’m getting ahead of myself. We ordered the show at 6 p.m., an hour before the scheduled start time of 7 p.m., and at the appointed hour turned on the channel and expected to begin watching ‘rasslin.

Except that the show didn’t come on. Around 7:05 p.m. we got the idea to call customer service to see what was up. It was around 7:57 p.m. that we finally got a live person, who told me that despite what I had been told on the phone at 6 and what my TV screen was telling me, namely, that my order for the pay-per-view event had been processed, in fact the order had not been processed.

I at this point inquired about the process for a refund, since I’d already missed the first hour of the show, and was told that I could request one after getting my bill, but nothing was guaranteed.

Faced with the option of paying full freight for a part of an event at this point, i canceled the order, which I still expect to be billed for.

So in sum, I ordered the event an hour early, waited an hour on the phone when it didn’t show up, was told that basically there was no reason the show shouldn’t have been on my TV as scheduled except for a technical issue on Comcast’s end, and was told that I might be able to get a refund, might not, but I could request one.

This story has a happy ending. We called Lumos, a local cable and Internet provider, and a tech from there will be out later this week to install cable and Internet service at a savings of about $80 a month from what we were paying with Comcast/Xfinity.

I will never, ever do business with Comcast/Xfinity again, incidentally, but you could have already guessed that. And it’s not because of the tech issues, which are entirely forgivable. The shoddy customer service is not at all forgivable.

All of us in business want to get it right the first time. When something happens and we fall short of that mark, it’s incumbent that we make it right on the comeback. And when we fall short there, shame on us.

More at www.TheWorldAccordingToChrisGraham.com.


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