Monday, July 22, 2013

First World Problem with Comcast

July 19, 2013

Tom Karinshak
Senior Vice President of Customer Experience
Comcast Corporation
Comcast Center
1701 JFK Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Dear Mr. Karinshak:

I’m writing to let you know how incensed I am as a result of spending the past few days dealing with almost unbelievable professional ineptitude and nonexistent customer service on the part of Comcast.

I tried for two days to reach someone to make payment arrangements for a past due amount on our account in order to avoid interruption of our service. I called your 1-888-266-2278 number again and again and repeatedly navigated your automated phone system, trying to speak to an actual human being. I was told to call back – your system was supposedly down, whatever that means – or transferred or placed on hold over and over.

Each time I had to wait an excessively long time for a customer account executive to become available. I had to explain what I was trying to do over and over again. I was told more than once that your system is down and I need to call back later. I did not get callbacks from you as promised (which means I didn’t leave the house, take showers or do anything else that might cause me to miss calls that never came).

When I finally spoke to someone named Serena, she told me arrangements could not be made without a post-dated check. I obtained this and started calling again. In addition to Serena, I spoke at various times yesterday and this morning with Samantha, Aaron, Shirley, Joe, Jessica, Beatrice, Robert (supposedly a supervisor) and finally Emily, who took down our bank account and routing numbers, provided me with a confirmation number and promised that our service would not be interrupted.

Then at 10:18 this morning, you went ahead and suspended our internet and cable TV anyway. (I was automatically redirected to Comcast’s “Your service has been temporarily suspended; pay now” website and none of our TV channels were “authorized” anymore.) When I was finally able to reach a customer account executive – Tangela – I was told that the system is down again and you can’t access my account. I told Tangela that you already accessed the account when I gave you my banking information and you provided me with a confirmation number but she insisted there was nothing she could do and I should just wait for a callback from Comcast, although she had no idea when that would be.

After waiting for more than 90 minutes and hearing nothing, I called again and after several minutes on hold, was told by Cicero that my only option was to wait for a callback. I insisted on speaking with his supervisor, Keewana, who restored my cable TV but not my internet. I had to call back and speak with Nirvana, Muhammad (who hung up on me) and Shasta before my internet access was finally restored. I was able to start my day at lunchtime. (I learned my phone service had also been suspended – I could only make calls to Comcast – but that too was restored after a frustrating delay.)

That’s 15 – yes, 15 – different Comcast employees and several hours worth of stress and aggravation.

I utilize the internet connection for my job. I can’t send and receive messages and documents, reference relevant web sites or communicate with contacts when there is no internet connection. It’s not merely an inconvenience like losing cable TV; it affects my livelihood.

I realize this is a First World problem, there’s no such thing as customer service anymore, and now that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that corporations are people, Comcast is free to be a heartless, bullying, grossly incompetent jackass with no repercussions. Still, it would be nice if someone in the Comcast labyrinth gave a rat’s behind about how you detrimentally affect the lives of those who pay hard-earned money for substandard service and significant stress. If I could bill you for the time and aggravation you cost me, you’d owe me a big ol’ chunk of change.

Thanks for the worst “customer experience” I’ve had in 51 years on Planet Earth.


Patrick Diehl


  1. I had a situation somewhat similar a few weeks ago. The house next door to us was having some major foundation work done before the underground utility lines were mapped out. Suddenly, we had no cable, internet or phone. My wife and I figured out fairly quickly what had happened: the workers next door cut our cable line.

    My wife called Time Warner Cable and spent the next 90 or so minutes in "phone jail" before being routed to a call center located somewhere thousands of miles away from any Time Warner office. Even as she tried to tell them what happened, they acted as if we were stupid and we should let them figure out the problem using their superior technology.

    Totally pissed off, my wife posted a nastygram about the horrible customer service on Twitter. Time Warner called back within 30 minutes and arranged to have a technician there at 8am sharp the next morning!

    On a similar note, nearly 3 years ago, we bought a new TV and wanted to upgrade to HD service. At the time, Time Warner was running ads saying that they don't charge extra for HD service like Directv does. Not only did they charge $20 extra monthly, but it was another $12 to have a technician swap out the boxes. I called bullshit on that. I went on Youtube, pulled up a bunch of those Time Warner commercials, emailed them to my wife, and she posted them on Twitter. Time Warner called back within an hour and gave us free HD service for a year.

    Next time you have a problem with the cable company, especially a big on like Comcast, badmouth them on works!

    Take care, Patrick!

  2. Ah the wonders of customer care hey? Make billions in profit from customers, and then treat those very customers like something the cat dragged in, or something unpleasant you stood in.

    I bought a Sony (edited) machine that allows you to play mainly youtube and other stuff on the TV which is great and it doubles up as a DVD/BlueRay player so it's really good. However there are things on it which are not explained in the operating booklet and I can't seem to get any help for it. They sent me an email to a survey asking about whether I'd been satisfied and to rate them! Why bother? Why can't these companies have proper after care instead of pissing people around?

  3. Hello Patrick - I work for Comcast and I just wanted to apologize for the poor experience. I can also share your experience with our local leaders so that they can look into this and address your concerns.

    If it is not so much of a trouble, will you please contact us at the email provided below so that we can assist further? Please include the full address, phone number and a link to this page as a point of reference.

    Thanks in advance.

    Comcast Corp.
    National Customer Operations

  4. In the interest of fairness or something, I should report that not only did ComcastMark post the comment above, but "Executive Customer Care Specialist" Sherry Cook apologized in an e-mail and called my home more than once. (I hesitated to respond because I didn't see how they could make anything better but I relented and picked up her call just now.) So let the record show that I received more than one apology from representatives of this corporate behemoth.

  5. If anyone enjoys self-flagellation you'll love trying to get support from the Comcast Customer Experience.

    Mr. Karinshak has brilliantly devised a system that allow customers to spend literally hours talking to wit-less representatives in various countries and states at any hour of the day or night and getting absolutely no satisfaction. And you get to spend even more time on hold trying to get to a rep. And never ask for a supervisor! They are never available.

    According to the rep to today "I apologize for your frustration. I see that in the past several days you've talked to nearly 30 employees. Looks like they noted your problems multiple times on your account but never followed up."

    I did get a call today from someone who received the note I posted on a Karinshak related site at Comcast. She suggested I call the local office and could give me a number. She did. I told her that that number automatically forwards to a call center (last night that number got me to the one in Mexico) and that is the reason I posted the note because THEY were almost impossible to hear and totally ineffective! She aplogized agin just like the script on her screen suggested.

    Mr. Karinshak has indeed covered all of the bases. I suspect he works covertly for Verizon and is trying to move Comcast customers to Verizon.

    But then what do I know- I've been trying to get Comcast to FINISH this NEW CUSTOMER INSTALL that they started more than TWO WEEKS AGO. But I've gotten my first bill for a system that isn't finished.

    If Mr. Karinshak had been the captain on the Titanic he would have steered the ship for the middle of the iceberg blowing the whistle to make it move out of his way! If you have any choice other than Comcast- take it- even if it is two cans connected by a string. You'll be happier.

    And yes I've already posted a detailed complaint on the "we_CAN'" It does as much good as drinking rat poison I suspect rat poison is probably more effective- and would eliminate having to deal with the Comcast BAD Experience.

    Comcast- just say no.