Overly-Aggressive Comcast Rep Was the Rule, Not the Exception
by Karl Bode 12:38PM Friday Jul 18 2014 Tipped by Bob61571
Comcast made the wrong kind of headlines this week after a support representative was recorded simply refusing to let a customer cancel. Comcast was quick to insist that the company was "embarrassed" by the employee's behavior, claiming that the employee was "unacceptable and not consistent with how we train our customer service representatives." Except since the story broke, numerous Comcast employees have come forward to point out that obnoxious upselling is the rule, not the exception.
All week Comcast employees seemingly found it cathartic to describe just how broken Comcast really is on the inside, employees speaking to everyone from Business Insider to The Verge. Their gripes are supported by employment reviews at Glass Door. Numerous Comcast employees tell The Consumerist if they don't obnoxiously upsell, they face lower pay or termination:
quote:As multiple tipsters are telling us, CSRs can only have a certain amount of “discos” — or disconnects — on their personal tallies each day, and must meet a certain quota of “saves,” for which they can earn bonuses and/or commission. That “save” might just mean hanging up on a customer so the disco goes on another CSR’s list, or in Block’s case, a relentless attempt to keep the customer. Many employees said that with a low hourly pay rate, these saves are the only way to boost their paychecks.
An ex-Comcast employee over at Reddit makes the same point in more detail:
quote:Comcast uses "gates" for their incentive pays, which means that if you fall below a certain threshold (which tend to be stretch goals in the first place) then instead of getting a reduced amount, you get 0$. Let's say that if you retain 85% of your customers or more (this means 85% of the lines of businesses that customers have when they talk to you, they still have after they talk to you), you get 100% of your payout - which might be 5-10$ per line of business. At 80% you might only get 75% of your payout, and at 75% you get nothing.
The CAEs (customer service reps) watch these numbers daily, and will fight tooth and nail to stay above the "I get nothing" number. This guy went too far, you're not supposed to flat out argue with them. But comcast literally provides an incentive for this kind of behavior. It's the same reason peoples bills are always fucked up, people stuffing them with things they don't need or in some cases don't even agree to.
Another Comcast employee dishes out other stories to The Consumerist, noting how it's a fairly frequent occurance for Comcast to not care about users getting billed for hardware they no longer have -- or for reps to pretend to be supervisors just to get customers off the phone. This, combined with Comcast's historic unwillingness to pay more money for better subcontractors, all contributes to the company's record-setting low customer satisfaction rankings.
And guess what? Because Comcast doesn't face serious competition in most of their markets there's no real penalty for being awful at what they do -- meaning that none of this week's press coverage is going to do a damn thing to change the way Comcast does business.