Calling Comcast for help? Expect a sales pitch
Many of the cable giant’s employees are reportedly evaluated based on their sales, regardless of whether they’re in a sales position.
I imagine it would be incredibly frustrating to call Comcast's customer service line to cancel your service, complain about an issue with your cable or get help with a billing question, only to have the customer service representative try to sell you additional channels or faster Internet or some other Comcast upgrade.
Unfortunately, that is what's happening.
According to The Verge, the cable giant wants its employees to make sales, regardless of what position they hold within the company.
Despite the fact that Comcast has departments devoted to both inbound and outbound sales, the company encourages its employees in customer service, tech support, and other departments to make sales as well. This often puts the employee's interests at odds with the customer, who may be calling in to report a technical problem, billing issue, or to downgrade their service.
According to Ars Technica, Comcast call center employees are trained to follow a four-step call flow process. Each step begins with an "S" -- start, solve, sell and summarize. You read that correctly, "sell" is actually one of the four steps. You can view some of Comcast's training guidelines here.
What's more, as explained in the training material, 20 percent of a call center employee’s performance rating for a phone call is dependent on the employee making a sale.
Horror stories about Comcast's shoddy customer service abound online. Just search for "bad Comcast customer service" and you'll see what I mean. One of the latest customer service snafus that went viral was a customer who tried to cancel his services and ended up waiting on hold for more than three hours until the office actually closed.
A number of current and former Comcast employees told The Verge that excessive sales pressure, which is implemented through monetary incentives or the threat of being put on a corrective action plan or worse, makes it difficult to do their job. Some said they were fired as a result of not being able to make sales. Other former employees said they got fed up and quit.
When The Verge asked Comcast about pressing employees to sell, the company's response was this:
"I don't want any of our employees to feel that pressure to go through and sell … or feel like they’re going to get fired," Tom Karinshak, Comcast's senior vice president of customer experience, tells The Verge. "That's not good for us."
If you're a Comcast customer and you don't want to deal with a sales pitch when you call for customer or technical service assistance, there's good news. The Verge said there are a few things you can do to avoid high-pressure sales techniques. They won't try to sell you services if you're irate, unhappy with the resolution of your problem, or you simply ask them not to.
In April, Comcast earned the dubious distinction of being named America's worst company.
Are you a Comcast customer? Share your experiences below.
To be honest I am past. Getting weary, about this Up Selling or Plus Selling Crap. I even had it happen in a Restaurant, I ordered a meal with an Appetizer that came with it and the waitress asked me if I wanted a salad extra and I asked that the meal I ordered comes with one, and her reply was if she did try to sell me something that she would be Fired. Same thing happens at sales counters. I don't mind a sales rep asking if there may be anything else (not to make a suggested sales Item pitch) before they do the final ring up.
Businesses don't like to have Panhandlers on their Property so why are they making their employees Panhandle for them or be Fired. I would like it better if they had their Employees just stick out their hand and ask for a Dollar for their Boss. Panhandling is Panhandling.
What's worse about having everyone from the janitor to the tech support geek sell you up is that if you do bite and add/order a service that is offered to you, that great price you were quoted is quickly forgotten once you receive the bill!! And good luck trying to call and complain, you will talk with a snotty and bored rep who claims that the quoted prices/conversation do not show up on your account, therefore you are lying. Doesn't matter if you write down EVERYTHING about the employee (name, ID#) you originally dealt with, and time, prices, dates, etc. when you fell for the deal- you will be told "He/she shouldn't have told you that price", "He/she was never authorized to give those price quotes", "We have never offered that service for that price", "We do not know who you are talking about", "Well, that's only for NEW customers" blah blah blah.
This has happened to us 3 times, and it is maddening and absolutely the worst kind of customer treatment and is what I'd expect from a hustler or street dealer.
And yes, we are still also waiting for our prepaid Visa cards....they love to throw that one out, we'll give you a prepaid Visa! Don't fall for it!!!!!
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