Comcast, in the process of trying (or pretending) to reform its worst-in-America customer service, hit a snag this week when it had to apologize to customers for changing the names on their accounts to Whore, Asshole, Dummy, and Fuck You. The company downplayed the incidents, saying they'd cut ties with the "vendor call center" behind one of the name-changes, but more keep popping up. The latest: A 63-year-old woman known in Comcast's billing system as "SuperBitch."
SuperBitch, real name Mary Bauer, told Chicago's WGN that the name change came after repeated issues with her service and her bill. Even though she says she had to make nearly 40 different appointments with Comcast technicians between November 2013 and April 2014, and then her bills mysteriously just stopped showing up, she says she wasn't rude to Comcast on the phone.
"I was nice enough to call them to ask how much I owe," she told WGN. "I was little hot and a little angry because I never got good service."
She could have rubbed someone the wrong way, or, like fellow customer "Whore Julia" Swano, who didn't even call Comcast until after her name had been changed, she could just be a random victim.
Comcast says it has contacted Ms. Bauer to apologize for making her its SuperBitch, and has added her case to the list of incidents it's investigating. In a statement earlier this week, the company said it's "working with our billing partner on technology that will prevent this from happening and re-training our employees across the country."
But that doesn't seem like it addresses the root cause of this phenomenon: that Comcast, as a near-monopoly, doesn't have much incentive to fix customers' problems. Instead, it forces its dissatisfied subscribers into insane telephone conflicts with beleaguered call center employees who are often powerless to help. But instead of fixing any of the stressors on the system, they're taking it out on the front-line employees who live side by side with customers in corporate-created hell.
If you work at Comcast or one of its vendor call centers, email firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment here. I'd love to know how that "re-training" is going.