Comcast’s customer service earns title of ‘Worst Company in America’


Francis Emelogu/The Cougar

One has definitely heard about Comcast, whether the company is your cable provider or if it has been seen on the press. From the nightmare customer service stories that come out year after year, it comes as no surprise that Comcast was voted the ‘Worst Company in America’ for 2014 by Consumerist, beating out the likes of Facebook, Monsanto — an oft-criticized chemical and agricultural biotechnology corporation — and even SeaWorld.

When Ryan Block tried to cancel his Comcast service in July, he recorded the now-infamous call to demonstrate how difficult it is to cancel a Comcast account. This would be the second occasion that Comcast has been voted ‘America’s worst company’ and if that trend continues, eventually the public will force the company to change its rules and policies, or face a potential downfall.

Listening to the phone call recording, one can hear the Comcast representative repeatedly asking, “What was wrong with the service?” The representative is obviously asking for feedback about the company and asking how service can be improved, but at that point in time, the customer no longer wants to answer questions or cooperate.

Comcast senior vice president of customer service Tom Karinshak released a statement regarding the incident with Block.

“The way in which our representative communicated with them is unacceptable and not consistent with how we train our customer service representatives,” Karinshak said. ”We are using this unfortunate experience to reinforce how important it is to always treat our customers with the utmost respect.”

The problems with Comcast seem to include its notorious reputation for poor customer service, difficulty with account and service procedures and lack of genuinely good relationships with their consumers.

With so many people practically wishing the company to go down, it makes it that much more difficult for Comcast to change its image and build a positive reputation — that is, if Comcast cares to change its reputation. If Comcast doesn’t feel threatened that it will lose out on a huge amount of its consumer base, the company won’t see a need to move forward in a positive direction.

According to the Huffington Post, Eric Santelices said he spent more than two hours on the phone trying to resolve a service problem that happened the night before. Additionally, a whopping 43 percent of Federal Trade Commission reports included a narrative complaining about internet connectivity or pricing.

Comcast seems to be receiving the hardest punches, with more customer service complaints being shared virally online. For example, according to CBS News, Aaron Spain of Illinois was put on hold for over three hours Monday after calling the company to cancel his service. Spain learned that Comcast was closed for the day after calling another company department.

With a possible merger between Comcast and Time Warner in the works, the merger would control over 40 percent of all broadband access in the U.S., and will be the only option for many communities with a lack of other alternatives for high-speed internet access.

Taking the situation into a different light, according to CNET, the cable TV provider industry ranked dead last for overall customer service. Based on the surveys, 11 out of the 14 bottom-rated companies are either in the TV or Internet service industry.

The biggest potential threat to cable service is the Internet. With the rise in popularity of Netflix, mobile TV apps and online-streaming, if cable companies don’t get their act together, they might not be around much longer. With increasingly busy schedules and a need to be on the move around the clock, the average American isn’t spending hours plopped on the couch watching live television. The behaviors have changed, and so have consumer expectations.

Comcast continues to publicly apologize for the continually poor customer service, calling the experience “unacceptable” and assuring that this is not the experience they want customers to have. On the flip side, it keeps happening and the recorded videos and audio are only going to keep coming.

If a company isn’t being transparent and respectful to consumers, it’s going to have a hard time staying afloat. It’s only a matter of time until companies like Comcast change their strategies and start giving exemplary customer service or they’ll have no chance of succeeding. The modern American expects quality service, especially when you’re paying higher fees to have that service.

Opinion columnist Gemrick Curtom is a public relations senior and may be reached at [email protected].


  • “If a company isn’t being transparent and respectful to consumers, it’s going to have a hard time staying afloat.”

    Assuming it has competition, or there are otherwise some kind of consequences for its actions. With that not being the case, Comcast can do whatever it wants. Don’t count on this Congress of ours to do anything about it. The UK and South Korean governments came up with ways to force competition in their internet markets, resulting in both countries outperforming the US, the country that invented the internet in the first place, when it comes to internet service and price. If the US government actually cared about its people, it might try to learn something from them.

  • This company needs to be sued for billions equivalent to productivity losss. It is a shame . Humans do not work here. My phone , internet and cable service is all out for last 48 hours. I have a 86 year old mother at home and will be stranded if there is an emergency! The first appointment I get is 3 days from now. I spent speaking to 40 customer Service representative in Columbia, Mexico, panama – devalued currency, cheaper labor, can’t do a thing except keep saying sorry! He’ll with this company.

  • This company is F;@!&$ up! Cheaters! Swindlers ! Sweet talkers ! Sorriest galore , apologies countless ! I wonder if there is a law to close shutters for this company for such poor service. Scam business!

  • I just wrote a complaint to Comcast about their total lack of
    customer service. I resisted putting Comcast in here at work because of
    past experience with them but was overridden. Then two weeks ago, I
    let a guy at Walmart talk me into the Comcast TV/phone/Internet package,
    after telling my wife earlier that I didn’t want to get Comcast. The
    experience began with the installer taking 6+ hours to do the install
    (my house was already cabled) then, while he is setting up the boxes, he
    announces to me that I didn’t get a DVR as part of my package. Funny,
    it’s written on the copy of the order and I specifically asked the
    salesman about it. The installer tells me I have to go back to the
    salesman and get him to write a change order. For 3 days the salesman
    tries to get someone at Comcast to respond to him regarding the mistake
    and finally calls me to let me know he can’t get anyone to call him
    back. So, we decide to try contacting Comcast ourselves and are told by
    the FIRST support agent that YES the order was written up correctly, we
    should have been given the DVR and that someone will call us back in 3
    hours to set up an appointment that same day. Three hours come and go,
    we call back and the SECOND support agent says yes we should be getting
    the DVR and they will put in another escalated support call and someone
    will call me in 3 hours. This time 3 hours come and go and the whole
    next day comes and goes. We call Comcast again. This time the THIRD
    support agent tells us that there are no DVRs available and the first
    appointment they can get for us is about 18 days out. Good thing they
    have the 30 day trial period? Wait that means if I get the DVR in 2 1/2
    weeks, I will be able to actually use in for several days before the 30
    days is up. (Insert sarcasm here)

    This time we ask for a manager (actually several times) and
    apparently he has no concept of what CUSTOMER SERVICE is either. We are
    told by the “Manager” (“sure he is”: Insert sarcasm here too) that the
    order was wrong and that both of his support people that told us it was
    correct were (lying?) reading it wrong. That there is nothing he can do
    for us until the appointment 18 days from now but that he won’t charge us for having the installer come out and connect the DVR. (Yea, sarcasm again…)

    I’m amazed that a company like this is able to stay in business.
    Does it matter whether the mistake was the order taker or the
    installer? It’s not right, fix it. Do I believe that anyone orders the
    X1 package and asks to not receive the DVR part of it? (Sure I do.
    Once more sarcasm)

    It would have taken maybe an hour to have someone bring the DVR out,
    install it, and leave me with a warm rosy feeling about Comcast’s
    ability to make customers happy. Right now Comcast is the only game in
    town for decent Internet speeds but that won’t last forever and if I can
    steer my company, friends, coworkers, and family to another service I

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