Comcast is not exactly renowned for its high-quality customer service. It consistently ranks as one of the most-hated, most ineffective companies in the country, in both formal and informal surveys. They hired an exec just to change the customer experience, but the heap of public, embarrassing incidents for them just keeps getting bigger. So if you’re a Comcast customer, and you’re stuck in a loop trying to get your problem solved, is there anything you can actually do?
While no amount of foresight and complaining can solve all problems with comcastic customer relations, there are some things you can do. From the basic steps to the nuclear options, here are a few things to try when an ordinary phone call doesn’t work out.
1. Document, document, document.
Having proof that the company told you one thing, and then did another, can help you. Save any online chats, e-mail conversations, or documents sent in writing.
Any time you call, record the date and time of your call and any file, incident, report, or ticket number the rep gives you.
You may also wish to record any calls you have with Comcast. It’s easy enough to do with apps on basically any smartphone, but beware: call recording is not equally legal in all states. At least not without the explicit permission of both parties. The Daily Dot ran a solid rundown of the what, where, and how of customer service call recording last summer after one particularly arduous customer experience went viral.
But of course, hindsight is 20/20. The last service call went totally fine and it never occurred to you to record it lest the company renege on their words in the future. Or maybe you do have a record, and the CSRs you talk to just don’t care. All is not lost; you still have options.
2. Call back and try again.
Good companies and bad both have a mixed bag of CSRs on staff. With Comcast, they’re all trained to make your call difficult unless you’re buying something. Sometimes the first person you talk to won’t be helpful, but the second might. It’s worth a try.
Of course, when the second and third attempts fail, you need to try something new.
3. Go social.
@ComcastCares isn’t quite what it used to be in the era of Comcast Frank, but it’s still a way to reach a new employee when you need help. So is the e-mail address we_Can_Help@cable.comcast.com. Facebook isn’t going to help you much, but sometimes talking it through on a site like reddit can find you the human or the solution you need.
But social media can be a crapshoot. So if it doesn’t help you…
4. Climb the corporate ladder.
If a first-line CSR can’t help you, you ask for a manager or supervisor. And if that person can’t help you (because they might not actually have any authority), ask for their manager.
Eventually you will run out of higher levels to be transferred to, but just because they can’t or won’t connect you to anyone else doesn’t mean you’re out of options.
When standard channels fail, executive customer service is your next step. Last we heard, their number was (215) 640-8960.
You can also e-mail executives, who will pass you along to executive customer service. Comcast maintains a full list of its top executives on their website, including the guy who is supposed to make the customer service experience suck less and the guy who oversees all the call centers.
If e-mailing the customer service executives still doesn’t get you into executive customer service, you may need to go big and hit all of ’em with the classic executive email carpet bomb.
5. Appeal to a higher authority: the franchise agency.
Any company that can distribute pay TV to you has a franchise agreement with the area where you live. Those are the terms under which Comcast is able to be the sole cable provider to your town or county, and as such the local franchise has authority to help you out with customer service issues.
The local franchise authority that applies to you will appear on page 2 or 3 of your bill (which you can view as a PDF online, if you don’t receive a paper copy). With the office name and address, you can search for your local regulatory office and probably find a web form or phone number for reporting issues. Depending in which state (or part of a state) you live, you may have a state-level regulatory agency to contact instead of a local one. Searching for [your area] cable franchise authority will probably find you what you need.
Each franchise authority will have a different timetable for being able to help. But if that doesn’t work…
6. Take it to the media.
Hi! We’re team Consumerist, and we like to help people who have had trouble getting their problems resolved.
But we’re not alone. Your local TV stations probably all have a consumer affairs reporter (“on your side”) you can contact, as well.
Your local network affiliate news station probably isn’t going to spend their time on a $1.39 charge that keeps coming and going from your bill, it’s true. But if Comcast got you fired or put you through a particularly arduous call, someone out there wants to know.
Comcast does not particularly enjoy the negative publicity that comes with viral “bad service” stories, so if your experience has been particularly wretched, you might as well tell the world.
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Consumerist.