Comcast CEO Still Pretending His Company's Horrible Satisfaction Ratings Are Just A Normal Part Of Being So Huge
from the King-Kong-was-simply-misunderstood dept
As we’ve noted before, Comcast has not only the worst customer satisfaction ratings in the telecom industry, but among the worst customer satisfaction ratings across all industries. The reasons for this are not complicated: the company grew like wildfire through acquisitions, then made a habit of skimping when it came to customer support and subcontracted installation technicians. The result is a never ending parade of ridiculous stories involving poorly trained or under-funded Comcast employees doing something aggressive, pathetic, or downright abusive.
Every six months or so like clockwork Comcast CEO Brian Roberts will come forward with his hat in hand and a puppy-dog look on his face, promising that the company has heard the public’s concerns and is doing everything possible to fix things. While the press has fixated on Comcast lately because of the Time Warner Cable merger, this has been going on for most of the last decade.
During one of these episodes about a year ago, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts came forward to insist the company was working really hard on improving customer service, but that the problem was really a matter of scale. To hear Roberts tell it, the company only really sees such a heavy volume of complaints because Comcast itself is just so huge:
“What unfortunately happens is we have about … 350 million interactions with consumers a year, between phone calls and truck calls. It may be over 400 million and that doesn’t count any online interactions which I think is over a billion. You get one-tenth of one-percent bad experience, that’s a lot of people…”
Fast-forward nearly a year to just last week, and Roberts was once again back in the public eye, professing to be “embarrassed” (he really, really means it this time) about the company’s <a href=”a href=”http://fortune.com/2014/11/12/comcast-ceo-embarrassed/”>2014 iteration of its annual customer service scandal:
“At an event in San Francisco, Roberts said that he was “embarrassed” and “disappointed” when he heard the recording. “It was a teachable moment for employees and it was a teachable moment for all of us,” he said…Still, the Comcast CEO maintained that such customer service nightmares are not the norm. “We get 250 million phone calls a year,” he said. “The nature of our business is that we’re going to have these things.”
Except again, awful customer service at Comcast is absolutely the norm. These aren’t just anecdotal squeaky wheels. Every single customer satisfaction survey, whether its J.D. Power & Associates, Consumer Reports, the American Customer Satisfaction Index, the YouGov Brand Index or the less scientific Consumerist Worst Company in America Awards have made this abundantly clear: Comcast is among the very worst companies in America at customer service. Period. This hasn’t changed because Comcast has no meaningful competitive incentive to change, and therefore simply refuses to spend the money necessary to fix the problem.
Continuing to pretend that the problem is a matter of scale simply doesn’t cut it as an excuse. Worse, if “these problems happen when you’re big” is really the explanation the CEO wants to keep falling back on, what happens when the company’s $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable gets approved?