Over the last seven years, we have met numerous Comcast customers. Except for a few, most of them hate their service.
So, why is Comcast bad?
Comcast is terrible because of its lousy customer service, predatory pricing, monopoly business practices, aggressive customer retention policy, unethical political hiring, and profit-driven corporate culture.
People hated Comcast internet so much that they formed a new company named “Xfinity” and now provides internet, cable television, and telephone service under this new subsidiary. As a result, many new customers don’t realize that they are getting the same lousy service from Comcast.
Before we discover why Comcast is bad, let’s read some of their customer’s experience.
Not everyone shares their story, nor everyone’s story gets viral online. Therefore, these are not some isolated stories but a representation of Comcast.
In 2008, Hurricane Ike hit Galveston, Texas. During this hurricane, many people lost their houses and everything inside. Later, many customers called Comcast and canceled their internet service.
A few months later, Comcast sent them bills for unreturned equipment and later collection notices. They sent collection agencies to collect those bills.
In one incident, a customer named Cheryl Clemons got a $931 bill. 1
You have to wonder how impassioned a company has to be to do something like this. During the darkest days of people’s lives, they didn’t help them at all.
In 2015, a Comcast customer name “Lisa Brown” called customer service to downgrade her service to lower her monthly payment. Instead of a downgrade, the customer representative offered her service upgrade without extra charge. She refused the offer.
On the next monthly bill, she saw that the customer service representative changed her name to “Asshole Brown.” 2
Now, consider for a second how vindictive a company has to be to do something like this.
In 2014, a technology journalist Ryan Block called Comcast to cancel his service. Even after 20 minutes of talking, the customer representative refused to cancel his Comcast service. It was nothing but a hostage situation by them. 3
These stories are not isolated. There are thousands of stories out there on the internet.
However, not only customers, Comcast mistreat their employees too.
Now, here are a few reasons why Comcast is terrible.
Yes, Comcast is a publicly-traded company. But the company chairman, president, and CEO Brian L. Roberts describe Comcast as a family business.4 He has 33% non-dilutable voting power over the company.
Brian became Comcast president at the age of 31 in 1990. You may be wondering how? It’s because his father, Ralph J. Roberts, was the founder of Comcast.
Since 1990, he has aggressively pushed this company to make money. As he has complete control over this company, no one can challenge him on any decision.
Comcast made money over the last three decades but at the cost of customer dissatisfaction.
Corporate culture is profit-driven:
As we discussed previously, Comcast’s CEO’s primary goal is to make money. Customer satisfaction is dead last on his to-do list. He created a corporate culture where profit is the number one priority.
In the telecom industry, Comcast has the most aggressive customer retention policy. If you call to cancel your service, they will do everything in their power to make this process painful for you.
For example, a subscriber called Comcast to cancel his service. The representative put him on hold until the office closed. 5
Except for a few big cities, Comcast has monopoly business everywhere. In most cities, towns, and rural areas, Comcast is the only option. Over the decade, they have acquired many small and large companies, for example, AT&T.
Comcast even tried to purchase Timer Warner Cable but failed due to multiple investigations regarding this deal.
Because there is no competition in most areas, they can charge customers exorbitantly. Therefore, even if a customer is unhappy, they don’t care.
Let’s look at two examples.
We all can easily subscribe to HULU, Netflix, or Amazon Prime. At any moment, if we want to cancel our service, we can go online and cancel it. It’s because a horrible customer experience will ruin those streaming services businesses.
We use Amazon daily. Amazon has the highest customer satisfaction rate. If you purchase anything and later return it, Amazon would give you a full refund. No question asked. It’s because they know a disgruntled customer will never return to Amazon and will go to Walmart for shopping.
However, for Comcast, the story is different. Over the decades, they have established a monopoly business. Therefore, there are no alternatives. Thus, even if their client is not satisfied, it does not matter. They still can make money off those patrons.
Comcast spends tens of millions of dollars on lobbying each year. Moreover, they employ spouses, daughters, and sons of mayors, commissioners, council members, and local officials for continued market control and monopoly. 6 7
Yes, it’s not illegal but unethical and rife with conflict of interest.
Those officials are getting jobs at various TV networks and Comcast offices. In return, they get various favors from different levels of government.
However, in the end, we customers get terrible service.
Employees too hate Comcast:
Many Comcast employees, too, hate this company. Turnover rates in customer service are very high, and pay is very little.
If employees are not happy, they can’t keep their customers happy too. If a company mistreats employees, the employees will mistreat customers also.
Hence, unless Comcast focuses internally, their problem will not go away. However, Over the last 30 years, its chairman failed to do it. Therefore we don’t expect their service will get better in the future.
Our crucial takeaway for Comcast’s bad service is:
- Comcast’s corporate culture focuses on profits, not customer happiness.
- Training and hiring of employees are inferior, which leads to poor experiences.
- The hardware and software of Comcast are out of date and break down frequently.
There’s a saying, “Never give your customers a reason to switch.” But what if there is no option for a customer to switch? They are forced to use the terrifying service. As they have a monopoly business in most areas, they don’t have any reason to provide a good service.
Moreover, over the decade, Comcast higher-ups failed to recognize that consumer standards are higher nowadays.
Because of all the reasons described above, Comcast is bad.