Intro: Mike Arrington was able to get Comcast support via Twitter, I thought I’d do the same (although I am Canadian, I’m no Arrington and I’m not using Twitter). I’m a subscriber to the NHL Center Ice package, offered via Comcast through iNDEMAND. The regular season is over (Go Habs!), and now things got messy.
In the program guide, there’s no more information for the Center Ice package at all. No listings, just baseball. I googled, found a few scattered suggestions and possible answers. I then proceeded to try Comcast’s support chat, the agent was polite and tried his/her best, but found nothing. Eventually told me to call my regional office. Which I did.
Local agent looked through a variety of things, and sooner or later started surfing the Web looking for more. Nothing. Found the Center Ice info page, which is missing all information about the playoffs. Well, not all the info, just has a page showing where they would be, and nicely refers to them as the 2007 playoffs.
I called iNDEMAND. The most help I got from them was that (a) there was a confirmed game on Versus, which I already knew, and (b) the channels to find Center Ice were numbers 461-470, which I already knew. This information came just slightly after I managed to convince them that I was actually a paying subscriber. Bottom line is at 4pm on Thursday I’m going to have to have my Slingbox ready so I can quickly find the right game and set it to record on my DVR.
First I blame iNDEMAND for not having the right information. It’s not really Comcast’s fault since their vendor doesn’t have the data. That said, Comcast shouldn’t do business with vendors who do not have the information needed to support their customers. If Comcast made it an absolute requirement, I guarantee the iNDEMAND folks would have the answer already, but as it is, there’s little-to-no incentive for them.
As an aside, it’s like when I called Sony for support on my Vaio and they blamed Microsoft and NVIDIA. They might be right, but nobody exactly forced Sony to use NVIDIA chips. Then again, the laptop is on its way back from Ed Bott’s place, where he says it’s lightning fast!! Windows may just be re-entering my life (it still does have better keyboard shortcuts)…
Back to the topic at hand – customer service. Service is as important as any marketing or promotion activity. With the combination of blogs, Twitters, and Google, it’s impossible for a company’s bad habits to remain in the dark any longer. Fundamentally I believe if you sell a product, you must support it to the fullest extend possible. No passing the buck. Setting the right standards for your organization isn’t hard to do, and in the long term can have a huge payoff.