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escribacat On July - 7 - 2011

Comcast customer supportBelow is the verbatim script from an encounter with an entity I will call Helpful Comcast Unit. I am Grumpy User. I am still trying to decide whether my Helpful Comcast Unit was a living breathing person or some new brand of automated unit. Either way, I was dealing with an automaton who had access to a database full of helpful blurbs but wasn’t quite sure which ones to offer me and so offered a handful of them and hoped some would stick.

Helpful Comcast Unit: Hello Grumpy User, Thank you for contacting Comcast Live Chat Support. My name is Helpful. Please give me one moment to review your information.

Grumpy User: My Issue: My email account is hanging.

Helpful Comcast Unit: My apologies for the frustration this issue has caused you Grumpy User. I’m going to do everything I can to resolve this with you today.

Grumpy User: ok

Helpful Comcast Unit: As I have understood your concern well, you are having an issue with your Smartzone email as it is hanging. Am I correct?

Grumpy User: yes

Helpful Comcast Unit: Thank you very much for the confirmation.

Helpful Comcast Unit: Grumpy User, I understand the importance of fixing this issue. I’ll do everything I can to get this working for you before we finish this chat.

Helpful Comcast Unit: No worries! I can certainly assist you with this matter by doing some steps to get your email fixed. I am here to provide you with excellent customer service today. Please be assured I will do my best to help you with your concern.

Helpful Comcast Unit: By the end of this chat I am sure we will have resolved this issue together to your satisfaction.

Helpful Comcast Unit: Thank you for providing your information in the chat initiation form. Would you please verify the information below is correct? Name of the account holder: Grumpy User Service Address: Yadda Yadda Street

Grumpy User: yes

Helpful Comcast Unit: Thank you very much.

Helpful Comcast Unit: Can you also provide the last 4 digit of SSN OR the account number? This will help me verify the account properly.

Grumpy User: NNNN

Helpful Comcast Unit: Thank you for that information Grumpy User, rest assured that your information is safe and secure. This will allow me to pull up the correct account.

Helpful Comcast Unit: Oh by the way, did you know that you can view your current bill, account balance, pay bills, view services, setup automatic payments, or even go GREEN with our Comcast EcoBill? Why not check out Comcast Customer Central from either Comcast.com or Comcast.net and learn more about managing your account online.

Helpful Comcast Unit: Let’s optimize your browser first.

Helpful Comcast Unit: Grumpy User, I can assist you with optimizing your browser by giving you the steps on how to do it. First, may I know you browser, is it Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Safari or Google Chrome?

Grumpy User: Firefox

Helpful Comcast Unit: Thank you so much. Kindly inform me when you’re done optimizing your browser.

Helpful Comcast Unit: Here are the steps on optimizing your browser.

Helpful Comcast Unit: 1. Please open a new Mozilla Firefox window 2. Click TOOLS. It is located on the toolbar at the top left. 3. Please click CLEAR RECENT HISTORY. A form box will open up with a default list of check boxes already checked. Select each check box for the data you wish to clear. Make sure that the box is check. 4. After you have selected the check boxes, click CLEAR NOW. 5. The form box will disappear and your history will be cleared.

Helpful Comcast Unit: How was it?

Grumpy User: Okay, I cleared the cache.That seems to have solved the problem.

Grumpy User: Thank you.

Helpful Comcast Unit: Great!

Helpful Comcast Unit: I’m so glad I was able to help you by checking your account and have solved your concern here on chat by optimizing your browser. I hope I was able to satisfy you with the resolution that we have come up here today. It was my pleasure to help you with your login issue today. Thank you for your patience. Do you have any other questions or concerns today? I will be happy to further assist you!

Grumpy User: okay bye

Helpful Comcast Unit: Can I ask a very small favor from you that I would really appreciate?

Grumpy User: what?

Helpful Comcast Unit: Grumpy User, I really hope that you take a moment to answer the survey that will come out after you click the END SESSION or EXIT CHAT button. I will definitely appreciate it if you do.

Grumpy User: Okay. No problem.

Helpful Comcast Unit: Thank you.

Helpful Comcast Unit: Comcast appreciates your interest in our services and looks forward to the opportunity to providing you service in the future. Have a nice day! It’s been a pleasure helping you today. Thank you for contacting Comcast! We appreciate your business! Learn more about the Comcast Customer Guarantee at http://www.comcast.com/corporate/Customers/CustomerGuarantee.html?fss=customer%20guarantee

I, Grumpy User, tried to take the survey so I could say something nice about Helpful Comcast Unit but when I clicked on the Survey button, all I got was the “Undefined” error message. Oh well.

Categories: Society, Speakers' Corner

15 Responses so far.

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  1. Khirad says:

    Not the same thing (telemarketers), but this is too funny.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33BCEPMGggU

  2. kesmarn says:

    e’cat, so funny! All things considered, your trouble-shooting session with the Customer Service Bot went fairly well.

    I had a much less cordial interaction with a support person from — shall we say — a major cell phone carrier. They charged me for equipment that I had returned well within the 30 trial period that they themselves had told me was their policy.

    When I called to try to get it corrected, the rep went into “Bot-Mode.” And I couldn’t get him out! Finally I said: “Look, I know that’s what the script you have in front of you is telling you to say, but I need you to open your ears and think instead of reading that.”

    Wow. Did he get mad. He was very offended that I would suggest he was reading from a script.

    But I got my refund. 😉

  3. Chernynkaya says:

    E’cat that was funny and scary at the same time. OMG, I just freak out when I have to deal with a live automaton! It’s horrible. As an addendum to your excellent post, I was reading this yesterday:

    Rude Racist Truths From a Call Center

    Oh, the things they say about us in Indian call centers. About Americans, about Australians — it’s terribly insulting stuff. It’s also kinda true!

    “Australia is known as the dumbest continent,” says the “culture” instructor who trained a Mother Jones contributor cum customer service operator.

    “Literally, college was unknown there until recently. So speak slowly.”

    “If you call on a Friday night, they’ll be smashed—every time. Oh, and don’t attempt to make small talk with them about their pets, okay? They can be quite touchy about animals… Just stating facts, guys.”

    Ha ha. Well, the Aussies really do tend toward drunken buffoonery, really, just ask any global touris…

    “America? I’ll tell you about America”

    Hey, wait a minute!

    “Truth is, 90 percent of the people there, you will find, they’ll do the most stupid things, impulsive things… In training they told us, ‘It’s easy. These guys have the money, they just don’t want to pay.’ They told us, ‘Threaten their credit score, Americans can’t live without good credit…'”

    “Americans will just shout at you,” Sube said. Mittu agreed: “I have only been cursed by Americans. ”

    OMG, racist slander! I fucking demand to speak with your supervisor, young man! Hello? Hello?!?!

    http://gawker.com/5818672/rude-racist-truths-from-a-call-center

  4. AdLib says:

    They do read exactly from the script that appears on their computer. It would be amusing if someone substituted the script from Goodfellas for their customer service script and they delivered it in the same calm monotone voice:

    Customer: Hi, I can’t get my emails.

    Service Rep: Don’t give me that shit or I’ll blow a hole right in the middle of your fuckin’ head.

    Customer: Er…I wasn’t trying to give you a hard time, I just need help.

    Service Rep: Who the fuck are you to ask me for help? I don’t even fuckin’ know you. You want help? I’ll give you help.

    Customer: Great, thanks.

    • AL, having worked for several call centers, I can tell you than 2 out of 100 reps would have questioned that script… and promptly have been fired.

      I worked in one place, where I paraphrased the script so that it sounded more personable. On a QA, I received high marks for the quality of my call, but failed for not following the script.

      When the QA boss got in the following day and looked over it, she went to the QA monitor and threatened to fire her if she ever did something so stupid in the future.

      That was in 1998. There’s not a call center in the world where that would happen today.

      When I worked for Wells Fargo, we started referring to ourselves as “butts in a chair”. Because WF definitely didn’t want us thinking.

    • Chernynkaya says:

      Adlib-- that exchange made me realize how the Twitter Town Hall would have gone if Gov. Christie was president. Heh!

    • escribacat says:

      Adlib, I’m afraid this is how I would be if I had that job.


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