By now, we’re all familiar with Comcast’s litany of customer service horrors. Whether it’s telling customers that they’re going to be locked in at a low rate for a year before jacking up their prices after just three months, disconnecting customers repeatedly during service calls, allegedly pulling unauthorized credit reports, calling customers obscene names on their own bills or using insane people to mentally bludgeon customers into not cancelling their service, Comcast has basically written the book on finding creative ways to not give you what you want.
However, despite these documented atrocities, Comcast swears it’s working incredibly hard to improve its customer service. And even better, the company says that its efforts to bolster its customer service won’t at all be negatively impacted by its proposed merger with Time Warner Cable.
This last claim is so ridiculous that I bet Comcast execs had to spend hours rehearsing saying it out loud without bursting into explosive laughter.
Time Warner Cable’s reputation for customer service is just as horrible as Comcast’s is. What’s more, history has repeatedly shown that mergers between two companies will often make customer service worse for a while because integrating two major firms’ customer service systems into one another can be very difficult even if both companies have good reputations.
ConsumersUnion explains just how bad things got last decade, for instance, when Comcast and TWC each bought up parts of bankrupt cable firm Adelphia.
“When Comcast and Time Warner Cable purchased and carved up the bankrupt cable provider Adelphia in 2006, the effect on customer service was a disaster,” the group notes. “Newspapers in multiple states reported that Adelphia customers lost Internet service. They discovered that they could not send emails, and that their past emails had been deleted; that cable channels had been cancelled; that modems did not work. Call centers were swamped with complaints.”
And really, letting Comcast and TWC merge at this point would just be rewarding bad behavior. After all, if two of America’s most hated companies can get what they want despite having some of the worst customer service in the country, what incentive will they have to improve things once they’re even more powerful?