Warning: this is a bit of a rant :) . I moved recently and as a result I had to take care of a couple things like updating my address for my cell phone bill and installing cable/internet. I am going to share both stories here.

Updating my billing address with Verizon:

I called Verizon because I don’t have an online account (the last time I had set one up, they automatically opted me in for online bill pay which I didn’t want to do). I spoke with a woman in customer service and told her I needed to update my address on file. After she helped me with the update, she said, “next time, go online and make any changes regarding your account.”

I was shocked that she was literally telling me not to call back and that I should be doing everything online. Wasn’t she in customer service? Isn’t it their job to service the customer i.e. me? If everyone goes online, doesn’t she realize her job may be in jeopardy?

Setting up my cable and internet with Comcast:

I know that schedules can be tight with Comcast and I really wanted to get my internet turned on as soon as I moved in so I called about 2 weeks prior to my official move-in date. Couple things happened. First, I wanted basic (digital starter) cable and high-performance internet. I saw a deal online for $69/month for 1 year. The person on the phone offered me preferred cable and high-performance internet for $79/month for 6 months. I explained I only wanted basic cable and they said that would cost more. It would cost more to get less.

So I asked about the online deal I was seeing and the woman said that I could purchase that package online but not over the phone. Then she proceeded to tell me that the internet ordering system was not functioning properly so I asked to speak to someone that could help me. She said that the only support for online was through the online chat – and by the way, that is not working either.

Seriously?

So I went for the $79 package and asked for setup. She said this would cost $80 additional but it ‘may be more’. Yet, she couldn’t tell me how much the charge would actually end up being. So I went for the self-install kit. I got everything I needed (less the remote which resulted in another trip back to their office) and called back for help installing. Great service experienced here and ended the call with the gentleman saying ‘it was really fun helping you.’

Now that I have found my modem in the stack of boxes, I call again for help with internet setup. The person was unable to help me resolve the issues and once again stated that they could send a technician out but if the problem was ‘my fault’ – as in my computer – then I would be charged. And she had no idea what the charge might end up being. The issue was escalated to the next tier and I received a call the next day from someone who informed me that they cannot help (and I quote) ‘those that are not technically inclined.’ What?!? Yes, he seriously said this to me.

Now I have everything setup (turns out that Comcast was forcing me to install all types of software on my computer that would allow them to remote in and was really unnecessary. But I have a smart Dad – thanks Dad! – so problem solved.

Why is it so hard for customer service to actually service their customers? Now I know this may be an isolated instance, but two major companies left me wondering who I should choose next time I had a choice.

I spent many years in the hospitality industry and I know how hard it is sometimes to provide good service when a guest is frustrated, pissed off or just straight up in a bad mood. But I always provided good service. I considered this my job and I got satisfaction out of it. I knew in the back of my mind always that the issue was not with me and was not one I could control, but what I could control was my reaction to it and the guest. And that won them over every time.

Is it really this hard? What am I missing?