Are you being served? Comcast chat from hell

Summary:Jason Perlow needed to know just one thing: Was his address serviceable? More than one hour of call center sales talk later, he got his answer.

Late last night, I decided to find out if I could get Xfinity Internet and Comcast cable at my residence in Florida, which I moved into one year ago. I was unable to get it back then, but maybe they could tell me fairly quickly whether the situation had improved.

comcast-call-center

I used Comcast's web-based chat to talk to a customer support representative, which took me over an hour. Was I able to get cable and high-speed Xfinity broadband? Let's find out.

Chris: Hi, I'm a live Comcast product specialist. Would you like my help checking out?

Chris: Just type your question below.
You: Well, I would like to confirm my address is serviceable.
Chris: Please wait while a secure chat connection is established.
You: we have had issues in our immediate area with getting XFINITY.
Chris: I will be more than willing to help you check if we do service your area. Chris: Do you mind if I ask a few questions to make sure I give you accurate information?
You: sure You: go ahead
Chris: Thank you for letting me ask questions. Chris: Just to check before we move on, are you a current Comcast customer or have you had Comcast service in your nam within the last 120 days?
You: no
Chris: Thank you for considering Comcast! What services are you interested in?
You: XFINITY Burst + internet and also HD DVR service with all premium channels
Chris: Great! Going back, yes we do have service in your area.
You: well, I know we have it in the town, but we may have issues with my specific development
Chris: May I know what do you mean?
You: well, the subdivision that I live in currently uses U-Verse and also a Comcast reseller called Advanced Cable Internet which may have an exclusive contract. The reseller does not offer XFINITY speeds.
You: the last time I checked to see if XFINITY was avaliable was 1 year ago when I moved into this residence.
Chris: I understand that. We can verify that on the last step of the order. Chris: The plan that you have selected is really fantastic! To make sure it meets all your entertainment needs, may I ask you a few questions?
You: sure
Chris: May I ask what channels are essential to you to assist in finding the best package for your house hold?
You: I would like HBO, Showtime, Starz + Cinemax You: all the premiums offered You: do not need sports packages You: do not need on demand services
Chris: Any other channels?
You: no other premiums but I would like all the basic offerings (discovery/history/comedy/scifi/etc) plus broadcast HDs.
Chris: Great! How many TVs do you own and how many are HD?
You: 3 and all are HD.
Chris: Excellent! What types of things do you do online?
You: I require the fastest connection possible.
Chris: Excellent! Do you watch streaming videos, play online games and/or download music online?
You: I require the highest level of service because I do a lot of video conferencing. You: so the 50mbps offering or higher.
Chris: Perfect! How many computers or gaming devices do you connect to the internet? Are any of them laptops?
You: I do not require additional network equipment. You: I require whatever the minimum equipment is needed for you to install a basic connection the the internet. I have my own routers and switches.
Chris: How about Phone service. How often do you call long distance?
You: I have a 3rd party that provides me phone service.
Chris: I know you are considering specific services; however, right now we have Triple Play Bundles for as little as $99/month that may save you even more money! I'd be happy to give you more information on those.
You: do not need triple play. You: I only need internet service and television.
Chris: I understand your concern. Chris: Based on the information you told me I highly recommend our Digital Premier & Performance Internet. It has Over 200 digital channels including HBO®, STARZ®, Cinemax® and SHOWTIME®. It also has XFINITY On Demand™ – more ways to get more entertainment. Enjoy the best selection of current TV shows and hit movies on any screen. It has a download speeds up to 25 Mbps and upload up to 5 Mbps! However you can upgrade it to the 50 Mbps plan in the last step of the order. Chris: It is only for $119.99 per month for the first 12 months with 2-year agreement. How does that sound?
You: Ok. Let's go with that and upgrade to the higher level bandwidth.
Chris: Great! Do you have any other questions before we proceed with the order?
You: no.
Chris: Great! Let's go ahead and get you started! Chris: Please remove the plan from your cart and add the Digital Premier & Performance Internet to your cart. Chris: How are things coming along?
You: okay. You: this has been done.
Chris: At the "Customize My Order" page you will see several customization options! Chris: This page of the order process will allow you to customize your order. Please let me know if you have any questions. Chris: When you are ready to continue please click on the yellow "Continue" button to get to the next page of the order process.
You: ok. I am at the service address page. You: Should I fill that in?
Chris: On this page please enter the information required, it will be used to create your account and verify your identity. The information entered will not be shared with anyone, it is completely confidential and secure.
Chris: Please note, the e-mail address entered on this page will be the login user name for your online account. Chris: Please click on the yellow continue button located under your order summary when you are ready to continue. Chris: On the Installation page you will have the available installation option(s) that are available to you. Chris: Please choose installation date and time and click on next to continue.
You: ok, on the final page, I do not see the bandwidth upgrade option
Chris: I will connect you with our specialist on the last step to help you upgrade. Chris: Please go back to the review order page (last step) so I can connect you with our specialist. Chris: How are things coming along?
You: we are back at the last page now. Does this include the Anyroom DVR?
Chris: I see you are on the last step of the order. Chris: I apologize but it does not.
You: do you offer this?
Chris: Do you have any other questions before I connect you with our specialist? Chris: Yes we do offer it.
You: well, I would like to add it.
Chris: You can add it on the last step as well.
You: ok.
Chris: Great! Do you have any other questions before I connect you with our specialist?
You: no
Chris: Please click here to be connected to our Order Entry team Chris: A representative will assist you in completing your order and will answer any questions you may have.-- Chris: How are things coming along? Chris: Have you successfully connected with the Order Entry Specialist? You: it is connected now.
Chris: Congratulations on making the right choice by going with Comcast today! Are there any other questions that I can answer for you before you go ahead and chat with our Order Entry Specialist?
You: no, we're good.
Chris: Did you know that XFINITY now offers the total home security and home control solution? Chris: It's called XFINITY Home, and it lets you easily and remotely manage your security system, monitor your home, and control your lights and thermostat. Chris: XFINITY Home keeps you more connected to your home and family – wherever you are. To learn more about Xfinity Home and speak with one of our Xfinity Home specialist, go to http://www.xfinity.com/home or call 855-709-1196. Chris: Thank you for choosing Comcast. It has been a pleasure assisting you. Chris: Have a great evening. Pradeep: Hello Jason, Thank you for contacting Comcast Live Chat Support. My name is Pradeep. Please give me one moment to review your information. analyst Pradeep has entered room Pradeep: I see you are interested in adding Comcast services. It's my pleasure to process your order and answer any questions you may have. How are you doing today? Jason: Ok. I hope my area is serviced. Pradeep: Let me start by verifying the serviceability of your address; then I'll be asking you a few questions to make sure we get you the best deal. After I complete your order, we will go over all of the charges and the installation process to make sure you don't have any questions.Will this be ok? Jason: that's fine Pradeep: Jason, I see that you are interested in our Digital Premier & Performance Internet with 2-year agreement at [REDACTED], is this correct?
Pradeep: I'm afraid I am unable to locate this address in my system. Would you please confirm the address I have is correct? Jason: that is correct. Pradeep: Thank you for the confirmation. Pradeep: I have double checked in my system, and I am still unable to find a match for this address. It could be that the address never had our services and has not been registered with us yet. Was this address recently constructed or renovated? Jason: No. The house and the development was built in 1993. Jason: The address is in a gated development. Pradeep: Okay. Pradeep: Do you happen to know if your neighbors have Comcast services? Jason: I do not believe any of them do as I cannot see any "XFINITY" SSIDs broadcast near my house. Pradeep: Alright! Pradeep: Unfortunately, I am unable to add an account at this address. I am submitting a request to verify if Comcast is the service provider for this address. To assist our technician in locating your address, would you please provide the street names for the nearest intersection? Jason: That would be [REDACTED]. Pradeep: Thank you. Pradeep: This request can take up to 7-10 business days if a field technician needs to visit the site, but typically only take about 5 business days. We will contact you once the investigation is complete. May I please have your email address and the best contact number and time to reach you? Jason: that would be [REDACTED]. Pradeep: Thank you providing all the details. Pradeep: I have successfully submitted the serviceability request for your address. I am saddened that we cannot sign you up right away for Comcast services. However, you may expect a call from our higher fix department once the investigation has been completed. Jason: Okay, let's hope for the best.

Topics: Broadband, Networking, Telcos

About

Jason Perlow, Sr. Technology Editor at ZDNet is a technologist with over two decades of experience with integrating large heterogeneous multi-vendor computing environments in Fortune 500 companies. Jason is currently a Partner Technology Strategist with Microsoft Corp. His expressed views do not necessarily represent those of his employer... Full Bio

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