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Even the Great Ones Fumble the Ball Occasionally

Most people will agree that Comcast offers the most options of any cable provider. I’m a sports nut and as far as sports’ packages go, theirs is second to none. For $8.99 a month you get the NFL Network, NFL Redzone, NHL Network, NBA Network, MLB Network, and I hear there’s even a soccer network thrown in there for good measure.

You had me at hello.

Hell, I would’ve paid that much just for NFL Redzone.  And it only broadcasts on Sundays in the falls. In addition to all scores, it only shows games in which one team is inside the 20 yard line and threatening to score. It basically negates the clicker. For a football fan, it’s life-changing. The mere mention of it conjures up images of upcoming fall Sundays spent on the couch eating homemade chili and watching football all day, a laptop within arm’s reach for fantasy football purposes.

What am I trying to get at? Comcast’s product innovation has created a service that fits my needs at a reasonable price. But even they’re not immune to fumbling the ball on occasion.

A few weeks ago, they tried to force me into taking a survey. I was trying to pay my monthly bill over the phone when it happened. I had navigated my way through the options and just before I entered my account information, an automated voice informed me that I would have to complete a survey before I could complete my transaction.

Come again?

Ty Webb and Danny Noonan from Caddyshack

Image of Ty Webb and Danny Noonan From Caddyshack – Courtesy of Movie Fanatic

Thinking myself simply the unfortunate, odd-numbered caller, I hung up and tried again. Another automated prompt for a survey.

By the third time, I wanted to let someone there in a position of authority know that surveys should be optional and never mandatory when I am trying to make a payment.

I found myself reiterating the immortal words of Ty Webb from Caddyshack: “We’re not in Russia, Danny. Are we in Russia? We’re not in Russia.”  I spoke to a customer service representative who was not a Chevy Chase fan, but what I was trying to get across was that I should be able to pay my bill over the phone both quickly and painlessly, and give feedback when I felt the need or desire to do so.

As a loyal customer and fan of Comcast, I can’t help but think that they fumbled the ball when it comes to when and how they offer their surveys.  A survey should always be optional and never mandatory.

What are your thoughts?

  • http://twitter.com/pbranny Pauline Brannigan

    Hi there!   Full disclosure, I work for an IVR provider.   A company that designs and provide automated systems to do things like make payments, schedule service, check bank balances and more.   We also provide the ability to complete both post IVR Surveys (you completed your transaction via the automated system) and post agent surveys.  

    The best practice is to have the survey:

    A) post transaction
    B) to make it optional

    We prefer to design them as well that alert the correct individuals of a completely negative experience immediately to be able to address and turn the negative into a positive.   There is a lot of bad IVR out there.  I don’t know what they were insisting you comment on … however,  the method is NOT best practices.   IVR is a great tool to deploy a quality customer experience that increasing understands the intent of the caller and can be done at a significant cost savings and safety of the customer.

    I am sorry you experienced the problem.