Xfinity Gave Me The Absolute Worst in Customer Service, EVER

My story should have been so simple: I needed better internet service. AT&T simply could not offer the right service for me, so I decided to look into Comcast/Xfinity to replace it. I had suffered too long with slow speeds.

I was bundling services so wanted to do the same, and use Xfinity to get new TV, Internet and home phone service. Yes – I am a dinosaur who still has a LAN line…but in my defense, it is my dedicated office line, which has been the same for my business for more than 20 years, so I wanted it to stay…it was actually pretty crucial to me that it stay.

I would not have changed services, if I was not able to move over my existing voice service.

When I completed my online order to get the new Xfinity service, unassisted btw, it was a quirky checkout process and didn’t take the first time – but I wanted to change so tried again, and finally got my order in and payment thru. It was essentially the same monthly I was paying with AT&T, but with MUCH faster internet speed promised.

I scheduled an installation, for though I am pretty handy, I thought this one might need some new wire and stuff I didn’t want to do. I was right about that – and my installer was great, actually…the ONLY Xfinity experience so far that has had a positive outcome. I wish I knew his name, because he was really great.

He was here for hours, and was conscientious and good at his job. He pulled new wire from across the street and made sure to respect my wishes, and do solid work, every single step. He was really great.

But it totally ended there, and then my Xfinity customer service nightmare began.

Misaligned Connections

I submitted my order on a Thursday, with installation on the next Tuesday which was the earliest I could schedule it. At no time did anyone call, or verify my time – though a couple automated emails came to me suggesting I register online. I did, but was unable to do much more than register with them, and try to make sure everything was good to go. I followed whatever directions were provided – I had my account set-up a few minutes after I signed-up.

It turns out, they had not ever requested to move my office phone number from AT&T – even though they added it to my bill as a service, and it was a part of my original order. There was never a chance for me to do it – it was something that an Xfinity rep would have to request from AT&T. To my understanding, AT&T would then verify with me it is legit, and we’re solid – yet no one has ever asked me to verify anything.

I did not notice the lack of active service when the installer was here, because we were busy checking everything else – I simply did not lift the phone to hear the dial tone before he left. I noticed it about 10 minutes after he was gone, but too late to get him back…I saw the phone’s power light indicating service and figured it was cool. Yet when I called my office number to test, there was no ring, and it went straight to voicemail – I knew there was a problem and figured it simply had not fully ported over yet.

Xfinity sucksSo I went online – and tried to connect to Xfinity’s support. I wanted to call and talk to someone and learn my status, but there is no phone number listed on the website (at least not anywhere easy enough to find) – they obviously did not want me to call.

Instead, they wanted me to use their automated troubleshooter…so I did. I will put aside the fact that there were tech glitches again all over the place – but something like the exchange I screen-captured were happening often. Click that image to the right to see how fun it is to talk to ONLY robots. Loop after loop, glitching all the way.

It really all just served to give me more evidence to what I had thought from the start, in that my number had not EVER been requested to transfer over. The installer clearly knew his stuff, so from a hardware and setup perspective, things were fine and functioning. I knew this before I called, but took the steps and verified it again before trying to get an actual living, breathing agent to help.

And then it got REALLY bad.

Offshore and Out of Touch

Like so many (stupid) big corporations, these guys are using foreign support agents. The reason is purely financial – you can pay someone in India or the Philippines considerably less than someone in America doing the same work. Service is quite often a little less than stellar, but shareholders get fat, and overhead stays lean.

OK – I get it…I have actually set up and worked with many international call centers in my own professional history. It can save you tons, and depending on your services, can work just fine. I’ve worked with great folks all over the world that way.

Not so, with my Xfinity experiences this week.

I have actually lost count of how many times now, in the past 48-72 hours, I have tried to get an agent – either in online chat or on my cellphone – to look into my account, and find out my status. It has been near constant though – multiple agents, multiple calls – and every single one, just as futile as could be.

My office line remains inactive – despite the fact I need it to work. I have live advertising using it.

I also have spent the last couple days CONSTANTLY trying to get this understood and turned around – and I got nothing but bullshit. I do not blame most of the poor, foreign agents here – -their inexperience is most likely bad training and poor upper management. Shit rolls downhill.

But the support folks all also had an ulterior motive driving them on every interaction we shared: they wanted me to hang-up happy, so I would give them a 9 or 10 rating for their service. That’s all they wanted, really.

Blame the Cause of the Problem

The agents in whatever country Xfinity is mining them from, cared ONLY that I gave them a 9 or a 10 rating…anything else, gets them in trouble. My problem was NEVER fixed – yet I was told multiple times, it was. Why? So I would leave a solid rating – their jobs were dependent on it. Poor and super scared folks, just trying to eke out a crappy living somewhere.

Sometimes, I think the people I spoke with simply didn’t understand me, but sometimes, they were intentionally gladhanding and lying to me, and telling me what I wanted to hear so I would give them a high rating…it is the only possible explanation. I actually had 2 of the agents tell me that a 9 or a 10 was all that mattered – anything else would hurt or make them lose their job. It was pressure on me to put in a review – how it turned out for me, in reality, did not matter much at all.

To be very clear though, I am not blaming the poor, third-world help desk folks that knew nothing about the work they were doing, or about learning English as a second language – that is actually an awesome accomplishment. It’s not them, really – they are only as strong as their scripted responses. They are fighting for footing in a global economy, and are doing what they can – it is not their fault they are undertrained, under par, and less than ideal for some support roles. 

I totally blame Xfinity – they made all the bad decisions to get us here.

  1. They tried to automate everything they could, but their automated systems are highly fallible. I get the idea, but the fact that there is only ONE way to go thru support, means I have to struggle with this stupid crap every time I reached out to them. That is, until a callback message gave me the toll free number – then I only called…and got hung up on directly, every time when I called them. Still got nowhere, but felt like the phone help was stronger than the chat stuff.
  2. They hide any domestic or direct contact information, so you HAVE to use their less than ideal systems until you connect with their untrained overseas support staff. Because the staff does not speak native English, they may or may not understand your request – it was about 70/30 for me, in the “not getting it” pile, and I likely dealt with a dozen or more folks. The lack of English skills will compound your issue – I spent a LONG time with nothing happening on most chats, only to be told (a scripted) “Sorry for the long time – it is not usual.” Here’s the truth: it is very usual, and in fact, predictable. The chat people in particular, will try to make you happy for a rating – – I had them lying to me, and telling me everything would be fine in 2-3 hours. They would likely be fine to trace a mechanical issue, but on my more technical, account related issue, it was futile.
  3. When finally on the phone, I was also met with people who did not speak English as a first language – though they were definitely better in comprehension than the chat teams. Still, I was put on hold repeatedly, answered with the same scripted responses and ultimately was disconnected multiple times – all to no one ever calling me back, and my issue STILL NEVER GETTING RESOLVED. It was very hard for many of them to understand it, though it seems common enough. I got the definite feeling they did not want to help me because it was too hard to understand – it was easier for them to “lose” me on-hold in the system…or else Xfinity needs to train their phone operators how to put someone on hold, and what to do next if it disconnects. That no one from support EVER called to follow-up after they lost me, is even worse – I was talking to people for more than 10 minutes at a time who had all of my contact information in front of them, and knew I was upset and needing specific help. They’d put me on hold, and after a while, I would be back where I started being asked account info all over again by someone else – it was crazy. They never reached out to make sure I was OK – not once. Instead, I had multiple people lie, and tell me that it was all OK now – just wait 2-3 hours. Multiple people! Instead, it’s been almost 3 full days now, and from what I understand it will be another 4 before anything happens, but they told me all is well, over and over again – these people TOTALLY SUCK!!!!
  4. The only thing they reacted to at all, was me putting in a review one time, and making it a Zero. I was super pissed-off after spending so many useless hours only to be told nothing – so I reacted with a Zero of Ten rating on one of my many chats (I skipped it more often than not). This, got me the only call from anyone representing Xfinity in the United States – but they simply had to follow-up on why I was angry. I shared some anger with them, but it was very clear, they were not there to fix anything – they were note takers. Xfinity seems to want to be able to say: “Look – we followed-up for you…see? We called to learn more…” but it is super hollow and disingenuous when every step of the customer service experience has been so terrible, and I can’t get anyone to actually rectify my issue. And the woman calling and collecting my thoughts was not there to fix anything – which only made me angrier at the whole thing. If they can get someone in the States to call me because I might possibly flame them on social media, why can’t someone call me about ensuring my new service is solid? Terrible new customer experience.

The stupid thing (in all the many stupid things encountered with Xfinity so far), is that I probably would be pretty happy with the products if it weren’t for this. But the office phone number has been active for over 20 years – this is the only time it has ever been out of commission. That I can do nothing about it, and it is not my fault is infuriating.

Add to that fact, that I can’t discontinue my AT&T service until the phone number moves – if I do anything  now, I risk losing the one thing I said I needed to retain here. Which makes me mad all over again: why didn’t anyone, EVER, tell me what was going to happen with my phone line? 

How AT&T Compared to Xfinity Customer Service

I called AT&T, and got thru immediately to someone in the US who knew what I was facing, and got some solid answers right away – it was night and day, to what happened and continues to happen to me with Xfinity. The AT&T lady was super nice, and tried to get me to stay – I said no, but am regretting some of that for sure.

She was able to immediately understand my concerns, and we discussed what would happen in a number of different scenarios – she was NOT reading from a script of pre-written answers. Wow – what a concept…she could actually troubleshoot well, because she was in support.

AT&T had fine customer service any and likely every time I ever dealt with them…but in the end they also had inferior products, and super slow internet in my area. I need to switch – I need better stuff.

Xfinity said I was getting a 1000 MB connection, so I excitedly hooked it directly into the modem to maximize the speeds – and speed tests are still averaging only about 400 MBs, and often considerably less. Disappointing, for sure.  However, it is still miles above what AT&T could get me at their best, so I will be happy with that in time. I already appreciate the speed online.

The TV stuff seems pretty solid, except that I have had to reset the box a couple times – hope that is not normal. It went down this morning and has not come back – that was not something that happened at AT&T.

As for my office phone line, it is still silent, and I have no idea when it will be properly moved, as it should have been to start this whole process. It has made me hate my new service provider, because no one cares…they only want my monthly fees, and solid rating on some nothing survey, so no one in some distant land ever gets written-up or fired. 

No one at Xfinity cares that they have cost me multiple days of personal and professional time, and I will still have to lose multiple more to sort out their sloppiness. They don’t care that I have to pay extra to run 2 services until it all sifts out, because they suck at their jobs. No one at Xfinity cares that my business line is still down – and no one has followed-up to figure out when it will be reactivated. No one has followed-up with anything.

In every single instance except my installation, Xfinity customer service has been among the WORST I have ever experienced. They care about the impression of customer service- not in actually doing it.

Their lean toward automation is understandable, but should be augmented with people if systems are shaky – yet the complete omission of any publicly displayed support phone lines makes it pretty clear, they don’t want you to call.

Xfinity wants to suggest you have ample domestic support help in waiting – but in reality, it is a bunch of algorithms and then a bunch of overseas folks who are scared to death they are going to get fired if you give them less than a 9 rating. They will protect their social media presence, so that is my current approach to seek help…we shall see.

In my own case, it has already cost me a bunch of money, time, extreme aggravation, and it took down my 20-year phone line at a crucial time for my business to be reachable. Ironically, as I write this, my TV service also went down for no apparent reason. Lord only knows when and how this will all end…Xfinity surely doesn’t care, while I surely do.

Xfinity Customer Service Sucks.

If you have a similar horror show, put it in the comments – don’t worry that mine here rambles on so long, yours certainly doesn’t have to…but venting feels good sometimes. Especially when every effort to reach someone who cares at Xfinity is met with the same, automated or script-read “let-me-pretend-you-matter” approach.