My short bio: Worked four of those years in tech support for Internet and phone service, then another six months after the call center transitioned into a Billing center. Was requested enough to do an AMA here, so here I am.

My Proof: Here

Comments: 421 • Responses: 63  • Date: 

sean15181 karma

I read your story in ask reddit, and all I have to say is holy shit.

Have you considered testifying in front of congress?

frankles95 karma

Yep. I would if asked. Maybe I should contact Al Franken.

ftc087 karma

If you're Minnesotan give em both a try.

If you're not Minnesotan there's a high chance your letter goes straight in the trash. It's a huge taboo in congress to deal with another member's constituents.

frankles12 karma

Funny enough, I'd submitted something earlier this week notifying my Senators about Net Neutrality, and got this about the same time this was posted. Good times.

skinsfan5576 karma

I'm surprised this was heavily requested. I was a Comcast Loyalty rep for about as long. What a shitty company to work for. I was written up for excessive bathroom usage. Anything excessive of course being outside of your scheduled break and lunch.

In addition, during the Waldo Canyon fire in Colorado Springs the call center filled with smoke, and it was demanded we keep working. There was a mandatory evacuation for our area and it was still an hour an a half before people were allowed to go home without reprisal. I had left two hours beforehand, burning vacation time in the process.

Also, while many of my co-workers dealt with burned and ask damaged homes they were required to be bussed to a sister call center in Denver and continue working in an unfamiliar environment, away from their families who were trying to piece their lives back together.

Working for Comcast was both the highest paying and worst job I've ever had.

frankles35 karma

They really do some messed up shit.

Yeah, so it's July 4th and I'm washing dishes before work. My roommate didn't tell me that he'd broken the spout on our (glass, for those of you that don't know) french press by tapping it out into the toilet. Instead of throwing it away, he tossed it into the kitchen sink, in the dishwater. And again, didn't tell me. I pick up the glass piece and run my hand around the rim with the sponge, leading the way with the webbing between my thumb and forefinger. Yup, sliced the living shit out of it. Kitchen sink turned red, I got really woozy and my girlfriend drove me to the emergency room.

A few hours and many stitches later, I'm all set to go and the nurse asks about my plans for the day. I tell her I have to go to work, she asks what I do and I tell her I provide tech support. She tells me explicitly that I am not to work on a computer for so many days, then gives me a note saying so to bring to my work.

I call in and tell the powers that be what happened, trip to e-room, etc. They note it and that's that.

Payday rolls around and it's not a pretty picture. Turns out they docked my holiday pay because I didn't come in for work. Obviously didn't expect the time and a half that I would have gotten working that day, but I lost my holiday hours, too? Really? Then I look a little closer, and see there were 8 hours of vacation used this period. Because I missed my scheduled work time. I gave them the note, I appealed to my supervisor, then manager, then another level up, then to HR. Nobody would budge. That was that.

In a round-table discussion with our regional VP, he was making time with all of us plebs to hear our complaints and constructive feedback. I told him this story and he just flat out ignored it. It was like I didn't even say anything. Like that was too difficult of a problem to solve. He was clearly looking for low-hanging fruit and didn't like what he found.

skinsfan5525 karma

In a round-table discussion with our regional VP, he was making time with all of us plebs to hear our complaints and constructive feedback. I told him this story and he just flat out ignored it.

Yup. Same thing happened to us because of all the grumbling... We all figure, fuck it, let's dish. Things can't get worse. This round table all unloads on them. How we're being treated like units of production instead of people, how quality of work life is plummeting... nothing changed.

What was really funny was that every year they had a creedospeak survey. People would "anonymously" slam the company demanding better working conditions, better treatment, etc. etc.

A few months later we'd get an e-mail "Good news everyone! We reviewed your survey results and we're answering your requests. Starting next month we'll be providing ketchup and mustard packets in the break rooms and we're installing an ATM in the lobby!"

I guaran-damn-tee no one asked for condiments and an ATM. It was a fucking joke.

frankles17 karma

Starting next month we'll be providing ketchup and mustard packets in the break rooms and we're installing an ATM in the lobby!

That's the low-hanging fruit I recognize. Thanks, dickheads. I always complained because the only thing they awarded people with were candy bars, cake and soda. What the hell is wrong with you people? Don't you realize this is a sedentary job and half these people wheeze whenever they have to take the stairs DOWN for a fire drill? Do we really need more calories?

skinsfan553 karma

Yeah, bringing cookies to our desk and throwing free pizza at us doesn't do a lot to take the sting away.

frankles5 karma

Remember, you paid for everything with your soul, so nothing you got was free. Not the pizza, not the Internet, not the HBO.

TownIdiot2547 karma

Is there such thing as a "normal call volume"? Everytime I call they say it is "higher than normal call volume".

frankles58 karma

This is kind of like an ideal setting, where there would be enough reps to cover the volume of calls, provided all the calls are below a certain threshold and there haven't been any significant changes in channel line-ups, bi-annual bill increases, outages or full moons.

So never.

1moar43 karma

As a 14 year call center rep for the Death Star, can you describe the office politics, pay/benefits, culture and such? We're (at the rep level), also part of a union, does Comcast hire from CWA/IBEW?

I ask because when I started here in 2000, it was like they were still in the 50's. Locally, things have gotten a LOT better, but there's still room for improvement as always. A buddy of mine has worked for Comcast for a number of years also but I've never been able to have a pow-wow with him on this.

frankles69 karma

I may have to come back to this one to answer this fully, but let me touch on how Comcast handles unions.

Every once in a while, there would be reps at various call centers talking about forming a union, or joining an existing one. This kind of talk scared the living shit out of management. At our team meetings, an HR rep would show up and talk about how well we were treated, and how unions are only necessary when working conditions are really bad. And our working conditions were really good, what with the pay and the benefits and so many days off per year, etc.

Then they'd rag on unions, saying the few at the top take all the money and the everybody people like us don't really see any benefits, and here's a handout outlining how you should respond to somebody who approaches you about starting a union. Tell them no. They did not take questions at those meetings.

ronearc136 karma

In short, if your company has organized meetings trying to discourage you from forming a union...then you should form a fucking union.

frankles51 karma


Znuff8 karma

You worked at Death Star? How was your boss, Mr Darth Vader?

pixter18 karma

i thought Jeff Vader ran the death star... if I'm wrong you can kill me with a tray.

Deson6 karma

Well, I know that Chad Vader is a day shift manager at a grocery store.

frankles7 karma

I met Mike Nelson a while ago at my job before Comcast, got to thank him for MST3K and noted I'd seen Chad Vader on Riff Trax and found it funny. He was much more excited that I'd seen Chad Vader than his previous, more prominent show.

rant__casey35 karma

How often did you have to lie to customers about their service/speed whatever?

frankles62 karma

I didn't have to outright lie about speed very much. Most of the problems people called in for were with wireless connectivity, which we did not support.

It's a shady, shady game, though. We'd just have them plug the modem direct into their computer and test it. That way, it would have just gotten a reboot and any line condition issues wouldn't have enough time to start affecting the service. I'd ask people to keep it plugged in to the modem for a day to test it because I knew they wouldn't be able to keep it plugged in. The modem always connected and always resulted in speeds above what they were paying for.

strallweat32 karma

When you rub your nipples, do you use lotion, or petroleum jelly?

frankles30 karma

I don't have a lot of feeling in my nipples, so I don't feel much pleasure in rubbing them.

That being said, I imagine I'd probably just use the same silicon lube I use for...other purposes.

strallweat22 karma

Well you don't work for Comcast anymore, so you don't fuck as many people in the ass as before.

frankles19 karma

Nor do I take it in the ass nearly as much as I used to. So it works out.

Barbara_Booey3 karma

strallweat's dad misses you

frankles5 karma

I'm sure he's fine. I'm sure there was somebody in my chair before it ever got warm.

wilsonthewhitepic31 karma

I have been on the line for 20 minutes and you haven't answer my question.

My question is, when are you going to take my call?

No, seriously, thank your for doing IAMA and fuck comcast.

frankles41 karma

Please hold. Angry Birds: Star Wars just got an update and I'm working my way through the new levels.

idreaminmeme10 karma

Gotta do cwazy cupcakes, too.

frankles4 karma

Simpsons: Tapped Out, anything by NimbleBit, Fruit Ninja...

idreaminmeme3 karma

Sudoku? Flappy birds?

frankles3 karma

Yes, and crosswords. No Flappy Birds. Haven't worked there in over a year now.

hillbillygoat30 karma

What is the easiest way to get what i want when calling in?

frankles48 karma

Don't expect it to be easy. It also depends on what you're calling in for. If you don't want to upgrade or add a line of business, tell them that explicitly at the beginning of the call.

Don't yell or swear. If you do, the resistance will be much, much higher and you probably won't get what you want. You will get a longer call, longer hold times and complacency.

caboose1137 karma

You say that like comcast reps are people and not directly responsible for my problems, thereby deserving of my ire.

frankles26 karma

It's like that, but not like that.

Eternally6521 karma

When I look at my Comcast bill, what's the place they are most likely trying to screw me? What areas or services, and is there any way to tell?

frankles34 karma

You have to write the promotions down when you first arrange for them, then set calendar reminders a month before they expire. Your bill will not include the timelines for your promotions. The promotions will start and stop mid-cycle, so the charges may only go up 3.49 on one bill, but then a full 14.99 on the next.

Also, this is my favorite curveball to throw at them: The taxes and fees are never itemized, and the pro-rates for the taxes and fees calculations are never printed. This is the highest potential for shady charges because it can't be scrutinized. You can't verify their math. So if you change your services three times in a month, all those charges and credits are hidden. You only see one number per tax or fee, not three each totaling to a fourth total tax/fee column. Ask them to break the fees down. Nobody can do it.

Eternally6518 karma

How did you respond when someone asked you to break the taxes or fees down?

frankles16 karma

Nobody did, thankfully. Some people pushed about it a little bit, and I'd just tell them those fees are all calculated automatically, subject to change from day to day, etc.

skinsfan5519 karma

Not OP, but longtime Comcaster. The biggest ripoff is in equipment. Charging someone $7 a month for a modem is highway robbery. The modem I bought is WAY better than the model Comcast used in my area and it cost $60. Basically, you pay for the equipment in less than a year but you're still leasing it from the company.

With internet equipment, it's simple to buy your own, but with DVR's and HD boxes it's another story. Those are not commercially available. You have no choice. So for an HD box to receive HD programming on your TV it's $120 a year. You'll probably have the same box for the lifetime of your service so... you get hosed pretty badly.

frankles9 karma

You can buy a Tivo in a lot of markets, but you'll still wind up paying for the second cable card. Saving the $19/month adds up quick.

CannotBurp17 karma

Did most other billing center employee's follow your managers "encouragement"?

frankles24 karma

You know, I was convinced that her role was to weed out the people they didn't want working there any more, but couldn't find a reason to fire.

Two of my favorite coworkers quit within a couple months of being on her team because she'd pick one person to rag on, and rag on and rag on until they went away. They'd just up and "fuck it" one day after hearing too much of her shit.

That being said, there were quite a few decent people in management roles as well.

gunslinger_00612 karma

I don't know if you have ever seen the movie Wanted, but I can only imagine the woman you are talking about as this lady:

frankles7 karma

Nailed it.

ben564716 karma

What was the most difficult customer situation that you had to deal with and why?

frankles64 karma

I worked one Christmas, and received a call from a woman with Internet connectivity problems. For whatever reason, her modem had taken a crap and wouldn't lock on to the signal. Her neighborhood was fine, her apartment building was fine, and she only had a single coax jack.

She was upset because she was trying to get onto eHarmony to find a date for the night. She admitted that she was lonely and everybody she knew was out of town, and just wanted somebody to talk to. I knew exactly where the conversation was going, but I let it run its course. She kept asking if there was anybody in the neighborhood, if there was anything else we could try or test and did not want to let me off the phone.

Eventually, she asked what I was doing later that day, and if I'd like to keep her company on the lonely holiday. I tried to let her down easy, and she took it pretty well, but was still audibly let down. I don't know why, but that one hit me pretty hard, imagining this woman sitting alone in her apartment with nobody to call and nothing to do.

Not my most difficult, necessarily, but definitely one of the most memorable.

gunslinger_00622 karma

Jesus...that is terrible.

frankles14 karma

Yeah. I felt like I should help her out, but what the hell was I supposed to do?

EineBeBoP37 karma

Sell her a Triple Play bundle?


frankles6 karma


xerolimitsx12 karma

Having worked in call centers, there are many signs that things are going downhill very fast. Did you see any red flags, and why did you stay?

frankles27 karma

When you go through a day and you don't have a single interaction without a canned response. When autopilot stays on for the full eight or ten hours, that means something is very wrong.

I stayed because it was impossible to find another job, and I was trying to go to school so I could get a better job. Comcast reimbursed you for school expenses, up to $3500 but my schedule changed every 6 months so I couldn't be sure if I was ever going to be able to finish a class when I started. Also had to work a year after being reimbursed otherwise you have to pay that sum back.

mikecandigit12 karma

Do you currently have comcast? are there perks to working for them (free cable/internet)?

frankles19 karma

I still begrudgingly subscribe to their Internet service. And yes, they have great benefits, including complimentary services.

Internet was free. Started out at 6/1 Mbps, by the time I left I was getting 50/10 Mbps for free.

Got all the channels in the Digital Premium tier for free, which included all regular channels plus all the premiums (Cinemax, Showtime, HBO, Starz, the Movie Channel (I think?)) which was normally about $129/mo if you paid for it.

Phone service was $14.99/mo if you wanted it.

AbominableFrost10 karma

Are you getting free services for free even after you left.

frankles26 karma

Nope. I pay for service now. I had free service for the month after I left, but that was it.

I did work the, "I'd like to disconnect my service because it's too expensive" angle, though, so I'm not paying full price.

mikecandigit3 karma

daaaaaaaaaamn that would be sweet. Did you still have regular plebian comcast problems as well? like did they ever fuck you over while you were in their employ?

Also, what do you do now and ow does it compare?

frankles3 karma

I never had an issue beyond the first month when I was missing a single channel. Tech was out next day, then everything worked great.

Still have them for Internet, because there's not a viable option that is much cheaper and definitely not nearly fast enough.

Stoooooooo8 karma

There is a perception that the call centers are told to do some sneaky/underhanded things when talking to customers. Is this true? If so, can you elaborate?

skinsfan5513 karma

I'm not the OP but I worked for Comcast for just as long. As a loyalty rep, we were required to ask personal questions of people who called to cancel. Like, how many people live in your home? What kind of programming do you and your family enjoy? It all felt a little nosy and rubbed a lot of people the wrong way.

frankles18 karma

Right. "Oh, I hear you have kids playing in the background. What kind of programs do you enjoy watching with them?"

Stuff like that felt incredibly invasive.

skinsfan5510 karma

Yup. I felt dirty asking stuff like that... and the higher ups would act like that was just good business. Creeping on people and asking them personal questions isn't good sales technique IMO.

frankles9 karma

I ran into nothing but problems whenever I tried to use that line on browsing habits.

"What? That's none of your goddamned business!" (click)

meowhahaha8 karma

One of my relatives works at a BIG NAME AUTOMAKER call center. He has to go in to work early and read up on new postings of recalls, news items customers may call in about etc. He doesn't get paid for that time.

As soon as he clocks in, he has to start taking calls. If he doesn't have the new info, he is penalized. But they don't actually pay him for the time it takes to learn it.

frankles8 karma

That cannot be legal. We were told we could not come in even a few minutes early to boot up our computers so it would be ready to go when we logged in, because we could hold them liable for not paying us for that time. Different company, but as long as you're in the same country that shouldn't be allowed.

Egzo7 karma

Were you actively trained to avoid fixing or dodge any kind of particular problem/complaint?

frankles14 karma

When I was working in technical support, absolutely. I blamed the wireless connection most. My mantra was "Bypass the Router." It worked most of the time, and got most people off the phone more quickly.

However, if the diagnostics software showed a bad signal or intermittent connection, then I was directed to deal with that. I didn't try to blame that on the router or the material in their walls blocking the wireless signal. Then I had them bypass splitters, try different jacks, etc. When we could see it was a signal issue or our equipment, we were to fix our side of it.

UltraSPARC2 karma

Ugh... Just dealt with this BS with Comcast business. We had intermittent connectivity outages and they tried to blame our Cisco PIX (those things NEVER fail). After swapping out two 506e's (SMB grade) and finally using a 515e (enterprise grade) they finally sent someone out to fix the problem. Fucking worst.

frankles7 karma

I would like to apologize to people like you, who I sold business referrals to because they told us about how reliable the service was. Not only do you have to deal with crappy service, but you are also under an immense threat of early termination fees on your contract. Yikes.

Arsestolemyname6 karma

Would you say that working tech support increases coffee or alcohol consumption more?

frankles10 karma

Um, yes. All substance intake and abuse increased exponentially the longer I worked there.

anakusis3 karma

Call centers are filled with all sorts of pills. You have a lot of people with excellent health and prescription insurance all doped up the best walgreens has to offer. Say you have a headache and an older lady will throw percocet at you. Say you stressed and someone sneak you a xanax. Misery and damn near free drugs are best friends.

frankles5 karma

Yeah, there were quite a few painkillers and Adderall as well

InsaneSniper5 karma

In the most recent years as things turned for the worse, what was the ratio of horrible money-grubbing managers like in your story to decent managers that cared about the customer?

frankles4 karma

Most cared quite a bit, and wanted to do right by the customer as much as they could. Some of them should not have been in management roles.

I had some supervisors who I respected very much, who would go above and beyond in assisting people to make sure they got what they were promised. However, as time went on, I did see less and less of this.

shadowatmidnight1045 karma

Always wondered - are they always so up front about their tactics, or do they like to sugar-coat them sometimes? I worked for Verizon for a while, and while they sometimes screwed people over, it was always portrayed to the employees as being the best or staying ahead of competition. We could look hard enough to see through some of the crap, but most of it seemed like good business until after the fact. Did this happen at Comcast or were they always telling you to hit that extra sale and push customers like your manager did?

Also, props on sticking it to them and getting out there! Hope you found a much better job and are now enjoying employment at a less sucky company.

frankles2 karma

Yeah, a good example of this was "Signature Support." It was promoted to us as a solution to wireless connectivity issues and equipment problems outside of demarc. They tried to make it seem like this was the best thing in the world, and in so-and-so test region people were selling it on every call, the line was manned by IT Angels and everybody gets as many cookies as they can eat. We knew better, but we had to push it on people anyway.

TruckerTimmah5 karma

I worked for Comcast as a CAE III in Billing/Video Repair for just over a year, and I cleared almost 76,000 that year pre-tax. I bought a 2009 BMW. I was doing very well. Then, my call center went downhill.

They "restructured" commissions and made it a points system, where it was $1.00 per point. I saw my commissions drop drastically even though I was pushing products harder than I ever was. I kept getting bitched at that I wasn't meeting quota. I asked for a sale ON EVERY SINGLE FUCKING CALL. Even the irate ones - I was able to address their issues fully and satisfy them, they would buy something from me because they were so happy they "Finally got someone who knows what they were doing"

THEN for some reason I got moved to a different skillset, because my AHT was too high. I stopped even coming close to meeting quota, I was in the video only queue, and I had too many T/Cs.

I kept applying for different jobs within Comcast - ComTech, Converter Control, etc. I just wanted out of the call center. They "red flagged" me because I was applying for too many jobs and they thought I was an unstable employee. I just stopped showing up to work after that....

I miss that money though....

The upside of having worked there is I know my corp's rate codes by heart. If something isn't working I can tell the rep exactly what needs to be done and get off the phone that much quicker.

frankles6 karma

Those are very handy codes to have. I spoke with one guy who used to work for Scientific Atlanta, who sent me remote codes so I could program the remote to control so much more than just a TV or a receiver.

I also applied for a lot of different positions. Was about to get hired in a much higher position, away from the phones, things were looking up and I was 6 minutes late one day, pushing me over an arbitrary limit and disqualifying me for job transfer for 6 months. I was furious. This was very near the end.

Threeedaaawwwg5 karma

how did you end up at the call center? were there any special requirements that had to be met before you could be hired?

frankles16 karma

You had to kill a puppy in front of it's mother.

There weren't a lot of tests or anything before getting hired. I got an interview because I knew somebody who worked there. I was almost exclusively self-taught in the tech world, so knowing somebody helped get past the resume/experience hurdle.

The interview was by far the strangest I've experienced so far and since. It was a mass interview, probably 40 or so applicants sitting in a room, and at the head were three people from Comcast. Then they called us up, one by one and asked three questions. I remember two of them, "Tell us about a time you went above and beyond to help a customer," and, "Why should we hire you?"

These were the wrong people to be putting in front of a room. These were quiet nerds applying for a job taking phone calls, not public speaking. Almost everybody had shaky knees, stuttered or said, "Umm" a lot. There were some really bad answers, which helped me out a lot. Once everybody got their chance to stand up front and be judged, the three panelists up and left without a word. After about ten minutes, they came back in and thanked us all for our time, then told us to hand over our resumes on our way out. "We'll call you."

They started calling people up, shook their hand and took their resumes until about ten or so people had left, then they shut the door, leaving us there to wonder what the fuck was going on. About fifteen minutes after that, they come back in and tell us we just made it to the next level of the interview process, like we'd won a prize on a gameshow.

Then came the tests, which they'd boasted were very good at "weeding people out" who couldn't handle the math of retail. It was 45 minutes of basic addition and subtraction. That's it. I had to wait 45 more minutes because there weren't enough computers. We were all given the option to come back later and take the tests if we didn't have time to wait. At this point it'd been about three hours. I later learned that anybody who didn't wait around was not called back.

A scant four hours later, I left, exhausted and confused. There was another, more traditional in-person interview followed by one more phone interview with a higher-up. Two months after I applied, I was hired.

I also learned that this process was only used for about six months and was basically a big HR experiment. Just weird.

danrennt984 karma

What percentage of your calls are normal/standard "how to" or "how can I find this" or "what is this"? And what percentage is pissed off people that their service got disconnected/is too expensive/can't figure out how to work the TV?

frankles16 karma

Most people are in completely over their heads when it comes to technology. People want the new devices with all the bells and whistles, but they don't understand how it works, even on the most basic level.

A great example is older/elderly people and HDTV's. These giant, high-def TV's are great for them because they can see the picture better and actually follow what's going on, but the remotes for these things are ridiculous and require a two week course to figure out how to operate them. The TV's buttons are all hidden as well, either behind the side or on the bottom of the display. They may as well be trying to fly the Enterprise.

Even with routers, people don't really get it. They think they can just plug things in and their computer will just figure it all out. Nevermind that you have to set up a network, configure it, then go to each of your devices and connect to it individually. You can't just bring it home, leave it in the box and have it magically make your house wireless. Yes, this happens fairly often.

Ssd3353 karma

Is it true that you guys rub your nipples when you rip someone off like that South Park episode?

frankles5 karma

Not at my level, but I'm sure the higher ups may have some kind of similar ritual.

SnipeyMcSnipe3 karma

My experience with customer service is that there's always that one common question that made you roll your eyes. What was that one question that you hated getting?

YouthInRevolt17 karma

"Well, what browser are you using?"

"The internet"

frankles21 karma

"Are you using a Windows computer or a Mac?"

"Laptop!" Face, meet palm. This is going to be a long call.

Derpmang4 karma

I worked in a call center for 4 years, asked that question ("What browser are you using?") many times, and the top two responses were: "I don't know" and "Yahoo"

Often times when they responded with "I don't know" they would some times follow it with "the one that came with the computer". Now, chances are it's Internet Explorer, but after all it was an iFruit phone call center so I would ask "are you on a PC or a Mac?" and the fuckers would respond with "I don't know" they would some times follow it with "whats the difference?" FUCK MY LIFE!

frankles5 karma

A lot of the time it came down to, "DO YOU CLICK ON THE BIG, BLUE E TO GET TO INTERNET?" Like speaking in cave-man to somebody very far away.

The other thing that always baffled me was our customers' lack of what I call "lateral movement" on the Internet. They would sit down at their computer, click the big blue E, page opens to, then they click email to check their email. Once they're done, they close IE, then click the big blue E again and read the news and weather on Then they close it and that's it. That's the extent of their Internet usage. The page had a Google search bar at the top, beckoning them to any other site in the world, but they were content to stay within the realm of Comcast, a la the early days of AOL and Prodigy.

skinsfan554 karma

One lady called in to complain because she had always used Yahoo internet and now when she logged on it was Dogpile Internet... She must have downloaded some crap that changed her homepage.

frankles2 karma

We'd also get panicked calls from elderly folks, demanding we change their Internet back to Comcast so they don't get billed by Google. Took me a bit to figure out the first time, but the only thing that had changed was their home page. They figured if it opened to Comcast, that meant they were using Comcast Internet. If it opened to Google, then they must be using Google Internet. Just really odd assumptions.

frankles15 karma

People asking about what caused an outage. People with no technical background, nor understanding, nor frame of reference.

I tried telling people the truth, tried getting overly technical, tried in layman's terms and it all seemed to only piss them off. Eventually I just settled on telling them that some drunk guy ran into one of our utility poles. That seemed to make people happy. It was something they could relate to, somebody they couldn't direct their ire at.

frankles4 karma

I will likely be coming back to this one for a couple weeks with new answers. One of my least favorite parts was all the people who demanded we hold their hands through everything. Whether it was installation, set up, troubleshooting or whatever. All the things they need, every step of the instructions are laid out in plain English before them. All they need to do is read and respond accordingly. But no, they insist on reading the entire page, they will talk over you if you try and interject, like you're seeing the page for the first time, too and they will not provide any of their own input. They demand you tell them what to do. So the one common question that always made me roll my eyes, without fail, because it was always asked about twenty times on the same call:

"It says click next to continue. Do I click next?"

There-is_No-spoon2 karma

Can someone explain to me why people still use Comcast services? I'm not from the US but it seems all everybody does is complain about how shitty they are, why do you keep going back?

frankles3 karma

The same reason people shop at Walmart and buy from other shady, shitty companies. It's money. People have their beliefs but aren't willing to pay a little more or sacrifice a little service to support a better company.

I still have Comcast and my phone provider is Verizon, so I'm right there with them. It's a tough habit to break.

neutrinoscoop2 karma

How can I get free stuff and/or discounted rates?

frankles6 karma

Get a job at Comcast and you'll get free Internet and TV service. Except that you have to sacrifice your soul.

As for discounts, just call every once in a while and say you're going to switch to another company because they're cheaper. Should work most of the time.

Superschutte2 karma

I just yelled at your ex-coworker. Bad. Y'all increased my bill by 20% and there are no other Internet providers available. If you get a friend crying to you, it might have been me. Just remind them, it's not them, it's Comcast.

frankles6 karma

No, it's you. Friend didn't increase your bill. It isn't friend's fault that there is no viable competition. It doesn't help if you yell at friend and it didn't do you any good to approach it that way.

elquenuncaduerme1 karma

4 and a half years!!!!!! really how or what is it that made you endure that much on such a stressful environment...? perks?

frankles1 karma

No idea. Pretty sure I'm a glutton for punishment.

hindukid1 karma

I hear all these bad things about comcast, why do people still stay with it? I understand that in some areas that they might be the only choice, but if everyone in that area quits comcast, that could give rise to a new company..

frankles2 karma

There are usually other options, but nothing really viable. I think there are more options coming to certain areas, but the larger teleco's seem to respect each other's boundaries because it's easier that way.

thenerdyglassesgirl1 karma

I use Charter as my ISP, and if I have to call tech support for anything, I usually try to make the tech support rep laugh somehow, because I figured the job must suck sometimes. Did you appreciate customers who did this, or are my efforts for naught to get them to chuckle?

frankles1 karma

Works most of the time, appreciated every time. It's a whole lot better than the people who decided to yell and curse as loud as they can to try and get what they want.

yo65pwner1 karma

As a rep did you hate the customers as much as they hated you?

frankles1 karma

Not as a rule, no. There were quite a few people I liked talking to.

One guy, after I helped fixed his Internet connection, thanked me profusely for fixing his "porn box." There were a lot of understanding, decent people I spoke with.

warinthestars1 karma

I had something strange happen to me once with my Comcast internet. One day I get up and go to get online, but all of my devices are showing the new modem self activation page. Long story short, Someone at Comcast deactivated my account for no reason. The person who tooky call was great though, there were no notes or anything attached to my account, and of course he left early that day.

frankles1 karma

You may have been on his "list." Most of mine were ones I could remember by heart, and were part of my "exit strategy." You know, the plan you fantasize about implementing so you get fired, but get to go down fighting and have stories told about you after you're gone. I did not get to realize this dream, as the night before my planned last day I built a fire and drank copious amounts of Fireball, then slept through both my alarms. So it goes.

What I'm saying is, you may have pissed somebody off. (or somebody was just dumb)

neuropathica1 karma

With Internet Support -- the common fault as I read in the comments is usually related to the persons wireless router, which as you said you don't give support for, and neither does my ISP.

Is there a push in the industry to make modems and routers one device to give to customers?

frankles2 karma

Yes. It's called a Gateway, and that's what Comcast is pushing out to a lot of people. One of the main weaknesses of the device is that it's expensive, and if one part of it stops working, say the wireless part or the modem part, you have to replace the whole thing.

Something I'm REALLY surprised people aren't making a bigger stink out of is that on all of the newer Gateways (appx starting at the end of 2012) they broadcast two networks. One is hidden and the other is your home network. Eventually, the plan is to activate all the dormant secondary networks to form a mesh network for their mobile wireless product, Xfinity Wifi. So your gateway will be used by people outside your house and without your knowledge. This might be the most fucked up move in recent memory.

lula2488-10 karma

Hello frankles! Your post has been removed because you have not provided adequate proof within a reasonable amount of time. Please see the /r/IAmA sidebar for posting guidelines. Thank you!

frankles2 karma

emailed a photo to the mods. did you not receive that?

lula24881 karma

No, can you resend it or upload it to and send it to modmail, thanks.

frankles2 karma

that's done.