Cultivating Positive Relationships Customer Service Kudon'ts Kudos

Comcast customer service fails to follow through

Over-promising and under-delivering takes many forms, as a Comcast customer service snafu detailed by’s Chris Matyszczyk shows. A log-in failure on HBO Max, part of a Comcast plan, led him to Comcast customer service to solve the problem. Ultimately, the problem was resolved…by HBO Max, not Comcast. addresses how customer service can and should be connected throughout the company: “Make every customer interaction matter by connecting all your business data across advertising, marketing, sales, commerce and service. Oracle…offers a connected suite of applications that goes beyond traditional CRM to help you create, manage, service, and nurture lasting customer relationships. Build a complete view of your customer and their every interaction—no matter how, when, where, or with whom they engage.”

A cursory review of Oracle customer service ratings shows generally favorable results, while Comcast came out lacking. The following saga spotlights part of the reason for generally unfavorable Comcast’s reviews.

Matyszczyk’s article notes: “Comcast and customer service occasionally have the same word association as White Castle and fine dining.” He explains that he gets HBO Max as part of a Comcast plan. After getting engaged with a new program, the app wouldn’t allow a log-in to watch further. “It claimed it couldn’t verify our Xfinity subscription…Comcast has a Twitter Direct Message service called, winningly, Comcast Cares. So there I went to explain my predicament.”

Matyszczyk relates that a Comcast rep said they would have to open a ticket and to expect contact from “the fantastic and advanced repair team.” The call came from an unknown number, so Matyszczyk didn’t answer. When the Comcast rep followed up, Matyszczyk explained that he doesn’t answer unknown numbers. The rep concurred about not answering them, either. The article continues, “You don’t? You’re admitting your calls, coming from an unknown number, aren’t worth answering? It was, in its way, a lovely human confession. Sadly, things drifted in a troubling direction. The rep offered: ‘I wouldn’t be able to guarantee that the technician will call back.’”

The article further explains that Matyszczyk ultimately contacted HBO Max. After no initial troubleshooting luck, the HBO rep suggested a different browser to log in on—which solved the problem.

And it would have ended the story, except that the Comcast rep reached out again, saying they showed the ticket as resolved as of Sunday morning. Matyszczyk notes, “Which was a little odd, as I’d only contacted HBO Max on Monday night. Comcast was offering a blatant falsehood. The personal touch was lovely, but the factual nonsense was troubling.”

While a pleasant customer service demeanor is vitally important, it must be accompanied by complete and competent support follow-through to merit positive consideration. Otherwise, it winds up feeling like a clear case of over-promising and under-delivering.


Promises and performance are chief spotlights of customer service. Companies that over-promise and under-deliver increasingly are finding their reputations, and consequently their revenues, jeopardized. Conversely, companies that go the extra mile to meet or even exceed their promises are retaining existing customers while attracting new ones—often in droves. As the spotlight on enlightened customer service intensifies, buyers are gravitating ever-more-quickly toward companies that make their promises match performance.

Mark Lusky

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Mark Lusky

Mark Lusky (aka The Happy Curmudgeon)
is the owner of a Denver-based marketing communications firm. He’s a veteran writer, storyteller and author, with 40+ years of public relations, advertising, marketing and journalism experience, and author of A Wandering Wondering Jew… and co-author of Don’t Get Mad, Get Leverage.

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