I’m a relatively-happy Comcast customer. When the service works, it works well enough. It’s not amazing, and I certainly would define “comcastic” differently than they do.
I have a couple of their DVRs in my home, and I use them regularly enough. I would certainly use them more if the interface wasn’t so god-dammned awful, mind you – but at least I can get to Premium and HD content in a few clicks.
When I first heard that they had released an Xfinity remote control app for iOS devices (iPad, iPhone, iPod touch), I was beside myself with elation. Finally, I could use an elegant UI to navigate and control my programming options! Kinda.
Turns out, I needed to upgrade my DVRs to experience this new level of comcasticness. While I would never expect them to offer replacement boxes up front, I (seriously) expected to log into my account via the app and be offered to upgrade from there.
Did that happen? HARDLY.
No, instead, I had to re-confirm that I didn’t have the right DVRs from their Web site. “MyTV DVR Manager is available in your area. However, we are unable to detect a compatible DVR in your household. Please refer to the FAQ or contact us at 1-800-COMCAST for assistance.” They didn’t offer to upgrade me there, either – and I wasn’t about to jump into a freakin’ phone call.
I jump around every page on their site looking for a way to upgrade my DVR – only, that page doesn’t exist. If it does, they don’t throw it in your face when, say, you’re confirming that you don’t have the DVR that you are obviously trying to use!
Finally (don’t ask me how), I found my way into an online chat session – after filling out the exact same information they already had on record from my logged-in account. This was starting to get overly tedious.
I jump to another page, then back to the chat page – only to find it completely wiped out (and an error message in the status bar). I had to start the chat session all over again, after filling out the redundant form (once more). Then, after waiting a few minutes and finally getting connected to a rep, I accidentally clicked over to a new tab and… wiped out the session again.
Third time’s the charm? Yeah, despite being on a pretty good computer, I forced myself from multitasking until the chat was finished. I was a bit miffed by then, but at least the representative was armed with knowledge and quite kind in his / her demeanor. Which brings me to my point(s):
The reason why these large companies have customer service issues isn’t necessarily because their CSRs are bad, but their software and customer experience IS. I should NEVER have interfaced with a rep to get this done; Comcast had several opportunities to provide a targeted upgrade opportunity, whether on the iOS devices or through the “DVR Manager” page.
Long story short: if you want to upgrade your Comcast DVR, you’re better off just connecting directly with someone in online chat (if it works for you). Don’t expect Comcast to deliver a new DVR to you unless you ask for it, specifically. It shouldn’t cost you anything to do, since you’re renting the DVR equipment from them in the first place. They actually should offer to either: (a) send the replacement to you, with a return kit for the old boxes; or (b) point you to a local office to facilitate the exchange in-person.