No, Comcast Doesn’t Want You to Cancel Service

Yes, the Comcast rep will pressure you to stay on.

Comcast has apologized for last month’s embarrassing incident in which a company customer-service rep turned to high-pressure sales tactics to try to keep a customer from canceling service; execs later acknowledged the rep was doing more or less what he’d been trained to do.

The Verge offers more confirmation of that unavoidable hypothesis today by unveiling Comcast’s 20-page guidelines for “retention specialists.” The lessons learned?

It’s pretty standard call center stuff, but Comcast throws in some of its own tactics. If a customer is calling to cancel cable because they only watch Netflix, the rep is directed to push an internet speed upgrade. If a customer who says they’re moving declines to provide a new address, Comcast warns the rep to “ask probing questions” because the customer “may instead be planning a move to a competitor.” If a customer wants to check with their roommates before agreeing to a sale, the rep is supposed to communicate urgency by reminding the customer how tough it is to get an installation appointment.

Comcast has stock responses for every reason customers might want to cancel: bill too expensive, competitive offer, promotion expiring, don’t use the service, technical or customer service issue, move, rate increase, or extended vacation. “What do you value the most about your current services? You mentioned you had a wife and children. How do they enjoy _____ (per RGU)?”

The Verge also has a set of lines that might get the Comcast rep to back off — but they basically involve promising to move to Iceland.