While I was flipping around the channels on Friday evening, I noticed that among all of the new high definition channels that Comcast has made available to me, I didn’t see a FOX News HD station. I thought that was weird because I know that Cablevision and the satellite television companies offer the channel so for it not to be available on Comcast – something must have been up.
I logged online to access their e-mail support (because there’s no way that I was going to sit on hold to call someone to ask about the channel). After having to enter every single bit of information that they could possibly ask me outside of my social security number, I submitted the following question to Comcast:
When are we going to get the FOX News Channel in High Definition? All of the satellite companies, FiOS, and Cablevision offer it in this area – when are we getting it on Comcast?
Short, sweet, and to the point – you know? Comcast generally gets back to their customers within 24 hours – this is the response that I received (name changed to protect the helpless):
Thank you for contacting Comcast.
I understand you would like further information regarding the addition
of Fox News HD to your Comcast channel lineup.
Our goal is to provide a wide choice of quality cable networks and local
broadcast channels reflecting the diverse programming interests of our
customers. In addition to requests from customers, the following
factors play a part in our decision making process:
· FCC regulations, such as requirements to carry all local broadcast
· Requirement by local broadcasters to carry their affiliated cable
· The number of access channels required by local government
· Customer satisfaction with networks carried in other systems
· Customer satisfaction with similar networks
· Importance of the network to our diverse community
· Level of interest across a percentage of our customer base
· Per-subscriber programming fees charged by the network versus the
value added to the line-up
What this all means is that we take all requests for new networks very
seriously, and that we carefully consider the overall impact of adding
each network. While we cannot honor every request, we do take each
request into consideration in planning future changes to the line-up.
Comcast Customer Care Specialist
If you managed to suffer through reading that ridiculously “customer-friendly” response, you’ll notice that it says absolutely nothing. But not to fear – before I received this response (which was sent a few hours after I sent my initial inquiry), I found FOX News HD on channel 277.
Ahem, Comcast already offers the channel, but I still received a form mail response anyway! In other words, the robotic people who prepare these automated responses don’t even know the services that they offer! So I responded to Comcast – again, short and sweet:
Actually, I found the station on channel 277.
That’s all I needed.
I figured that with such a direct response, a human would reply back with something like, “Oh, great. We have to send out those automated responses, but I’m glad that you found what you were looking for. Enjoy!”
Instead, I received this:
We have received your e mail and thank you for using Comcast’s online
email support. One of our Comcast customer support representatives will
get back to you, likely within just a few hours. In the meantime, you
may find our FAQs helpful to resolve your inquiry so we invite you to
visit http://help.comcast.net. Or, for more immediate attention to your
situation, try “Ask Comcast”, a real time chat service, available by
visiting http://www.comcast.net and clicking on the AskComcast link at
the top of the page. We look forward to working with you.
Sincerely, Your Comcast Support Team
Followed by this:
Dear [My Full Name],
Thank you for contacting us regarding your Comcast cable service.
I’m glad that you were able to find the channel that your were looking
for. If you need further assistance, please feel free to respond
directly to this email. We appreciate you taking the time to contact us.
Thank you for choosing Comcast.
Comcast Customer Care Specialist
First of all, I didn’t need the automated “we received your e-mail response,” but I appreciate the sentiment. Second, Jimmy R (name changed) shouldn’t be thanking me for choosing Comcast because I live in New Jersey – which means I can’t choose another cable company even if I wanted to! Sure, there’s Verizon FiOS and satellite, but home rule dominates this state.
And third, shouldn’t Jimmy R – a real human – have answered my first question to begin with? Wouldn’t that have saved Comcast from looking inept in terms of what they offer their customers?
Ah, cable companies. Gotta love ’em…at least if you live in New Jersey.