Comcast vs. Verizon for repair methodologies

Leo Bicknell bicknell at
Tue Aug 21 16:08:16 UTC 2012

In a message written on Tue, Aug 21, 2012 at 10:22:54AM -0500, Daniel Seagraves wrote:
> Comcast annoys me. I never have any problems with the people you get when you call in, or the tech support people, but their contractors STINK. 

Whenever techs come to my house I like to ask them about their job.
I find it's fun idle chatter, and you can learn a lot.

In my area the standard residential work for both AT&T and Comcast
is done by contractors.  In both cases they get paid by the job.
IIRC the Comcast tech got like $65 to come out and do a residential
install.  Didn't matter if it took 5 minutes or 5 hours, he got the
same money, provided the service was turned up.

The incentives here should immediately be clear.  If your job is
as simple as plugging in a box and making sure it comes up they are
happy as a clam, will chit chat for a while, check another outlet
with their tester, and so on.

Now imagine if you have a problem where a new line needs to be run,
and it's a pain to run the line so it takes 3 hours to get it placed
properly.  The guy is not only killing his hourly rate on your
install, but also missing the next one where he could make another
$65.  The tech will not be happy, and will do anything to get out
of there as fast as possible, provided the service "works".

In my area "business class" dispatches full time staff from both AT&T
and Comcast, and as far as I can tell they get paid hourly no matter
how long the job takes.  If it's a 5 hour repair they are happy to get
it done right.

As a result when my cable goes out I always call in the outage on my
business class cable modem rather than my residential TV service.

It's a classic follow the money situation, and I'm sure the bean
counters in higher management look only at $/truck roll and how to
minimize that metric, not paying much attention to truck rolls/sub,
uptime, or customer satisfaction.  People work towards the incentives
that have been set.

       Leo Bicknell - bicknell at - CCIE 3440
        PGP keys at
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