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The Frustration of Re-Routed Calls and Transfers

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Thunderstorms in Indianapolis left one AccelaWork colleague quite unhappy. Not only had the severe lightning fried her phone and computer lines, it singed her confidence in a nationally recognized provider.


© Flickr user Mike McCune

Damie Allison did not expect to spend two-weeks fighting with her cable provider to get her phone line, modem, and router repaired when they were struck by lightning. But, that’s exactly what happened. Her unbelievable story is below:

The day my computer line was struck by lightning I called Comcast. Since my home phone was out, I called from my cell phone which has a (561) area code [which is south Florida].  I followed the automated prompts and dialed in my home phone number to access my account. Though my home phone is a (317) area code, the system—in an attempt at being efficient—overrode the number dialed and routed my call to the south Florida office. Unfortunately, the Florida representative informed me she couldn’t help because my account was established in Indiana. She gave me the direct 1-877  number for the Indianapolis office and manually transferred me to them.

After I was connected, I went through the motions again by plugging in my home phone number. I was told by a local representative that home phone customers are a high priority and I would have an appointment within 48  hours. Though I was assured that someone would call me the following day, I never received a call.  Concerned, I called the direct Indianapolis office line, but my call was repeatedly denied. I simply kept getting automated messages saying my “call cannot be completed as dialed”.  I was forced to call 1800-Comcast, wait on hold and go through all the motions only to be routed to S. Florida again where I was told only the Indianapolis office could help me.

While the idea of establishing a more efficient call system is great, Comcast’s attempt at improving the process failed before it even began. Here’s why: They did not take into consideration all realms of possibility in regards to phone calls. Namely, they failed to recognize that not only have cell phones become main phone lines of many consumers, but such numbers don’t define a caller’s actual location. As the diagram below demonstrates, Comcast’s system is nothing more than an infuriating process that is never-ending and ineffective for customers.

business process methodology of Comcast

Sadly, this is not where Damie’s story ends. Despite the frustration that came with the phone routing system, she suffered further roadblocks as time went on.

It took days to finally get an appointment, and even then they expected me to wait over a week. Though I was upset, I waited patiently for the service. Yet, when the day of the appointment arrived, no one called or showed up.  When I called Comcast, I was once again thrown into the circulation of re-routed calls and transfers. Afterwards, I found out that my appointment was rescheduled and occurred three days prior to my original time. Since I was unaware of this change, I wasn’t home to let the tech in.

Turns out, after Comcast finally repaired my phone system, I was able to check my home phone’s voicemail. Only then did I discover that Comcast called to alert me that my appointment changed. Yet, my service ticket in their system specifically noted that my home phone was out and in need of repair. To this day I’m still baffled: Why were they calling that number and leaving messages on it when they knew specifically it wasn’t working? To me, their attempts at an efficient process is nothing more than a fried system of misdirection, miscommunication, and misguidance.

Though this productivity paradox makes us cringe, we all can empathize with Damie’s experience. In fact, we’ve covered a similar corporate productivity issue with Comcast’s main competitor! The story brings to light just how important AcclaWork’s mission is when it comes to workflow and stakeholder satisfaction. To learn more about what we do and how we can help your company effectively improve processes in your office, contact our consulting firm today!

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