Don't look now: Comcast may actually be doing something good for customer service.
The company, which has been rated the worst company in America for consumers, announced Thursday that it's launching a tool aimed at cutting down the time you waste waiting for their technicians. The firm is testing a new feature in its app that will notify customers when a technician is about 30 minutes away -- more precise than the broader two-hour service windows that Comcast offers now. And if the technician gets stuck in traffic or otherwise hung up, the app will provide real-time updates on his or her progress.
"We’re hoping this will prevent our customers from just needing to sit at home and wait," wrote Charlie Herrin, Comcast's senior vice president of customer experience in a company blog post. "They can check the app from the office, or wherever they are, and head home when they see we’re on our way."
Comcast is well aware that its customer service leaves a lot of its subscribers wanting. Comcast executive vice president David Cohen even said at a Senate hearing last spring that it "bothers us we have so much trouble delivering high quality of service to customers on a regular basis."
The company has tried in the past to rehabilitate its image. For example, it reduced service windows from four hours to two hours all the way back in 2011. It also launched a companywide effort to change its image, with commercials that tout its promise for "on-time-all-the-time" appointments that can be scheduled during weekdays, on nights or over weekends.
A limited number of customers outside the Boston area will be the first to get to try the new tracking service, according to a company spokeswoman. Initially, the option will roll out to only a few hundred customers, but Comcast said in a company blog post that it plans to bring the service to everyone next year if the testing goes well.
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