Saturday, January 05, 2008

Online chat at Comcast

As you may have seen on my Twitter entry today, the Toshiba Regza 47" LCD flatscreen arrived today. Two men brought the TV up, took it out of the box and hooked our cable box to the TV. We were watching TV within 5 minutes.

As they were leaving, they asked if it was OK to take the empty box as well. Wow. I guess I'm still remembering my days at The Sharper Image when you had to pay additional shipping to get exercise equipment beyond curbside delivery. At least for this recent experience, things have changed for the better.

Once the TV was on, it was verified that digital cable isn't set up for HDTV tried calling, but a recording at Customer Service after a few minutes said their circuits were busy due to the storm and disconnected the line. I then went to Comcast's website online and ordered the service.

Not more than a minute after I purchased the service, Comcast's website prompted a message that a Customer Service rep would chat live online with me. A nice guy named Cecil came online and after we exchanged pleasantries about San Francisco's rainstorms, he confirmed that I purchased HDTV to add to my existing service. At the time I ordered HDTV online, the earliest available date I could get was Monday, January 14. When I was chatting with Cecil, he told me an earlier appointment could be scheduled for Tuesday, January 8.

Cool. It's been scheduled between the hours of 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Not in time to see the Ohio State - LSU Bowl Championship Game on Monday (which would have been awesome), but I'll see the game on a bigger screen than the one we have now.

In contrast to my experience with Red Envelope over the holidays, my online chat experiences with REI and Comcast were very positive. It seems rather apparent Red Envelope didn't train and prepare very well their service reps to handle online chats. With REI and Comcast, I got an immediate response and much, much quicker service than I would have on the phone.

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