NEW YORK — Comcast is bulking up its presence on Twitter and Facebook as it tries to repair the damage done by a string of very public customer service catastrophes.
The company is now hiring 40 new “social care specialists” to respond to customers over social media, adding to its existing social staff of 20. They’ll be able to help with everything from scheduling appointments to troubleshooting Internet problems and setting up DVRs.
The cable giant is notorious for poor customer service.
In one of the more embarrassing incidents, a Comcast customer posted a recording of a frustrating eight-minute phone call in which a rep refused to cancel the caller’s service.
And Comcast landed in hot water earlier this year after someone at the company changed the name of customer Ricardo Brown to A—— Brown, on a bill after he canceled the cable service. A 63-year-old from Illinois got a bill in the mail addressed to Super B—- Bauer.
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The hiring push is just one way the company is addressing its customer service problem.
"We have thousands of people answering service calls on the phone, and for many customers that's great. But some people would rather go online, and we want to make sure to give them that choice," said Comcast spokeswoman Jennifer Khoury.
The company has more than 73,000 followers on Twitter, while its Xfinity Internet service has 5.9 million likes on Facebook.
And the number of customers reaching out through social media keeps growing, Khoury said.
In September, a Comcast executive vowed to improve things, but admitted that it would take years before he could honestly say the company is known for great customer service.
He may be right.
Meanwhile, Comcast is planning to merge with Time Warner Cable. The deal was struck last year, but still needs federal approval.