Jan 31, 2013 (Sun Sentinel - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Hoping to get the jump on long lines and long delays, some Comcast customers have started showing up at the Davie service office before its 9 a.m. opening time.
Some customers who frequent 6565 Nova Drive have been frustrated lately by the large volume of Comcast subscribers visiting the location. The closing of a service center on Pine Island Road in Plantation was cited by some customers as part of the problem, but at the root of their complaints is poor customer service in general, they said.
"They were relatively inefficient [at the other location], but compared to this This place is a disaster," said Janis Margulis. Margulis, who lives in Plantation, acknowledged a growing dissatisfaction with the cable provider as it took her more than one visit to handle her business with Comcast.
On her first attempt, "There were no numbers, it was standing room only, people outside -- and no public restrooms. I left," she said.
Comcast spokesman Spero Canton conceded that the Plantation shutdown is contributing to the influx of traffic in Davie. But there's another issue, he said.
"Some of our payment centers, they spike in terms of the amount of traffic coming in because of the situation with snowbirds coming back," Canton said. Some may be exchanging old analog boxes for new digital equipment following last year's switch in format. "We're bringing more people online in most of our services centers, especially the ones that have a lot of seasonal customers."
The company is actively looking for new space in Plantation. Canton said they didn't renew their previous lease because of problems with the air conditioning.
And as for the restrooms "These are payment centers. People are transfering money there," Canton said. "What we usually do is have the security guard, when he's available, escort people to where there's a [company] restroom."
AVOIDING LONG LINES
Many Comcast subscribers could avoid visiting a service center altogether, said company spokesman Spero Canton.
"Over half the people who visit these service payment centers are there to pay a bill. That's something that could very easily taken care of on the phone or on the Internet," he said.
To get the word out, the cable provider is in the process of launching a campaign to let customers know they have five options for contacting Comcast:
1.Comcast bills can be paid at any Western Union location. "Most Publix [supermarkets] have that at their service desks," Canton said.
2.Bills can be paid over the phone or on the Internet
3.Customers can arrange equipment deliveries and returns by calling toll-free 800-COMCAST or in Broward 954-COMCAST and 561-COMCAST in Palm Beach County. "They can call that [number], and [equipment] can be shipped to them. And also they can return the equipment the same way," Canton said.
4.All service issues can be resolved on the phones or on the Internet
5.Customers can return equipment in the drop box located outside service center locations. "All equipment is assigned to the customer account by serial number," Canton said.
Within a few miles of the closed Plantation office, other Comcast customer service centers can be found at 6565 Nova Dr and 1139 N. Federal Hwy. in Fort Lauderdale, 4571 Sheridan St. and 9950 NW 6th Court in Hollywood and 141 NW 16th St in Pompano Beach.
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