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Comcast's Frank Response

Michael Harris
BroadBananas
Michael Harris
7/29/2008

11:20 AM -- While Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) has been lambasted for its failure to be frank about its network management practices in the past, a report from The New York Times explains that frank is now front and center at the MSO. Frank Eliason, that is.

Eliason, the MSO's digital care manager, has a team trolling through cyberspace in search of irate customers venting their frustrations with Comcast. Once identified, he contacts the unhappy campers directly in an effort to resolve their grievances

The Times offers an example of one of these Frank encounters:

Lyza Gardner, a vice president at a Web development company in Portland, Ore., used Twitter to vent about a $183 cable bill last month. (The bill was prorated for almost two months of service.) Her comment — “very angry at Comcast” — set off Mr. Eliason’s search tool, prompting him to type out his typical reply: “Can I help?” The response caught Ms. Gardner off guard.

“It’s one thing to spit vitriol about a company when they can’t hear you,” she said in an interview. It’s another, she said, when the company replies. “I immediately backed down and softened my tone when I knew I was talking to a real person.”


Mission accomplished.

So far, Eliason has reached out and touched more than 1,000 Comcast customers online, the paper says. Some find it creepy, though.

Brandon Dilbeck, a student at the University of Washington, received a Frank response to a Comcast complaint on his blog, and quipped: “The rest of his e-mail may as well have read, ‘Big Brother is watching you.’ ”

— Michael Harris, Chief Analyst, Cable Digital News

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