Catching up on some blogs this weekend, I found this post about Comcast’s usage of Twitter by Lisa Barone over at Outspoken Media.
Not living in the US I don’t have the opportunity to try Comcast’s service. My overall opinion of the way Comcast use Twitter is that it’s great for the people who get help that way, though it creates a two-tier support system – people savvy enough to turn to @comcastcares get ‘premium hotline’ support. Those who aren’t so connected (if your internet connection is out, you’re probably using your iPhone) are subjected to phone trees and hold music. If the team that use Twitter in some way can generalise problems and drive organisational improvements then I can see the up-side. Otherwise @comcastcares is just an insiders’ priority support channel.
Anyway, to my point. I’ve been in the Czech Republic since 2001. Over that time I’ve used numerous internet providers (cable, ADSL, Wi-Fi), but the one that’s always my first choice if it’s available (a few years ago we even paid to have a building wired up) is UPC‘s cable internet service.
Every year since I moved here their offerings have got faster, when their infrastructure could take it, or cheaper. They’ve driven a stake through the ADSL internet provision business of Telefonica O2 (previously Czech Telecom) by always beating them on price AND quality of service. They were the first ISP here to get rid of FUP limits. They don’t have blanket coverage of the city yet but where they offer service, you’d be crazy to go with anyone else.
UPC don’t do Twitter, getting support from them involves calling in, or filling in an online form, though as it’s impossible to outsource a Czech-language call centre any further abroad than Slovakia, UPC handle support internally. If you have a problem that they identify as a physical fault they have an engineer out the next working day. If you want an install, lead time in my experience has been 2-3 days. When I moved apartment a couple of months back we had internet the day after we moved in.
Business customers (the people paying a fair sum for 100Mb upstream/10Mb downstream connections) get priority support but there’s no way to queue-jump just by using a different support channel – everybody gets the same efficient service.
If UPC asked me what they could improve, I’d be at a loss for an answer.
If your service is awesome you don’t need to apply a band-aid.
Image credit: Stavros G. via Creative Commons on Flickr