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Just who is at fault here?

Discussion in 'The Lounge - Off Topic' started by ffreeloader, Jun 27, 2006.

  1. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    This is a rant of sorts. I've worked for some pretty lousy companies in my time, but Comcast seems to take the cake. The reason for the behavior of the tech in the following video seems to me to be mostly Comcast's fault, yet they fire him to make themselves look good.

    Here is the original video. This article says that Comcast fired the tech. (This second link loads pretty slow. I think it's getting hammered pretty hard.)

    My question to you is, is it fair to fire a tech for falling asleep because Comcast's tech line for their own techs is so poorly run that that he has to wait for more than an hour to talk to someone?
     
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  2. Rostros22

    Rostros22 Kilobyte Poster

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    Can’t view the video at the moment as I have disabled streaming media here at work due to the top brass not wanting people watching world cup games.

    I guess both are at fault here.

    The support team shouldn’t keep their own engineers waiting so long. This of course sends the wrong signal to the customer as they are thinking “They must get a lot of support calls if they are that busy, is their product / service really that crap?”. Also you have an engineer doing nothing for a long amount of time, when he / she could be doing something more constructive.

    The tech has to take responsibility for his own actions here as well. At what point do you in a customer facing environment, think to yourself “Well I might as well lie down seeing as I am waiting for a call back”? If you need a nap you would at least go back into your van / car and say “Just speaking to HO be back ASAP”!!

    I know for a fact that if I fell asleep whilst at the office, god forbid a customer site, I would probably receive my P45.

    Personally I haven’t heard of Comcast before, I presume they are an American company.
     
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  3. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    I have to say I was a service tech in another industry for almost two decades and I've never fallen asleep in a customer's home. I don't know what would have happened if I had, but I also have to say that I never had to spend an hour or two on hold waiting for tech support, let alone have to do that routinely, as Comcast techs on other forums have said is the case. Some of Comcasts techs say they taken to simply going on to the next call as they know they are not going to get through to tech support in any reasonable amount of time. That's how badly Comcast's service/engineering departments are managed.

    I think that most of my employers would probably have supported me if I had done this once as most of the guys I worked under had all been technicians at one time themselves and could understand how, given the right circumstances this could possibly happen to almost anyone. But, we didn't have our own tech support lines that I would have been calling into so this is sort of like apples and oranges as far as comparisons go. We would have been placing blame outside of any the companies I worked for.

    And, yes, Comcast is an American ISP. They are one of the largest ones as they have created little monopolies in the areas where they provide services by buying out all the competition in those communities or cities.
     
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  4. Rostros22

    Rostros22 Kilobyte Poster

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    I guess you could say it is harsh, but once any video was released for public viewing showing errors 9 out of 10 *large* companies would be firing the staff member to save face.

    The staff member probably wouldn’t have a leg to stand on in a unfair dismissal case neither.

    On another note I wonder if the student who filmed this and posted it on the internet now feels a bit guilty? Instead of waking the poor guy up and having a quiet word he films him and embarrasses him on the world wide web. He is then fired and probably has to go home and face his wife and kids.

    But hey the student got a laugh out of it.
     
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  5. Baba O'Riley

    Baba O'Riley Gigabyte Poster

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    I fall asleep at my desk all the time and no one says anything. Having said that it's usually at 5 in the morning when I'm on a night shift.
     
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  6. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    I have read the guys blog and he shows no remorse whatsoever over the fate of the technician. He's a complete tool as far as I'm concerned. (I can think of other words for him but out-and-out profanity is not a part of my vocabulary anymore.)

    It's surprising to me how many people, Comcast customers, think that the cable tech is just so much collateral damage. As far as they are concerned abusing him to get the customer's problem fixed was an ethical thing to do.
     
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  7. Rostros22

    Rostros22 Kilobyte Poster

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    Do you have a link to the blog at all? Wouldn’t mind reading what he has to say after ruining somebody’s livelihood.

    I do feel for the technician as it can’t be nice what he has gone through, but there is still the point that he shouldn’t have fallen asleep. But to have your life broadcast after one small mistake is a shame.

    The tool as you excellently put it is a complete moron. It was a nasty thing to do, and obviously he doesn’t even care just as long as his problem was solved. As he was filming it he was probably getting himself all excited about the ‘popularity’ he would receive from this, and boasting about how he probably received a free connection, faster connection etc.

    Popular isn’t the word I would use, I think the word is tosser.
     
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  8. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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  9. wizard

    wizard Petabyte Poster

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    I had to comment on the blog, mine is the last entry, flame me if you wish, I don't know whether at the time he thought it would be funny to use the technician in that way, a simple nudge would have been ok.
     
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  10. Baba O'Riley

    Baba O'Riley Gigabyte Poster

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    I've seen the video now and the thing is, it's not like he drifted off with the phone to his ear and his head on a desk. I mean, he's actually got his fricking feet up so I'm [EDIT] *not* [/EDIT] sure I have as much sympathy for him as before I saw the video.
     
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  11. Rostros22

    Rostros22 Kilobyte Poster

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    That’s fair enough that you don’t feel any sympathy towards him, but do you feel that he deserves all the media attention? The guy has made a mistake and has been punished too far for my liking.

    Everyone is open to their own opinion though.

    Personally I hope the guy who filmed it finds himself in a bad situation and gets no sympathy. It was a tight thing to do. He was obviously upset with the company but there was no need to take it out on the engineer.
     
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  12. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    Sorry, but you are mistaken. The tech does not have his feet up on something. If you look closely you will see that his knees are bent at more than a 90 degree angle. His feet are flat on the floor. He's a tall guy sitting in a low chair with his laptop balanced on his legs just above his knees.

    I don't know about you, but I don't think I could keep my phone to my ear and my laptop balanced on my legs while asleep for any length of time. It's very possible that he just had his eyes closed but was not even asleep. We have no verification that he was asleep other than the customer's word for it, and he has proven himself to be a real jerk so do I find him to be believeable? No. Why? He had an agenda, and shows no remorse at all for costing someone their job.
     
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  13. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    Hmmm, well he does seem far too relaxed for my liking. I have spent decades in the field service industry, working in peoples homes and offices and yes I have waited for hours for tech support people to get back to me. However, I have never lounged around on peoples sofas with my eyes shut.

    His deportment looks unprofessional and far too casual. As for firing him well that may be harsh but it was inevitable because of the publicity.

    The proper way to deal with a situation like this is to complain to the company, not run for your video camera. That is yet another wrong action and as usual, two wrongs do not make a right.
     
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  14. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    I agree that the service tech is far too relaxed.

    What I'm saying though is that he isn't the cause of main problem. It's not his fault any of this happened in the first place. You know as well as I do that he was probably completely frustrated with the situation.

    If I had been in his place I would be very frustrated with Comcast and probably have been looking for another job. To have to go out on the job and know that the second you need information that you don't have you'll be sitting on hold for an hour or two will cause anyone's morale to plummet. It's basically impossible to look professional under those circumstances. I mean, here you are calling for help from the company you work for and they make you sit, and sit, and sit, and sit, and sit, while the customer is looking at you as the face of the company. That is enough to kill most people's professionalism pretty quickly, and if you are stuck, as in can't find another job, what happens?

    I just see Comcast as the major villian in all of this. They set their people up to fail with their own business policies and then are very harsh with their people when they do fail publicly in something that is directly traceable to Comcast's way of doing business. I find that despicable.
     
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  15. Baba O'Riley

    Baba O'Riley Gigabyte Poster

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    You're right Freddy he doesn't have his feet up after all, but as Bluerinse said, he's definitely made himself comfortable. I don't agree with the actions of the guy who made the video although, however the company acts generally, there's no way any company would have kept him on after that video being leaked all over the net.
     
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  16. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    There is one more thing I would like to point out here. I've seen criticism of this tech for the way he was dressed, and his getting comfortable in the customer's home.

    Let's take a look at this from a company policy point of view. Comcast must not have a policy specifying how their techs will be dressed if the tech can come to work, get his assignments for the day, and leave the office for the customer's home dressed the way he is. So, is his manner of dress his fault, or Comcast's? It is most definitely Comcast's problem for not having a dress code.

    What does this imply for what is expected overall from a tech at a customer's home by Comcast? If they don't care that their techs show up on the job in shorts and a t-shirt do they have any kind of policy about other professional standards of behavior? Rather unlikely in my view. I've worked for quite a few customer service companies over the years and all but one of them had dress and conduct policies. The one that didn't had neither and was run by an alcoholic who went out of business....

    Now, whether or not any company would fire an employee if he showed up on a video like this guy did is, I think, up for some debate. But, even if all large companies would fire the tech for their own failings that fact would still be irrelevant. It is still wrong. Wrong does not become right just because most, or even all, people or organizations make it a practice.

    Principles never change.
     
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  17. Bluerinse
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    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    Now you are speculating Freddy. I could speculate that Comcast do have dress code rules but this individual chooses to ignore them and has been warned in the past. He may even be on his final warning and this episode was the last straw.

    I guess we will never know because we will never know the complete story. I can only go by what I saw on the video and they say a picture tells a 1000 words, let alone a movie, hence in the absence of further evidence, I can only conclude that this guy is not somebody I would employ and I can understand why he was let go.

    It was his fault :p
     
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  18. wizard

    wizard Petabyte Poster

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    If a tech fell asleep at my flat, I'd give him a gentle nudge to wake up and send him on his way, I wouldn't video him and post it on the internet, now if he fell flat on his arse in a comical manner then that would be a different matter :D
     
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  19. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    Really? Have you ever worked for a service company that had uniform or dress code requirements? You do not get away with leaving the office out of uniform or not dressed to standards, especially if you are someone who is known to flaunt the rules.... You might, and that's a big might, get away with showing up for work not in uniform one time, but you will be informed that this will be the only time and you will most likely be sent home to put your uniform on. The next time you will be disciplined and not sent out on the job. You will be lucky to lose only one day of work. Most likely you will lose more than that.

    I've worked for quite a few service companies and they all provided the uniforms, if they required uniforms, and there were no excuses allowed about not coming to work in uniform. I don't care if the uniforms were black or navy blue and it was over 100 degrees that day, uniforms were required apparel....

    Sorry to say, but you're the one speculating here, Bluerinse. If a company doesn't enforce their own policies, then the policies might just as well not exist, and it still falls back on the company, not the employee.
     
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  20. Bluerinse
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    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    I would hypothesise that this tech went straight from home to his first job and not *via* the office :wink:
     
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