Comcast goes Uber -- track your technician's journey on screen

In an attempt to curtail the dreaded large time-windows, Comcast tests a system where you can track the cable guy's progress, so you're not waiting around at home.

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read

John M. Will be arriving in 15 minutes. So please put some clothes on. Comcast screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

I imagine Comcast's senior management looking at Uber's recent bad publicity and rushing to their cellar to pull out a fine vintage.

Over the last few years, Comcast's image and customer service has resembled that of Italian government offices. Yet now it has begun to consider, well, customers. And it's been stimulated by one of the more positive aspects of Uber's service, and has applied it to its own.

I marvel at how Uber users love to stare at their phones and proudly say: "Oh, look! My driver's just four minutes away!"

Well, soon you might be able to say the same of your Comcast cable guy. Comcast announced today through its own blog that it's testing a service that means you won't have to sit at home for hours waiting for a nice sweaty man to be late.

Comcast's headline: "Your Time is Valuable; We Don't Want to Waste It." The more disgruntled might have inserted parentheses that hummed: "Because Lord Knows How Much Of Your Time We've Wasted Over The Years."

New Senior Vice President of Customer Experience Charlie Herrin explained in the post how the service will work. He wrote: "Customers with scheduled appointments will be alerted through our App when our technician is about 30 minutes away from arriving at their house, and will be able to track this technician's progress on a map."

He also promised real-time status updates, in the event that a technician is delayed because his previous appointment entailed digging a three-foot deep trench to examine how a malicious raccoon had dined on a cable.

Just as with Uber, too, you'll be able to rate the experience, though there's no evidence that -- as with Uber drivers -- the Comcast technician will be rating your demeanor, your furniture, and your chintzy choice of wall hangings.

The service is currently being trialed in Boston's outskirts and Herrin promised that he'll keep customers updated as to how it's going.

Clearly, the company is beginning to address the most basic elements of its service that have long caused customers to visit hair clinics.

Even when your company feels like something of a monopoly, there's a benefit in actually giving customers a treat or two.