If you have a problem, talk to the person!

A long, long time ago, in a land far away, when we used to dial a phone number to get to the internet, HP gave me a 1-800 number for internet access when I was traveling. Since I traveled a lot, I set my default number to the 1-800 number and merrily went along my way, dialing in on the road and at home.

Until I ran into a problem. I don’t remember what the problem was, but I had to call the help desk. The guy that took my call went “Oh, good! I’m so glad you called. You are our number one user, you spend thousands of dollars a month on dial up costs and it’s been my number one priority to lower your costs.”

(Silence.)

“Um, you could have called me?”

Comcast’s announcement that they are going to add a usage limit to residential customers – a usage limit of 250 GB that won’t affect 99% of their customers – reminded me of that conversation. Um, why don’t they just call their residential customers that use over 250 GB and see what they can work out? And not worry or anger the 99% of people that aren’t a problem.

If I hadn’t called the help desk, I could imagine the company starting a policy that nobody could use the 1-800 number for more than 10 hours a month which would have inconvenienced hundreds of people and still cost them extra money if I used it 10 hours a month at home when I wasn’t traveling. (The solution we came up with was a local number to call when I was at home.)