Cox’s unhealthy customer support stymies customers who don’t need add speeds lower

Network cables plugged into a router.

Cox has been making it extraordinarily troublesome or unattainable for some prospects to stay with their present Web speeds regardless of promising that it will not power customers onto plans with slower uploads.

As we wrote two weeks in the past, Cox informed customers with 300Mbps obtain and 30Mbps add speeds that they are going to be switched to a plan with 500Mbps downloads and 10Mbps uploads on March 3. A Cox spokesperson instructed Ars on the time that prospects can keep on the plan with 30Mbps uploads so long as they improve to a DOCSIS 3.1 modem. However Cox’s e mail to its prospects didn’t point out this selection, and prospects who known as Cox customer support have since been instructed in no unsure phrases that they can’t keep on their present plans.

A number of Cox customers from California emailed Ars about the issue after studying our article, all with comparable experiences.

“I simply received off the telephone with a Cox tech rep and he or she mentioned that my present Final Traditional plan (300/30) goes away no matter whether or not I improve to a DOCSIS 3.1 modem or not,” a buyer whose first title is Dam and lives in Aliso Viejo, California, instructed Ars on Thursday final week. “When the time is available in March, my new plan would be the new Final 500/10. I instructed her about your article and he or she mentioned that’s not what she’s seeing in her system or listening to from her higher-ups.”

We contacted Cox about the issue on Friday final week, and a Cox spokesperson admitted that the corporate failed to make sure that gross sales reps know prospects are allowed to remain on the 300/30Mbps plan.

“There clearly are some gaps that we have to tackle to keep away from this confusion,” Cox instructed Ars on Monday. “We’re within the means of retraining our frontline-facing groups to ensure they’re persistently speaking the choices accessible to impacted prospects, together with staying on their present plan of 300/30 as long as they improve their modem.”

As earlier than, prospects shall be routinely switched from the 300/30Mbps plan to the five hundred/10Mbps tier except they contact customer support and demand on holding their plan. The change to obtain and add speeds will occur no matter whether or not prospects have an upgraded modem, however prospects who stick to an older modem might not get the complete 500Mbps obtain speeds. Cox, which has about 5.3 million Web prospects in 19 states, says the modifications are associated to a community improve.

Cox’s customer-service screwup

The proof (together with Cox’s e mail to prospects and statements from Cox gross sales reps to prospects) makes it appear as if Cox did not intend to let prospects maintain their 30Mbps add speeds till the corporate confronted criticism and media publicity two weeks in the past. That may clarify why customer-service reps have instructed prospects they need to quit the 300/30Mbps plan and why Cox is now scrambling to inform workers concerning the choice.

Nonetheless, a Cox spokesperson instructed Ars that the corporate “at all times” meant to let prospects maintain the 30Mbps add speeds. If that’s true, then the corporate completely screwed up its messaging to prospects and the change to its customer-service methods.

Cox described the repair now being carried out as a “retraining” in an announcement to Ars yesterday:

Our frontline care brokers had been initially skilled late January forward of the primary batch of buyer communications in early February. Primarily based on the suggestions from just a few prospects, together with those you shared, we’re revisiting coaching to make sure ALL prospects are getting constant and proper data. To that finish, we’re within the means of conducting refresher coaching that may run by way of the top of this week for all our frontline workers.

As we retrain our workers, we’re ensuring they’re speaking the choices accessible to impacted prospects, together with staying on their present Final Traditional plan (300/30) as long as they improve their modem. Staying on this plan was at all times an accessible choice, albeit not one which was communicated as clearly because it might have been. We need to make sure prospects clearly perceive their choices in the event that they want extra add velocity.

The five hundred/10Mbps plan is a direct alternative for the 300/30Mbps plan by way of worth and its place inside Cox’s velocity tiers. It prices $80 a month for the primary yr and $100 after the promo interval expires. With the 300/30Mbps plan being discontinued, the one choice with add speeds larger than 10Mbps is the “Gigablast” plan with 940Mbps obtain speeds and 35Mbps add speeds. That plan usually prices $100 in the course of the promo interval and $120 afterward, however some prospects have been supplied a $92.50 promotional charge. Cox prices $12 a month for a mixed modem and router, however prospects can use their very own suitable tools to keep away from the rental payment.

Cox’s e mail notifying customers of the upcoming obtain and add velocity modifications mentioned that prospects who need add speeds above 10Mbps can “name to be taught extra about tools and our velocity plans,” but it surely didn’t point out the choice of staying on the identical 300/30Mbps plan. Clients who acquired this e mail and people who contact Cox earlier than all the customer-service issues are solved should still mistakenly imagine that holding their plan is not an choice. They might thus have their add speeds lower to 10Mbps routinely when the change takes impact subsequent week.

We requested Cox whether it is contacting all of those prospects once more to clarify they will keep away from the upload-speed lower, and we are going to replace this text if we get a solution. Replace at 5pm ET: Cox instructed us that “we shall be speaking to these prospects to additional make clear their choices, together with the choice to remain on their 300/30 tier.”

Cox has apparently struggled to offer marketed add speeds in the course of the pandemic. In June 2020, we wrote about how Cox warned some prospects about “extreme” add utilization and how the corporate lowered upload speeds on the Gigablast plan from 35Mbps to 10Mbps in some complete neighborhoods the place its community was having bother.

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