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Its reputation a hot mess, Comcast bolsters customer service center

Comcast hires 200 employees in Elmhurst charged with getting the cable guy there on time

Comcast is hiring 200 employees for its Elmhurst customer service facility with one overriding goal in mind: get the cable guy to arrive on time.

The announcement Wednesday nearly doubles staffing for the technician support and logistics teams, which are responsible for scheduling and monitoring customer installations and service visits. Comcast's Elmhurst facility serves the Chicago area as well as other markets in the Midwest and Southeast.

"The technician support and technician logistics centers will ... help make sure technicians are on time for customer visits and that installations and repairs are done right," John Crowley, Comcast's regional senior vice president, said in a statement Wednesday.

The hiring is part of a broader effort to improve the cable and Internet giant's atrocious customer service reputation that played a part in derailing its failed $45 billion merger with Time Warner.

Companywide initiatives include setting on-time service call goals, with customers getting a $20 rebate if technicians arrive late, a guarantee Comcast is touting in its latest TV commercials.

Pay TV providers have been losing customers as more viewers cut the cable cord to watch shows online. Comcast recently announced that it has more high-speed Internet subscribers than cable subscribers.

With last week's completed $49 billion merger of AT&T and DirecTV, Comcast is no longer the largest pay TV company.

rchannick@tribpub.com

Twitter @RobertChannick

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