Cox’s dangerous customer support stymies customers who don’t need add speeds reduce

Network cables plugged into a router.

Cox has been making it extraordinarily tough or not possible for some prospects to stay with their present Web speeds regardless of promising that it will not drive 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 informed 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 informed 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 stated 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 identify is Dam and lives in Aliso Viejo, California, informed Ars on Thursday final week. “When the time is available in March, my new plan would be the new Final 500/10. I informed her about your article and he or she stated 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 handle to keep away from this confusion,” Cox informed Ars on Monday. “We’re within the strategy of retraining our frontline-facing groups to ensure they’re persistently speaking the choices obtainable to impacted prospects, together with staying on their current plan of 300/30 as long as they improve their modem.”

As earlier than, prospects can be mechanically switched from the 300/30Mbps plan to the five hundred/10Mbps tier until 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 keep on with an older modem might not get the total 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 preserve 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 informed prospects they have to quit the 300/30Mbps plan and why Cox is now scrambling to inform workers concerning the choice.

Nonetheless, a Cox spokesperson informed Ars that the corporate “all the time” supposed to let prospects preserve 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 programs.

Cox described the repair now being applied as a “retraining” in a press release to Ars yesterday:

Our frontline care brokers have been initially educated late January forward of the primary batch of buyer communications in early February. Primarily based on the suggestions from a number of 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 strategy of conducting refresher coaching that may run via the top of this week for all our frontline workers.

As we retrain our workers, we’re ensuring they’re speaking the choices obtainable to impacted prospects, together with staying on their current Final Traditional plan (300/30) as long as they improve their modem. Staying on this plan was all the time an obtainable choice, albeit not one which was communicated as clearly because it might have been. We wish to make certain 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 when it comes to value 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 increased than 10Mbps is the “Gigablast” plan with 940Mbps obtain speeds and 35Mbps add speeds. That plan usually prices $100 throughout the promo interval and $120 afterward, however some prospects have been supplied a $92.50 promotional price. Cox fees $12 a month for a mixed modem and router, however prospects can use their very own appropriate gear to keep away from the rental price.

Cox’s e mail notifying customers of the upcoming obtain and add velocity modifications stated that prospects who need add speeds above 10Mbps can “name to study extra about gear and our velocity plans,” nevertheless it didn’t point out the choice of staying on the identical 300/30Mbps plan. Clients who obtained this e mail and people who contact Cox earlier than the entire customer-service issues are solved should mistakenly consider that holding their plan is not an choice. They might thus have their add speeds reduce to 10Mbps mechanically when the change takes impact subsequent week.

We requested Cox whether it is contacting all of those prospects once more to clarify they’ll keep away from the upload-speed reduce, and we are going to replace this text if we get a solution. Replace at 5pm ET: Cox informed us that “we can 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 supply marketed add speeds throughout 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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