Cox Communications — false advertisement
Incident Dates: 11/24/2018 -- 11/25/2018
Customer Number: [protected] (Residential)
Resolution Requests: Upgrade to Platinum Bundle with Voice Premier @ $159.99 price point advertised, $500 pre-paid Visa gift card as advertised, formal apology.
Like the thousands of customers who saw the same Facebook promotion, I was ecstatic that there was a $159.99/month Cox Platinum Bundle with Voice Premier Bundle "Cyber Monday Upgrade" available. I logged into my cox.com account, and I saw the exact same offer, but the website wouldn't let me "upgrade." After chatting with an on-screen agent, I called customer service to add the bundle -- only to be transferred to the internet department (who had never heard of this), and finally to the loyalty department. In total, I spent about 30 minutes on hold just to find out that the Cyber Monday deal was for new customers only, even though the word, "Upgrade" is very prominently displayed on the face of the ad. Any rational consumer who ran across this advertisement would assume it was for existing customers. Nope.
The agent asked me, "Well, you already have a great value, why would you want to switch bundles?" to which I responded, "The platinum bundle includes DVR, and currently my household uses Netflix and Hulu ten times more than our cable because we can't record our shows, and the $500 gift card was a factor also." Needless to say, we got nowhere with this call -- just a bunch of apologies.
So I went back to the cox.com website and chatted with another on-screen agent, Eduardo, who was very kind and thorough in researching the promo as well as my account. He agreed with me (and I have screenshots of this) that this was a misleading advertisement and that he hopes Cox Loyalty will honor the mistake that the marketing department made. As I'd already spoken with Loyalty, I was skeptical in calling them back. So I took these matters up with Chris, the admin of the Facebook page in messenger. His responses indicated that he did not read my concern, he did not understand the problem, and that he wasn't interested in helping or advocating on my behalf. He just told me to call Loyalty but that, "we only give credits for service outages."
So, against my better judgement, I called Loyalty back. Vanessa was very empathetic and agreed that this advertisement was a bait-and-switch tactic used by Cox to get existing customers to shop. She did adequately apologize for the inconvenience, and was courteous enough to at least tell me what other bundles I qualified for and gave me a DVR quote (if the service wasn't $189 additional per month on top of my $139.99 that I currently pay, perhaps this review wouldn't be typed). She informed me that their computers are programmed to only allow for the promo to be applied on new accounts. That's fair, I used to work in customer service -- you're stuck executing what people way over your head have set in motion and dealing with the fallout.
This all took place over the course of a couple of hours, and I was exhausted and ready to get on with my Saturday. As it was a Cyber Monday promotion, I still had time to get this resolved. Fast-forward to today. I was thinking about who else I could speak with, because I wanted to give Cox an opportunity to resolve this issue in-house before going to corporate. The best match for me seemed to be the Retention Department. This was the worst idea I've had yet. The condescending guy on the phone told me various things along the lines of, "Well, if your screenshots are real, why don't you just go down to a Cox store and show them, " and "If you would have just clicked the ad, in the fine print, paragraph 18, you would have seen that it's a new customer promo." This guy works in the customer retention department!
First of all, I tried to send screenshots; Loyalty, Customer Service and the on-screen agents on cox.com cannot chat via email, fax, etc. and there is no option to attach files. I sent them to the FB page admin and they were ignored. Second of all, the Facebook advertisement doesn't have fine print and has "Upgrade today" written on it. Third of all, when I logged into my account, the same promo appears as the FB ad. Fourth of all, to even see the full terms and conditions, you have to be on the screen with the "accept terms and conditions" for the bundle -- so I never had access to the fine print!
So after two days of hassle with Cox representatives, I have not been compensated at all for any of my time, nor for being misled as an existing customer about a promo that I actually can't get. And it seems that the further up that I take this matter, the more that I am talked down to; this is absolutely not the customer service that I would expect with Cox or any company for that matter. Why are you demonizing me when there are thousands of upset customers on your Facebook page complaining about the same false advertisement? Cox as a company is turning a blind eye to illegal marketing tactics, and should be held to a standard in which they honor their promotions to existing customers.
Once this correspondence has been responded to, I will gladly attach all screenshots, call record and other relevant information.
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