Cox’s dangerous 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 not possible for some clients 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 advised Ars on the time that clients 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 clients didn’t point out this selection, and clients who known as Cox customer support have since been advised 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 related experiences.

“I simply bought off the cellphone with a Cox tech rep and she or he 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 identify is Dam and lives in Aliso Viejo, California, advised Ars on Thursday final week. “When the time is available in March, my new plan would be the new Final 500/10. I advised her about your article and she or he 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 clients 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 advised Ars on Monday. “We’re within the means of retraining our frontline-facing groups to verify they’re constantly speaking the choices obtainable to impacted clients, together with staying on their present plan of 300/30 as long as they improve their modem.”

As earlier than, clients will likely be mechanically switched from the 300/30Mbps plan to the five hundred/10Mbps tier except they contact customer support and demand on preserving their plan. The change to obtain and add speeds will occur no matter whether or not clients have an upgraded modem, however clients who persist with an older modem might not get the total 500Mbps obtain speeds. Cox, which has about 5.3 million Web clients 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 clients and statements from Cox gross sales reps to clients) makes it appear as if Cox did not intend to let clients hold their 30Mbps add speeds till the corporate confronted criticism and media publicity two weeks in the past. That might clarify why customer-service reps have advised clients they need to quit the 300/30Mbps plan and why Cox is now scrambling to inform workers concerning the possibility.

Nevertheless, a Cox spokesperson advised Ars that the corporate “all the time” supposed to let clients hold the 30Mbps add speeds. If that’s true, then the corporate completely screwed up its messaging to clients and the change to its customer-service techniques.

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

Our frontline care brokers have been initially skilled late January forward of the primary batch of buyer communications in early February. Based mostly on the suggestions from a number of clients, together with those you shared, we’re revisiting coaching to make sure ALL clients are getting constant and proper info. To that finish, we’re within the means of conducting refresher coaching that may run by 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 clients, together with staying on their present Final Traditional plan (300/30) as long as they improve their modem. Staying on this plan was all the time an obtainable possibility, albeit not one which was communicated as clearly because it might have been. We wish to be certain clients clearly perceive their choices in the event that they want extra add pace.

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 pace tiers. It prices $80 a month for the primary 12 months and $100 after the promo interval expires. With the 300/30Mbps plan being discontinued, the one possibility with add speeds increased than 10Mbps is the “Gigablast” plan with 940Mbps obtain speeds and 35Mbps add speeds. That plan typically prices $100 through the promo interval and $120 afterward, however some clients have been supplied a $92.50 promotional price. Cox costs $12 a month for a mixed modem and router, however clients can use their very own appropriate tools to keep away from the rental charge.

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

We requested Cox whether it is contacting all of those clients once more to clarify they’ll keep away from the upload-speed lower, and we’ll replace this text if we get a solution. Replace at 5pm ET: Cox advised us that “we will likely be speaking to these clients 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 through the pandemic. In June 2020, we wrote about how Cox warned some clients about “extreme” add utilization and how the corporate lowered upload speeds on the Gigablast plan from 35Mbps to 10Mbps in some whole neighborhoods the place its community was having hassle.

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