Misnamed Credits

Comcast has once again called my attention to a UX anti-pattern: misnamed credits. To be fair, I’m sure this isn’t unique to Comcast, but they get all the accolades for brining it to light for me.

Recently I’ve been having some issues with my service, and after many attempts to resolve it I was offered a credit for the time I was without usable service.** Imagine my confusion when I recieved an email notifying me of my free “SPEED INCREASE”.

I suppose technically they did try to increase my speed from so-slow-as-to-be-unsuable to the-speed-I-was-paying-for. Even their website and my bill refer to this credit as a SPEED INCREASE. Since this credit was issued from a phone call I have no record of their admission to any problem even occurring, let alone any ownership of the problem. All the documentation I have shows them generously giving me a free speed increase! How nice of them!

And this is not an isolated incident. I looked back at previous emails/bills and all credits from Comcast I could find were framed in this way. I’m no UX expert, or novice even, but this is such an obviously shady attempt to keep any damning documentation out of the hands of customers. I would almost admire them for this clever spin if it wasn’t so infuriating.

**Fun fact: Comcast does not appear to have any guaranteed uptime and maintains full control over if and when they issue credits of any kind. Basically you don’t have any in-writing expectation of service.