Some friend you are, Cox!

Cox Communications has a tagline, “Your friend in the digital age.” Yeah, some friend. If Cox is a "friend" then they are that stoner buddy who wants to move in with me, sleep on my couch, and eat all my Cheetos instead of looking for a job.


I’ve talked about Cox before (see “the cost of incompetence”). The latest episode highlights a still broken system.



The Situation

My credit card was about to expire and I wanted to give Cox my new expiration date since I’m set up for automated monthly billing. This takes about 5 minutes with most companies. Not with Cox.



What Happened

First, I tried doing it online, but I kept getting error messages so I had to call. Calling customer service at Cox requires you to navigate “interactive voice response” hell. (That’s the automated voice that pretends to be a real person, but never understands exactly what you want.) I finally got through to a live rep who said she would make the update.


A month later I noticed Cox had charged my credit card twice in July. Curious. I called again and after more phone menu hell I finally got a rep on the line. Apparently, the first rep had charged my card in July for the payment due in August.  A simple transaction had turned into two calls and Cox making an unauthorized charged on my credit card.  With friends like Cox, who needs enemies?



What should have happened:

  • Ideally: Their website should have allowed me to make the update. This would have saved Cox two customer service calls.
  • 2nd best: The first customer service rep should not have charged my credit card a month early. This would have saved Cox the cost of one customer service call.
  • 3rd best: The second customer service rep should have been empowered to do more me than apologize. A small token from Cox would have prevented me from writing this blog post.