Ninna Faye (fauxparadiso) wrote in ohnotheydidnt,
Ninna Faye

Engadget tech site founder posts 18 min cancellation "interrogation" by Comcast representative

No one knows which circle of hell exactly a phone call with a belligerent Comcast rep who wont let you cancel service belongs, but suffice it to say it's probably near the bottom.

That would most likely be confirmed by Ryan Block, the co-founder of tech site Engadget, who found himself enduring a torturous 18 minute interrogation of a phone call with a barking Comcast employee who demanded to know why he wanted to choose another cable provider.

Astounded by the rep who simply and rudely would not take no for an answer, Block shared eight minutes of the infuriating conversation online for all to hear - which prompted an 'embarrassed' Comcast to issue a full and unreserved apology.

All Block wanted to do was cancel, but the as-yet unidentified Comcast rep flat-out refused to go-ahead with the AOL Product manager's disconnection unless he got a reason - which Block was not obliged to give.

'Why is it that you don't want the faster speed? Help me understand why you don't want faster Internet?' demands the Comcast rep in one portion of the call after Block asks to cancel his service.

Even though technically it is a sales rep's job to stop a customer leaving, bluntly questioning them when they clearly want to is not wise.

'My job is to have a conversation with you about keeping your service,' the Comcast employee can be heard to say on the eight-minute recording which Block first uploaded to SoundCloud on Monday.

Despite Block being adamant that he wanted to cancel, the employee told him that he had to be given a good reason or he wouldn't do it.

This 'rude, unhelpful and condescending' behavior was 'straight up belligerent' according to a stunned Block.

Indeed, only eight minutes were recorded because Block's wife was on the phone to the rep for the first ten, during which he acted in the same way to her.

'I started the call by (very nicely) saying that we were moving, and that we needed to cancel our service,' Block's wife, Veronica Belmont, wrote in the description of the recording on

'He asked if we wanted to move our current service. I said no, thank you, but we’ve already signed up for Astound.'

'The representative continued aggressively repeating his questions, despite the answers given, to the point where my wife became so visibly upset she handed me the phone,' Block wrote in the audio description.

'Overhearing the conversation, I knew this would not be very fun.'

'What I did not know is how oppressive this conversation would be. Within just a few minutes the representative had gotten so condescending and unhelpful I felt compelled to record the speakerphone conversation on my other phone.

'This recording picks up roughly 10 minutes into the call, whereby she and I have already played along and given a myriad of reasons and explanations as to why we are canceling (which is why I simply stopped answering the rep’s repeated question — it was clear the only sufficient answer was ‘Okay, please don’t disconnect our service after all.’).'

Exasperated, Block's conversation goes from frustrating to weird, to surreal.

'Why is it you don't want faster speed? Help me understand why you don't want faster internet?' the rep asks.

'Help me understand why you can't just disconnect us?' Block answers.

Block then tries to tell the rep repeatedly that he has no intention of giving him a reason and does not owe Comcast any explanation.

To that, the rep tries a different tact and claims that he only wants to help.

'The way you can help me is by disconnecting our service,' Block said.

'But how is that helping you though?' the rep replies.

'That's what I want,' Block replies.

'OK, why is that what you want?' the employee counters with.

Block tries one more time, demanding to know one thing: 'Are you capable by phone of disconnecting our service?'

'It's something we can do. I mean, very rarely do we do it,' the rep says.

After the rep started quizzing Block about his new provider like a jealous partner, Block suddenly thinks something might not be right.

'Am I being punked?' askes Block - meaning is the whole thing a joke?

After six minutes of conversation the rep relents and claims he will disconnect the service, but not before the damage had been done.

Comcast's senior vice president of customer experience, Tom Karinshak, issued a statement on Tuesday to apologize after the company was 'embarrassed by the way our employee' spoke to Block.

'The way in which our representative communicated with him is unacceptable and not consistent with how we train our customer service representatives. We are investigating this situation and will take quick action,' the statement said.

'While the overwhelming majority of our employees work very hard to do the right thing every day, we are using this very unfortunate experience to reinforce how important it is to always treat our customers with the utmost respect.'


Shit I would have asked to speak to a manager long before then.  Feel free to post your Comcast/Time Warner/etc horror stories.
Tags: computers and technology, fail

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