Listen to the ‘embarrassing’ customer service call Comcast apologized for

SHARE Listen to the ‘embarrassing’ customer service call Comcast apologized for

Comcast has come under fire after a recording of a bizarre customer service response to a request for disconnection surfaced online.

Here’s the 8-minute recording, described as Hellish and Kafkaesque, which will be familiar to anyone who’s ever slogged through phone tree land trying to resolve an issues with a major corporation:

Ryan Block, a vice president of product at AOL, and former tech journalist at Engadget, the unfortunate target of this overzealous Comcast customer retention representative, posted the audio to his Soundcloud with this explanatory bit of contextual information that’s likely also familiar to anyone who’s ever tried to cancel a service over the phone, though this does seem even more painful than most:

So! Last week my wife called to disconnect our service with Comcast after we switched to another provider (Astound). We were transferred to cancellations (aka customer retention). The representative (name redacted) continued aggressively repeating his questions, despite the answers given, to the point where my wife became so visibly upset she handed me the phone. 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.).

On Tuesday, Comcast responded with an apology and promised an investigation, for what it’s worth:

We are very embarrassed by the way our employee spoke with Mr. Block and Ms. Belmont and are contacting them to personally apologize. The way in which our representative communicated with them is unacceptable and not consistent with how we train our customer service representatives. We are investigating this situation and will take quick action. 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.

Block, though, had some thoughts on the extent of that apology:

It’s also worth asking whether someone without the publishing forum of a recognized journalist would have gotten the same mea culpa.

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