The Worst Customer Service Call Ever? (audio)

Ever tried to cancel your Comcast service? That’s exactly what Ryan Block, former head of Engadget, founder of GDGT, and now product guy at AOL, tried to do. Little did he know it was going to turn into mission impossible.

When Mr. Brock called to cancel his service over the phone and arrange for the return of his cable card, the Comcast rep steadfastly refused to take ‘no’ for an answer. The ensuing conversation disintegrated into a long and repetitive exchange where it soon becomes obvious that the rep would only be satisfied with Mr. Brock’s complete acquiescence.

The call, which was already 10 minutes in by the time Mr. Block decided to record it, is a prime example of a rep sticking rigidly to his script with a very patient customer:

Mr. Block explains:

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. 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.”).

It seems the only way forward with Comcast is capitulation.


4 thoughts on “The Worst Customer Service Call Ever? (audio)”

  1. Odd…when I called to cancel the service, they did it right away. Apologized for the inconvenience and all was done.

    I moved to apartments where Comcast didn’t have their wiring(I was told when I wanted to migrate my service, but since it didn’t show up that it was available at my new location, I was asked to visit a local branch to get more information and to see if they can fix this problem). The manager of my apartments told me that Comcast can get their stuff(and anyone can as well) into the apartments, but the rep at the local Comcast told me that it wasn’t worth the hassle. I called Comcast to cancel and told them exactly that and they went ahead to cancel.

    I am disappointed at that case, since I had 50mbps and was going to upgrade to their 105, 305, or 505 mbps later…AT&T, at both my old and new apartments went as high as 18mbps. *sigh*

  2. I thought it would be comic relief, but gave up listening about have way. Personally know I would not have lasted that long, and called again later praying I’d be received by another rep, Mindblower!

  3. I’m prepared to see both sides of the coin here.
    Irritating though the rep is, it seems he has more to lose than the customer has by disconnecting his service, for example a divisional supervisor breathing down his neck.

  4. Hope they never come to Australia. Although they would not get away with that sort of service after a few minutes, I would mention the Telecommunication ombudsman.

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