South Bay man claims he lost job after Comcast complaint

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A South Bay man claims he lost his job after complaining to his cable company. He says Comcast called his boss and got him fired.

An independent employment attorney says this case is highly unusual. He also says Conal O'Rourke has a legitimate claim because Comcast has no right to call an employer when a customer simply calls to complain about a bill.

It started with a $26 overcharge on a bill. O'Rourke says getting to the bottom of it cost him his job as an accountant.

"I'm very upset about that obviously, that my livelihood was taken away from me," he said.

O'Rourke says he called Comcast repeatedly and even went to the store, but no one could fix the billing errors or faulty service.

Eventually he decided to call the accounting controller's office at Comcast to complain.

"That's where everything went awry," O'Rourke said. "And I think that some of the terminology that was used, specific accounting terminology, was obviously enough to set them off that we do have a serious problem with our accounting."

According to his attorney, O'Rourke got a call from his employer PricewaterhouseCoopers about an hour later, which consults for Comcast.

"He received a call from a partner in the Philadelphia office of PricewaterhouseCoopers, to back off, to stop calling Comcast, that he had received a call from the controller's office, that the client was very angry, and the client was very important," said attorney Maureen Pettibone Ryan.

A letter from the Comcast attorney confirms a call was made between Comcast and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

A few days later, O'Rourke was out of a job.

PWC would only comment with a statement that reads in part: "The firm terminated his employment after an internal investigation concluded that Mr. O'Rourke violated PwC's ethical standards and practices, applicable to all of our people."

Comcast issued a public apology on its website Wednesday. It says: "What happened with Mr O'Rourke's service is completely unacceptable. Despite our attempts to address Mr. O'Rourke's issues, we simply dropped the ball and did not make things right. " Then it goes on to say: "We also want to clarify that nobody at Comcast asked for him to be fired."

O'Rourke isn't satisfied.

"It's a little bit disappointing and a little bit short," he said. "I think that if they were sincere, they would have just reached out."

His attorney says if O'Rourke's demands for $100,000 and his job reinstated are not met by Tuesday they'll file a lawsuit.
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