Comcast 'embarrassed' by customer service rep

ByLeslie Brinkley KGO logo
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Comcast senior VP apologizes for rude customer service rep
Comcast is apologizing after a San Francisco customer posted online 8 minutes of a rude telephone conversation with a customer service rep.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- It's a story of frustration we can all relate to -- a San Francisco man trying to cancel his Comcast cable service. It started with a simple request, but the response was anything but.

San Francisco resident Ryan Block recorded his telephone conversation with Comcast and posted it online. On Tuesday, it went viral.

Block simply requested Comcast to cancel his cable service. Instead, for over eight tortuous minutes, a Comcast customer service representative tried to almost bully him into not cancelling.

Block: "The way you can help me is by disconnecting our service. That's how you can help me."

Service Rep: "But how is that helping you though?"

Block: "Because that's what I want."

Service Rep: "Explain to me how that is helping you."

Block: "That's what I want."

Service Rep: "Why is that what you want?"

Block: "Because that's what I want."

Service Rep: "I'm just trying to figure out here what it is about Comcast service that you're not liking."

Block: "This phone call is a really... actually amazing representative example of why I don't want to stay with Comcast."

Later on Block said, "I can guarantee right now that you are doing an incredibly good job of helping your company be worse." And as the conversation continued, Block even asked, "Is this a joke? Are you punking us right now?"

The experience resonated with consumers.

"No matter if it is internet, phone, cable, whatever, I've actually dealt with the same problems too," San Francisco resident Seema Bhatia said.

Golden Gate University consumer psychologist Kit Yarrow called the conversation abusive. "There's this really toxic dynamic between a lot of people in customer service and a lot of customers, to be honest. And I think rudeness has been ramped up to new levels," she said.

Comcast's senior vice president of customer experience publicly apologized saying, "We are very embarrassed by the way our employee spoke with Mr. Block and are contacting him to personally apologize. 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. 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."

Comcast said the employee's behavior is unacceptable and that they would contact Block to apologize.

Block, who says he is a vice president for AOL, said he expects to talk to Comcast personnel.

To listen to the conversation, click here.