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Listen: WORST EVER customer service call – Comcast is 'very embarrassed'

Embarrassed it was caught on tape

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Audio Comcast has apologized to a subscriber who was subjected to a haranguing customer service call when he tried to cancel his account.

Ryan Block, a VP of product at AOL and a former tech blogger, was moving home and taking the opportunity to scrap his Comcast service after nine years. The only problem was that the customer service representative wouldn't take no for an answer for nearly 20 minutes on the phone.

Block recorded the last eight or so minutes of the call, and it's well worth a listen. He repeatedly asks to have the service cancelled – but the Comcast representative will not let up on questioning why Block wished to leave the broadband service.

It's a common sales technique to force a person to reveal his or her desires so that the salesperson can pitch features that appeal – and close the sale. In this case the Comcast representative would not let the question go until an audibly annoyed Block simply refused to answer any more questions.

"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," a Comcast spokeswoman claimed to The Register.

"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."

That last line might ring somewhat hollow with consumers. Comcast regularly scores near the bottom of the authoritative American Customer Satisfaction Index, with only its planned partner Time Warner Cable scoring worse.

While the customer service representative in this case clearly overstepped the mark, on one level he was just doing his job. Staff of this kind are typically financially motivated to keep customers from switching providers, and there may have been significant money riding on keeping Block as a customer.

This case, however, may have sparked enough attention to cause a rethink at Comcast. The recording has now been listened to by over half a million people and may well factor into their decision about who their next ISP might be – if they have any choice at all. ®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

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