My friends Ryan Block and Veronica Belmont decided to cancel their Comcast service and switch to Astound, a smaller cable company available here in the Bay Area. So they called Comcast–and talked to a rep whose job was clearly not to help them cancel but to prevent them from canceling.
Here’s audio of part of the conversation. If you’ve ever had to deal with a recalcitrant rep at a giant pseudo-monopoly, it’ll leave you speechless, but not surprised. (Ryan shares more details here.)
My blood boils just listening to this, but all through it, Ryan is remarkably calm. It’s all reminiscent of a famous 2006 encounter with AOL support which was remarkably similar, except that the customer was less serenely polite than Ryan.
Anyone want to make any guesses about how often encounters like this happen? Or whether they’ll be more or less common if Comcast’s merger with Time Warner Cable goes through?
As Dan Gillmor said on Twitter…
Someone should force all members of the FCC to listen to a customer attempting to cancel Comcast: https://t.co/L5TvS3SAf4
— Dan Gillmor (@dangillmor) July 15, 2014
I’d like to say that AT&T customer service could handle that much better, but that would be out and out lying. At least from Ryans notes it looks like this was handled in one conversation. I’ve had conflicts from other conglomerates that included multiple hangups, screaming and exceedingly long wait times.