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Former Editor-in-Chief of Engadget has quite the phone conversation with a Comcast “customer retention” representative.

The quality (or lack thereof) of Big Telecom customer service is a tale we’ve told before, but rarely do we get such an intimate look at how truly awful that service can be.

Ryan Block, who is as OG as OG can get in the tech blogging world (ran Engadget, founded gdgt),and his wife recently decided to change ISPs, going from Comcast to Astound. When his wife called Comcast to have their service disconnected, she became so frustrated that Ryan eventually had to take the phone call over.

This SoundCloud recording of his conversation with a Comcast “customer retention” representative starts ten minutes after he hops on the phone:

Block also dropped a memo on his SoundCloud page, a chunk of which is posted below:

Please note: this conversation starts about 10 minutes in — by this point my wife and I are both completely flustered by the oppressiveness of the rep.

So! Last week my wife called to disconnect our service with Comcast after we switched to another provider (Astound). We were transferred to cancellations (aka “customer retention”).

The representative (name redacted) 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.”).

Please forgive the echoing and ratcheting sound, I was screwing together some speaker wires in an empty living room!

Block finally got his service terminated, and you have to give him credit for not absolutely losing his mind on the Comcast rep. I also understand that a company will try to sway its customers from leaving, but that pitch shouldn’t consume what was likely a 30 minute-plus conversation.

Have you ever ran into a customer service situation like this? Drop your horror stories in the comments.

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