Calling the customer service line from hell! An AOL executive's recording of a phone call with an acerbic Comcast representative who would not accommodate his service cancellation request, has gone viral.
Ryan Block, a VP at AOL and former tech editor, said he and his wife were "both completely flustered by the oppressiveness of the rep" and decided to share his story—along with an 8-minute audio clip from the call—on SoundCloud. "So! Last week my wife called to disconnect our service with Comcast after we switched to another provider (Astound)," Block wrote.
According to Block, his wife became "visibly upset" while speaking with the "customer retention" rep, whose name was redacted, after the Comcast employee "continued aggressively repeating his questions, despite the answers given."
Block's wife handed him the phone, and after "overhearing the conversation, I knew this would not be very fun," he wrote.
Refusing to take no for an answer, the rep bombarded Block with questions like, "You don't want something that works?" and "So, you're not interested in the fastest Internet in the country?" Other statements made by the Comcast specialist included, "I'm really ashamed to see you go to something that can’t give you what we can!" and "What is it about this other internet provider?!"
Block, impressively maintaining his cool, responded to the rep's barrage of questions with comments like, "Help me understand why you can't just disconnect us" and, "It's a totally arbitrary decision, I don't know."
On SoundCloud, Block explained that he "felt compelled to record the speakerphone conversation on my other phone" after the rep got "so condescending and unhelpful" within a matter of minutes.
"This recording picks up roughly 10 minutes into the call," Block shared with readers, "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.')".
After the call went viral, Comcast released a statement on Tuesday, July 15, apologizing for his harrowing account. "We are very embarrassed by the way our employee spoke with Mr. Block and are contacting him to personally apologize," Tom Karinshak, senior vice president of customer experience, said. "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."
Listen, if you dare, to the recording above!