Comcast Rep From Hell Placed on Leave

You can hear the exit interview now: “Give me one reason you want to terminate me!”

That recording of a frothing, relentless Comcast “customer retention” specialist we told you was a “sure-to-mushroom PR disaster”? Well, it sure mushroomed.

Late this afternoon, following a day of punishing tweets and viral news stories that earned the company top trending honors on Facebook, Comcast's communications department confirmed that the as-yet-unnamed rep had been placed on administrative leave while the company investigates the incident.

Earlier, the company had tried to get out in front of the story with a fairly standard corporate apology:

We are very embarrassed by the way our employee spoke with Mr. Block and Ms. Belmont and are contacting them to personally apologize. The way in which our representative communicated with them 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.

But in a classy reponse, Ryan Block, the former tech journalist who had the misfortune of being on the receiving end of the call, put the responsibility squarely back on Comcast:

Be respectful of our online community and contribute to an engaging conversation. We reserve the right to ban impersonators and remove comments that contain personal attacks, threats, or profanity, or are flat-out offensive. By posting here, you are permitting Philadelphia magazine and Metro Corp. to edit and republish your comment in all media.

  • random guy

    So they gave him vacation?

  • zanevorhis

    The treatment the CSR gave is not just because he is a bad apple. It is a clear example of the company culture Comcast has and the insane pressure they must put on their employees to retain business. People are not born to be jerks like this, companies train them and turn them into it. I’ve never used comcast and due to this call, I never will. The actions of employees you train have consequences.

  • Frank Eliason

    I have worked in many service centers over the years, and had some of my best years working for Comcast. I love the people who work for the company. Often companies like to blame representative for these type of things, but when you dig into it, they were only trying to do the job they thought they should do. I expect this was not the first type of interaction this rep had in this manner. Why? I would guess he is measured on save percentage which would be high if the people hung up and called back. This is also indicative that he may not have been coached properly. I felt the statement by Comcast should not have focused on “our representative” but instead focused on “the way we communicated with them is unacceptable.” I hope at the end of the day Comcast focuses on the right issue here and not the person involved. That is my 2 cents for what it is worth.

  • Amanda Hugnkiz

    Had a similar experience with Comcast and am now using Verizon FiOS. Comcast not only did nothing to retain my business; they turned me away with their customer service “techniques.”

  • Angel Hogan

    I’ve had some of the most frustrating experiences of my life trying to get information about charges and billing from Comcast reps. It is not the employees “fault”- it is the company behind the employee. What sort of business charges people months in advance for television and cable? Comcast. You’ll get a bill in September that includes charges for November, and find you -suddenly- owe $365.00 when you signed up for a a “triple play deal” of $99.00 a month.I once spent close to an HOUR on the phone trying to unraveling how it was that my basic cable and internet bill was astronomical. They are counting on you getting exhausted and giving in (and paying without a fight). It’s such bad business and it only works because there are few, if any, other options. Why treat customers so poorly? Why? There is money to be made without the shady billing tactics and giving customers a fair price for services. I am cancelling my Comcast account and will consider ANY other option, including the possibility of simply not having wifi at home. Coffee shops, here I come. Any other suggestions?

  • TJtruthandjustice

    Now Comcast isn’t letting any comments through on their “statement” page. Just another indication that social media marketing “authenticity” is just smoke and mirrors.

  • x_comcast_rep_4_a_reason

    Im not sticking up for comcast, but there is a reason they charge a month in advance for services yet to be rendered, and I never heard any one complain when there last month is “free” or they get a refund check after disconnecting.

    But it is comcasts fault this incident took place. The retention reps reviews and evaluations are based on arbitrary numbers that are out of the reps control such as how many calls were transferred to another department, and how many customers were retained. How can you base a review of how well some one does there job by looking at how many calls the rep had to transfer to another department because either the customer hit the wrong button in the mess of prompts while first calling the automated line, or the first rep handled what they had to do and the customer had a second issue that needed to be taken care of by another department. Comcast likes to set up there reps to fail because there greedy. There system is broken but they blame the rep. I used to work for comcast as a service and billing rep for a decade and I was actually written up because a customer sent in a letter to the corporate office saying how great a job I did and how I fixed all her issues, so corporate pulled the call and said I badmouthed the company by saying sorry the last 5 reps you talked to screwed up but I can fix your problem.

  • Steve

    Does *anyone* not in the employ of Comcast actually think the proposed merger is a good idea? It’s a great burden to live in a market only served by these crooks. Take my word for it.