— Comcast (@comcast) July 15, 2014
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: