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Listen as Comcast Simply Refuses to Let You Cancel Service
by Karl Bode 11:02AM Tuesday Jul 15 2014 Tipped by newview See Profile
Ryan Block and his wife Veronica Belmont simply wanted to cancel their Comcast service, but as the now-viral recording below illustrates, Comcast simply wouldn't allow it. According to Block, this call actually begins some ten minutes into the process of trying to get Comcast to cancel service. It's pretty clear the rep doesn't want the disconnection on his record, but he takes customer retention efforts to an entirely new level of annoyance.

You don't become the nation's lowest-ranked company in customer satisfaction by resting on your laurels, people. Truly being the worst at something requires dedication, sweat, and consistently treading new ground when it comes to being violently tone deaf to customer concerns.

Update: Here's Comcast's public comment on the incident:
"We are very embarrassed by the way our employee spoke with Mr. Block and are contacting him to personally apologize. 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."
Comcast incentivizes their employees to do precisely what was done by this support rep, just not quite to the annoying degree documented in the call.

124 comments .. click to read

Recommended comments



5 recommendations

we need to be able to cancell online

customers should be able to cancel by loging into their online accounts without having to talk to anyone, and the FCC should mandate this.

Raleigh, NC

3 recommendations

reply to IPPlanMan

Re: And there it is...

Let me translate: "bull*** bull*** we're lying bull****"

They'll say whatever bull they need in public, but the plain truth is it's the metric driven "customer retention" policies that drive their reps to doing this shit. Too many cancellations and they could lose their job.

Karl Bode
News Guy

17 recommendations

reply to Mike

Re: So this is what is going to happen

"Please be assured that this completely tone deaf and obnoxious support representative IN NO WAY represents our abysmally-rated customer support experience, rated as the very worst across all industries in numerous studies."

Raleigh, NC

3 recommendations

reply to Nanaki

Re: Will be interesting...

Bull****. They won't give him $50, much less $50,000. "Keep your mouth shut, or you're fired", is more likely. Along with a "and we'll sue" for good measure. Everywhere I've been has NDA's to cover what you do in the process of doing your job. (unless you're friends with a CSR, you'll rarely hear their war stories, and they will almost never name names.)

aka novaflare. pull punches? Na
Barberton, OH

3 recommendations

reply to TAZ
More probable comcast "fires him" In other words far as the media is concerned the employee was fired. But what comcast actually does is toss him oh i dont know 50 grand and says hey if any one ever asks we fired you because this is what we will tell the media. As for any and all records you were fired how ever here's 50 grand and a nda to sign. Comcast gets to have the media make them smell like roses.


Baltimore, MD

3 recommendations

Define Irony

While I have no animosity towards Mr. Block, I can't be the only one who sees the irony in a product manager for America Online getting into it with a Comcast service representative over attempting to cancel their service, and an ensuing media brouhaha occuring.


Tucson, AZ

4 recommendations

reply to EdmundGerber

Re: Will be interesting...

Yep. The truth is Comcast implicitly encourages this kind of behavior. They probably don't have "don't let the customer cancel" as a written policy but I have no doubt the environment they foster is a high-pressure one with strict metric requirements, which leads to this kind of behavior.

The CSR will be fired and made a scapegoat, and Comcast will talk about how this isn't their policy, it's just one bad employee, "not the kind of experience they want," blah blah blah. Hopefully the CSR will fight back as well so his side can come out. (He's a dick but I suspect it's more "I want to keep my low-paying job because WTF else am I going to do" than "I'm genuinely a dick.")


Floral Park, NY

3 recommendations

reply to chamberc
This is hilarious! "Are you punking us right now?"



3 recommendations

This was just as bad as trying to cancel AOL

Wow, this reminds me of the experience I had trying to cancel AOL dialup service. Literally it took me weeks to have the charges stop.

And you know the exec at AOL who ran those call centers? Neil Smit, the current president of Comcast cable and responsible for all of Comcast's call centers! Do I detect a pattern here?

Stop laughing you Time Warner customers - soon you'll get to experience this joy as well!

Pittsburgh, PA

8 recommendations

So this is what is going to happen

Comcast issues some PR statement that this isn't encouraged and the rep is fired, insert more stats how they're great etc etc.