6 Jaw-Dropping Cable Provider Horror Stories from Yahoo Tech Readers
Last week, former tech journalist and current AOL VP of product Ryan Block recorded a horrifying conversation with a Comcast representative. On Monday, he tweeted it to his tens of thousands of followers. (Listen to it here.) By Tuesday, the clip had gone viral, with droves of people commiserating on Twitter, Facebook, and article comment sections. They, too, had their own epic torture stories. They, too, felt Block’s pain.
Comcast, in response to the situation, offered a personal apology to Block, and a public statement on its blog, condemning the rep’s behavior as “unacceptable and not consistent with how we train our customer service representatives.”
But judging from the overwhelming response of readers, training or no training, Block’s misery is far from unique. Though Block’s story is particularly infuriating, it’s by no means an extraordinary experience in the world of cable provider customer support.
To emphasize this point, we’ve collected some of your worst experiences with cable providers over the years via your comments and emails. If this list isn’t an argument against monopolies, I don’t know what is.
(Note: Some of these stories have been edited for grammar and length.)
Life, Death, Taxes, and Comcast, from Yahoo Tech commenter Betty:
“I called to cancel my Comcast service. It turned out to be in my deceased husband’s name. I told them he was recently deceased. I was told I could not cancel the service; only my husband could! I reiterated that he was no longer living; the person again said it could only be closed by my husband. This went on for about five minutes till I gave up. I tried again the next day and got the same response — finally, a supervisor told me I could take his death certificate into the office in Foster City. I took it into the office, and the person there was horrified that I had been asked to do that and to hear of my past phone conversations. I never used Comcast again.”
What Are Words if Not Characters of Interpretation? from reader Randi Swetzig:
“I had Internet with Comcast for a little over a year when I noticed that my ‘promotional rate’ had expired. I called Comcast to discuss with them what current specials they were running in my service area. The sales associate with whom I spoke spent 45 minutes trying to talk me into signing up for home security services, which I repeatedly refused. Finally I gave in a little and agreed that the installer could give me a ‘demonstration/sales pitch’ when he came to install my cable TV that I ordered during the call.
“On the day of installation, a Sunday during football season, the installation technician called me to let me know he was going to be early to install my cable AND home security system. I informed him that I had only ordered cable, at which point he said, ‘I have orders to install both. The office that I would need to talk to about changing the orders is closed today, so I can either install both or neither.’ I didn’t want to have to reschedule my cable install because it takes forever to get an appointment, so I told him he could install both, as the home security system could be canceled within 30 days without penalty. He showed up, did his installs, and then told me that I needed to wait at least three days before canceling the security system — otherwise it would look bad on him. He also told me that if I had any questions or decided to cancel, I should call his company and NOT Comcast.