Comcast And The Most Excruciating Customer Service Phone Call Ever

Comcast rep: "I'm trying to help you." Customer Ryan Block: "You can help us by disconnecting our service." Uh-huh.

The other day, tech guy Ryan Block called Comcast, the largest cable provider in the U.S., with a reasonable request to cancel his service--something plenty of people do every day.

What he got instead was a nightmare of a phone call from a Comcast service rep who, instead of simply disconnecting his service and telling him to have a nice day, stubbornly insisted on asking the same myopic questions, over and over again for at least 18 minutes straight.

Listen for yourself:

Things get pretty ugly.

"I'm trying to help you!" says the rep at one point.

"You can help us by disconnecting our service," replies Block.

"How is that helping you, though?!"

And on. And on.

"The representative (name redacted) continued aggressively repeating his questions, despite the answers given, to the point where my wife became so visibly upset she handed me the phone," writes Block in the description. "What I did not know is how oppressive this conversation would be. Within just a few minutes the representative had gotten so condescending and unhelpful I felt compelled to record the speakerphone conversation on my other phone."

Comcast, which is set to merge with No. 2 cable provider Time Warner Cable, clearly isn't doing itself any favors here. A company spokesperson insists that the service represented here is an outlier, and told Motherboard in an email: "We're investigating this situation and certainly want to apologize to the customer."

Block, who currently works for AOL, is aware of the irony of all the attention his call from hell has attracted, considering this now-legendary nightmare conversation with an AOL call center rep from a few years back:

UPDATE: Comcast tweeted this on Monday, and issued a longer apology on its website.

Surely, Block is not the only one languishing in customer service hell--tell us all about your worst experience(s) in the comments below. Hey, it's cheaper than therapy!

[Image: Flickr user peddhapati]

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22 Comments

  • oppressive economy + few opportunities + impossible sales goals + poor training + sociopathic corporate culture + easily dispensible hiring culture + desperate to make rent + chance to exert some power, however minor + misinterpretation of intent + malicious subversive message to endure verbal hammering +

    possibly on the spectrum =

    DISASTER CUSTOMER SERVICE PHONE CALLS LIKE THESE

  • One word of caution ...read the construction waiver before signing... I thought I was signing a work order , i was accepting full liability of cable that was lying in the street and on my neighbors lawn. Had nothing but lip service for the last 4 days... NIGHTMARE

  • cthimmesch

    I had my nightmare customer service experience with Comcast over 10 years ago. My grandmother had Comcast cable in Nursing home room. I thought her service had been cancelled upon her death. You would think that the multiple copies of her death certificate would have proven that she was no longer using their service. It took about 6 months for them to stop billing her, and more than one rep insinuated that I was secretly living in her room and using her cable.

  • cthimmesch

    I had my nightmare customer service experience with Comcast over 10 years ago. My grandmother had Comcast cable in Nursing home room. I thought her service had been cancelled upon her death. You would think that the multiple copies of her death certificate would have proven that she was no longer using their service. It took about 6 months for them to stop billing her, and more than one rep insinuated that I was secretly living in her room and using her cable.

  • Santos Oyoque

    we hated Comcast service so much yes they may have been the fastest internet around but I would rather go with something a little slower but has great service and has amazing customer support they maybe be rated number one in quality and products but they are by far dead last in customer service!

  • Maryellen Tipton

    This happened to me on Monday with the HealthCare Marketplace, which misrepresented my obamacare plan when I signed up during open enrollment, and now I have to drive 2 hours to see any providers that take the plan.

    Rep: We can call you in two weeks or it may be longer. Me: ... Rep: What time is good for you. Me: I mean, what are my choices? Rep: I am about to give you some windows. 8-10, 10-12- Me: And what day are we talking about? Rep: I cannot give you a day. It could be two weeks, it could be longer. Me: I'm in nursing school, I can't plan a specific time that works on every single day. Rep: Even 6-9? Me: I have these clinicals that are for 13 hours, is the problem. I just can't guarantee I can answer. Can they leave a message with a call-back number? Rep: No, that is not possible. Me: You really don't make this easy... Rep: You're the one with the problem. If you don't want help solving it, then I don't understand wh

  • Mary Lou

    Comcast phone and online chat customer service are so bad that I always prefer to go to their offices instead. I'd rather drive a few miles than undergo this experience, waste my time, and then not get what I need. It seems they are obliged to read you/type huge passages of text where they repeat the same stupid comments. Things like "don't worry I am here to assist you and many many many words repeating this" and saying a million thank you every time you reply to them and that they are most welcome but ultimately they don't do their job, ie assisting you. Plus you have spent 30 min (at best) -1 hr waiting for this. It feels like they are punishing you for contacting them. Actually the only time I got actual help from their customer service was when I wanted to buy a new service.

  • Ali Anne

    I posted...below. There was more: once moved they wanted to give me a 'great deal'---if I added phone to cable TV and internet, it'd be cheaper. The rep did actually have a moment of silence when I asked HIM why in the world would I get a third service, no matter the price, when they couldn't even do one well! They were neck to neck with the rep from Hell that Wells Fargo I was dealing with at the same time. All while moving, and working full time. UGH.

  • Ali Anne

    Oh, I am the poster child for Comcast-from-hell customer "service". I sold my house last year, and was in the process of buying another. Due to reasons outside my control, I had to close on the house sold, then wait a week to close on the new house. Then the trouble began. Note, please, that I had had Comcast for decades for TV, then for Internet. Never late in paying, etc, etc.
    I spent more than two hours on two different days with Comcast, trying to access my email, WHICH HAD REAL ESTATE CORRESPONDENCE I needed! They had me doing things that were ridiculous, and unneccessary, as if it was the wiring, etc. Finally, my adult daughter went online for me to chat with a rep, and try to get them to understand what was going on. She wasted two hours of her life she will never get back. And.............yep, still no access. FINALLY after numerous calls, chats, etc, a rep stated that without a physical address I could not have my email. I stopped service once moved.

  • Katie Erickson

    I wanted to cancel my auto insurance and the guy on the phone would not believe that I could get better service anywhere else. Finally I said, I'm a Veteran and I got the best deal ever from USAA. Then he proceeded to basically tell me I couldn't be correct, that Geico (yes them) could give me better service. After explaining the good service offered, he stammered repeatedly and finally said ok he'd cancel it. I mean seriously, when someone says cancel, you cancel. No means no in telemarketing too!

  • I have spent more than 3 hours in the belly of the beast that is Comcast Customer service, have had three service persons come to my condo, listened to multiple reps tell me that they are trying to help me by transferring me to other reps in different parts of the country, and have waited over 7 weeks to have a problem fixed. The problem? Getting a coax cable run from the tap outside my residence through a preexisting hole drilled through the wall by Comcast in the past (through which a cable currently passes, but has no signal), allowing me to hook up their equipment. The service persons who have come to the house state that they are not allowed to run new cable, only hook up existing cables. I have tried being patient, listening to apologies for missed appointments where the service person doesn't even show up, I have yelled, asked for reasons for the poor service, all to no avail. I am supposed to have yet another person show on Thursday. Fingers crossed...

  • i can't even listen to the recording, as i have so much PTSD from my own "customer service" calls with comcast. dealing with them is quite possibly the worst customer service experience ever in the world.

  • Tom Popomaronis

    wow, wow, wow... I get "retention" initiatives, but kudos for Ryan Block for keeping his composure here. This really was excruciating.

  • Comcast is our only option for high speed internet at home. I wish I could disconnect and go with somebody else. Because I have no other options their customer service people have basically laughed and taunted us. When we've called about other plans available only a few suburbs over, they tell us those plans aren't available to us and we can feel free to quit and try AT&T DSL, we'll be back shortly.