If Dante's Inferno had been written today, an extra circle of hell would be dedicated to dealings with cable providers.
Former tech editor Ryan Block posted a maddening 8-minute portion of his phone call with a Comcast "customer retention" specialist desperately (and aggressively) trying to stop Block from canceling his service.
Not taking no for an answer, the rep peppered Block with questions: "You don't want something that works?"; "So you're not interested in the fastest internet in the country?"; "I'm really ashamed to see you go to something that can't give you what we can!"; "What is it about this other internet provider???"
But Comcast wasn't a spurned lover deserving of an explanation. It is a cable provider.
Block maintained an impressive state of calm, cooly repeating "I'm declining to state, can you please go to the next question" so many times that if this were a drinking game, players might not survive the length of the call.
Block writes: "This recording picks up roughly 10 minutes into the call, whereby she and I have already played along and given a myriad of reasons and explanations as to why we are canceling (which is why I simply stopped answering the rep's repeated question -- it was clear the only sufficient answer was "Okay, please don't disconnect our service after all.")."
Block said that his Comcast was successfully disconnected at the end of the call.
Comcast senior vice president of customer experience Tom Karinshak released the following statement Tuesday regarding the now-viral recording:
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.
Want to know how to avoid going through a similar experience with your own cable provider? Here's a quick guide.