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Comcast Customer Service Rep Just Won't Take No For an Answer

Soulskill posted about a month ago | from the it's-comcastic dept.

Businesses 401

RevWaldo writes: The Verge and other sources report on how AOL's Ryan Block ultimately succeeded in cancelling his Comcast account over the phone, but not before the customer service representative pressed him for eight solid minutes (audio) to explain his reasoning for leaving "the number one provider of TV and internet service in the country" in a manner that would cause a character in Glengarry Glen Ross to blush. Comcast has now issued an apology.

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We're sorry we got caught? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47459963)

That's probably what they meant...

Re:We're sorry we got caught? (2)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47460553)

yeah, and claiming that isn't how they train their representatives doesn't make sense either, as i've gone through that exact same conversion with comcast multiple times as i moved around the country in and out of their territory.

comcast is evil... the call center representatives are ignorant megalomaniacs.

the internet is not worth dealing with them.

they don't give a fuck (5, Funny)

liquidpele (663430) | about a month ago | (#47459975)

Obligatory: http://www.funnyordie.com/vide... [funnyordie.com]

Re:they don't give a fuck (5, Funny)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | about a month ago | (#47460359)

I was thinking more along the lines of ...

. /Oblg. South Park - Cable Company [youtube.com]

From AOL having trouble cancelling service? (5, Funny)

fang0654 (1805224) | about a month ago | (#47459979)

What is this, backwards day?

Re:From AOL having trouble cancelling service? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47460007)

Ryan recently joined AOL when they purchased GDGT, although I am pretty sure he appreciates the irony of an AOL VP complaining about not being able to easily cancel service, as a VP he probably can't express that in public...

So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47459989)

So... companies don't want you to stop sending them money? Who woulda thunk!

Re:So... (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a month ago | (#47460289)

I would have just said "Look, you know that I want to terminate my contract, so if you keep going this way, I'm gonna end this discussion and just not pay your company's bills anymore. Is that really the way you want this to go, or can we do this properly?".

Re:So... (4, Informative)

Jason Levine (196982) | about a month ago | (#47460357)

Sadly, then the company will send your unpaid bills to a collection agency who will hound you for payment and which will ruin your credit score. The burden will be on you to prove that you told them to cancel your service and they didn't. It won't be impossible, mind you, but you'll need to fight to clear your credit because some company refuses to stop billing you in the hopes that you'll just send them more money because it's easier than trying to cancel.

We're sorry he so faithfully followed instructions (2)

KingTank (631646) | about a month ago | (#47460035)

Probably something like "as you wait for confirmation that the service has been terminated, continue your attempts to save the customer". With no consideration given to the fact that it takes 8 fucking minutes.

Re:We're sorry he so faithfully followed instructi (4, Insightful)

internerdj (1319281) | about a month ago | (#47460097)

Someone astutely put it somewhere else that a cancelation is probably a "failed customer problem resolution" and negatively impacts a performance review or bonus consideration.

Re:We're sorry he so faithfully followed instructi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47460537)

Which is bad, because it's Comcast's shitty service and policies that are causing the cancellations. The call center employees are being thrown under the bus when it's the policy-makers within the company that need to be shown the door.

For those of us who didn't see it... (1)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about a month ago | (#47460057)

How much do guys in Glengarry Glen Ross blush?

Re:For those of us who didn't see it... (1)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about a month ago | (#47460119)

See the movie. It's pretty good and is a perfect portrayal of slimy salesmen.

Re:For those of us who didn't see it... (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a month ago | (#47460419)

That's not a particularly good selling of the movie.

why would anyone cancel comcast? (5, Interesting)

alen (225700) | about a month ago | (#47460067)

where else can you get hundreds of channels of TV i hate and crappy internet for one low price of $200 a month?
what else would i do if i didn't have 400 channels of TV? how else would i watch commercials?

ESPN (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47460175)

I have been telling my friends and neighbors about dumping cable and just streaming and using bunny ears for TV - and the only way to get REAL HDTV is by antennae, btw.

EVERY single one says something like "But I love my sports!" - read, I love ESPN.

I solved that problem: the networks rebroadcast many things and I got off my ass and actually DO sports and lost a bit of weight doing it too.

And when it comes to many sports - like tennis and softball - you meet single (fit) women or women who have single friends.

Cable is one of the biggest money wasting ripoffs in our society.

Re:ESPN (1)

alen (225700) | about a month ago | (#47460195)

i like sports too, but hate ESPN since it's mostly college sports which i don't follow

but the NY Yankees and Mets suck this year. the knicks will suck for years to come. Nets are so so. same with the Giants.

only reason i'm paying is i'm on a bundle and i ran the numbers and it's cheaper than buying a la carte cartoons for my kids that netflix doesn't have

Re:ESPN (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47460229)

>and the only way to get REAL HDTV is by antennae, btw.

Explain this one, I don't get it.

Re:ESPN (2)

beltsbear (2489652) | about a month ago | (#47460309)

In an area with good over the air reception the signal is not compressed heavily as it is over cable. Here, Comcast is the worst, followed by the satellite services. FIOS has the least compression but I still see it on some fast moving stuff.

Over the air can be as good (to me) as BluRay.

Re:ESPN (1)

alen (225700) | about a month ago | (#47460351)

it's not a problem where they got rid of the analog channels on cable like time warner in NYC. as soon as time warner got rid of the analog channels they got more bandwidth for internet service and the picture quality is better now

Re: ESPN (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47460317)

Because comcast and the like compress the HD, where as OTA and C Band arent jacked up like what the cable co's etc do.
I tested it with plain old rabbit ears vs comcast. Both were "HD" of a college football game off the local ABC affiliate. The OTA was sharper with less artifacts and what appeared to better colors

Re:ESPN (1)

substance2003 (665358) | about a month ago | (#47460329)

I think he means that Over the air (OTA) broadcast is a pure uncompressed signal of HDTV 1080i quality. The cable company has to compress the signal to get so many channels to get to the subscriber. Some feel there is a loss in quality vs OTA but depending on who you talk to it's not something people will notice.

Re:ESPN (2)

kheldan (1460303) | about a month ago | (#47460339)

Explain this one, I don't get it.

It's the dirty little secret of cable TV: Pixel resolution and compression are two different things. You may be getting a channel in 1080, but by the time a cable company delivers it to your TV, it's be recompressed so much that it being 1080 doesn't matter anymore. You see it most when things in the picture are moving, they get blocky, and in aliasing around things like text on the screen. They do this to fit more channels into the available bandwidth of their network. Over-the-air from local stations isn't recompressed within an inch of it's life; you're getting the highest quality you can get that way short of having an actual digital copy of a program physically sent to you on some sort of storage medium. I suspect that satellite TV compresses the hell out of things, too, for the same reason: fit more channels into the available bandwidth, so they can make more money. Try paying attention to all this the next time you're watching cable or satellite, you'll notice the compression artifacts. Sorry in advance for ruining it for you, BTW. Then go watch TV where it's using an antenna for OTA broadcasts, you'll see the difference.

Re:ESPN (2)

devjoe (88696) | about a month ago | (#47460389)

About 4 or 5 years ago, all the broadcast TV in the US changed over to a digital format, and the digital format includes HDTV broadcasts. If you have an HDTV and an antenna, and you live in a place where you can receive the signals, you can get the HDTV of all the broadcast networks over the air (OTA) with no cable.

It has been reported that Comcast re-compresses the digital HDTV streams, cramming them into a smaller digital channel in their cable system, in order to fit more channels in. This leads to reduced quality in the picture you view on Comcast compared to the OTA HDTV broadcast. I don't know about other cable systems. Here is one such report [go.com] , though it seems to be specifically about other non-OTA HD channels (where the FIOS broadcast was used for comparison).

Re:ESPN (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about a month ago | (#47460435)

Cable services re-compress signals in order to cram more channels into whatever transmission capacity they have. Sometimes they even monkey around with the size of the frame. This is all to save space/bandwidth.

What you get off of an antenna is the pristine version of whatever that broadcaster sent out.

Re:ESPN (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a month ago | (#47460429)

I play hockey. I also like to watch hockey. I don't live near Canada.

Please explain how you'll solve my problem.

Re:why would anyone cancel comcast? (1)

OzPeter (195038) | about a month ago | (#47460241)

where else can you get hundreds of channels of TV i hate and crappy internet for one low price of $200 a month?
what else would i do if i didn't have 400 channels of TV? how else would i watch commercials?

We changed comcast TV to the lowest package that you can get - just the local stations, and if we want something else we watch Netflix. Even with just the local stations there is still too much crap on TV.

However if we could have gone a la carte for less price than a package, then we would have carved out the crap. Of course that will never happen.

Re:why would anyone cancel comcast? (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a month ago | (#47460347)

where else can you get hundreds of channels of TV i hate and crappy internet for one low price of $200 a month?
what else would i do if i didn't have 400 channels of TV? how else would i watch commercials?

We changed comcast TV to the lowest package that you can get - just the local stations, and if we want something else we watch Netflix.

You're not really paying a cable company to provide you with content you could get for free OTA, are you?

I've thought about signing back up for cable so I can watch Animal Planet (big fans of Caesar and Jackson in my household), but they won't let me de-couple the $30-50 fee for "local broadcast channels."

So fuck 'em.

The worst company in the world (5, Insightful)

briancox2 (2417470) | about a month ago | (#47460079)

Comcast simply will not accept being second place in the competition for the worst company in existence.

nobody ever won a war with their customers (3, Insightful)

Presto Vivace (882157) | about a month ago | (#47460089)

don't understand why this is not more widely understood.

Re:nobody ever won a war with their customers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47460189)

Except AT&T

Re:nobody ever won a war with their customers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47460223)

The IRS wins every year.

Re:nobody ever won a war with their customers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47460585)

The IRS, and by extension, the Government are your employees. You aren't a client, you're the boss.

Maybe not the best, or smartest or even competent employess but.... hmm

Re:nobody ever won a war with their customers (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a month ago | (#47460225)

Well, some managed to bribe the referees.

For reference, see copyright.

Re:nobody ever won a war with their customers (4, Funny)

sconeu (64226) | about a month ago | (#47460343)

Why am I cancelling? Because Comcast has assholes like you in customer service!

Re:nobody ever won a war with their customers (3)

rsborg (111459) | about a month ago | (#47460385)

don't understand why this is not more widely understood.

Problem is, we aren't Comcast's only customers. Also the meaning of "customer" changes when a monopoly is in place (which is very much the case in many areas - Comcast may provide the only viable internet or subscription TV).

105 megabits per second (0)

Vermonter (2683811) | about a month ago | (#47460107)

If I am hearing correctly, this guy was signed up for 105 megabits per second... Do you know how hard it is to use 105 megabits/second? Netflix in HD only uses up 5... unless this guy has a family of 20, with each person watching HD content, 105 Megabits/second is a waste of money. I mean granted, maybe some people here can tell me how a single family home can use that much bandwidth (downloading several dozen torrents simultaneously?), but my family doesn't even use half of our 30 Megabit/second bandwidth.

Re:105 megabits per second (4, Funny)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a month ago | (#47460125)

I mean granted, maybe some people here can tell me how a single family home can use that much bandwidth (downloading several dozen torrents simultaneously?), but my family doesn't even use half of our 30 Megabit/second bandwidth.

Two words: Minecraft Server.

Re:105 megabits per second (1)

alen (225700) | about a month ago | (#47460173)

marketing gimmick for nerds to think they have a big penis
just like giant SUV's, graphics cards that give you 10,000 FPS in some game, etc

i was visiting some family with comcast and netflix on their 5mbps service was better than my 20/2 time warner at home. same with youtube. and same result with other family i have with cablevision.

comcast has a direct connection to netflix and is youtube HD certified. cablevision has open connect. having an ISP that links directly to your content will give you better results than some number that only works on speedtest.net no matter what the network neutrality morons will say

Re:105 megabits per second (1)

manquer (1950350) | about a month ago | (#47460257)

Netflix Ultra HD requires 25 Mbps per stream. Also that 105 Mbps is basically the connection between his house and the ISP. The actual speeds you will get depends on where the data is, and the peering agreements, Netflix's of-quoted data on comcast before and after their deal is itself good example

Re:105 megabits per second (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47460275)

Netflix SuperHD is more than 5, but yea, I get by with 25 megabits quite fine.

Re:105 megabits per second (2)

radish (98371) | about a month ago | (#47460281)

It's not about average usage, it's about instantaneous usage. Most of the time my connection is pretty idle, but when I want to download something big (e.g. multiple gigs) I don't really want to wait around for it. That's what I'm paying for - not having to wait.

Re:105 megabits per second (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about a month ago | (#47460581)

It's not about average usage, it's about instantaneous usage.

For some of us who play peer to peer games, it's not really about bandwidth usage but how long it takes to get the packet from here to there and back. It's about latency. Generally higher bandwidth means lower latency, but it's not a hard and fast rule.

If you are just downloading or streaming stuff, it's all about bandwidth then because a latency of even a few seconds won't matter much.

Re:105 megabits per second (2)

phizi0n (1237812) | about a month ago | (#47460287)

You don't know how he uses it or what his income is or if he's even paying for it (work might reimburse it) so how could you possibly know if it's a waste of money. Maybe he needs to download gigs of data for work... Also download speed isn't the only aspect of a connection, perhaps they wanted higher upstream bandwidth or lower latency.

Re:105 megabits per second (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47460405)

Most servers can't serve data that fast to a single user.

Re:105 megabits per second (4, Insightful)

hypergreatthing (254983) | about a month ago | (#47460469)

I had a 150Mbit connection and i found uses for it all. Having that much extra headroom is very useful.
Just because you can't find a way or can even fathom why someone would want that speed doesn't mean there aren't good uses for it.
I really don't understand the need to say no one needs more than 640k of memory. It plainly makes you look dull.

Re:105 megabits per second (1)

Ultra64 (318705) | about a month ago | (#47460383)

TL;DR: I don't need it, therefore no one does.

Re:105 megabits per second (1)

SpzToid (869795) | about a month ago | (#47460431)

TFA says he's a producer at AOL. Seeing as how he's an AOL employee, he probably needs a lot more bandwidth than you do, as you're someone who probably just works in I.T. Go figure. I don't understand anything about AOL either.

Obviously he needs way more bandwidth than he can get via an (AOL) dial-up modem, which explains why he's been with Comcast for the last 9 years.

Someone that works from home might opt for a larger package to obtain greater uploading bandwidth. I did that to advance from 1.5 to 6 Mbps recently myself, and I'm glad I did.

Maybe this is just AOL picking a Telecom fight with Comcast. Seriously, since when is it ever legal to record a call like this? But I suppose it becomes legal when you're on hold and the recording played to you says they'll record you first.

Re:105 megabits per second (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47460445)

You're forgetting about data caps and Comcast has them. Comcast like most ISPs that have caps scale the size with the speed making speed only half of what you need to consider.

Re:105 megabits per second (1)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | about a month ago | (#47460451)

Upload is what matters. He is married to an internet personality who probably uploads video often. The ability to upload hd video in 1/20 the time is a big benifit. You don't want to wait 20 min to upload a 20 min vid. Not when it can take 1 minutes. The 19 min difference can get your content out before other sites.

Re:105 megabits per second (1)

robot256 (1635039) | about a month ago | (#47460485)

One word: Bittorrent.

Re:105 megabits per second (1)

robot256 (1635039) | about a month ago | (#47460499)

I meant to add, boy is it fun maxing out my 150Mbps connection, getting 15 Mega BYTES per second on a 1GB file.

Re:105 megabits per second (1)

Pentium100 (1240090) | about a month ago | (#47460517)

I'm seeding a couple of torrents and they use up my 500mbps connection quite well (current upload speed 52MB/s).

Only sorry they got caught (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47460113)

They're only sorry they got caught.

As for instructing the bot to personally apologize, that wouldn't cut it with me. If a rep were to call me after I just got through firing his company. He will never get a chance to apologize. And yes my coworkers have heard me do things like that to other reps who have called after their companies were fired.

Re:Only sorry they got caught (4, Funny)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about a month ago | (#47460153)

Their apology was sincere. They even offered to continue his service at a 'special rate'.

Re:Only sorry they got caught (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a month ago | (#47460217)

Oh? How much are you going to pay me to use your service?

Well, that's what I'd have asked...

Very typical of them (4, Interesting)

bigsexyjoe (581721) | about a month ago | (#47460127)

They've done this to me. They interurpt you, they refuse to let you speak until you scream. They just keep talking. They make excuses, they contradict themselves. They are just unbelievable.

This recording is a great example of how Comcast representives are trained to talk you. Obviously, a monopolist can just abuse you and treat you any way they want.

Re:Very typical of them (-1, Offtopic)

mi (197448) | about a month ago | (#47460167)

Obviously, a monopolist can just abuse you and treat you any way they want.

Now, now. Let's not change the topic of the conversation to government — the biggest and unwieldiest monopolist there is...

Re:Very typical of them (0)

Art Challenor (2621733) | about a month ago | (#47460341)

Ah yes, the "Invisible Hand", and appealing, and also completely wrong theory. What market strategy gave the world Comcast and similar monoplies in the first place? Contrast this with the heavily regulated and much superior services in most of Western Europe.

Re:Very typical of them (2)

retchdog (1319261) | about a month ago | (#47460237)

it all sounds familiar.

i was waiting for "what are your crimes?"

Had to stop after a minute... (1)

Chas (5144) | about a month ago | (#47460165)

I listened to this earlier today. I had to stop listening after about a minute because just listening to it made me angry enough to want to break things and kill people (not exaggerating).

Had I been the caller, I'd have been frothing at the mouth at this jackass. Or I'd have hung up before I threw the phone, and called back to talk to someone else.

Re:Had to stop after a minute... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47460261)

I actually don't see what would be wrong with just explaining that you didn't feel that the service was a good value, and that you feel they don't display respect for their customers.

Like, it's a drop dead easy question, and there is no good reason to keep that private.

Re:Had to stop after a minute... (1)

gman003 (1693318) | about a month ago | (#47460381)

And there is no good reason to make it public, either. If I want to stop doing business with anybody, I do not have to give them a reason.

They aren't really interested in the reason - at least, the CSR doesn't give a single fuck about it. I'm sure management is interested in the numbers, but even then I doubt they care too much. The CSR was just using it as a ploy to make it harder to cancel.

Had it been me, I would have said this:
"If you continue to refuse to cancel my service, I will be forced to take legal action. This call is being recorded and may be used as evidence. I don't know how bad your employers penalties are for letting a customer leave, but I imagine the penalties for giving a customer grounds for a lawsuit are far worse. So I will say this one last time: cancel my service immediately."

Re:Had to stop after a minute... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47460395)

I actually don't see what would be wrong with just doing 5 jumping jacks like the checkout person asked.

Like, it's a drop dead easy , and there is no good reason to not stay in shape.

Re:Had to stop after a minute... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47460375)

Sounds scary if you would actually break objects or kill people just over some ISP account. It's not worth it, man.

Same business model, different business (1)

Deadstick (535032) | about a month ago | (#47460171)

Exactly like the slimeball "sales manager" at a car dealership who tries to sell you the extended warranty and other overpriced crap after you've agreed to a price. He demands that you justify your refusal, because he knows that if he can get you on the defensive, he can bully you into submission.

I once tore up a negotiated deal in front of one of those. That wouldn't work in this case, because this customer was already cancelling service, but it might be fun to say "Why I'm cancelling is none of your damned business. I will pay no more bills. Remember when your robot told me this call would be recorded?"

Re:Same business model, different business (1)

manquer (1950350) | about a month ago | (#47460319)

I find a standard answer works everytime when it comes to this sort of deals.

I am broke / I have only this much cash / I cannot afford it despite your "attractive" financing / My wife/girlfriend/partner won't allow me to..

Re:Same business model, different business (5, Funny)

gman003 (1693318) | about a month ago | (#47460545)

But that's boring. There's so many more fun responses you could give. CSRs don't argue as much with "crazy" customers so it even makes things easier for you (plus, it messes with their statistics).
"That information is classified."
"The stars are in alignment. The prophecy must be fulfilled."
"I'm moving to Elbonia."
"The NASCAR team you sponsored keeps losing, so I'm switching to a winner like AOL."
"I got assigned an IP ending in .666. I refuse to support any company with such obvious anti-christian leanings."
"I finished reading the whole internet, I really don't see any point in keeping it once I've read it all."

Re:Same business model, different business (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47460551)

I find a different standard answer works even better. Turn and walk away, taking and ripping up anything you might've already signed before the abusive behavior begins. If that requires causing physical harm to the salesman to do so, act without guilt.

...and (1)

SeNtM (965176) | about a month ago | (#47460199)

...and a free month of service. Just call to cancel if you don't wish to continue.

They must pressure their reps to act this way. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47460211)

It's hard to believe the customer service rep acted in this way simply because he wanted to.

It's far more likely Comcast phone reps in charge of customer retention have some sort of quota or other incentive that all but compels them to speak with people in such a belligerent fashion.

I'm sure the poor rep was fighting for his livelihood, why else would he so aggressively press the customer to stay with Comcast?

It changes nothing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47460213)

They apologized, but have they changed the script they give their customer service reps to follow.

Same thing happened to me (1)

Richard Bucker (3748649) | about a month ago | (#47460231)

Where is my apology and when is comcast going to re-sod my lawn?

It's very simple: (3, Informative)

kheldan (1460303) | about a month ago | (#47460249)

You don't have to 'explain' a goddamn thing to them or anyone else, and you damn well TELL them that. You are paying them, not the other way around, and if you want to cancel your service with them or anyone else for that matter, it's not their place to badger you or bully you. Being asked, once, politely, why you're unhappy enough to cancel is one thing, but if you don't wish to explain why then they MUST accept that. Arguing, bullying, badgering, or any other hard-sell tactics, is just plain bullshit. Anyone gives you that kind of guff? You tell them you want to speak to their supervisor, RIGHT NOW, and YOU don't take 'no' for an answer, either. Their supervisor is being a hardass about it, too? Go over their head. And so on. The only way you get shithead companies like Comcast to knock it off is to not sit back and take shit from them.

Just move (4, Informative)

BigT (70780) | about a month ago | (#47460255)

I had little or no problem cancelling Comcast recently when I moved. I used the phrase "moving out of the Comcast service area" when they asked why I was cancelling, and they put it right through. Had a little more trouble returning their boxes, however.

Shouldn't need to (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47460491)

You shouldn't need to say anything.

This is why you tell them you're moving abroad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47460259)

If you want to get rid of your service quickly:

1. Pick a country where you know they have no service (typically something like Sweden or Finland are great, since very few multinational US companies operate there...)

2. Call the customer service and tell them you're moving to the country you chose in (1), because you got a permanent job there. To sound convincing, tell them that you don't have a permanent address there yet and are temporarily going to stay at a hotel. Ask them for a confirmation number that you owe them nothing. If they can't do that tell them to write on your file that any bills they send must be e-mailed to you.

3. Watch them cancel your service no question asked.

I've moved out of the US twice and each time I've been able to cancel all of my services in less than two minutes after I managed to get through the wait when calling them.

And so the pot calls the kettle black (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47460263)

An AOL exec eats his own dog food [wikipedia.org] .

Great time to call to reduce my monthly bill (1)

gunner_von_diamond (3461783) | about a month ago | (#47460265)

Normally threatening to cancel always results in a lower bill, but man, after hearing that, I should be able to really get a low rate! All the reps probably have a quota per day of how many people they can turn around from wanting to cancel. We can use that to our advantage!

Ha! (2)

Aaron H (2820425) | about a month ago | (#47460269)

Does anyone else remember the AOL Cancellation video from years ago? I just now noticed that it was an AOL person trying to cancel their account. COMEUPPANCE.

Maybe they issued an apology, but if they fired (1)

spads (1095039) | about a month ago | (#47460305)

this customer service rep, I would eat my hat! :)

Re:Maybe they issued an apology, but if they fired (1)

Falos (2905315) | about a month ago | (#47460501)

If they think it'll be good damage-control publicity, they will. The only thing more disposable than him (probably tier-2 retention) is the tier-1 slaves.

Corporate doublespeak (4, Insightful)

grasshoppa (657393) | about a month ago | (#47460307)

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.

If you read this carefully, they aren't sorry for the content, merely the delivery.

Re:Corporate doublespeak (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47460473)

I would think the last thing this guy wants is to get another phone call from fucking comcast.
My solution to this BS is usually to just say I'm moving somewhere were the service doesn't exist.

My experience cancelling AT&T (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47460331)

... in the early 2000s because they had trouble porting my phone number from T-mobile. Anyways, customer service representative didn't take no for an answer for like 15 minutes even though I agreed to pay the early cancellation fee. The 2G phone didn't work right. The customer service representative was like: "Are you sure you want to cancel your service? The computer is down. It should be back up in a few days." I said, "Yes, cancel my service and bill me for this month." Then she asked me what was wrong with the phone service. Uh.. I already told her that the phone doesn't work right because I can't call in or out with AT&T. The number porting didn't work right. x.x I think she is hard of hearing or something.

I eventually stayed with T-Mobile and kept my phone number. But AT&T had better reception back in the 2000s where I live. Reception is still kinda spotty with T-Mobile. Maybe I'll switch to Verizon.

I still have that $99 2G AT&T phone but the battery is nearly useless. Maybe I'll recycle it some how.

Yeah, kinda off topic but I wanted to share my experience.

Once the user cancels, you have lost (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a month ago | (#47460335)

Companies don't want to hear this, but that's just the way it is. People are lazy. They don't go around and call you to fake-cancel their accounts hoping to get a better rate. The few that do are well known and blacklisted. So when a long time customer calls you and cancels, you might want to test the waters and ask for a reason, maybe he got a better deal that you can still beat (though if you did that with me, my reaction would be to cancel on principle because you ripped me off all the time, if you can lower your rate now, why couldn't you before? And I certainly have zero reason to continue business with a company that very obviously has no problem with ripping me off). But that's pretty much all you could possibly do.

If you continue afterwards, be prepared for abuse. It is actually amazing how civil the person remains. "This is a simple yes or no question, even a monkey can answer that so I'm kinda hoping you could as well: Can you cancel my service? Yes or no. No other option available. CAN. YOU. CANCEL. MY. SERVICE?"

Every answer besides yes or no will be met with verbal abuse, followed by the repetition of the question.

Re:Once the user cancels, you have lost (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47460467)

It is actually amazing how civil the person remains. "This is a simple yes or no question, even a monkey can answer that so I'm kinda hoping you could as well: Can you cancel my service? Yes or no. No other option available. CAN. YOU. CANCEL. MY. SERVICE?"

This, of course, has nothing to do with him knowing that he was recording this call and was supposed to publish it on the internet?

Easy technique ... (1)

cyberspittle (519754) | about a month ago | (#47460393)

Just stop paying the damn bill. Eventually, it will be terminated and then you get a bill. Pay the bill and do not look back.

Seriously (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47460399)

Why am i leaving your service..... a 50Megabit plan with a ping that would make a 14.4 boca proud.

Lots of angry customers today (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47460433)

Comcast's main web page has a link [comcast.com] to the "Comcast Customer Guarantee". That page implies that they're trying hard to serve their customers well.

But look at the "Help and Support Forums" web page [comcast.com] . Lots of angry customers today (July 15).

AOL isn't much better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47460449)

I did a free trial of AOL's music service 10 years ago. I spent longer than 8 minutes talking to the customer service rep to the point I was screaming at me to cancel my service. It wasn't until I said "Put me through to your supervisor right now" that he went through with the cancel.

Burn in Hell (1)

tedgyz (515156) | about a month ago | (#47460459)

Comcast can burn in hell. I really really hope the merger with TWC is blocked.

Customer service in a nutshell. (1)

Deathlizard (115856) | about a month ago | (#47460487)

Imagine Customer Service as the Early Space Program.

You have Astronauts and you have Monkeys.

Astronauts have problem solving skills that can ultimately sink or swim a mission. They hear orders from mission control but can offer suggestions or even take direct action based on spacecraft feedback if necessary for overall success. They're the guys you send to the moon and back to get moon rocks.

Monkeys see a red light on a console initiated from mission control, which corresponds with pressing a red button on the console. If they press the red button when the red light is on, they get a banana. if they press the button when the light is off, or press any other button when not instructed to, they get shocked. This continues with multiple lights corresponding to multiple buttons to get the desired result. In no way does the monkey have any say so in the control of the spacecraft lest he gets shocked.

Most CSR tier 1 centers consists of Monkeys. The keyword to tell is if you hear "I'm sorry" or "Thank you" a lot. They're saying that cause their screen says to say it. Usually a robot like script reading session follows the keywords. the "Shock or Banana" is the Feedback call / Survey you get after calling one of these CSR's. you vote 1 he gets schocked (fired) and if you vote 10 he gets a banana (paycheck)

CSR tier 2's Still have monkeys but a Astronaut may be lurking around somewhere. The Astronaut is going to sound like a normal human being. he may converse with you outside of the issue at hand. he may skip a few steps to get to the actual problem if he feels that he can without causing issues. This is who you dream of as a CSR. A human with real problem solving skills.

Tier 3 Consists of mostly astronauts. Getting here takes some time but it's your best bet to get your issue resolved.

Just Remember that you have to go through the Zoo first before you can get to NASA.

Easiest way to cancel service from any ISP... (4, Insightful)

thevirtualcat (1071504) | about a month ago | (#47460505)

Me: "Hi, I need to cancel my service."
Rep: "Oh? [insert marketing speak that boils down to 'Why do you want to cancel our awesome service?']"
Me: "I'm moving out of your service area and I'm already set up in my new place."
Rep: "Oh. Okay then."

Doesn't matter if it's true or not. There's not really much they can say to that. They might fish for details about where you've moved to. Just don't be stupid enough to bite.

A success story (1)

Primate Pete (2773471) | about a month ago | (#47460523)

When I needed to cancel Comcast a few years ago because I was moving to a new apartment, they wouldn't let me go without giving them a forwarding address, which I did not want to provide. (The bill was already paid in full.) The solution I finally found was to lie to them. I called and told them that I'd found Jesus, and he didn't want that filth in my house anymore. They let me cancel without complaint or argument.So there are two lessons here: (1) find an excuse they don't want to fight with, and (2) don't tell them you're moving unless you want them to stalk you.

What I have done (1)

midicase (902333) | about a month ago | (#47460531)

Gather all the equipment up.
Go the local service office at the busiest time of the day.
Wait in line.
Turn all the equipment in and cancel on the spot.

The is no "customer retention service" there.

Poetic justice for an AOL employee? (2)

AnalogDiehard (199128) | about a month ago | (#47460577)

In the last 15 years, AOL has been pulling the same thing [youtube.com] on customers wanting to cancel their services. Hurts to wear the shoe on the other foot, eh?

Not just Comcast (2)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | about a month ago | (#47460579)

I cancelled XM a while back and the rep kept trying to get me to stay with various free offers. He kept asking "Don't you want free service for 2 months?" and English was clearly his 5th language because he failed to understand NO. I finally got him to cancel by asking for a supervisor since she couldn't seem to do a simple cancellation. I must have caught him when he was on the edge of losing a bonus. Had he simply said "Hey. Help me out. If you cancel I lose a bonus. How about hanging up and calling back" I would have don that. Wouldn't with Comcast because it takes 20 minutes and multiple phone trees to get to human.

Another way to end the call (2)

gurps_npc (621217) | about a month ago | (#47460607)

If you don't feel like saying "I am moving out of your service area." there are two other ways to other ways to handle it.

1) "Because every time I call you guys, you try to get me to change. You give me a run around and refuse to provide the service requested.

2) "Because whenever I turn on the TV, it tells me to carve up people that don't do what I tell them to do. So my psychiatrist told me to stop watching television."

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