Customer records Comcast rep torturing him for cancelling service

Listen to this classic consumer agony

WASHINGTON, D.C. - For those of you who don’t do Twitter and have other handy ways of catching viral treats, I have moral obligation to share something great – a true and real Iconic American Irritant. And an act of heroism.

Ryan Block (@ryan on Twitter), a technology journalist and cultural genius, wanted to cancel his contract with Comcast. But he found himself on the phone with a customer service rep from hell who badgered him and refused to let him go peacefully. Block managed to record most of this heinous phone call. This is a must listen.

I am especially excited by this because I went through the same consumer trauma a couple years ago – and no one really believed me (not with Comcast but with another “provider,” RCN). I feel so validated! So vindicated! So empowered!

I tried to cancel my service online and it was impossible. I tried to find a direct number for cancelling and it was impossible.  It took several on-sessions, transfers and dropped calls before I could speak to a customer-service-euphemism-humanoid authorized to execute a cancellation. Thankfully, the guy wasn’t as bad as Block’s. 

Comcast has reached out to Block on Twitter to apologize:

More work to do would be an understatement. This episode is so emblematic of the mentality of corporate bureaucracies today: they want unlimited liberty to market to us, snatch our data bits, monitor our behavior, up-charge for every twitch and, essentially, destroy our humanity. Or something like that.

Further personal note: A couple years ago I published a book called “Why We Hate Us: American Discontent in the New Millennium.”  This is a great Why We hate Us moment, I wish I had it in the book.

Listen to the full audio of Block's call here:

Print this article Back to Top

DecodeDC's Mission

DecodeDC's foremost aim is to be useful. That means being a reliable, honest and highly entertaining source of insight and explanation. It also means providing multimedia coverage of Washington's people, culture, policies and politics that is enlightening and enjoyable. Whether it's a podcast, a video, an interactive graphic, a short story or a long analysis, it will be based on this guiding principle: We are in DC but not OF DC.