Cable giant Comcast says it's sorry for the unusual inconvenience it caused AOL vp of product Ryan Block during a 20-minute phone call where he somewhat painfully tried to disconnect his service while a customer service representative refused to do so. The episode took social media by storm in the last couple of days and pushed the brand into an awkward mea culpa.
"We are very embarrassed by the way our employee spoke with Mr. Block and Ms. Belmont and are contacting them to personally apologize," Tom Karinshak, Comcast Cable svp of customer experience, said in a statement. "The way in which our representative communicated with them 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."
Block, who started recording the conversation 10 minutes into the debacle, explained on his Soundcloud account that he and his wife switched to another provider and wanted to end their service. Unfortunately, their request was handled by a customer service rep who made it his personal mission to save the couple from alleged slower Internet speeds and fewer channels. And, he did so with the passion of a young man desperately trying to cling to a relationship where the other party has already moved on. (Dude, let it go.)
The clip, which has been listened to more than 4 million times, has become so viral that it inspired today's New Yorker cartoon.
While a frustrating tirade with the cable company is something everyone has experienced, social media now allows someone's personal grief to turn into a consumer cause/brand crisis—and may actually force the offending corporation to respond.
To hear part of the original phone call, listen to the clip below: