Posted: 17th July 2014

Comcast customer retention call goes viral

Concerned man

An 8 minute long recording of an employee of US cable giant Comcast refusing to cancel a customer’s subscription has gone viral. The recording is of interest not just for its cringe-inducing content, but what it says about the very real pressures on cable and broadcast companies to retain customers in the current era of online streaming and “cord cutting”.

The full recording can be heard below…and has to be heard to be believed:

AOL product manager Ryan Block spent an agonising 20 minutes on the call, trying to cancel after 9 years as a customer. The 8 minute excerpt contains exchanges that are hard to listen to.

“After a decade … all of a sudden you’re moving and something is making you want to change,” the rep says. “What’s making you do that?”

“That’s none of your business,” was Block’s repeated answer. “Your business is to cancel us.”

A Comcast spokeswoman said in a statement that the company is “embarrassed” by the incident and aims to contact Block with a personal apology.

“The way in which our representative communicated with him is unacceptable and not consistent with how we train our customer service representatives,” the spokeswoman said. “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.”

Customers are more informed and better connected than ever before. The challenge for all companies, regardless of industry sector, is to ensure that they are treated appropriately and that the company does not open itself up to risk, whether through the conduct of one rogue employee, or the wrong operational practices.

Do your customers feel trapped, rather than loyal, and what can you do to engage with them confidently and profitable?

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