1. With more Canadians "cutting the cord" than ever before, it stands to reason that many of us have had to deal with the awkward — if not nearly impossible — task of cancelling one's cable subscription.

    Tales of aggressive customer retention reps and failed attempts at halting phone or cable services can be found all over the web, but San Francisco journalist Ryan Block's recently-recorded phone call with American telecom Comcast takes the cake.
  2. In the just over eight-minute-long audio clip posted above, Block can be heard enduring what has been described as a "hellish," "Kafkaesque nightmare" with one very pushy Comcast employee.

    “Why don’t you want the faster speed? Help me understand why you don’t want faster Internet," the unnamed rep asked Block, after learning that he wanted to cancel his cable and internet services for another provider. “We are the No. 1 provider of Internet and TV service in the entire country. Why is it that you’re not wanting to have the No. 1 rated Internet service, the No. 1 rated TV service available?”

    The painful back-and-forth continued for nearly ten minutes as the rep continued to repeat phrases like "So you’re not interested in the fastest internet in the country?" "You don’t want something that works?" and "I’m just trying to figure out what it is about Comcast service that you don’t want to keep?"

    Eventually, Block manages to cancel his service successfully — but not without some serious effort.

    According to Block, the portion of the call that can be heard online was preceded by a full ten minutes of unrecorded conversation between his wife, Veronica Belmont, and the Comcast customer retention rep.

    "This recording picks up roughly 10 minutes into the call, whereby [my wife] and I have already played along and given a myriad of reasons and explanations as to why we are cancelling," wrote Block on Soundcloud. "The representative (name redacted) continued aggressively repeating his questions, despite the answers given, to the point where my wife became so visibly upset she handed me the phone."


    "What I did not know is how oppressive this conversation would be," he continued. "Within just a few minutes the representative had gotten so condescending and unhelpful I felt compelled to record the speakerphone conversation on my other phone."

  3. Published Monday evening on Soundcloud, the call has since been listened to more than 1.7 million times on Soundcloud.

    Many journalists and Twitter users are commending Block for his astounding patience amidst the barrage of questions, while others are sharing their own tales of customer service calls gone awry.
  4. Others are slamming Comcast — the largest broadcasting and cable company in the world by revenue — for its poor customer service.
  5. On Tuesday afternoon, Comcast issued a public apology to Block on Twitter.
  6. The company also published the following statement on its website:

    "We are very embarrassed by the way our employee spoke with Mr. Block and Ms. Belmont and are contacting them to personally apologize.  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."

    Have you experienced anything similar when dealing with customer service representatives or trying to cancel a cable subscription? Share your stories below.
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