Let's say you're Comcast. Let's say, just for argument's sake, that you're the most-hated company in America. Let's say that you've been the most-hated company in America for years now. Let's say that the past year has been one long string of customer service mishaps and very public embarrassments for you.
Now, one of your regional offices calls a customer an "asshole".
Ouch. Not good.
But this story isn't just about a Comcast service rep losing their temper and calling a customer a bad name. Apparently, a woman recently looked at her bill and was shocked to see that instead of the addressee being Ricardo Brown, her husband, the recipient was one "Asshole Brown".
Christopher Elliott at elliott.org has the story.
Lisa Brown, a volunteer for a missions organization in Spokane, Wash., contacted me yesterday because of a billing problem with Comcast, her local cable provider. The issue? The name on their bill had been changed from her husband’s name, Ricardo, to “Asshole” Brown.
Brown has tried to fix the name herself. She’s visited her local Comcast office and phoned higher-ups in the Washington region. But she wasn’t getting anywhere and needed help.
So Elliott made a few calls and eventually got the attention of a higher-up at Comcast. That got the ball rolling.
"We have spoken with our customer and apologized for this completely unacceptable and inappropriate name change," Jenni Moyer, senior director of Comcast corporate communications, told Yahoo Tech. "We have zero tolerance for this type of disrespectful behavior and are conducting a thorough investigation to determine what happened. We are working with our customer to make this right and will take appropriate steps to prevent this from happening again."
— Mr Gray (@realmistergray) January 29, 2015
Brown maintains that she's sure she didn't act rudely toward any Comcast rep. She claims she simply called to cancel a service, upon which she was slapped with a cancellation fee and a talk with the ubiquitous "retention specialist".
Of course, this is immaterial. Rude or not, you can't change someone's name to "Asshole" on their bill. I mean, honestly.
Comcast is now going over-the-top in attempting to make amends. First, they refunded her $60 cancellation fee. Then, the company said it would terminate the employee responsible.
Now, Comcast has refunded two years worth of cable bills, upon her demand. That
might be is a bit excessive, to be honest. But hey, Comcast just aims to please, right?
Speaking earlier this month at a CES panel, Comcast Cable CEO Neil Smit said that the company expects customer service "will soon be one of out best products."