It started with a message to @Comcastcares, the Twitter account for Comcast’s customer service department.
“Without a doubt the worst customer service I’ve experienced,” wrote Ryon Nishimori. “Google fiber can’t come to Nashville soon enough.”
Turns out Comcast was watching.
But apparently, so was someone else.
What follows is easily one of the most bizarre epilogues to an already bizarre story about bad customer service. It involves harassing phone calls, threats to cut off service and the use of unusually vulgar language, even by Internet standards.
Oh, and it’s all a hoax, according to Comcast.
Shortly after he Tweeted out to @comcastcares, Nishimori received a call from a representative who claimed to work for Comcast.
“At first he was very nice and seemed to have the details of my account,” recalls Nishimori, who works for a record store in Nashville. “All of a sudden, somebody else hopped on the call, saying he was a supervisor.”
And here’s where things got a little strange.
“Outrageous and insulting”
“He immediately took over and asked if I’d like him to explain Comcast’s service fees. I said, ‘No thank you,’ but he did anyways. And his words were, ‘We are Comcast, and we can charge you whatever the f**k we want’,” he says.
Nishimori was shocked and he began recording the conversation. In it, multiple “representatives” used language so highly inappropriate and deeply offensive that I’m uncomfortable even alluding to it on this site.
“They were pretty outrageous and completely insulting,” he says. “They included physical threats, sexual threats, threats of charging my account for things, as well as threats to go after my workplace.”
After listening to the tapes several times and speaking with Nishimori, I contacted Comcast on his behalf. A representative responded shortly afterward and promised the company’s security department would investigate. Within 24 hours, Comcast’s sleuthing had revealed the call was a hoax.
How could they be sure? The call had originated in Ontario, Canada. Comcast doesn’t have a call center there. It also reached Nishimori just after midnight. Comcast doesn’t make follow-up calls to customers in the early morning hours. And then there was, of course, the content of the call, which was highly unusual for a call center — even Comcast’s.
“It’s a hoax,” says Comcast spokeswoman Jennifer Khoury. “Someone is impersonating a Comcast employee.”
I decided to ignore this prank as a one-off.
Except it wasn’t.
“This b*tch wants us to pay to fix her ceiling”
A few days later, I heard from Dana McMahan, a writer who lives in Louisville and is restoring a 100-year-old home in Detroit with her husband. Last Friday, a Comcast representative showed up to install a box on the third floor of the house.
“The guy figured he could run a splitter from the already active box on the second floor below, proceeded to whip out a drill and bore a hole, without measuring or double-checking the location below,” she says. “And voilà: Our just replastered ceiling below sported a hole with a black cable dangling from it.”