Caution: This post contains language that may not be appropriate for a family audience.
The most shocking thing about a revelation that a Comcast employee changed a customer’s name to “a**hole” was how shocked everyone was.
Readers reacted with indignation at my report that the company with the worst customer service scores in America would have employees who hated their customers enough to put it in writing.
All the while, the cable TV giant has implied this was a single action of a disgruntled employee they would soon terminate.
But that may not be entirely accurate.
Comcast is no stranger to the insult by invoice. In 2005, it called one woman a “b*tch dog” on her bill. And over the last few days, I’ve been contacted by several Comcast customers who claim the same thing has happened to them. One customer says a Comcast employee changed his name to the phonetic spelling of a profanity that is unprintable in a family newspaper. Another says Comcast changed her name to “whore” and another says her name became “dummy.”
Comcast says it’s investigating these incidents. In a blog post, it also promised it would be investing in technology to prevent future name-changing incidents. It has already terminated the entire subcontracting company responsible for the “a**hole” incident.
Tom Karinshak, Comcast’s senior vice president of customer service, told me the company is taking steps to prevent unauthorized name changes from taking place in the future.
“We’re retraining our teams on the importance of making name changes properly,” he said. “We’re looking for automated solutions to prevent this from happening in the future.”
Comcast says it will follow up with each customer, offer an apology and “do whatever it takes to make things right,” says Karinshak.
Until then, let’s let the customers decide whether these following examples are an anomaly — or a reflection of what some Comcast employees really think about their customers. Let me repeat my warning about the salty language.
You’re a “whore”
Julie Swano says her December Comcast bill was addressed to “Whore” Julia Swano. She sent it to me.
“What’s most interesting is that Comcast said the ‘whore’ was added on Dec. 6,” she says. “I have no record of any recent contact with Comcast until Dec. 16. So whoever chose to re-name me picked my account out of a hat. That says there are probably millions of us out there who Comcast employees have renamed. We need to find all of them.”
The word “whore” remained on her account until Jan. 6, when she told someone in the Comcast billing department about it.
“What amazed me then was that I had talked with at least 20 people at Comcast between Dec. 16 and January 6 who could see that my name was ‘whore’ and they did nothing about it.”
Carolina is a “dummy”
Carolina Heredia also got in touch with me after Comcast changed her name to a playground insult.
“They changed my name to ‘dummy’ in my online account, so that the greeting was ‘Hello, dummy,'” she says. “I had to call several times but they said they didn’t see it until I went in person to Comcast and they removed it.”