Comcast thinks my husband is an a**hole – and they put it in writing

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By | January 28th, 2015

Warning: This post contains language that may not be appropriate for a family audience.

It’s no secret that employees sometimes feel their customers are jerks. But I’ve never seen one put it in writing — until now.

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.

Seriously.

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.

Related: Comcast calls its customers even more shocking names

My first thought was that someone was trying to pull a practical joke on a consumer advocate. So I asked for a copy of the billing statement and the correspondence between her and Comcast.

And no kidding, it looked like someone had changed the name. How impolite!

Next, I contacted Comcast to find out what its records said. It’s fairly easy for any customer to doctor a photo of a bill to shame a large company, so I wanted to make sure Comcast was seeing the same thing.

It was.

A few minutes later, I received a call from Steve Kipp, Comcast’s vice president of communications for the Washington region.


“We have spoken with our customer and apologized for this completely unacceptable and inappropriate name change,” he said. “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.”

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I asked Brown why a Comcast employee might want to change Ricardo’s name to Asshole.

“I am shocked,” she told me. She explained that her family was having financial difficulties and needed to reduce their cable bill. She’d called Comcast to cancel the cable portion of her account, for which she had to pay a $60 fee. Instead of complying immediately, a representative escalated her call to a retention specialist, who tried to persuade her to keep the cable service and sign a new two-year contract.

“I was never rude,” she says. “It could have been that person was upset because I didn’t take the offer.”

Brown, who has been a Comcast customer for the last two years, believes the company should offer a more generous refund. Also, she wants to send a letter to Comcast’s vice president in charge of customer service.

And yesterday afternoon, Comcast made steps toward fulfilling her wishes. First, there was a call from Rhonda Weaver, a Comcast senior director of government affairs, promising to waive the $60 cancellation fee. Weaver also said Comcast was investigating the name change and would terminate the employee who was responsible.

Then there was a call from Ken Watts, a Comcast general manager for Spokane. He assured her they’d corrected the name on her account. He also promised a swift investigation and that he would find the vice president’s address.



  • bodega3

    This is unacceptable,” she says. “I am requesting everything back I paid Comcast for doing this to me.”
    **********************************************************
    This is unacceptable. They had the use of the services, apologies were made and a credit made. We have become a society that wants to be made more than whole.

  • sunshipballoons

    The part I find most troubling, which isn’t really discussed, is the fact that she contacted Comcast to change the name back from a-hole, and they refused to do it? I can easily see a rogue employee making the change. I can’t fathom why they wouldn’t put it back.

  • Terry Evitts

    This reminds me of a cartoon that circulated back in my retail management days. Regional Manager is talking to a customer and says something like this “We’re refunding your money, firing the employees and having the manager shot at dawn. Is that enough?

  • Terry Evitts

    Yes, I’m almost always pro-consumer, but something just doesn’t smell (pardon the pun) right about this one.

  • John Baker

    Talk about an over-reach ….
    She wants everything back she ever spent with them? She used the service so that’s way too much…
    Now groveling from an executive, firing of an employee and waiving her ETF… that works for me.

  • Mike Z

    My vote would be somewhere in the middle. No way would I ever grant her a refund of all the charges she has had. However just waiving the $60 fee is not nearly enough. I think waiving the fee and providing a credit would be most appropriate.

  • fakbook

    She’s now milking and making the most of a pathetic employees action. Shameful on Comcast and lady now your seeming like a freeloader, this ain’t how you will get out of your financial hardships.

  • Mark Carrara

    Stick and stones. A real apology from someone up high is more than enough. And she got her cancelation fee waived

  • Zod

    would terminate the employee who was responsible.
    We’ve seen from other published interactions between Comcast and customers that this is not an isolated thing. It seems to be part of the culture of Comcast! Firing a sinlge employee, who was probably following an example set by senior employees will not solve what seems to be SOP for Comcast. You can’t cure the disease by masking the symptoms!

  • Melinda Walsh Lamp

    If Chris hadn’t investigated I doubt I would have believed the account name. I have a friend who just went through hours of hell with Comcast. As I get ready to move, and prepare to contact Comcast to connect me at my new address, I get a headache thinking of the issues a head. I have had my Comcast challenges and dread any time I have to contact them . . . So many feel the same way you would think there would be some updated training on improving their customer service. My friend shared that her first three or four hours-long sessions were with reps that English was not their first language. Once the fourth or fifth attempt to resolve the problem moved up to a rep with strong English and likely English as his first language, the problem was resolved in minutes. She wasted 4-5 hours of angst.

  • Ken

    That’s sounds like a Comcast promo rate, which I’m getting now. After a year, 20 Mbps service will go up something like hers in the area I live.

  • Nathan Witt

    I sometimes amuse myself with cases like this and flip the situation around. Let’s say a customer got annoyed with Comcast and wrote a letter beginning, “Dear @$$hole.” How would we feel about the company adding a $60 charge to the customer’s bill for being mean?

    It seems to me that if it’s okay one direction, it should be okay both directions. And if it’s wrong one direction, it should be wrong both directions.

  • Ken

    Hmmm….seems Comcast has just brought customer service to yet another dimension!

  • emanon256

    I am very impressed with everything Comcast did. I am happy they are firing the employee. I am happy they apologized. I also think they went above and beyond by going one step further and returning the legitimate cancellation fee. The situation was bad, but Comcast went above and beyond to resolve it. Then the customer got greedy. I just don’t get this sense of entitlement that people seem to have these days. If someone did that to me, I would be pissed, knowing they got fired for it and gettign an apology woudl have been enough to make up for it.

  • Brooklyn

    How much do you think she’ll get if she takes the case to court? I have no idea; do we have any litigators here? This is beyond unacceptable, particularly as she tried to get it fixed and they refused. I think Comcast should consider itself lucky if it gets off with just refunding her every penny she ever paid them, or else offer her a year or two of free service with the cable included.

  • Chris Lund

    I don’t she was greedy. Remember, it took Chris contacting Comcast to start the ball rolling towards resolution. Prior to that, the customer had made numerous calls and in person visits with no resolution.

  • The real issue is that Comcast repeatedly gives customers the run around when they want to lower/cancel their subscriptions. This has been documented several times. Then they act surprised when the customer gets frustrated! Comcast was initially rude by refusing to comply with a legitimate business request. Then they retaliated.
    Yes, the person should absolutely be fired. Yes, Comcast should refund the early termination fee. In addition an “I’m sorry” credit of around $50 might be appropriate.
    What Comcast should really do is stop putting customers through agony when they want to quit/change plans. They need a full on paradigm shift in their customer service with new policies and procedures.

  • MikeInMI

    Any large company is going to have the occasional rogue employee who wanders off the reservation. Clearly the country is taking appropriate action, is sincere in its apology, and has removed the $60 charge. That’s very reasonable, and anything more is milking the situation.

    I am troubled about why she couldn’t get the name changed back to Ricardo with a single phone call. She shouldn’t have had to contact Chris to get that done.

  • sunshipballoons

    My point was actually that I find it troubling that Comcast wouldn’t fix the account name when she called. What the heck? I mean, I get the need for a consumer advocate for some things, but not for that.

    That said, I don’t see why she should get two years of payments back.

  • sunshipballoons

    I can buy that this offense was serious enough that $60 and an apology isn’t enough. But two years free is way too much. I could see crediting her for the next two months or something on the ongoing internet service charges.

  • sunshipballoons

    I’ve had pretty good experience with Comcast when I’ve moved. Especially if your new place is already wired, all you have to do is change your service address and tell them the day it should be activated at the new place.

    I highly recommend doing everything with Comcast using their online chat tool. You get a record and there’s no real language barrier issues.

  • Paul

    I think the real damage here is the time she had to spend to get this fixed. I would bill them based on my hourly salary.

    I agree, the problem here is not that it happened but how long it took Comcast to fix this. Should have happened on the first call.

  • sunshipballoons

    I think she asked for too much money, too. But are you seriously impressed that, when she called to change the name from a-hole to the real name, Comcast wouldn’t change it back? Because that does not impress me.

  • sunshipballoons

    Zero. She would get zero. I can’t even think of a basis on which she could sue. There’s no breach of contract. I can’t think of any tort that would apply here. Libel, maybe? That seems absurd, but I don’t really have any good idea for anything on which a lawsuit could be based.

  • sunshipballoons

    That last point is why I think, from a customer service perspective, they should give her more than the $60. I’d say the $60 covers the improper renaming, and she should get more for their refusal/inability to change it back. If I were the CS manager, I’d want to give her a couple of months of free Internet going forward (though I have no idea if I’d have that authority at Comcast).

  • Paul

    The problem is that those English as a second language speakers are likely sitting in India and working for an outsourcing company, and not really the company you think you are calling. They usually are not empowered to hand out compensation or even do anything beyond the scripts they have to follow. Yes you can write scripts to cover common issues but you are not going to be able to cover every issue, especially if there is a problem that needs to be resolved. I blame this on management, for going the cheap route.

  • emanon256

    I just moved and did the same. It was very easy and fast. The person who came to the new house to set it up was very professional, he did have to do some external wiring which was quick, and he stayed to make sure it was all working. It was the best Comcast experience I ever had!!

  • Freehiker

    I can get $60 for allowing someone to call me an asshole?

    Sign me up.

  • tio2girl

    I agree with you on everything but the greedy part. I’m guessing it was more enraged and wanting justice than greed. Regardless, I also think that Comcast has done all it needs to do to resolve this situation at this point.

  • emanon256

    That actually doesn’t surprise me. Most systems are designed to not allow low level employees to change names, and most companies have policies against changing names unless proof of a legal name change is provided in writing. That is an unfortunate side affect of a rogue employee breaking the rules, but it is necessary to prevent identity theft. In fact, almost every client I have worked with requires the same documents required on an I9 to make a name change. Just because one employee went rogue, doesn’t mean the next employee will risk gettign fired by changing the name back without proper documentation. These fields are typically audited so someone can see who made the name change. The OP never said why they didn’t change the name back, but if she just called or went in like she said, they most likley would have asked her to provide proof of the correct name, they wouldn’t just take her word for it. What makes ti even harder is that is was her husbands name on the account to begin with and not hers.

  • Brooklyn

    What kind of law do you practice? A lawyer with expertise in the field might have a different view. Certainly if she sued for enough that the case would make it to a jury, and if I were on that jury, she’d get my vote! The verdict might be overturned on appeal, of course, but I’ve heard of far larger settlements for much smaller injuries.

  • Brooklyn

    Do you believe that they’ll actually fire the employee? I doubt it. More likely there will be some general back-slapping and laughter and nothing will be done.

  • Flagged comment. Please be nice.

  • Flagged comment. Apparently, one of your fellow readers is tempted.

  • Freehiker

    Someone called them an a-hole. They get a formal apology, the employee gets fired, they get a credit on their bill. That’s not enough and they are demanding thousands of dollars instead?

    I have no idea why anyone would call them an a-hole.

  • justicesearch

    I think it should cost Comcast their local franchise. Why so extreme?
    The company has a reputation for poor and insulting customer service. It
    starts from the top.

  • SnowWheet

    What exactly is the “injury”? Yes, this was incredibly inappropriate and rude, but how did it actually damage her? I don’t see where she suffered any losses due to name-calling, other than time spent on the phone (for which I think they have reasonably compensated…)

  • Freehiker

    Haha, sorry I just couldn’t resist. I have so many jokes I could make about this story.

    Highlight of my day. Seriously.

  • Brooklyn

    As I said, I don’t know – I’m not a lawyer. Where’s Carver when we need him?

  • Laurie Ramsey

    Ridiculous that she wants all her money back for services that were already rendered. One person made a mistake, not the entire company. It sounds like they are bending over backwards for her and she still thinks she deserves more.
    Ridiculous.

  • Ken

    Well, this is very typical to Comcast. Ability and authority of the first-tier reps are quite limited in this company. Thus a customer typically needs to go through a dreadful cycle of rounds of rounds of re-iteration of phone calls, chats, and online-forum posting just to correct a simple billing mistake. I bet the phone rep didn’t know how to change the name on an account or how to pass this complaint to an ppropriate department.

  • emanon256

    SunShip is also one of our resident lawyers.

  • cawaterguy

    Hey Chris, any news on the ID of the employee that changed her name?

  • sunshipballoons

    This isn’t my area of law, and I admit that a tort lawyer could perhaps come up with something.

    Certainly, the fact that she might sue for a lot would not help her get to trial at all. If her complaint didn’t properly state a claim, or if the undisputed facts showed she didn’t have a case, it would never see a jury. In my view, that’s what’s likely here. Maybe Comcast would pay her a small nuisance settlement (in other words, pay her a little so they don’t have to pay their lawyers a lot). I think that’s the best she could hope for.

  • sunshipballoons

    I mean, maybe she has some pain and suffering damages, although I can’t image a jury would give her much even if it somehow found that Comcast did something that was actionable in the first place.

    Again, this is with the caveat that this is really not my area of law. But you do study torts in law school, and it wasn’t *that* long ago that I was in school. Based on that, I just don’t think she has any basis to sue.

  • sunshipballoons

    What you’re saying makes sense, except that some low level employee made the original change from the real name to a-hole. I can’t imagine that was very difficult; how much effort would a person possibly put into making that change?

    Your absolutely right that we don’t know why it wasn’t changed back. I’d like to know more on that point, because it’s the only place where I think Comcast really failed in its response to the original employee’s offensive action.

  • sunshipballoons

    Give yourself more credit. You seem smart. You don’t need to be a lawyer to evaluate whether or not you think somebody is injured, and what that injury was. I think her only injury here is probably being offended, which could be pain & suffering I guess. I still think she has a threshold problem that Comcast didn’t do anything that can be sued about, so even if she were injured by that, she wouldn’t be able to recover anything.

  • Seth Kallen Deitch

    I voted to refund the entire bill. Not because the customer deserves to receive it, but because Comcast deserves to pay it. It should be painful to them that this happened and that this precedent be set to strongly encourage them to make absolutely certain that it doesn’t happen again to anyone.
    Full disclosure. I am a Comcast customer and have been happy with my service and satisfied with what I pay for it the entire time. I do have a stake in this I suppose although I admit also that I would be massively entertained by having a bill that identified me as “Asshole”. Of course I wouldn’t pay it. I’d go to the Comcast office, ID in hand to demonstrate I wasn’t “Asshole” and therefore didn’t owe the money, but I would *frame* that bill.

  • I have to say, she should have been satisfied with the removal and waive of the termination fee. Likely the firing of the person who made the change, as well. But why in the holy hell should someone get 2 YEARS of service for free because of a swear word?!

  • A thought; if there was an issue with communication, simply request a different rep. Problem solved.

  • Brooklyn

    I was just thinking how awful it would be to have the postman deliver mail to “Asshole” at my address and how humiliated I would feel, especially when I tried to have it changed back and Comcast wouldn’t listen. It seems to me like one of those cases where she might get a huge judgment and then have it greatly reduced on appeal. But would Comcast want the bad publicity? A case like this would make it into all the newspapers and Howard Stern would have a field day! If I were Comcast, I’d be falling all over myself to make it up to her.

  • David Thaler

    What I find galling is that despite her claim of financial difficulties, they still handed her off to a retention specialist who did his/her best to bully her into keeping her service. The person who transferred her call is the person whose name should be changed.

  • If I find out, I’ll post it.

  • TonyA_says

    Really? Someone with an itchy finger at the range today?

  • Dean Smith

    I have been fighting Comcast since Oct 2014 over unauthorized credit inquiry.
    Comcast pulled my credit report for a service at an address I moved out 3 months earlier. Comcast knows I moved out and transferred service to my new address and have my own account number.
    There was also a charge of $60 that was forwarded to my by USPS to my new address.

    I contacted comcast, filed BBB complaint and almost everything short of a lawsuit.

    They admitted their error. Told me one of their agent screwed up . removed the charge but not the hard credit pull. They have been telling me they have already MASKED it.
    i ASKED FOR PROOF OF EQUIFAX report where it shows the request for removal of the inquiry and they never showed me proof.

  • Ken

    No. That doesn’t work for Comcast. In the user online forum, there are many instances where a customer makes several phone calls to fix something only to find out the problem persisting. Then he/she tries chats, not solving the problem. Completely at a loss, he/she posts a message in the forum, then a corporate smart-ass rep steps in and fix the problem (or not).

  • Ken

    In my opinion, this serves right. They need to seriously restructure customer service. They need a monetary incentive.

  • sunshipballoons

    I just don’t see this as bad publicity for Comcast. They had an idiot employee. A customer turned the employee in. Comcast fired the employee and gave the customer a credit. I think they look pretty okay here, except for the still unanswered question about what happened with the customer’s own failed attempt to switch the name back. If she were asking for millions for this, she’s the one who would get vilified by the public. Even asking for two years’ worth of refunds, she’s taking it pretty hard here. And this is a pro-consumer website.

  • Domino67

    If you want to give me two years of free service, I could care less what you call me. I get called A**hole all time for free.

  • Domino67

    Her name isn’t Ricardo, therefore it is not HER account.

  • Domino67

    Reminds me of a SNL skit where Nicolas Cage had the last name Asswipe.

  • wrxyz

    And Ricardo’s name isn’t “Asshole,” so therefore it’s not his account, either.

  • Bill___A

    I would be pleased to let my cable company call me that name in exchange for four years of free service.

    They should be able to track the employee who made the change, and send them on their way, but this is the action of one person.

  • Oh pooh

    What really is your problem, for bending yourself out of shape that a customer who was insulted got an apology. Do you know how hard it is to go through Comcast phone tree and transfers. They even drove to store, oh lord, that is hours right there if they do not live in Mountain Vie, CA.

    She should sue them for slander.

    On another note. They need to buy a better bed and have more “human fun” than spend so much money on Television.

  • emanon256

    It’s pronounced As We Pay. :)

  • bodega3

    Looks like 40 others agree with me.

  • sunshipballoons

    I mean, sure, if that’s the explanation, then fine, I guess. That said, with my SSN and the other account info, my wife is typically allowed to make changes to things like comcast. Not a bank. But comcast.

  • Rebecca

    I call comcast all the time (repeated issues and no other high speed internet available where I live and require it to work from home, don’t get me started). Its in my husbands name. I just say my name is Ryan if I need to. No one has ever questioned it.

  • Rebecca

    I worked in a large call center, where I was a trainer and manager. I guarantee they will fire this employee, they’re not bluffing.

  • I have to disagree. With all the bad press and publicity they’ve received over the year(s), you sincerely think a paltry $1K or over is going to bother them and push them into action?

    They know they have consumers in a vice grip. Best solution would be to do what scares them the most; Title II

    THAT will make them hurt.

  • Pocahontas

    Sure is frustrating that so much customer service has been outsourced to poorly trained foreign workers. In the last month or two I’ve been hung up on several times, told by a department store credit card company I’d be reported to the credit reporting agencies for nonpayment (despite screenshots and various other proofs I had paid – had to escalate this one to the executive office, which took some doing since I was already in the ‘nonpayment’ queue and everyone I spoke to talked to me like dirt. Finally filed a claim with HelpWithMyBank.gov, which got their attention; turns out their computer scrambled the routing number on my bank account and I was NOT at fault, but took hours to straighten out.) The icing on the cake, tho, was being transferred to a pest control agency after I called a different department store to inquire on the status of an order – really (luckily I kept track of what time I called and the outside number of pest control so they could try to track down the agent that did it.)

    You know what? I pay relatively a lot of money for one of my credit cards (several hundred dollar annual fee). It’s worth it to get someone who picks up the phone, speaks clear, cogent English, and can take care of my problem without either putting me on hold repeatedly or transferring me all over the place. Sure wish I had this option for all the other services with which I’m forced to interact. Would outright pay to avoid the time suck and frustration I encounter almost every time I have to deal with a big company.

  • Trust me, I have no love for Comcast. I’ve simply been blessed/lucky (talented?) enough to not accept being jerked around on the phone. I’ve ever had to make, at most, two phone calls for myself.

    I’ve actually had other people ask ME to call for them. Even then, the worst issue was the whole “transfer? No, we cancel services entirely, we don’t transfer” debacle. They shut off an elderly friend’s service THEN double-billed him for three months.

    Three calls. Two calm, one irate. Done and done. If I’ve ever received a CSR I couldn’t understand, I politely end the call, hang up and call back.

    No need to get exasperated, though I get why it happens.

  • Chris_In_NC
  • Benjamin Barnett

    Comcast has done more than enough…the customer is just getting greedy now.

  • ejodee

    No way Comcast will ‘learn’ from simply refunding the cancellation fee. The refund needs to take up the time of someone higher than just the jerk employee’s one-up to have an impact. Cant believe people are begrudging her the victory. Most of you don’t have any more power than she does to make a notoriously indifferent monopoly decide to be decent. And yet you front like you’re the one percent.

  • ejodee

    She would lose in court. Whoever has the gold makes the rules.

  • Joe Schmo

    Refunding all past service is ridiculous, and I am surprised that almost half of people polled thought she get that from getting a piece of paper with the word “a&^hole” on it. Terminating her service for free and firing the person responsible is more than fair. People always try to take advantage of a situation to get more than they deserve to.

  • BinaryTruth

    You can’t really change providers in Washington state as there are only really two options. That’s why Comcast is so expensive.

  • Blackadar

    Exactly this.

    The Comcast action is unacceptable. The OPs reaction is equally unacceptable. In essence, her greed has gone a long way in proving Comcast’s point – that she is an a$$hole. Because demanding two years’ (and more than a thousand dollars worth) of free service because you’re mildly offended is pretty assholeish.

  • IngeC

    My solution would be:
    Void the cancellation fee; correct the offensive label in the name; reprimand or suspend the employee, provide the offended customer 3 months free cable TV – and end with cancellation after the expiration of the free cable TV – and that’s it.
    Anything more or demand for more by the customer is overreach and greedy.

  • Chris Johnson

    Comcast was very generous here in issuing the large refund. But what I’d really want is the name and home phone number of the employee who did this, so I can call them an asshole a few times.

  • Scott Anthony

    Comcast has very poor customer service, especially to clients locked into using their service in areas that they secure as exclusive so customers do not have the option to change to other cable providers. They will bill you for every possible generated charge they can. Even if because of their own errors.
    Comcast, improper screening, training, and staff member had a clearly illogical name change (that also appears through on the envelope when mailed).
    So Comcast feels waiving a 6o cancelation fee is sufficient? Because I client was treated poorly?
    The fact it was indeed changed on Comcast’s side was verified.
    Comcast’s actions technically violate all contract between them and the customer. They can be sued and would loose such a case. They need to make a real attempt for their poor behavior.
    With how much comcast charges for mediocre service, the endless additional costs (for pay preview shows older then 6 months) bogus generated additional fees, and tactics to charge more for using less of their services, in house and out source calls to upgrade to the point they are harassment calls, they should reimburse her, and many others for their lack luster customer service.

  • DChamp56

    People need to understand, it was one Comcast employee who did this, not “Comcast” the company. They will fire the person who did this (every large company has a few of these) and Comcast is no different. It was an awful thing to do, but let’s not turn this into more than it is.

  • Daniel

    Comcast has PR issues. Their customer service is crap, the service costs too much. If they want to fix public perception then they should give her all her money back for the past two years, or give her whatever she wants for one year free.

    I’m not saying that doing so is “justice for calling her husband an A-hole.” I am saying that it’s the right thing to do so that Comcast goes from looking like their typical selves to being the hero.

    Amazon does it all the time. Some little thing is wrong with an order. You call to get that tiny thing fixed. They send you a brand new item overnight and credit your account for the trouble of having to call in the first place. Go Amazon!

    Comcast should try and do the same.

  • Mike Z

    If the women can sue Bill Cosby because they are claiming he is defaming their character by saying their claims neever happened, then I am sure this lady has a case to be made. The one problem I always have, nobody but you actually knows what was done to you until you go to the media and broadcast it.

  • zomgitsjesus

    Cancelling should be as easy as subscribing.

  • pgmsc

    Having gone through a name change with Comcast, I can attest it is incredibly difficult. I had a legal name change, sent copies of my court order and new ID to Comcast multiple times and it still took several months before it was corrected. From what was explained to me (of course, who knows if this is true), the general customer service agents can’t make a name change and requests need to go through the billing department.

  • Haardcase

    So, just to make sure that I understand this, a Comcast employee goes off the rails, then (eventually) Comcast apologizes, waives the nutty $60 cancellation fee and promises to fire the off-rail employee.

    I’m a little at a loss as to why that’s not good enough for Mrs. Brown. I have to wonder if she was really damaged to the tune of two years’ service or if this is an opportunity for Comcast to help dig her family out of their financial hole.

  • Jim Zakany

    And I’ve been giving that away for free all these years.

  • Richard Smith

    There’s the “legal” should — no. There’s the “ethical/moral” should — yes. But the demand shouldn’t be made.

  • @iCraveiLove

    If my issue was saving money in the first place, I would have just had them give me the employee discount for all my services; and hey, throw in those WWE & Disney packages for the kids. In my area they are my only option so I might as well make the best of it.

  • @iCraveiLove

    I do think what they’ve done for her is more than enough at this point.

  • talmont

    Refund, for two years plus fee. Prove that customer service reps are ALL regoing through customer service training from a third party with no conflicts who will grade EACH employee, supervisor, manage and responding agent (like those who failed the customer pre-blogger involvement)

  • Andrew Buck

    Not an expert on this, and happy I don’t live in a Comcast area, but I know those who do and feel for their plight each time they dread needing to call them. I don’t know that this is so much about greed or setting legal precedents.

    What they did was deplorable. That she suffered as much escalation as she did to resolve the issues is worse and a huge black-eye at Comcast. Comcast still hasn’t gotten the lesson. Sometimes, the only way that you can change behavior is to be highly punitive to the point that they have little other recourse. Two years of free service for sending a bill under a profane last name? I think she’s gotten enough, and perhaps a good dig into Comcast for the big PR gaff. I’d be good with that and think she was fairly compensated given they weren’t required to do anything other than disconnect and change the name.

    Whether it’s truly enough? Let’s see if Comcast changes its business practices. I doubt it will.

  • Chris Drudge

    I agree that they had used the service and there probably was nothing wrong with the service during that time. However, in this case, I don’t think $60 and an apology is enough. A free month or two (or reimbursed a month or two) isn’t enough either. It’s a drop in the bucket for Comcast. It likely isn’t even worth their time to argue over a few months worth of service. While 2 years worth of service isn’t all that much to them either, it’s at least a significant enough of a gesture to show the former customer as well as everyone else now that it went public that they screwed up and trying to make amends.

  • jim6555

    I recently looked into dropping my three services cable package and keeping only the internet portion. Verizon FIOS wanted $70 for 15mbps. Bright House Cable was $55. Both of the quotes did not include tax and fees. I can see how a person could pay a total of $67 per month.

  • Extramail

    Two years? Wow. Wish my cable company would send me a bill with that on it – my feelings can be hurt for such a refund!

  • Extramail

    Might not be slander . . .

  • 1amWendy

    I don’t use Comcast anymore, but when I did, I had a continuing problem with frequent (i.e, maybe 3 times a day) internet connectivity. The problem was apparently with a nick in the cable underground. I had several service calls over 18 months, as bad as one guy showing up, telling me the service was buried (as in, duh), and simply walking away. The last time I called I asked for a supervisor. I had the typical poor response and then asked for his supervisor. Was told I couldn’t have that information. Asked for corporate headquarters telephone number. Was told I couldn’t have that either. Grabbed my laptop, went to the nearest Starbucks, found the number on a SEC 10K form and called HQ. I asked to be connected with the VP of Customer Relations. Didn’t get through, but less than an hour later a staff assistant called me back. Before I knew it, there there 3 servicemen at my home. They simply replaced every cable, cord and piece of equipment, inside and out. And I got a $150 refund, and a local cellphone number of some sort of ombudsman. Lesson learned: it pays to go to the top of the food chain.

  • mikal

    The compensation for their actions is commensurate with how much they care about their reputation. Given that they were recently awarded the “worst company in America” award by a national magazine, and that they’ve been called this widely for years, maybe they just don’t care about their reputation anymore. Fuck ’em.

  • Len Oxman

    Perhaps with the outrageous demands of Ms. Brown, the poorly trained and frustrated Comcast employee got the nickname correct!

  • IndyJaws

    Calling someone an a-hole on their bill is not slander (or, more accurately, libel, since it was in writing). It’s protected speech based on opinion. No different than calling them a scumbag, jerkface, douchebag, insert colorful epithet – all legally non-actionable.

  • Bill

    So looking at her bill she has not paid Comcast for many months but still keeps using their service. If I cannot afford something I do not buy it/use it. She should be saying thank you to Comcast for allowing here to continue to be delinquent. Whilst I agree Comcast should have been more responsive to the name change, waiving the $60 fee for more than enough compensation. Demanding a refund for the past two years really shows her true colors.

  • Ken

    Hmm…interesting. You should share your secrets! I plan to downgrade my internet service when the promo ends and I’m already dreaded by the fearsome Retention Department. I needed to contact Comcast three times when I signed up (an online order, a follow-up phone call, then to return their equipment in person because they screwed up my order). Then I needed to contact chats twice to have a bogus convenience fee reversed.

  • Tim Mee

    2 Free years? That’s insane. I wish RCN would call me an A-hole!

  • Matthew Kissell

    Actually this would be great. Not the correct name on bill means Im not paying it. It must belong to someone else. Good luck taking someone to court over a bill with an incorrect person on the account.

  • Tony Tampasis

    no more nice guy time to get a lawyer go after them the slandered your name good luck

  • bodega3

    Oh well, we will disagree.

  • AverageRandomJoe

    Plus, there needs to be damages involved. The only ones who saw the bill was the employee and the customer until the customer publicized it. You CAN sue and may even win (that would be a LONG shot) but you wouldn’t get anything in damages. This wouldn’t even begin to approach something that warrants punitive damages.

  • Lindabator

    Just another moneygrab – SHE should be ashamed.

  • AverageRandomJoe

    That isn’t how call centers work. It isn’t a fraternity. There will be no sleep lost in firing one of the peons on the work floor.

  • discripplemation

    “What should Comcast do?” Stop re-directing ppl who want to cancel service to customer retention when the reason they want to cancel is lack of funds. Keeping them on hold, shuffling them from one person to another, hoping they get frustrated and just give up, what do you end up with? People who still can’t afford the service, and aren’t going to be paying the bill even when it gets sent to collections. These cable companies do not need to retain these customers THAT badly. It’s like a guy with a full buffet in front of him going around picking crumbs off the table.

  • bodega3

    That would work if it was broadcasted by the company. Right now, it is Chris that has shared this with the world. I have no doubt that the person who changed the name was treated terribly by someone in the LW’s home who placed a call. It doesn’t justify it, but I bet either the LW or her husband were not very nice on a past call.
    One morning I came into the agency and in my GDS’ message queue was a note from a carrier about a client of mine who had called the carrier during the night. My client could be very pushy and I the airline agent put notes in the reservation that were not complimentary and sent it to me. I never told the client, not did I share it with anyone. Those notes stay forever in history of a reservation.

  • St petersburg Resident

    I would demand that the company be made to be known as ASSHOLECAST for the duration of however long her name had been changed. Then there would be justice…

  • ForTheRepublic

    I had a few issues just after I signed up that required response over the installation. When you call, on the West coast you are routed to the Phillipines, where the call taker may not understand English. They refuse to transfer you to a US or Canada based call center. They lied to me, and took up about 4 hours of my time including repeated long periods of hold. They gave me a number telling me it was for a US calling center, which when called went straight back to the Phillipines and another marginal English speaker. I was so frustrated and knowing what Consumer Reports has said about this company, I filed an online complaint with FCC. Well, it wasn’t long, within 2 days, before I got a response and absolute resolution, from a person that IS in the US and completely understood. From now on, the second they provide crappy service, I’ll file an FCC complaint. And, when I’m no longer held hostage and another provider comes available in my area, I’ll dump this rip off of a company in a heart beat.

  • Mel65

    I agree, but I do wonder how much more quickly it *might* have gotten taken care of if Ricardo had called himself? Even though I pay all the bills and take care of all the accounts in our house, there are some companies that make me crazy because I am not “Mr. Mel65”. So, having never dealt with Comcast, I don’t know but I do wonder if the actual account holder had called if it would have sped up resolution on the name change, at least….

  • sunshipballoons

    What? There’s a clear cause of action for that: slander. He is saying that they are not telling the truth. If that’s not true, it’s probably actionable as slander, because it’s a false, factual statement that makes them look bad. On the other hand, there’s no cause of action for insulting someone.

  • Ricard

    With local exceptions, Comcast is a very customer-unfriendly company based on my experience. Even with promised price guarantees, they can raise prices anytime they want to under the guise of ‘hardware enhancements’ that you’ll never experience.

  • PolishKnightUSA

    The incident reminds me of a term I learned from Elliott: “gesture of goodwill”. Comcast didn’t have to issue a refund but under the circumstances, it made sense to do so. Even if the customer WAS being an a-hole about the incident, it doesn’t hurt Comcast to show that they’re willing to put some money where their commitment lies. The customer even wants to continue being a subscriber.

    That said, a proper gesture of goodwill wouldn’t be to refund their entire billing history but rather issue a credit (a year’s worth free sounds about right). Or heck, even just give them full service a year for free.

  • Jeanne_in_NE

    +1. I had the same thought. I cannot talk to Cox because my husband is the primary on that bill and he cannot talk to CenturyLink because I am the primary on *that* bill. Those kinds of limitations are even more evident when dealing with cell phone companies; both my sons have told me many stories about disgruntled husbands/wives/parents/children etc. trying to change cell coverage and not being allowed to do so. And how it negatively affects the non-disgruntled husbands/wives/parents/children who are trying to resolve problems.

  • Would that I could! In another life, I worked for Dell, so I’m well-versed in corporate double-speak! I think they can smell that when I start using their terms.

    Ineptitude tends to happen not because of stupidity, but because of anti-consumer rhetoric and the overall “us first” mentality that’s drilled into their heads.

    What we normal humans think should be “easy” tends to be mucked up when suits get involved, and this is spoken as a former “suit!”

  • Randy Culpepper

    ” volunteer for a missions organization in Spokane, Wash”

    This is irrelevant. Also, this woman seems to be very good at playing the victim.

  • Tendernob

    Let me guess.. you’re a shill for Comcast?

  • toni mirabal

    I had a similar experience with Comcast 2 years ago which prompted me to switch to Verizon Fios. I was lied to, by the customer service rep, manager and the person at the local site where i dropped off my box. Even at the location the person behind the glass was rude. She’s lucky the glass was between us.

  • Jeanne_in_NE

    Chris Elliott always asks people’s professions as part of the story. It is irrelevant to the story, but it is procedure. FWIW, I think that her volunteerism does lend credence to the financial predicament in the story. Volunteers generally don’t get paid.

  • Ricard

    Interesting point, but one observation…it’s Comcast who has the customer over a barrel by contractual agreement. Even with promised price ‘guarantees’ they can raise prices anytime they want to under the guise of ‘hardware enhancements’ that you’ll never experience. Yet you have no option to end the contract (I believe they have the ability to engineer a unilateral end to the contract).

    Comcast doesn’t care if you’re calling their reps nasty names; neither do they care (rather, they relish) that they’re hitting you with unexpected price increases or lousy customer service.

  • Jeanne_in_NE

    You’re lucky. My husband’s name is very obviously a man’s name, so I can’t call and say that I am him, even if I lower my voice an octave. I did offer to do so once; the rep laughed, but said my husband would have to call or come in.

  • A. Jackson

    My recent experience with Comcast…

    Dear Mike, Robert, Charlie and company:

    This is my recent experience with your company and the customer care function. I understand they are bound by product choices from Marketing, but this is a truly awful Customer Experience. When I work with clients in Customer Care, the biggest issue for leadership always seems to be “Why weren’t we aware sooner??”, So I am making you aware. My issue is “resolved”, but the experience was sincerely the worst customer experience of my life wasting many hours of Comcast time and my own. Furthermore, you would never be able to piece this story together from my many interactions. So…

    Comcast consumer started enforcing data caps last year. We are cord cutters in my home, so we are streaming — a lot. It may not be a revenue model that you have figured out yet, but it appears that you hate us — a lot. A punishing $100 upcharge in July and $50 on my next bill is outlandish. I made numerous calls seeking a remedy. At least twice I selected Cancel My Service in the IVR with every intention of disconnecting. Each time I got widely varied assistance from reps, but never any helpful guidance, courtesy credits, or offers of paid data buckets (which I would gladly buy). I received asinine explanations and repetitive “I understand your concerns” and false empathy about my issue. The summary looks something like this:

    I received several communications warning about the caps (but no alternatives), and then…

    March – over cap by 250GB, but forgiven

    May – over cap by 300GB, but forgiven

    June – over cap by 180GB, but forgiven

    – – 3 chances to “self-moderate my usage”

    In months 4 and 5 — $10/50GB bucket over 300GB….

    July – over cap by 455GB = $100

    August – over by 238GB = $50

    And no resolution in sight other than to switch back to cable video and stop streaming — or shut up and pay the overage. I have been in telco/cable for 20+ years and it always eluded me why the industry favored an overage/penalty model vs. expanded tiered usage especially for the top 2%. I’m not advocating all-you-can-eat, but don’t punish the heavy users and early adopters.

    At one point, I was automatically escalated to the Comcast “Customer Security Assurance” team that apologized, but emphasized there were no other options in my market… I continued to seek resolution, and the third attempt THAT MONTH I get an offer for 105 Extreme because “it will double my data usage to 600GB”. Well — that’s great! Why is this the first I’m hearing?? I’m still annoyed, still offered no service credit, but I’ll take the plan because it’s net-net cheaper. Very scant information to verify this plan on the web… virtually none. Just a rathole of FAQs. Turns out, the agent was all wrong, but wait… I called my contact in Security Assurance to let him know I had found a partial solution and was disappointed that he had not offered me the same. I left a voice mail, which he promptly returned to correct the error. She was wrong. Bigger buckets are only available in one market: https://customer.comcast.com/help-and-support/internet/data-usage-what-are-the-different-plans-launching/ I found this note well after the fact (and it has been changed now) after reading WAY too many of your FAQs. The way your web is organized is not customer-centric — policy info is VERY hard to find and even harder to decipher…

    So now, I’ve been “retained”, onto a more expensive plan, but under false pretense… I think it was innocent ignorance (the save rep was sincere and helpful, and you aren’t making her job any easier). Comcast could not possibly make this any more customer-hostile and convoluted. Three more calls later I find I am still getting nowhere although I have bumped my service back down to Blast 50 and I’m giving every rep a polite filibuster about how crazy this is that every single plan has the same 300G cap. And finally… FINALLY, one rep that had a clue says “Have you looked into our Business plans?” I had not! But that’s brilliant. Wish I had thought of it.

    Business plans have NO DATA USAGE POLICY – NO CAPS (quoting the web site). The subscription is about $30 more per month for 50/10mbps (I won’t even go into their simple plan names vs your silly Consumer marketing names). Comcast Business says explicitly on the front page “No Data Caps”… very different from consumer. I pay more on my monthly recurring charges, but now I don’t worry about overages — ever. I work from home, stream at home, and it’s exactly what I needed.

    Why does the industry do this? I will buy anything that keeps me from having a “bill surprise”… but you have to offer it first.

    You claim in your FAQs that the 2% of us affected are fringe cases and that most are voluntarily “moderating” with assistance from Comcast Customer Security Assurance. I guess with 22 million customers, you are “only” infuriating half a million of us… but we are the vocal, high-value customers. Not wise. http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/1427699/Comcast-testing-data-caps-in-parts-of-country I will spare you my follow-on experience of failure to “disconnect” my consumer bill, asking me to return my own modem, and the collections notice I received the day after Care confirmed I would receive a check for the backdated disconnect (that I had to call 3 times about). Your people have no clue what’s going on with their customers across silos. None.

    If I were in your role, I would want to know about these types of situations. I suspect that each of the dozen reps marked my interactions as One-and-Doneskewing your FCR much higher — as reps always have. It seemed worth sharing this story as a good example that reinforces your “race to the bottom” in NPS with the rest of your peers. Comcast was just barely able to keep my business because of a Business option (for which I am thrilled – kudos to the Business team), but eventually I will have other choices beyond Comcast and AT&T… and I will likely take them.

    Sincerely,

    A. Jackson

    P.S. At least I was nice enough to the reps to avoid this issue I suppose:

    http://gizmodo.com/comcast-changed-customers-name-to-asshole-brown-but-i-1682409072

  • HoHoSteverino

    Exede/Viasat is just as bad. Substandard service and they try to stick you with hundreds of dollars of early termination fees even if you have no choice but to move. Also, no room for negotiating the fee. They will bill you one month and move it to collections the next month, no excuses accepted. Avoid at all costs. Better to have no internet, and go to the library or coffee shop, than Exede if that is the only option.

  • LFH0

    I see that this story has now been picked up by Fox News, which cites this blog as its source. http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/01/29/comcast-says-sorry-for-changing-customers-name-to-ahole-brown. If the story begins to spin out of control, the two years of comped service will be nothing in comparison.

  • joseph

    Comcast is doing exactly what they need to do and it’s working. Just read the comments and we already see the outrage has moved on to the customer for asking too much from comcast.

    For comcast, a refund for 2 years of service charge to one customer really is nothing but to resolve this bad publicity means alot.

    If you look at this as an isolated incident, they did everything right to make up for their wrong.

    I think it’s a win win for both parties.

  • Wrich

    While Comcast may be a huge bucket of assholes themselves, an apology and a refund of the initial amount is enough. Two years free seems excessive, and offends people’s sense of justice.

    Just because Comcast called her an asshole, or her husband an asshole, does not magically transform them into an asshole. You have to do that on your own.

  • So freaking what? You are all wrong.

  • So you are OK with a giant belittling a dwarf I see. You are also victim blaming. Who knows, fate might like you and this happens to you as well. I wonder how tolerant you would have been in this case.

  • bodega3

    Don’t think so.

  • Gloves_Donahue

    Your comment is irrelevant. “Protected speech” pertains specifically to Federal censorship. You’re right; you can insult someone verbally or in print. Just understand there may be civil ramifications.

  • Justin Bryant

    Had massive issues with Comcast for almost 4 years until Sept. 2013. Constant rude, unhelpful CS people led to the same kind of calls this woman got. I too had lost my job & had to reduce my services. Same constant calls…then they’d screw up my bill & charge me more than what was promised. I earned more than $700 in credits for their poor CS work in talking to me & managing my account.

    She should hire a lawyer to insure that Comcast didn’t report her account in that name to credit bureaus when she was late. Could cause her a variety of issues down the road.

  • Soubrause

    Comcast has never cared about their customers. A friend of mine in San Francisco had his address looked up by a Comcast employee who then vandalized his house and then later assaulted him. Comcast customer service confirmed his account had been looked up but then their security group refused to do anything about it.

  • bodega3

    Good grief, turn things around why don’t you. I am tired of people expecting more than they deserve. What can I get? How much can I get? What she got was an apology, a person fired (rightfully so) and her fee returned. Why should she get all the money she ever paid to Comcast for this slight? The all about me generation….get over it.

  • OrangeCountyCA2

    Those of you who think the customer shouldn’t make demands out of Comcast for being insulting have never been treated poorly by a business before. And you probably own Comcast stock as well. Shills.

  • AJPeabody

    If an employee does it, then the company does it. Respondeat superior, I believe. Then add intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, and the obvious charge of “Who’s the a-hole here?”

  • bodega3

    Bull. I have written letters for myself and for clients. There is a right way and a wrong way and wanting more than you deserve is the wrong way.

  • Vxxxjesterxxxv

    No dude, we are not wrong. The bill being changed was unacceptable I agree, but firstly I have to call BS on her not being rude at all. You don’t get someone to change your name like that if you’re being reasonable.

    Secondly there is NO REASON she should be reimbursed for 2 years of service received. This was nowhere near that serious. Credited for the termination fee, maybe some credit going forward, and a public apology and promises the employee will be the former employee should be more than enough. She is being greedy, plain and simple and it makes me sick they caved to her. And this is coming from someone who thinks comcast is the freaking devil

  • Question__Mark

    What Comcast chooses to do is up to them. The customer abuse they exhibited in this case means they failed in their basic service mission by every measure.

  • Question__Mark

    I sincerely hope that you find yourself treated much more kindly than you seem to be allowing others.

  • firstname lastname

    I think BOTH comcast and the customer are wrong. I imagine the Browns did/said something (easy to do) to piss them off. But then also, comcast CS is simply awful to deal with in general. Frankly this whole article, expose is lame. Why is it we need to post everything, talk about everything, share everything, be compensated these days? Blah Blah Enough.

  • Jeanne_in_NE

    Bodega, this story has hit the national news and youthful, ultra-liberal outlets such as HuffPo and other quasi-news aggregators. This site is attracting many folks that we don’t normally see here. It’s an exercise in futility to argue with folks that come from those sites.

  • firstname lastname

    She could have just canceled completely. Name gone, done.

  • Ken

    Why? So that Comcast will improve its customer service?

  • firstname lastname

    Spot on.

  • Derek

    As someone who has worked in Comcast Customer Service and dealt with an average of 30-50 calls from Comcast customers a day, I can say this is a whole lot different than this.

    First, as much as I don’t like Comcast, this is not Comcast, it’s the underpaid representative that probably works for a third-party call center that has a contract with Comcast.

    Second, people love to beat up on these customer service representatives, but if you could hear some of the calls we get, you would be shocked. If I could put just one of the calls I used to get each day online it would immediatley become a viral sensation. Customers are crazy. They are rude, angry, vial, childish, insulting, and just plain crazy. People call up and viciously insult you, threaten you, yell at you for two hours, and even pretend they are your boss, or some law enforcement officer. Ive had everything in the book happen. All of this for some minor nonsense, like a technician can’t come out to fix their cable till tomorrow.

    Remember the dukin donuts lady? Imagine customers ten times worse, all day long. You really don’t know America till you work at one of these places.

    If you think the customer service representatives are to blame, you are completely ignorant. You have no idea what it’s like to be one of these people. You not only have to deal with all of the above, but are underpaid, under respected, and held to achieve at least 12-15 different metrics on your calls that are almost impossible to achieve. It is VERY stressful. The average time someone works at one of these call centers is 3 months.

    This guy is absolutely, unequivocally, without a doubt, LYING when he says “he wasn’t rude”. here is NO way an agent would risk their job otherwise. He doesn’t want to admit how much of a horrible, despicable person he probably was out of pure embarrassment.

    People have NO idea how crazy it is to work in that job. They have NO Idea what it’s like. Unfortunately, the calls cannot ever be shared due to obvious legal and privacy reasons. If just one of them could—-including this guys—-it would immediately become a viral sensation and this article would be amended.

    Believe it.

    I have worked for three major cable/internet providers in the EXACT same position.

    Xfinity, U-verse, Century LInk.

    It was the exact same story, the exact same problem, the exact same nonsense with EACH ONE. There was no difference.

    Billing mistakes are made in every company, technical mistakes happen in every company. Period.

    It’s part of life.

    It’s not an excuse to verbally abuse a poor customer service rep that is paid nothing to deal with you, and is really, honestly, truly, just trying to help you.

    Especially if it’s not a mistake, and your just throwing a fit because you don’t want to pay anything or want some credit.

    Here is one day in one of these call centers:

    I get a call, and politely answer. The person on the other end calls me at least twenty insults in less than five minutes, simply because their promotion for free movie channels ended. They then proceed to tell me how Im “nothing” because I work in call center and they have “such and such” degree. They do this for an hour, without letting me say anything. I am forced to be polite and stay on the line until they hang up.

    I get another call from a man who angrily tells me that I am a homosexual because the technician can’t come fix his cable in five minutes. It is midnight. He does this for thirty minutes.

    I then proceed to get fifteen or so more of these calls while a young girl next to me is being sexually harrased on the phone. She is forced to stay on the line and be polite for an hour.

    You people have no clue what customer service is really like. You wouldn’t last one week. Adults have become needy children who throw constant temper tantrums when they don’t get what they want.

    Don’t beleive me? Go work in a call center. Please.

    Maybe then you’ll understand why this happened.

    And for the record, I think Comcast is a horrible company. They buy off politics, and have enormous amounts of control they abuse. I think the same about AT&T who is intimatley involved with illegal NSA surveillence and a whole host of other corrput practices.

    I think all of these mega-corporations are awful. They are despicable.

    However, those companies are not the kid who couldn’t find a job anywhere in the current state of the economy, and got the only one he could.

    It’s not the formerly successful accountant that lost their job. It’s not the guy with three technical degrees, or the former chemist, or the former DoD Defense Specialist that needs a job after retirement ( I have worked with ALL these people. They are all real examples).

    It’s also not the kid in the Philippines making $4.00 an hour, taking the best job they can find.

    It’s a corporate board you could not name without a Google search.

  • Ken

    It’s rather simple. Phone reps don’t know how to fix the name. It’s an obvious and grave error and I bet they wanted to change it to at least a less offensive name. They just don’t know how. Name change on an account needs to be done in person. Here’s an example:

    http://forums.comcast.com/t5/Billing/Last-Name-on-Bill/m-p/1987795

  • bodega3

    Comcast made a decent offer. Sorry you think otherwise.

  • bodega3

    WE can handle them :-)

  • Mike

    Comcast needs to realize its easy to catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Imagine the money they can make if they treated people right. They have great product, now just put better service into place.

  • tdg3

    interesting that the government relations people were the ones leading the charge here. could that have something to do with a certain pending merger?

  • Mike

    If Comcast would have simply cancelled her service like she requested, this would be non issue. If she was an “asshole” or not, the customer is always right.

  • Mike

    Comcast allows spousal access as do most companies.

  • ethanspapa

    i WOULD CALL A LAWYER AND SUE THEIR ARS OFF.
    IDENTIFY THE CULPRIT AND EMBARRASS THE LITTLE CRETIN’S LIFE.

  • ethanspapa

    SHE GETS A CIVIL ACTION FOR LIBEL “THE WRITTEN WORD”.
    YOU DO THAT IN A NIGHTCLUB THE OFFENDER WOULD PAY THOUSANDS IN DENTAL WORK.
    . >LOOSE LIPS SINK SHIPS AS THE SAYING GOES<.

    HECK FOOTBALL PLAYERS GET FINED THOUSANDS FOR TALKING OUT OF TURN,ESPECIALLY FAMOUS BLACK ONES.

  • sunshipballoons

    It would be really hard to assert libel based on being called an calling somebody an a-hole, because that’s an opinion, not a fact. (Unless, I suppose, you are saying that somebody is actually, in fact, the hole of somebody’s rear end, but that claim would have many other problems.)

    Excellent use of all caps.

  • ethanspapa

    WE HAVE BECOME A SENSITIVE LITIGIOUS SOCIETY.
    WARS HAVE STARTED OVER LESS.
    THE CRETIN THAT CHANGED A PERSONS NAME TO ARSHOLE NEEDS TO GO DOWN TO D.C. AND HAVE A COUPLE OF BEERS WITH OBAMA,
    THEN PAY THE CIVIL FINE
    IF YOU THINK THEY WILL INVESTIGATE THIS AS THEY SAY, GUESS WHAT???? THEY WON’T. IT WILL COST THEM THOUSANDS THOUGH !

  • Brian Nielsen

    He didnt deserve a 2 year refund for the act. But Comcast deserved the penalty for the action. I think everything worked out perfectly.

  • The funny part about all those Comcast apologists in the comments below referenced is that if any consumer created a website called “A*shole Comcast,” s/he would be contacted immediately by Comcast’s lawyers with a nastigram threatening imprisonment and/or fines for trademark infringement. And yet, according to the apologists, it’s A-OK to besmirch the reputation of a private individual.

  • H0M

    Actually, to be libel it has to be published publicly. The rep did not publish the bill publicly, she did.

  • ACP79

    To me the real offense here is that Comcast didn’t address this issue when she called and visited the office. Perhaps the waiving of the $60 fee would have been appropriate if Comcast addressed the issue immediately, but because action was only taken when a consumer advocate contacted the company, a full two-year refund is absolutely appropriate in this situation.

  • Marine Sarge

    I would let them keep the name on the bill and sue them for $100,000,000 and settle for $10 million…. I’d go into length on Comcast and their inferior customer service, but I’m sure nobody here has that much time. I used to be a customer also, and dropped them for slower internet service and regular TV channels. Also my son was a contractor for them and the stories he told were highly amusing and infuriating at the same time.

  • Marine Sarge

    And your opinion is the Holy Grail now? What is your name? Barack Obama?

  • Marine Sarge

    I’d be so greedy they’d pay millions to get rid of me… You know Comcast sells their customer lists right? They give their address and phone numbers to anyone willing to pay their asking price. This family could be getting multiple letters, phone calls and solicitations addressed to A**hole Brown… Sadly, you liberals are the first ones to cry foul and sue when something doesn’t go your way.

  • IndyJaws

    Yeah, not quite, Gloves. Protected speech pertains to civil actions as well. Certainly, someone who feels wronged because I called them an a-hole is entitled to sue. In a state without an anti-SLAPP statute (sad that some don’t), I’d either win a motion to dismiss or a summary judgment. Unfortunately, I’d still be out the cost of legal fees. In an anti-SLAPP statute state, I’d be able to sue for my defense costs, even if they dropped the suit. Ken White’s excellent Popehat site gives many examples of protected speech and how it can be used in defense in civil litigation. Here’s one post discussing anti-SLAPP statutes: https://www.popehat.com/2012/06/07/why-yes-i-am-into-slapping/

  • y_p_w

    If you really need guaranteed service, there’s small business-grade internet, which you can get for a residential neighborhood. They will have a guaranteed service level and preferential bandwidth while residential customers get a smaller segment of shared bandwidth at peak times.

  • pauletteb

    No need to shout!

  • Travelnut

    I think in order to claim slander or libel (slander is spoken and libel is via other media), there has to be damage to the reputation. I’m not sure I see that at all. Who would have seen “A**hole” on the bill, besides the rep who changed the name, the couple who saw the bill, and maybe the mailman who I doubt even noticed it. There are really no damages here. Maybe hurt feelings.

  • llandyw

    I see someone mentioned that Fox news has this story. CNN has it as one of their top stories as well. That one is somewhat shorter than the story here though. It can be found at: http://money.cnn.com/2015/01/29/news/companies/comcast-asshole-bill/index.html

  • bodega3

    I’d like to hear the record of that conversation. I bet hubby wasn’t all that nice to get his name changed. The employee was wrong, but how many times do we wish we could get at a customer that was a jerk.

  • Judy Serie Nagy

    Honest to God, this is HYSTERICAL. I’ll just betcha the husband was a real jerk on the phone. This has got to be the dream of every CS rep who is helpless when attacked by the customer. Seems to me that all Comcast needed to do was check to see who quit the week after the name got changed on the account. As for two years “free” service, they could have avoided that by treating her like properly the first time she reported the AH problem. I’m glad she got the refund.

  • ethanspapa

    that darn locks cap was stuck . Children and peanut butter will do it every time

  • Butterflyeleven

    How is Comcast guilty of slander when they did not make the name change public? Asshole Brown made it public!! We have sadly become a society of people who sue one another when a strong wind blows by. It’s ridiculous! Also, I do not believe for one single minute that she was not rude. This just doesn’t happen for no reason.

  • Butterflyeleven

    No, the customer is NOT always right. This statement has been used & misused. It is not supposed to mean that the customer can act like a complete douche and receive credits and freebies, but that is sadly what happens.

  • ethanspapa

    This in a way is on the same line that you’re going after. . Most people know who CVS is. A large pharmacy chain that sells other junk.
    Well according to the new HIPPA laws that were passed recently. the only information they need to acquire when the customer is picking up a script for ,lets say thyroid medicine. is your name and address.
    Unless it is a Nacotic. All bets are off then as they put you through the FBI most wanted Mexican Drug Cartel list.
    .Not only do they want your name and address the want to copy everything down from your license.
    What I have learned over the past few years they put signs up all around the Pharmacy area when picking up a non narcotic.

    They want all your info except your social security number and ask out load for it.
    NAME, ,ADDRESS, PHONE #, DOB. All for everyone in line 12 deep to hear .

    As a few sneak off call your home , No ans. . They break in and you’ve been robbed.
    I called my local rep ad they are responsible for fines 0f 1000 dollars a piece up to a total not to exceed 25 grand a day.
    I went down to pick up a script about a month ago along with a small bottle of Robitussin. The very next day I got a discount coupon the next time i might need Robitussin.

    Talk about having your information at the disposal of millions of miscreants..
    I fought the fight and switched

    It is extremely time consuming to beat big brother.
    AND SO IT GOES!

  • The name was on the outside of the envelope, which would make it potentially visible to a number of people: postal carrier, roommate, neighbor taking in your mail while you’re on vacation, etc.

  • wethepeople34

    The fact being that Ricardo is a Hispanic name with the last name being Brown coupled with the particularly offensive noun the employee used, comcast is goddamn lucky they did not receive an accusation of racism.

  • Jill Lewis

    Is there anything you don’t try to make into a political issue?

  • pyrodice

    I probably wouldn’t have done anything, I would’ve canceled the payment that was able to come out of my bank or credit card, and told them to send the collections agency after asshole brown.

  • shannonfla

    I’m torn. This is a very egregious mistake on Comcast’s CS part. I think a few years of free service is definitely called for but I don’t think a refund of past service is

  • shannonfla

    She might have needed internet service for job search, kids homework, whatever.

  • Rob Ricci

    What the CSE did to this customer was unconscionable. At the very least, that CSR needs to learn that in ANY business, if you have no customers, you have no business. That’s the VERY least that should happen. Of course, the ultimate thing that should happen is that CSR is fired from his/her job. Maybe Comcast should look and see why employee morale is low?

  • Rob Ricci

    Wait a sec….I just thought of something. Ricardo doesn’t have to pay that bill. That CSR did him a favor by changing that name. Comcast CAN’T go after Asshole Brown because Asshole doesn’t exist!

  • Kari

    This is equal to slander. It is a civil matter. I feel that if taken to court they could be awarded $5000. To add insult to the financial injury that this family is facing is unacceptable and should be remedied.

  • brainhurt_and_fear

    There must be a punitive measure large enough to ensure this does not happen again. Make it expensive, b/c obviously shame is an unknown feeling for Comcast.

  • Nathan Witt

    Oh, obviously this would never happen, and contractually speaking, you’re absolutely right. My thought exercise is only intended to help me think through whether a particular resolution to a case passes my own internal smell test. Did Comcast do something inappropriate? Sure. Should it cost them $60? Well, if we flip the parties, I’d say it sounds ludicrous, so, no. An apology would suffice.

  • Ricard

    Given that the flow of money is one way (it’s the customer paying Comcast to provide a service) I guess I’m unconvinced. My personal experience with Comcast is that they provide ample reason for customers being upset, and their customer service is not geared toward ‘service’ but being non-responsive or not fixing the problem (again, there are local exceptions). My default is that if a customer called Comcast customer service “Dear @$$hole,” it may be unwise, but it’s likely deserved. ;-)

  • Domino67

    They get fined by the NFL not the courts…..I am certain that the NFL does not have jurisdiction in this case ;)

  • lurker2015

    Yes – you get the hard sell every time you simply try to cancel anything with phone companies and cable companies. Sometimes people just have to cut back and your mind is set or you have already reviewed all the options including the competition and the only answer is to cancel a service.

    Unless you can find a way to provide the same service for much less or provide the same service for the price I can afford, just do what I asked you to do. Sometimes they will wheel and deal a legit deal to keep your business but most times not. I suspect a lot of pressure to meet quotas and cancellations must be a negative.

  • emanon256

    My wife has a unisex name, so I can always call and make changes when the account is in her name, I just give her name and no one questions it. However, no one seems to ever let her do anythgin when the account is in my name.

  • emanon256

    In several prior customer service management positions I had, we had customers who were such jerks we had to flag them. In some cases, we had to ban them form doing busienss with us, and instruct employees to hang up on them whenever their account came up. At one employer, we had two customers arrested on criminal charges for making threats against our employees.

  • sunshipballoons

    Well, maybe it was published to other people at Comcast. That could be libel, if calling him an a-hole could itself be libel.

  • Travelnut

    True, good point. He/she probably laughed with their work buddies about it.

  • bodega3

    We’d all be in trouble as most offices have names for their more difficult clients.

  • sunshipballoons

    Your problem is that you let them push you. If you’d insisted your name is in fact Franklin or whatever, what would they have done, told you that it wasn’t your name?

  • sunshipballoons

    This wasn’t a legal name change. Somebody at Comcast changed the name on their account, which they were apparently able to do without any documentation, since it wasn’t the real name. Whatever they did to change it, they could have done to change it back.

  • Jeanne_in_NE

    I guess I’m too honest. I also figure that my husband can take a few minutes out from his day or evening and handle problems with his own account.

  • H0M

    Did the envelope contain his picture and real name alongside of the profanity? Nope, so the postal carrier, roommate, neighbor cannot say that the profanity was describing the real person. An example of libel would be writing a blog, identifying that person by name or using his picture and state that is a fact he is an a**hole.

  • H0M

    I agree that is frustrating having to call and having to navigate through IVRs and reps. I hate it too, I prefer email since I can keep records of the interaction. But that is not the reps fault and should not be taken against the person on the other end of the line. Most of these policies are made by business analysts that don’t have to interact with the customers. Complaints about the process needs to be sent directly to the company or use social media. A long time ago I worked in the CS field and you may not know how crappy it was having to deal with an overwhelming amount of customer with an extreme sense of entitlement while having to stick with company policy.

  • H0M

    Also, it cannot be slander because was not in a spoken form. Libel is in the written form.

  • H0M

    Maybe she was so mad that didn’t care to impersonate her husband. However, if someone changes my name, I am calling right away instead of asking someone to do it.

    I speculate that Comcast decided to cut corners and save money by getting rid of check and balance. A phone rep shouldn’t have the permissions to change billing info (name, SSN, address, etc…). They should have an internal department without interaction with the public who processes and verifies the changes.

  • OrangeCountyCA2

    She wasn’t “wanting more than she deserved.” the employee committed a heinous offense that warrants making demands.

  • bodega3

    I bet her husband was a jerk, too. People these days are greedy. The company did give her more, and that is their right.

  • OrangeCountyCA2

    She was not “making more demands than she deserves,” the employee committed a heinous offense that warrants making demands. Obviously you don’t think an employee cursing a customer out is a big deal. Even if the customer was rude, that doesn’t justify what the employee did and there should be consequences for his actions.

  • OrangeCountyCA2

    You must be a lawyer representing companies that abuse customers.

  • bodega3

    I think the customer cursing at the employee is equally wrong. I do know that most businesses call certain clients by nasty names behind their backs. I don’t condone what the employee did. But I bet I wouldn’t like the husband’s comments any better.

  • bodega3

    Yep, you found me out…not.

  • This thread has been flagged. Please be nice to each other.

  • bodega3

    Oh good grief. How stupid!

  • John Holt

    Sorry; but I just don’t see a rep randomly doing this to a customer just out of the blue. I bet if you were to pull this call and listen to it, which I will bet anything that they did, the customer had an attitude and cussing the minute that the rep answered the call. I would almost bet that this customer had it coming to them. Always be polite in the service industry, they always have a way to get even with you even if it means their job as most of the times it’s worth it to them. If you haven’t seen the movie “Waiting”, you should. lol

  • hereinWA

    You had me until your last, stupid, misguided, and retarded, remark.

  • hereinWA

    As long as I have my friend, Ky’s, information, I can make any changes to her account, though usually calls to them (she does speak/understand English the best) is because the service is screwed up YET AGAIN. And what really sucks is if ONE thing screws up, EVERYTHING goes out. TV goes out? So does your PHONE and internet. Net goes out? So does the phone and TV…

  • hereinWA

    IN the case of what I’ve gone through with CenturySTINK? No, no that would not be enough…by far.

  • hereinWA

    Try podunk, WA, where $40+ doesn’t even get you ten meg, like they ‘say’ you get, but you don’t get anything close to that. And when you complain? Oh, it’s NEVER THEM…it must be you, your computer, the lines, the this the that…NEVER THEM, even though EVERYONE IN THE AREA has the same problem.

  • hereinWA

    The ONLY other choice here in rural Washington State is HughesNet, satellite internet, $80/mo before taxes and fees, dial-up speed. Seriously.

  • If it was addressed to the person who is known to live at the address on the envelope, using that resident’s actual surname, with only the first name changed to “asshole”…I think people can sort of put 2 and 2 together on that one.

  • econobiker

    The people didn’t want to change the name because “it’s not my job.” especially the on-site employees who typically only intake equipment returns.

  • econobiker

    Agreed with mike.
    Cancel service.
    Do not rename customer in computer system.
    End of story.

  • econobiker

    Problem is that no one could correct the name change issue until the bright light of a consumer advocate was focused on the fetid mass of non-customer serving employees…

  • OrangeCountyCA2

    “Looks like 40 other agree with me.”
    Proof America is going to hell.

  • OrangeCountyCA2

    Tell the victim-blaming corporate apologists to shut up and only afterwards you’ll get “nice.”

  • OrangeCountyCA2

    The problem is not the company or the employer. The problem is too many employees have become disengaged with their jobs to the point that they only care about getting their paycheck and that’s it. If you’re the type to say nasty comments about your customers behind their back, then you owe it to employer and your customers to look for another job and be replaced by an employee who cares about the customers and the goals of your employer. If you insist on staying and end up cursing an customer out, expect consequences.

  • OrangeCountyCA2

    Get real bodega3. If you’re the type to say nasty comments about your customers behind their back, then you owe it to your employer and your customers to look for another job and be replaced by an employee who cares about the customers and the goals of your employer. If you insist on staying and end up cursing an customer out, expect consequences.

  • mj1948

    Comcast blows.

  • bodega3

    Well it got up to 163. The view that it is all about me is a real concern world wide. Heaven forbid someone’s toes get stepped on. What can I get from it? Or sue, sue, sue.

  • I can’t believe people are calling this person greedy for demanding their money back. Do any of them realize just how ridiculous Comcast is? I would rather stick my finger in my cable outlet to improve reception than call their so-called “customer service”. It’s beyond being a joke. I can totally believe they had trouble getting their name changed back. I have had pretty awful customer service with them myself. I just can’t believe people would defend a company like this. They deserve anything they get. And that person deserves any money back they get too. And BTW, I am sure that the employee who made the name change to a-hole knew they could get away with it and not be caught. THAT’s how much of a cluster-fk Comcast is.

  • Sorry but with the kind of people I’ve had to deal with from Comcast, I totally believe a rep doing this “out of the blue”. Even if the customer was not happy and angry with the rep. there is no justification for them doing this. It’s not acceptable nor even understandable. Customer service reps. deal with irascible customers every day and if they are professional they don’t take it personally nor retributive action. I can rather more understand a customer being irate with Comcast for good reason than for no reason. Comcast angers more customers than it satisfies. Their reps get away with murder with very nice customers. Their customer service skills SUCK and no, they are not always polite. Comcast’s reputation is legendary, so my vote is with the customer, sorry.

  • pgmsc

    No, I get that, and it was a wretched thing for the Comcast employee to do. I guess my point was that when she called to have someone correct it, the reps she spoke with have probably been instructed that they can’t do name changes and they don’t even attempt to do so. My understanding is that call center employees often are instructed to get the customer off the phone as quickly as possible, and it’s a lot quicker to say, “No, I can’t do that” than to find a way to fix it. I can’t tell you how many times I had to contact them to correct my name before I was finally directed to the billing department, and that was aside from the 30 phone calls and 3 weeks it took to get my service set up when I moved last year. Every time I called, it felt like the rep was just hurrying to push me off onto somebody else. Comcast is not my favorite provider, but it is my only option for high speed internet in my neighborhood. Not having options when it’s a service you require (I need reliable internet for work and school) makes it difficult to leave a provider even when you receive horrendous service.

  • H0M

    You can consult with a lawyer. It is not libel since the target audience is the recipient of the letter.

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  • MamaBear2012

    There was a news story today about a lady in Illinois who is a Comcast customer and they changed her name to “SUPERB___H” on her bill. I can’t believe that Comcast has these kinds of people working for them. I would never in a million years do business with them. Not even if they were the last cable company on earth.

  • MamaBear2012

    But it did have to travel through the mail and different post offices. So in a way yes it was made public. Mail handlers seeing that. Delivery person seeing that.

  • MamaBear2012

    It did have his last name right next to the A**hole. It wouldn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out who it was by looking at the name and address.

  • Danielle Ross

    Ya what he said