Comcast’s public image has sunk so low that customers now assume that a customer service rep who threatens you with violence or calls you a “b*tch” is actually someone working for the nation’s largest cable provider and not a prank caller.
Over on his site, Christopher Elliott has two interesting tales of Comcast customers who ended up on the receiving end of some bizarre and profane calls after they Tweeted their customer service issue to the @comcastcares Twitter account.
First is a customer who posted his issue on Twitter and then received a call from someone claiming to be a Comcast rep looking to help him out.
Things were fine at first, but then another person jumped on the call claiming to be a supervisor, and that’s when the evening took a turn for the Twilight Zone.
“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,” the customer tells Elliott. “And his words were, ‘We are Comcast, and we can charge you whatever the f**k we want.’”
The customer then began recording the unbelievable call, as he got passed from phony representative to phony representative, each using foul and insulting language.
“They included physical threats, sexual threats, threats of charging my account for things, as well as threats to go after my workplace,” says the customer.
Elliott contacted Comcast about the call, which investigated and determined it was a hoax, given that the call came from Ontario, where Comcast doesn’t have a call center, and that it was made after midnight.
But the fact that there was even a scintilla of doubt that this could be an authentic rogue customer service call demonstrates the depths to which Comcast’s reputation has sunk.
And this customer isn’t alone. Elliott also heard from another Comcast customer who recently Tweeted a photo of her botched installation job to the @comcastcares account.
That’s when she got a call from “Bryan” at Comcast, who initially told her that if she didn’t like the bare cord just hanging out of her wall to simply move the TV to cover it.
He later broke the bad news to her that, “To be honest, nobody cares about your ceiling.”
When she asked to speak to a supervisor, she could hear “Bryan” speaking to another person.
“Hey Mike, look at this,” the caller said. “This is hilarious. This b*tch wants us to pay to fix her ceiling. Should I charge her extra for the tech visit?”
When the customer told the bogus CSR that she’d heard what he said and that she’d been recording the call, he told her he hadn’t given her permission to do so.
Again, Comcast says this is a hoax. It looks like prank callers are monitoring the @comcastcares feed looking for customers whose accounts provide enough information for them to look up their phone number and other info; all that you really need to make a believable prank call.
These pranksters may be out to make Comcast look even worse than it already does, but more likely they’re taking advantage of the fact that customers of a company that actually does rename customers “A**hole,” “Dummy” or “Super B*tch” might believe that a CSR would say something like “we’re Comcast and we can do whatever the f*ck we want.”
Regardless of the callers’ intentions, it’s a good reminder to not share too much information when complaining online, or online in general. Twitter allows users to be as anonymous as they want, so there’s no reason complete strangers should be able to figure out your phone number in a matter of minutes.
And while Comcast and other companies might, under extreme circumstances, choose to call customers directly after an online complaint, they usually take intermediary steps like asking you to Direct Message the company privately or direct you to call a customer service number.
If you do receive a call out of the blue from Comcast or any other company, ask the caller to provide you with information that some stranger prank-caller wouldn’t have — your account number, address, etc. — before continuing with the call.