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Comcast ‘Call From Hell’ Was Standard Procedure According To Leaked Company Memo

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As Comcast continues its plan to merge with Time Warner Cable and create a massive telcom empire it has also been forced to deal with a viral recording of a Comcast customer service representative refusing to allow a customer to leave the service. Nicknamed the “call from hell”, the recording spoke to an experience many Comcast customers seem to have shared regarding the bullying and inappropriate behavior they receive from the firm.

In response, Comcast declared that the way the employee handled the call was “unacceptable and not consistent with how we train our customer service representatives.” That the customer service representative featured in the call was out of step with the rest of the company.

But a new memo obtained by The Consumerist tells a different story. According to the memo written by Comcast COO Dave Watson, the customer service rep was “doing what we trained him to do.”

The agent on this call did a lot of what we trained him and paid him — and thousands of other Retention agents — to do,” continues Watson. “He tried to save a customer, and that’s important, but the act of saving a customer must always be handled with the utmost respect.”

As a result, the company is at least paying lip-service to the idea of better training for employees (whether they make good on these promises is still to be seen).

So it was not one bad apple but a policy implemented from the top down. Those “Retention agents” are supposed to be pushy and not take no for an answer, even to ridiculous lengths.

The thought of Comcast expanding its reach even further within the cable and internet space via a merger that would give the company 30-40% of the overall market is beginning to look more like a deal from hell.

The Bullpen

Comcast ‘Call From Hell’ Was Standard Procedure According To Leaked Company Memo

{!hitembed ID=”hitembed_1″ width=”100″ height=”200″ align=”none” !}

As Comcast continues its plan to merge with Time Warner Cable and create a massive telcom empire it has also been forced to deal with a viral recording of a Comcast customer service representative refusing to allow a customer to leave the service. Nicknamed the “call from hell”, the recording spoke to an experience many Comcast customers seem to have shared regarding the bullying and inappropriate behavior they receive from the firm.

In response, Comcast declared that the way the employee handled the call was “unacceptable and not consistent with how we train our customer service representatives.” That the customer service representative featured in the call was out of step with the rest of the company.

But a new memo obtained by The Consumerist tells a different story. According to the memo written by Comcast COO Dave Watson, the customer service rep was “doing what we trained him to do.”

The agent on this call did a lot of what we trained him and paid him — and thousands of other Retention agents — to do,” continues Watson. “He tried to save a customer, and that’s important, but the act of saving a customer must always be handled with the utmost respect.”

As a result, the company is at least paying lip-service to the idea of better training for employees (whether they make good on these promises is still to be seen).

So it was not one bad apple but a policy implemented from the top down. Those “Retention agents” are supposed to be pushy and not take no for an answer, even to ridiculous lengths.

The thought of Comcast expanding its reach even further within the cable and internet space via a merger that would give the company 30-40% of the overall market is beginning to look more like a deal from hell.

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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