You might remember a certain infamous 2014 call between former Comcast customer Ryan Block and a nameless Comcast customer service representative. Block claims to have been on the call for ten or eleven minutes before beginning the six-and-a-half-minute recording that would go viral and cause the media giant to express deep embarrassment.
If you haven’t had the displeasure of listening to this agonizing conversation, let us give you the cliff notes version. Block wanted to cancel Comcast and the representative flat out refused for nearly twenty minutes as he badgered Block over why he wanted to end his service. Of course, Comcast isn't the only company to make canceling painful, but they're certainly well known for it.
Why did the representative act this way? Was he so passionate about Comcast’s offerings that he really needed to convince Block to stay? Does he wax poetic about Comcast to his friends and families on the weekend? Was someone threatening to kidnap his dog if he let just one more customer slip through the cracks?
The answer to all of these is “no.” Despite Comcast’s desperate insistence that the representative’s behavior was “unacceptable and not consistent with how we train our customer service representatives,” they seem to be largely responsible for what happened on that call.
It was revealed that same year that Comcast provides customer service representatives with a rather unforgiving pay package. These employees get a relatively low base pay. Much of their earnings come from metrics based “tiers.” In short, representatives get paid (or not paid) based on how many customers they keep and how many they lose. Basically, they get hit in the wallet for every Comcast cancellation. The program is so strict that employees could retain more than 70% of the customers they interact with and still end up with a big fat zero for a bonus.
As we’ve already indicated, Comcast expressed deep embarrassment and attempted to distance themselves from the employee, claiming that his behavior was not representative of the company’s values or policies. However, with the revelation of the employee pay package, many people called Comcast out and the bad press turned worse.
Comcast went on to promise big changes to their customer service department, including restructuring employee incentives to be more “customer-centric.” However, Comcast has made big promises before.
Has anything changed? Can I cancel my Comcast account with ease?
It’s unclear. Without more employee revelations, it’s hard to know how exactly customer service representatives are making ends meet. However, Digiday published an interview in 2015 with an anonymous Comcast employee that suggested little had changed. The employee paints a bleak picture of life at Comcast and urges customers to have patience with (and pity for) the representatives on the other end of the line.
Cancelling Comcast with Ease
Since you can’t know what to expect from any given Comcast cancellation experience, assume that Comcast is up to its old hijinks. There’s a simple way to cancel your unwanted service without fuss and without doing too much damage to that poor employee’s paycheck.
First, make sure you’re talking to the right people. Call the Comcast customer service phone number and ask if the representative is able to cancel your account. If they can’t, ask to be transferred to someone who can.
Then, simply tell them that you’re moving someplace without Comcast service. In fact, tell them you’re moving out of the country. They can’t argue with that. Give them as few details as possible to avoid giving yourself away and stick to your guns. As one anonymous employee puts it, this is called an “unavoidable disconnect” and has the least amount of impact on the representative’s pay, meaning they’ll be more cooperative and you’ll avoid that familiar Comcast headache.