Travel blogger Christopher Elliott spoke to a reader in Spokane, Washington who was having a billing problem with Comcast, her local cable provider.
Now, Comcast is notoriously awful at customer service, as regular readers of this blog know from Ryan Block and Veronica Belmont's recorded nightmare. The audio recording of that epically bad customer support call went crazy viral, because so many of us who've been Comcast victims have experienced the same method of torture.
Anyway, back to this current story: The name on Ms. Brown's bill had been changed from the reader's husband's name, Ricardo, to "Asshole" Brown. Ms. Brown tried to get Comcast to correct the name, going so far as to visit her local Comcast office and phone more senior Comcast execs in the Washington state region. She got nowhere. She asked Mr. Elliott, the travel blogger, for help.
From the hilarious but painful account on elliott.org:
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.
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."