By Angela Hill
Posted: 07/16/2014 04:15:47 PM PDT9 Comments
Updated: 07/16/2014 04:45:56 PM PDT

By now, you likely know of the Comcast call heard round the Internet — the eight-minute segment of an excruciating 18-minute phone call that tech journalist Ryan Block endured with a so-called customer-service rep when he tried to cancel his service.

The rep — clearly required to ask why Block was leaving and to offer him a better deal — kept aggressively asking the same question, Sisyphus-style, despite receiving the same response to “Please disconnect our service,” often talking over Block, pressing him again and again as to “Why do you want to leave the fastest Internet company in the world? Help me understand why you don’t want faster Internet?” To which Block would counter, “Help me understand why you can’t just disconnect us?” Rinse, repeat, rerun, ditto, into an infinite loop of needy, desperate, irrational, psycho-boyfriend behavior until you just want to punch the guy through the phone.

Block even asked if he was being pranked, yet remained incredibly calm and recorded the call, later posting it to SoundCloud. After it went web-wide, Comcast issued a statement expressing dismay at the rep’s behavior.

But sadly, this is hardly an anomaly. Wherever this story was posted, thousands of comments poured in from people with similar tales about Comcast and other service providers. There was even one woman who said a rep wouldn’t let her cancel service because the account was in her husband’s name so her husband would have to call. “But my husband is deceased. That’s why I’m calling,” she told the rep, who insisted she take a death certificate to a local office for proof.

Ah, customer service — the great equalizer.

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