Earlier this week, we tipped our hat in awe at Comcast’s ability to deliver customer service that was so bad that it literally ended up ruining a man’s career. Now, Comcast has come out and publicly apologized to the man for the trouble he’s gone through, although the company insists that no one at Comcast told his employer he should be fired.
The man in question, a former PricewaterhouseCoopers accountant named Conal O’Rourke, spent months going through an Kafkaesque nightmare with Comcast in which the company sent him dozens of pieces of equipment in the mail that he never ordered along with a bill for $1,820. His repeated attempts to both return this equipment and get the charges erased from his bill failed when he tried to go through Comcast’s regular customer service channels, so he decided to go right to the office of Comcast’s Controller and make his case directly to the higher-ups.
These interactions also proved unsuccessful and in his frustration, O’Rourke said that Comcast’s billing and accounting practices should be investigated by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), a private-sector oversight operation. Soon after this, PwC — which counts Comcast as an important client — fired O’Rourke for supposedly violating its ethical standards even though O’Rourke insists that he never once mentioned his employer during his calls with Comcast representatives.
In its public apology issued Wednesday, Comcast says that it “simply dropped the ball and did not make things right” with O’Rourke’s complaints while vowing “to get to the bottom of exactly what happened with his service, figure out what went wrong at every point along the way, and fix any underlying issues.” Again, though, Comcast reiterated that no one at the company ever called for O’Rourke’s firing.
While it’s nice to see Comcast apologize, we again have to wonder just why it takes stories like these going viral for Comcast to actually do something about them. O’Rourke talked with multiple people along the way and apparently kept extensive documentation showing that he did not order the nearly $2,000 worth of equipment he was being billed for. The fact that it ever got to this point in the first place is fairly shocking, even by the low standards that Comcast’s service routinely sets.