comcast remote mascotStephen Depolo via Flickr/Creative Commons

Listen to the Comcast customer service call from hell

So this is what it takes to be voted the worst company in America. Anybody who has ever disconnected a service or canceled a gym membership over the phone knows just how stubborn representatives can be in their quest to keep your patronage, but tech media host Veronica Belmont and former Engadget editor-in-charge and (oh, the irony) current AOL employee Ryan Block stumbled into a new circle of customer “service” hell when they called Comcast to cancel their subscription—and he caught the insane, intense exchange on tape.

Instead of merely honoring the request, the Comcast rep turned aggressive, barreling down a spiral of circular questioning to try to get Block to say why he was canceling. “Why is it that you’re not wanting to have the No.1 rated Internet service, the No. 1 rated TV service?” the rep borderline shrieks, over and over again. “What about those savings, those services, are you not wanting?”

“Is this a joke?” Block asks at one point. “Am I being punked?”

The craziest part about this 8-minute exchange? Block only picked up the phone himself and started recording after the rep spent about 10 minutes badgering Belmont with the same ridiculous line of questioning.

“The representative (name redacted) continued aggressively repeating his questions, despite the answers given, to the point where my wife became so visibly upset she handed me the phone.”

But hey, on the bright side the customer service rep from hell actually did wind up canceling Block’s service—though Belmont had to travel to a physical Comcast store to confirm it. FIOS has never seemed so appealing, eh?

Update: Comcast has put out a statement from Tom Karinshak, its senior vice president of customer experience, apologizing for Block’s experience.

We are very embarrassed by the way our employee spoke with Mr. Block and are contacting him to personally apologize. The way in which our representative communicated with him is unacceptable and not consistent with how we train our customer service representatives. We are investigating this situation and will take quick action. While the overwhelming majority of our employees work very hard to do the right thing every day, we are using this very unfortunate experience to reinforce how important it is to always treat our customers with the utmost respect.

Block had this to say in response:

Updated at 10:08 a.m. PT with Comcast’s statement.

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