Comcast Apologizes For Customer’s Bad Service But Not For Role In Getting Him Fired

The story continues for Conal the Comcast customer who lost his job after the cable company called his employer (which happens to make a lot of money off consulting for Comcast) and provided details about his customer service complaints. Comcast’s new Mr. Fix-It has issued an apology for the year-plus of horrendous service and over-billing that Conal experienced, but still maintains that it didn’t mean to get him fired.

The blog post from TV-star handsome Comcast exec Charlie Herrin reads:

What happened with Mr. O’Rourke’s service is completely unacceptable. Despite our attempts to address Mr. O’Rourke’s issues, we simply dropped the ball and did not make things right. Mr. O’Rourke deserves another apology from us and we’re making this one publicly. We also want to clarify that nobody at Comcast asked for him to be fired.

We’re also determined 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. I’m a few weeks into a new role at Comcast which is entirely focused on what we can do to make the customer experience better. We need to make sure that every interaction is excellent … from the moment a customer orders a new service, to the installation, to the way we communicate with them, to how we respond to any issues.

We’re holding ourselves accountable and we are working hard to make real improvements across the board. While it will take us some time, we can and will do better than this.

We reached out to Conal’s attorney, who said her client has yet to hear anything from the company directly in way of an apology and provided the following rebuttal:

We view this apology as more of a public relations strategy than a public apology. Comcast has yet to contact Mr. O’Rourke through his lawyers at Dhillon Law Group Inc. with this apology, which calls its sincerity into doubt. Furthermore, we would note what is missing from the apology.

First, Comcast has not promised to investigate its involvement in Mr. O’Rourke’s termination, or to release the emails or taped calls that would prove that he is telling the truth and that Comcast defamed him to his employer.

Second, Comcast’s claim that “nobody at Comcast asked for him to be fired” does not resolve the matter. While we disbelieve this statement, even if it were true, the Controller’s office at Comcast knew when it made the ethics complaint to PWC that if PWC believed the complaint, Mr. O’Rourke would be terminated.

Comcast made false and defamatory statements about Dhillon Law Group Inc.’s client to his employer, knowing the outcome would be termination, and we will not allow that to stand.

Mr. O’Rourke does appreciate that more than eighteen months after Comcast first made errors on his bill that it is willing to investigate the matter. Mr. O’Rourke and his attorneys hope that this investigation will be productive, unlike the other investigations Comcast repeatedly promised to perform over those eighteen months.

It’s all well and good for Comcast to apologize publicly now that it’s been humiliated in the media (again), but what does Herrin really mean when he writes “nobody at Comcast asked for him to be fired”?

What else could Comcast — which has admitted contacting Conal’s employer, accounting giant PriceWaterhouseCoopers, following his complaint to the office of the Comcast Controller — expect would happen when it contacts an executive at a company that relies on Comcast for a nice chunk of its revenue and says “Hey PwC, one of your guys was really rude to our staffers”?

Did Comcast think that PwC would listen to the word of a single employee over the word of the nation’s largest cable provider, who again is a client of PwC’s?

[NOTE: It is generally our policy to not provide the last names of readers who submit stories to Consumerist, which is why Conal’s last name was not included in the initial story. However, since he has subsequently spoken to other media outlets giving his full name and the name of his former employer — and since Comcast refers to him only by his last name in its statement, we are using his last name in this post.]

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  1. Grey says:

    “What else could Comcast… expect would happen when it contacts an executive at a company that relies on Comcast for a nice chunk of its revenue and says ‘Hey PwC, one of your guys was really rude to our staffers’?”

    How do we know Comcast did that? For all we know, they could have called and said “Please don’t drop us as a customer or client”. I know it’s easy to hate Comcast, but we have no proof they did anything wrong here.

    • MarkyMark says:

      What reason would Comcast need to call PwC at all concerning this customer? Why would they need to call the employer of any of their customers? There’s no business or consumer reason to do so for residential services between Comcast and the customer. I shouldn’t have to worry about my job position because I have a legit complaint about my cable provider, water company or local utility. That path leads to potential blackmail and violation of personal information.

    • dullard8 says:

      How do we know Comcast did that? For all we know, they could have called and said “Please don’t drop us as a customer or client”.

      Inviting your attention to:

      Comcast’s claim that “nobody at Comcast asked for him to be fired”

      Wouldn’t you consider that an admission”?

      • SingleMaltGeek says:

        Technically it’s not an admission, but it’s a very weak denial that makes us rightly suspicious. Why didn’t they say “no one here would know how to contact a customer’s employer, and it is not something we would allow or encourage any employee to do. If we find that any Comcast employee contacted Mr. O’Rourke’s employer, we would take appropriate disciplinary action against them. We intend to ask Mr. O’Rourke if we can help repair the rift between him and his employer, but for obvious reasons we would not take that first step ourselves without first consulting with Mr. O’Rourke.”

        Now THAT would have been a reasonably contrite response. Theirs was more of a diversion than a denial.

    • CzarChasm says:

      Aren’t you the guy who said it was unlikely Comcast went through the trouble of looking him up to see where he worked? Apply the same principle here.

      Before, I thought you were thinking logically, now I’m thinking you are a Comcast shill.

    • Grey says:

      The only thing I’m saying is that we don’t have the full story. Let’s hear it before we determine that Comcast did something spiteful. There is no evidence that supports Conal’s claim. So far, we have only his word.

      No, I’m not a shill. Comcast is the worst company I’ve dealt with, but I think it’s wrong to assume their guilt simply because I don’t like them.