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Everyone has had experiences with customer service reps that were so horrible, all memories of good service get wiped from our memory banks. California man Conal O’Rourke has allegedly had the Mt. Everest of shitty ordeals, and you’ll never guess what company was involved. Comcast. Oh, you say you guessed that immediately, since it was voted this year’s Worst Company in America by Consumerist? But would you have guessed a series of complaints would have snowballed to the point where Comcast supposedly got O’Rourke fired from his high-profile job? Take a look down the long rabbit hole of despair that O’Rourke has gone through over the past 18 months or so.
Enticed by a promotional deal in early 2013, O’Rourke began his Comcast subscription, immediately noticing charges for extra set-top boxes that weren’t set up yet, and he wasn't getting his bill some months because his last name was misspelled. He called to complain, and claims he met with a Comcast representative in May 2013 who assured him the bad days were in the past. But then more mystery charges came, and his attempts to end his service were quelled by more promises of better service, a movie package and free DVR. That’s when he got a shipment of unordered hardware, which he was promptly charged for; Comcast reportedly charged him $1,820 for his unneeded packages. This is around the time when I would be unable to speak to anyone, even loving family members, without hollering.
O’Rourke was an accountant for prestigious law firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers, and he obviously knew something was wrong here, but Comcast didn’t seem to comply with his requests, even putting his account into collections despite the charges not being past due. In February of this year, he contacted Comcast’s controller, not seeing any way to do any good within the company itself. This led to botched appointments and further problems, which prompted him to tell a call rep that this problem should be investigated by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), and it appears that may have landed him in an entirely different batch of hot water.
All of a sudden, O’Rourke found himself in an ethics investigation and then without a job, as Comcast allegedly contacted PriceWaterhouseCoopers and claimed O’Rourke used the firm’s name as leverage during a call. The former employee claims this isn’t true at all, and that someone probably looked him up online to find out where he worked. As it happens, the firm has done some consulting with Comcast, but that connection should have had no effect on the matter. This was all about ethics and O’Rourke’s supposedly crass behavior, none of which has been substantiated by either Comcast or PriceWaterhouseCoopers by way of publicized phone records or call transcripts.
In fact, an official statement PriceWaterhouseCoopers put out there to ArsTechnica doesn’t even mention Comcast. Read it below.
Mr. O’Rourke was employed in one of our internal firm services offices. The firm terminated his employment after an internal investigation concluded that Mr. O’Rourke violated PwC’s ethical standards and practices, applicable to all of our people. The firm has explicit policies regarding employee conduct, we train our people in those policies, and we enforce them. Mr. O’Rourke’s violation of these policies was the sole reason for his termination."
At this point, O’Rourke is an AT&T subscriber and is willing to let bygones be bygones for $100,312.50, along with an apology and a guarantee that he can get his accounting job back. I’m not sure I’d want to work for a company that sacked me based on what may or may not be a bunch of horseshit, but I’m sure the paychecks help.
Doesn’t this sound like the worst experience ever? What are some of your most heinous memories about Comcast and other companies?