Fair warning, just listening to this recording gave me PTSD. In it Ryan Block, a tech reporter for AOL, tries, very calmly, to get a Comcast customer service rep to cancel his service. The lengths the rep goes to to obfuscate, keep him on the line, and passive-aggressively undermine his very clear decision as a consumer are insane. You’ve likely experienced this sort of thing yourself, which helps explain why the audio clip has so many tens of thousands of plays right now. It’s downright Kafkaesque. Block, who has confirmed that the recording is real, and in no way a hoax, (I believe him, unlike in most viral shit like this), explained the scenario on his SoundCloud page:
Please note: this conversation starts about 10 minutes in — by this point my wife and I are both completely flustered by the oppressiveness of the rep. So! Last week my wife called to disconnect our service with Comcast after we switched to another provider (Astound). We were transferred to cancellations (aka “customer retention”). 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. Overhearing the conversation, I knew this would not be very fun. What I did not know is how oppressive this conversation would be. Within just a few minutes the representative had gotten so condescending and unhelpful I felt compelled to record the speakerphone conversation on my other phone. This recording picks up roughly 10 minutes into the call, whereby she and I have already played along and given a myriad of reasons and explanations as to why we are canceling (which is why I simply stopped answering the rep’s repeated question — it was clear the only sufficient answer was “Okay, please don’t disconnect our service after all.”). Please forgive the echoing and ratcheting sound, I was screwing together some speaker wires in an empty living room!
Check it out below, then throw your computer and phone into the wall and run off to live in the forest for the next twenty years.