Comcast has an awful reputation. It seems like every time you read about the cable giant, it's another story of terrible customer service, shady business practices or outright incompetence. Comcast was last year's winner of the not-so-prestigious "Worst Company in America" award.
But just how all-powerful is Comcast? Could it really reach out and get you fired from your job just because you complained about the bad service? If one man's story is to be believed, the answer is yes!
I'll set the scene. For 11 months, Conal O'Rourke was overcharged every month on his cable bill. That's not all. He was promised several discounts he didn't receive. He was sent a bunch of equipment he never wanted or asked for, then billed for it. Comcast accidentally misspelled his last name, and so he never received several of his cable bills and thus was charged late fees. It goes on.
O'Rourke called many times to get the charges fixed, only to be promised repeatedly that they would be taken care of, all to no avail. Finally, his account was sent into collections, even though it wasn't past due yet. This is all awful, but it gets much worse - and much weirder.
Conal O'Rourke is an accountant. At the time he was working for PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC), one of the nation's biggest accounting firms. He put his skills to use to create a very detailed, line-by-line description of all the charges, overcharges, payments and credits. Not even this could convince Comcast to get its act together.
That's when he tried to work his way up the chain. O'Rourke contacted the company Controller's office. He got the runaround right away. After two scheduled service appointments no-showed, he suggested that the company should be investigated by a third-party watchdog group. Then things got serious, but not in a good way.
Soon after this call, PwC was contacted by Comcast about O'Rourke. We don't know what they talked about or who specifically was involved. All we know is that Conal O'Rourke was fired for ethics violations.
PwC and Comcast have both been mum on what the nature of these ethics violations may have been. Comcast has also denied that anyone employed by the company called for O'Rourke to be fired. It's been implied that O'Rourke tried to leverage the company's name (PwC has consulted for Comcast in the past - though it does not audit the company) in order to get a favorable outcome. However, O'Rourke denies this.
Since Comcast records all customer service conversations, it should be a simple matter to find out. In fact, O'Rourke and his lawyers have called for the tapes to be released, however neither Comcast nor PwC has put out any recordings or transcripts between any of the involved parties.
Comcast issued a public apology days after this story started garnering national attention. It apologized for the bad service that led to this debacle, but not for O'Rourke's termination. Comcast never reached out to him, however, either directly or through his lawyers. O'Rourke says he is still exploring his options to initiate legal action against both companies.
So what does this mean for you? If you believe O'Rourke, it means that you are not safe from retribution if you try to stand up to Comcast or other companies when they overcharge you. I can't think of a more compelling reason to cut the cord once and for all. Your cable company won't make it easy on you, but you'll probably find it's well worth it.
Click here to read my in-depth tip for ditching your cable company and putting their business tactics behind you. If you still need your cable service, you might be able to lower your bill using these three secrets. Just don't put up with bad customer service. Click here to learn my five steps to getting corporations to treat you like a customer deserves to be treated.