An eight-minute recording of a customer service agent refusing to end AOL Vice President Ryan Block’s nine-year Comcast service has gone viral as an unfortunate—but typical—call from hell. Tom Karinshak, Comcast’s senior vice president of customer experience, issued an official apology on the company’s website stating that, “the way in which our representative communicated with them is unacceptable and not consistent with how we train our customer service representatives.”
It turns out the rep wasn’t going rogue, according to Lauren Bruce, a former Comcast customer account executive. “Unless a customer was moving, we were encouraged to use retention techniques,” says Bruce, who started working at Insight Communications in Lafayette, Ind., in 2005. The company was later acquired by Comcast. “If someone is saying, ‘screw my service, I hate you,’ you would say, ‘Hey, do you want phone too?’” recalls Bruce, who left Comcast in 2009. She declines to say where she is currently working.