Comcast apologizes for changing Spokane customer's name to profa - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Comcast apologizes for changing Spokane customer's name to profanity

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Yes. This is a copy of the bill Brown received. That is not his given name. (PHOTO: chriselliotts.com) Yes. This is a copy of the bill Brown received. That is not his given name. (PHOTO: chriselliotts.com)
UNCENSORED: Just in case you're the kind of person that wants to actually see the word "A**hole", here's the uncensored version. (PHOTO: Chris Elliot) UNCENSORED: Just in case you're the kind of person that wants to actually see the word "A**hole", here's the uncensored version. (PHOTO: Chris Elliot)
SPOKANE, Wash. -

WARNING: Although censored with random shift+8 * symbols, it is evident what bad word is being used in this story. So if that sort of thing offends you, you might want to stop here. 

This story brings to mind a scene from one of the most horribly, awesome movies of all-time. One of my childhood favorites: Maximum Overdrive. If you're unfamiliar with the movie, it stars Emilio Estevez and is about machines coming to life and killing people due to a rogue comet passing by the Earth. First time director Stephen King (yeah, that Stephen King) admitted to being "coked out of his mind" (really?) when directing this movie, according to imdb.com. I think he did a fine job! Why am I talking about this movie? Well because on day one, when the machines start coming to life, King makes  cameo appearance as he walks up to an ATM. He puts in his card, tries to take out some cash, but is instead greeted by a message from the now alive ATM machine: "you are an a**hole." 

"Honey! C'mon over here, Sugar-buns. This machine just called me an a**hole!" Cue AC/DC's "Who Made Who." What a great film. 

Well you can imagine the shock of seeing a machine call you a vulgar name, but at least there was a comet to blame on that. One Spokane woman opened her Comcast bill recently, only to find that the company had changed her husband's name from Ricardo Brown... to A**hole Brown. 

"Honey! C'mon over here, Sugar-buns. Comcast thinks you're an a**hole!" Cue the AC/DC. 

Yes. According to writer Christopher Elliott, Spokane resident Lisa Brown says her Comcast bill showed that her husband's name had been changed. To "A**shole Brown." Elliott says Brown wrote him about the incident (if you're reading this, please feel free to contact us next time, too!) and asked for the correspondence between her and Comcast, and sure enough, he says someone changed the name. 

Elliott said he knows how easy it is for any customer to doctor up a photo, so he checked with Comcast to make sure this was actually happening. It was. Elliott said a few minutes later he received a call from Steve Kipp, Comcast's Vice President of Communication for Washington and was told the following: 

“We have spoken with our customer and apologized for this completely unacceptable and inappropriate name change,” he said. “We have zero tolerance for this type of disrespectful behavior and are conducting a thorough investigation to determine what happened. We are working with our customer to make this right and will take appropriate steps to prevent this from happening again.”

When Elliott asked Brown why a Comcast employee might want to change her husband's name, she said her family was having financial difficulties and needed to reduce their cable bill. When she called Comcast to cancel the cable, which would cost her $60. Brown told Elliott instead of fulfilling the request, she was sent immediately to a retention specialist, who tried to get her to sign a new two-year contract. Brown said she never took the offer and perhaps that is what got the employee upset. 

Once word got out, Elliott says Comcast made efforts towards fulfilling Brown's request. Comcast's Senior Director of Government Affairs promised to waive the cancellation fee of $60 and also said they would fire the responsible employee. 

On Thursday, Elliott said he heard from Brown, who told him Comcast had refunded Brown her two years of service. 

Comcast also issued the following statement about the incident, saying the employee had been fired: 

By Charlie Herrin, Senior Vice President, Customer Experience, Comcast Cable

It's a privilege to have customers use our products and to have them invite us into their homes. Each and every customer deserves to be treated with respect, and in a recent situation with a customer in Spokane that clearly didn't happen.

We have apologized to our customer for this unacceptable situation and addressed it directly with the employee who will no longer be working on behalf of Comcast. We're also looking at a number of technical solutions that would prevent it from happening moving forward.

We took this opportunity to reinforce with each employee just how important respect is to our culture. In every interaction we have with a customer, we need to show them respect, patience, and enthusiasm to provide them with an excellent experience.

The culture of a company is the collective habits of its people – we have great people at Comcast and we need to treat customers with the respect they deserve. Respect is not just how we speak with customers, but also respect for their time and making it much easier for them to interact with us ... whether it's solving a problem, ordering service or simply asking a question.

We're working hard to transform the customer experience and all of our employees play an important role in making that happen. We'll take every opportunity to learn from our mistakes and fix issues to make their experience better.

What do you think? Is the two year refund and termination of the employee enough? Have you ever had a bad experience like this with a company? Do you like Maximum Overdrive? Let us know on our Facebook page. 

Visit Christopher Elliott's website HERE.

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