back to article Strange tale of an angry bean counter, Comcast and a shock 'firing'

A Comcast customer who complained about being overcharged and crap service alleges someone at the ISP got him fired as a result. The punter, described by The Consumerist as an "experienced accountant at one of the nation’s most prestigious firms," signed up with America's largest ISP in 2013 at an introductory rate, but said …

  1. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Telephone conversations?

    And he didn't bother to record them? I'm sure they were recorded at the Comcast end and promptly "lost".

    As for firing, his company did some consulting work. Obviously they were told "don't bother trying to get any more work until XX is gone." and I imagine the e-mail has long since disappeared. And his name, personal details, etc. are all part of his account and/or credit report. I'm not saying this is right and proper, but it does stink....

  2. Jim 48

    Last paragraph is a bit random, not related to the rest of the article except by the tenuous link of somebody being fired.

    1. Gotno iShit Wantno iShit

      The reg are doing a lot of this lately. it is just an excuse to drop some more links into the article, presumably there's some ad network referrer profit involved. Best thing we can do is make sure we don't click the links. If you are interested to read the link copy the visible web address into a new tab

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        El Reg's income

        Give the Register a chance. They have to earn a crust too. Click the Reddit link, you don't have to read it if you don't want to and it doesn't do you any harm.

        Personally I unblock ads from time to time, and click on a few things, on any site that I want to support.

        1. Gotno iShit Wantno iShit

          Re: El Reg's income

          I do click links sometimes for just that reason but I object to shoehorning links of tenuous relevance into the article body. There is a related stories section on the left, they don't need to be repeated in the last para.

      2. auburnman

        God forbid the free* news services make any money.

        *Yes, not technically free, you are the product, free at the point of delivery or whatever bollocks it's called today, I don't care.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    all you whiners

    All you whiners commenting above.

    I would be careful the reg doesn't call your employer and have a ethics committee check you out !!

    *Anon so they can't find out where i work !!! :D

    1. Swarthy Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: all you whiners

      They can just track your IP address. You are posting from work, like everyone else, yes?

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: all you whiners

        "They can just track your IP address."


      2. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Youngone Silver badge

      Re: all you whiners

      I'm not worried, my boss knows I'm a total bastard.

  4. Unicornpiss


    ..that this guy is on the level, I hope he sues Comcast for everything up to and including the CEO's toenails, and the accounting firm he worked for, for wrongful termination. And I hope that part of the conditions of settling the suit is for Comcast to have to replace one of their primetime commercials with a public apology directed to this guy, though I'm sure this will never happen.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Assuming..

      Every state in the US (except Montana) has "at will" employment. Meaning you can be sacked for absolutely anything at any time.

      Even if he was sacked for complaining to Comcast, he has no recourse with his company unless they discriminated against him illegally. I would think he does have a claim against Comcast, though.

  5. Herby

    Just for the record...

    While Comcast does provide telco services (through broadband with VoIP), it is primarily a Cable TV company. Yes, it delivers lots of services, and even owns a TV Network (NBC), but the connection is almost always a piece of RG-6 (quad shielded we hope) with an F connector at the end. Just like all TVs have now on their back panel.

    Of course, this has absolutely nothing to do with the quality of service given over the phone, but Comcast still isn't a telco (much as they might want to be...NOT).

    1. JeffyPoooh

      Re: Just for the record...

      "Comcast does provide telco services ... but ... isn't a telco."


      We should adopt the El Reg's policy as in "Maker of Printer Ink HP...", or "Retiree's Funding Vehicle General Motors".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Just for the record...

        Comcast's main products are frustration, annoyance, lies, and incorrect bills.

        Cable, internet, and phone "service" are far down the list of products.

        I believe what the previous person meant is that even though Comcast provides VoIP products, they are not registered as a common carrier, like Sprint, Verizon, ATT, etc. I don't know if that's true and don't feel like Googling to find out.

        1. Cpt Blue Bear

          Re: Just for the record...

          "Comcast's main products are frustration, annoyance, lies, and incorrect bills"

          Looks like a telco, quacks like a telco...

    2. Tom 13

      Re: Just for the record...

      You're right of course. But at this point in time, telcos aren't telcos either. As far as I can tell, for all practical purposes there are no differences between Comcast and Verizon at this point. It's only a matter of time before the law catches up with that fact.

      The PDF shows 2013 estimates that POTS service in the US would be down to just 25% of users.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The firm that Conal O'Rourke worked for is PriceWaterhouseCoopers - not some tiny "consulting firm". His major mistake was contacting the Comcast office of the controller and mentioning the "Public Company Accounting Oversight Board". This is a major threat that probably had a dozen flunkies desperately searching Google to find out exactly who this guy was. That board is not something that a "normal" peon would have any clue about.

    So they find out that he works for a company that they pay millions to every year... and the rest is history. Whether or not he gets his job back, I hope he follows through with a complaint about Comcast's accounting practices. And sends a copy to the FCC while he's at it.

  7. MarkA

    Way too fishy

    Comcast have way too many customers for just one dude to get axed from his job because he irked some employee. They get so many complaints because their customer service is indeed absolutely terrible that if they did this once they'd have done it to tens of thousands of other people before. I called to upgrade to the next package up because I wanted BBCW and AJA. It took 20 minutes. They managed to give me the upped package but knocked off HBO. Another call, another 20 minutes and they managed to knock off the whole HD set (channels 800 up if you're in the know here). The third call, another 15 minutes gave me final result. I only have Comcast because I have to have it to get HBO and also because the new SWMBO likes "Real housewives of who the fuck cares where." My IQ drops five points every time I hear anything on Bravo - and I don't have the IQ to spare.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Way too fishy

      Comcast has literally millions of very unhappy customers. This guy just happened to be a wealthy one who got screwed, therefore it's newsworthy unlike the everyday story of the rest of peasants.

      Comcast is the worst of the worst.

  8. intrigid

    The entire story makes no sense and just isn't believable. I have a feeling the real story is in what *isn't* being told.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Big accounting firms and small accountants have lied* many times to the benefit of themselves and/or the enrichment of their clients, and cover their behinds with protestations of innocence.

      * making sure of course to make weaselly statements that are intended to be taken one way but carefully "lawyered" so as to mean whatever the company wants that statement to mean when taken to court.


      No real surprise here...

      This was simply a case of a customer with half a clue. He knew what buttons to push. He knew what people to talk to and what to threaten them with. A lawyer is a pretty good example of someone with that kind of knowledge but apparently being an accountant works too.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Now is the time to speak up !

    Comcast has been documented to be illegally blocking international e-mail to it's individual and Biz subscribers in the U.S. so this deal with getting a subscriber fired over Comcast's failure to correct over-billing errors does not surprise me at all. I have had friends report outrageous experiences with Comcast e-mail support that is out sourced to various Asian countries where they can't even speak the English language.

    Comcast already has a semi industry monopoly as proven by their illegal operating practices that are not being terminated by U.S. Federal authorities even when reported by Comcast subscribers. Now Comcast wants to merge with Time Warner Communications so they have a complete U.S. industry monopoly. This is BAD for all concerned except Comcast and can not be allowed under ANY conditions.

    If you are a U.S. resident or if you routinely communicate with individuals or Biz in the U.S. via e-mail or phone, you had better make your views known NOW or forever suffer the consequences of the unscrupulous actions of Comcast.

    You can also file an anti-trust violation with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission or a complaint or both and I suggest that everyone who cares do so.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What a surprise

    See the current Comcast convictions by the U.S. Federal Trade Comm. below...

  11. ecofeco Silver badge


    Nothing new here. That's just SOP in fascist America.

    Overcharged? Business as usual every single day. Every. Single. Day.

    Comcast is not doing anything every single corporation is doing to its retail customers every chance they get.

  12. CommonTator
    Thumb Down

    Comcast Telco

    Yes, Comcast is a Telco or telecommunication company spelled out for you. Look up the definition and you'll see it's about transmitting data for a business. Doesn't have to be voice much less telephone transmission. Or even be on wires, can be wireless or fiber.

    I have a special dislike for Comcast. They've messed up billing on my owned equipment, made me prove I was right, can't take an e-mail or fax in their customer service, etc... And when I told them in a separate incident that they keep messing up the equipment credit each month (why even have that, just offer a no equipment rental plan???), they continue to ignore the issue even when complained through the Better Business Bureau. And they do have a duty to bill customers accurately and are open to class action suits for improper billing, but they really don't care. Their customer service is trained to do the least possible while retaining the customer or upselling them no matter how rude they have to be. If I had another similar option at similar price point, I'd be there... Comcrap, are you listening? You're end is near if you can't provide proper billing and customer service, people will leave for new offerings.

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