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When the story of the guy who was fired from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) after complaining about his Comcast service first broke, his finger-pointing at the cable company sounded to me like insane rambling paranoia. It might be, but not only has Conal O'Rourke provided a lot of documentation to the media to back his claims, but he's now filed suit against Comcast.
True or false, we may know soon: The conversations seem to have been recorded, reports Ars Technica, and while Comcast is keeping them under wraps because of the ongoing litigation, this should be a fun case to watch.
The dispute started with a common issue: Comcast screwing up O'Rourke's bills. He'd call, dispute the charges, get the run-around, and then call back. Eventually, the dispute escalated when O'Rourke called Lawrence Salva, Comcast's controller.
O'Rourke says that someone at that office looked him up and found out that he was a PwC employee. Salva was a partner with PwC for over 12 years before joining Comcast, and PwC provides more than $30 million worth of consulting services to the cable company each year.
What happened next, according to the complaint, was that Salva or someone from his office called PwC and told them falsely that O'Rourke had name-dropped his company as leverage in his dispute. After a brief ethics investigation, O'Rourke was fired.
The suit claims that Comcast provided false information to his employer, in violation of the Cable Communications Policy Act, 47 U.S.C. § 521, and presses a number of state law claims as well.
A Comcast spokesman told Ars that this was all nonsense:
"Comcast had nothing to do with PricewaterhouseCoopers' decision to terminate Mr. O'Rourke. Once again, we apologize to Mr. O'Rourke for his service issues. We said we were determined to get to the bottom of exactly what happened with Mr. O'Rourke's service and we are doing that. As part of this investigation, we have listened to recorded calls between Mr. O'Rourke and our customer service representatives and his treatment of them and language is totally unspeakable. Mr. O'Rourke's claims are without merit."
Even if it is nonsense, the story is another in a long series of stories of Comcast's subpar customer service. Companies without a virtual monopoly over their target market would be well-advised to do better.
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