When Ricardo Brown from Spokane, Washington got his most recent bill from Comcast, he had an extra special reason to be dismayed. It wasn't the pricey charges—we're all used to that by now. No, it was that on this particular bill, Comcast appears to have misspelled his name. By replacing it entirely with the word "Asshole."
Ricardo's wife, Lisa, shared the unfortunate switcheroo with consumer advocate Chris Elliot. According to her, the whole problem may very well have stemmed from her attempts to reduce her cable bill over the phone—a delicate little dance otherwise known as the Ninth Circle of Hell.
[Lisa] explained that her family was having financial difficulties and needed to reduce their cable bill. She'd called Comcast to cancel the cable portion of her account, for which she had to pay a $60 fee. Instead of complying immediately, a representative escalated her call to a retention specialist, who tried to persuade her to keep the cable service and sign a new two-year contract.
"I was never rude," she says. "It could have been that person was upset because I didn't take the offer."
Of course, these things are fairly easy to fake in Photoshop (and it all sounds just a little too perfect), so we contacted Comcast to confirm that the incident did, in fact, occur. And oh boy, did it. A Comcast spokesperson provided Gizmodo with the following statement:
We have spoken with our customer and apologized for this completely unacceptable and inappropriate name change. 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.
Our tale does have a happy ending for the Brown, Asshole in question. Apparently, after Elliott publicized the couple's tale of woe, Comcast offered a full refund for the past two years of service as well as two additional years at no extra charge. And supposedly, her husband's name has indeed been corrected in the system.