The Flip Side of That Annoying Comcast Call

What it's like to be in the call center of major cable company.

July 15, 2014, 9:19 PM

— -- We've all been there: struggling to get through a frustrating phone call with the cable company.

And when a Twitter user named Ryan recently posted audio of his own infuriating call with a Comcast rep who nearly refused to cancel his service after 18 excruciating minutes, we commiserated. But what is it like for the person who takes those calls, and are they really that common?

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"Unfortunately, yeah," one call center employee at a major cable company told ABC News under the condition of anonymity. "I've heard reps get that worked up on the phone. But that's more or less the kind of flow that they want us to use, to ask those kind of questions, and to really get into the customer's head to try to figure out why they're making the decisions they are -- so we can basically get them to change their mind."

To make the calls go more smoothly, just answer the questions, the employee said.

"They do require us to ask," he said. "So even if it's a wrong answer, just give us any answer. At least that allows us to move forward."

The employee says he isn't forced to follow a script, but does have a set of guideline questions he must ask.

Many call center employees work on commission, so that's another reason they often want to keep customers from canceling.

But when the conversation gets heated, it's frustrating for both parties.

"I've worked in customer service for a long time so I'm pretty good at keeping my cool," the employee said. "But it does get difficult and I understand the person is upset, and I would even say they're justified. It's frustrating for me because I know it's frustrating for them, but if I don't ask, I won't have a job."

Comcast did not respond to request for comment.

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