No, this is not a joke from a movie or television show. This apparently is what happened to a man The Consumerist calls, Conal. To make a long story short, Conal claims Comcast overcharged him almost $2,000 and threatened to report the company’s accounting practices after the issue was not being handled. Then, Comcast handles things in an unexpected way by contacting Conal’s employer and subsequently getting him fired.
At this point, only Conal’s details of the situation are known. The Consumerist, Business Insider, and other publications have tried to get more information from Conal’s employer, Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) with little luck. Beyond the details that have been made available, some questions arise.
Question #1: Should Comcast directly contact any customer’s employer?
Conal’s story claims Comcast contacted one of the partners of PwC because of the billing dispute. Even if it is found out that Conal did mention whom he worked for, it does not seem like a good business practice to contact his employer. It could only logically result in bad press and possibly a lawsuit. Which leads to the next question.
Question #2: Was Comcast’s legal department consulted before PwC was contacted?
One has to wonder about this. Would a company’s legal department advise or condone such action to be taken? If so, why wouldn’t it advise that PwC not take any disciplinary action against the man. Perhaps give him a warning to not discuss this matter publicly because Comcast is a client.
Question #3: Is a lawsuit Conal’s next step?
Should Conal take legal action at this point? He already has a lawyer so taking that step of filing a lawsuit seems logical. At least then Comcast can be ordered to hand over the recorded conversation to either prove or disprove if Conal mentioned his employers name during this particular dispute.
Question #4: Does Conal have a viable lawsuit against PwC as well?
It is doubtful Conal would want his job back at PwC after this incident. It is evident he did not want to be fired, especially over a billing dispute with Comcast. However, if PwC fired Conal because it wanted to please one of its big clients, then PwC might be open for a lawsuit. However, it is also possible that this communication with Comcast might have been a “last strike” PwC decided to use to let Conal go. At this point, who knows?
Question #5: Is this story true?
Some people have questioned the validity of this story in comments on different news stories covering this matter. It is hard to believe that someone in senior management of Comcast would actually do this. If they did, why hasn’t that person been asked to resign or terminated? The bad press this is getting is enough to end someone’s employment. For many this rings true as Comcast’s customer service reputation is notorious.
What questions are running through your mind about this story? Please share them and any thoughts you have.