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Comcast apologizes for changing customer's name to expletive

"My first thought was that someone was trying to pull a practical joke on a consumer advocate," says Christopher Elliott, who exposed the vulgar bill.

By Matt Bradwell

SPOKANE, Wash., Jan. 29 (UPI) -- Telecommunications giant Comcast has formally apologized and vowed to take action after learning a customer service representative changed a customer's account name to an expletive when he cancelled the cable portion of his services.

When Spokane, Wash., resident Lisa Brown received her first bill without cable services, she was shocked to find her husband, Ricardo's, name changed to "A--hole Brown."

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Brown repeatedly tried to have the name corrected, first by visiting her local Comcast office, then contacting the cable company's regional headquarters. When nothing worked, she told her story to consumer advocate Christopher Elliott, who at first thought the story was too unthinkable to actually be true.

"My first thought was that someone was trying to pull a practical joke on a consumer advocate," Elliott wrote on his blog.

But it wasn't a joke, as Elliott easily confirmed the bill was not doctored and quickly received confirmation from Comcast, who said they apologized and "take the appropriate steps" to prevent a similar incident.

"We have spoken with our customer and apologized for this completely unacceptable and inappropriate name change," Steve Kipp, Comcast's vice president of communications for the state of Washington, told Elliott.

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"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."

"You know employees talk about customers behind their back and say things like this, but I've never seen anyone put something like this in writing," Elliott told CBS News.

"Comcast is a big company. They can't control all their employees. But you'd think this is part of the basic training they give to their employees -- don't call your customers a-holes."

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