A Transference Of Annoyance

, , , , | Working | August 12, 2019

I have cable and Internet services with a well-known company infamous for its garbage customer service. My previous encounters with their customer service have varied from fair to wanting, but up to this point they haven’t been truly awful. This time, though, I got the experience that’s emblematic of their reputation.

Without warning, my cable/DVR box goes on the fritz — the power button flashing on and off, just not working at all. I do my due diligence to try to fix it without success, and then I call the provider. I explain to them what’s going on, and proceed to spend twenty minutes going through every single action I’ve already taken, because the agent will not accept that I have already done them. The only thing she does that I haven’t done is send a restart signal, which predictably fails. At the end of this, she tells me she has to transfer me to a local center to get a service appointment. I’m a bit annoyed at this point, but there’s not much I can do without getting a service appointment, so I agree.

The call transfers, and another agent picks up and starts asking me for my basic details. I interrupt and say I was just transferred from another customer service agent. That’s when I learn there was no actual transfer; the first agent sent the call to someone else without giving them a single detail about me, or even telling them that I had been on the line with someone else! And [Agent #2] either doesn’t believe me or doesn’t care because she spends another 20 minutes going through the exact same tests I have already done with [Agent #1]. I’m at less than my best when it’s all done, as it’s late and I just want to get a tech out there to help me, but finally, the appointment is made.

Or so I think, because the scheduled window comes and goes without any sign of the tech. Cue another call up, where it’s taking everything I have not to yell at [Agent #3], who tells me that no appointment was ever made. I make a point of demanding a credit to my account at this point because I’m very fed up with how this has gone, but finally, the appointment is confirmed for the next day. The tech takes one look at the box and deems it toast, and sets me up with a new one.

The kicker? The new box dies in less than a week. When I call up, they don’t waste any time telling me to go to the local shop; apparently, someone has their head on straight and sees what I’ve been through and realizes I am not in the mood for BS. At least the second replacement box works fine.

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Customers, Help Yourselves

, , , | Working | July 17, 2019

(My mom has been on hold with our cable company, trying to figure out why they have started charging her over 30% more. Apparently, we’ve been paying for premium channels, which we never asked for or use. She has been put on hold again when this happens.)

Mom: *on hold* “Why are they charging me for stuff I don’t want?!”

Woman: *on the other line, picks up* “Hello?”

Mom: “Hello.”

Woman: “I’m trying to find out why my [Channel] isn’t working?”

Mom: “Um, I’m actually a customer, too.”

Woman: “What? How did that happen?”

Mom: “I don’t know. I’m trying to get my bill reduced and they put me on hold again.”

Woman: *laughs*

(My mom ended up having some laughs with another random customer about how weird and screwed up cable companies are. And we’re still trying to get our bill reduced.)

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You Can’t Handle The Truth

, , , , | Working | May 14, 2019

(I am getting ready to move to another city, and I am cancelling my utilities at the old place and setting stuff up at the new place. I have saved the cable company for last, as I want to drop their service entirely and go with someone else, and said cable company has just been in the news for being unbelievably difficult to deal with when cancelling service. Warily, I call customer service and tell them I want to cancel. Of course, I get transferred to a customer retention operator.)

Me: “Yes, I need to cancel my service as I’m moving to another city.”

Operator: “May I ask where you’re moving to?”

Me: *names city in another part of the state*

Operator: “Oh, well, we also serve that area! You can just have your service moved!”

Me: “Well, I really need to cancel.”

Operator: “You’ll be able to keep the same service there!”

Me: *having a sudden blast of inspiration* “Well, you see, I’m moving in with someone else… and they already have cable set up, so there’s no reason for me to move it or keep it!”

Operator: *pauses* “All right, then, let’s get your service cancelled!”

(And then cancellation was like a breeze. In retrospect, the guy probably wasn’t fooled, but it probably gave him a good reason to just go ahead with cancellation rather than having to pressure another customer to stay. Yes, I was lying. Usually I prefer to be honest with people, but in this case, after a much-publicized case of them high-pressuring customers to stay with them, I think I was justified.)

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The Generation That Will Just Wait For It To Be On YouTube

, , , , , | Working | April 30, 2019

(We’ve just moved into a new house. We don’t own a TV, as we tend to either read a lot or watch stuff we want to watch on the computer. As such, we want broadband Internet but not cable. The day they come to hook us up leads to this conversation.)

Cable Guy: “We’re here to set up your [Company] services, but there seems to be some mistake.”

Me: “Mistake?”

Cable Guy: “You haven’t paid for cable. I’m going to have to disconnect that, and you’ll be without cable unless you call them right away.”

Me: “That’s cool; we just want the broadband Internet.”

Cable Guy: “But I have to take the old cable box. You won’t be able to watch cable TV.”

Me: “Yes. I know. We don’t actually own a TV, and we really don’t want cable.”

Cable Guy: *sputtering* “You don’t… want… cable?”

Me: “Nope, we’re good. Just get the Internet up and we’re fine.”

(He proceeded to do his job, but he kept looking at me with this look that said, “Behold, this creature that walks like a human and doesn’t… want… cable…” I think I broke the cable guy that day.)

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It Does If You Fast-Forward At 88 Miles An Hour

, , , , | Right | April 24, 2019

I was at an office of my cable company, picking up my first DVR. The person helping me briefly went over how it all worked, like how far back I could rewind, recording, etc.

Then, with a resigned look, she adds, “You know you can’t fast-forward live television, right?”

I can only imagine how many complaining customers she’d dealt with who didn’t understand that the DVR was not, in fact, a time-travel machine into the future. I’ve never had so much sympathy for a cable company employee in my life.

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